Chant to Yemaya – Traditional Yoruba Chant

A traditional Yoruba chant to the Goddess of the sea. I like to invite my singers to call out the qualities of the ocean before we sing it, then invite them feel the flow of the water in their bodies as they move and sing. This chant can be sung in a round.

A traditional chant in the public domain.

Lyrics:

Yemaya oh, ago, ako yo yemaya
Yemaya oh, ago, ako yo yemaya

Sacred Fire – Heather Houston

“Women we’re calling you… home to the sacred fire.
Healing our hearts, planting our seeds,
Weaving our prayers, amplifying our dreams.”

Women, we know how powerful it is to gather in circle with our sisters. Let’s keep calling ourselves home, each other home. It is here, in this sacred container that we find the courage to heal and transform our lives.

© Heather Houston 2019
All rights reserved

Vocal Meditation Practice – Major Scale

What a gift this precious instrument we call the voice. It gives us the opportunity to deepen. We deepen our awareness, we let go, we expand our consciousness and return home to our hearts. We are forever changed.

We Are the Holy Ones – Composer Unknown

We have searched high and low in hopes of locating the composer of this song. If you have any information about this one, please reach out. I learned it around the campfire at Song Village. My circles of singers absolutely love this one!!

Lyrics:

We are the holy ones
Who may have forgotten or come undone
But now is the time for the human soul to
remember the greater story to which we belong.
You are my brother,
You are my sister,
You are my teacher,
You are my holy one.
So now is the time for the human soul to
remember the greater story to which we belong.

Sacred Vessel – Heather Houston

A love song to the body temple, and a prayer that we all may treat our bodies as the sacred vessels they are. The healing wisdom lies within.

My body is a sacred vessel
That cycles with the stars and the moon
My body is a sacred vessel
Her rhythm is always in tune
And I cherish who she is becoming
And I listen to the wisdom she brings
I love her as she is in this moment
I am lifted as she sings

My body is a sacred vessel
That sheds my tears
And embraces the rain
My body is a sacred vessel
There is wisdom in her pain
And I honor her in her fullest expression
I’m opening to all that she feels
And I am thankful for the journey we’re sharing
I am lifted as she heals

My body is a sacred vessel
That holds my heart
And frees my soul
My body is a sacred vessel
Her every need I come to know
And I treat her with compassion and kindness
And I hold her close and remove all her sheathes
I invite her to dance with grace and devotion
I am lifted as she breathes

Bird of Light – Heather Houston

I offer this chant as a powerful practice of presencing. In the dark, difficult, and uncertain times, one of the most powerful tools I’ve found is to chant mantra. Mantra, that which protects the mind, helps us to enter into a one-pointed concentration, thus quieting the looping stories and the fears.

Choose one part and stick to it throughout, and notice how you feel afterward. This is also a beautiful one to sing with a large group of people.

Hamsa so hum translates as “I am That” in Sanskrit. In Vedic philosophy, it means identifying oneself with the universe or ultimate reality. The Soham mantra has been called the universal mantra because of the fact that its vibration is already a part of the breath, and everybody breathes. Sooooo… is the sound of inhalation, and Hummmm… is the sound of exhalation.

Hamsa means white swan. The swan, of course, is an ancient symbol of spiritual grace and purity. The mantra is called White Swan because when the in-breath and out-breath are freed and purified, they are like the wings of a swan helping our spirits to soar. The Hamsa mantra helps us find the grace within and carries us beyond our limited concepts.

Lyrics:

Hamsa so hum, hamsa so hum

I am that I am that I am, I am that I am that I am

So hum, so hum, so hum, so hum

I am this breath, I am this voice

I am a bird of light, I am a bird in flight

© November 2019
Heather Houston
All rights reserved

Love Moves In Me – Heather Houston

This song called me into a deeply meditative and prayerful space for hours on the Saturday morning of October 27th, 2018. Little did I know that as the song was pouring through me, the mass shooting at the synagogue in Pittsburgh was taking place. I can only hope that my space of deep love and prayer touched a broken heart or two. May this song invite us all to be a conduit for Love in every circumstance.

Lyrics:

Love moves in me
Through me, as me
Love moves in me,
Through me, as me

And I’m receiving each breath with love
And I am walking each step with love

© Heather Houston 2018
All rights reserved

 

 

Wade in the Water Medley – Traditional Spirituals

Traditional Spirituals

I learned this medley from Ysaye Barnwell at a music educators conference way back in 1999. A favorite amongst my elementary school choirs as well as my adult choirs and circles.

Wade In the Water was an Underground Railroad song, sung as a guide to assist the those moving towards freedom to know where the safe river crossings were, or to get into the water so the dogs would lose the scent. Also referencing the Bible from Exedos. “An angel troubled the water”. A call to get in the water to become whole and healed again.

Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child – a song of grief for those separated from their families and their homeland.

I Wanna Die Easy When I Die – the enslaved people’s way of claiming that they WILL make it to freedom, and they will not die until they do – Such strength and conviction of spirit!

When I sing these songs with my groups, I also like to presence that we are still on a journey of reparations, justice and equality with people of color who are descendants of the enslaved. There are still deep wounds that need to be healed. I like to have the circle speak their prayers, or I like to set an intention that as we sing these songs, we are creating a ripple of love and healing for those still on the journey, and for our nation as a whole.

Lyrics:

Wade In The Water

Wade in the water
Wade in the water children
Wade in the water
God’s gonna trouble the water

Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child

Sometimes I feel like a motherless child
Sometimes I feel like a motherless child
Sometimes I feel like a motherless child
A long way from home

I Wanna Die Easy

I wanna die easy when I die
I wanna die easy when I die
I wanna die easy when I die
Shout salvation when I rise
I want to die easy when I die

These songs are in the public domain

Full Moon Chant by Heather Houston

This chant flowed through me one magical full moon night while having a soak in my outdoor bathtub. Luxurious!

© Heather Houston
All rights reserved

www.heatherhoustonmusic.com

Image by Beverly Ash Gilbert

Lyrics:

In the light of the full moon I am love
Offering my prayers to rise above
the thoughts and the fears that hold me down
while thriving on this earth
as she spins around.
In the light of the full moon I am peace
Offering my heart to be released
from the things that no longer serve my soul.
Knowing now that I am whole.

Chant to Nana by Heather Houston

In the Yoruba traditions, Nana is the Great Grandmother of all the Orishas, the Grandmother of our sacred waters, and the Mother of the Universe. This wise and revered Orisha embodies the spirit of the earth, the moon, the rain, mud, swamps and fresh spring waters. She is the energy of transformative healing powers. She watches over the women and is the protector of everything female. It is said that she has very little patience for men and surrounds herself mainly with priestesses. Women find comfort in her knowledge and strength. They flock to her for guidance and spiritual healing.

For many years I chanted chants to Nana with my teacher Alba Lirio. One day when I was driving through the hills of Marin, tending to my broken heart, an original melody flowed through me with lyrics to Nana. I clearly needed the healing energy she brings, and have been forever grateful for the gift of this chant. The women in my circles adore it as well.

Lyrics:

Part 1: (the round)
Eh na na Eh na na Eh na na, Eh na na Eh na na Eh

Part 2: (the hight part)
Eh di na na eh wa
Eh wa eh wa
Eh wa eh wa eh

Part 3: (the low part)
Eh di na na eh wa
Eh wa eh wa
Eh wa eh wa