Shamanism & Native American Articles

Interview about Peace Sound Chambers from Vision of Joseph Rael

By Ocean Graham

Joseph Rael is a Native American visionary and internationally respected author of many books. His teachings have gained international attention. In his book 'Being and Vibration' Joseph Rael talks about his vision of the sound chambers:

"My vision came during a long dance. The Cosmic Mother/Father being came in a flash of light, a point of illumination which lasted only two or three seconds. I cannot begin to explain this vision, it was so beautiful."

"In the vision I was given a task - to build sound chambers around the world. It would seem that, having had this powerful experience, I would have a fearless commitment to honour that clear knowing. What followed though was the testing of the commitment, a period of deep self-questioning.."

"The chambers are our caretakers, helping us to access wisdom from an ancient source. They act as a mouthpiece for the higher mind to amplify that which we need at this time on the earth and to help all who walk upon her. By building chambers on the surface of the earth, a web of light is created so that a person making sound inside a chamber sets up a continuous resonance around the earth."

Firstly Ocean, can you tell us something of Joseph Rael's vision of the Peace/Sound Chambers, what it means to you, and why you have felt compelled to actually build a chamber on your home, the Isle of Skye?

Joseph Rael's visions are detailed in his books, 'Being and Vibration' and others. I am connected to two of his visions and I need to tell you about the vision of the 'Drum Dance' before the vision about the 'Peace/Sound Chamber'.

I had been working with natural therapies and spiritual healing for a number of years. I was looking for guidance on how to expand these skills to work with the earth. I prayed for someone to come along who would teach me. The next day (sometimes these prayers are answered with dizzying speed) I was informed that Joseph would be bringing the first ever 'Drum Dance' to Europe and this was for personal and planetary healing and it would be in Scotland. It is a 3-day dry/fast ceremonial dance. I had never heard of Joseph Rael or 'Beautiful Painted Arrow', his native name, and had never danced a ceremonial dance. It was the best thing I ever did though, and continue to do.

Joseph spoke to us of another vision, one where people around the world would build round or oval buildings and chant in them to energise the peace principle. The buildings would behave like a drum bouncing these thought focussed sound waves around the walls and resonating outwards from the chamber into the earth and air like the ripples from a pebble thrown into a pond. He told us that we can energise anything we focus on with sound. In this way the idea of peace would receive energy.

I will say here this it is not my place to try and explain someone else's vision. I can only give you my understanding up to this point - and this is 6 years after first meeting him. At the time I had no understanding of what he was saying.

These peace/sound chambers would be built partly in the ground; they would have a hole in the centre of the floor to the earth below and one in the ceiling to the sky and a door to the east where inspiration would come in.

These would be the peace/sound chambers. They can be made of anything. It is the shape that matters. I have seen a concrete egg shaped chamber, one made of straw and cow dung, one of mud brick, fibreglass and some of wood - all quite individual, with their own sound and their own story.

Can you tell us what led to the building of your sound chamber? When did you make the decision to start building and when was it completed? Joseph came to bless the chamber. Can you tell us what happened?

Inside Sound Peace ChamberThe third year I danced the Drum Dance we were sitting around the blanket feasting after the dance, when Joseph casually told me that I would build a Peace/Sound Chamber. This was said as a statement of fact. There was no explanation or even discussion.

When we think we have the ability to think a multitude of thoughts at the same time - it is not linear as in speech. So while I was thinking that I would not build a chamber, that it was Joseph's vision not mine, that I didn't have the funds or the land, I also knew with absolute certainty that I would actually build a Peace/Sound Chamber (sometimes there is just no arguing).

Joseph came to bless the chamber a year or two later. I was pleased that he was able to witness my small (3m diameter) effort. He blessed the chamber in Tiwa, the sacred language of his people. Local people were also there to hear a little about how to work with sound. As an exercise he had us chanting in English one word, to give us insight into the meanings and the metaphors of that in word. So we experimented with the word 'sitting' to understand the qualities of sittingness, passivity, receptivity and placement. Focussing on one word can teach a great deal.

Try energising a thought such as 'my relationships are exciting and fulfilling' , 'my body is strong', 'my work is satisfying', 'my world is peaceful' or whatever is in need of a bit of a shift. Do this by chanting the vowel sounds for five minutes and watch what happens.

How many chambers are there now across the world and what countries are they in?

