U S E Y O U R V O I C E !
Like the use of writing discussed in the previous installment, being able to use and project your voice properly is a foundational skill. The voice is both one of the greatest, and one of simplest, tools at our disposal. In heka, our speech breathes life into our will. To speak a name is to give the possessor of that name life — or subdue the one to whom the name belongs, depending upon the context in which it is used. The voice gives context to our intent, and is a vital component in creating what I like to refer to as theatre, or what Anton LaVey called “intellectual decompression.”
The voice makes us ritually prepared; it puts us in the proper frame of mind to perform heka with authority and efficacy. If wielded effectively, it can remove our quotidian mental barriers, allowing us to relax into ritual, banish all irrelevant and counter-intuitive thoughts that would hinder us in the “ritual chamber,” which is much more a state of mind than an actual, physical chamber (though it certainly helps to have an isolated physical space where you may articulate heka and express yourself free from interruption and other forms of distraction).
If you speak mildly and timidly, stumbling over your words, so too shall your heka be — mild, timid, and stumbling. Heka essentially means “meaningful speech,” remember, so speak with authority, and invest your words with all the feeling and purpose you can muster.
Note : It is not simply what is said; how it is said matters in equal measure.
H O W C A N I U S E M Y V O I C E ?
If you are a “wordsmith” like a poet or songwriter, are an actor or a musician who has stage experience, and/or have taken a Public Speaking class, to name but a few examples, you have an advantage over most. Knowing how to articulate your thoughts creatively, effectively convey emotion, and properly project your voice is key. Eliminating self-consciousness is usually the biggest step for most people, though there are certainly other points of struggle. Good tips on overcoming one’s own vocal awkwardness under pressure may be perused here.
While there are virtually endless methods through which the voice may be employed, song is often the most relatable and the easiest for people to become acclimated to.
Song and music were integral to Ancient Egyptian life and heka, and found its way onto battlefields and farms and into palaces and temples. Hathor, one of the most popular of Egyptian Goddesses, was and is considered to be the tutelary Goddess of Music, as music is synonymous with sensuality — making music and song ideal additions to any articulation of heka concerning, say, self-love, or the attraction of a lover (granted that you’re good at it). Especial rank was afforded to Chantresses of various cults and their temples, namely that of Amun. Musical instruments, such as the crude but utile and ingenious menat necklace rattles, worn by priestesses of Hathor, and the sistrum, were employed in ritual and were likely accompanied by song.
Music is not simply confined to the realm of devotion and offering, though that is arguably what it is most often used for within religious spheres. Just as a song can overtly be used to praise a deity, a song can serve as a vehicle for heka — a subtle one. Depending upon how you choose your words, many people may not even realize that you’re performing a spell as you sing! After all, how many knights in Medieval French literature have fallen helplessly in lust with shepherdesses’ singing? And how many soldiers over the countless ages have been invested with ferocious strength and unbreakable zeal by battle songs? How many times has each of us been moved by a favorite song, felt emotionally or spiritually connected to a particular lyric? Words articulated in song possess especial power that most do not even think to tap into.
I highly recommend that those who wish to learn how to incorporate music into heka give Karl Sanders a listen:
Now, that may sound like scary, noisy nonsense to some. I find this to be a helpful example, as the words are gibberish to most. It allows us to better understand how the mechanics work, how all the elements come together to create a certain atmosphere, without focusing so much on what the lyrics are and mean. The emotion is palpable, and reflects bestial power. He projects his voice willfully. His voice is commanding, authoritative. He invests his words and his voice with a great deal of energy.
You do not, under any circumstances, have to sing in the exact same style as Karl Sanders if you cannot or do not want to. But in whatever fashion you sing, you must be able to project your voice in an equally willful and powerful fashion. You must be able to create theatre. Insipid droning of words means weak heka. A powerful voice means potent heka.
Above all else, keep in mind that finding your voice and learning how to use it takes a great deal of time, practice, and patience. We all have different sounds, styles, and aptitudes. You do not have to be the best singer, or even a good singer. If you listen closely to most vocalists today, while they may seem imposing and impossible to match, you will realize that quite a few of them are, in fact, not endowed with raw, inherent talent. But they know how to create presence, convey emotion and personality, and articulate power. As long as you know how to do that, you will be able to create potent, subtle (if you wish) articulations of heka with your voice.