Acutonics Institute of Integrative Medicine

The Year of the Fire Rooster

2 Mar, 2017
The Year of the Fire Rooster

By Donna Carey, LAc and Ellen F. Franklin, PhD
Oriental Medicine Journal, New Year 2017

When the rooster crows at the break of dawn,
look out your window and I’ll be gone…

– Bob Dylan, 1962, Don’t Think Twice Its Alright.

January 28, 2017, we enter into the year of the Fire Rooster, shifting our psyches away from the monkey business of 2016. Rooster’s arrival heralds a wake up call for the world. The Rooster, the tenth sign in the Chinese zodiac, demands that we address challenges head on. Roosters are outspoken, keen observers, and extremely frank; and they demand loyalty. They also have a tendency toward boastfulness and love the spotlight. Rooster teaches us to find our unique and individual voice, exuding confidence, enthusiasm, and candor. Roosters are not shy. They demand action. With each raucous crowing of cock-a-doodle-do, they push us to rise-up and shine our unique light in the world. No slackers allowed, we must greet the dawn with an awareness of how much there is to accomplish, and with the energy to move forward, regardless of the obstacles. Rooster is male and solar, and these qualities are amplified in a Fire Rooster year. Positive traits include hope, enhanced energy, bravery, and the confidence to reach our highest potential. In a Fire Rooster year we are surrounded by fire and solar energy, providing access to a strong generative and creative element that pushes industriousness and honesty. However, it is also a time that demands a high level of self-awareness so that we do not lose sight of the power of fire to bring great destruction and to ignite aggression, egotism, fanaticism, coarseness, and flamboyant disregard for truth.

Rooster Qualities

The Rooster's associated sun sign is Virgo. Virgos tend to be practical, and they enjoy order and tidiness. Interestingly, these personality traits are similar to the rooster, which is a naturally clean and tidy bird that likes to take frequent baths, keep a tidy roost, and stay very tuned in to its surroundings, to the point that some might say they have eyes in the backs of their heads. Roosters are also extremely smart and always on guard. Although they have a diminished sense of smell and taste, their sense of hearing is very strong. The rooster’s lifespan is approximately 5 to 8 years; butdepending on breed and living conditions, they may live 10 to 15 years. Their diet includes insects, worms, snakes, acorns, grains, nuts, and seeds. Roosters are always on the lookout for predators including coyotes, bobcats, possums, raccoons, owls, and skunks.

Roosters are also symbols of good fortune and prosperity. Rooster pottery and knickknacks are frequently found in the kitchen. In Cuban culture the rooster is an important symbol, as it represents strength and power. It is considered a great compliment to call a man a rooster.

Rooster Worship

Evidence of the rooster as an object of worship dates back at least to ancient Mesopotamia, where the rooster is identified with Nusku, the god of light and fire. It is postulated that the rooster may have come to Mesopotamia from India by way of Iran. An early visual representation of the rooster was discovered in an excavation from an Assyrian tomb in Assar, and numerous seals have also been found that date to the first millennium. In a Babylonian scene a rooster is depicted on a pedestal as an object of worship. The rooster was also of great importance to the Greeks, who referred to it as the Persian bird. Mythological references to the rooster are discussed below. Links to the rooster in religion can be found in Zoroastrianism, in the rise of Christianity, and in Mithraic and mystery religions. Common themes include the animal of dawn announcing the end of darkness and the arrival of light, the fight against death and for the future of the soul, as well as the belief in the potential for resurrection.

During the rise of Christianity the rooster was said to have crowed after Peter betrayed Christ, serving as a symbol of repentance and resurrection. In the New Testament, Jesus prophesied Peter’s betrayal, “I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.” In the 6th century Pope Gregory I declared the rooster an emblem of Christianity, and it was Pope Nicholas I in the 9th century who decreed by papal order that a figure of a rooster be placed on every church steeple. It is still a common practice to post weather vanes with roosters on tops of churches as a vigilant watcher against evil.

In medieval times, astronomical clocks were designed to embody the microcosm and the macrocosm and were imbued with strong religious symbolism that incorporated the rooster. One example is a cathedral clock at Notre-Dame de Strasbourg that was built between 1352 and 1353. It depicts the macrocosm and microcosm and the idea of salvation; and it contains figures of the Virgin, baby Jesus, the three Magi, and the rooster. The rooster flaps its wings and crows on the hour. This clock still serves as a memorial to the sacrifice of Jesus and the need to be ready for his return, providing another example of the rooster in religious life.

In the Gnostic texts Abraxas is depicted as a being with the head of a rooster, the torso of a man, and serpent legs. Jung wrote about this supreme deity of the Gnostics in Seven Sermons to the Dead and in the Red Book, where Jung describes Abraxas as a time god, the beginning and the end, life and death, the Demiurgos, and the world creator, not unlike Shiva or Purusha. Amulets with the image of Abraxas have been discovered in archeological sites in Alexandria and Syria.

In Judaism the rooster is an emblem of honesty and gallantry, so revered that the title of Rooster was awarded to temple officials. There are also references in the Old Testament to temple officials having a cock girded about the loins, a religious instilling of being stately in stride. A traditional practice before Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, was to swing a kosher hen or rooster around the head and slaughter it in the ritual of kapparos. In this sacrifice the animal takes on the person’s sins and the meat is donated to the poor. In the Talmud there is a reference to courtesy toward one’s mate being learned from the rooster, who, when food is found, calls the hens to eat first. The Talmud also states that had the Torah not been given to us, we would have learned modesty from the cats, honest toil from ants, chastity from doves, and gallantry from cocks.

Rooster Mythology and Archetypes

The rooster’s loud crow at dawn is likely one of the reasons it is a solar symbol in cultures around the world. The ancient Greeks believed the rooster spirit saluted the sun, its screeching cry a symbolic victory over darkness. Other associations between the Sun god and the rooster include the story of Alectryon, a servant of Ares who was asked to serve as a sentry to protect the secret love affair between Aphrodite and Ares. Unfortunately, Alectryon fails to keep watch, falling asleep at his job. Helios, the sun god, discovers the lovers and quickly spreads the word about the illicit love affair. As punishment, Ares turned Alectryon into a rooster that must crow daily to herald the approach of dawn. The Cretan solar God Velchanus also had a cock for his emblem; his attributes were assimilated into Zeus. In addition, a rooster was present when Leto gave birth of Apollo and Artemis. Thus we see the rooster associated with both Solar and Moon myths. The cock is often depicted with a golden halo not unlike the rays of light emanating from the head of Apollo.

Greek solar gods include Helios and Apollo, the god of light, patron of medicine and prophecy, and father of Asclepius. A rooster was ritually sacrificed to Asclepius because it was believed the rooster heralded the soul of the dead that would be led to the otherworld. It was also Asclepius who brought the dead back to life. Another link between the rooster and resurrection is the myth of Attis, the youth loved by the goddess Cybele, who died from a self-inflicted wound; in her grief Cybele revives her dead lover, and they are worshiped together. The rooster is also linked to Hermes, the messenger of the gods, who can travel between the worlds. He was sent to Hades to negotiate the release of Persephone, but also travels freely between the heavens, Earth, and the underworld, as a guide of souls, earning him the name Psychopompos. Because of its valor, the cock is also found as an attribute of warriors such as Ares, Hercules, and Athena.

In Japanese mythology it is the brave rooster’s loud crowing that entices Amaterasu, the Goddess of the Sun, out of her cave to bring light back into the world. The white cockerel is an auspicious symbol to the Shinto shrine tradition, whose origins may have come from the Taoist traditions of the Tang Dynasty and Nara periods. In the Isonokami Shrine, sacred roosters roam freely and are seen as messengers of the gods. These cave and rooster mythologies of Japanese culture are perhaps closest to those of the Miao tribes of East and Southeast Asia, who share a common M7 mitochondrial DNA ancestry. Miao and Hmong/Miao as well as Japanese peoples are associated with cave culture; many of their festivals include dancing in the caves to draw out the sun. Rooster divination is quite popular in these cultures, as the rooster is seen as a medium and a messenger, connecting secular with supernatural worlds. Rooster delivers requests for blessings to ancestors and brings messages about the future, as well as guides souls to find their path of light to the realm of gods and ancestors. The cock is seen on many tomb mural paintings at the helm of a boat heading towards the sun. In the East rituals associated with Spring, Fire, and the Sun abound with cockfighting at the center.

In Korea people believed that roosters were timekeepers and symbolized auspicious beginnings and beneficent influences. The rooster’s sound dispelled evil spirits, and its crest or comb spoke of its superior intelligence. Its sharing of food exhibited patience, and its ability to stay awake all night and cry at the same time to announce day imbues it with trustworthiness. The sharpness of its toenails represents the science and precision of war and, as roosters will fight until death, the ultimate show of bravery.

A Portuguese folktale reveals the rooster’s role in truth and equity in matters of the law. In one story, a man accused of theft when set before his accuser says that the cooked rooster on the banquet table would crow immediately when the noose was placed around the accused’s neck. The judge thought nothing of the warning and sentenced the man to be hung. Well, the rooster stood up and crowed and crowed, exposing the judge’s mistake. As luck would have it, a poorly tied knot kept the man from his death, and he was freed.

The Celts view the rooster as a messenger to the underworld; as he traveled his cawing would bring forth the souls of brave soldiers who died in battle. There are many depictions of the god Mercury with a sacred rooster as a travel companion. In many of these legends the rooster uses his power to send ghosts and disgruntled spirits away with his bold and fearless cawing.

In Norse mythology the rooster symbolizes soldierly vigilance. It would post itself on the upper branches of the Yggdrasil (the world tree that holds together Heaven, Earth, and the Underworld) to warn gods of the approach of lethal foes and prepare for attacks.

A popular myth transmitted from the Sichuan Province of China depicts a time when ten suns revolved in the Earth’s sky. It is the story of Yi, the archer, sometimes known as Houyi. At one time Yi and Houyi were two separate archers; but, as often happens with the transmission of stories, they merged into one character.

In the historical time of Houyi, as humans began to inhabit the Earth, there were ten suns in the sky. Sometimes they existed simultaneously, and sometimes they took turns offering illumination. Needless to say, there was no night, only perpetual day. The suns withered the Earth, causing widespread destruction, thirst, hunger, and pestilence. During this very difficult time Houyi, a phenomenal archer, decided to take the world’s fate into his own hands and shoot down the suns from the sky.

Houyi exuded strength and confidence. His bow was crafted of tiger bones, and his arrows of dragon’s sinews. In one fell swoop Houyi shot down nine suns. The last Sun, terrified, retreated, leaving the world in perpetual shadow and night. Humanity could no more live with this extreme than with the scorching heat of ten suns. The people begged Houyi to shoot the last sun. Even though Houyi promised not to harm the last Sun, it still refused to come out. People pleaded with it; they begged, shouted, and tried to coax it out, hoping to ease its fright. The people became desperate, and so they sent a magpie, then a crow, then an owl, and many species of birds of the day and night sky. Each creature extended an invitation to the sun, but Sun remained hidden and refused to rise.

Finally, the rooster, known for its sincerity of heart, cried out to Sun, “Oh brother, brother, (Gege, Gege in the Chinese language) please come out!” Sun was so deeply moved by the rooster’s impassioned crow that it finally responded and slowly rose. From that day on, it is the rooster’s daily ritual to shout to the sun, “Gege, Gege!” As soon as Sun hears rooster’s voice, it rises up to bring light and warmth to the world.

From this myth and so many others, we are provided with keys to the character of the masculine rooster, a solar symbol, who comes to represent ritual, observance, honesty, bravery, alertness, and resurrection.

Another Chinese legend that relates to the rooster and his comb may be a variation of the Houyi myth. In this story a hunter who hunted by day and tended his beautiful gardens in the evenings, noticed his prized mulberry bush wilted and shriveling. Despite his efforts to bring the mulberry bush back to life, it died. The hunter vowed revenge, shouting out to the Sun, blaming it for the destruction of his prized bush. He aimed his bow and arrow and fired at the Sun, hitting a direct bullseye. The Sun cried out in pain and hid itself behind the clouds to heal its wound. As the Sun remained hidden the land grew cold and dark, and deaths began to occur. The animals, realizing they would soon perish without the Sun, called together a great council. The council determined that they must do everything in their power to entice Sun to come out from hiding in the clouds.

Ox was the first volunteer to call to Sun but his voice was so deep and low Sun failed to hear it. Tiger was next, roaring out a message; but Sun became frightened at the ferociousness and unwelcoming quality of Tiger’s voice and retreated further into the clouds. Rooster, not happy with this situation, strutted into council and confidently said, “Let me try!” In a loud, clear voice Rooster called out to Sun. The Sun heard the rich, welcoming voice of Rooster and peeked slowly out from behind the clouds. Rooster called again, and Sun responded to his golden timbre, fully emerging from the clouds. Sun was so pleased with Rooster that it wanted to bestow a very special gift, a comb, so that Rooster could comb his beautiful feathers before calling out each morning.

Sun threw the comb down to Rooster. Rooster was so very excited and exuberant that he mistimed the catch, and the comb landed upside down on his head, where it remains today as a hallmark of the rooster.

Rooster Keywords
Individuality, being heard or making oneself known
Linked to the past, and moving toward the future
Death and resurrection
A wake-up-call on all levels
Solar Energy
New Beginnings
Excessive flamboyance

Rooster Iconography in the Home

Rooster images are often found in cookware, plates, cups, platters, clocks, and table dressings; they make excellent New Year’s gifts, as they are believed to bring luck and protection to the home. Remember, it takes just one rooster to fertilize an entire barnyard of hens, so incorporating the rooster into your cooking fosters creativity and problem solving. This small creature believes he is entitled to touch the stars, so harness that energy to create culinary dishes that are out of this world. Arch your neck and let loose your sacred culinary cock song.

Sriracha Sauce brings heat to the Fire Rooster Year:
Our pick for a 2017 culinary must is Sriracha. There is a great history to the obsession with this great rooster sauce. Suffice it to say that the rooster crowed for huy Fong Foods in the early 1980’s, and today the popularity of Sriracha continues to grow. The company sells more than 25 million bottles a year. it never goes bad and has mass appeal for professional chefs, restaurants, and home cooks. One example of the growing popularity of this brand is the 2016 partnership between Lexus and huy Fong Foods. Lexus built a promotional Sriracha is sport sedan, with a sauce look-alike liquid in the steering wheel and a warning for “hot handling.” Temperature controls go from Eco to Sriracha hot. The huy Fong rooster logo is incorporated into the steering wheel, and the trunk contains 43 bottles of Sriracha. The key fob includes an emergency button that dispenses, yes, you guessed it, sauce from the nozzle on the fob. And of course the color of the exterior is Sriracha red.

A new Year taste treat to celebrate the Fire Rooster is black-eyed peas (for rooster’s watchfulness, and eyes in the backs of their heads) served with lightly sautéed kale and garlic, seasoned with smoked salt and Sriracha on the side. Pair this with veggie tacos drizzled with Sriracha lime mayo.

Vegetarian Black-Eyed Peas with Sautéed Kale
16 ounces dried black-eyed peas
4-6 cups of vegetable stock or water
1 bottle of iPA beer
1 TBS. oil
2 cups onions, diced
3 carrots, diced
2 medium zucchini
1 cup of chopped spinach
6-8 garlic cloves
2 TBS. dried red pepper flakes
½ tsp. fresh ground black pepper
Fresh thyme to taste, or 1 TBS. dried
Fresh oregano to taste or 1 tsp. dried
Salt & Pepper to taste
A dash of smoked salt to taste

Photo by Ellen F. Franklin

Rinse the black-eyed peas carefully and remove stones or any discolored peas, put in a medium sized saucepan, cover with water or stock, and bring to a boil. Once it boils, reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile in a large pan heat oil and add the onions, garlic, and carrots and cook until tender; then add zucchini and chopped spinach, and season with pepper flakes, black pepper, thyme, oregano, salt, and pepper. Add water or vegetable stock to cover and a bottle of IPA beer, bring to a slow boil, reduce heat, and simmer covered for about one hour. uncover and cook for about 30 additional minutes or until the peas are tender. Add more stock as needed. Serve with Sriracha Sauce on the side and kale sautéed with elephant garlic and seasoned with smoked salt.

Sauteed Kale
2 cloves of Elephant Garlic
1 TBS Olive Oil
Two bunches of kale or other greens
Juice of 1 Meyer lemon
Season with pepper and smoked salt
Thinly slice the elephant garlic and sauté in olive oil. Gradually add the kale, and salt and pepper, and lemon juice to taste.

Who gets to crow? Make noise at dawn? Wake everyone up
and harness the role of the living alarm cluck

It’s all about cock-a-doodle dominance


When chickens live together in groups (coops), the top rooster crows first, followed by his social underlings. It is an interesting phenomenon for the subordinates to follow the pecking order despite their own circadian rhythms and strong internal clocks, which are also prompting them to make noise, and lots of it. Yet, they politely yield to the social order or accept the punishment of pecking by the top-ranking rooster for their indiscretions.

All About Roosters

Adult male chickens over one year old are known as cocks in the UK and Ireland. In the US, Canada, and Australia they are roosters. Cockerels are males, less than a year old, and capons are castrated roosters. Female chickens over a year old are hens and under a year of age they are pullets. In the egg laying industry pullets transition to hens when they begin laying eggs, which can be as early as 16 to 20 weeks old. The young are called chicks, and chicken is the meat and really refers to young domestic fowl of both sexes.

The chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus), a domesticated fowl, is a subspecies of the red jungle fowl, whose population is over 21 billion. They are largely a food source, kept and consumed for meat and eggs. The chicken genome has changed very little from the feathered ancestors of the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event, i.e., those of the avian dinosaur gene pool. Genetic research points to multiple mitochondrial origins in Southeast, East, and South Asia, but common ancestors are found in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, originating from the Indian subcontinent and the Indus valley.

Roosters are differentiated from hens by their impressive plumage, long flowing tails and shiny pointed feathers on their necks and backs. Their colors are brighter and more striking than females of the same breed. Adult males and females both have combs (fleshy skin on top of the head) and wattles (flaps of skin under the beak), but they are much more prominent in roosters. Generally, domestic chickens do not fly unless fleeing danger, though they can fly short distances.

Chickens are omnivores and while roaming in the wild scratch the soil to expose seeds, insects, lizards, small mice, and snakes.

So You Think You Can Dance?

As part of the courtship ritual roosters will often do a circle dance around or near the hen. They will lower a wing near the hen as part of the mating call. The hen responds and then the rooster takes action, and so the mating proceeds.

And Then?

Chickens lay eggs of many colors—blue, green, brown, white, and even purple. Hens will try to lay eggs in nests that already contain eggs and will even move eggs from neighboring nests into their own. Some hens like to lay eggs in the same location all the time; and sometimes it is the location that matters, so that many hens have individual nests in close proximity. Farmers are known to use golf balls to encourage hens to lay in a particular location.

Social Behavior

Chickens are social birds. They are gregarious and communally incubate their eggs and raise their young. Although communal, the domineering ones establish a pecking order that allows them privilege for access to food and to prime nesting locations. The addition of hens or roosters to the flock, or their removal, will often lead to disruption in the social order and a battle for dominance that establishes a new pecking order.

When a rooster finds good food, he yells at a high-pitched cluck and lets the other chickens eat first. Shrill crowing signals territorial dominance to other roosters. Crowing is also a response to disturbances or potential threats in their surroundings.

Famous Roosters

Looney Tunes Foghorn Leghorn
Walt Disney’s Cocky Locky
Chicken Little
Rowdy Roosters
Picasso’s Rooster
Rooster Cogburn from the western adventure film True Grit,
an aging united States Marshall who is portrayed by John Wayne.

People born in the Year of the Rooster include:
Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Roger Federer, Beyoncé Knowles, Paris Hilton, Sam Smith, Jennifer Lopez, Caroline Kennedy, Carmen Miranda, Caruso, Daniel Day-Lewis, Eleanor Roosevelt, Eric Clapton, Alicia Keys, Goldie Hawn, Natalie Portman, Groucho Marx, Jennifer Aniston, Luis Guzmán, Serena Williams, Melanie Griffith, Mia Farrow, Michael Caine, Michelle Pfeiffer, Renee Zellweger, Rod Stewart, Steve Martin, and Yoko Ono.

Treatment Tips for the Year of the Rooster:

For this Fire Rooster year of 2017 sound a “wake up call” to yourself and clients using the
Extraordinary Vessels:

Yin Qiao Mai and Yang Qiao Mai Vessels, known as the Motility Vessels, rise up, activate motion, and give strength and composure, drawing in Earth energy through the heel and sole. They meet in the eyes, the “gates of destiny,” which gather the essences of both, allowing us to wake up from our individual and collective malaise and our spiritual amnesia and help us truly see and reflect messages from the heart.

Both the Yin and Yang Qiao Vessels have a relationship to the brain, eyes, and top of the head (the comb). They can promote balanced movement and clear intention that helps us overcome fear and inertia and sound our heart’s true song.

The extraordinary vessels can be treated with acupressure, acupuncture, Acutonics tuning forks, or a combination of these. However, we recommend that you begin and end an Acutonics treatment by grounding. Apply the Ohm Unison or Ohm Octave tuning forks to KID 1 (Yong quan), Gushing Spring. This is an invitation to the body to settle down to connect to Earth with a calm, solid foundation.

Yin Qiao Mai: Opening Point KID 6 (Zhao hai), Shining Sea, Balance Point LU 7 (Lie que), Broken Sequence. Apply the Solar 7th interval, placing the Sun Fork on KID 6 and the Low Ohm on LU 7. Follow with Mars/Venus 5th; place Mars on KID 6 and Venus on LU 7.

Yang Qiao Mai: Opening Point UB 62 (Shen mai), Extending Vessel, Balance Point SI 3 (Hou xi), Back Ravine. Apply the Full Moon 6th interval, placing the Full Moon Fork on UB 62 and the Ohm fork on SI 3. Follow with Mars/Venus 5th, placing Venus on UB 62 and Mars on SI 3.

Support the treatment by using the Mars/Venus 5th on the Three Treasures: Ren 4 (Guan yuan), Origins Pass; Ren 17 (Shan zhong), Heart Center; and Du 20 (Bai hui), 100 Connections.


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More Than A Barrel of Monkeys: An Exploration for 2016, the Year of the Monkey

27 Feb, 2016
More Than A Barrel of Monkeys: An Exploration for 2016, the Year of the Monkey

Donna Carey, LAc and Ellen F. Franklin, PhD
Oriental Medicine Journal, New Year 2016

On February 8, 2016, we entered into the Year of the Fire Monkey in the Chinese calendar. This article provides an overview of human perceptions of the monkey in science, the media, literature, the natural world, and myths. Monkeys are mischievous, quick, wise, community-focused, and creative charmers, as well as tricksters who may lead you astray. Insights into rich cross-cultural perceptions of the Monkey are also presented.

Monkey Business

For just a moment consider the English language and the vast number of idioms that invoke the monkey, including monkey business, monkey suit, monkey talk, monkey around, monkey house, hundredth monkey, monkey on your back, monkey’s paw, as much fun as a barrel of monkeys, cheeky monkey, grease monkey, brass monkey, powder monkey, power monkey, monkey bars, I’ll be a monkey’s uncle, monkey see monkey do, throw a monkey wrench in things, come here you little monkey, you clever little monkey, and wise monkey. Many of these expressions are used to highlight silliness, foolishness, aggravation, mischief, restlessness, or trickery. From popular children’s books such as Curious George, originally published in 1941 and still popular today, to movies like the Wizard of Oz (flying monkeys), 2001: a Space Odyssey, Mighty Joe Young, and Raiders of the Lost Ark, monkeys play a major role in popular culture. Even environmental issues incorporate monkey language, such as Edward Abbey’s 1975 novel, The Monkey Wrench Gang, where sabotage was used to protect the environment.

Despite negative, playful, or silly connotations, monkeys also have many positive characteristics, such as quick-wittedness, cleverness, adaptability, creativity, community awareness and concerns, and high intelligence. There are more than 260 species of monkeys divided into two groups, Old World and New World Monkeys. Although monkeys are not a single, coherent group with shared traits, the term “monkey” refers to any simian that is not an ape. New World Monkeys loosely defines those found in Central and South America and in Mexico, and Old World Monkeys are found in Africa, Asia, Japan, and India. The two groupings have distinctive characteristics, with Old World Monkeys having more similarities to humans, including a more developed brain, downward facing nose, sensitive finger tips, and rods and cones in the retina. They also tolerate a much wider range of habitat, including high mountains, rain forests, savannas, semi arid areas, and even cities.

Our relationships with monkeys are complex and controversial, to say the least. They are kept as pets, trained to be service animals for the disabled, and sent into space. Monkeys have been caught in the wild and bred for animal research and laboratory experimentation (to the tune of 200,000 per year). In some cultures, brain of the monkey is considered a delicacy, and their bodies are eaten as bush meat; and if they are perceived as agricultural pests, they are killed. Monkeys have been persecuted and endangered. Their natural habitats are being destroyed; they have been poached, coached, cloned (Tetra II), and put into the space program; and some people even envision future monkey armies.

Amidst all this annihilation, monkeys have also been elevated as characters in literature, mythology, poetry, painting, comic books, sculpture, and music and featured in movies, television, and documentaries. They are a part of popular culture, art, and science. As messengers, entertainers, ambassadors, tricksters, astronauts, and wisdom keepers, we worship them, study them, and keep them in zoos. Monkeys guard temples, shrines, and stables; and they protect us from disease, evil, and perhaps in the end, our own destruction.

We have habituated to them and understand how much and how deeply we share DNA (we are as genetically related to monkeys as we are to apes). We also share psychological and physical similarities, including the need for social interactions, the ability to bond and form close relationships with our young, and the desire to nurture and care for community. Monkeys groom each other, and they experience and display emotion, including grief, anger, happiness, excitement, and remorse. Their facial expressions are one of the ways that they communicate; and, like humans, they require a lot of mental stimulation and challenges, so that they do not get bored and destructive. They also have their own unique set of fingerprints. It is undeniable that we see our own reflections in the habits, anatomy, and psyche of the monkey.

Similarities and Differences

There is still heated debate over Darwinian theories, the evolution of the monkey, and our relationship to them, including the age-old debate about the evolution of primates. Scientists continue to explore and unravel the genetic relationship between humans and monkeys.

Even though we seem very different from, if not superior to, the lemurs, monkeys, and apes, we also share behavioral, physical, and psychological traits with other primate family members, especially our closest living relative, the chimpanzee. We share more DNA with this family (having evolved from a common ancestor) than with other mammals, from whom primates split about 65 millions years ago. Ancient Greek, Sumerian, Chinese, Japanese, and East Indian cultures recognized the similarities and connections between humans and other primates. However, it was Carl Linnaeus, a Swedish botanist, physician, and zoologist, who first proposed a taxonomic system in his book, Systema Naturae, published in 1735, that actually places monkeys, apes, and humans in the class of primates.

One key to understanding human evolution is provided by looking at when apes and humans made their break from Old World Monkeys. In other words, when did the hominoid lineage first appear? Genetic analysis of humans, other primates, and monkeys places the separation at 30 million years ago. However, the origin of anthropoids, the simian, or higher primates, which include Old World Monkeys and apes, humans, and New World Monkeys, is still full of controversy. One theory identifies the split as occurring in Africa, about 30 million years ago. However, new fossils found in Asia suggest that a hybrid may have existed around 28-29 million years ago that was a cross between an Old World Monkey and an ape, and that while anthropoids became extinct in Asia, they migrated to Africa, a place where they could develop and evolve (out of Asia theory). This fossil is a very important discovery because it reveals a previously unknown species that may have emerged before our lineage split from Old World Monkeys.

There was tremendous climate change on Earth 30 million years ago, and it is likely that the monkey evolved in response to these dramatic environmental changes. Perhaps they were large, similar to apes, but got smaller over time to enable them to live in trees, accessing food above the ground, and creating shelters from predators. Other unique traits, such as opposable thumbs, allowed them to adapt and change with their environment to ultimately survive and evolve. Monkeys are extremely intelligent, with demonstrated ability to problem solve effectively. If an environment did not meet their survival demands, they moved on to find new sources of shelter, food, and water. Some learned to swim, which allowed them to escape predators (or find new ones such as the alligator) and to find new sources of food. Monkeys are emotional; they form strong bonds, nurture their young, and care for one another, which is clearly part of the evolutionary process they share with all primates.

That Traits Distinguish Primates?

Anthropologists have identified physical and behavioral traits that link humans to other primates. Foremost is superlative vision - forward facing eyes that sit fairly close together, allowing optic field overlap to create 3D vision. Part of that great vision may be the presence of a ring of bone surrounding the eyeball or in some cases complete enclosure of the eye by a bony socket as protection from contractions of the chewing muscles. Compared with other mammals, the primate sense of smell is less acute, as primates depend on their vision much more.

Primates are extremely dexterous, possessing great skills to manipulate objects. They have opposable thumbs and big toes, as well as tactile finger pads. Most primates have nails instead of claws, and five fingers on each hand or foot. Unlike many other mammals, primates have collarbones to allow for greater shoulder mobility. They have larger brains and smaller litters, birthing one baby at a time, as well as longer gestation and childhood periods.

Monkeys have the intellectual ability to do math similar to college students. They possess humanlike skills in feeding, such as cracking nuts open with stones, using sticks to dig out termites and ants from trees, and cupping their hands or folding large leaves to hold water in order to drink. Some monkeys are monogamous, and some gamble. They recognize their families even if they were separated at birth. Monkeys are able to make tools and weapons. If they are stressed or bullied, it affects their immune systems. They judge social interactions and inequality, shunning selfish actions by other monkeys and humans. Monkeys also like to party; they will get drunk on palm wine and over-ripe fruits, and they will beg for food. They love rituals, especially grooming and reproduction. They have a content-based language that may have its roots in monkey song (namely alarm calls), and male monkeys will give up juice rewards to ogle pictures of female bottoms. Lip smacking is a friendly gesture; increased lip smacking equals increased group harmony and cohesion. Lip smacking vocalizations produce speechlike sounds that may prove an important step in the evolution of human speech. Monkeys also shout during sex to help their partners climax, and they use sex toys and masturbate. They also drum to activate their brain networks, which may be linked to communication and message sending, particularly in regard to power and status. Monkey communication may shed light on the origins of language and music. Like humans, monkeys sneeze, yawn, grimace, eat junk food to calm their nerves, and seek out quiet spots to avoid noise pollution. They are also quite adept at using many human devices, such as touch screens, which help them to relax; they play fairly, laugh out loud, play with gender specific toys, and recognize faces.

There is such a wealth of material on monkeys and their relationships with humans that we have only shared a small amount in this article. There are numerous scholarly articles on the web with a great deal more information on this topic. A few of these sources are provided in the reference list below, as well as an overview of known monkey facts.

Monkey Facts:

  • At least 264 known monkey species
  • Classified as Cercopithecoid (Old World Monkey) or Platy rrhyne (New World Monkey)
  • As small as 6” and weighing just 4 ounces, and as large a s 3’ and 77 pounds
  • Eyes face forward
  • Some see in Technicolor, others in black and white
  • Opposable thumbs that assist with climbing and food gathering
  • Long powerful tails
  • Susceptible to many diseases, but not the common cold
  • Live in groups of a few or as many as twelve members
  • Facial expressions are a way of communicating
  • Affection for one another is expressed similar to humans
  • Mourn loss, display happiness, sadness, anger, and many other human emotions
  • Keen curiosity that leads to trouble
  • Groom as part of socializing and bonding
  • Many monkeys live in arboreal forests in trees; others go back and forth between trees and land
  • Considered pests in some regions
  • Albert II was the first monkey in the space program
  • Zodiac sign in the Chinese calendar
  • Popular exotic pets

Monkey Diets:

Monkeys find creative ways to meet their nutritional needs in the wild and to support the rejuvenation of their food supply, including spreading seeds from plants, flowers, and fruits. Monkeys eat and drink:

  • Fruits
  • Ripe fruit/wine
  • Leaves
  • Bark and twigs
  • Tree sap
  • Flowers
  • Bugs and insects
  • Nuts
  • Ants and termites
  • Water

Monkey Habitats:

Monkeys move a great deal to search for food, so they do not stay in a nest very long. Human activities, such as the building of roads through forests, logging, clear cutting, agriculture, and development of cities, have cut monkey habitat by an alarming 35%. Monkeys are also hunted, stolen, and poached in their natural habitats, and are in dire need of protection and conservation efforts. Many monkey species are at risk. They live in:

  • Forest regions
  • Savannahs
  • Trees
  • Evergreen forests
  • Mangrove forests
  • Mountains

Monkey Predators:

  • Birds
  • Large cats
  • Hyenas
  • Other primates like chimpanzees and humans
  • Humans trap, kill, poach, and sell young monkeys as pets
  • Alligators

Monkey Reproduction:

  • Full of ritual
  • No set breeding period—as long as basic needs are met, they will reproduce
  • When stressed, or food and shelter are in short supply, females stop going into estrus. They will not mate again until they can support themselves and their young (imagine that)
  • Gestation period is 160 days
  • Twins are rare
  • They give birth only every couple of years
  • Mating begins at ages 4-8
  • Young monkeys spend a lot of time on their mothers’ backs and in their arms
  • Monkeys are excellent, nurturing parents who encourage their young to vocalize, find food, and play, and who scold them for bad behavior

Things That Distinguish Humans:

  • Speech
  • Upright posture
  • Nakedness (lack of hairiness)
  • Flexibility of hands and fingers, grip
  • Extraordinary brains
  • Clothing
  • Fire
  • Blushing
  • Long childhoods
  • Life after children (most animals reproduce until they die)

Things That Make Other Primates Like Humans:

  • They shake their heads to signify “no”
  • Beg for food
  • Laugh out load
  • Recognize faces
  • Eat junk food to calm their nerves
  • Use sex toys
  • Use gender specific toys
  • Play fairly (or monkey around)

Popular Movies with Monkeys:

  • 2001: a Space Odyssey
  • Planet of the Apes
  • Wizard of OZ (flying monkeys)
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • The Jungle Book
  • Every Which Way But Loose
  • Mighty Joe Young
  • Raiders of the Lost Ark

Folktales and Myths about Monkeys

Monkey myths and folktales are found throughout the world from Africa to the Americas. Monkeys will often appear in human-like form, smart, curious, creative, and often full of mischief. In many cultures they were companions and helpers to the gods. The Mayas identified twin monkey brothers who ruled over the arts including music, dance, sculpture, and writing. In some of these myths Spider Monkey is associated with trickery and fun and Howler Monkey with work and responsibility. Hanuman of India, who dates to around 500 BC, was a healer, pharmacologist, poet, and son of the wind. He is also credited with the development of homeopathic medicines and having the ability to restore the wounded to health. He was worshipped for his bravery, devotion, loyalty, and sense of justice. In Japan a wood carving on a seventeenthcentury Buddhist shrine depicts three wise monkeys believed to represent mindfulness, thoughtful speech, and right action. While various meanings are ascribed to them, one theory put forth is that they were used to represent Confucius’ code of conduct. The myth retold below is that of Sun Wu Kung, the famous Monkey King of China.

Myth of the Monkey King

One of the most famous stories in China is that of the Monkey King, Sun Wu-Kung, retold in the classic, Journey to the West, written by Wu Cheng’en. This early novel was originally published in the 16th century during the Ming Dynasty. The enduring story traces its origins to Chinese mythology as well as to Buddhist and Taoist philosophy. Some scholars say that it is based on a true story of Xuan Zang, a monk who lived during the Tang Dynasty and who traveled on foot to India, where he was given the Sutras, which he brought back to China and translated, thus bringing Buddhism to China. The Monkey clearly predates Buddhism in China, as it appears as part of the Chinese Zodiacal system perhaps as early as 4000 BC. Hanuman, the Monkey God of India, dates to approximately 500 BC.

In the beginning, on a far away island, a rock soaked up the energy of heaven and earth and became pregnant amidst the primal chaos of the Universe. From this rock emerged a stone egg, which cracked open to release into the world Monkey. Aware of his sacred creation from the elements, upon his birth, Monkey honored the four directions and the five elements of his creation, bowing to the corners of the Earth and giving thanks to the Heavens. However, this solemnity lasted but a moment in time as the high-spirited Monkey leaped off into the newly formed world in search of adventures. Full of himself from his divine birth, he named himself Handsome Monkey King and ruled over a kingdom of monkeys on the remote island of his birth, where for many years he was content to engage in all sorts of high-spirited and mischievous activities.

As the years passed, the ever-curious Monkey, longing for greater adventures, began to worry about his own mortality. As his fear of death grew, his pranks became more and more troublesome. Tired of Monkey’s actions, wise old monkey, just before his death, suggested that Monkey seek out the Taoist Sage Father Subodhi, who held the keys to immortality.