There are now about 70 chambers in various states of builtness and this number is growing. There are several in America, some in Europe, four in Australia, one in New Zealand, Canada and Bolivia. In the UK we have 3 up and singing - one in Sligo, Eire, one in South Wales and this one in on the North of the Isle of Skye, Scotland. There are others being built. One in Hereford, England, one near Findhorn, one on the south of the Isle of Skye and there are others. The building of the chambers is very much tied up with the personal journey of the individual or group that is building it.

How does a sound chamber work? What sounds do you make when you are in there?

The sound chamber works on various levels that I am aware of and probably several that I am not aware of. Initially we state our intent or say our prayers, this always begins with a group focus for the earth of healing, awakening and peace. We then add our own personal intention. We start by making the vowel sounds 'A', 'E', 'I', 'O', 'U'. These each have different frequencies and qualities or principles that they bring to the chanter.

After chanting for just a few minutes there is a tangible difference in the feel of the room and in us. I usually feel calm, centred and connected. If we give 5 minutes to each vowel the energy in the room has built up considerably and I am usually aware that the spinning energy has created a vortex in the centre. I can see energy move down and up the vortex - into the ground and out in all directions. The qualities of the sounds are described in Joseph's books but this a rough guide.

'A' pronounced AAAH - brings inspiration and new energy and purification
'E' pronounced E (AS IN MET) - brings emotional healing and lessons about where we are in the scheme of things, placement.
'I' pronounced EEE - healing the physical body and earth also about going within.
'O' pronounced O - opening to spiritual wisdom and growth through gratitude
'U' pronounced OOOH - the marriage of spirit and matter, metaphor for human being.

These are basic sounds one can use to energise anything. We are very thoughtful about our focus. Our words give the energy its direction and move us through our lessons. So we need to choose the words with care.

This may sound a bit strange to some people. Does working with sound in this way really affect you? How does it work?

Sound Chamber in winter on SkyeHow it works is like this:
1. The thought - a positive focus of intent.This can be to heal a bad knee, or a bad relationship or a bad bank balance or create world peace. Identify that which you wish to heal.
2. Think about your focus, relax your body and mind and sing or chant the vowel sounds for several minutes, listen to the silence afterwards. Do this regularly.
3. Hang on and be prepared for change.

Sound equals energy. Energy follows thought. Energised thought manifests in reality.

I also wanted the answer to that question for myself, so I experimented. One week I made my focus ' the coming together of natural and the allopathic branches of medicine on the Island, so that the experience of healing could benefit from both....

The effect was quick and surprising. Two incidents occurred that brought together both methods of healing and created a bridge between people who had never thought of working together before. Since then I have watched people as they have chanted and moved through their stuff and blossomed.

Can you tell us about some any 'miraculous' events or healings that have happened?

I don't use the word miracle in this way because it is misleadingand can create expectation. All healing is miraculous as is life itself. Surprising stories? Yes. The woman who was able to heal a lifetime of pain to discover that she was a strong and creative person. The one who had an inherited disorder that disappeared in two weeks. These are stories of people who looked within and allowed themselves to sing their pain.

I think the miracle for me was what I saw when we were singing a chant to the energy of growing for springtime and I saw the energy moving into the plants around us. Watching as the molecular structure of plants opened to receive it. All the plants were 'smiling' afterwards. This for me was proof that sound creates energy and follows focus.

Having said that, looking for proof to validate this area is a fruitless exercise as we are at different levels of perception and therefore cannot all see the same thing in the same way. Thus 'reality' is a variable experience and there is no universal benchmark from which to measure.

I understand that there is soon to be the annual meeting of people who have Peace/Sound Chambers in America and that you are going to this meeting. What will it be like? What will you all talk about?

Every two years there is a meeting of the custodians of the Peace/Sound Chambers. Although we have a chamber planted in our garden, no one owns a Peace/Sound Chamber. All the chambers are for the people. We can only care for them.

The last meeting was in Australia in Nov 1999 and the next will be in Texas in November 2001. We gather to see what we are all doing and to share ideas to talk. The chamber sites often also host ceremonial dances and a wide range of other activities. Whichever chamber hosts the meeting will arrange a few days of activities and there is plenty of opportunity to meet each other. In Australia we had a delegation from the Native Americans, the Maoris, the Aboriginals and the Europeans. So it was also a cultural exchange. The Chamber site at Casurina, Victoria, Australia had 5 great labyrinths for us to walk, a Sun/Moon Dance, a 'dreamweave' gathering of the indigenous people, a weekend of hilarious entertainment including a black Elvis Parsley - an Aboriginal Elvis impersonator. If you are remotely interested in Peace/Sound Chambers you should try to come to Texas. I have no idea what will occur there but it will be fun.

