PBP: “V” is for Voice

I have a loud voice. And not just in a spiritual sense... more on that later. I mean physically it 'carries', is slightly raspy and has been this way since I was a young kid. They thought at first I was hard of hearing, when that was shown to not be the issue I was sent to a throat specialist. I remember the feeling of a hot, extended mirror going down the back of my neck and them seeing the effects of my talkative nature: calluses on vocal chords. I saw a speech therapist after that and went back for regular follow-ups to keep an eye on the per-cancerous nodules. Didn't help in the long run and I never got cancer; but I learned how to say all kinds of wonderful tongue twisters, diaphragm-controlled breathing and beautiful diction. I participated in choir at both my elementary school and church (seasonally) and for a number of years, harmonizing my bass tone to the otherwise cherubic sounds coming from other children. I had private singing lessons, drama, jazz dance, various wind instruments all to learn control over my growing body and feed my nerdy love of the humanities. As I got older, so did the power of my voice become more noticeable. I could talk over other people, get a room's attention...and this all spilled over into my spiritual life. Whilst parents, boyfriends, teachers and everyone else who thought they could control my voice kept trying to do so, it was mutating and becoming something so much more than I ever realized. When I performed my first invocation, spirits, Gods, elementals... all came. It's like, they couldn't resist. Even ones I didn't know were showing up as my intonations and cosmic vibrations refined into skill. It was a perfect match when I found mantra yoga, Tibetan Buddhism and practiced chanting every day. My vernacular speech became much more intentional, I found power in the words I spoke. Freudian slips and slurred words of accidental repetition. Coven mates feared an occasional teasing which might otherwise ensue a period of chaos in all communications, especially when Mercury would go retrograde.

It was somewhere during my undergraduate years I wanted to challenge this on a new level. I was in a relationship with an older man for several years and we were having the normal couple issues. The biggest one I felt was that my boyfriend did not see me as an equal... so I set out to find an example I could emulate as the perfect consort. It was in the Hindu story of Siva and Shakti was the potentiality for what a good relationship could be. And so I began the work with Siva, although not necessarily in the way I had planned.

Lord Shiva from the Mahabharata

I started with buying a golden dancing Siva statue, some plain Nag Champa and a simple candle in blue. The mantra was chosen and I began to intone it 108 times or more daily, over a 40 day discipline. At first everything was going well: om namah shivaya in my head, day and night. I would hear it when walking around campus, shelving books in the library, it was everywhere I went. This was, in my experience, a good sign. Until one morning I sat down in front of Siva and began my chant: om namah shivaya. By the time I got to the 30th bead on my mala, my voice creaked and choked. It almost felt like my throat was dry, so I drank some water, gargled and swallowed. Taking a few breaths, I picked up on the last mala and started where I left off. About three more of om namah shivaya and it happened again. I repeated the gargle and tried again, but this time I could only get as far as om namah. So, counting the remaining mantras in my head I finished my daily ritual and set about getting ready for the rest of the day, which was uneventful. The same thing happened the next day, and the next day... with the effects of my voicelessness being drawn out for longer periods of time.

I finished my 40 day discipline, with most of the prayers coming from within a still throat. I could not say this prayer no matter how hard I tried. Then one night, my boyfriend and I were making love. The room was candlelit and a great image of Ram with Sita hung over my bed... the divine couple I hoped to emulate. Whilst I looked up to see Ram, my eyes turned down to my lover and was shocked to see my lover had blue skin also! He was a complete Atheist, cynic, developing prestidigitator and sometimes even made fun of my spiritual practices. But he had turned into Siva!

I didn't know what to do. being mid-coitus and having a God appear between my thighs. I wasn't some experienced Tantrika and did the only thing I found to be natural, I kept going. He smiled as the body He rode in stiffened up like a corpse. I could see a frightened look trying to express through the mask of Siva. But I climbed higher in ecstasy and as the energy pulsated and rose through, my body arched and my mouth opened up, and the mantra came out...loudly, quickly and without waver. It flowed out of my essence like honey, drowning my Self, my lover, and all else in the room. The pressure built up and His energy flowed up into me, exploding out the top of my head. I collapsed, sweating and shaking but with a huge smile on my face. When I came too, I noticed my boyfriend was trembling a little and seemed disoriented. This was very out of character and worried him. I consoled him, but never told what REALLY happened.

That was when I knew this was not an ordinary skill, talent, or otherwise mystical gift. This was a powerful weapon which has spilled over into the manifestation of words on paper, in print and online. Facebook statuses manifest easily, spoken spells hardly need much else except a candle and word. I have yet to evoke or invoke a Deity who will not appear. Yes, I am a special snowflake and my voice will not be stifled from saying so.