Without giving it a second thought, Monkey left his beloved island and set off on a long journey to the far mountains in search of the great Taoist sage. Upon his arrival, he demanded to be trained, but wise sage was unimpressed and ignored him, although after a brief acquaintance he named him Disciple Aware of Emptiness. This epitaph referred to the hollowness the great sage witnessed in his student. Not known for his patience, Monkey persisted in wrangling, cajoling, and disrupting Father Subodhi’s peaceful practice and contemplation. Eventually Monkey proved to be a worthy student who was taught martial arts, seventy-two transformations, cloud dancing, and how to jump thousands of miles. But ever true to his monkey nature, the Monkey king was expelled when sage grew tired of his arrogance and pranks.

Returning to his island home he discovered that, in his absence, it was taken over by fearsome monsters. Monkey quickly learned that even all his newfound skills were not enough to defeat the monsters; he needed a new weapon. Cleverly he sought out the Dragon King and wheedled his way into the vast treasury in search of weapons. A huge rod of blackest iron immediately caught his eye and to his great surprise he realized that it was the very tool used to flatten the Milky Way. At rest, the weapon was 13,000 pounds of menace that could expand to fill the Universe—or shrink to the size of a needle. Delighted with this perfect discovery, Monkey shrank it down to a needle (better to surprise those demons) and tucked it behind his ear. Returning home well armored, he quickly slew the demons. Quite impressed with his powers, his ego grew, and grew; casting his eyes to the heavens, he believed himself as powerful as the gods.

Monkey’s antics did not go unnoticed. The Dragon King called upon Jade Emperor to complain bitterly about the theft of his precious weapon. No sooner had the Dragon King departed than the King of Death arrived in a rage, angered by the theft of his minions—for Monkey had granted immortality to all monkeys. The Emperor knew a speedy response was imperative. He called Monkey before him, offering the position of Keeper of the Heavenly Stables. Initially impressed with his lofty position, Monkey’s satisfaction was short lived for he quickly realized horse manure was valued more highly than he was.

Not one to hold back, the enraged Monkey confronted the Jade Emperor, threatening unspeakable acts. In an effort to appease Monkey, the Emperor, with the support of his advisors, bestowed the name The Great Sage Equal to Heaven upon Monkey King. Now one might think that this would result in Monkey embracing the qualities of a wise and thoughtful sage; but, alas, true to his
nature, he did not embody his name. He immediately went on a tear, eating Lao Tzu’s longevity pills and gobbling up the Peaches of Immortality, not to mention heaping insults on all the gods. As if that were not enough, Monkey then declared Heaven as just too boring and headed home to his island.

Enraged by his antics, the gods sent the Army of Heaven in hot pursuit. But, alas, the Emperor’s army was no match for the great Monkey, who now embodied heavenly essence, immortality, shape shifting, and exemplary fighting skills, not to mention his well trained and extremely tricky immortal monkey army. The forces of Heaven retreated many times to come back with reinforcements. Eventually bored with the game of war, in a moment of distraction Monkey was quickly subdued and tossed into Lao Tzu’s caldron to be cooked unto his death. But immortality and his formidable strength prevented his extermination. In the heat of the caldron, his eyes grew diamond hard and his pupils became flaming red, but no monkey stew would be served in the heavens. Clever Monkey escaped the cauldron, causing havoc once again in Heaven. His only apparent weakness from his ordeal was a sensitivity to smoke.

Now at his wit’s end, the Emperor sought the aid of Buddha to help subdue the Monkey King. Of course, Buddha had seen it all. Wise to the ways of Monkey, he offered a bet. “If you can jump off the palm of my hand, I will demote the Emperor and hand Heaven over to you. Of course, if you fail at this endeavor, your most humble apology will be expected.” The Monkey had no problem going for this bet, for he surely knew that he could jump thousands of miles in just one leap, and so he willingly stepped into the palm of Buddha. Arrogant as ever, Monkey soared through the air to land in a large open plain with five pillars before him. Proud of his accomplishment, he marked his territory with pee and raced back, exultant to claim his reward. Buddha looked down in surprise, wondering why Monkey was so happy. But, in a flash, Monkey noticed the noxious smell of monkey pee and knew that he had never left the hand of Buddha. Before Monkey could react to this failure Buddha tossed him to the ground and covered his body with a giant mountain, where he stayed for five hundred long years.

The Monkey had lots of time to think; and, while not humbled by his experiences, he was at least receptive to the request of Kwan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy, when she sought him out to protect the young Buddhist monk Tripitaka on his journey to India to obtain the sutras. Of course Kwan Yin took no chances. Before Monkey was released and sent on this journey, she crafted a golden headband and placed it upon his head. If Monkey’s nature got the best of him, Tripitaka would recite the sutras and the band would tighten around his head, resulting in a massive, crushing headache. The the journey to the West, filled with new friends and many adventures, eventually proved victorious. The scriptures were obtained from Buddha and brought back to China. For his efforts the Monkey King was named Buddha of Victory through Strife. The great sage, humbled by his journey and proud of his new name, adapted to a life of clever service.

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The Healing Power of Acutonics at the End of Life

18 Feb, 2016
The Healing Power of Acutonics at the End of Life

Chaplain Lauren Cetlin, RN, MA, AHN-BC
Oriental Medicine Journal, Metal/Fall 2015

“Being practitioners we have a better opportunity to understand, because what is taught may be true at the level of teaching, but not necessarily at the level of experience.” — Dr. Claude Larre

Hospice nursing, chaplaincy, and Acutonics® education and experience are the foundation for my work. The personal nuances present during each patient interaction along with Divine inspiration are the guidance. The purposes of this article are to share some of my clinical experiences treating people as they approach the end of life and to suggest general guidelines and protocols for using tuning forks to ease the transition to death.

Clinical Case Studies

My formal healing education began in the 1970s when I was a nursing student at New York University. Besides the traditional nursing classes, I learned about energetics, reciprocity, holography, open systems, synchrony, and therapeutic touch. Thus began my career as a holistic nurse. I was 24 years old, had just earned a Master’s Degree in nursing from New York University, and was working as a head nurse on an open oncology ward in Brooklyn, NY, for people in their last weeks or months of life. At that time, in 1978, when I would provide therapeutic touch to hospice patients, it was behind drawn curtains. “Alternative” therapies were not accepted treatments.

My work and life’s mission is to compassionately care and support people at the end of life, their families, their friends, and their caregivers. Over the years I have learned a number of integrative therapies that provide comfort and relieve physical, emotional, and spiritual symptoms associated with illness, dying, and grieving. These therapies have included Therapeutic Touch, meditation, aromatherapy, yoga, Thai yoga therapy, Reiki, integrative imagery, Method of the Wheel© life review system, and Acutonics®.

I took Acutonics Level I in 2007 in California with senior Acutonics teachers Katie Mink and Laurie Herron. I was working as a hospice home care nurse and a Buddhist student chaplain at Pathways Hospice in Sunnyvale, California. Listening to Katie’s advice, I purchased the Chiron Set of tuning forks. She said they would be useful for hospice work even though Chiron is not traditionally introduced until Level III training.


The following day I went to visit June, an 80-year-old widow who had been living in her home in Palo Alto, California, by herself for five years since her husband had died. When June was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer with metastasis to other organs, she was admitted to hospice care services. Her daughter, Rose, who lived close by with her husband and two teen-aged children, moved in with her mother to care for her.

The first day I met June and every subsequent visit June would tell me she was ready to die and was at peace and complete with her life. I became her partner in supporting her to live comfortably and die peacefully. Both June and Rose were open to any healing therapies that might provide comfort. I had been providing Reiki healing sessions for the preceding two months and had told June and Rose that I was going to attend Acutonics classes.  They were looking forward to the addition of the new integrative therapy.

Having just completed Acutonics Level I training, I was working with the mid-range tuning forks from the Earth Moon Set, which includes Ohm Unison, Zodiac, New Moon, Full Moon, and the Solar 7th (Sun Fork and Low Ohm). I also had the Chiron Set and was able to provide June with the following Acutonics session:

I began with Ohm Unison on KID 1 (Yong quan) to ground, followed by Ohm Unison on the Huato Jiaji for relaxation and general toning. I followed with the New Moon 5th and Full Moon 6th on REN 17 (Shan zhong), the Palace of the Heart, to synchronize heart and lung rhythms and open her to that which awaited her. New Moon is an invitation that can take us into the darkness. Full Moon helps bring things to completion. I placed each of the forks by June’s ears before placing them on her body. After letting June listen to the sound of Chiron, I placed Ohm/Chiron 2nd on REN 17 (Shan zhong) and then on DU 2 (Yao shu) and DU 16 (Feng fu) as a craniosacral spread to facilitate a rising of Kundalini energy. I ended with Ohm Unison on KID 1 (Yong quan) to ground.

I continued with similar sessions once or twice a week for a few weeks. June became weaker and eventually bedbound. When pain became an issue, aside from communicating with the medical doctor for orders to adjust her pain medication, I used the Zodiac 3rd at the site of her pain. Zodiac Earth is
the fork that is known as the “first aid” fork, the aspirin of Acutonics, a potent pain reliever.

June said she felt less pain and was more comfortable after each session. Both June and Rose spoke about their spiritual distress in June’s not being able to transition from her body. As I became comfortable with the tuning forks, I began to listen to intuition (Divine Guidance) as to which tuning forks to use and where to place them. I added Eight Extraordinary Vessel treatments to the sessions, Ren Mai, the Conception Vessel, for its ability to help June give birth from herself, and Chong Mai to assist June to let go of that which no longer served her. I used New Moon 5th, Full Moon 6th, Solar 7th, and Middle Ohm/Chiron 2nd to gently soothe June’s way toward birthing her soul.

I would occasionally provide Rose with a short session for relief of caregiver stress and anticipatory grief. I would let her listen to the sounds of the forks. When I placed Ohm Unison by her ears, she would utter a sigh of relief and peace.

I used the Zodiac 3rd and Earth Day 5th on LIV 14 (Qi men) and LU 1 (Zhong fu) in order to send sound through the 365 points in the body as a cleanse. I selected the Zodiac tuning fork for its ability to facilitate a meditative stillness and the Earth Day to bring a sense of openness and energy.

June’s physical decline continued to be a slow process. During her last week of life she was unable to eat or drink and was unresponsive. I visited daily to provide symptom control, which included Reiki and Acutonics. One morning I was awakened with a Divine message – DON’T GROUND, a
crucial lesson about working with people on the journey toward leaving their bodies.

When I saw June that day I started by using Ohm Unison only once on KID 1 (Yong quan), in order to bring her into her body and gather her resources to accept the healing that the forks could bring.  The session consisted of Full Moon 6th and middle Ohm/Chiron 2nd on REN 17 (Shan zhong) by her
heart chakra. I let her listen to Chiron. I swept from her feet to above her head with High Ohm/High Chiron 2nd. Then I ended the session WITHOUT GROUNDING.

Rose called an hour later to say her mother died peacefully. I drove back to her home to pronounce her freed and healed. In accordance with the doctor’s order, I signed her certificate of death. Since my experiences with June, I have had the privilege of tuning many people during their last days of life. The tuning forks allow people to relax, let go of resistance and fear, and open themselves to change.

The lesson DON’T GROUND was the reminder to listen to Guidance because there are exceptions to the rules. Until a patient is actively dying I do ground at the beginning and end of a session. I evaluate where the person is on his or her life journey, assess his or her fears, and err on the side of doing
less so that the person feels safe. I have learned to avoid opening people prematurely to arenas for which they are not yet prepared. As I stand in the  presence of another person, I have learned to always allow for God’s Guidance as I work.


After living in California for three years I returned to the east coast where I studied with Maren Good in New Jersey, attained a full range of planetary tuning forks, and completed all required coursework in preparation for becoming a Certified Acutonics® practitioner. I also completed chaplaincy training and began working as a chaplain for Constellation Hospice. I often provide Acutonics for spiritual comfort and relief from spiritual stress.

Carol was an 84-year-old woman with newly diagnosed lung cancer who lived by herself in a small home. She had been in recovery from alcohol addiction for 20 years, but she continued to smoke cigarettes until a few days before her death. Her seven children had a combination of anger and love for her, and each had his or her own ideas about how to care for their mother. As Carol’s chaplain, my focus was her spiritual comfort. The social worker and nurse communicated with her family. I visited once a week and provided Acutonics during many of those visits. The sessions were short and informal, usually while she was sitting on the edge of her bed or in a chair outside. Because she was terrified of dying, the spiritual support of listening, talking, Acutonics, prayer, silent presence, etc., was geared toward relieving her fears and providing safety. Four months after we met, her brother died, adding significantly to Carol’s spiritual distress. During the six months that Carol was a hospice patient, she worked toward coming to peace with herself and her life. When Carol was 19, she had been offered a full scholarship to college, as she was a talented writer and dreamt of a career as a writer. She fell in love and was given a choice, marriage or college. She chose marriage, which eventually ended in divorce and a life-long regret for not attaining her dream of being a writer.

When I would provide Acutonics, I felt resistance, a blockage by her heart, a kind of unbreechable wall. As Carol shared her life story with me, I targeted the Acutonics sessions toward releasing past traumas and fear, and instilling mothering and courage. I began each session by having her listen to Ohm Unison for its calming effect, followed by New Moon 5th and Full Moon 6th on REN 17 (Shan zhong). As Carol was unable to tolerate long sessions, I would provide some of the following at each visit:

New Moon 5th and Full Moon 6th intervals, beginning with the lowest range and progressing to the high frequency in order to set and then loosen stuck energy on all Mountain of Balance points (KID 25 (Shen cang), KID 24 (Ling xu), and KID 23 (Shen feng)) and on DU 20 (Bai hui) to connect Carol’s spirit with God. I used the Chong Mai Vessel to release intergenerational imprinting and Ren Mai Vessel to release Carol’s fears of death and stepping into new frequencies. I used Mid Ohm/Sedna on the balance points and Mid Ohm/Pluto, Mid Ohm/Chiron, and Mid Ohm/Nibiru on the opening points. In a sweeping action toward Carol’s body, I used Ceres/Demeter to provide mothering and Vesta/Hestia to provide comfort and acceptance. During my last visit, two days before Carol died, the Acutonics session consisted of Mid Sedna/Mid Chiron on DU 20 (Bai hui) and Mid Sedna on DU 20 (Bai hui) with High Chiron sweeping upwards and ending with High Ohm and High Chiron used in a sweep from beneath her feet upwards past the crown of her head in order to support her spirit’s transition from the body.

Carol’s daughter, Paula, from Oregon moved in with Carol when Carol needed full time assistance. Paula was a recovering drug addict. When Carol became too ill to talk much she asked me to support Paula. Paula shared with me her story of sexual abuse by her mother. She told me that a few years prior she had attempted to make amends with her mother and discuss the abuse. Carol adamantly refused to discuss it. I realized that this was probably the answer to the resistance, the unbreechable wall I had been experiencing. I provided a couple of Acutonics sessions for Paula using the same forks and Extraordinary Vessels as her mother, as she too needed mothering. I used the Chong Mai Vessel to release intergenerational imprinting and the Ren Mai for relief of issues from sexual abuse. I used Mid Sedna on the balance points and Mid Pluto, then Mid Chiron, then Mid Nibiru on the opening points. New Moon 5th and Full Moon 6th were used on KID 23 (Shen feng) and LI 18 (neck Fu tu) to step out of fear, speak the truth, and let go of things from the past. I cocooned1 Paula with Ceres/Demeter and Pallas/Athena. I began and ended each session with Ohm Unison on KID 1 (Yong quan).

After Carol died, Paula told me that although her mother would not talk about the abuse, she felt her mother did apologize nonverbally during those few weeks that she spent with her. Paula attributed the healing to the Acutonics and spiritual support.

1Maren Good uses the term “cocooning” to describe a swirling, encircling movement with the forks from above the patient’s head to below her feet to provide mothering, strength, and safety.


Liane, a Constellation Hospice nurse, asked me to visit her patient Margaret who was deaf and would hum. Hospice staff would communicate with her by writing on a white board. She indicated that she was not in pain. Her hospice team thought the humming might be an indication of spiritual distress.
Liane thought that she might like the feel of the tuning forks, that they might bring her comfort. Margaret had been living in a skilled nursing facility for a few months. Her wish was to die at home. Her niece arranged for a paid caregiver; and, with hospice support, she moved back to her home. When I visited Margaret, her death was not imminent. The first time I visited, Margaret was asleep when I arrived. I explained Acutonics to Netta, Margaret’s paid caregiver. I considered leaving and returning at another time when Margaret was awake; but, in listening to Guidance, I “heard” that I was to provide a session while she slept. I did not ground with the forks. I began with all high frequency forks mostly in a scooping action away from her body or in a figure eight. I used a progression of Ohm/Pluto, Ohm/Chiron, and Ohm/Nibiru. I then uncovered her feet and placed the palms of my hands on the bottom of each foot in order to send Reiki energy through her body and to provide grounding. I placed the mid Sedna tuning fork on the crown of her head approximately at DU 20 (Bai hui) and directed the high Chiron over the Sedna tuning fork, into the crown. I ended with a cocooning of High Full Moon 6th. During the session I experienced our connection with one another on a nonphysical plane.

I asked Netta to let Margaret’s nurse Liane know when she visited the next day if the humming had decreased. I received an email the following morning that Margaret had just died. I called and spoke with Netta a few hours later. Netta said Margaret was uncomfortable a few hours after I left. A nurse visited and adjusted her medications. Margaret seemed comfortable and slept through the night. When she woke up Netta gave her a little to eat and then began to bathe her in bed, when she suddenly and peacefully stopped breathing. The fact that Margaret slept through the Acutonics session
free of the conscious mind allowed the healing of the sound frequencies and vibrations to enter her unconscious.


Dana, a 42-year-old woman diagnosed with a slow growing brain tumor twenty-two years earlier, was admitted to Constellation Hospice six months before I met her. She and her 17-year-old son were living with her parents.

Dana, the youngest of six sisters, had constant severe head pain with occasional seizures despite very high doses of intravenous pain relieving narcotics administered continuously via a portable pump. In addition to her physical pain, Dana had been experiencing spiritual pain that presented with a fear of falling asleep because she was afraid she would die. Several months earlier, her 27-year-old niece, who had been living with Dana’s parents, died of Retts disease; and a month later another niece, 33 years old, died suddenly of a massive heart attack. Dana’s son dropped out of high school that same year – all significant sources of spiritual distress for Dana and her family.

Dana’s hospice nurse asked me to visit Dana to provide Reiki for relief from the headaches, to prevent seizures, and to soothe her spiritual distress and fears about falling asleep and dying.

Dana was reluctant to allow new people to care for her, and her parents were very protective. For the first few visits, I arrived with the hospice nurse in order to build trust. The first visit I took six tuning forks into the house with me – just in case there was the opportunity for me to discuss Acutonics as a healing option. When Dana said she was in too much pain for Reiki, I received a Divine communication: “Take out the tuning forks now.” I told Dana, her mother, and the nurse a little bit about Acutonics and that the tuning forks might reduce Dana’s pain and have a relaxing effect. I let Dana’s mother listen to Ohm Unison – she exhaled with a sigh of relief and said the sound was relaxing and comforting. The nurse listened to the sound of Ohm Unison, smiled, and said it was a peaceful sound. Dana then allowed me to bring the forks near her ears. She said she liked them and allowed me to use them. I let her listen to each fork before placing it on her body – Middle Mercury, Saturn, Chiron, and Sun, each paired with Mid Ohm. I placed them on her upper back and REN 17 (Shan zhong) by her heart chakra. She closed her eyes and said she liked it. Over the next two sessions I continued in the same manner, visiting when the nurse was there. Dana gradually allowed me to place my hands near her head to provide 5-minute Acutonics/Reiki sessions.

Once I sensed that I had gained Dana’s trust, I began to visit when the nurse was not present. On the fourth visit I brought in all my tuning forks, which I keep in a rolling sewing machine case. Prior to that visit I had not wanted to take in the whole cart, thinking it would be overwhelming. That was the first of a few full Acutonics sessions that Dana allowed. Following is the protocol I developed for Dana. It is a combination of what I had planned to do and what I was Divinely directed to do. Because Dana’s death was not imminent, the focus for the Acutonics treatments was to relieve fear and headaches and to prevent seizures. The sessions were geared toward bringing Dana comfort, relaxation, and balance of her body, mind, and spirit – a gathering inward and containing. As Dana got closer to transitioning from her body, the focus of the sessions shifted toward supporting the release and transition of her soul from her body. People who have hospice services have a life expectancy of six months or less and have a wide span of physical, mental, and spiritual symptoms. Hospice philosophy and mission is to support people to live to their optimal potential. Acutonics fulfills that mission.

Following is a protocol I developed for Dana:
Ohm Unison on KID 1 (Yong quan) for grounding, calming, and relief of headache pain. Du Mai to nourish the brain and expel internal or external wind in order to relieve headaches and seizures.
Yang Qiao Mai vessel, which extends into the brain, used to expel exterior wind to relieve headaches.Mid New Moon 5th as a gentle invitation to open to that which awaited her.
Mid Ohm/Mercury Microtone for treating disorders of  the brain and central nervous system.

Mid Ohm/Chiron 2nd to release that which no longer served her and to accept her destiny.
Mid Ohm/Mercury Microtone on the Ajna chakra to ease headaches and prevent seizures.
Zodiac 3rd - Low, Middle, then High locally on the head to relieve pain.
Hand chimes Mars and Venus to balance her field.
Ohm Unison KID 1 (Yong quan) to ground.

The next time I visited Dana, she was asleep. Her mother, Millie, and I had a chance to talk. Millie reported that Dana told her she liked the sessions and that they were helping. Millie said that since the full Acutonics session, Dana was sleeping better and was less anxious.

I continued to visit once a week. Sometimes Dana declined an integrative healing session. Usually she preferred short sessions while she sat in her lounge chair in the living room. Occasionally she wanted a full session in her bedroom lying down. During one of those longer sessions Dana felt safe enough to talk about her feelings of dying. She explored with me her fears about what death might be like and whether there is an afterlife. When Dana would bring up the discussion of death with her parents, they would tell her not to dwell on that and to concentrate on living and getting better. Dana appreciated the chance to have an open conversation about death.

During one visit Dana said she had not been sleeping well for a few nights and was feeling anxious. After initially declining Acutonics, she went with me into her bedroom for a session. She listened to Ohm Unison and fell asleep within minutes as I placed the forks on her body. I provided a session similar to the protocol above, but replacing Ohm with Sedna on Du Mai and Yang Qiao Mai in order to access the deepest of realms while her unconscious mind was accessible as she slept. When I left Dana’s home, she was still asleep. When I visited the following week, Dana’s mother said Dana had been less anxious and had slept better all week.

Dana became weaker over the following two months. She spent most of her time asleep in her lounge chair in the living room. The Acutonics/Reiki sessions were short. She continued to say she was afraid to die and that the sound of Ohm Unison brought her peace. I used Mid Sedna/Mid Chiron on REN 17 (Shan zhong), High Sedna/High Chiron above her head, Mid New Moon 5th on REN 17 (Shan zhong), and High Zodiac 3rd around her head to ease the pain in her head. After using the forks I would hold her head. Within minutes the pounding in her head would taper off and become still.

On visits when she slept the entire time, I would use forks in the field around her body. I always used High Chiron and a variety of others as I listened to Divine Guidance (see list below of Forks for Transitioning). I would then end the session by gently holding her head. As Dana’s conscious mind slept, I connected and worked with her soul. Dana’s soul, free from her conscious mind’s fearful thoughts, was preparing to transition from her body. Two weeks before her death,

Dana’s hospice nurses wanted Dana to be moved to an inpatient hospice. They thought that Dana required more care than her parents were able to provide. Dana adamantly refused, and her parents supported her decision.

My last visit with Dana was a few days before her death. I asked if she wanted to get in her wheelchair and go with me to see the ocean (it was a block from her house). She said she just wanted to stay in her chair, where she felt safe. She drifted off to sleep. I provided a few minutes of Reiki as I held her
head. The pounding in her head subsided quickly. The energy around her body was contracted and minimal. Her mother, who was sitting on the couch next to Dana, told me that her five other daughters spent summers at sleep-away camp, joined after school sports teams, and had many friends. Dana
always came home right after school. She always wanted to be in close proximity to her mother or father. And so it was – Dana died suddenly one evening with her parents by her side. Her father said he had helped Dana walk to the bathroom. When she returned to her lounge chair, she closed her eyes and died as her soul released from her body.


Many of the hospice patients I visit have dementia and live in skilled nursing facilities. The Acutonics sessions are usually short and geared toward providing spiritual comfort. Some wonderful, unexpected things have transpired during these sessions such as: The pianist liked to hear the sounds of the forks and hummed along. The seamstress liked to hold the forks and move them as if she were sewing. The orchestra conductor liked to hold the forks and move them as if he were conducting.

I was orienting Roger, a newly hired chaplain, to the procedures of visiting Constellation Hospice patients in facilities. This was my first time meeting with Anne, who had a diagnosis of end stage heart disease and dementia. Her cousin was present during the visit. While sitting in a chair in her room, Anne shared some of her life story. I brought out the eight tuning forks I had with me – High and Mid Chiron, Solar 7th, Ohm Unison, Mid Sedna, and Mid New Moon. I let Anne, her cousin, and Roger listen to the sounds. In the following sequence I placed the Ohm/Chiron, New Moon 5th, and Solar 7th on REN 17 (Shan zhong) by the heart chakra. Anne sighed and said she liked how they felt. When her cousin had to leave, I walked her out of the room while Roger stayed with Anne. Her cousin corrected some of what Anne had told me and shared with me more of her life story. She thanked me for my support and said the sounds of the tuning forks were relaxing. The next day I was notified that Anne had died peacefully in her sleep. Her death had not been imminent, and her sudden transition from her body was surprising. The sounds and vibrations of the forks doing their exquisite work might have eased her from her body.

As I have worked with and provided Acutonics for people at the end of their lives, I have been perplexed as to why some people, when death is imminent, seem to resist transitioning from their bodies for days or weeks and others, whose death did not seem imminent, died suddenly. The answer was revealed after spiritually supporting the following two women.

Beth and Ginny

I met and provided Acutonics for Beth. A week later I met and provided Acutonics for Ginny. Both women were living in a skilled nursing facility, and both had a diagnosis of end stage Alzheimer’s disease. Beth appeared to be emotionally and spiritually uncomfortable, but her death did not appear to be imminent. Ginny seemed quite comfortable, and her death appeared to be imminent.

Beth was 92 years old, and her husband had died three years earlier. When I met Beth, she was in bed, alert, with eyes opened. She continually called out, “Help me; help me; help me;…” pausing briefly to make eye contact and, despite her advanced stage of Alzheimer’s disease, to answer my questions with a few appropriate words.

I provided five minutes of Acutonics, being careful not to place forks on her pacemaker. I used Mid New Moon 5th and Mid Sedna/Mid Chiron right side upper chest, Mid Chiron on the crown of her head, and High Chiron above her head, with High Sedna/High Chiron and High Chiron/High Nibiru swept from feet to above head. With the intention not to ground, I ended the session with a minute of Reiki on the soles of her feet. She died that night peacefully in her sleep. Once the frequencies of her body, mind, and spirit were fine-tuned, her soul was able to transition easily from the physical to the non-physical realm.

Ginny was a bedbound 92-year-old Catholic woman with end stage dementia and multiple physical illnesses. Her husband of 70 years was living in the same facility on the dementia unit.  They had devoted their lives to the care of the needy and teaching Bible studies in their home. Ginny’s life had been sustained by a feeding-tube for two years. She became increasingly debilitated, with a life expectancy of less than six months, and was admitted to hospice for end of life support. When I met Ginny she was nonverbal, contracted, bedbound, and lying on her side, but alert with eyes slightly open. She opened her eyes wide in recognition of the Catholic prayers I said for her. I provided five minutes of Acutonics, using Mid and High Chiron by her chest and left shoulder and around her body, and New Moon 5th and Mid Sedna/Mid NM on REN 17 (Shan zhong).

That night she vomited blood. All feedings were stopped immediately except for a small amount of water through the feeding-tube. The following day Ginny’s nephew, Dan, told me that his aunt had been ill for the past ten years. Her wish had been for medical intervention to prolong her life. She had had three or four medical crises during those years and survived, one of which included three weeks of life support on a respirator. When the decision was made to shut the respirator, Ginny survived for another three years. After the feedings were stopped, Ginny’s death was expected within days. I visited three days later. Her husband was brought to her bedside. They stared into each other’s eyes; and, despite his advanced Alzheimer’s disease, he joined with me in praying the Lord’s Prayer for his wife. Ginny lived another ten days. I visited twice more during that time, providing prayers, Reiki, and Acutonics (as above).

Beth wanted to be released. Death came quickly. She only needed a bit of fine-tuned “help” finding her way out of her body. Ginny wanted to remain in the physical realm. Death came slowly. Acutonics eased each woman’s transition in accord with how they lived their lives.

Protocols, Tuning Forks, and Points to Use with People Actively Dying

General Guidelines for End of Life Work with Tuning Forks
Acutonics treatments are sacred work.
Err on the side of doing less.
Explore your feelings about your own mortality.
Complete your own Advanced Directive.
As someone comes close to transitioning, DON’T GROUND.
Provide a safe environment.
The sounds are very potent when someone is asleep or unconscious.
Listen to inner Guidance.
Allow Guidance to emerge.
Be aware of your reciprocal relationship with your client.
Ground yourself.
Be compassionate.
Be grateful.
Be in awe.
Bring all your gifts and tools.
Bring the music of your heart.

Treatment Protocols

As people approach death, the invisible veil that keeps them in the physical realm begins to soften, and people are often able to see their deceased family and friends. People report seeing loved ones and may reach their hands up as if to take hold of someone’s hand; or it may seem as if they are looking through you at someone who is not there.

During the last weeks or days of life, energy contracts inward as the individual gathers resources to release life. In the days preceding death, the energy field around the body that is usually 12-18 inches shrinks until it becomes barely palpable. The last day or two (occasionally longer) of life may be likened to a pregnant woman’s labor. All physical, emotional, and spiritual resources focus on birthing the soul out of the body. The labor of bringing a soul into the physical world and the labor of bringing a soul out of the world are hard work. Breathing usually becomes erratic – fast, slow, long periods of no breath. The dying labor process is usually painful. Acutonics, Reiki, Western narcotic medications, and other symptom control measures do
allow people to die comfortably. Body functions begin to shut down. The sense of hearing is the last sense to cease before the heart stops beating.

This time of dying labor is holy and sacred. It is a privilege to be at the bedside of someone who is dying.

Acutonics work is extremely potent during this sacred time when someone is between the physical and etheric worlds. The sounds, vibrations, and frequencies of the planets coursing through and around the body work freely when resistance from the conscious mind ceases and the person is physically unresponsive.

Begin with Mid Ohm and Mid Sedna by the person’s ears. Do not ground on KID 1 (Yong quan) – Exceptions to this might be if the person appears agitated; in this case grounding at the beginning of the session can provide a sense of safety.

Sedna allows one to let go of mortality and connect with the immortal soul.

Nibiru is the planet of the crossing.

Sedna/Nibiru releases old patterns to allow for the new ethereal patterns to emerge.

The Four Gates LI 4 (He gu) and LIV 3 (Tai chong)) release that which is no longer needed and allow one to leave through the gate.

Stomach 29 (Gau lai) helps access our Divine origins.

Extraordinary Vessels (choose two)
Ren Mai: The Conception Vessel
The Ren Mai controls all the yin functions of the body. It turns inward and allows conception to occur and nourishes new birth. A clear Ren Mai meridian may allow a soul to pass gently out of its physical body in order to be born into the etheric world, a world without boundaries.

Chong Mai: The Penetrating Vessel
The Chong Mai is the bridge between heaven and earth. It allows the release of old patterns that no longer serve, thus allowing the release of the soul from the body that no longer serves it.

Yin Qiao Mai:
The Yin Qiao Mai allows one to ascend and attach to the will of heaven. Yin Qiao helps one to open up and see clearly, soothes fears of dissolving one’s ego, and allows one to connect with the Divine.

Yin Wei Mai:
The Yin Wei Mai opens the heart to emotional and spiritual wholeness, thus allowing one to open-heartedly connect with the Divine.

Yang Wei Mai:
The Yang Wei Mai allows one to let that which is dead die and to birth something new.

Fork Frequencies
Layering of the octaves can be helpful in supporting, balancing, and allowing for Divine Healing. Use low frequency to seat the vibrations and planetary frequencies into the body to provide safety and integration, especially if the labor of dying is prolonged (if the person has been unresponsive and actively dying for more than two days). The Middle and High frequencies are used to gently invite and support the death of the mortal body and the birth of the immortal soul.

Be flexible with pairing; for example, on the Chong Mai use New Moon to open and Sedna to balance in order to soften the transition and Nibiru to open and Sedna to balance for the courage to transition.

Forks for Transitioning
Zodiac – use locally for pain relief.
New Moon – dispersing, dispelling, spiritual, soft, and opening effects.
Sun – pulls us toward the Divine Source, toward our destiny.
Mercury – use when someone needs a push or needs help in facilitating a better connection.
Jupiter – allows the soul and mind to expand and develop a higher consciousness beyond the physical realm.
Uranus – allows one to push through and reorient to a greater reality.
Neptune – dissolves boundaries so the soul can dominate matter.
Pluto – uncovers the root, integrates the shadow to fully realize one’s true self, and assists with transformation on all levels.
Chiron – releases one from old wounds, clears the old wounds, and connects one to the immortal soul and with the Divine. Use for dealing with a terminal illness.
Nibiru – opens one to the metaphysical and goes to the core to assist one’s soul to transition from the body and choose to evolve into its Divine mission.

  • Low Ohm and Low Nibiru sounded together can bring emotions to the surface once they have been uncoveredby Chiron, thus allowing transformation.
  • Mid Ohm/Mid Nibiru moves feelings to a crossing point.
  • High Ohm/High Nibiru can connect us to our godly nature.

Sedna – opens us to paradigm shifts and soul shifting in a non-linear manner.

Parallel 5ths
Pluto – Neptune 5th – opens to deep emotions and allows for the midwifery of the soul.
Mercury – New Moon 5th – opens to hearing and receiving spiritual messages.
Mercury – Neptune 5th – opens to mystical messages.
Mercury – Uranus 5th – opens to see the interconnectivity of all things.
New Moon – Chiron 5th – opens and accesses old wounds.

Essential Oils for Use at End of Life
Dilute jasmine, vetiver, sandalwood, cinnamon, palma rosa, chamomile, neroli, lavender, clary sage, frankincense, geranium, or helichrysum in a carrier oil before putting on the body. A vibrating tuning fork on or in the region of the oil can enhance the effect of the essential oil by driving its vibration deeper into the body. This is also true of stones and crystals.

"The more faithfully you listen to the voice within you,
the better you will hear what is sounding outside.
And only he who listens can speak.” Dag Hammarskjold

Donna Carey and Marjorie de Muynck. Acutonics: There’s no Place like Ohm. Devachan Press, 2002.
Donna Carey, Ellen Franklin, Judith Ponton, Paul Ponton, and MichelAngelo. Acutonics From Galaxies to Cells. Devachan Press, 2010.
Claude Laree and Elisabeth Rochat De la Vallee. The Eight Extraordinary Vessels. Monkey Press, 1997.
Eileen Day McKusick. Tuning the Human Biofield. Healing Arts Press, 2014.

In Harmony with Earth

15 Oct, 2015
In Harmony with Earth

Donna Carey, LAc and Ellen F. Franklin, PhD
Oriental Medicine Journal, Earth/Late Summer 2015

Whoever wishes to investigate medicine should proceed thus:
In the first place, investigate the seasons of the year
and what effects each of them produces.


Located at 8000 feet in a rural community in Northern New Mexico, we grow our own food and work to create models that support living sustainably. Our work with Acutonics, which is a form of integrative medicine rooted in Oriental Medicine, extends into the ways we grow food and eat appropriately for the seasons. We draw from our knowledge of human physiology, our understanding of the meridians, planetary science, and sound vibration as well as an ever-present awareness of the Five Elements and the seasons. Living on 35 acres, we also feel a strong connection to the Earth. Our forested acres are adjacent to the Carson National Forest, offering us an intimate relationship to the forests, underground springs, and waters that make this high desert oasis feel particularly abundant. Our quarter acre pond is also a breeding ground and home to many migratory birds, including the majestic Blue Heron. On a deep cellular level we have direct daily experience of the capricious nature of Mother Earth, a powerful force that is represented within the Five Elements.

The Earth and the Five Elements

There are two related seasonal correspondences that link to the element of Earth – late summer, which here in the northern hemisphere is August transitioning to September, and Indian Summer, that period between September and October when the last warm, light-filled days give way to the cooler weather and a new textural awareness that takes us into autumn. There is a still-point when the lush and bountiful fruitsand vegetables are in their final harvest and we breathe in the lush scents of the season.

The Earth energy of late summer provides a solid foundation for growth in the seasons to come. We feel it in the soil beneath our feet, the abundant plant life, and the mountain vistas that are just beginning to transition from brilliant greens to the first golden colors of autumn. Giant sunflowers line the roadsides and edge our gardens, and the harvest is brought in daily. The root cellar shelves are filled with produce to carry us through the long winter months. Late summer is a critical turning point as we emerge from the hot, very active yang energy of summer into the cooler, nesting energy of yin.