You essentially took a leap of faith building this chamber. What has the whole process taught you? Have things happened differently to how you envisaged?

View across Skye in winterI have learned that there is an agenda in which I am involved. I can, in my less aware moments, hinder it but not stop it. It has velocity.. I just hang on for dear life and enjoy the ride. The journey is incredible, surprising, challenging and awesomely, amazingly beautiful and funny.It has required me to deal with my own stuff, or at least not to let it get in the way.

I had no expectations of what would happen here, as I hadn't planned to have a Peace/Sound chamber. When it was clear that I would have a Peace/Sound Chamber in my garden I still didn't know what that meant or what one would do in it.

Now I know a bit more and worry a lot less. What is going to happen, happens fluidly and beautifully.

I gather in May 1999 Jeanne White Eagle and John Pehrson performed the 'Awakening Ceremony' on the chamber? Can you explain what that was about and what happened?

Jeanne White Eagle is a singer and was guided to Joseph after he requested someone come to awaken the chambers. Jeanne and John work as a team now for this purpose, travelling the world performing awakening ceremonies and peace concerts. They gave us a day of working with sound in a different way, allowing the sound to come out anyway at all, entirely intuitively. So we yodelled, burbled, howled and groaned. We sang sweetly and loudly, quietly, harmoniously and discordantly. We sang who we are. It awakened something within us, the memory of who we are.

At night we began the ceremony for the awakening of the chamber. Jeanne sang inside the chamber. We sat outside and observed many things. I saw the merging of different levels of reality and the energy of the sound as it wove around us.

In the morning after the ceremony the energy within the chamber was so intense I thought we might never be able to go in it again. But it settled and has now it's own life force. (This is only a small circular wooden building).

How do you see the future of your Peace/Sound Chamber? Does what you do in there really make a difference to the planet? How do you know this?

View across Skye in summerWe tend to explore ideas and follow what feels good at the time and see how it develops. We have created ceremonies and workshops in the Peace/Sound Chamber. We have weekly meditation and chanting meetings. There is regular healing work and therapies carried out there and we have a series of 5 gatherings coming up quarterly from this December which will look at experiencing the principles of the 4 directions based on the Celtic medicine wheel. In the first one we will develop our own personal dream for the year, with walking meditation, journeying, sound and dance. There is room for up to 12 participants on this.

Does it make a difference to the planet? I don't know. How would one measure it? It makes a difference to my world and how I experience the planet. I am doing what makes my heart sing. It may do nothing more than make me happy or it may raise the energy for the planet and all life. I am not attached to the outcome.

Are we ready to for peace while we are still enjoying learning through conflict and polarity?

We are responsible for the experience of peace in our own world, i.e. neighbours, family, community, and self. That is a great place to start.

Thank you for your interview. One last question. If you were to die tomorrow what piece of advice would you leave to the world on your departing?

Every breath is a new opportunity to experience and fully enjoy life, why would we choose a lesser experience? Life is a hoot, sing it, dance it, love it, enjoy it, do it with commitment. We need to ask ourselves while leaning over the photocopier, or driving along the M6; 'Am I properly and fully enjoying this experience?' and if the answer is no, make it better. We have a duty to ourselves. Life is the most precious thing we know. Even the sad experiences are precious.


Breathe with the highest imaginable intent.


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Ceremonies in UK in the tradition of Joseph Rael, Beautiful Painted Arrow:

Sun/Moon Dance, near Edinburgh, Scotland
Normally held towards the end of July. If you would like further details, or are interested in helping please contact Stella Longland on:

Sun/Moon Dance, Norfolk - Contact Nick Hurn for more information:

Drum Dance, near Loch Ness, Scotland
Held yearly. For further information contact Ocean Graham on:

© holisticshop 2000. All rights reserved

About the author / more information

Ocean Graham is a natural therapist and healer who is the keeper of the Skye Peace/Sound Chamber. In 1983 the visionary Joseph Rael, Beautiful Painted Arrow, had a vision to create a network of chambers across the planet in which people chant for world peace. In this interview she talks about her involvement with this work and some of her experiences working with sound.

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