During this time it is not uncommon to experience fatigue from over-exertion. In what ways can you boost energy while limiting those activities that result in over-exertion or over-eating? Having too much to do often results in emotional stress or a lack of sleep from worry about what needs to be accomplished. This is definitely an opportunity to move into more relaxed modes. Enjoy the fresh foods, absorb the last heat of summer, and slow down into a place of stillness and the stability of this grand season, which rests in the very center of Nature’s cycle of cycles. This time of the Earth element is a perfect time to adjust your diet and exercise routines. Consider how you would like to slow down to rest mind and body.

The Earth and the archetypal energy of the mother, or mythic Great Mother, are truly inseparable. A key concept associated with the archetypal mother is nourishment, not only how we feed ourselves, but how we support ourselves and others with generosity, compassion, empathy, and creativity. Earth allows us to celebrate our own harvest, finish those stubborn projects, appreciate all our innovations, and value our accomplishments. In right relationship with Earth we feel comfortable, at home, and confident that there is enough for everyone.

Earth also relates to transitional times, or the in-between times and seasons throughout the year, when autumn changes to winter, winter to spring, and spring to summer. During these powerful shifts, Earth lends support, helping us to remember that there is enough time to plant seeds, bloom, and grow as we transcend the frenetic activity of spring and summer into a more centered and focused perspective. Think of this as the great harvest, where on a practical level we save seeds, store foods, can, freeze, and, dehydrate to prepare the abundant harvest to carry us through the winter. In winter, we have the opportunity to rest and restore, and revert to our root essence. Earth is the mud, and the glue that holds all things together, providing support that might be represented as an interconnected and beautifully woven textile.

The spleen and stomach relate to the Earth element providing nutrients to build blood and muscles and create energy for all the organs, tissues, and fascia. It is also associated with the mechanisms of digestion, distribution of nutrients, and regulation of blood-sugar levels. When out of balance, there is indigestion, nausea, gas, bloating, stool irregularity, muscle issues, swollen legs, fatty tumors, edema, and obesity.

He that takes medicine and neglects diet wastes the skills of the physician.—Chinese Proverb

Mythic and Archetypal Earth

From the beginning of time the act of creation has been linked to the Mother and to visions of Earth that are ripe with symbolism of creation, birth, death, and renewal, aspects of life that connect us with the natural world. One symbol that is found in many of these early creation myths is the world egg or round. In Taoism, the perfect round represents the Wu Qi, something which is complete yet has no form, the state of being before the creation. The Tai Qi is the round that contains the perfect balance between day and night, male and female, heaven and Earth, yin and yang. These concepts are found in the Chinese creation myth of P’an Ku who emerges from a giant cosmic egg to create the perfectly balanced world of yin and yang, the mountains, rivers, Milky Way, and all the animals of the Earth. However, it is Nü Wa, the Chinese creator god, who, in some myths, is credited with the creation of the first humans from yellow Earth. Another Earth deity found in the literature of ancient China is Hou Tu, the spirit of the Earth, identified with the soil and harvest. Sacrifices and shrines were erected to her; and in some texts she is an assistant deity to the Yellow Emperor, god of the Celestial Center, and one of the four guides. She was equipped with a rope to survey the Earth. In a similar reference, the Yellow Emperor governed the center of the world, and Hou Tu served as its spirit.

Nü Wa and the Creation of Humanity

In a time long, long ago, there was a goddess named Nü Wa. She travelled the wild and unpopulated world created by P’an Ku; and, although she marveled at the beauty of the world, she was very lonely. As she wandered the Earth, she came and sat by a beautiful clear lake. Seeing her reflection, she realized that she was truly alone on this vast world, and there was no one like her. She longed for companions; and, observing the yellow clay at the shore of the lake, she reached for it. Feeling its warmth and stability, she began to work the clay. In a few moments she found herself molding the clay into forms, human forms. The work was exhausting as each human was hand crafted. Tired from her endeavors, she devised a way to simplify the creation process. She took a rope and trailed it through the yellow clay. As the clay began to dry on the rope, she shook it. As the drops of clay fell, they scattered far and wide to become the men and women who populate the Earth. Nü Wa was no longer alone.

Perhaps it was through her creations, or the newly formed Earth’s instability, that the four pillars holding up Heaven and Earth broke. Thus Nü Wa, creator of humanity, deeply felt her responsibility to them, and she took it upon herself to restore order to the world, repair the broken sky, and support Yu in the control of the floods.

When the four pillars supporting the sky collapsed, the sky was no longer able to cover the Earth, and the Earth could no longer support the world. Thus the nine provinces of ancient China were destroyed. Fires and floods prevailed, and the old and weak struggled to survive against the wild beasts and birds. Nü Wa responded quickly to this tragedy, melting stones of five different colors to repair the azure sky. She then took the legs of the great turtle to secure the four sky pillars, and she tracked and killed the Black dragon that was devouring the innocent people. She also quickly collected reeds and ashes to stop the floods. With the sky renewed, the four sky pillars are securely in place, the flood is contained, and the nine divisions of China once again are peaceful and abundant. Satisfied that Earth and the Heavens are in harmony Nü Wa travels the lands to intermingle, appreciate, and celebrate with her creations.

How to Nourish the Earth Element

Just as we harvest the abundant gardens, it is a time to harvest in your own life. Enjoy the beauty of the changing seasons, slightly cooler temperatures, and golden colors. Relax and find ways to nourish yourself and your family. If the weather is hot in this season, eat slightly sweet and moisture-rich foods like cucumbers, watermelon, cantaloupe, corn, zucchini, beets (especially golden), cherries, plums, yellow tomatoes, apricots, peaches, pineapple, and papaya. As the weather turns cooler, eat things like sweet potatoes, millet, pumpkin, quinoa, carrots, garbanzo beans, fennel, turmeric, ginger, garlic, and nutmeg.

Most importantly, eat local and organic foods. Soups, stews, sautés, and steamed foods help with the assimilation process and take less digestive energy, function, and fire than raw foods. Eat less and think about how to move more slowly, finding time to rest, relax, and renew. Take time to meditate or walk in nature

Specific Points and Tuning Forks to Nourish Your Earth Element

Here is a simple treatment approach that can be done with the Acutonics tuning forks (or acupuncture needles) on yourself or your clients. The tools used in this protocol are the Earth Moon Professional Set, which is taught in Acutonics Level I. To learn more about Acutonics or to find a class in your area, visit our website at

Begin and end treatments with the sound of Ohm, which represents the sound of the Earth as it travels through the four seasons. Working with the Ohm Unison or Ohm Octave Tuning Forks enables us to ground and connect to the energy of the Earth. When working with tuning forks, it is important to activate them and allow the vibration to run out before reactivating and reapplying to the point. Apply to each point one to three times, depending on need.

Use the following sequence:

KID 1 (Yong quan), Gushing Spring
This point calms the spirit, grounds, and promotes balance. We recommend its use to begin and end treatments. It is used to calm the mind and to reduce insomnia, agitation, fear, and headaches on the top of the head (vertex), hypertension, and dizziness. It also helps us connect to Earth.

Apply Ohm Unison

The Four Gates of Heaven - Li 4 (He gu), Union Valley, and LIV 3 (Tai chong), Great Surge
These two points are used together and are known as the Four Gates. They are excellent for opening up blocked energy that may present as edginess, irritability, pain, spasms, and feelings of frustration or being stuck. Since we are in a seasonal transition time, this is an excellent point combination for creating movement that accelerates and supports transitions.

Apply Zodiac 3rd to move and circulate qi and blood.

Three Treasures – DU 20 (Bai hui), REN 4 (Guan yuan), and REN 17 (Shan zhong)
DU 20, REN 4, and REN 17 are known collectively as the Three Treasures. They represent Heaven, Earth, and Humanity. Begin on DU 20, a powerful spiritual resource point (divine will); move to Ren 4 to root these energies to Earth (personal will); and end on Ren 17, the palace of your heart (humanity)

Apply Ohm Unison, New Moon 5th

ST 40 (Feng long), Abundant Splendor
Activates channel and alleviates pain. It provides access to the treasures of the Earth, the abundance of the seasons, and helps with self-nurturance.

Apply Earth Day 5th to strengthen the Earth element.

ST 25 (Tian shu), Celestial Pivot
Eliminates stagnation in our lives while regulating energy and blood, facilitates movement on all levels.

Apply Earth Day 5th to strengthen the Earth element.

SP 6 (San yin jiao), Three yin intersection
This point is also called the great yin, since it is the meeting point of the Spleen, Liver, and Kidney channels. It is used to nourish and build the blood, treat anxiety, insomnia, deficiency, headaches, pain, and many female disorders.

Apply Earth Day 5th and Full Moon 6th to nourish blood and support assimilation.

ST 36 (Zu san li), Leg Three Li
This point is also known as the lower sea of qi. It restores and builds energy, improves digestion, and strengthens the Stomach. It is indicated for all types of digestive disturbances including gas, bloating, nausea, loose stools, and poor appetite. It also builds and supports the immune system.

Apply Earth Day 5th and Full Moon 6th to build qi and support digestion.

We recommend pairing two Extraordinary Vessels, Ren Mai and Chong Mai, to build blood, essence, and stamina, and to move through transitions. The opening point of the vessel lights up or activates the vessel, and the balance point holds the energy of the vessel.

Ren Mai, The Sea of yin, Conception Vessel
LU 7 (Lie que), Broken Sequence, Opening Point. KID 6 (Zhao hai), Shining Sea, Balance Point. The Ren Mai is excellent for circulating qi in the body, and directing all of the Yin channels as well as the Stomach channel, and it nourishes the uterus and genital system.

Chong Mai, Sea of Blood, Penetrating Vessel
SP 4 (Gong sun), Grandparent’s Grandchild, Opening Point.
P 6 (Nei guan), Inner Gate, Balance Point.

The Chong Mai influences the movement of qi and blood throughout the body. It is connected to the Spleen, Liver, and Kidney; links the qi between the Kidneys and Stomach; and is excellent for any blood deficiencies and trauma.

Conclude your treatment by reapplying Ohm Unison to KID 1 (Yong quan), Gushing Spring.

Recipes for an Abundant Harvest

As the Earth season is a time of abundance, the crops are ripe, and all of nature is pregnant and ready to fulfill and nourish us. We can draw on this wealth to usher in a harvest in our own lives. Earth helps us to find the most suitable nourishment that will balance body, mind, and spirit, with empathy and compassion. In the time of the Earth we are able to support ourselves and help others with a deep understanding that there is enough for everyone.

Tomato Salad
This salad is simple to make and a welcome treat on those hot, late days of summer. Chop tomatoes into chunks, using a mix of colorful varieties. Include red, pink, purple, green, and yellow tomatoes, if you are fortunate to have so many varieties.

Add garlic, salt, and pepper to taste.
Toss with lots of fresh chopped basil.
Drizzle with olive oil and your choice of balsamic vinegar. (Chili Fig is yummy

Green Chili Polenta and Garden Red Sauce
Work with the vegetables you have on hand, but here is an example of what we use, with approximate quantities to create a dinner for six with some left over.

1-2 Tablespoons olive oil
1-2 Onions chopped
6 – 8 cloves of garlic
3 to 4 medium carrots
3 stalks of celery
1 orange pepper
1 yellow pepper
1-2 yellow summer squash
1-2 green summer squash
1 medium bulb of fennel
8 cups of fresh chopped tomatoes
Fresh basil, thyme, oregano, and parsley to taste
Smoked salt and pepper to taste

Sauté onions, garlic, carrots, celery, yellow and green summer squash, red and yellow sweet peppers, and fennel in olive oil to blend and release flavors. Add fresh, finely chopped herbs to taste—basil, thyme, oregano, parsley, and a nice smoked salt to deepen and enhance flavors. Transfer to large stockpot and add lots of tomatoes of your choice: Roma, reds, greens, yellows, and the many crosses that occur from home gardening. Add pepper and salt, some lime or lemon juice, and a little sugar if you like a sweeter sauce. A dash of chipotle and lots of red wine will deepen and enrich the sauce. Let cook until the consistency you like is reached. We prefer a chunky sauce so we don’t puree; however, if you prefer a smoother sauce, use an emersion blender to bring it to your preferred consistency.

While sauce is cooking, make your polenta. Use corn grits in proportion of 1 cup of grits to 4 cups of water. Make sure you pour your grits into boiling water a little at a time, and whisk it on medium-low heat. Then turn down heat and cook covered for 30-40 minutes. You need to check often and keep whisking so it doesn’t settle on the bottom or sides of pan. Toward the end add a bunch of chopped and roasted green chilies to compliment the chipotles in the sauce. Add some butter and sheep Parmesan cheese. Pour into a pan and let cool. Slice and serve with heaps of red sauce and extra grated cheese on top. Serve with a fresh green salad and a medium bodied red wine like a Pinot Noir or young Sangiovese.•

Bon Appetit!


Beinfield, H., & Korngold, E. (1991). Between heaven and earth: A guide to Chinese medicine. New York, NY: Ballantine Books.
Carey, D., & de Muynck, M. (2007). Acutonics There’s no place like ohm: Sound healing, Oriental medicine and the cosmic mysteries. Vadito, NM: Devachan Press.
Carey, D., Franklin, E. F., Ponton, P., Ponton, J., & Michelangelo (2010). Acutonics from galaxies to cells, planetary science, harmony and medicine. Vadito, NM: Devachan.
Christie, A. (1983). Chinese mythology. New York, NY: Peter Bedrick Books. Dechar, L. E. (2006). Five spirits: Alchemical acupuncture for psychological and spiritual healing. New York, NY: Lantern Books.
Yang, L. & An, D. (2005). Handbook of Chinese mythology, New York, NY: Oxford University Press

The Year of the Goat 2015: A Cross Cultural Perspective

19 Jan, 2015
The Year of the Goat 2015: A Cross Cultural Perspective

Donna Carey, LAc and Ellen F. Franklin, PhD
Oriental Medicine Journal, New Year 2015

The Year of the Wood Goat begins on February 19, 2015. An exploration of the qualities of the goat and its appearance in cross cultural myths and fairy tales provides keys for the deep transformation that is possible in a goat year.

The Goat in Fairy Tale and Myth

In China there is a goat god known as Yang Ching. He is depicted with a goat’s head and is dressed in goatskins. People appealed to Yang Ching for protection against wild animals.

In China, the goat spirit, Yang Ching, protected people from “wild” animals, and is the god of the “she” star, Fan-Yin. Yang Ching is the transcendent goat often described as having a white face, horns, a long beard, and a special ceremonial headdress. In Chinese as well as Mongolian cultures, the goat is quintessentially tied to the yang and representative of the masculine principal, practical, purposeful, accomplishing, persevering. Yet, there are also aspects of the goat that speak to the yin, in which the goat is identified as shy, timid, introverted, and sacrificing, providing mother’s milk that is rich in nutrients. Commentary on Hexagram 34 of the I Ching also provides examples of the dualistic nature of the goat; when resistance stops, the hedge opens, and the goat is able to move freely without being entangled.

Hexagram 34, Ta Chuang/Great Strength or Power
To achieve true power and true greatness one must be in harmony with what is right. Great strength in this context is understood as a positive advance for further achievement. The structure of the gua is Thunder Above and Heaven Below. In mythology, storm gods such as Thor, Marduk, and Zeus also have a strong relationship to the Goat.

The I Ching, The Book of Changes, has many translations and rich interpretations. However, one thing that the translations share in common is that Hexagram 34, Ta Chuang, always references great strength and power, and refers to the persistence of the goat. Persistence will result in rewards and harvests. It is also linked to inner worth, a movement that is in harmony with the movement of heaven. True greatness is dependent on being in harmony with what is right. When we let go of resistance, the gates of success begin to open so that it is possible to forge ahead.

The goat is also noted for hardness on the outside and weakness within. Yet, when one is able to let go of obstinacy, all will flow. One example provided is that a goat will often butt its head against the hedge, unable to go backward, and yet it cannot go forward. If one notes this difficulty and lets go, good fortune will follow. Prefaced by san, or three, this is the image of three goats.

The goat is generally described as being yang, yet there is an element of yin contained here as well. This is also represented in aspects of the Three Treasures – Heaven, Earth, and Humanity.

The goat is generally associated with yang energy, particularly during a Wood year, when the goat may be full of itself and extremely active. However, the goat also has many yin qualities. It may be timid, taken to inward rumination or self-reflection and not acting on impulse. During this time of rapid Earth changes, the goat may be deeply reflective about what is unfolding on the planet. There is a strong association
between the goat god Yang Ching and the star Yin Feng, so we can think of the yang once again resting on the nurturance and sustenance of yin.

The goat is also associated with perfect balance, able to scale cliff sides and tall mountains. Of equal importance, we see in the goat’s ability to find balance even in the most precarious circumstances another manifestation of yang and yin and a strong link to the Three Treasures as represented in Heaven, Earth, and Humanity, or Shen, Jing, and Qi. The number three is frequently found in cross-cultural stories, fairy tales, and myths about the goat. The yang aspect is seen in Shen, Heaven, as the climber and achiever is motivated to ascend, reach, see, and rise up. Yin is seen in the Earthly aspect, relating to Jing, essence and sensuality. It is the goat as provider, of milk, meat, and fibers, that sets one hoof in front of the other to get whatever job is required done in a timely fashion. Goats living in community or herds are representative of Qi, humanity, home, and domestic life. They are curious and adventurous, expressing deep love for the Earth as well as the heavens in their lack of fear of the steep climb or the challenge of the journey, and by being infused with movement.

As we enter the Year of the Goat, there is no shortage of rich imagery and symbols, often charged with contradictions and psycho-spiritual ambiguity. Goats are powerful symbols for beauty, speed, elasticity, dignity, elegance of manner, and bearing. The goat has helped humanity throughout the ages, dating back to Neolithic times, around 12 million years ago. Records of their domestication can be traced back more that 10,000 years to the area known as the Fertile Crescent, a region of what today is known as the Middle East. Since these early times goats have adapted to domesticated life, but they also appear to easily adapt to life in the wild after being domesticated. Goats provide milk, cheese, meat, and dung for fuel, and the hair of the goat is used in fibers like cashmere and angora. Their hides are used to make botas (bottles) for water and wine transportation and parchment for writing. Beautiful paintings, drawings, and photographs of goats are a reminder of all that they have provided to humankind through their innate ability to guard, adapt, and face challenges with courage and dignity.

A goat is not a sheep is not a ram is not an antelope is not an ibex. Each of these animals has traits that are quite different from the goat.

Goats LOVE the earth so much that it is said that they run from rain so they can maintain the taste of dust and dirt. One of the great lessons we can learn from goats is to love the Earth, to reignite our passion for the riches, smells, and tastes of the Earth, and to recognize the critical importance of living in right relationship with our planet and all its beings.

As the 8th sign of the Chinese Zodiac, goats have a strong connection to prosperity, yang, daytime, fire, and good luck. Goats are ruminants with four-chambered stomachs. People often assume that goats will eat anything and everything, but this is incorrect. They are actually quite finicky and more discerning eaters than most urban dwelling humans. Because they are intelligent and inquisitive by nature, they will explore with tongues, chins, and lips anything in their environments. They are easily set apart from other animals — their hair is thin and coarse, their tails are short and pointed, their horns are straight, and they have beards, more sparse in females, which hold the breeding scent emanating from glands in the neck. The goat’s gestation period is five months. Kids are born with their eyes open; they stand up soon after birth; and they run and play in just a few days. Their mothers’ thick milk contains massive amounts of antibodies for their immune systems. Goats’ eyes have horizontal-slit pupils that contrast with the irises, providing an adaptation so that goats have a 320 degree view with no blind spots.

Goats are survival oriented and weather resistant, agile climbers, sure-footed, adventurous, and very independent. They will launch into new territory at will, often climbing or tearing down fences. If they perceive a weakness in their pen, they will surely exploit it. Goats can hold their balance in precarious situations, and they are the only ruminants that can actually climb trees! They are hardy but not invincible. Goats love to communicate. They bleat, gurgle, stomp their legs, and cry out, as well as ram their horns, stick out their tongues, mock, glare, gaze, wag their tails, and charge. These amazing animals might well be the most fascinating, wonderful, misunderstood, and under-appreciated creatures in history.

It is from the goat that we get words such as “scapegoat,” which refers to someone who is unfairly blamed for something. This may well date back to the Old Testament religious practice on the Day of Atonement, when the sins of the people were transferred to a goat, the “scapegoat,” which was then taken into the wilderness and released, providing everyone with a fresh start in the New Year. To “get one’s goat” means to irritate or annoy someone, and to “play the goat” is to act the clown or behave in a silly fashion to make people laugh.

Western Zodiac
Capricorn is the 10th astrological sign of the Zodiac, ruled by Saturn, represented by the symbol of the goat and associated with the element of Earth. This sign is also associated with Vesta, the keeper of the hearth-fire and the fire within. Through Saturn and Vesta there are elements of spiritual rebirth and a powerful sense of purpose. Both of these Olympian deities represent self-mastery, which may be inner and spiritually directed, or present as an outward manifestation such as reaching the top of the mountain and obtaining mastery over others, stepping into one’s role as a leader. In the Northern Hemisphere, Capricorn occurs during the Winter Solstice, a major turning point when we move from darkness toward the light. At this time there is a great opportunity for individual consciousness to tap into the collective wellspring and begin a symbolic transformation represented through the return to the light. The mountain goat teaches us about discipline and reaching heights not just for ourselves but for the collective, and gives us vision, perseverance, and strength.

There are many mythological hybrids constructed from varying parts of the goat, including the Chimera. This fire breather is associated with initiation, and in medieval times it was associated with lust. The Chimera is also the offspring of the storm deity, depicted with three heads – the lion, goat, and snake. In addition, fauns and satyrs are most commonly depicted as part goat, part human.

But it is perhaps Ea, an early creator god of Sumer, depicted as a goat-fish, who influenced the imagery for the sign of Capricorn. Ea ruled the waters that kept the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers flowing underneath the Earth, supplying life to the land. He also provided wisdom to the people. In early Mesopotamian art, there are many images of goats feeding on the leaves of the Tree of Life.

Marduk, the son of Ea, is featured in the Babylonian Epic of Creation, the “Enuma Elis,” in which he battles the goddess Tiamet and creates the world from her body. Also identified as the patron god of the city of Babylon, a storm god, and a god of vegetation, he had the capacity both to help and to destroy humanity. Goats often accompanied Marduk, serving as adaptable and intelligent companions to the god.

"The Three Billy Goats Gruff,” a Norwegian fairy tale, provides insights into the cleverness and perseverance of goats. This tale introduces us to a goat family that no longer has food to eat on their side of the river. In order to reach a rich meadow where grass is plentiful, they must get to the other side of the river. Unfortunately, this requires them to cross a bridge controlled by a nasty and fearsome troll. The three goats strategize a way to get across the bridge. The first goat to cross is the smallest. The troll jumps out, threatening to gobble up the goat. In a meek voice the littlest goat convinces the troll to wait for a heartier meal when his plump bigger brother comes across. The troll is convinced that the first goat is simply not worthy of his appetite, and thus the littlest goat is allowed to pass. A short time later the medium-sized billy goat cautiously approaches the bridge. As he begins to cross, the troll jumps out once again, ready to gobble up the goat. With a stern demeanor, the middle-sized goat convinces the troll that the greatest meal is yet to come, and he should save his appetite. The troll once again is persuaded to wait for an even bigger meal, and the second goat passes to safety. Now it is time for the biggest and fiercest of the goat brothers to pass over the bridge. Once again the troll jumps out, but the third billy goat is so big that he effortlessly kicks the troll off the bridge. The troll falls into the stream, and the third goat joins his brothers on the other side of the bridge to partake of the meadow’s rich bounty. The troll, outwitted by the goats, is humbled; and, while he continues to live under the bridge, he never again prevents anyone from crossing. Perhaps he has decided that a simple meal of fish and greens is a safer alternative.

Greece and Rome
Throughout the Greek and Roman myths we find references to the goat as a sacred animal linked to rituals associated with life, death, and rebirth, involving Mercury, Artemis, Juno, Dionysus, Jupiter, Priapus, Pan, and may others. The goat as a sacred animal dates back much further to Crete, Babylonia, Asia Minor, and Africa. References can also be found in the Norse myths, where Thor, the god of thunder and lightning, traveled in a chariot drawn by goats. In all of these cultures there are references to goat energies, the sacred goat, and the goat’s role in ceremonies, sacred mysteries, and rites, often involving fertility rites, sacrifice, expiation from sins, death, regeneration, and ecstasy. The goat, like many creatures explored through myths and legends, has a dual nature; it is viewed as life giving and awakening but also linked to pagan religions, sacrifices, and Satanism. During Medieval times common superstitions identified the goat with lewd behavior, and the devil was often represented with the face of a goat.

Amaltheia (Greek) is often identified as Jupiter’s goat, raised by Pan. She was the protector of the infant Zeus and suckled him in a cave on the island of Crete. One of her horns flowed with nectar and the other with ambrosia. After her death Zeus kept the horn filled with golden fruit, and it became known as the horn of plenty. The hide of Amaltheia was used to cover the shield carried by Zeus, which was known as the Aegis. Zeus honored Amaltheia by raising her up into the sky as the constellation of Capricorn. Female goats are often called nannies, which may be a reference to Amaltheia, the female caregiver of the great god of Olympia.

Artemis, the daughter of Zeus and Leto, is associated with nature, fertility, and the moon. A virgin goddess, Artemis was adept with the bow and arrow; she represents the feminine principal and presides over births. Her sacred animal is the tragelphus, which is part goat and part stag. As the goddess of the moon, Artemis is associated with the astrological sign of Cancer, which is also linked to the goat.

Jupiter and Zeus
Jupiter and Zeus often merge together in myths, although Jupiter is Roman or Syrian in origin, and Zeus is Greek. Zeus, the youngest son of Cronos and Rhea, was rescued at birth, so that his father would not swallow him. Gaea took her grandson to Amaltheia, the divine goat, to be suckled, protected, and nurtured. When Zeus became the supreme ruler of Mount Olympus, a weather god who controlled thunder, lightning, and rain, he retained ties to his wet nurse, Amaltheia.

Juno (Roman) or Hera (Greek), sister and wife of Jupiter/Zeus, was the protector of women and terribly jealous of her husband’s exploits. It is said that in her jealousy she struck Semele’s son, Bacchus, with madness. Interestingly, both Bacchus and Juno are associated with the goat, which is the sacred animal to Juno.

Bacchus and Dionysus
Bacchus, also known as Dionysus, was the son of Semele and Jupiter, a nature god that came to be identified as the god of wine, drama, and revelry. Cross culturally, depictions of this myth can be found in Rome, Greece, Phoenicia, Egypt, and Ethiopia. In some of the earliest representations, he was shown as a goat. The symbol of the goat was often used to represent fertility, agility, and a strong social nature, and was linked to the vine or red wine, which came to be identified with blood, sacrifice, eternal life, youth, and fertility. In the Dionysian myths, the goat was central to the celebrations, representing fecundity and lasciviousness; the goat was often torn apart and eaten at celebrations.

Pan is the god of the woods, fields, and wildlife. His birth is attributed to many, among whom we find Hermes and Penelope, and Zeus and Callisto. Regardless of parentage, in all the myths he was abandoned by his mother and raised by nymphs in the forest. Pan is described as having two small horns, and his lower limbs are those of a goat. A lover of music, he was playful and mischievous. Pan is often equated with Aigipan, a goat-footed god who came to the aid of Zeus, stealing back his sinews from Typhon and replanting them in Zeus without being seen. As a reward, Zeus placed Aigipan among the stars as the constellation Capricorn.

Psycho-Spiritual Growth During Times of the Goat

Whether we examine the teachings about the goat from ancient cross-cultural mythology, the Chinese Zodiac, Western Astrology, or the I Ching, we are provided with keys for growth and transformation. Embracing the power and energy of the goat, we find resilience, independence, creativity, inner strength, and perseverance. Although we may want to take time to retreat and self-reflect in a Goat year, insights might well come like a flash of lightning, creating unanticipated upheaval in one’s life. However, this is a fertile, Earth-focused year, a time when great harvesting is possible. Just as Amaltheia nourished Zeus, it is a time to find what most nourishes us.

Consider the limiting language we use or that stubborn streak that prevents us from moving forward or trying new things. Where are the real or imagined obstacles that prevent us from identifying or achieving our life’s true purposes? Are we able to recognize the entanglements that no longer serve us, and set fears aside to try something new? Goats use all methods of communication to be heard. Have you found your true voice? This is a great time to focus on how we can communicate in new ways, with a spirit of adventure, openness, and mental mobility. Goats are insightful and intelligent; they are able to break down barriers that prevent them from prospering. The goat also helps us understand how to break through the limitations in our lives, providing a reminder that we are capable, worthy, and competent. It is a time to believe that we are truly worthy. We can climb the mountain, take charge of our lives, and find those things that bring harmony, joy, and laughter while we seek a new way to be in balance with the abundance of the natural world.

Grant, M., and J. Hazel. Who’s Who Classical Mythology. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993.
Graves, R. The Greek Myths. Volumes I and II. Fifth edition. London: The Folio Society, 1996.
Guttman, A., and K. Johnson. Mythic Astrology: Archetypal Powers in the Horoscope. St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications, 1993.
Haung, A. The Complete I Ching. Rochester, VT: Inner Traditions, 2004.
Ritsema, R. and Sabbadini, S.A. The Original I Ching Oracle: The Pure and Complete Texts with Concordance. London, UK: Watkins, 2005
Turner, P., and C. R. Coulter. Dictionary of Ancient Deities. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.
Walker, B.B. The I Ching or Book of Changes. New York, NY: St. Martin’s Griffin, 1992.

A Seasonal Celebration to the Moon

20 Oct, 2014
A Seasonal Celebration to the Moon

Donna Carey, LAc and Ellen F. Franklin, PhD
Oriental Medicine, Metal/Fall, 2014

Living and working on 35 acres in the mountains of rural Northern New Mexico provides a living laboratory to explore the principles, traditions, and spirit of Oriental Medicine and the Five Elements. Being located in a rural community 45 minutes from a grocery store and 2.5 hours from an airport has posed many challenges. However, these appear insignificant when compared to the richness of our lives – the beauty of the landscape, the ability to grow our own food and produce exceptional wines, and the ability to teach health care providers how to promote optimal health and well-being through the use of specific sound vibrations that are in alignment with the cycles of nature, the Earth, Moon, Sun, and Planets.

For nearly twenty years we have been engaged in research, writing, and teaching about the specific applications of sound vibration to the physical body. This work has extended into agriculture and wine production, for which we use specific frequencies and musical intervals to enhance the growth, quality, and taste of the many foods we grow. For everything from improving the quality of the soil, seed, and rootstock, to pest management and pollination, we incorporate the use of specific sound vibrations produced by tuning forks, hand chimes, and gongs. In addition, we enhance wine production by applying specific sound-based frequencies designed to change the quality and character of the vintage.

Eco-theologian Thomas Berry recognized that the Earth in all its diversity is the mother of our higher consciousness. The natural world provides life-giving nourishment that supports our physical, emotional, and spiritual existence. This is a sacred relationship. When we become alienated from the natural world we become destitute, and if we damage the earth we diminish ourselves. Our relationship to the natural world is infused with the tension of opposites contained within the principles of Oriental Medicine and the Acutonics methodology that we developed and teach. A significant part of our mission is to help people come into right relationship with the natural cycles of the seasons – and to more deeply understand the emotional, physical, and psychic implications when we fail to do so.

The upper portion of our hilly terrain is at 8,100 feet – these forested acres have many varieties of pine, birch, spruce, cedar, and cottonwood trees. Living at this altitude, even in New Mexico we have four distinct seasons. The lower portion of the land houses our office, extensive outdoor seasonal gardens, and a geodesic growing dome where we grow cold hardy plants throughout the fall and winter, and where thermophiles, heat loving plants, thrive in the summer. The mountain waters that we use for irrigating our pasture and crops are conducted through a vast network of irrigation channels that contain gates, so that the water can be released to irrigate or dammed up to hold back the waters. This vast network of channels works in a way that is analogous to the meridians of the body, where specific points are accessed to increase the flow of energy through the body or to hold back areas where there may be excesses.

Our relationship to the natural world is infused with the tension of opposites that resides in Five Element Theory of Oriental Medicine. The Earth element for example, represents the mother, the late summer, which leads into the harvest; and the emotion associated with it is sympathy. If the earth has provided for us, we have a sense of security and stability. If the Earth has withheld, and the harvest is poor, we feel rootless, ungrounded, and hungry for what we cannot have. As late summer ends, there is decay as the remains of the harvest go back into the Earth. However, this decay can also result in rich compost, leaving us fertile and open to new possibilities. This is the tension of opposing yet complementary forces that resides in Oriental philosophy. The biophilia hypothesis proposed by Wilson states that humans need to affiliate with nature, and nature can be used as a health promotion intervention. If research supports the idea that the natural environment can improve health, then it should follow that well-being will suffer if the environment is being destroyed. In this article we explore ways to work with both the energy of the Moon and the bounty of the harvest to prepare for the shifting seasons and the gathering of both our inner and outer resources.

Working with the Energy of the Moon

The Moon, Earth’s companion and only natural satellite, has captured the minds and imaginations of scientists and artists since prehistoric times. Our Moon is the second brightest object in the sky after the Sun. It orbits the Earth once per month. As the angles between the Earth, Moon, and Sun change, so do the cycles of the lunar phases. Since ancient times the daily rhythms and cycles of the Moon have guided timekeepers, farmers, and physicians. Although the Moon is actually quite small in comparison to the Sun and Earth, she is worshipped and revered in myths and legends from around the world and shares many traits with her brother the Sun god and her sister the Earth goddess.

In the mountains of northern New Mexico, the cool winds have arrived and white tiger clouds gather in the sky. The Moon in all her phases graces our night sky and shines boldly down upon us. The Autumnal Equinox has passed, and the balance of light and dark has shifted. We have been blessed with an abundant harvest, and the richness and beauty of autumn colors blaze boldly across the mountains. As the warmth declines and cold increases, their meeting produces early morning mist that rises over the mountains, sending a chill reminder that we are approaching the time of contraction, that long sleep that winter brings forth. As Yin steps up to become more dominant, Yang retreats in the journey toward dormancy.

The Moon represents the essence of Yin. As the seasons shift into autumn it is time to go inward, adapting our bodies to the changes unfolding in the natural world. Autumn asks us to reduce the expenditure of energy and let go of all that is extraneous in our busy lives. This is the time to gather inner and outer resources and to prepare for winter’s long hibernation.

The season of autumn is also related to the Metal element and corresponds to the Lung and Large Intestine, paired Yin and Yang organs. It is the Lung that helps us to discriminate, evaluate, and organize, from an inward perspective. The Large Intestine helps us to let go of those things that no longer serve us, such as blockages and patterns that prevent us from being at our best. The Metal element is also associated with the color white, grief and sadness, the sound of weeping, and dryness. The sense organ of the skin, the western direction, our dreams and visions, and the planet Venus also correspond to this element. For just a moment, think about a tree dropping its beautiful autumnal leaves, the bright oranges, reds, and yellows drifting down toward the ground on autumn’s wind. These vibrant colored leaves come to rest at the tree’s base. In time, they will decompose and lend their support to the trees through the long winter months. Decomposed they protect and send vital energy into the roots so that new life will come forth in spring’s rebirth. This is a qi cycle that is in flow with the cycles of the season and the natural world. What would you have to change in your life to be in flow with the qi cycle of the seasons? Are there things in your own life that you might let go in order to move inward during this time of change?

The luminescence of the moon’s shining light permeates our minds and hearts, offering us a vital and deep fullness. When the moon is full, our consciousness is heightened – round, whole, complete, reflecting divine awareness, and enlightenment. In the moon’s bright fullness, our awareness is heightened, and we are blessed with a deep understanding of spiritual presence, the mysteries of a life well lived revealed. In the infinite ultimate expression of yin, the mother calls us home. Fluid movement guides our dance in the light of the moon. The full moon, the lunar archetype of the mother, pulls us gently toward our true home. The following treatment protocols provide some basic techniques that you and your patients can use to promote balance in the face of the physical, environmental, emotional, and psychic stresses related to autumn and the Metal Element.

Chang'e - Moon Goddess (Wikimedia)


Self-Care Treatment Protocol for the Season

Activate the tuning forks indicated below, and apply the tuning fork interval directly to the acupuncture point, in the provided sequence. Allow the vibration to completely run out, and apply 1 to 3 times per point.

To Strengthen the Lungs:

Apply Earth Day 5th, Solar 7th, Mars/Venus 5th to LU 9, Great Abyss, source point of the lungs, and UB 13, Lung Shu Point

To Moisten the Lungs, and Protect Lung Yin:
Apply New Moon 5th, Full Moon 6th, Ohm Venus 6th to LU 5, Central Eminence, LU 7, Broken Sequence, LU 9, Great Abyss

For Grief and Sadness:
Apply New Moon 5th to LU 3, Celestial Storehouse

Large Intestine
For eliminating what is unnecessary and toxic, whether physical, emotional, or attitudinal:

Apply New Moon 5th, Zodiac 3rd to LI 4, Union Valley, Large Intestine Source Point, LIV 3, Great Surge. When combined, these points are also known as the Four Gates of Heaven

To work with the entry and exit points on the Lung and Liver channels to release the old patterns and to allow a pure new breath to be taken into the lungs:
Apply New Moon 5th to LU 1, Union Valley, and LIV 14, Cycles Gate

For Constipation:
Apply Full Moon 6th, Ohm Venus 6th to LI 4, Union Valley, Large Intestine Source Point, and ST 36, Leg Three Li

To Build Kidney Qi:
Apply Earth Day 5th to KID 3, Great Ravine, Kidney Source Point, REN 4, Origins Pass, and REN 6, Sea of Qi

To Nourish Kidney Yin and Yang:
Apply Full Moon 6th, Solar 7th, Mars/Venus 5th to KID 3, Great Ravine, UB 23, Kidney Shu, REN 4, Origins Pass

To tap into our stores of Yin and access the inner mountain:
Apply New Moon 5th, Full Moon 6th, Ohm Venus 6th to HT 6, Yin Cleft or Yin Xi Cleft Point to support the flowering of our inner nature

The Myth of CHANG’E, Spirit of the Moon

From ancient China and in more contemporary collections, there is a lovely myth of the Moon goddess, Chang’e. As with all myths, there are many versions, with common themes and characters, at the heart of this legend of the moon. Perhaps the most important is that Chang’e has come to represent not only the spirit of the Moon but the beauty, elegance, gentleness, and quietness associated with women.

The Legend Of Chang’e – The Goddess of the Moon

In the not too distant past, ten fiery suns rose up in the sky and blazed down upon Earth and all its people. The extreme heat ignited fires in forests and fields, and a terrible drought plagued the planet. As volcanoes spewed molten lava and ash, the rivers ran dry. The land became cracked and barren. Bountiful harvests were in the long-ago past, food and all sources of water were disappearing, and many died of hunger and thirst.

The King of Heaven, not wanting all of the people, animals, and plants to perish from this unbearable heat, sent the hunter Yi down to Earth to help humanity. Seeing the devastation wrought by these mighty suns, Yi, a great archer, drew his red bow and white arrows and shot down nine of the ten suns. One by one, as Yi removed the multitude of suns from the sky, the weather began to change. As the temperature dropped, the cooler air brought heavy rains. Clear, fresh water flowed once again in the rivers and streams. Soon the lands began to green, trees and flowers sent up bright shoots, and seeds long dormant sprouted. New life emerged through Yi’s actions, and humanity was saved from extinction.

Yi continued to wander the Earth to ensure that all was well; and one day, he saw a beautiful young woman, bending to gather water from a mountain stream. Just as he observed the woman, she too saw someone observing her. Her bamboo container filled with clear fresh water, Chang'e turned away from the stream to begin the long journey home. Yi, no longer
content to stay in the shadows, stepped forward to request a drink of water. Ever observant, Chang’e noted the red bow and white arrows hanging from Yi’s belt. She quickly offered him a drink, but felt such a sense of gratitude that she also extended a beautiful white flower to him as a token of gratitude. Yi, in turn, selected a beautiful silver fox fur as his gift for her. As their eyes met a spark shone out, and a great love match was kindled. Soon they were wed.

Yi’s love for Chang’e was so great that he did not want their sacred union to end; yet he understood that the life of a mortal is limited. Seeking the elixir of life itself, Yi traveled to Kunlun Mountain, home of the Western Queen mother.

Recognizing and respecting the goodness in Yi’s heart and all that he had done for the people of Earth, the Western Queen Mother Xiwangmu, rewarded Yi with a special elixir, a fine powder made from kernels of fruit that grow on the tree of eternity. She cautioned Yi that he must take the elixir at the same time as Chang’e for them to share and enjoy eternal life. However, if only one of them took it, then only one of them would be able to ascend to heaven and achieve the life of an immortal. Yi returned home excited to share this great gift with Chang’e. Together they decided that when Yi returned from the hunt on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month, when the moon was full and bright, they would drink the elixir together.

Unfortunately, unknown to them both, Yi’s apprentice Feng Meng heard about their plan. He became obsessed with stealing the elixir of immortality from Yi and Chang’e and carefully laid out a plan to steal the elixir while Yi was off hunting. Patiently he waited. As planned by Yi and Chang’e, when the full moon was rising, Yi went off to the hunt with an open heart. He knew that upon his return he and Chang’e would drink the elixir together. While Yi was out hunting, Feng Meng seized his opportunity. He broke into the home of Yi and Chang’e and tried to force Chang’e into giving him the elixir. Instead, she outwitted him. Not wanting the elixir to fall into his evil hands, she quickly swallowed it all and flew into the sky. Filled with grief that Yi had been left behind, she chose to inhabit the Moon so that she may remain close to Yi and to all the people of Earth who had shared their sadness and happiness.

When Yi came back from the hunt and discovered what had happened he was distraught at the loss of Chang’e. In her honor he set out the fruits and cakes that she loved. Today, during the night of the Mid-Autumn festival, families still offer sacrifices of Moon cakes and round fruits to Chang’e. It is said that when the Moon is full you can see Chang’e, the cassia tree, and the Jade Rabbit who pounds the elixir of immortality there. Farmers still celebrate the end of the summer harvesting season, gathering to appreciate the beauty of the autumn moon.

Chang’e in Popular Culture

Today as China takes an active role in space exploration, they continue to honor the Moon goddess, naming their unmanned lunar space probes in her honor. The have launched three spacecraft bearing her name. Chang’e 1, launched in October of 2007, was able to create extremely high quality and accurate resolution images of the lunar surface. Chang’e 2 launched in October of 2010 and built on this knowledge with even higher resolution images of the moon. Change’e 3, China’s 3rd lunar mission, landed a rover named YuTu, the Jade Rabbit, on the surface of the moon. Despite being damaged on landing and unable to rove, YuTu has proved to be resilient in other ways, sending back images and surviving far longer than anticipated. Future plans reported by China include the launches of Chang’e 4 and 5.

Mid-Autumn Festival Mooncakes

Another way that Chang’e continues to be honored in China is the tradition of making and eating Mooncakes. These sweet round cakes are about three inches in diameter. While there are hundreds of varieties of Mooncakes, they are typically filled with nuts, melon seeds, lotus-seed paste, Chinese dates, almonds, mince meats, and/or orange peels. This rich filling is held within a golden-brown pastry crust, and a cooked egg yolk is placed decoratively right in the center. The crust is often adorned with symbols associated with the Mid-Autumn festival. It is traditional to pile thirteen Mooncakes into a pyramid, symbolizing the thirteen moons of a complete lunar year. And of course the best place to eat these yummy Mooncakes is outside under the moon!

Oven Roasted Fall Veggies
Cut up onions in chunky one-inch slices, and let them have some girth. Toss them in olive oil and lay as a bed in a roasting pan.
Chop carrots in chunks—we use atomic reds, yellows, and orange varieties.
Chop golden, red, and pink beets in chunks.
Chop purple potatoes, Yukon golds, reds, and whites.
If your winter squash and pumpkins are ready, put some of those in too.
Chop fennel bulbs.
Put a head or so of garlic in the mix— break into cloves, but no need to peel.
Toss everything in olive oil, salt, and generous amounts of pepper.
Lay all the veggies on the bed of onion, and sprinkle with thyme, a little dill seed, and fresh parsley.
Roast in the oven at 425F for about an hour. We cover them the first hour and then brown them.
Serve topped with fresh goat or feta cheese and sour cream.
Complement with a glass of light-to medium-bodied red wine, such as Mothership Winery Tempranillo infused with plums or a smooth Sangiovese. These are truly New Mexico’s grapes of abduction.
Bon Appetit!

Berry, T. (2009). The sacred universe. New York, NY: Columbia University Press
Carey, D., Franklin, E. F., Ponton, P., Ponton, J., & Michelangelo (2010). Acutonics from galaxies to cells, planetary science, harmony and medicine. Vadito, NM: Devachan.
Wilson, Edward O. (1984). Biophilia. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press

The Myth of Nü Gua Chinese Snake Goddess

19 Jan, 2013
The Myth of Nü Gua Chinese Snake Goddess

Donna Carey, LAc
Oriental Medicine Journal, New Year/Year of the Snake 2013


In the Year of the Water Snake it is appropriate to tell some of the earliest creation myths of ancient China, the legends of the female divinity Nü Gua, a snake goddess. Many of these stories were transmitted orally; the specific details are influenced by the evolution of culture and by the philosophical, religious, and political movements that influence the retelling, reorienting, and transforming of the narratives. These stories are filled with supernatural beings, woven into shamanic rituals, and grounded with the cosmogony of tribes and clans that were later adopted into mainstream dynasties and cultures.

The roots of these myths may well come from pre-history; however, there is evidence of their existence dating to the early Neolithic period in China. There is reference to Nü Gua in the late Neolithic period in China during the age of the Three August Ones. Later myths from the Han Dynasty depict Nü Gua and her companion Fu Xi, one of the Three August Ones, as brother and sister, husband and wife, worshiped as the progenitors and ultimate ancestors of humankind. Fu Xi and Nü Gua are often represented as half-snake, half-human.

Snake worship is attributed to the Xia clan, which dominated the Northern regions of ancient China in the Yellow River area around 2200 BC. These myths are similar to other creation myths from around the world. In China, over time, the snake became the dragon, which is one of the most enduring symbols of Chinese culture and mythology.

The ancient texts identify Nü Gua as the original ancestor of humanity, half-snake, half-human. She is the creator who molded humans from clay. When the pillar supporting the heavens was damaged, she repaired the sky. After the chaos of the flood, Nü Gua restored order to the world, provided stability, and populated it. She was responsible for the restoration of order and brought the five phases back into harmony. Her actions regulated the movement of all celestial bodies, restored the seasons, and recreated the axis mundi. To create harmony on Earth she fashioned musical instruments. The ancient Chinese matriarchal society revered and celebrated Nü Gua as the powerful creator goddess, and the practices continue to this day.

Although Nü Gua originally stood alone, similar to the shifts we find in the West in later texts and iconography, Nü Gua became paired with Fu Xi, who is identified as her brother, a creator god. Fu Xi is credited with the creation of the hexagrams of the I Ching and many other inventions. Nü Gua and Fu Xi are represented as intertwined snakes, the embodiment of yin and yang. They are depicted holding the instruments of creation, the compass and the square, the tools that were used to take the measurements of the Universe at the founding of a new world following the great flood (Nibley, 1992). Although there is disagreement among the texts, there is some evidence supporting the idea that Nü Gua was one of the Three August Ones. These legendary rulers served around 3000 BC to 2200 BC before the Xia dynasty.

Nü Gua is also linked to Yu the Great and the flood stories. In some myths she is his wife, and Yu is depicted as a dragon rather than a bear. In these stories it is Nü Gua who works with Yu to hold back the floods. Yu is awarded similar mythical doctrines and tools consistent with those of Fu Xi. Together Nü Gua and Yu repopulate the world and establish order. It is Yu who establishes dynastic rule and the rights of Kings. This union between Nü Gua and Yu is one example of the shift from the matriarchal culture of the snake goddess to kingship and patriarchal rule.

However, in the earliest creation myths from China, Nü Gua is an independent powerful goddess, the creator of humankind. She is a matchmaker, bestows fertility, invents sound and music, and brings harmony to heaven, earth, and humanity. She is a benefactor to people and all living creatures. However, just as we see in the West, the power of the strong female creator Goddess is diminished first by pairing her with a male God, and finally by attributing all of her creations to a male God who usurps her power. One example would be the legends of P’an Ku, the male Titan who splits heaven and earth and creates the world and humans from his own body.

In the Year of the Snake it is important to remember and honor Nü Gua, who represents an important aspect of the Chinese matriarchy, culture, and cosmology. She is the Great Mother of Humans, a cultural heroine, and one of the most powerful and influential primordial goddesses in ancient Chinese mythology.

The Myths of Nü Gua

Nü Gua is the Great Mother Goddess in matriarchal society since antiquity and belonged to a tribe in Northern China with names and connection to the snail. It is said she was formed like a human; but, instead of legs, she had a serpent’s tail to glide over the Earth. She also had a long head with two fleshy horns, and her body was that of a snail; she was originally worshipped as such. She is most often portrayed as a snake deity much akin to other cross-cultural mythologies linked with the snake and creation, to matriarchal primogenitors. Nü Gua is mostly depicted as half-human, half-snake (later half-dragon) and always as a semi-mythical and supernatural being. The mythical figure of Nü Gua as a creator God predates the male creator stories of P’an Ku in classical mythology by six centuries. She appears early in the tradition referenced in “Question of Heaven” in Chu Chi, Songs of Ch’u and in the Shanhaijing, The Classic of Mountains and Seas, in Fengsu Tonji, Popular Customs and Traditions, and later in records from the Han Dynasty, including many descriptive passages in the Huainanzi, a major repository for Chinese myths, and in the Shou Wen Jia Zi, Talking About Text and Explaining Words.

It is important to mention that while the written Nü Gua myths started appearing during the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD), they were transmitted orally from a much earlier period. The first emperor of the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC) burned a huge number of literary texts and old myths to exert cultural and political control. As with most book burnings, the losses were irreparable, since they contained mythic themes, archetypes, and symbols critical to the survival of its culture. The Han Dynastic scholars revised what was left and reclaimed the Nü Gua myths from non-orthodox history, legends, and folklore, and, of course, added their own twist to these stories.

Nü Gua existed in the beginning of the world before there were any people. Most sources concur that it was her loneliness that provided the impetus for creation. She walked plains and valleys and felt that the world was a very desolate place without animation. She began with making chickens which cluck through creation, then dogs to run through the forests and glades, sheep to graze in the plains, pigs to root through the earth, gentle cows, powerful bulls, then horses to run free. On the seventh day, while walking along a river, she glimpsed her own reflection. She sat beside the flowing waters and ran earth through her fingers, then took water from the river and yellow Earth and molded the clay as little creatures, which began to laugh. She loved the noise and so continued to make more creatures. As the creatures came to life, they called her mother and wandered the Earth to repopulate the world. She is a self-aware, independent, creative, and powerful feminine force.

At some point, Nü Gua was so exhausted that she realized it was not in her best interest to continue to fashion each person individually. So she took a rope (which later became a measuring cord on her compass) or, in some texts, a piece of ivy or a vine from the mountainside, dipped it into the yellow clay, and then tossed the drops and bits of mud to all the directions. Each drop contained the essence of a distinct human. The rich and the noble were those hand crafted from the yellow clay, and the poor and the ordinary were the manifestations of pulling the rope through the mud and flinging it. Later with the establishment of class and privilege, the hand created humans become nobility and the rope drops commoners, so it is not only telling of creation but of social hierarchy. There are detailed descriptions in the Feng Su Tong Yi, Comprehensive Interpretation of Customs, of Nü Gua’s intention of enrichment and beautification of the world through her creation of human beings, not necessarily the creation of social classes.

In other variations of this myth, as Nü Gua listened to the laughter of her creations, she began to contemplate what would happen when they died. She was concerned that she would have to keep making more and more. It is written that she fashioned men and women in halves and taught them how to love one another so that they could repopulate the Earth. With this role she takes on the archetype of the first high matchmaker, the inventor of marriage, and comes to be identified as the goddess of marriage, fertility, and childbirth. Her temples were built near streams often depicted as the place of creation. Thus we see how she came to be identified in the classics of Chinese culture as the Mother Goddess, the Guardian Goddess, and a great matriarch. The snake in world mythology is believed to control the sources of water and is the hierophant of fertility and the creator of humans.

Nü Gua and the Flood, Repairer of Heaven and Great Guardian of Human Life

The most detailed accounts that link Nü Gua with water relate to the story of the taming of the floods that is chronicled in the Huainanzi. During antiquity, the sky and the earth were in total chaos, and humanity was in danger of extinction:

in ancient times the four limits (of the world, si ji,) collapsed and the Nine Provinces split apart. Heaven did not completely cover the world, nor did the Earth support all things. Fires raged without going out and water surged on without ceasing. Fierce beasts devoured the simple people, and the birds of prey carried off old and young alike. Thereupon, Nü Gua smelted the five-colored stones to patch up the azure sky, cut off the turtle’s legs to reestablish the four limits, and killed the Black Dragon to rescue Ji Province (the central of the Nine Provinces, which in this passage stands for the entirety of China). She piled up ashes from the reeds to halt the rampant waters. Thus the azure sky was patched, the four limits corrected, the rampant waters dried up, Ji Province restored to order, and the treacherous creatures died. The simple people lived, walking on the back of the square provinces (Fang Zhou, i.e., Earth) and embracing the round Heaven (lewis, 2006, p. 111).

The accounts in this text are concerned with the ravages of the cataclysmic flood and the tipping of the sky, and with fires that are intense and raging—linking fire and water as parallel catastrophic events. Nü Gua blends colored stones to restore order to time and space and to save the world from the utter chaos of the flood. The five colored stones are linked to the Five Phases, internal and external alchemy, and were used for medical purposes in the Han to cure illness. Much earlier the Zhou Li states: “In all cases of treating sores, use the five poisons, to attack them, use the five energies to nourish them, use the five medicines to treat them, and the five flavors to regulate them” (Lewis, 2006, p. 112).

The five poisons refer to the active ingredients, five minerals of five different colors, and the five medicines are the five stones, assimilated into the standard set of the five minerals that are used to patch up the sky and treat the body. They are also considered an important aspect of alchemical casting of metals for a proper marriage between fire and water. The earliest known inscription for rectifying the body through balancing the circulation of qi is an inscription carved on a piece of jade. Jade is said to be the only stone unused by Nü Gua because of its sacredness and ability to bring protection, healing, and balance by its mere presence.

Nü Gua had many roles—far beyond the restoration of the world to order and harmony. She is also credited with setting the seasons and reestablishing the poles. She became a savior figure and presided over the protection of humanity and reemergence through the granting of new life, namely the permutation of the fetus into life. She also captured and joined the energies of the sun, linked humanity with the heavens, and connected the macrocosmic with the microcosmic, fire and water. She presided over the relations of marriage metaphorically, alchemically, and literally. Later Taoists believed she alone holds the secret of the Way of the True Person and follows the eternal nature of Heaven and Earth.

There is a second and later version of the Flood myth in which Gong, the water dragon, destroyed one of the pillars supporting the sky, which caused cosmic chaos. A black hole in the celestial vault resulted in torrential rains and fires, and floods raged everywhere. Nü Gua melted stones of different colors and patched up the sky. She used a tortoise for support of the world, slayed the Black Dragon, and collected ashes and reeds to stop the flood. She mended the sky and repaired the earth from this disaster. The multihued clouds in the sky are from the colorful stones she used to patch the sky. The reason that western China is mountainous and the east lower is because she used the longer legs of the tortoise to support the west and the shorter ones for the east. In this version of the cataclysm the damage is permanent; the earth’s pillar is damaged and points northwest. There is a cosmic flaw, and this is why Chinese rivers flow towards the east. It also suggests that the cosmic order is disrupted through male violence and restored through female benevolence.







Selecting several stones from a river, Nü Gua shaped them to repair the hole in the sky.
She also slew a giant tortoise and used its legs to support the heavens. Nü Gua’s
actions restored the order of the universe and saved the world from destruction.

Nü Gua and Music

Nü Gua is credited with the invention of various musical instruments, including the shenhuang, a reed pipe wind instrument, and the xiao, a vertical bamboo flute, as well as many reed and wood instruments fashioned from organic materials. One part of her work for restoring the world was to create harmony between heaven and earth. She achieved this by gathering the ashes of reeds to stop the devastating floodwater. In later accounts of her subsequent death and transformation into a jingwei bird, she carried wood and stone to construct a dike against the raging Eastern Sea. In many sources, Nü Gua is said to have ruled through the mythic powers of wood to balance the element of water, whether in slaying the black dragon, or in using reeds or wood to control the floods. Her work in restoring harmony through music is also a cultural innovation, and many stories say that Nü Gua invented music and musical instruments to entertain the children she created.

Nü Gua and Fu Xi in Modern Mythology

Joining the myths of Nü Gua and Fu Xi marks the beginning of the suppression of female power in China. This change begins around the time of transition from the early Han to the later Han Dynasties. It is a period that is marked by military expansion. Nü Gua begins to be paired with the mythic figure, Fu Xi; and they are represented as a married couple and as patrons of marriage as an institution. Han iconography depicts these two as a primal couple who restored and populated the earth after the flood. They are both linked to snake or dragon spirits and to themes of creation. They are guardians of transformations, gatekeepers between the inner and outer, and protectors of tombs and of the crossing of boundaries from one state to the other.

A different rendering of the origins of humans appears in the Duyizhi, A Treatise on Strange Beings and Things that involves Nü Gua and Fu Xi’s brother-sister tryst. The myth is set at the very beginning of the world. The sole inhabitants are a girl and her older brother who reside on the mythic Kunlun Mountain. Although they wanted to marry to reproduce, they were shamed because of their blood connection. They plead and send prayers and declarations from the top of the mountain. “Oh heaven if thou wouldst send us two forth as man and wife, then make all the misty vapor gather. If not make all the misty vapor disperse” (from Tu, yi chih, Birrell, 1993, p. 35).

Of course, the prevailing winds worked in their favor and gathered and united the vapors—so they were wed. In other accounts the vapors are smoke snakes and rings. Nü Gua is depicted as very shy and ashamed. She gathers reeds and grasses to weave into a fan to cover their faces. So we see both shame and guilt about intercourse, no fig leaf, but incest. The difference here between Adam and Eve is that their union is condoned and receives the stamp of approval. This custom of brides holding fans over their faces during wedding ceremonies persists today.

There are many other accounts of the coupling and creation, including the use of clay to create human figures and the power to animate them, and countless local folktales and myths about the signs for the go ahead to marry and join forces. Remember that childbirth in more primitive times was rather miraculous, not requiring male participation—and children knew only their mothers. As the reproductive process became more obvious, ancient China moved toward a patriarchal structure, and Fu Xi became an icon of the utmost importance.

We can safely say that Nü Gua’s divinity was suppressed—her independence eroded. Her divine pairing with Fu Xi is similar to Zeus and Hera in the Greek pantheon. Edward S. Shafer (1973), a prominent American Sinologist and Tang Dynasty scholar, states: “Her gradual degradation from her ancient eminence was partly due to the contempt of some eminent and educated men for animalian gods, and partly due to increasing domination of masculinity in the elite social doctrine” (p. 29).





Nü Gua the Earliest Ancestor

The Balance of Yin and Yang, Fu Xi and Nü Gua

Fu Xi invented a writing system by carving small pictures
and numbers onto bones and tortoise shells.

Fu Xi is depicted as a major deity and helper to humanity. Although some myths articulate his primal coupling with Nü Gua, he also stands alone as a separate powerful creator deity. But perhaps the greatest legacy of Fu Xi is that he shared mythic attributes with Nü Gua which may well have provided a foundation for the development of the Han yin/yang cosmology, which facilitated our understanding of the interdependence between the male and female.

Fu Xi appeared in the Han as the first in a lineage of sages and, more specifically, sagekings. He is credited with being the creator of the trigrams of the I Ching. His direct connection to and contemplation of the natural world revealed to him the theory for complementarity. This concept of complementary pairs is the very foundation of the Universe, as their dynamic balance and tension lead to change and transformation.

When Fu Xi ruled the world in ancient times, he looked up to examine the images in Heaven, and down to examine the models on Earth. He examined the markings of the birds and the beasts, and their suitability to the terrain. Near at hand he took it for himself, and at a distance, from objects. Therefore he created the eight trigrams in order to communicate with the powers of spirit intelligences, and in order to categorize the natures of myriad objects. He invented knotting cords to keep records and made nets and snares for hunting and fishing. He took this form from the hexagram li (from Treatise of the Yi Jing, lewis, 2006, p. 117).

Fu Xi is the ultimate progenitor of human technology, as evidenced through his invention of the trigrams of the I Ching. He is also credited with the invention of the calendar, writing, and numbers. Ruling jointly with his wife Nü Gua, we are provided with the foundational spirit for yin and yang, sun and moon, birds and beasts, and the distilling of all things into categories. He taught humanity survival skills such as fishing, creating nets, and tool making and was said to have brought the Great Waters of the Universe into order by digging dikes, canals, and irrigation ditches to tame the Yellow River. He, like Nü Gua, is credited with the invention of musical instruments, such as the guqin, a seven-stringed musical instrument, and the pipa, a lute, which he taught people to play to accompany the telling of stories. Fu Xi is a major force in his own right. He received The Yellow River Chart from creatures that rose out of the Yellow River and the Luo Writings, which are the Lou Shu Emergence that provide the knowledge for the organization of time and space. It is said that he discovered the trigrams on the back of a tortoise.

United as the divine creators of the world, Fu Xi and Nü Gua hold back the floods and provide the structural and the functional principles of an ordered world. The best-known image of Fu Xi and Nü Gua appears in the Wu Liang shrine where they are co-creators of the world. Their intertwined serpent bodies rotate around an invisible vertical axis mundi (cf. Santillana and Dechend, 1969). Fu Xi holds the carpenter’s square used to establish divisions and create the trigrams, and Nü Gua has a compass, to restore the circular heaven to its place (Nibley, 1992). These tools are complements, as the square is associated with the feminine principle of earth and the circle with the masculine principle of heaven, and are used for taking the measurements of the world, for keeping order in the world.










Ancient painting of Nü Gua and
Fu Xi unearthed in Xinjiang.

The union between Nü Gua and Fu Xi might be viewed as the first sacred marriage, the joining of two equal powers that provides order and structure to the cosmos. Their bond bestows a foundation to understand the connections among Heaven, Earth, and Humanity. As co-creators they give birth to The Three Treasures. They are the guardians of the tombs, gatekeepers of the sacred waters, twin snakes of life and death; they have the power to transform, regenerate, and
create. Their paired bodies provide the creation of all origins, the DNA of life, including the trigrams, hexagrams, protein bases, and the fertile water from which all life emerges. Together they are yin and yang; they control the floods, pole shifts, and soul shifts, wind and rain, fires and alchemical gold. This is the mystic marriage of heaven and earth, the creation of an ordered and dependable cosmos, the foundation of the collective identity of all people.

There is a word in modern Chinese, a phrase really, kuci chu; and it signifies “the way things should be, the moral standard.” Literally it means the compass and the square. May we embody both Nü Gua and Fu Xi striving always to restore and maintain the sacred and constant balance among heaven, earth, and humanity.

Birrell, A. (1993). Chinese mythology: An introduction. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.
Cheng, C.M.B. (2004). Matriarch at the edge; The mystic cult of Nu Wa in Macau, Hong Kong. Paper presented at 17th Triennial Congress of International Comparative Literature Association, August 2004.
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Lewis, M. E. (2006). The flood myths of early China. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.
Fu Xi, New World Encyclopedia, Accessed January 7, 2013,
Nibley, H. (1992). Temple and cosmos. Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book Company.
Santillana, G. & von Dechend, H. (1969). Hamlet’s Mill, Boston: Nonpareil Books.
Schafer, E. H. (1973). The divine woman: Dragon ladies and rain maidens in T’ang Literature. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Yang, L. & An, D. (2005). Handbook of Chinese mythology., New York: Oxford University Press.
Zhi-Xiang, N. & Echlin, K. (1986). The Gods of earliest creation, an excerpt from Dragons and dynasties. Beijing: Foreign Language Press.

The Role of Archetypes & Myths in Medicine

19 Jan, 2013
The Role of Archetypes & Myths in Medicine

Ellen F. Franklin, PhD
Oriental Medicine Journal, New Year/Year of the Snake 2013


The ideas and principles behind archetypes are found in almost every scholarly, theoretical, and academic field, and are a cornerstone in the psychology of C.G. Jung. Jung viewed them as living organisms that transcend history, cultures, races, and time. Erich Neumann (1963) draws on Jung to identify archetypes as the structural dominants of the psyche that transcend consciousness and direct unconscious behavior. in the form of mythological motifs or symbols, archetypes impact “feeling, intuition, and sensation” (p. 17).

Archetypal theory as articulated by Jung evolved throughout his life’s work and was not without criticism. Post-Jungian scholars have taken archetypal theories in many directions. James Hillman (1976) identifies archetypes with the fundamental metaphors of life and as “the deepest patterns of psychic functioning” (p. xix). Anthony Stevens (2002) views archetypes as biological entities that evolve over time through natural selection. Jean Knox (2003) puts forward the conception of archetypes as image schemas. More recently John Ryan Haule (2011) establishes connections between Jung’s theories of archetypes and a range of scientific discoveries in diverse fields that lend support to the conception that archetypes guide the formation of perception and behavior. This article explores the relationship between myths and archetypes to provide a foundation for the deep symbolic significance of the snake. This powerful cross-cultural, archetypal, and mythic symbol is one of the most enduring. it is associated with life, death, rebirth, renewal, and healing.

Overview of Archetypes

Archetypes transcend scholarly, theoretical, and academic fields and appear in myths, dreams, religion, philosophy, and science. Whether you approach them with a Jungian lens or go back to Plato, archetypes aid in attempts to define the world in which we live. Jung states that the collective unconscious takes the place of the Platonic realm of eternal ideas; “instead of these models giving form to created things, the collective unconscious, through its archetypes, provides the a priori condition for the assignment of meaning” (1963/1970, p. 87). Although Jung’s theories and definitions evolved, he identified archetypes as both image and structure; they are primordial and numinous images that lend structure to the psyche. “The archetype is essentially an unconscious content that is altered by becoming conscious and by being perceived, and it takes its colour from the individual consciousness in which it happens to appear” (1959/1969a, p. 5).

Jung’s Archetypal Theories

Jung’s theories regarding archetypes began early in his career, between 1900 and 1909, while working at the Burghölzli clinic. He observed the presence of universal symbols in the delusions and hallucinations of his psychotic patients (Ellenberger, 1970, p. 670). This early experience led to life-long research into images found throughout history, in Eastern mysticism, and medieval alchemy (Hollis, 1995, p. 21). In 1919 he would categorize these consistent patterns found in myths, legends, and fairytales as primordial images and begin calling them archetypes (Samuels, 1986). Jung describes archetypes as a priori instincts common to man and animal, numinous, inherited, pre-existent, and autonomous. They are contained within the collective unconscious and are “patterns of instinctual behavior” (p. 43). Sonu Shamdasani (2003) states that Jung viewed age-old customs as deeply rooted in instincts. When they are lost, there is a sense of being uprooted; lost traditions contribute to the pathology of modern times.

“When traditions broke down, consciousness became separated from instincts and lost its roots. These instincts, having lost their means of expression, sank into the unconscious, causing it to overflow into conscious contents” (Shamdasani, p. 262).

Jung distinguishes between the personal unconscious, which contains complexes, and the collective unconscious, which is made up of archetypes. He identifies the collective unconscious as containing the spiritual heritage of mankind's evolution, “born anew in the brain structure of every individual” (1960/1969b, p. 158). He expands on this when he connects archetypes with the chthonic aspects of our nature and our ability to adapt:

Archetypes are systems of readiness for action, and at the same time images and emotions. They are inherited with the brain-structure—indeed, they are its psychic aspect. They represent on the one hand a very strong instinctive conservatism, while on the other hand they are the most effective means conceivable of instinctive adaptation. (1964/1970a, p. 31)

Jung proposes that the most powerful ideas in history, which include religion, science, philosophy, and ethics, relate to archetypal ideas. He addresses the question of where archetypes originate by stating that you must consider them empirically, “the archetype did not ever come into existence as a phenomenon of organic life, but entered into the picture with life itself” (1958/1969, p. 149). Extrapolating from Jung, Haule (2011) provides the following concise summary of archetypal theory:

An archetype is a module of inheritance recognizable by typical patterns and images. It is the instinct’s recognition of appropriate conditions and goals. Subjectively, it manifests as a powerful emotional charge that invests what we see with over-whelming significance. Although it manifests in lower phyla as automatic and inflexible patterns, greater brain complexity gives animals increasingly greater freedom in adapting those patterns to individual circumstances. (pp. 14-15)

Jung’s theories regarding archetypes remain controversial not only in the Western medical approach to psychology but in analytical psychology where disagreements about the nature and role of archetypes in psychic functioning and the therapeutic relationship have resulted in the formation of different schools. Theories abound about whether archetypes are universal in nature, conscious or unconscious, innate and a priori, hereditary or biological. Stevens (2002) identifies connections between the biological and psychological functions of archetypes and links them to species survival:

Viewed from the strictly biological standpoint, the archetype is an ancient, genetically determined releaser or inhibiter. From the purely psychological point of view it is, of course, a good deal more than that, since the survival of the species, and the life of each member of the species, depends upon our capacity to 'know' situations, to recognize the essence of what we may find ourselves up against, and our ability to select from a vast repertoire of possible responses the behaviour and strategy most suited to the problem in hand. (p. 61)

Gray (1996) dismisses views of the archetype-as-such and identifies them with living systems, the basic attributes of life, whose continuous resonance and recurrent patterns touch all aspects of life. They impart a means to understand the universe that enriches lives. Hillman (1975) places so much importance on archetypes that he developed a distinct approach, which is called Archetypal Psychology. He embraces the idea that archetypes contain a multiplicity of meanings and must be viewed metaphorically. He views the psyche as an expression of specific archetypes that represent the names and stories of mythic Gods. These include the Hero, Nymph, Mother, Senex, Child, Trickster, Amazon, and Puer. He identifies these as root metaphors that impact all of our psychic functioning. They provide access to the roots of the soul, which governs our perspective of the world:

These persons keep our persons in order, holding into significant patterns the segments and patterns of behavior we call emotions, memories, attitudes, and motives. When we lose sight of these archetypal figures we become, in a sense, psychologically insane: that is, by not “keeping in mind” the metaphorical roots we go “out of our minds”—outside where ideas have become literalized into history, society, clinical psychopathology or metaphysical truths. (p. 128)

Hillman’s view of the psyche is in alignment with Plato’s concept of eidos, in which all knowledge is viewed as an expression of ideas “that have psychic premises in the archetypes” (1997, p. 132). He believed that a deeper understanding of myth and archetypes aids in our personal development. Donald Kalsched (1996) in his work with trauma builds on Jung’s theories of the psyche’s numerous complexes and articulates that each complex has an archetypal image at its core. He links archetypes to the body’s self-care system, which, like the immune system, will attack what it perceives to be dangerous. Severe trauma will activate these primordial motifs, which are bipolar and dynamic. In the body they represent instinct and affect; in the mind there is a spiritual or mythic dimension. Lionel Corbett (1996) supports the perspective articulated by Kalsched when he identifies complexes at the root of emotional and physical suffering, which cluster around an archetypal core, influencing perception, behavior, and powerful emotions.

Goodwyn (2010) refutes the significant debate in Jungian circles regarding the innate a priori structure of the archetype. He cites examples from deniers who view Jung as misguided and provides evidence for the recognition of the evolutionary adaption of innate structures, which includes “innate predispositions, perceptual biases, recognition mechanisms, emotional and expressive subroutines, behavioral urges, and more” (pp. 517). In Neurobiology of the Gods, Goodwyn (2012) expands on these views to link archetypes to perception, instinct, and symbolic images, building a case from the findings of neuroscience. “Archetypal symbols are non-random, emotionally laden metaphorical constructs originating in the deep layers of the brain/mind as it interacts inextricably with the environment…these symbols (among others) can affect brain/body health” (p. 175).

Jung recognized that science does not accept or understand the significance of these primordial images, yet he views them almost like psychic organs that must be treated with the utmost respect:

It is only possible to live the fullest life when we are in harmony with these symbols; wisdom is a return to them. It is a question of neither belief nor of knowledge, but of the agreement of our thinking with the primordial images of the unconscious. They are the unthinkable matrices of all our thoughts, no matter what our conscious mind may cogitate. (1960/1969b, p. 403)

Achterberg (1994) states that the practice of medicine is filled with symbols that play an active role in healing. “If we take seriously the historical, multicultural, and scientific evidence for the role of imagination in both health and disease, it behooves us to begin to develop an ontology, or at least a taxonomy, of healing symbols.” She proposes that there is a biological, psychological, and transpersonal basis to explain the efficacy of symbols to represent what cannot be seen but is deeply felt and basic to all medical and spiritual traditions. "The activities of healing rituals invariably create nonordinary states of consciousness, and out of these states emerge the images and their symbolic overlay that fosters the wisdom, growth, beauty, and evolution of humankind.”

Although spirited, sometimes rancorous, debate exists within all academic fields, a review of the literature regarding Jung’s archetypal theory is filled with a multiplicity of divergent opinions. Arguments and counterarguments fill the pages of The Journal of Analytical Psychology and many other peer-reviewed journals. Scholars seem so anxious to prove or disprove Jung’s theories that they fail to see the profound relevance of archetypes in healing and contemporary culture, and might well dismiss these views as “new age” or “Jung light.” Yet, archetypes and the work of Jung continue to have a profound influence on popular literature that addresses health and wellbeing and the very human desire to transcend the limiting beliefs that prevent personal growth and transformation. Perhaps Hillman says it most profoundly when he states that we have had a hundred years of psychotherapy and we are not getting better (Hillman & Ventura, 1992). Jung recognizes, perhaps through his own deep work, that there is an inborn desire to seek greater knowledge that will lead to unification of the conscious and unconscious, the body, mind, and spirit. He clearly understood that everything living strives to be whole. He elaborates on this when he writes:

Probably in absolute reality there is no such thing as body and mind, but body and mind or soul are the same, the same life, subject to the same laws, and what the body does is happening in the mind. The contents of the neurotic unconscious are strange bodies, not assimilated, artificially split-off, and they must be integrated in order to become normal. (Jung, 1984, p.20)

Stein (2005) acknowledges this drive toward wholeness which is integral to the process of individuation, in which images and archetypes may “expand individuality in the direction of the Self, i.e., psyche’s wholeness, and they offer totally new options for feelings and action” (p. 11) that lend support in the journey toward wholeness.

Jungian analyst Bolen (1989, 2001, 2004) introduces the concept of archetypes to a wide popular audience, using archetypal theory to define how major differences in inner patterns shape interpersonal and intra-psychic conflicts. Drawing on the gods and goddesses of Greece and Rome, Bolen is able to articulate an accessible frame for personal growth and development that is found throughout the works of Jung and many Jungian scholars (cf. Neumann, 1970 & 1972; Edinger, 1972; Hillman, 1975; and Tarnas, 2006). Tarnas (2006), in his work Cosmos and Psyche, draws the connections between archetypes and numinous universal myths that are associated with the heavens:

The earliest form of the archetypal perspective, and in certain respects its deepest ground, is the primordial experience of the great gods and goddesses of the ancient mythic imagination. In this once universal mode of consciousness, memorably embodied at the dawn of Western culture in the Homeric epics and later in classical Greek drama, reality is understood to be pervaded and structured by powerful numinous forces and presences that are rendered to the human imagination as the divinized figures and narratives of ancient myth, often closely associated with the celestial bodies. (p. 80)

Archetypes and Medicine

Throughout the Collected Works Jung makes references to body-mind as a unit and states that when a complex is activated the emotion is felt in the body (cf. Jung, 1955; Corbett, 2011). Through his exploration of both Western and Chinese alchemy, he develops his theories within a framework that acknowledges the opposites contained within each of us, ultimately striving for wholeness. Jung pushes for an examination of the false or lesser aspects of a person so that the true Self can emerge through the process he identifies as individuation:

Nobody who finds himself on the road to wholeness can escape that characteristic suspension which is the meaning of crucifixion. For he will infallibly run into things that thwart and cross him: first, the thing he has no wish to be (the shadow); second, the thing he is not (the “other,” the individual reality of the You); and third, his psychic non-ego (the collective unconscious)…This urge to a higher and more comprehensive consciousness fosters civilization and culture, but must fall short of the goal unless man voluntarily places himself in its service. (1954/1966 pp. 262-263)

Stevens (2002) also identifies the formation of symptoms with the process of individuation. He sees illness as a creative act, the result of the psyche’s push toward growth and development, even in abnormal circumstances. Neurosis is thus to be conceived as a form of adaptation -- albeit an inferior adaptation -- of a potentially healthy organism responding to the demands of life. Edward Edinger (1991) relates symbols to illness. He identifies the important role that symbols play in the development of the human psyche and in understanding the roots of many physical illnesses. He likens symbols to something living, products of the archetypal psyche that are carriers of psychic energy. In order to cultivate a healthy inner life we must have a healthy symbolic life, for symbolic imagery supports the release and transformation of psychic energy. When we understand the archetypal foundation of a symptom, we are able to see the symbolic image behind it.

Alfred Ziegler (1983), in his work Archetypal Medicine, does not try to attribute scientific empiricism to archetypal medicine; rather, he states that it is both speculative and farfetched and invites a different perspective on the examination of relationships between health and disease. He proposes that health is not always our normal stage; disease is as well. Although he does not specifically relate his theories regarding archetypal medicine to Taoism or the practice of Oriental Medicine, he clearly states that “everything presents itself in oppositions, as part of polarities,” which is a fundamental principle of both Traditional Chinese Medicine and Five Element Theory. “Above and below reverse themselves readily; health and suffering manifest changeable symptoms; the actual and the potential cannot be clearly distinguished” (p. 3). Ziegler is one of many who identify the energy of the archetype as both psychological and physical (cf. Whitmont, 1993; Kreinheder, 2009; Kalsched, 1996; Corbett, 2011). Kreinheder (2009) states that the touch of archetypal energy is both sacred and profane, a psychic and physical experience during which miracles of healing are possible. “[T]here is no intervention with effects as dramatic as what may happen when mind meets body, when ego meets archetype, to create soul” (p. 29).

Ziegler (1983) offers a way to examine the relationship between archetypes and disease syndromes that can be applied to the practice of medicine:

Through the archetypes, everything is related to everything else and demonstrates common characteristics, analogies, and kinships. Another way of stating the same phenomenon is as the “Sympathy of All Things.” …. The kinship of diseases winds through all existence and, correspondingly, can be enriched, amplified, and evolved from myths, philosophies, and folklore medicine which, from earliest times, has served mankind as a way of understanding all that befell him. These patterns are not merely intellectual or spiritual perceptions of man’s destiny but can be taken quite literally, and can apply to medicine as well. (p. 47)

Corbett (2011) views image and affect as equally important. When we focus exclusively on image there is likely to be a mind-body split. Yet, archetypal expression in the body is a reality, states Corbett:

Painful complexes produce feelings of shame, guilt, anxiety, or depression, all of which express themselves as both bodily sensations and mental imagery. We tend to think of our complexes as psychological, for example, when we say that someone has an inferiority complex. However, when a complex is activated emotion invariably flares up and emotion is felt in the body. The presence of intense emotion automatically makes a situation meaningful. When a complex is activated, so too is the archetype at its core. This means that the archetype is not only a psychological presence; it is felt in the body in the form of the emotions generated by the complex. (pp. 277-278)

Edward Whitmont (1993) draws on the evidence contained in homeopathic proving to make the case for the relationship between the physical and the psychological. He identifies complexes as being contained in the entire body, including the acupuncture meridians and points. When the life force or qi flows freely, it is able to connect with the essence of the archetype so that healing occurs.

Archetypes and Oriental Medicine

The Five Phases in Oriental Medicine offer an elegant, detailed, and multidimensional description of a therapeutic approach to wholeness. Each phase is related to specific developmental and life tasks, emotions, and psycho-spiritual issues. The qi within the five phases has a natural self-regulatory quality which, when sensed, takes us out of the autobiographical or conceptual narratives of our experience into direct experience of an aspect of our essential self (cf. Dolowich, 2003; Dechar, 2006; Kaatz, 2005; Beinfield & Korngold, 2003; Kaptchuk, 2000; Carey, et al., 2010; Whitmont, 1993). This process can take clients quickly beyond limiting conceptualizations of their psychological and physical symptoms into direct contact with their own innate healing intelligence. Gary Dolowich (2003) integrates Five Element acupuncture and Jungian archetypal psychology. He equates the elements with universal archetypal images contained within the collective unconscious. For more than twenty-five years his practice has embraced the concepts of Jung, who, he states, clearly understood the connections between ancient Chinese wisdom and archetypes. With the practice of Oriental Medicine from a Taoist alchemical perspective, the body mind split is recognized as pathological; it prevents the free flow of qi and the transformation of energy between yin and yang. These splits and blockages are the cause of disease (Dechar, 2006).

Jung wrote extensively about Christianity, the gospels, and alchemy, and delved deeply into the Gnostic texts, encouraged to do so after reading and commenting on the Richard Wilhelm translation of The Secret of the Golden Flower (Jung, 1931). This Taoist alchemical text had a profound impact on Jung in the development of his theories regarding the psyche and archetypes. The psyche is comprised of forces that seek mutual accommodation and balance. His theory of individuation, and the development of his hypothesis regarding synchronicity, grew out of his investigation of the I-Ching. Jung found common ground in the Chinese intuitive sense of grasping the whole of a situation, which was in contrast with the more analytical and reductive Western approach (Clarke, 2000). Jung (1960/1969) wrote: “Unlike the Greek-trained Western mind the Chinese mind does not aim at grasping the details for their own sake, but at a view which sees the detail as part of the whole” (p. 34).

Rosen (1996) identifies many parallels between Jung’s psychology and Taoism. These include Jung’s identification of the duality of human nature, “manifest by yin/yang, dark/light, shadow/persona, evil/good, and feminine/masculine; the Great Mother as the origin of all things, The I Ching and synchronicity, the Tao and the Self; and the Way of integrity and individuation” (p. 9). Jung (1954/1964) equates the development of personality with the Tao: “To rest in Tao means fulfillment, wholeness, one’s destination reached, one’s mission done; the beginning, end, and perfect realization of the meaning of existence in all things. Personality is Tao” (p. 186).

Mythology and Archetypes

Myths are resonant frequencies that stand as powerful metaphors to connect us with the symbols, language, and gods of the heavens. They relate to specific religious, cultural, sociological, and psychological ideas; and they aid in understanding the nature of the universe. They serve as a binding force that lends order and structure, influences customs, and guides the development of behavior. Campbell (2007) states that, despite the cross-cultural differences, there is a common uniting theme in all myths, “a single symphony of the soul” (p. 221).

The value of myth is well articulated by James Hollis (1995), who states that in cultures with “vital mythic images” myths serve as a guide to aid and support the individual’s development of a sense of self, and they are initiated into their own soul mysteries (p.17). Moore (1996) reflects that myths rouse, promote deep emotions, and stir passion. “To live with a myth-tuned imagination is to see the world and one’s own life as enchanted and to have increased possibilities for a deeply based, passionate, and individual life” (p. 235). Krippner and Feinstein (2008) state that during this time of unprecedented change, it is of vital importance for psychotherapists to understand their personal myths and to aid clients in discovering the personal myths that shape their behavior. Although clinical relationships often encompass specific cultural roles and patterns that shape the relationship between practitioner and client, such as racism or social injustices, these too may be understood within the context of larger mythic and universal themes (Kirmayer, 2003, p. 253).

Corbett (2011) identifies the numinous quality of the archetype, calling it a spiritual principle “that embodies itself in the form of emotionally important, soulful experiences, which is a way that spirit enters the body” (p. 279). Through common language and themes, myths serve as guides to structure what unfolds in daily life, providing form and meaning. Jung further articulates the significance of myth in the creation of meaning:

The need for mythic statements is satisfied when we frame a view of the world which adequately explains the meaning of human existence in the cosmos, a view which springs from our psychic wholeness, from the co-operation between the conscious and unconscious. Meaninglessness inhibits fullness of life and is therefore equivalent to illness. Meaning makes a great many things endurable—perhaps everything. No science will ever replace myth, and a myth cannot be made out of any science. For it is not that “God” is a myth, but that myth is the revelation of a divine life in man. (Jung, 1961/1989, p. 340)

Richard Tarnas (2006) extrapolates from Plato to define myths as “absolute essences that transcend the empirical world yet give the world its form and meaning. They are timeless universals that serve as the fundamental reality informing every concrete particular” (p. 81). Hillman (1975) defines archetypes as mythic metaphors contained within the psyche that defy definition, although Jung might say that they are “unknowable in themselves.” Hillman contends that we know them “indirectly, metaphorically, and mythically” (p. 157). He expands on this and states that archetypes are the skeletal gods of the psyche, which defy definition and speak to the psyche in their own language: “[T]hey speak emotionally, dramatically, sensuously, fantastically” (p. 154).

Almost all mythology includes a creation story. In many, that creation story includes a great mother goddess or father god who represents the Earth. Virtually every culture has stories about creation, snakes and serpents, the sun and moon, water and fire, love, sex, death, and the underworld. The stories may vary, but the archetypes they represent remain the same. Stevens (2002) states that when we deepen our knowledge of myths and our myth making capability, we lend support to the quest for a more unified and cohesive world:

Myths provide an entire cosmology compatible with a culture's capacity for understanding, they establish a transcendent context for our brief existence here on earth, they validate the values which rule our lives, they ensure that cohesion of cultures and the worth of individuals by releasing an archetypal response at the deepest levels of our being, and they awaken in us a sense of participation in the mysterium tremendum et fascinans which pervades the relationship between the cosmos and the Self. (p. 41, italics in text)

Citing Jung, von Franz (1995) relates a story in which he stresses the importance of personal myths. “To have your own myth means to have suffered and struggled with a question until an answer has come to you from the depth of your soul” (p.12). She articulates that myths provide vital instinctive knowledge and our trust in them leads to health. Hillman articulates the relationship among archetypes, myths, and soul:

By setting up a universe, which tends to hold everything we do, see, and say in the sway of its cosmos, an archetype is best comparable with a God. And Gods, religions sometimes say, are less accessible to the senses and to the intellect than they are to the imaginative vision and emotion of the soul. (1976, xix)

Goodwyn (2012) identifies gods and spirits as powerful metaphorical symbols that originate from innate predispositions, which are often potent, highly charged emotional forces that impact thoughts, feelings, actions, and experience and can affect brain/body health. His investigation supports a neurobiological basis for many of Jung’s theories. This includes significant supporting research to demonstrate that “archetypal symbols are non-random, emotionally laden metaphorical constructs originating in the deep layers of the brain/mind as it interacts inextricably with the environment, which at its deepest level is highly conserved and universal” (p. 175).

The Snake: Archetypes, Myths, and Healing Themes

All of life originates in water, lakes, shallow pools, oceans, streams, and rivers; even human life emerges from the amniotic fluid of the mother. As the most primordial of creatures, the sinuous snake arises from the primal waters, imbuing our mythologies with images that are cosmic and sacred, depicting the creator, healer, and destroyer. As a symbol of eternal life, the snake has been likened to the moon shedding its skin to be born again, as it glides and undulates in and out of Earth’s watery depths. The serpent’s creative energy embodies the living substance of the Universe (Campbell, 1997). In our earliest creation myths it represents the feminine, our watery origins, and is the ultimate expression of yin.

Images of the serpent arise with the development of consciousness and the need to understand our origins. The heavenly serpent or uroborus, the circular snake biting its own tail, is an ancient symbol found in Egypt, Babylon, Phoenicia, India, Mexico, and in Navajo sand paintings. Erich Neumann (1954) identifies the uroborus as the round container, the maternal womb, the Great and Good Mother who provides nourishment, protects, and comforts. It is the union of masculine and feminine, “above and below, male and female, heaven and earth, God and world reflect one another and cannot be put apart” (p. 18).

Neumann also links the uroborus to the beginning time as depicted by the open circle of the wu chi. Walker (1983) links it with the Chinese pi-dragon, a symbol of the Universe that has been found carved on jade discs, which she states may have been an early prototype for the great Python and the Pythagoreans’ worship of pi as the mystic principal of the circle. The Aboriginal Negritos of southeastern Asia believed that the divine people known as Chinoi (Chinese) descended from the mighty serpent goddess Mat Chinoi, Mother of the Chinese. Her belly received the souls of the dead, and Shamans underwent the initiation of death and rebirth in her belly. Although the uroborus is often identified as a spontaneous expression of the snake, van der Sluijs and Peratt (2009) propose that its origins may be cosmological and may relate to an auroral phenomenon of plasma instability that occurred toward the end of the Neolithic period. These intense luminous and multi-colored lights of the aurora in the heavens may well have led to a near universal belief of a = Serpent God surrounding the Earth.

Regardless of her origins, the symbol of the snake is universal and deeply embedded in the human consciousness. Ancient cult images of a snake-headed Mother Goddess suckling her child were found in Ur and Erech and date to at least 4000 BC. Images of entwined snakes also appear frequently in Mesopotamian art and were carved in votive stones and placed near ponds to absorb the mana of the water (Haul and Puleston, 1996). Mesopotamians believed that the S shape of the intertwined snakes corresponded to sickness and convalescence, and was an omen and hallmark of sickness and the cure. This image, which reaches back to prehistory, is contained within all of us:

It has the shape of a double, serpentine spiral and contains the secret of life’s regeneration. It lies with us as a memory, a vestige, a reflection of the royal couple of snakes from whose union the world was born. (Szczeklik, 2005)

These images have come to represent the fecundity of Earth, the fertile ground and the sacred waters that offer healing. Kadru, an Indian Serpent Goddess, gave birth to the cobra people or Nagas, a race of snakes that guard the Earth’s waters and all the treasures and secret teachings. They were depicted as water-serpents or mermaids and mermen, male and female deities who were human from the waist up with long serpentine tails that were often entwined. Above them is a hood or canopy of multiple cobra heads. They were responsible for guarding the great treasures and secret teaching in underwater sanctuaries (Walker, 1983; Haul and Puleston, 1996). This imagery might be likened to that of Sedna, the Inuit goddess who resides at the bottom of the sea. Shamans even to this day will go into a trance and journey into the ocean’s depths to seek wisdom about the cause of an illness and petition for the needs of the living (Achterberg, 1985).

The Egyptian God Thoth and the Greek God Hermes are also linked to serpents. Serpents guarded The Book of Thoth in an underwater palace (Walker, 1983). These serpentine images also influenced Hindu and Buddhist art and can be found in the extensive mythology about Vishnu who was known as Lord of the Waters. He sleeps on Sesha, the world serpent who forms a couch upon which Vishnu rests between the ages. This image is not so different from that of the Buddha sitting in deep meditation beneath the Bodhi tree upon a coiled up snake. The worship of snakes or Nagas in India preceded the Buddha by at least five hundred years. This is just one example of a blending of belief systems to gain acceptance of a new form of worship. (Additional examples are provided below.) Gimbutus (1998) identifies snakes as the guardians of life from prehistory and provides numerous examples of snake imagery from the Upper Paleolithic, Mesolithic, and Neolithic period. In some myths a male serpent deity becomes the phallic partner of the Great Mother; as the mother’s original mate, he aids in creation through fertilization. However, his arrogance does him in. A Pelasgian creation myth dating to the Neolithic period describes just such a union.

Eurynome, the Goddess of All Things, emerges from chaos and divides the sea from the sky to dance among the waves. Her fluid ecstatic movement forms the winds that flow around her. Reaching out with her hands she clasps the wind of the North, and the great snake Ophion is born. Carefree and wild, she dances on. Ophion, captivated by her fluidity, is unable to contain himself. He entwines himself around the limbs of the Goddess and impregnates her. In the form of white dove, she lays the Universal egg and instructs Ophion to coil around it seven times until it hatches and splits in half. It is from this egg that all life is formed. Although it is believed by some that they ruled side-by-side, it is written that Ophion oversteps his welcome when he claims authorship of all of creation. Greatly vexed, Eurynome banishes him to the Underworld and, without his assistance, demonstrates her true creative ability by giving birth to the planets (Graves, 1960).

In other creation myths, The Great Mother gives birth to herself and the cosmos through parthenogenesis. All life emerges from the egg, which splits in two to represent the polarities of the Universe— male and female, yin and yang, hot and cold, sun and moon, day and night, each a complement to the other and representative of the ever-changing balance that maintains harmony in the cosmos. The creator Goddess and her snake are so deeply a part of women’s culture that images are found in cave drawings, pottery, ancient coins, artwork, and jewelry from around the world. In Egypt, Uraeus is the divine cobra who protects the sun god Ra. The image of a golden cobra appears in royal headdresses and was part of ceremony and rituals. The iconic hieroglyphic image of the cobra also represents the Goddess. Isis, the principal goddess of ancient Egypt, was associated with the moon and also known as a serpent goddess. In one myth she sends a serpent to poison Ra so that he will reveal his name; with this knowledge her powers become even greater. Atum was also worshipped in Egypt as the great creator serpent emerging from primordial waters to create the world (Archer, 2008).

In Australia, the rainbow serpent regulates all of the waters above and below including the clouds and rain, pools, waterfalls, and floods. Grove (1999) finds evidence of a goddess religion equated with the Rainbow Serpent of mythology on sacred aboriginal land in the Northern Territory of Australia. This rock art is dated to between 6000 and 8000 years ago. One Rainbow Serpent myth describes the birthing process. The dollar bird releases the eggs from the Rainbow Serpent, and they rush from her body to all of the waterholes, where spirit children emerge. The Rainbow Serpent is also found in ancient myths as well as present-day religions in Africa, Oceania, and the Americas, where the rainbow is believed to be the celestial serpent creator of all things (Archer, 2008). In ancient Persia, the rainbow was identified as a celestial serpent; and Native Americans have called the Milky Way the path of the serpent.

Plains and Pueblo Natives refer to the Earth Navel from which sacred waters and spiritual strength emerge. Among the Tewa there is a legend of the horned water serpent that controls the water of the river. In Pueblo traditions the snake is often associated with fertility, springs, clouds, and water; and both the bird and snake are important ceremonial symbols. This association can be found among the Toltec as Quetzalcoatl, the plumed serpent, and in Kukulcan, the Mayan equivalent (Laski, 1958). A snakebird goddess was worshipped as early as 6500 BC in southeastern and central Europe. Images of the world tree, the snake, and the bird can also be linked to India and China. The snake, rising up the spine, floods the brain with illumination (Sjöö and Mor, 1987). Campbell (2003) links the most ancient tradition of Oriental mysticism to the serpent and the practice that is known as Kundalini, which means “the coiled up one.” The coiled serpent resides at the base of the spine, which is often pictured as a tree with seven centers of spiral energy known as chakras. The serpent rises from the base of the spine, up through each of the chakras to awaken us from spiritual slumber. The journey of the serpent is rigorous, requiring discipline, breath, meditation, specific postures, and engagement of the body, mind, and heart.

The shedding of the snake’s skin has come to be associated with renewal, rebirth, and immortality. Even modern Western medicine is imbued with symbols that include the snake-entwined staff, or caduceus, attributed to both Asclepius and Hermes. The winged staff entwined with two snakes was given to Hermes by his brother Apollo and has been used as a symbol of medicine for hundreds of years. However, like many symbols, this image may well go back to ancient Egypt and the Ibis-headed god Thoth. Hermes acquires both the qualities of the bird and the more chthonic serpent-like abilities. He flies swiftly between the worlds and transports souls to the underworld. Hermes’ winged intertwined snakes may also be viewed as a symbol of harmony and transcendence; the serpent is equivalent to Earth and the bird to air, which, when combined, miraculously transform polar opposites to a complementary and harmonious union (Henderson, 2003).

Apollo was also known as the god of healing and death; and one of his attributes was the snake. However, it is his son Asclepius who comes to be known as the Greek god of healing and takes this position from his father around the fifth century BC. His emblem is the single wooden snakeentwined staff. Asclepius may have originally been a snake-god; when shrines were dedicated to him, a snake was part of the dedication ceremony. His oldest known temple was in Thessaly; his daughter was Hygeia; and he was fostered by and learned the art of healing from the wise centaur Chiron. The lasting legacy of his teacher is that of the wounded healer, who transcends his own wounding. The mythic and archetypal qualities of Chiron provide a framework to aid in understanding the urge toward wholeness. Chiron represents the desire to address deep psychological wounds, physical and psychological scars, abuse, trauma, injuries, or illness that are slow to heal, and old patterns that inhibit personal progress (Franklin, 2011; Carey, et al., 2010).

The staff of Asclepius may well represent the sacred tree. In chthonian religions of ancient Greece, the tree was a link between the underworld and life on earth, and the snake were revered as a symbol of life, growth, health, fertility, and eternity (Ménez, 2003). Asclepian dream temples were sacred, located near springs and waters; and the snakes that were incorporated into healing may have been kept in labyrinths beneath the temples (Kirmayer, 2003). Doctors in antiquity called themselves asclepiades.

However, with the suppression of both pagan and female cultures, serpents began to take on a more negative connotation and lose their connection to healing and creation. This can be found in the Greco Roman Myths and in the changing nature of both Judaic and Christian doctrine. Among these myths is the story of the great Python, a child of Gaia charged with protection of Delphi, including the sacred springs, the Omphalos (navel stone) of Earth, and the prophetess Sibyl. Apollo slays the Python and takes control of Delphi away from Gaia. Another classical myth describes the evil Gorgon Medusa who turns men to stone; beheaded by Perseus, her head is brought back to Athens. Far earlier stories of Medusa identify her as the serpent-goddess of the Libyan Amazons who represents female wisdom and was the mother of all Gods. The story of Perseus may have been invented to account for Medusa’s head being on the shield of Athena. Classically, Athena is represented as a goddess of wisdom, arts and crafts, and a great strategist. This is likely an attempt to redefine the pre-Hellenic Goddess who was called Neith in Egypt and Athene in North Africa. Born of the Three Queens of Libya, this Triple Goddess was believed to be the mother of all Gods. “A female face surrounded by serpent-hair was an ancient, widely recognized symbol of divine female wisdom, and equally of the ‘wise blood’ that supposedly gave women their divine power” (Walker, 1983, p. 692). Similarly the serpent was worshipped in Palestine among the early Hebrews. The Leviathans were known as the sons of the Great Serpent, who was worshipped in combination with the Goddess of the moon. The Hebrew word Seraph has been translated to mean a divine fiery serpent, but it had a much earlier definition as an earth-fertilizing snake and later came to be identified as an angel. The Pyramid texts identify the serpent as offering the knowledge of eternal life, and the Gnostic texts praised the serpent of Eden for bringing knowledge to humanity (Walker, 1983). However, the serpent ultimately is cast as evil, leading us to temptation. The story we most remember is Eve being led astray by the evil serpent in the Garden of Eden.

Despite the denigration of the snake, it stands as a universal symbol that is deeply embedded in the human psyche and remains a powerful feminine symbol of creativity and healing. Jung (1984) identifies snakes as relating to the Earth, the chthonic side of our psychological life and the sympathetic nervous system. He also cites the Gnostic belief that the snake is a spiritual God who teaches people to escape the curse of the unconscious. Jung equates the snake with an unfolding of the mind and with the potential to be the greatest benefactor of knowledge to deepen our understanding of life itself. Archetypes, symbols, and myths provide us with the language and images to remember the wisdom of the ancients and unite the arts with medicine.

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Vibrational Healing - The Therapeutic Use of Sound and Music

18 Jul, 2012
Vibrational Healing - The Therapeutic Use of Sound and Music

By Ellen F. Franklin, PhD
Massage Magazine, July 2012

“I have been using sound therapeutically since 1984, when I began my practice in massage therapy,” said massage therapist Carmen Cicotti of Lopez Island, Washington. “I remember my teacher selecting pieces of music that displayed transcendental qualities, from synthetic, ethereal compilations to simple cultural instrumental pieces and the sounds of nature.”

Cicotti views music as a universal language, a carrier wave, that supports the body in an actual rhythmic unwinding of muscle constriction, fibrous adhesions of collagen and scar tissue. “The massage itself is musical in nature, especially when you incorporate rhythmic motions, such as tapotement, cross-fiber friction, rocking, effleurage and petrissage, she said. “Each of these approaches creates an intricately woven, delicate symphony that harmonizes with the client’s breath.”

Although Cicotti is trained in massage, craniosacral, shiatsu, nutritional therapy and reiki, she believes the direct application of sound to the body through tuning forks, Tibetan bowls and other sound healing instruments is the most effective therapy she utilizes.

“I feel I am creating sound paintings, similar to the sand paintings created by Tibetan monks,” Cicotti said. “Each treatment is its own symphony, no two are ever alike, and people get off my table and say they can’t believe how they feel­—[that] it was just like a massage, but better.”

Addressing Stress

This perception that sound vibration and music has specific benefits is supported by a growing body of research that supports the beneficial effects of sound and music to facilitate healthy functioning, boost immune function, reduce pain, combat stress, facilitate relaxation and promote well-being.

The use of music for healing dates back at least as far as ancient Greece, where Apollo was the god of both medicine and music, and it was believed music could retune the body to wholeness, restoring vital rhythms. Today, sound and music are used in many health care environments, including palliative care, pediatric oncology, in the background during surgical procedures, and to support the critically ill and those in transition.

Music has also been shown to reduce stress, which is a major factor in illness. Although practitioners cannot eradicate the conditions that cause stress, the use of sound and music techniques combined with massage provides support to people in their efforts to reduce physical pain, relax and come into proper relationship with the stressors in their lives.

Stress occurs when environmental demands exceed our ability to adapt and cope, and it often results in physiological and psychologically measurable events. Small amounts of stress may have positive outcomes, such as arousing us to act when in damage or helping us to become more resilient. However, far too common life events, such as work conflicts, financial concerns, injury and loss of a loved one, can impact a person’s health and well-being.

Everything in the universe is in a complex, rhythmic structural pattern of vibrational activity.

People often seek massage practitioners because of physical pain that may be exacerbated by severe stress in their lives. When we live in a state of constant stress, there are direct biological effects that increase the risk of disease. If the brain perceives danger, it engages the sympathetic nervous system, hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and inflammatory response. Interaction within these systems is bidirectional so that chronic stress and our immune response are interconnected, increasing the risk of inflammation, neurodegeneration and autoimmune disease.

The Language of Sound

The language of sound and music is filled with rich metaphors that aid in the understanding of its efficacy. Resonance, vibration, harmony, frequency, attunement and rhythm are all terms used to explore the concept of a musical universe.

Everything in the universe is in a complex, rhythmic structural pattern of vibrational activity. Within the body, there are biological rhythms that govern organic life. Lungs dilate and contract every three seconds; the heart beats 70 times per minute; the stomach contracts three times per minute; the ovaries release an egg every 28 days; the life span of red corpuscles is 128 days. Every organ, bone and tissue in the body has its own resonant frequency. Through resonance, it is possible for the vibrations of one body to reach out and touch or activate another body.

When things are in harmony, we experience a sense of coherence that is also achieved through certain combinations of sounds, which we perceive as pleasing. However, not all sounds are pleasing; some discordant sounds can be used to break up stagnation in the body, clear energetic blockages and reduce scar tissue. Some practitioners will work with rattles and drums using a staccato beat over the body to break up stagnation in the tissues.

The body will also entrain to certain vibrations and rhythms. Entrainment is the natural predisposition for the human body and its physiological processes to respond to and synchronize with both internal and external environments, including sounds and rhythms.

One example of this is the use of rhythmic drumming, which acts as a focus for concentration and breath, and is also used in shamanic work to facilitate altered state of consciousness. Nursing literature describes the principle of entrainment being used with premature twins. One twin was thriving and the other had a weak heart rhythm. Placed in the same incubator, the heart of the ill twin entrained to the heart of the healthy twin. Our bodies have the ability to entrain to certain sounds and to be transformed as a result.

Water and Sound

Water provides another important key to the efficacy of sound vibration. The human body is approximately 70 percent water our brain is 80 percent water, the lungs and heart are 75 percent water and our blood is about 50 percent water. Sound travels four times faster in water than in air, which makes the human body a natural sound resonator.

“Sound has transformed my practice and the experience of my clients,” stated Maren Good, N.C.T.M.B., a Westfield, New Jersey, massage therapist and reflexologist. Good incorporates tuning forks, gongs and Tibetan singing bowls into her clinical practice. She believes the use of sound tools provides greater pain relief and a profound sense of peace and relaxation for her clients.

“The use of sound, specifically Acutonics planetary tuning forks and Tibetan metal singing bowls, accesses deep levels of the musculoskeletal system,” Good said. “[Sound] not only prepares the way for manual therapy, but it immediately invites the client into a deeper state of receptivity.”

“I use tuning forks to aid in releasing muscle spasms, to bring relief from chronic conditions and on trigger points,” she added. “I always find a greater degree of pain relief when I incorporate the use of these sound tools.”

According to Good, playing a singing bowl placed on the sacrum effectively disperses low back pain. “The sound tools that I use always deliver greater pain relief for my clients while also giving them a profound sense of peace and relaxation,” she added.

In addition to her clinical practice, Good teaches at the Therapeutic Massage and Training Center in Westfield, New Jersey, where she introduces massage students to innovative ways to bring sound into their bodywork practice.

Sound and music provide many opportunities for your own self-care and client education.

Healing Music

The massage practitioners I spoke with have favorite music selections, but their choices are primarily instrumental and include Native American flute, gongs, Tibetan bowls, classical selections, sounds of nature and New Age music.

However, when working with a range of sound healing tools, many practitioners do not use background music but let the tools themselves create the sound envelope in the treatment space.

If you use music, it is also important to pay attention to the selection and volume. While traveling recently, I had a massage at the property where I stayed. The music piped into the treatment rooms was loud, repetitive and jarring. Despite the skill of the practitioner, my experience was diminished because of the music.

Sound and music provide many opportunities for our own self-care and client education. Consider suggesting specific pieces of music to promote relaxation. Tuning forks also lend themselves to client education. You also have an opportunity to teach your clients some basic techniques for self-care between visits to your office.

Greater Resonance

Barrie Andrews is a sound healer who specializes in Acutonics, shiatsu and Craniosacral Therapy near Taos, New Mexico. She holds certifications in medical, oncology and sports massage, and is a reiki master. Her early training was in medical massage, when there was a strong focus on the no-pain-no-gain philosophy. Today, she believes the incorporation of sound-based therapies into her clinical practice helped reorient her work to more gently support her clients’ joyful discovery of their own strength and healing capacity to bring their bodies into balance.

“I believe [sound healing] has changed my life and my practice,” Andrews said. “Using high quality tuning forks has tremendous benefit in injury prevention… I can often effect much greater and quicker relaxation in the local tissue prior to massaging the site.”

Andrews said sound healing makes it easier for her to perform fascial work, circulatory work and, most notably, to prevent injury to herself and her client when performing deep work.

“I feel the vibrations of the tuning forks in my hands, and find that even when I have done trigger point or cross-fiber friction, I feel vibrant when I complete a session,” she added. “I am attuned, more balanced and in greater resonance.”

The integration of sound and music into your clinical practice has the potential to transform your practice. It provides a deeper level of relief to your clients with less effort, while supporting them to come into physical resonance, harmony, balance, and an enhanced sense of physical and emotional well-being.

Finding our Place in the Universe through the Archetypal Lens of the Tree

15 Aug, 2011
Finding our Place in the Universe through the Archetypal Lens of the Tree

Ellen F. Franklin, PhD
Oriental Medicine Journal, 2011
All of the photos used to illustrate the article were taken by Ellen Franklin in her travels.

Ellen developed this article through an independent study that arose from a four-day seminar facilitated by Saybrook faculty member Dr. Ruth Richards, entitled Finding Our Place in the Universe: Believing in Einstein, Darwin, and God.

This article explores strategies to deepen our connection to the natural world, with a particular focus on the archetypal significance, correspondences, and cross-cultural symbolism of the tree. I propose that trees provide us with a way to access our relationship to the greater universe, and to understand the correspondences among the human body, the Earth body, and the heavens. Does our understanding of the philosophical tenet as above so below, as within so without take on new significance and meaning when we examine the inherent nature of the trees that surround us? Does deepening our understanding of the wisdom and mythos of trees provide a lens to embrace the wisdom of Nature, expand consciousness, and develop new ways to cope with the rapidly accelerating Earth changes? Can trees help us to remember what it means to be whole? An exploration of trees, ecopsychology, depth psychology, Jungian archetypes and symbols, in the context of my work with Oriental Medicine and sound vibration, provides a foundation for this inquiry.

The Tree of The Serpent Goddess
The Serpent Goddess carries the earth on her head.
Disturb her, and the whole earth shakes with fearful earthquakes.
A tree grows silently above the Serpent Goddess,
who gathers up the entire earth and guards
her precious eggs inside her coils
(Shyam, Bai, & Urveti, 2006).

The trees outside my window beckon, inviting me to come out and play amidst their waiting arms. Walking in the high alpine forest near my home, cycles of death and renewal are everywhere. Decaying trees provide homes for animals, insect colonies, moss, and fungus. From the seeds of the giant nearby pines, I discover a nursery of baby pines. When I long for the ocean of my youth, the wind in the aspens reminds me of the waves’ ebbs and flows, and I find solace. Ancient hieroglyphics embedded in the bark hold nature’s secrets and mysteries from the ages. Trees speak to one another. They stand as governors of the world, ultimately controlling life on land and in the oceans; they are a key to our survival (Tudge, 2006).

Carl Jung described the forest as dark and impenetrable, likening it to the sea, the unknown, mysterious, a synonym for the unconscious. Standing within Jung’s forest is the mighty oak, which he describes as the prototype of the self, a symbol of the source and goal of individuation that represents the unconscious core of the personality (Jung, 1967). Jung wrote a great deal about the tree, relating it to the mandala, which he interprets as representing a cross section of the self, while the tree is the self in profile, symbolizing the process of growth (CW 13, Para. 304).

Individuation is a primary theme in Jungian psychology. It is a life-long journey toward center, a place of meaning and fulfillment where people are able to accept who they are and find balance among their disparate parts (Franz, 1998).

In my own work with Oriental Medicine and sound vibration, there is a deep recognition that the Earth body and the human body are interrelated systems which must be brought into proper balance to achieve resonance among body, mind, and spirit. I propose that an archetypal understanding of trees will help to illuminate the journey toward individuation, fostering the development of a deeper ecological consciousness and enhanced well-being.

Jung identified archetypes as being timeless; expressed through dreams, myths, and fairy tales, they reside in the collective unconscious. All mythology, legends, and fairy tales might be viewed as a projection from the collective (Jung, 1980). Marie-Louise von Franz writes that within the threads of these simple stories we are provided with a pure view of the psychic processes of the collective unconscious (1996, pp. 1- 2). Ultimately, each story, filled with turmoil, and travail, leads to the discovery of the Self (1996, p.197). These patterns of energy that reside in our psyche, when examined for the hidden yet universal messages, provide keys to the processes of individuation in our journey toward wholeness.

…the self has somewhat the character of a result, of a goal attained, something that has come to pass very gradually and is experienced with much travail. So too the self is our life’s goal, for it is the completest expression of that fateful combination we call individuality, the full flowering not only of the single individual, but of the group, in which each adds his portion to the whole (Jung, 1972).

From a Jungian perspective, archetypes are unknowable. Their existence is inferred from their manifestations. It is the specific attributes to which archetypes give rise that make the image of the tree so powerful; it comes into manifest form through ritual and spiritual traditions from the earliest time. There are numerous parallels, consistent images, rituals, and traditions that extend across the centuries and are experienced regardless of class, creed, race, geographical location, or historical time.

All such universal patterns of behavior are evidence of archetypes at work. The point is that what any one of us experiences in life is not determined merely by our personal histories. It is also fundamentally guided by the collective history of the human species as a whole. This collective history is biologically encoded in the collective unconscious, and the code owes its origins to a past so remote as to be shrouded in the primordial mists of evolutionary time (Stevens, 2002).

Trees provide for humanity, giving us fire, shelter, a way to cross water, and the means for transportation, including wheels, carts, bridges, and boats (Hageneder, 2005). They symbolize birth, death, and renewal, standing as powerful symbols of growth, maturation, reach, and grounding. “The tree shows us how, from a tiny, bare seed of potential, the self can come into existence, centered and contained, around which occur incessant processes of metabolism, multiplying, perishing, and self renewal” (The book of symbols, 2010). Trees tell us stories of what it means to be sturdy, to create, to change with the seasons, flourish, and hold space. Our bodies physically resemble trees with our differently shaped trunks, our legs rooting us to the Earth, and our arms stretching out to the sky. As children we grew stronger and more dexterous as we climbed trees, or lived in them, creating tree houses, or magical swings from which we are able to jump into the lake or river.

Contained within the tiny seed we also find the potential of the entire  Universe. The tree stands as a connectionto all life, reaching up to the heavens, its roots stretching down to the deep realm of Hades. In this imagery, it is easy to imagine the tree’s archetypal association with spiritual growth linking us to the development that occurs deep within the murky darkness of our roots, to the growth and peace that comes from the harmonic resonance of being in alignment with the seasons and the cycles of nature. Each leaf, branch, and twig offers up a unique form, yet is part of a greater whole, a dynamic system of infinite possibilities for growth and transformation (Richards, 2001).

On every continent, and in most religious traditions, there are images of sacred groves as places of sanctuary, or as home to the varied species of trees associated with the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge (Hageneder, 2005). Imagery of trees is found in many fairy tales collected by the brothers Grimm, including The Handless Maiden, in which an orchard and a sacred grove aid the beautiful young maiden who was betrayed by her father, the miller. Seeking wealth, the miller makes a bargain with the devil. When the devil comes to claim her, she is protected by her virtue and purity. Furious, the devil commands the father to chop off her hands, which he does to protect himself.

The maiden, severed hands strapped to her back, sets off on her own, wandering through the forest. Hungry and tired she comes upon a king’s protected orchard, which is filled with beautiful ripe pears. Her angel of protection assists her in crossing the mote into the garden where she is able to eat a single pear. The king eventually weds her and, through a series of events orchestrated by the devil, she is cast out again and finds solace in a sacred grove. It is here where her true healing begins and her severed hands grow back (Grimm & Grimm, 1994).

Cross-cultural mythology is filled with images that demonstrate the deep significance of trees. In the Mexican and Mayan cultures, the world-tree stands at the center of the universe, its roots in water and its branches reaching up to Heaven. The Yggdrasil of Norse mythology is a giant Ash tree that shelters the world. Among the Druids, the mighty oaks are a source of knowledge, wisdom, durability, power, and truth. The oak was also associated with Zeus, the Thunder God, as it is struck by lightening more than any other tree (Hageneder, 2005; Powell, 1982). When Phaeton is unable to control the four-horse chariot of the sun and the Earth is being destroyed, Zeus shoots him down with a thunderbolt. The nymphs who recovered Phaeton’s body were so bereft that they became trees and wept over him. Their tears became amber, the fossilized resin of trees (Carey, Franklin, Ponton, Ponton, & MichelAngelo, 2010).

The story of the generosity and abiding love between Philemon and Baucis is told in Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Although poor beyond measure, this loving couple invite two strangers into their home and offer them a respite, meal, and drink from their meager provisions. The strangers are Jupiter and Mercury, turned away from many other homes before being invited into this humble dwelling. As a reward for their kindness Jupiter turns their hut into a magnificent home and asks what other gift he might bestow upon them. They had only one wish, that their lives should end at exactly the same time so that they never would have to live without each other. After serving Jupiter for many long years, they were simultaneously changed into an oak tree and a linden tree; standing side-by-side, they lend shade and support to each other, representing one of the most enduring love stories of all time (Carey et al., 2010). They also provide a glimpse into the immortal nature of trees, where some species live for hundreds if not thousands of years.

Despite the rise in patriarchal cultures, The Tree of Life is often associated with the divine female and is related to the Mother Goddess, the mother of creation, birth, and healing, linking Heaven, Earth, the Underworld, and all of life (Hageneder, 2005; Neumann, 1974). In many myths the Tree of Life emerges from the symbolic center of the Universe, the world navel from which all things emerge (Campbell, 2008).

As depicted in The Tree of The Serpent Goddess, quoted above, we are provided with an image of the tree as feminine and maternal. It can also serve as a place of birth, transformation, and renewal. Leto gave birth to Apollo and Artemis under a palm; the holy tree shaded Maya, at the birth of the Buddha. In the Hebrew tradition, Adam was created out of the Earth of the Tree of Life; and in this mythic representation you might view Adam as standing in the same relationship to the tree of life as the Buddha to the Bodhi Tree (Jung, 1967).

Trees are a source of herbal remedies, food, and drugs, and were an integral part of the early medicine of Hildegard von Bingen, a twelfth-century Benedictine abbess who was a visionary, mystic, healer, and musician. She wrote extensively about the use of plants, trees, and the elements; and she advocated a balanced life, and time in the natural world, as being key to well-being (Streholw & Hertzka, 1988; Von Bingen, 1998). One of her most beautiful musical compositions, O nobilissima Viriditas, is about the sanctity and beauty of the natural world.

In Medieval alchemical texts the tree represents the transformation process, occurring continually and constantly. Jung, citing Zosimos, writes that “a well tended tree, a watered plant, which beginning to ferment because of the plentiful water and the sprouting in the humidity and warmth of the air, puts forth blossoms and fruits by virtue of the great sweetness and special quality of nature” (CW 13, Para. 354). The tree became a central symbol of alchemy because it depicts an intense inner life, follows its own laws, and can come to represent the evergreen of the individual. Awakening to new life, suffering, mythic suspension, sacrifice, ordeal, execution, and reversal are all aspects of the tree. It holds us in death, serving as a place of burial, bodies cradled in the tree’s outstretched limbs, or curled up in a hollowed out trunk like an embryo awaiting rebirth. The tree stands here for eternity reaching down into the underworld and up into the heavens (The book of symbols, 2010).

It is not surprising that Mercury comes to be associated with alchemy, as there are often connections made between the mythological Mercury/Hermes and the semi-mystical, thrice born, Hermes Trismegistus, who is credited with writing,

True it is, without falsehood, certain and most true. That which is above is like to that which is below, and that which is below is like to that which is above, to accomplish the miracles of one thing. And as all things were by contemplation of one, so all things arose from the one thing by a single act of adaptation (Linden, 2003).

This vision of a straight tree touching the heavens and connecting back to Earth has been likened to the axis mundi, the cosmic pillar that reaches up to the heavens, around which the entire universe revolves (Powell, 1982).

Eliade provides us with a prospective on the Cosmic Tree as the pillar of the world, arising from a central point that connects the three cosmic regions and provides access to the sky, or primordial paradise. In other cultures, it is a ladder made from the wood of a sacred tree. The imagery of the Cosmic Tree or World Tree is found throughout the ancient world. It is present in Oriental civilizations, in Babylon, Nippur, and Larsa. It is also found in India, Central and North Asiatic shamanism, and in the Americas. Eliade proposes that the cosmic axis, the seven celestial spheres (representing the seven known planets), the chakras, and the central pillar, which reaches from a central point toward the Pole star, are images which relate to and are contained within the mandala (Eliade, 1991).

Clearly, the depth of this universal imagery is one of the reasons that the mandala has proven so powerful therapeutically. Jung believed that it reduces confusion, brings order, balance, and wholeness; it also has the capacity to create awareness of the collective unconscious as an autonomous entity (1990, CW 9.1 Para. 645). “The mandala shows, then, the union of opposites and is embedded between yang and yin, heaven and  earth, the state of everlasting balance and the immutable duration” (Para. 637).

In some approaches to the Five Element theory of Oriental Medicine, the human body is also viewed as a mandala; the Earth element is placed in the center surrounded by the elements of Wood, Fire, Metal, and Water. Through the theory of correspondences, which is integral to Chinese philosophy, the body is likened to a garden. Disease of any kind arises when the body’s equilibrium is out of balance, or there is a disharmonious pattern. Just as a tree will not prosper when there is a lack of sunlight, depletion of soil, or insufficient moisture, the life force energy of the human, our Qi, requires that each of the elements be in proper relationship (Beinfield & Korngold, 1991). Often an imbalance will occur during a particular season, which will weaken that element in the person’s energy. The Earth element is associated with late summer, with the harvest and the tempting smell of sweet fruits as mother Earth offers her bounty to us without hesitation (Kaatz, 2009). An imbalance in the Earth Element will result in low energy, lack of immune function, general deficiency, stagnation, stress, and constriction. There might be pain in the sacrum, legs, feet, and hips, a lack of grounding, or not feeling centered and connected to the Earth (Carey & De Muynck, 2007; Carey et al., 2010).

Anthony Stevens identifies eating from The Tree of Knowledge and the subsequent expulsion from the Garden of Eden as a parable for the emergence of ego-consciousness; harmonious unity is lost as Adam and Eve discover that the dualistic nature of the world outside the garden contains good and evil, love and hate, pleasure and pain. “The Garden of Eden is, of course, a mandala, with its four rivers and Tree of Life at the centre” (Stevens, 2002).

We have all been expelled from the Garden of Eden, after eating of the Earth’s bountiful harvest. It manifests within us as increased stress, and feelings of deep loss. No longer are we able to experience harmonious unity with the natural world. It is as though the axis mundi split when we were expelled from the Garden. Is there a way to shift something that is so deeply embedded in our psyche to foster eco consciousness rather than ego consciousness? Solutions to the current internal and external environmental crises call for us to remember the wisdom of the tree. Standing in a sacred grove amidst the giant pines or quaking aspen, there are natural harmonies and beauty that remind us of the inter-relatedness of all things (Richards, 2001).

Michio Kaku uses a musical analogy to explore the laws of physics, relating them to harmony. “The universe is a symphony of strings. And the ’Mind of God,’ which Einstein wrote eloquently about [sic], is cosmic music resonating throughout hyperspace”(Kaku, 2005).

The resonant patterns that reside in our earliest understanding of trees offer a ladder of wisdom to climb out of the current global environmental mess and to access the deep insights of the cosmos (Walsh & Vaughan, 1993). By tending our own internal garden and  rebalancing the Earth element within us, there is the possibility of returning to the Garden.

Just as the acorn contains the potential of the giant oak, the archetypal tree provides a frame for deep transformation of our interior landscape, which demands a reexamination of our relationship to the Earth. Kuhn proposes that the transformation of human consciousness arises from expanding our definition from one of vertical transcendence to recognition that true transformation is rooted in the cosmos. “A wider identification with the natural world, through an awareness of our interdependence and interconnectedness with it, transforms human consciousness horizontally. In ecological-humanistic psychology, self-actualization involves Self-realization, a widening and deepening of the self” (Kuhn, 2001).

One way to develop an ecological consciousness is through direct experiences with nature, exploring the plants, animals, and beauty of the natural forest. Swan points out that the vast majority of contemporary psychology fails to recognize the critical importance of this relationship. Without careful fostering, and recognition of our unique kinship with the natural world, that we are not over nature but a part of nature, we can neither control nor fight the processes, which continue to unfold; and catastrophic crises are likely to continue.

Growing sensitivity to our ecological peril— which most deeply is a crisis of consciousness and culture—may call forth transformations in awareness and social practice, changes that foster healthy, just, and intimate relationships between humankind and the natural world. Just as a mutually enhancing relationship between people depends on ongoing experiential contact and renegotiation of the relationship based on such experience, so also in our relationships with the rest of nature (Adams, 2006).

John Davis identifies the need for a fundamental shift in our relationship with nature, which is based on the recognition of nonduality between human and nature.

In virtually all the descriptions of nonduality throughout the world’s spiritual wisdom traditions, nonduality has been seen not as an end to action, but as the beginning of a new source of action that does not place self-interest (no matter how expanded) at the center” (Davis, 1998).

In her exploration of the adaptive qualities found in the beauty of nature Ruth Richards identifies humans as “open systems in resonant interaction with our world.” She proposes that we are capable of reframing our relationship to nature through recognition of the resonant structures, beauty, and the fractal forms found there. Nature can change us, increase our awareness, and help us to recognize our integral role in the complex systems, which are part of coming into alignment with the greater whole (Richards, 2001).

Encouraging people to deepen their connection to the natural world and to recognize that the body is part of an integral system and is connected to the greater whole is key to my work with Oriental Medicine and sound vibration. The cosmic axis or central pillar of the tree can be found in the trunk of the human body. It is represented in the chakras, which rise from the root to the crown of the head. In Oriental Medicine it is represented in the combination of  the Du Mai and Ren Mai, which is also known as the microcosmic orbit. The Du Mai is called the Governing Vessel, and the Sea of Yang. It represents a pillar that provides strength to the spine and the core of the body, strong masculine yang energy that aids perception, higher knowledge, and spiritual growth. The Ren Mai is known as the Conception Vessel, and the Sea of Yin. It coordinates and directs all of the yin functions and activity in the body, providing creative support, vitality, feminine energy, and nourishment. Together these vessels represent an energetic pathway within the body that supports our connections to Earth, while providing access to the higher heavens. Like a tree rooted in the ground, we are able to grow stronger and make deeper connections to our cosmological self.

In the Eastern medical tradition, the microcosmic orbit represents the macrocosm and the original Qi . It is like the elliptical orbits of the planet around the Sun, circulating through our bodies, with our heart at the center, mirroring the heart of our universe and the ongoing creative process of the Universe which gives birth again and again.

The macrocosm comes from the original chi. This primal chi transforms itself into multiple variations, following the order that Tao gives birth to one, the principle of singularity, neutrality and harmony. One gives birth to two, the principle of duality. Two gives birth to three, the principle of multiplication. Three gives birth to all things and all beings (Ni, 1979).

Once again we hear echoes of thrice-born Hermes Trismegistus and the deep connections between all that is above and all that is below. In both the Western tradition and the ancient texts from China we see the relationship between mind and body, that the body is a microcosm, in a dynamic relationship with the natural world. Citing the inner cannon of the Yellow Emperor,                    

The body was defined not by what sets it apart but by its intimate, dynamic relationship with its environment. ‘Covered over by heaven, borne up by Earth, among the myriad things none is more noble than man. Man is given life by the ch’I of heaven and earth, and grows to maturity following the norms of the four seasons.’ . . . Life is maintained not merely by the internal circulation of ch’I, but by continuous dynamic interchange between body and cosmos. Shared vital rhythms make the body correspond to heaven and earth, and them in accord (Lloyd & Sivin, 2002).

Numerous scientists cite that we are made of the same materials as the stars, and that we exist within the universe as part of an interconnected whole (Davies, 1992; Kaku, 2005; Roszak, 1992). Sound can serve as a carrier wave, when it is applied to the chakras and acupuncture points of the body. Our body is at least seventy percent water, and sound travels four times faster in water than in air, so that when sound vibrations are applied to the body it awakens the connections among our lower, middle, and higher Self (Carey et al., 2010).

Whether you invoke the wisdom of the depth or transpersonal psychologists, ecopsychologists, or Oriental Medicine, trees and the natural world provide us with a visceral opportunity to experience holism and come to center. Working with the universal sound of Ohm also connects us to the greater wisdom of the Universe, rooting us here on Earth but inviting us to extend beyond our limitations, to feel what it means to be whole.

In the Acutonics system, the sound healing methodology that I co-developed and teach, Earth is our home tone. It represents the Earth travelling through the four seasons. Its frequency was derived from Johannes Kepler’s original calculations of the velocity of a planet travelling around the sun. Has Cousto, a Swiss mathematician, converted velocity to Hertz, and this became the frequency for our Earth tuning forks. It is approximately a C sharp. Almost every spiritual tradition has recognized the deep connection between the human body and the Earth body. In our work with sound, by layering high, middle, and low frequencies on the body, we invite a remembrance of what it feels like to travel to the stars.

Trees provide us with a deep knowledge inviting us to find our place in the greater Universe. They provide symbolic representation of the cycles of nature, and the greater cosmic processes of birth, death, and renewal. From the wisdom of the natural world, and the life-giving trees, it is possible to understand that we are always growing, evolving, and changing. There is no separation between a human and a tree, a galaxy or a cell. As above so below, as within so without; we are engaged in a never-ending cycle and can find our way to health and holism amidst the sacred cathedral and bounty of the natural world.

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Deepening Our Connection to Nature, Earth, & Self: Alleviate Stress with Acutonics and The Three Treasures

16 Jan, 2011
Deepening Our Connection to Nature, Earth, & Self: Alleviate Stress with Acutonics and The Three Treasures

Donna Carey, LAc and Ellen F. Franklin, PhD
Oriental Medicine Journal, 2011
All of the photos used to illustrate the article were taken by Ellen Franklin.

Living and working on 35 acres in the mountains of Northern New Mexico, we are fortunate to see and experience the extraordinary benefits of being in the natural world. Growing our own food, walking among the ancient pines, listening to the calls of the birds that stop to drink at the pond, following the tracks of bear, coyotes and mountain lions along the trails. There is a sense of peace and stillness in these mountains that is deeply renewing. It is also humbling to witness the vast power and wildness, the raw potential and the infinite natural cycles. Our personal experiences are supported by the growing body of research that cites the tremendous benefit of being in the natural world to improve health and wellbeing. This is something that Taoist philosophers and Oriental Medicine practitioners have known for thousands of years. The natural world and its cycles play a critical role in the development of a balanced and sustainable way of life, a life that is built in harmony and a deep recognition that what is out there in the natural world and the greater cosmos is also within us.

We are living at a challenging time. Each day we bear witness to the rising statistics in heart disease, autoimmune disease, obesity, cancer and depression. At the same time, we are surrounded by daily examples of rapid environmental devastation. This article explores the direct correlation between the stress to our planet and the rise in human distress and stress-related illnesses. Does the disconnection from nature result in a sense of fragmentation that prevents us from being in attunement with our true “Nature,” our true “Self?” Ecotheologian Thomas Berry believes that when we activate modes of being—physical, biological and psychic—we are able to experience the sacred dimension of the Earth and the greater universe. Each mode of awareness—our individual self, biological self, Earth self, and universe self—help to shape our experience and relationship to Earth (Berry, 2009). These same ideas are contained within the tenets of Taoist philosophy where there is deep recognition of the relationship between heaven, Earth and humanity. When these are not in proper alignment, it may present in physical form as a disconnection among the brain, heart and kidney energy in the form of chronic stress. Specific approaches that are designed to reduce the chronic stress response and improve health are presented. These techniques can be applied using acupressure, acupuncture, or through the application of specific sound vibrations to acupuncture points. We place particular emphasis on simple point protocols including the Tree Treasures and Buddha’s Triangle.

“The natural world is the larger sacred community to which we belong. To be alienated from this community is to become destitute in all that makes us human. To damage this community is to diminish our own existence.” — Thomas Berry (1990)

Stress occurs when environmental demands exceed our ability to adapt and cope and results in both physiologically and psychologically measurable events. Small amounts of stress may have positive outcomes, such as arousing us to act when in danger, or helping us become more resilient. However, far too common life events, such as conflicts, unemployment, loss of a loved one, financial concerns, physical or emotional abuse, work or school related challenges and natural disasters, are serious stressors that can impact a person’s health and wellbeing. Numerous research studies indicate that stress makes us more vulnerable to illness, and also suppresses the immune function (Groer, et al., 2010). Chronic stressors, such as our current global environmental crises, can result in heightened negative emotional states, which lead to high-risk behavior. Ongoing negative emotions increase the risk of disease, including diabetes, depression, and heart disease, and may also impair social relationships (Kendall-Tackett, 2010). In the 1920’s, Cannon identified the stress response as part of a unified mind-body system that impacts the sympathetic nervous system. He also made the connections between high levels of stress and our increased susceptibility to disease. As our body responds to a stressor, it engages in what Cannon called the fight-or-flight response. When the body is threatened, frightened, or responds to an emergency situation, there is sympathetic activity and heightened adrenal activity. Cannon demonstrated that physical and emotional stimuli could reach critical levels of intensity, which had the potential to overwhelm the body’s homeostatic mechanism resulting in damage (Baum, 1987). The daily reports and potent visible examples of earthquakes, rising sea levels and extreme weather that is being experienced globally may well be keeping us in a heightened state of fight or flight.

Hans Selye, expanding on the work of Cannon, attempted to identify and systematize the effects of nonspecific agents on the body’s internal systems. He identified a physiological process called the general adaptation syndrome (GAS), which has three phases. The alarm phase includes detection and mobilization, resulting in the secretion of corticosteroids. The second phase is resistance, or a restocking of weapons, and the third phase is exhaustion, where all of the reserves are depleted (Baum, 1987, pp 2-3). As a result of Selye’s research, stress was integrated into the study of human physiology and psychology.

When we live in a state of constant stress, there are direct biological effects that increase the risk of disease. If the brain perceives danger, it engages the sympathetic nervous system, HPA axis and inflammatory response. The interaction within these systems is bi-directional so that chronic stress and our immune response are inter-connected, increasing the risk of inflammation, neurodegenerative and autoimmune disease (Groer, et al., 2010, p. 15). Evidence of the impact of chronic stress on our physiological and psychological health is growing. Stressed individuals have increased susceptibility to colds and flu, heart disease, weight gain and depression (Myers, 2010, p. 533). Stress also impacts renal, liver, kidney and pancreatic functions and contributes to hormonal fluctuations in women (Baum, et al., 1987).

There is a direct correlation between the devastation to our planet and increase in human distress that often leads to depression. E.O. Wilson is credited with identifying the biophilia hypothesis, which essentially states that we need and benefit from our relationship to the natural world (Wilson, 1984). Numerous studies have demonstrated the advantages of being in nature and that personal health and wellbeing profit as a direct result of this contact with the natural world. Exposure to natural environments also supports our ability to recover from stressful events and enhances our ability to recover from illness (Ulrich, et al., 1991). As the natural world on which we depend for our very survival is destroyed, stress leads to distress, and to depression. Heightened stress, over an extended period of time, has also been proven to lead to a rise in suicide. One study identified a significant rise in suicide and a 17% increase in depression and anxiety in New Orleans in the four months after Hurricane Katrina (Myers, 2010, p. 530). By 2020, the World Health Organization estimates that depression will be the single greatest cause of disability worldwide.

The relationship between the Earth body and the human body, as one uniquely connected entity, has often been cited by indigenous cultures around the globe. It is a basic tenet of Oriental Medicine and Taoist philosophy, which recognizes the deep ecological connection between our outer and inner landscapes. The human body mirrors the Earth body, and yet the predominant worldview is not one of cooperation or awareness of this connection but one of domination over nature. Our estrangement from the natural world and our own nature may well be at the root of our psychological and social distress. This deep sense of disconnection can manifest as loss of will or desire. It is as though we do not know our place here on Earth and in the greater universe, or comprehend our true journey, our soul’s calling or reason for being. What is our true nature?

Oriental Medicine has always been a true medicine of the mind, body and spirit. Rather than chasing individual symptoms, there is an understanding of the deep inter-connections among the physical, emotional and spiritual. Our responsibility as clinicians is to truly listen and to recognize these interwoven pieces. Contained within our clients’ stories, there is a global intelligence—the ecology of the human body—which relates to the ecology of the Earth body. Perhaps what we are being called to recognize is something that is as basic and deeply pervasive as alienation. When we are cut off from the natural world, or witness its destruction, do we lose a part of ourselves? Does this sense of loss result in an overall numbing, increased anxiety, fear and sorrow? Has our heart strayed? Mencius, a follower of Confucius, said:

Sad it is indeed when a person gives up the right road instead of following it and allows their [sic] heart-mind to stray without enough sense to go after it. When one’s chickens and dogs stray, one has sense enough to go after them, but not when one’s heart strays. — (Lau, 2004)

So our focus for our clients and ourselves amidst the global environmental challenges of these times should be directed toward the strayed heart-mind. Can we help to call it back to life, to understand that recovery of the self and recovery of our planet Earth are one and the same? By fostering return to center, we are embracing the Wu Qi and honoring our greater relationship within the cosmos.

For the past seventeen years, through our work with Oriental Medicine, sound therapy and gems (which represent the integration of sound and light), we have had excellent clinical results ameliorating the symptoms associated with stress. In an Acutonics session, we focus our intention on reconnecting to and aligning the individual with the Earth and the cosmos. A treatment session will generally begin and end with the Ohm tuning forks. Symbolically, and scientifically, they represent the frequency of the Earth traveling around the sun through the four seasons, in its 365-day yearly orbit. It is linked to our ability to create harmony within, and to reconnect to the diverse cultures and species, of all life forms, that populate the Earth, our home. The forks are applied to specific acupuncture points that help to calm and soothe the entire body, unifying mind, body and spirit with Earth energy. When we incorporate the use of Acutonics Gem Tips with the Ohm tuning forks we are amplifying the energetic by bringing in the unique quality of each gem.

Integrating the use of sound and light into an acupuncture treatment provides a powerful form of alchemy that enables the practitioner to fine tune the energetic that goes into the point. The end result is a deeper level of internal and external harmony, a true sense of coherence and a renewed sense of balance. There is a shift in perception of what is within and without; the body, mind and spirit are able to achieve far greater unity that results in an increased wellbeing.

The Tao is always to be practiced in the midst of daily life. Stop talking about lofty wonders and the empty void. Just carry out the human Tao, and there will be no shame in your heart. When you fulfill your nature, you’ll know heaven and earth are the same. — Energy, Vitality, Spirit, Thomas Cleary (1991)

Stress Signs and Symptoms:
Panic attacks
Fright, fear, hopelessness
Sleep with nightmares
Night sweats
Dry mouth
Hearing loss
Memory loss
Increased cortisol levels
Endocrine imbalances

The Three Treasures
The concept of mind-body-spirit medicine is deeply embedded in the Taoist and shamanistic understanding of Oriental Medicine. It is found within the powerful triad that is represented by the Three Treasures. Three Treasures embody a triplex covenant among heaven, Earth and humanity. This covenant focuses on nature and the intimate relationship between humanity and the cosmos. The Three Treasures provide a framework to deepen our understanding of the dynamic equilibrium between the natural world and the personal world, which are intermingled. When there is a connection among Earth, nature and the heavens, our cosmic connection is activated, and we gain access to our heavenly endowed Nature. There is no mutual exclusivity. Rebuilding these powerful access points provides a rich foundation to reduce stress. They invite us to experience that for which the heart yearns, a return to center, the place of promise, home and hope. When we access and connect The Three Treasures, there is a renewed sense of promise, a rebirth and remembrance of how it feels to live in balance, health and harmony. This is true physiological and psychological coherence, resulting in greatly reduced stress.

Manifestations of the Three Treasures
Mind – Body – Spirit
Past – Present – Future
Heart – Kidney – Brain
Upper – Middle – Lower Elixir Fields
Jing – Qi – Shen
Energy – Vitality – Spirit
Heaven – Earth – Humanity
Outer – Inner – Center
Yin – Yang – Non-duality
Human – Terrestrial – Multidimensional

Stress and the Labyrinth of Life
As practitioners we cannot eradicate the conditions that cause stress, but we can help our clients come into proper relationship with the stressors in their lives. The stress response can be examined with new insights that create awareness of the consonance (harmony) and dissonance (discord) that unfold in our lives. Both are essential—but it is through the journey into relationship and relational elements that we evolve as learning humans in the labyrinth of life. The Three Treasures can serve as a gentle reminder of the powerful peak experiences to be found by embracing the natural world, including a sense of euphoria, harmony and a deeper union with the cosmos.

Finding the Heart Qi
There are numerous interpretations of and ways to discuss Qi, but for the purpose of this dialogue let us simplify the conversation. Our heart connects all of the other organs and their spirits through the natural force of our soul, our Qi. So when we talk about heart, we have to distinguish the meaning of shen—our original Shen, Yuan Shen, from personal shen, which resides in the heart. This aspect of shen affects mental activities, emotions, memory, alertness, consciousness and sleep. The heart governs blood and its flow to every cell. It represents our divine seed, our internal sun, around which everything circles. In its broader context, the shen refers to the complex of our emotional, mental and spiritual consciousness. It penetrates and influences all of the internal organs, glands, brain, memory, nervous system, senses, emotions, subtle bodies and our conscious and unconscious thoughts. Since the heart governs consciousness, each of the internal organs houses a part of our consciousness and our spirit. The heart rules and has responsibility for all of the various aspects of our mind, consciousness and spirit—it is the true mixer. It directs and processes our intention, willpower, thought, memory, and nervous and sensory input.

The Brain, Kidney, Heart Connections
The brain is the sea of blood and marrow (Jing essence). It is a curious organ—in a sense an extraterrestrial organ. It stores impressions and blueprints and connects with them through the physical and non-physical realms. These are united with the kidney through Yuan Qi and cosmic memory, which connects to the bloodline of history and time. It is through this connection with the heart that essence, the heavenly blueprint, is brought into expression.

Through the kidneys there is a remembrance of Earth (kidneys). It is the kidneys’ realm to remember both our cosmic identity and our earth identity and essence. The kidneys store Jing—both cosmic and terrestrial (yang and yin). This is essential, for it is where the divine and human will meet and find unique expression in the shen—the heart.

The heart holds the keys to memory. It is the seat of our emotions for not only our experiences in the Earth body, but deeply connects to the memory of our celestial blueprint. This blueprint is imparted from the heavens (interacting with the brain/mind) into the Earth (kidney) and is in constant communication with these intersecting fields. The heart combines the will of heaven with the will of Earth and expresses it uniquely. It receives Qi and information from both elixir fields.

The heart is the mixer—mixer of wounds, pains and joy. It uses the will of the kidneys informed from the brain, and integrates wisdom, dreams, symbols and archetypal impressions. Somehow it makes sense of them—makes sense of loss and birth, of sorrow and happiness—of particles and waves, of democrats and republicans, of male and female, of all the disparate parts.

But sometimes it is our fears (kidney) that place judgment and impede the soul’s progress. So the heart has a big job—but knows it is not alone. It is in the company of the battery (kidney), and champion of our strong will. When it is in connection with the higher will, it can help the heart express its divine mission, its true song. This is the song of balance and harmony, peace, non-duality and coherence. It is reconnection with our true nature, our true spirit.

Faint Evidence
from “Insinuations of Wabi Sabi”

When planets rise at night
there is always a piece
from the side
top or bottom
the very center
this is not evident

with visual
aids or

It is an overlooked
meant for each
alone to see

Donna Carey

Though there are many external influences that cause stress and numerous techniques to relieve stress, like exercise, meditation, breathing, and connecting with the natural world, these are sensory exercises. They do not acknowledge that the root of stress is often a deep disconnection from spirit, or from our true home, the Earth. We are the Earth and the Earth is a manifestation of humanity; destruction of the Earth and loss of the natural world and habitat create imbalance in our spirit.

The greatest recipe for the reduction of stress is to reconnect with the natural world, which can lead us to a deeper understanding of our own nature, and to keep the Three Treasures balanced and in constant contact with the larger matrix, so that we are able to remember the whole.

Birdsong Brook
Idly I watch cassia flowers fall
Still is the night, empty the hill in spring
Up comes the moon, startling the mountain birds
Once in a while in the Spring brook they sing
— Wang Wei (Seith, 1992)

Accessing The Three Treasures
Regardless of where we look when we work with The Three Treasures, we are dealing with the superhighways of the central nervous system, with our psycho-energetic core, and the co-mingling of deep holographic fields, that are braided and integral. It is the axis known as the Central Channel that runs between the microcosmic orbit to unify yin and yang and all polarities. This is the deep multidimensional channel that connects the sacred scriptures of the cosmic and the earthly with our interior awareness. We can distill this into three specific areas that unite the macro and microcosm to provide a deep sense of coherence. The Three Treasures are represented in three specific points of the body. Du 20 (GV 20, Bai hui), Gate of the Ancestors, provides access to our heavenly Qi; Ren 17 (CV 17, Shan zhong), Original Child, Center of Our Inner Storehouse of Light, mediates between heaven and Earth; and Ren 4 (CV 4, Guan yuan), Origins Pass or Gateway of Origin, connects with our core, deepening our connection to the Earth.

The contact points of the Three Treasures can be accessed with needles, with touch, or with directed sound and light through the combination of Acutonics Tuning forks and Gem Tips. The Gem Tips are attached to specially designed Ohm tuning forks. Alternatively, Ohm Unison or Mars/Venus tuning forks can be used to create balance and provide an opening into the larger hologram. Musically the Mars/Venus tuning forks create a musical 5th, which is a powerful gateway. They also represent a true balance point between yin and yang, which help to unify the disparate yet complementary aspects within us.

HEAVEN – Shen – Spirit
Heavenly Qi is considered the first great force. It is a universal force, a cosmic force. It is incomprehensibly vast, bountiful and beautiful. It includes the energies of the planets in our solar system and beyond. This first force is about sympathetic resonant physics. It represents the spirit of universal love and connection, which pours forth in generosity and abundance, to the soul, spirit and qi of all sentient beings. This universal force has a special ability to nourish the yang aspect of the spirit and soul.

Contact Point: Du 20 (GV 20, Bai hui), Gate of the Ancestors, Hundred Connections, Heaven, the upper elixir field, seat of the spirit, relates to Shen and spirit. It calls on the wisdom of the ancients to align us with the harmony of the heavens, providing access to the Music of the Spheres. It relates to the brain, the mind and the sea of marrow; and it imparts the heavenly given Jing to the kidneys. This point supports the reconfiguration of chaos into unity, inviting peace, calm and higher perceptions. It calls in the first great force, the force of universal love and connection. It connects to the brain, the endocrine glands, and cosmic energy though the force of our great Shen.

Treatment: Apply Ohm Unison or Mars/Venus Tuning Forks, or use amethyst Gem Tip with Optically Pure Quartz as amplifier.

In the Country
My neighbor runs to me with
The news, “Look out your window!”

For days that morning was
Invisible. This morning
It shines bright and new
As though it had been washed
Lu Yu (Rexroth, 1970)

HUMANITY – Qi – Energy
The second great force is the energy of our cosmic or higher Self, our individual cosmic Qi, our divine spark. These are the particles of sound and light that are present in our essence. They are a part of Nature, in our own nature and our personal Shen. This Qi is wound into us through a spiral motion, much like the spinning vortices of cosmic dust in the formation of stars and planets and other celestial bodies that are accreting in time. We are cosmic dust formed from the dust motes of the multi-universes. The ancient Taoists and other indigenous cultures perceived this, and modern science has proven it. These cosmic particles and waves nourish our mind, body and spirit, and our entire physical structure. Humanity is the highest vibrational genesis of the Cosmic force and can gather in this force through meditative and inner alchemical practices, as well as through dreams and creative expression.

Contact Point: Ren 17 (CV 17, Shan zhong), Original Child, Center of Our Inner Storehouse of Light. This point is also known as the middle elixir field, the seat of breath, representing the cosmic breath within us. This field incorporates yin and yang qi. It is the force that mediates between heaven and earth. This is the great mixer. It creates harmony that can be experienced through the illumination, love, and purity that emanates from the Sun and heavens, and from the modesty, rootedness, balance and nourishment that comes from the Earth. It is our heart. This is the chalice that mixes and animates the will of heaven and Earth to fulfill our desires and destiny. It connects the heart and all the other organs through the force of our soul as directed by the High Self.

Treatment: Apply the Ohm Unison tuning forks, or use the Rose Quartz or Jade Gem tip with the Optically Pure Quartz as an amplifier.

All those stars set out in order bright in the night’s deep
Dark on the cliff, the orphan lamp, moon not set yet. . .

Perfectly round, that bright mirror no one needs to polish,
hanging there in the clear air: it’s my heart
Han Shan (Seaton, 2009)

EARTH – Jing – Essence
The third great force is the Earth force, which includes all the manifest energies of this incredibly diverse and beautiful planet we walk upon, our home. The Earth force includes all the myriad things, plants and the animals, water and minerals, geological formations,oceans and mountains, rivers, streams, caves and forests, grasses and meadows. The gravitational fields and inherent magnetosphere and the earthly five elements are powerful aspects and manifestations of the Earth force. All of these energies nourish our physical bodies with qi, with potent life force, and supply each and every cell in our bodies with the energy and capacity to self-heal by coming into balance. Earth force has a special ability to nourish the yin aspect of the spirit and soul.

Contact Point: Ren 4 (CV 4, Guan yuan), Origins Pass or Gateway of Origin, EARTH, the lower elixir field, seat of essence, Jing. It is connected to the kidneys, and abdomen, the pelvis and legs—it is Earth-centered and gives us deep access into our rich garden of inner essence imprinted from the heavens. It can reach everywhere to nourish and to integrate. It is our root and core, which helps us preserve in our Earth bodies and register the will of heaven.

Treatment: Use Ohm Unison, Ohm Octave, Red Garnet or Citrine Gem Tip with Optically Pure Quartz as the amplifier.

Visit to the Hermit Ts’Ui
Moss covered paths between scarlet peonies,

Pale jade mountains fill your rustic windows.
I envy you, drunk with flowers,
Butterflies swirling in your dreams
Ch’ien Ch’i (Rexroth, 1970)

Is known for its high spiritual vibration. It is calming and stabilizing, healing and clearing, tranquilizing. It promotes love of the divine, grants insights into one’s true nature, and opens physic gifts, intuition and spiritual insights. It relieves physical, emotional and spiritual stress and brings peace from tensions.

Optically Pure Quartz
Connects the individual to the universal grid, brings harmony within, with others, and with one’s world. It expands mental clarity and promotes creativity, and it stimulates attunement to the highest spiritual levels and energy flow. It stimulates telepathy and expansion of energy on all levels. It generates a powerful prismatic effect and energetically activates and amplifies other gems, releases stress, disperses toxins, and relaxes the body, mind and spirit.

Rose Quartz
Promotes heart healing on all levels, reinforces self-love, facilitates healing through connection to self-worth and deserving. It fosters forgiveness and compassion within and without, quells fear, soothes grief, loneliness, heart-ache, fear. It opens the heart chakra and promotes peace, happiness and unconditional love.

Opens and heals the heart, soothes emotional distress, fosters the acceptance that we are human and hurt and suffer in life, facilitates development of mercy and compassion for all sentient beings, encourages selfless service. It increases love and harmony and balance and our nurturing capacity, as well as assisting in the spiritual journey and in the uncovering of the heart mysteries.

Red Garnet
Opens the Root chakra, warms, grounds energy into the root, facilitates movement of Earth energy into the body. It both stimulates and balances the development and movement of Kundalini energy throughout the spine. Its action is regenerative, purifying and protective, and is considered by many ancient cultures to be the stone of health.

Carries the power of the sun and so is energizing and protective, creating abundance, attracting prosperity and spreading of wealth on all levels. It raises self-confidence and self-esteem, and it energizes both the sacral and solar plexus chakras, directing energy needed for personal power, creativity and healing. It helps uncover the “inner sun,” opens the light body, and awakens mind and intellect to higher purpose.

Buddha’s Triangle: Additional Points to Support the Three Treasures
These three points are collectively called Buddha’s Triangle.

PC 6 (Nei guan), Inner Pass, Connecting Net of the Inner Chambers
PC 6 (Nei guan) connects the outer situations of life with the reality of our inner essence. It opens the gate to the inner self, the High Self, so that we can call our hearts back from the disturbances in the outer world and connect with strength and balance to forge healthy relationships that support our life’s song.

Use Red Garnet Gem tip or Yellow Citrine when the heart (fire element) needs a spark or needs to be called back to life, and Optically Pure Quartz Gem tip in the field to amplify.

Use Rose Quartz or Jade Gem tip to heal wounds to the heart and reach out to new levels of relationships both on the personal and the cosmic level, and Optically Pure Quartz Gem tip in the field to amplify.

Use Amethyst Gem tip to calm hysteria and anxiety and to create calm in the emotional matrix, as well as to allow the heart to assimilate new levels of emotional and spiritual understanding and awakening, and Optically Pure Quartz Gem tip in the field to amplify.

HT 7 (Shen men), Spirit Gate
This is the source point of the heart and keeps the energy of our humanity connected to heaven (through the higher Self, and holding the shen of all the organs), and Earth, as it is the Earth point of the heart meridian.

Use Jade to balance all of the aspects of the heart on all levels and to assimilate and mix the energies of heaven and earth, and Optically Pure Quartz Gem tip in the field to amplify.

LU 9 (Tai yuan), Great Abyss, A Supremely Profound Pool
This is the source point and Earth point of the Lung meridian, keeping us connected to heaven and Earth and to the breath and depth of both outer and inner resources. It helps us assimilate new experiences that come out of the depths of personal experience to emerge from the grief, loneliness, and pain of our human existence. It provides connections to the wisdom of the ages that feed the perennial streams of spirit to renew us.

Use Red Garnet or Yellow Citrine Gem Tip to contact inner strength and inner solar power for reemergence out of the abyss into the new worlds that emerge when we let go and are nourished from the wellsprings within, and Optically Pure Quartz tip in the field to amplify.

Use Jade to balance all of the aspects of the heart on all levels and to assimilate and mix the energies of heaven and earth, and Optically Pure Quartz Gem tip in the field to amplify.

Oriental Medicine provides a deep opportunity to shift both conscious and unconscious thoughts so that we are able to embrace the Tao, moving towards a place of wholeness, unity and peace. The Three Treasures help us to transcend the desperate scenarios of our time to access the realm of pure spirit. This is the place of balance and wholeness, the Wu Qi. It is here that we are able to return to the center. When we bring our body, mind and spirit into right relationship, we have the power to access true inner peace. The matrix of The Three Treasures provides a powerful key to shift our paradigm and move into a state that transcends the overwhelming stress of these times.•

The Cricket
The cricket is so small a thing,
yet m
oves us with tender chirping—
so quiet out among the weeds,
now it’s crept under our bed to sing
Tu Fu (Hamill, 1988)








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Earth: Myths, Archetypes, and Healing Correspondences the Acutonics® Healing System

18 Sep, 2008
Earth: Myths, Archetypes, and Healing Correspondences the Acutonics® Healing System

Ellen Franklin, PhD & Donna Carey, LAc
Oriental Medicine Journal, Late Summer/Earth 2008

Earth: Our Home Planet

Character of the Planet: Sustenance, nurturance,wholeness
Tuning Fork Properties:
Ohm (Fundamental Home Tone):
The Earth traveling around the Sun through the seasons in its 365-day yearly orbit.
Color: Gold
Approximate Musical Note: C#
Interval with Ohm: Ohm Unison, Ohm Octave
Intervallic Personality: Grounding and balancing
Earth Day: The Earth rotating on its own axis in a 24-hour cycle.
Color: Green
Approximate Musical Note: G
Interval with Ohm: Earth Day 5th, Generative, Tonifying
Intervallic Personality: Stimulating and strengthening
Zodiac Earth: The Earth cycling through all signs of the Zodiac in a 25,920-year procession.
Color: Purple
Approximate Musical Note: F
Interval with Ohm: Zodiac 3rd, relaxing, meditative, sedating, transcendental
Intervallic Personality: Wisdom and experience
Types of Earth Imbalances: Lack of grounding, overall feeling of imbalance, imbalances of the liver, disharmonies of the sacrum and hips, disharmonies of the legs and feet, low energy, lack of immune function, general deficiency, stagnation, constriction, stress, tension.
Healing Themes & Archetypal Keywords: Grounding, nature, connectedness, sustenance, matter, physicality, mother, food, emotional homework, creativity, challenges of being in physical form, the earth body energy as a whole, and the whole life cycle; birth, life, death, wisdom, and experience.
Anatomical and Physiological Correspondences: Body energy as a whole, balance in the body systems.
Energetics: Earth represents the ability to be comfortable in the body, and the homework each of us must do. It provides the balance and sustenance needed to complete life’s destiny successfully.

Acutonics is an integrated system of healing and education that incorporates ancient Taoist teachings of the meridians, pre-meridians, and the immortal body with sound. It also draws on depth psychology, ancient wisdom traditions, and contemporary science. This system was co-developed by Donna Carey, LAc, and has evolved through the combined efforts of Donna, Ellen Franklin and more than fifty Acutonics instructors, who teach this work around the globe. Acutonics has been integrated into many western medical environments with client populations that are critically ill, young children, and the needle phobic. It is a modality that makes the basic principals of Oriental Medicine and energetic healing accessible in a non-invasive way and provides an adjunct therapy that can be easily integrated into the practice of Oriental Medicine. The powerful sounds of the Universe are brought into the world of healing through the use of precision calibrated planetary tuning forks and symphonic planetary gongs.

The study of planets, planetary correspondences, and planetary influences has affected our emotional and psycho-spiritual make-up throughout history, dating back more than 6,000 years to ancient Sumer. Planetary study was also evident in Mesopotamia, Chaldea, Greece, Rome, Egypt, the Islamic World, the Indus Valley and China, and although somewhat controversial was apparent during the Christian Middle ages, resurfacing during the Renaissance. Through the planets we gain a deep understanding of rich archetypal maps and powerful myths that provide a window into the collective psyche. They also provide us with a symbolic language that reflects how humanity defined its unique position in the universe during the earliest cycles of history. There was no separation. The universe without was the universe within as above so below. Our ancestors knew by instinct that what happened in the skies above was related to life on Earth, and that if we understood the heavens, we could gain a deeper understanding of ourselves. In contemporary times many people have lost sight of the recognition that the planets, stars, sun, and moon, don’t just impact the Earth, but they impact each one of us, and what happens to our Earth can’t help but be reflected in us.

The Music of the Spheres or the Heavenly Harmonies, the sound of the planets as they travel around the sun, provides a musical link to the archetypal richness of the planets and reconnects to this rich legacy of correspondence. This link, which is represented in number and tone, provides a resonance that reaches deep within us. Pythagoras, who understood that sound was the generator of the universe, provides us with a deep understanding of the laws of creation. This is also reflected in Plato’s Timaeus,

The motions in us that are akin to the divine are the thoughts and revolutions of the universe. We should each therefore attend to these motions and by learning about the harmonious circuits of the universe repair the damage done at birth to the circuits in our head, and so restore understanding and what is understood to their original likeness to each other. When that is done we shall have achieved the goal set us by the gods.[1]

Pythagoras believed that all is number, and he created a systematic study of mathematics and harmony “which united, as one transcendent science epitomized in music, the laws at once of outer space (cosmology), inner space (psychology) and the arts (aesthetics)—the two apparently contrary approaches of the visionary and the empiricist were brought and held together as substantially in accord.”[2] But this idea of sound as a generator of the universe, Campbell points out, is fundamental to the Vedas, the Hindus, and the Chinese. Quoting from Tung Chung-Shu, a later Confucian scholar, writing in the second century B.C.

Tuned to the tone of Heaven and Earth, the vital spirits of man express all the tremors of Heaven and Earth, exactly as several citharas, all tuned on Kung (the tonic) all vibrate when the note Kung resounds. The fact of the harmony between Heaven and Earth and Man does not come from physical union, from a direct action, it comes from a tuning of the same note producing vibrations in unison...In the Universe there is not hazard, there is no spontaneity; all is influence and harmony, accord answering accord.[2]

In both the Western tradition and in the ancient texts from China we see the relationship between mind and body, that the body is a microcosm, in a dynamic relationship with the natural world. Sivin citing the Inner Cannon of the Yellow Emperor writes,

The body was defined not by what sets it apart but by its intimate, dynamic relationship with its environment. “Covered over by heaven, borne up by Earth, among the myriad things none is more noble than man. Man is given life by the ch’i of heaven and earth, and grows to maturity following the norms of the four seasons”...Life is maintained not merely by the internal circulation of ch’i, but by continuous dynamic interchange between body and cosmos. Shared vital rhythms make the body correspond to heaven and earth, and them in accord. [3]

These are just a few examples of how the planets, the heavenly harmonies, and Earth, so often defined in mythological and archetypal terms, also relate to the practice of Oriental Medicine. These rich, textural concepts helped us to make sense of creation itself, and to shape our perception and understanding of human physiology, the psyche, science, and medicine. Acutonics also helps us to cultivate the Tao, our original spirit, and to learn how to access heaven, how to create harmony with the different levels of energy in our Universe, and how to become aware of the vastness and power of the forces that influence us both on the physical and non-physical plains of existence.

The Earth

Greek: Ge, Gaia
Roman: Gaia, Terra, or Tellus
Whether we go back to the early Greek, to the dawn of time or to ancient China, the first myths are the creation myths. Stories of the beginning of time were created to help humanity make sense of their complex pre-scientific existence and to answer the most basic question, where did I come from? “This original question about the origin of the world is at the same time the question about the origin of man, the origin of consciousness and of the ego; it is the fateful question...that faces every human being as soon as they arrive on the threshold of self-consciousness.”[4]

In the beginning there was Chaos and from this emerged the first gods and goddesses of the early Greeks. In the Theogony and Works and Days from the Greek writer Hesiod we learn how the first gods, and all of creation came into existence. The goddess Ge was the first to be born from primeval Chaos, along with Tartarus, Eros, Erebus and dark Night. Night and Erebus produced the upper atmosphere, Aether and Day. The virgin mother, Ge produced Uranus the sky god, the Mountains, and Pontus the sea. From her union with Uranus the twelve Titans were born, which represent various aspects of nature. Significant among them are Oceanus, Hyperion, who came to be associated with the Sun God, and Phoebe identified with the Moon God, and of course Cronus, champion of his mother, and husband to Rhea. Ge and Uranus also gave birth to the one eyed Cyclopes, Brontes (Thunder), Steropes (Lightening) and Arges (Bright), and the hundred armed, multi-headed creatures known as Hecatonchires.[5-8]

Uranus hated the Cyclopses, and many armed giants, and pushed these monstrous offspring, back into Gaia’s womb, causing her excruciating pain. Angry at the abuse of her mate she gave her son Cronus a sickle with which he castrated his father, and cast his genitals into the sea. From the blood of his genitals the furies, giants, and nymphs were created, and from the genitals themselves, out of the ocean’s foam Venus sprang forth. But as the saying goes, like father like son, Cronos turned out to be as brutal as his father before him, eating his children, for fear one of them would overthrow his rule. Gaia helps Rhea to save Zeus, the last child of the Union between Rhea and Cronos.

Demeter, of the Eleusinian Mysteries is also viewed as a great Earth Goddess, associated with fertility. She is also identified with the Roman Earth grain goddess, Ceres, and the Egyptian Isis. Most of the myths about Demeter focus on her distress at the abduction of her daughter Persephone, spirited away to the underworld by Hades. In her exploration of the early evolution of Greek thought, Guthrie sees two distinct paths. One path is the Olympians Gods primarily derived from the writings of Homer, who are powerful heroes, “...gods are simply more powerful persons who might fight for or against one, with whom one makes bargains or contracts.” The second path is the path of the more feminine Eleusinian mysteries, such as those of Demeter, who emerges as the Mother of Life, represented in artwork, worshiped in the eastern Mediterranean, the pre-Indo European culture of Anatolia, and in the nature-worship cultures of Asia. “The Mother-goddess is the embodiment of the fruitful earth, giver of life and fertility to plants, animals and men. Her cult takes certain forms, involving at least the more elementary kinds of mysticism, that is, the belief in the possibility of a union between the worshipper and the object of the worship.”[9]

Bolen, citing mythologist Jane Harrison, demonstrates the significant fragmentation of the Great Mother goddess, as her attributes, symbols, and powers were divided out, “Hera got the ritual of the sacred marriage, Demeter her mysteries, Athena her snakes, Aphrodite her doves, and Artemis her function as the Lady of the Wild Things.”[10] This division of powers may well represent the beginning of the destruction of the Goddess cultures, the invasion of the Indo Europeans, and the rise of Christianity, as the male Olympic deities began to take the place of prominence in Greek thought, and shrines of the Goddess were destroyed.[9, 10]

The worship of a female earth divinity, by whatever name, Ge, Rhea, Hera, Demeter, Isis, however varied her worship, is significant in all periods. Walker states, she is the Universal Parent. Thousands of feminine names have been given to the Earth. The continents, Asia, Africa, and Europe, and nations, including Russia, Scotland and Ireland, were named for the Great Mother. “Mother Earth received universal worship because she was the universal parent. American Indians still relate how all peoples and animals in the beginning emerged from Earth’s yonic hole. Siberian reindeer hunters say the human race emerged from a Goddess, whose carved figurines protect the hunter’s hut, when given offerings and prayers.”[11]

These primal myths, which help the earliest civilizations make sense of their existence, have many similarities common among them. There is creation emerging from the great void, where the parents, earth and sky, come together in a primal union that cannot be broken apart. This is found in the creation myths of Polynesia, as well as the Maori of New Zealand. In their myth Rangi Nui, the Sky, lay upon Papa-tu-a-nuku, the Earth, and they would not separate. Their children, impatient of being held in the darkness, plotted ways to separate their parents so that they could be released into the world of light. There are also significant creation myths that reflect emergence from the primal sea or waters, such as the goddess mother Nammu of the Sumerians who emerges from the sea to give birth to Heaven and Earth. Both of these creation myths have some resemblance to that of Uranus and Ge.[2]

Although some creation myths provide us with extreme polarization where the opposition between good and evil is very strong, more often we find that the image of two creator gods is used to delineate between male and female, light and dark, gracefulness and clumsiness.[12] There are also many creation myths, where there is no gender assigned to the creation of the Universe, or where the great creator god is male. However, today Earth is most commonly referred to as female, representing the Mother, and contained within this mythic and archetypal vision are both aspects of humanity, male and female, yin and yang.

Another symbol of creation, found throughout the early myths from Egypt, India, Africa, China, and New Zealand, is the world egg, the round. These creation stories begin with the cosmic egg. This circle without beginning or end, a symbol of the parents of the world, portrayed in equal stature, as they lie on top of each other representing the original unity.[13] In a Brahmanas Creation myth the golden egg emerges from the primal sea. In an Orphic Creation Myth time created the silver egg of the cosmos from which Phanes-Dionysus the creator of heaven and earth emerged.[14] In Taoism the perfect round represents the Wu Qi; something that is complete yet has no form, the state of being before the creation. The Tai Qi, is the round which contains the perfect balance between day and night, male and female, heaven and earth, yin and yang or as Lau Tzu writes: Before creation a presence existed,

Before creation a presence existed,
Self-contained, complete,
Formless, voiceless, mateless,
Which yet pervaded itself
With unending motherhood.
Though there can be no name for it,
I have called it ‘the way of life.’
Perhaps I should have called it the ‘fullness of life.’
Since fullness implies widening into space,
Implies still further widening,
Implies widening until the circle is whole.[15]

The Myth of P’an Ku, a popular creation myth, is believed to originate from the southern area of China with several versions of this myth dating back to the period between the third and sixth century AD.[14] David Yu believes that this myth emphasizes the opposition and interdependence of the two poles (Heaven and Earth), and serves as the foundational archetype for Chinese cosmology and is incorporated into the Taoist classics. P'an Ku, literally means "coiled-up antiquity," which could also refer to the cosmic egg, emerging from chaos, to become a symbol of creation and fertility.[16] P’an Ku can also be viewed as representing the creative tension between Heaven and Earth, or in the words of the Chinese Sage Chuang Tzu, Heaven, Earth, Humanity and I are one and all things and I form an inseparable unity.

P’an Ku: The Great Equalizer

Before the beginning of time, before heaven and earth, there was nothing, and out of this void a great cosmic egg emerged. Floating within the sea of chaos was a divine embryo, as yet unformed, who came to be known as P’an Ku. For 18,000 years P’an Ku, protected by this cosmic egg, floated in a chaotic primal sea, maturing and becoming. When he was ready, his generative cycle completed, from within the egg he uses a hammer and chisel to free himself. As the egg split apart, one became two, all that was high and clear was sent above to form the heavens and all that was dark and turbid was sent below to form the Earth. And there between Heaven and Earth stood P’an Ku hammer and chisel in hand. Legends tell us that his body transformed nine times daily, while the pure dome of his head supported the Heavens and his feet brought stability to the Earth. If you could have looked upon him you would have seen a great and mighty creature covered with hair, with two great horns on his head, and two tusks protruding from his lower jaw. For another 18,000 years, P’an Ku chiseled the Earth and Sky apart. He worked tirelessly, as each day Heaven increased ten feet in height, Earth grew ten feet in thickness, and P’an Ku grew ten feet in length. This was exhausting work for P’an Ku, and it is said that when he wept his tears became the Yellow River. Once the Earth and Heaven were in their proper place, P’an Ku, the first great creator, knew that it was time to complete his work. His expansive growth, length after length, served a divine purpose. At last, he was ready to perfect the Universe. As he lost physical form, (some might call it death), he brought life to the Heavens and the Earth. His flesh formed the soil of the fields, and his limbs marked the four directions, while his body also formed the five sacred mountains of China. To the East the T’ai Mountains were formed from his head; in the West from his feet the Hua Mountain formed. The North and South Heng Mountains were formed from his right and left arm respectively. In the Center, from his trunk emerged the Central SungMountain. It is from his bones and marrow that all the rocks, metals, and precious stones came forth. From his blood the rivers and seas, and from the thick hair that covered his body all the trees, plants, and vegetation of the Earth burst forth, rich and green. His breath became the wind, his voice created the thunder and his beard made all the great constellations of the sky. From his right eye came the moon, and his left eye, the sun. And from his saliva and the sweat of his hard working body came the rain. Lastly, mankind was formed from the vermin that covered his body. So we see how from the one, the sacred egg, the two came forth to form Heaven and Earth. The heaven the earth and P’an Ku represent the three from which all of creation is formed.[14, 16, 17] Just as P’an Ku brings forth the Sun and the Moon of equal stature so too the Earth and Heavens are equal, and P’an Ku resides in the Middle, neither male, nor female representing all of humanity.

Earth as Archetype

Earth often represented as the Great Mother is one of the most powerful, consistent archetypes, spanning the globe, and cultures from ancient Sumer, to contemporary times. Whether she is viewed as a vessel, the cosmic egg, a nurturing, loving creator of all life, or the Terrible Mother a destroyer of nature, this primordial image is deeply embedded in the human psyche. This archetype can be found throughout human history, in the artwork, myths and dreams of the earliest people, and today we see it expressed in the psyche, and in conscious and unconscious thought.[4, 13] Neumann states that the positive side of the Great Mother is represented in the round container that is the uroboros, (a snake or dragon shown swallowing it’s own tail and forming a circle) representing life, and psyche, and providing nourishment, protection, and refuge without division. Representations of this form of the Mother Goddess have been found in Egypt, Phoenicia, and Babylon, in excavations at Ur and Erech. The round is symbolic of the great serpent or Python. Before Apollo ruled at Delphi it was the home of Gaia, the prophetic priestesses that served her, and the great earth snake Python, who resided in the omphalos, the navel of the Earth. Serpents represent the spirit of earth and water, are seen as protectors of sacred springs, connected to birth and death, and they play a significant role in Earth Centered myths throughout the globe. It is not a stretch to see P’an Ku, growing ten feet a day in length for 18,000 years as an embodiment of the great serpent. “To the ancients, the cosmic serpent—the spirit of earth and water—was everywhere known as the energy source of life: of healing and oracular powers, fertility and maternal blessings.”[18]

The omphalos, home to the Python, was built in the shape of a beehive. The beehive is culturally significant as the bee is seen as a symbol of the Goddess, and it is the female bees that build the hives and make the honey. A Minoan Seal Ring, from approximately 1500 BC, shows the image of the Bee Goddess. The beehive is also the shape of clay ovens, still used to this day around the world, and seen in our own neighborhood in Northern New Mexico. Jung associated the Mother Archetype with ovens, cooking vessels, and other hollow objects that mirror the shape of a woman’s uterus.[19]

Jung wrote extensively about the Mother Archetype, associating it with all aspects of creation, from the fertility of the earth, as seen in a freshly ploughed field, or an abundant garden, to images and shapes seen throughout nature.

It can be attached to a rock, a cave, a tree, a spring, a deep well, or to various vessels such as the baptismal font, or to vessel-shaped flowers like the rose or the lotus. Because of the protection it implies, the magic circle or mandala can be a form of mother archetype. Hollow objects such as ovens and cooking vessels are associated with the mother archetype, and, of course, the uterus, yoni, and anything of a like shape.[19]

Other universal symbols of the Great Mother are the numerous Mountain ranges of the world. Many mountain ranges were originally named for the Goddess of the Universe, including Chomo-Lung-Ma, which means Goddess Mother of the Universe that is known today as Mt. Everest, and Annapurna, which translates to Great Breast Full of Nourishment. “In every land the mountains were identified with breasts, belly, or mons veneris of the Earth, as well as the home of the gods.”[11] Campbell interpreting Sumerian tablets describes a great mountain rising from the sea, where both are perceived to be living creatures. “ was the glorious world mountain marked in its stages by the orbits of the circling spheres—the Moon, Mercury, Venus, and the Sun, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn—that the imposing temple towers were designed to produce in local, visible form.”

Our connection to the Great Mother, the natural world, the sacred waters, mountains, and stones, is embodied by the International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers. These women stepped forward as a group shortly after the bombing of the World Trade Center in New York, on 9/11, to fulfill a prophecy that their tribes have known for generations. It was said that at the time of the Great Turning they must come together to share their teachings and rituals. They believe that all life is sacred, and that humanity will not survive if we remain disconnected from Earth, the planet that gives us life, sustenance and nurturance of body and soul. If we do not change, then hunger, poverty, war, and illness will prevail.[20]

Just as Jung writes about the Earth Archetype, embedded in nature, and the rock, the Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers believe the very essence of the creator can be found in a stone. The simple act of picking it up, holding, and communing with it can provide us with profound insights about the Earth, the Cosmos, and ourselves.

The grandmothers come from the four directions of the world. They represent a global alliance of women from tribes in the Arctic Circle, North, South and Central America, Africa, Tibet, and Nepal. They tell us that we must awaken from our trance and understand, at a soul and spirit level, that the Earth is shaking. We must remember how to honor all life, and how to sustain ourselves. “The grandmothers teach that healing, quality of life, and spiritual evolvement are never separate from politics and consciousness.”[20] This concept is not that different than that of the ancient Chinese who believed that a healthy state must be in resonance with the Cosmos[3] and that Heaven, Earth, and Humanity form an inseparable unity.

From indigenous cultures, we also see the relationship of the Mother Goddess to creation through the tales of weaving and spinning which are historically seen as women’s work, but tied to the Great Goddess as the weaver of the web of life, and human fate, and the spinner of the cosmos.[4] To the Navajo people, Great Spider Woman is the original weaver of the universe, and every woven creation made to this day is believed to be a sacred representation of her.[18]

Jung articulates the duel nature of the Mother Archetype as representing both the light and dark aspects of creation, which are also evident in the associated Great Spider Woman myths, whether she is seen as a spinner of the Universe, in control of the Wheel of Fate, or devouring her mate, which leads to her association with the goddess of death.[11]

The qualities associated with it are maternal solicitude and sympathy; the magic authority of the female; the wisdom and spiritual exaltation that transcend reason; any helpful instinct or impulse; all that is benign, all that cherishes and sustains, that fosters growth and fertility. The place of magic transformation and rebirth, together with the underworld and its inhabitants, are presided over by the mother.[19]

It is through the story of Demeter and her daughter Persephone being spirited away to the underworld by Hades, that we can see how this archetype comes to be associated with things that are perceived as evil- the witch, serpent, or dragon, and with all that is poisonous, dark, hidden, secretive, and associated with the dark underworld. This also relates to the mythic images of the Mother Goddess where she is associated with a darker more bloody, warrior aspect, represented in myths from Egypt, India, Africa, and Asia Minor, and equally tied to witchcraft and sorcery.[13] The more bloody or warrior aspect of the Earth goddess can also be tied to the woman as life giver, as early cultures made the connection between blood and fertility, and the shedding of blood, linked to women’s cycles, where women often removed themselves from their daily activities to gather in community and share sacred space. “...The shedding of blood was a sacred act, whether it was the blood of a wild beast, a domestic animal, or man. The earth must drink blood if she is to be fertile, and therefore libations of blood are offered up to increase her power. But the mistress of the blood zone is woman. She has the blood magic that makes life grow. Hence the same goddess is often mistress of fertility, of war, and of hunting.”[13]

Archeologist and scholar, Maria Gimbutas, dates the great mother back at least 20,000 years to matriarchal, earth centered, old Europe, an egalitarian society which was over run by Indo-European people.[21] In his Essay, The Mystery Number of the Goddess, Campbell, cites Gimbutas, and provides a deep overview of the Mother Goddess culture, from old Europe to Sumer, demonstrating that it is the basis of the first known myths. The critical point that Campbell makes is that the earliest myths are emphatically nature based, and the female body is viewed as the giver of all life in the universe, in whatever form she takes. every lifetime there is indeed a period when the mother, specifically the mother’s female body, is, in fact the would be possible even to argue that the infant’s initial experience of the mother as universe, transformed in later life to the universe as mother should be recognized as the primal impulses of all mythological symbolization...not only of Old Europe but of the whole range known to us of peoples of the world, the mysterium tremendum et fascinans of life itself as motherhood and as birth, as growth and as transformation terminating in a return to the mother in death, out of which source appears new life, is universally, at this stage of civilization, the all-engrossing, first and last concern.[22]

Campbell also links Pythagorean thought, and the tetraktys, the upward pointing triangle, to the Indian tantric diagrams of the female yantra. “This triangle is an adaptation of the prominent genital triangle of the typical Neolithic female statuette. The dot is known as the bindu, the ‘drop’ (which like a drop of oil in water, expands), and the triangle as the yoni (womb, vagina, vulva; place of origin, birth and rest).” The Pythagorean idea of the Music of the Spheres, can also be related to the concept of Gaia and Uranus, for contained within the concept of the Music of the Spheres is the belief that sound, the very nature of the universe, resides in all living things. “Within the field of mythic thought...both metaphorically (as one’s nature knows) and historically (as Gimbutas shows) the God beyond God is God’s Mother.”[22]

The deep psychological connection between humanity and the Earth has also given rise to an entirely new form of psychology, eco-psychology, which explores the synergistic relationship between personal and planetary wellbeing, recognizing that the needs and rights of our planet are the needs and rights of the individual. This also ties conceptually to James Lovelock’s Gaia Hypothesis, which he proposed nearly 30 years ago, essentially stating that the Earth functions as a single organism and maintains the very conditions it needs for its own survival. Although his findings were initially met with ridicule by the scientific community he has continued to be a champion of this theory, and believes that as a result of the environmental degradation and damage that humanity has done to the Earth that she is fighting back and we are in essence at war with the Earth and have become her target.[23]

We have daily evidence that what is happening to our Earth is also happening to Earth’s inhabitants. The rise in autoimmune diseases, asthma, diabetes, and toxicity is a mirror. According to recent data released by the International Diabetes Foundation, the number of people suffering from diabetes around the globe has skyrocketed in the last two decades, from 30 million to 230 million.[24] Asthma is one of the most chronic diseases in the world, affecting more that 300 million people worldwide. It is estimated that by 2025, this number will increase by more that 30%.[25] Research also demonstrates that the current generations of children in many countries have a shorter life expectancy then their parents' generation, a phenomenon that can only be attributed to the impact of environmental factors on human health.[26] We can no longer ignore the fact that the toxicity of the Earth is responsible for the rise in numerous diseases, or that global warming presents many serious problems.

In his book, Blessed Unrest, Paul Hawken identifies the convergence of the environmental and social justice movements as the largest global social movement in history and acknowledges that no one knows its scope. It appears to be focused on eliminating the division between ecology and human rights and is directing efforts toward healing the wounds of the Earth, “The way we harm the earth affects all people, and how we treat one another is reflected in how we treat the earth.”[27] The Earth Charter is reflective of the Gaia Hypothesis, and the views of the Indigenous Grandmothers, and is also in resonance with the social movement that Hawken identifies. This charter is a declaration of the fundamental principles for building a just, sustainable, and peaceful global society that recognizes that environmental protection, human rights, equitable development, and peace are interdependent and indivisible, and that we must find common ground that recognizes that the protection of Earth’s diversity and beauty is a sacred contract.[28]

This sacred contract with the Earth, our home planet, is at the foundation of the Acutonics Healing System, it is one of the most fundamental principal of Taoist traditions, and many contemporary healing modalities, As Above So Below, As Within So Without, or in the immortal words of Chuang Tzu all things and I form an inseparable unity. The Acutonics system provides a unique synthesis between Oriental Medicine, Psychology, and the Planets that supports the integration of the individual with their greater environment, and recognizes the primacy of the unity between body, mind, and spirit, in optimal health.

The different facets of the Earth are represented in the rich archetypal qualities accessed by the Earth tones in the Acutonics system. The Ohm Unison is our home tone. The Earth Day has a generative birthing capacity, mother of life and all creation. The Zodiac Earth is perhaps best represented in the image of the Mother Goddess who created time and space, as it represents the cycle of the Earth traveling through the zodiac, a 25,920 year cycle, dispersing energy, and gathering wisdom.

The Chinese saw a mirror image of the natural world, including the celestial sphere, captured in a sophisticated network of energy meridians and points. The Five Element System of Oriental Medicine has two recognized configurations; one of them arranges 4 of the 5 Oriental elements – wood, fire, metal and water – in a wheel around the 5th element, earth. This unusual orientation of the elements echoes the fundamental primacy of earth in our psychospiritual makeup.

The ancient Taoists were also aware of the importance of Earth in their spiritual practices, and viewed the Earth, due to its immediate proximity to human beings, as the most influential of all astral energies. They acknowledged what they termed the Earth Force as one of the three principal sources of external qi, one that nourished the physical body, supplying the energy required for daily living and self-healing. [29]

In Acutonics we synergize the use of planetary healing instruments, such as tuning forks and planetary gongs with constitutionally oriented treatment protocols that address the whole body. In essence we integrate cosmic energy with Earth energy in a way that is unprecedented.

Astrologically when the Earth is placed in a chart, (though normally it is not shown in charts) it is located 180 degrees from the Sun, which many astrologers believe is a key missing polarity in a person’s chart. This polarity between the Earth and Sun plays a crucial role in our ability to integrate the disparate parts of our selves and to understand the work we’ve been called to do here in this lifetime. “Just as the Sun in our charts is one form of father (the radiant, creative, spiritual father), Earth as its polarity would address the radiant, inner, spiritual mother.”[30]

If we further explore the interdependent and interrelated creative union between the earth and sky, Gaia and Uranus, or through the myth of P’an Ku it is easy to understand the archetypal quality of the Earth in a person’s chart, “...the collection of veins, arteries, muscles, neuro-indicators, limbs, nerves and cells which make up the human body, and which all work together as a team to create a healthy, vital organism, or in the macrocosm, the oceans, forest, deserts, mountains, rivers, and glaciers which make up our world, as well as the numerous species which inhabit the earth, allowing these parts to all work together to create a healthy, vital planet.” [30]

The Earth — Ohm — Applications and Use

Physiological Actions: Harmonizing, grounding, rooting, and balancing.
The Ohm is the ground, or solid Earth tone, which roots all the healing harmonies in the Acutonics system. The Ohm is considered the fundamental tone that forms the basis of the intervals. Each of the other Earth tones and all the planetary tones used in clinical treatments are combined with the Ohm for its balancing and rooting qualities. It allows us to access the energies of the Solar System while maintaining our center of gravity here on the planet where we reside.

Ohm Unison Interval

The Ohm Unison Interval consists of two Ohm forks combined so that the same tones are united. The combination of these two Ohm tones reinforces the energy of balancing, centering, rooting, and grounding.

Therapeutic Applications: Use the Ohm Unison in all instances where rooting, grounding, and balancing are needed. Most treatments should begin and end by applying the Ohm Unison to the KID 1, Gushing Spring points on both feet for grounding. The Ohm Unison can also be used on other points whose functions include rooting and balancing, such as the Huato Jiaji points, for grounding and calming the nervous system, the Baliao points, REN 4, Origin Pass, and REN 6, Sea of Qi. This combination can also be used on the source points of meridians to balance the energy in the meridian and its corresponding organ. When you are unclear about which intervals to use, the Ohm Unison will begin the process of harmonizing and may help to clarify the clinical presentation.

Ohm Octave Interval

The Ohm Octave Interval combines the middle Ohm tuning fork with the Low Ohm tuning fork. The Low Ohm is eight whole tones lower than the Middle Ohm and one-half its frequency. It is the same tone reflected in a lower octave, providing a sense of linkage. Moving from one octave to the next conveys an energetic of completion. The Ohm Octave Interval is used for grounding, harmonizing, and connecting.

Therapeutic Applications: The Ohm Octave Interval can be used to treat disconnection between the upper and lower body. Place the middle Ohm fork on the upper body, for example on REN 17, Chest Center, and the Low Ohm fork on the lower body, for example on REN 4, Origin Pass.

Zodiac Earth

Physiological Actions: Dispersing, dispelling, and meditative.

Zodiac Earth 3rd Interval

The Zodiac Earth 3rd Interval is comprised of the combination of the Zodiac Earth and Ohm tuning forks. The unity of these tones produces a musical 3rd. The Zodiac Earth 3rd is effective in treating both physical and mental stress. It can be used to release stagnation and constraint and to relieve pain and relax tightness in the body.

Therapeutic Applications: To treat tight or painful muscles, apply the Zodiac Earth 3rd Interval directly to the tight, painful area and/or on acupuncture points proximal and distal to the affected area. For sciatica, place the Zodiac Earth 3rd proximal and distal to the area of sciatic pain. For anger and depression, use the Zodiac Earth 3rd Interval, placing the Zodiac Earth fork on LIV 3, Great Surge, and the Ohm fork on LI 4, Union Valley. For bruising, a manifestation of stagnant blood, apply the Zodiac Earth 3rd Interval around the bruise and in the subtle energy fields above the bruise. For stagnant liver energy, use the Zodiac Earth 3rd Interval on LIV 14, Cycle Gate.

Earth Day

Physiological Actions: Energizing, stimulating, and generative.

Earth Day 5th Interval

The Earth Day 5th Interval combines the Earth Day fork with the Ohm fork. Their united frequencies create a musical 5th. The Earth Day 5th reflects our daily cycle of waking, living, and sleeping. It is a highly energetic interval. This interval is replicated during the process of photosynthesis by forming the key tension in the nitrogen atom as sunlight is transformed into chlorophyll. The Earth Day 5th builds energy, stimulates, and creates a generative force.

Therapeutic Applications: To treat fatigue, use the Earth Day 5th on points that build energy, such as REN 6, Sea of Qi; REN 4, Origin Pass; KID 3, Great Ravine and ST 36, Leg Three Li.
To fortify or build blood, use the Earth Day 5th Interval on SP 6, Three Yin Intersection, and ST 36, Leg Three Li.
To increase the energy of any organ or meridian, apply the Earth Day 5th to the Source Point of the meridian.


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  2. Campbell, J. and M.J. Abadie, The Mythic Image. Bollingen series, 100. 1975, Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press. {note-a cithara is a musical instrument of ancient Greece which resembles a lyre}
  3. Sivin, N., State, cosmos, and Body in the Last Three Centuries B.C. Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies, 1995. 55, Number 1: p. 5-37.
  4. Neumann, E., The Great Mother; An Analysis of the Archetype. Bollingen series, 47. 1974, Princeton: Princeton University Press.
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  13. Neumann, E., The Origins and History of Consciousness. Bollingen series, 42. 1993, Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.
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  15. Laozi and W. Bynner, The Way of Life According to Laotzu: An American Version. 1986, New York, NY: Putnam.
  16. Yu, D.C., The Creation Myth and Its Symbolism in Classical Taoism. Philosophy East &West, 1981. 31(4): p. 22.
  17. Werner, E.T.C., Myths & Legends of China. 1976, New York: Arno Press.
  18. Sjoo, M. and B. Mor, The Great Cosmic Mother: Rediscovering the Religion of the Earth. 2nd ed. 1991, San Francisco, Calif.: Harper San Francisco.
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  20. The International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers. [cited 2008 July 1]; Available from:
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Good Vibes

25 Jun, 2007
Good Vibes

By Andrew Cunningham, is a freelance writer who lives in Falmouth.
Cape Healing Arts - Summer 2007

“Music has charms to soothe the savage breast.” So goes the saying. In reality, it’s the sounds within the music, and it’s these sounds that many holistic health practitioners are using in their treatments of patients. It doesn’t matter what a particular practitioner focuses on – acupuncture, massage therapy, BodyTalk™, craniosacral treatment – more and more, sound is becoming a vital part of the treatment.

One form of sound healing growing in popularity is Acutonics. Using tuning forks calibrated to the mathematical frequencies of the planets in their orbits, the process is completely non-invasive, using acupuncture, acupressure, and other trigger points in the body to work with the energy flow in the body’s meridians and chakras. Acupuncturist Arlene Myers, owner of Acupuncture and Associated Therapies in Mashpee, and a certified Acutonics teacher, says that the exciting part of Acutonics is that it can be studied by anyone. “You don’t have to be a medical practitioner to learn Acutonics,” she explains. Made of space-grade aluminum, Myers says that the tuning forks are used two at a time, sometimes tuned to the same frequency and sometimes octaves apart. She finds the treatments an excellent alternative or complement to acupuncture. “You don’t have to use needles to get the benefits of Chinese Medicine principles you find in acupuncture.”

It’s all about balance, says Myers, who conducts Acutonics workshops for the general public and other health professionals. “If the body is in balance, it will allow the problem to work itself out. Bodies reflect everything that is going on with us.” Acutonics and other sound healing therapies help to bring the bodies back into balance. “When the body suffers a trauma of some sort, that energy stays with us. The sound from the tuning forks gets it moving,” she explains. Sound healing is based on the idea that problems affect us on many levels. Usually if there is a physical ailment; it affects the emotional body as well.

“Our body reflects all kinds of levels of thing that are going on,” says Myers. “What I like is that you don’t actually have to do psychotherapy; you don’t have to verbalize the issue. What we work on with sound is the cellular, or energetic process that someone is experiencing.”

Using different forks leads to different results. Knowing which forks to use, based on the energies of the planets, is what Myers considers the creative part of the process, “Everyone uses them differently, too,” she says. “For example, I will often combine a half hour of Acutonics with a half hour of acupuncture. Some practitioners do Acutonics for a full hour.” And as with most alternative healing, the treatment goals will dictate how many sessions will be needed.

Of course, healing with sound is nothing new. The ancient Greeks understood the power of music to heal the body and soul; in fact, practically every civilization has used sound as a healing property. In the 1960s, Swiss scientist Hans Jenny concluded, after ten years of testing, that sound creates form, and that the human body has its own particular sound made up of the sounds of its cells and organs. For examples, it has been determined that slow music can slow down the heart rate, creating a sense of peace in the person listening. All of our atoms, molecules, and cells operate on a vibrational frequency. A harmonious sound, especially one focused with intent, will resonate throughout the body and bring the body’s vibrations into alignment with the sound.

Alica Gardner runs an Energy Medicine and Body Work practice out of DeVeuve Chiropractic and Natural Medicine in Orleans, “I use sound healing in almost every treatment I do, “ she says. “From the music I choose in the treatment room, to actually putting sound into the body.” She uses the Acutonics tuning forks, but also chimes, crystal bowls, bells, rattles, and drums. “I love the Acutonics system because it incorporates the wisdom of ancient Chinese Medicine, astrology, and the magic of sound.”

Gardner uses the BodyTalk™ system in her practice, which involves muscle testing to help the practitioner determine what forms of energy medicine to use on a patient. When she adds sound therapy, she is “astonished” by the results. “The tuning forks are especially good for getting stubborn ‘stuck’ pain and discomfort to move on and out. Clients find the treatment (being so non-invasive) very relaxing and restorative. They often seem to ‘float’ out of the treatment room after a session.”

Debra Avery, of Sandwich, is a craniosacral therapist and a Reiki master teacher who works out of the Acupuncture and Associated Therapies office in Mashpee. She used to incorporate sound as part of her treatments, but has found the sound therapy becoming the centerpiece. “I now include the other things around the sounds,” she says, “Sound opens the energy body, allowing me to use my hands more effectively,” Avery feels that sound healing, in all its forms, is finally gaining acceptance. “I think its time has come,” she says, “It is the medicine of the future.”

In addition to the tuning forks, part of the Acutonics system includes symphonic gongs, made in Germany which like the forks, are tuned to precise planetary frequencies. The gongs are designed to bring listerners back into connection with their physical, emotional and spiritual worlds. The powerful resonance of the gongs makes them perfect for use with families or large groups. Myers hold regular gong meditations throughout the year in her office.

Sound healing is not limited to tuning forks. Like Gardner, many health practitioners use chimes, bells, cymbals, rattles, and drums, as well as “singing bowls.” Singing bowls are ancient instruments thought of as a “standing bell.” Unlike most bells that are inverted and hang or are attached to a handle, singing bowls sit upright. The rim and sides of the bowl vibrate to create sounds.

Johanne Kieffer, a licensed massage therapist and a Reiki Master at Wellspring Massage, in Eastham, feels that the healing powers of sound make her other treatments more effective. “It places the body in a more relaxed state in preparation for the massage,” she explains. “Clients have provided positive feedback, reporting a sense of overall feel the vibration traveling up their legs and sometimes through to their fingertips,” Kieffer has experienced the power of sound healing in her own life, using it to calm some autistic behaviors in her son.

Alternative medicine has experienced a rebirth in our fast-paced society. It makes sense that one of the most ancient of all the healing techniques – sounds – should reemerge as an essential part of the treatment process. As we begin to understand the properties of sound, we can truly understand just why music can “soothe the savage breast.”

Acutonics: Sounds Like Ohm

3 Jun, 2007
Acutonics: Sounds Like Ohm

Interview with Donna Carey, LAc and Ellen F. Franklin, PhD
by Mary Grace McCord with Holistic Times, Volume 13 • Number 4

Within, without, throughout. As above, so below.

Linking heaven and earth, swirling through the synapses of all humanity, sound is the universal ribbon of life. Honored in the ancient mystery schools where East meets West, revered as the oldest and purest channel of healing, sacred sound is a vital force whose resonant vibration touches eternity.

The celestial symphony of whirling planets—the music of the spheres—is nature’s divine ambiance. As its faraway melodies wash into another watery womb, the next tiny heart finds its rhythm. Long before our first gasp, each one of us is both musically endowed and sound-encoded.

How does a human soul slowly lose the sweetness of this innate harmonic intelligence?

Amid daily noise pollution and the stresses of innumerable distractions, complications, the dark energies of corporate crime and acts of terrorism, disconnection is rampant. What can individuals do to rebalance, rejuvenate, and better protect the energetic muse-ings that heroically try to waft back in for a harmonious landing?

Friends of CCNH heard about Acutonics® when cofounder Donna Carey, LAc, and CEO Ellen Franklin, PhD, led two sound healing intensives during our fifth annual natural health conference.

To the casual observer, an Acutonics demonstration resembles a dart game that’s being played horizontally with shiny, rainbow-colored lawn darts. But thankfully, we didn’t spot any casual observers; some classmates were so moved by these heartfelt teachings that they’re now enrolled in their own Acutonics study programs.

Acutonics is headquartered within the Acutonics Institute of Integrative Medicine, LLC in New Mexico and taught year-round throughout the U.S. and beyond. Joining Holistic Times for a tone-ish tribunal are the creative hearts and soul of this sound healing modality. Incidentally, their innovative implements are natural conduits of healing energy, containing no sharp edges and designed to hum in perfect tune with the universe.

Acutonics is a non-invasive, yet powerful, transformational healing system. Using sound and vibration to re-harmonize and attune the human energy field to achieve optimal health, actualization, and wholeness…

HOLISTIC TIMES: How did each of you discover sound healing?

ELLEN FRANKLIN: I admit to being quite skeptical, but also in need of relief from asthma. I didn’t want to keep taking steroids, but was treated dismissively when I asked about the natural options. With Acutonics, not only did my breathing improve right away, but the energetic vibration of well-being stayed with me for days. I was amazed to feel free, relieved and alive again—a wonderfully emotional experience.

After three more treatments, there were no more inhalers, no antibiotics, and eventually no more low-grade fear about losing my breath.

DONNA CAREY: Also reluctantly, I was treated by a 90-year old woman whose bright energy was like a pixie or a unicorn—maybe both! While listening to a Brahms requiem, I saw and felt multidimensional light pouring into my solar plexus. It felt like a religious experience. The sensation of perfect unity, with no separation, rolled in on a high, humming energy that sent bright colors everywhere.

Hours later my senses still felt so revved up that my muscles kept twitching and pulsing and vibrating. Friends took me to the E.R. because my blood pressure went off the chart. Interestingly, these odd sensations weren’t one bit alarming to me. I sensed a cosmic reconnection too beautiful for words.

It may have looked like I was having a physical breakdown, but what I experienced was such a high-energy breakthrough that it felt like fire in a bottle. I wanted to help other people “find their music again,” and that’s where we’re going.

HOLISTIC TIMES: How does Acutonics work with different health conditions?

DONNA CAREY: Acutonics is a sound-assisted energy rebalancing modality that was inspired by the workings of acupuncture and acupressure. Using combinations of precision-calibrated tuning forks, these are applied to specific energy points to access the body’s meridian and chakra vibrational systems.

These tuning forks represent a natural harmonic series based on the orbital properties of the Earth, moon, sun and planets. Their rich resonance connects with and supports the body’s natural frequencies.

Following our intake assessment, the client relaxes on a massage table and can remain fully clothed if he or she chooses. The tuning fork is first struck against an Acuvator®, and then placed on the body or held near the ears. The fork’s sound waves

vibrate and travel deeply into the body along energy pathways, affecting human physiology and reaching places not easily accessed by traditional medicine. The body’s watery composition is a sensitive receptor and conductor.

Applying the forks stimulates and balances the body’s physical and subtle energy fields to promote healing and inner harmony. Listening to the forks speaks to us deeply by connecting with our vestibular system, within the inner ear canal, and accessing our sense of motion, balance, space, memory, and healing.

ELLEN FRANKLIN: Acutonics is a non-invasive, yet powerful, transformational healing system. Using sound and vibration to re-harmonize and attune the human energy field to achieve optimal health, actualization and wholeness, it can help address a wide range of ailments: musculoskeletal, neurological, psycho-spiritual, emotional and psychological, gastrointestinal, gynecological, respiratory, and many other chronic and debilitating conditions. We find sound therapy to be particularly soothing and gently strengthening for those whose body systems and defenses have been compromised by the double assault of cancer and oncology treatments.

HOLISTIC TIMES: You established Acutonics and created Acutonics to help other people reclaim their health by choosing saner and less disruptive modalities than medicine. Why do you think we keep having so many bizarre health crises anyway? With all our “progress,” asthma is becoming more prevalent, so many have illnesses such as diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and the cancer statistics are staggering…

ELLEN FRANKLIN: Our planet is in grave danger; the wars without are mere magnifications of the wars within. Emotionally and physically, Earth is the macrocosm and humanity is the microcosm. Within our shared field of consciousness, it’s pretty clear that Gaia is a nervous wreck and very much in need of detoxification—overstimulated by air and water pollution, not to mention the wanton devastation of everything that gives protection….

DONNA CAREY: …And that gives humanity protection. So many lung conditions are rooted in grief. Way too many people take anti-depressants; how could we possibly have so many suicidal children?

Autism is a sensory integration illness. We’re so over-stimulated that many children with great gifts and talents are too vulnerable, externally, too sensory-perceptive to cope! So they ‘go inside and stay there’ because the anxiety of keeping all their wits about them, 100% of the time, just wears them out.

Maybe they’re the messengers of new models of education. If the Earth’s energy is being squandered, a lot more will be lost until we commit to finding ways to give children back the sense of protection that’s their birthright. It’s important to educate parents in ways to create energetic balance, nutritionally and with exercises for stress management, talking and journaling, laughing with their kids, and planting a garden.

HOLISTIC TIMES: This reminds me to ask, how did the two of you discover the teachings of Clayton College?

ELLEN FRANKLIN: Our Kairos faculty would see your school’s faculty members at various holistic health conferences and trade shows, and there was always an openness and friendliness, just a feeling of kinship and goodwill that we noticed and appreciated.

DONNA CAREY: We met Linda Powell years ago, and things really clicked from the first time we said “hello.” At the time she was excited about CCNH having recently hosted one of its conferences and her energy was absolutely infectious.

We started trading ideas, having a chat about “best practices” and future strategies. I guess she asked if we would come teach at your next conference because of the instant chemistry. It always felt like we were like three little kids who couldn’t stop talking. We felt like peas that had met our pod!

HOLISTIC TIMES: You both go to natural health conferences such as American Holistic Nursing Association (AHNA), American Holistic Medical Association (AHMA), and American Naturopathic Medical Association (ANMA). Did you find our Clayton conference to be similar, comparable to these others?

DONNA CAREY: (Laughs) You won’t usually see me at many other conferences! Ellen is our “public face.” It takes a lot to convince me to travel. But I will say that when CCNH invited both of us to come and speak, I wouldn’t have missed it for anything!

ELLEN FRANKLIN: There’s a camaraderie in your group that’s really fun and refreshing. For example, if you’re hosting a conference it’s one thing to have an open mic night so that everybody who wants to can participate. But with your people, even hours after the official events were over, no one seemed ready to call it night. Little groups would sing and dance, play guitars, start a drumming circle, or just talk and laugh forever. Your students and faculty kept making impromptu plans with each other for where to meet next time. (Laughs) I mean, this went on for days!

DONNA CAREY: Impromptu. That reminds me of one more thing. We love that your conference is on Earth Day, and we were excited to hear about the special presentations that night. Linda knew that we had just returned from an expedition to Antarctica. I had written poetry, Ellen had these breath-taking photos, and Linda invited us to share the spotlight, so Ellen gave a narrative on global climate change. It was a very special honor for us, a wonderful evening that we’ll never forget.

HOLISTIC TIMES: You’ve been involved with public health service for many years. Are you training Acutonics practitioners to go work in disaster areas?

ELLEN FRANKLIN: Over the years we’ve donated products and helped create the infrastructure for volunteer networks so that our grads could focus on training medical professionals in the cost-effective alternative of sound healing—in Tibet, India, and South America so far.

These are people who already know acupuncture but have been unable to get enough supplies. While serving as clinical dean at Northwest Institute of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, Donna established more than a dozen community clinic programs for grossly under-served low income groups—for elderly residents in public housing, inmates, homeless people with HIV/AIDS, refugees and immigrants.

DONNA CAREY: We care about the world. We care about building a community of care that expands the envelope. Stress is the number one issue that causes ill health. If we can’t change a whole lot, still we can help people see that, together, we can each change something.

Earth is the macrocosm and humanity is the microcosm. Within our shared field of consciousness, it’s pretty clear that Gaia is a nervous wreck and very much in need of detoxification.

Vibrational Healing the Power of Sound to Heal

19 May, 2007
Vibrational Healing the Power of Sound to Heal

Ellen F. Franklin, PhD and Amanda Lamprecht, B.Juris, RYT
Light of Consciousness Magazine, Spring 2007

In Hindu mythology, Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva represent the Eternal Trinity and were the first musicians. Shiva, in his aspect of Nataraja, “Lord of Dance,” is dancing out the intricate rhythms in the processes of universal creation, preservation and destruction while Brahma and Vishnu accentuate the time and beat: Brahma playing the cymbals and Vishnu sounding the holy drum. Sarasvati, the goddess of music and wisdom, is often pictured playing the veena, considered to be the mother of all stringed instruments. Krishna, an incarnation of Vishnu, plays his flute to call back the souls that are lost in the delusion of worldliness to their home in Spirit.

Sound helps us deepen our connection to our spiritual path and wellbeing by reuniting us with something greater than self. Within each of us is a unique pure sound filled with delight. In every atom of our organic being we find a vibration, a blueprint of radiance, a vibrancy of telepathy that connects us at all levels to the greater universe, as within so without. Every cell in our body is a sound resonator. Every cell lives in a rhythmic pattern. Each organ has its own cycle and its own pulse. Each and every system has a cycle, rhythm, pattern and pulse that exist in resonant harmony and sympathy to the cycles of the Earth and the heavens, helping us to remember and to reconnect to the greater cosmic blueprint.

Our bodies reflect our inner state of being by the sounds we utter. If we are in pain, we groan. If we are joyful, we hum or sing. If we are sad, we cry. In meditation, we are still. Just as sound was born out of silence, sound creates the road back to silence, inner harmony and health. The human body is 70% water and sound travels four times faster in water than in air. Thus, we are a perfect resonator for sound; within us and around us the sounds of the universe impact us both positively and negatively. When we lose our connection to the rhythms and cycles of nature and the interconnection to all things in the universe, this alienation or disharmony manifests as imbalance and disease of the body and subtle bodies. Through the practice of yoga, meditation, chanting and the use of specific sound healing tools applied on and over the body, we gain access into the core energetic systems within the body, in a non-invasive way.

In the system of healing that we practice, we also work with the energetics and frequency of the planets, whose universal archetypes, myths, and correspondences provide us with physiological and psychological depth that help us to fine-tune the therapeutic frequencies that are applied to the body. The beginning point, or home tone we work with, is Om.

The great Vedic sage Patanjali said: “He who knows Om knows God,” and Paramahansa Yogananda wrote, “Aum is the basis of all sound. The Aum of the Vedas became the sacred word Hum for the Tibetans; Amin of the Moslems and Amen of the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Jews and Christians.” In contemporary sound healing, whether through chanting or harmonic attunement, through the use of Tibetan bowls, gongs, tuning forks and other sound healing tools, the frequency or vibration of Om is used to balance, ground and achieve greater harmony and connection to the Divine.

The practice of Nada (sound) Yoga creates healing in body and mind. When we close the senses and listen, the subtle inner sounds of the chakras become audible and the mind becomes absorbed in sound. The subtle sound nada takes the practitioner into deep meditation, dhyana. Yogis are watchful not to put their spiritual practices into molds. When we claim our practice as our own—our perfect yoga poses and accomplishments on the path—our ears become deaf to subtle inner music. We can only hear in the openness of non-attachment and the “tuning” inwards.

The transformative nature of sound is embodied in what is known as mantra, the science of sacred utterance. The sound healing meditations of singing, chanting, toning and vocal affirmations create strong spiritual magnetism, which draws what is required for living one’s dharma.1 From ancient times, yogis have aligned themselves with the cosmic vibration by using the voice to invoke Earth, mid-world, sky, heaven and Sun in sacred mantras. The Gayatri Mantra is one of the oldest, most sacred mantras in the Vedic language, predating Sanskrit. Just like a mantra, gongs, Tibetan bowls, tuning forks and other sound producing instruments that embody the vibrations of the Earth, Sun and planets in our solar system can act like an invocation, harmonically tuning our consciousness into right relationship with the Source, the Purusha, the “Divine Self,” which abides in all things.

The pure sound created by a stringed instrument can break up mental and emotional patterns and allow healing to flow into the  deepest recesses of molded practices, rituals, and samskaras2. Written record of this practice can be found in the Bible where David plays the harp to treat King Saul’s depression and anger. To practice ahimsa (no-harm) the Svara–Saushthava is considered an attribute, which means kindness or compassion in one’s speech or a soft and pleasant voice. Using bhramari breath (bhramari means bee), the yogi makes the sound of a bee, which calms the nerves and takes one into the para-sympathetic mode where true healing can happen.

In addition to working with chanting, meditation and yoga traditions, a number of sound healing tools can be used in an integrated way to promote deep healing and inner harmony.

Tibetan Singing Bowls
Tibetan singing bowls are used both on and above the body to align and balance energy patterns in both the physical and subtle energy fields. Traditionally the bowls contain seven metals, which corresponded to the seven original planets. The combinations and proportions of the metals are used to produce unique harmonics, character and texture that generate specific healing properties. Most bowls range in age from fifty to three hundred years and the techniques used to produce them are difficult to replicate. However, there are several organizations working for a free Tibet that are helping artisans reclaim this lost art by making these healing bowls. Playing singing bowls in a clockwise direction over the chakras (using the lower pitch bowls for the lower chakras and higher pitch bowls for the upper chakras) clears the body on an emotional and energetic level and stimulates the endocrine system to create hormonal balance

Tincha chimes are used to repair tears or holes in the subtle energy fields of the body and to lift and transform denser energy patterns. They are also used to indicate the beginning and the end of treatments and meditations.

Bell and Dorje
The Tibetan bell and dorje are used to balance and heal the body’s etheric energy field and to transform negative patterning through sound frequency bending. They represent the yin and yang aspects of existence and creation, the complementary and fundamental principles of all life. In Shamanic traditions, the sound of the bell represents the element of air, the realm of the spirits and the ether that transmits and is the transmitter.

Tuning Forks
Tuning forks provide a transformational and versatile healing tool that can be applied directly to acupressure points, trigger points, points of pain and to access the entire chakra energy system. The rich resonance and vibration of tuning forks that represent a natural harmonic series based on the orbital properties of the Earth, Moon, Sun and planets, connect with and support the body’s natural frequencies. This helps to bring us into alignment with the cycles and sounds of the cosmos, known since antiquity as the “Music of the Spheres.”

Planetary Gongs
These symphonic gongs resonate harmonically with the cycles and rhythms of the cosmos. Their opulent tones and vibrations unite with and support the body’s natural frequencies and bring us into alignment with the source of original harmony promoting healing at a deep cellular level.

The didgeridoo is an ancient Australian Aboriginal instrument used to connect the human with the Earth and the Divine. Healers sound the didgeridoo to ground and connect the physical body and to reawaken consciousness with the dreamtime. (What is real—the life we dream or the life we live? Aboriginals believe that our dreams are as real as the waking state.)

Sacred Rattles
The rattle is one of the oldest healing instruments. It is used to awaken the spirit and shake loose negative energies. Rattles have been used all over the world for ritual, ceremony and healing, and have the capacity for linking the waking consciousness to the energies of the cosmos or to levels of consciousness deep within us.

Drums represent the heartbeat of the Earth and have been used in healing for thousands of years. Their intense reverberations help to ground and root energy in the body. Drumming and rattling disperse blocked energy in the lower chakras and open a healing space for vibrations of healing energy to be accessed.

All of these tools can be used independently or in concert to bathe the body with sound. Edgar Cayce said that sound would be the medicine of the future, and the future is before us, uniting us with sacred and cosmic sounds. As Hazarat Inayat Khan, founder of the Sufi order in the West wrote, “The knower of the mystery of sound knows the mystery of the whole universe.”

1Righteousness; living by spiritual/divine laws.
2According to Raja Yoga, samskaras are mental modifications or limitations that a soul may carry from birth to birth, and which have to be purified or released in order to attain Self Realization.

George Feuerstein Ph.D., The Shambhala Encyclopedia of Yoga, Shambhala Press, 1997; and The Yoga Tradition—Its History, Literature, Philosophy and Practice, Hohm Press, 1998; Paramahansa Yogananda, Cosmic Chants, Self-Realization Fellowship, 1974;

Donna Carey & Marjorie de Muynck, Acutonics®: There’s No Place Like Ohm, Sound Healing, Oriental Medicine & The Cosmic Mysteries, Devachan Press, 2002.

Sound Therapy

10 Apr, 2007
Sound Therapy

Ellen F. Franklin, PhD
Massage Magazine, April 2007

“The knower of the mystery of sound knows the mystery of the whole universe.” —Hazrat Inayat Khan

Shiatsu practitioner Elfi Six incorporates gongs, tuning forks, chimes, bells, singing bowls, rattles, hand drums and the Kalimba (thumb piano) into her clinical practice in the Bershires in Massachusetts, and into her job at Canyon Ranch health resort in Lenox, Massachusetts. Six, who recently celebrated her 25th year in practice, believes that sound therapy beautifully supports her hands-on work.

“Imagine different ancient universal-sound qualities traveling along the acupuncture channels that in certain areas can be clogged—or if not dispersed, would lead to disease, pain or other discomfort,” she explains.

Six is among the many modern health-care practitioners who are putting the ancient practice of sound healing to a new rhythm of care.

Ancient cultural traditions and healing practices all over the world have utilized music, voice and sound to heal. In ancient Hellenic culture, the flute was played to ease the pain of gout; in the Christian Bible, David plays the harp to ease King Saul’s depression; and in spiritual traditions around the globe, chanting and prayer have been used for thousands of years to align body, mind and spirit.

Today, many health-care practitioners are integrating sound-healing tools into the therapeutic environment with profound results. These tools include the voice, harp, Tibetan bowls and bells, tuning forks, drums, rattles and gongs. There is a growing body of research that supports what people have known intuitively throughout time; Sound therapy works.2,3,4,5

Vibratory Motion
Sound therapy is a form of vibrational, energetic and harmonic healing. Our bodies function best when there is harmony, resonance and balance. As our hearts beat our lungs regulate breath, our organs work in mutual support and resonance with each other.

Ancient Oriental medicine physicians discovered a system of cyclic energy that flows along specific pathways, or points, in the body. Each pathway is associated with a particular physiological system and internal organ. Disease arises when there is imbalance, or disharmony, along the body’s energetic pathways.6 These pathways (meridians) of energy can be accessed therapeutically through touch and sound to relieve chronic conditions.

The system of sound healing that I work with draws heavily on this Eastern perspective, as well as contemporary cell biology and quantum physics, which provide increasing evidence that the vibratory motion of energy is found throughout nature and the universe, and contained within our cells.7

I was first exposed to sound therapy when I was suffering from a serious health condition and reluctantly went to see an acupuncturist who also worked with tuning forks, Tibetan bowls, bells and gongs. After the first treatment I could feel my body readjusting, my breath came more easily, and some of the pain and musculoskeletal problems that I had experienced were greatly reduced.

The primary treatment consisted of the application of tuning forks to key acu-points, Tibetan bowls placed on my body, and gongs sounded; few acupuncture needles were used. By the third session I was able to stop using an inhaler for asthma, and was taught to use tuning forks for self-care to open up my airways. The work was so profound that it changed the course of my life. Now, more that 15 years later, my life’s work is focused on education, research and writing about the beneficial effects of sound healing.

Resonating with the Core Essence
Everything around us is in a state of constant vibratory motion, generating sounds both audible and inaudible that can be harnessed to assist the healing process.

Polarity practitioner Micah Dobush, of Mt. Shasta, California, uses voice—vocalizing, toning and chanting seed mantras (a single syllable sound like aum)—and Tibetan bowls and tuning forks in his sessions. “The voice is the perfect instrument,” he says. “I have sung to clients while holding certain chakras or blocked  areas, and used singing bowls for many years for balancing, clearing and vibrational alignments.”

Sound vibrations impact us both positively and negatively. It is easy to recognize the physical impacts experienced from sounds such as fingernails scratching a blackboard, a jackhammer in the street, honking horns in a busy intersection, the steady beat of rock music at the gym. Now imagine the impact of gentle, healing sounds on the body.

“One of the things I love most about working with sound is that each session is a unique creative collaboration between the client and the practitioner,” says Carmen Cicotti form Lopez Island, Washington. She practices shiatsu, massage, cranialsacral therapy and Acutonics (a trademarked form of sound healing).

“By adding sound-healing tools, I am not just releasing tension and disharmony in the physical body but am able to access the deeper emotional levels to unlock the stores of memory lodged in the muscles,” she addeds.

The beneficial effects of music for relaxation and stress reduction have been heavily researched,8,9,10,11 and many practitioners already integrate music into their bodywork sessions. The human body is more than 70 percent water—even our bones and marrow are 25 percent water—and because sound travels more than four times faster in water, the body acts as a perfect resonator.12,13

New York-based oncologist Mitchell Gaynor, M.D., believes that sound-based therapies are one of the most powerful healing modalities, and that when we are attuned to the delicate vibrations of the universe, we are better able to resonate with our core essence, or true self.

“I believe sound and music are the next important integrative tools.” —Oncologist Mitchell Gaynor, M.D.

He incorporates a variety of sound-healing techniques in his support groups for cancer patients, including guided meditation and crystal and Tibetan healing bowls.14 Gaynor’s new CD set, Meditations and Music for Sound Healing (Relaxation Co., 2006), was featured on Oprah and Friends Radio.

“I believe sound and music are the next important integrative tools, which will facilitate bringing healing to seriously ill patients as well as those suffering from chronic illness,” Gaynor says. “As a cancer specialists, I see the miracles of healing every day; a wakening each patient’s healing wisdom and potential is a doctor’s critical task.”

Sound Healing and Body Work
In her massage and reflexology practice, Maren Good of Westfield, New Jersey, integrates a range of tools, including Tibetan bowls, the Tibetan bell and dorje, and hand chimes.

“I use a Tibetan bowl at the beginning of a massage session as a diagnostic tool. By scanning the body with the bowl and observing where sound is reflected or absorbed, I have a clear indication of where the body needs to be balanced,” she says.

Good also uses tuning forks directly on tissue to break up muscle spasms, to balance the chakras, and for grounding at the beginning and end of a session. She integrates tuning forks into her reflexology work as well. “[Tuning forks have] helped to save my hands,” she says.

Six often starts a session with the planetary Earth gong, and has the client stand in front of the instrument when it is struck. The vibrations of the gong travel deeply into the body and can be extremely effective in reducing stress. If a client is not responding to other methods, she will use the rattle or play the didgeridoo to loosen any stuck energy and bring relief. Tuning forks also provide a noninvasive way to access sensitive areas.

“Through the application of tuning forks, the layers of resistance just melt away,” Six says. “The common denominator for both shiatsu and sound therapy is the goal of harmonizing the energy flow. Once the person feels balance, the shoulder problems, sciatica or back pain often lessen or resolve, as do many other uncomfortable emotional states and body symptoms.”

When you begin to integrate sound-healing tools into your practice, start slowly and engage your clients in a discussion of what you would both like to accomplish in the session. Remember that sound is a powerful healing tool; a little goes a long way. If you are unsure of were to begin, I encourage you to take a class and learn more about the incredible transformational power of sound therapy.

Sound-Healing Tools
Many sound-healing practitioners speak of the critical role that intention—setting a clear energetic vision for each session—plays in their healing work. Intention is equally important in the selection of tools.

There are a wide variety of tools available, and price is not always the only indicator of quality. You need to hear them, feel them, and have some idea of the provenance. Where did the tools come from? Are they fair-trade objects—have craftsmen and merchants been fairly compensated for sound tools purchased from India or Tibet, or from the aboriginal people of Australia? The intention in the creation and sale of tools used in healing work are as important as the sound quality and harmonics.

Resonance is also important. If you intend to incorporate several different tools, get a sense of how they resonate with one another. Also consider how the tools will work together. If you’re selecting Tibetan bowls, for example, choose several sizes. A 12-inch bowl can be placed on the sacrum, but you would want a much smaller bowl for the heart area.

Most of the tools discussed below have been used for thousands of years, in celebration, ceremony, ritual and healing — from the drum that plays the heartbeat of the universe to the didgeridoo, which the Aboriginal people believe sounded the world into existence. Modern healing practices draw upon these traditional methods and honor their wisdom. Each tool can be used independently or in concert with other tools to bathe the body in sound.

Tibetan Singing Bowls
Tibetan bowls were traditionally used by Buddhist monks in spiritual practice, and are still used as meditation aide. Traditionally they were made of an alloy of metals. The combination and proportion of the metals used, wall thickness and bowl size determined each instrument’s unique harmonics.

Today singing bowls are used on and over the body to align and balance energy in the physical and subtle-energy, or etheric, fields. New and antique bowls are commonly used in healing, although the metal alloys and techniques traditionally used to make the bowls are difficult to replicate in modern manufacturing.

Tinchas are hand-held cymbals traditionally used in Buddhist and shamanic traditions. The clear sound made when the cymbals are struck together was used to begin or end meditation or ritual. Today they are used as a sound-healing tool to lift and transform dense energy patterns in the etheric field. They come in different sizes, and are either smooth or decorated with sacred symbols.

Crystal Singing Bowls
Unlike Tibetan singing bowls, crystal bowls are made from pure crushed quartz heated to about 4,000 degrees in a centrifugal mold. They are used for healing in the etheric field and to work with the chakras. They have a bright, resonant tone and a more watery quality than Tibetan bowls.

Bell and Dorje
The bell and dorje are used in Buddhist ceremony, and symbolize the duality (yin and yang nature) of life. In Shamanic traditions, the sound of the bell represents the element of air, the realm of the spirits, and the ether that transmits and is the transmitter. In contemporary healing practices, the bell can be used over the chakras or in the etheric field, and is sometimes rung over a singing bowl.

Tuning Forks
Tuning forks are versatile tools that can be applied directly to acupressure, trigger or pain points, in order to access the chakra- and meridian-energy systems. I work with forks tuned to the frequencies of the Earth, Moon, Sun and planets15 to help bring people into alignment with the sounds of the cosmos, known since antiquity as the music of the spheres.4,5,16

Susan Myers, a neuromuscular therapist in Taos, New Mexico, says, “When I work with specific muscle fibers and find a trigger-point nodule, I will use the tuning fork to shift the contraction when palpation pressure is not releasing the fibers of the muscle.”

Planetary Gongs
These symphonic gongs are rich in overtones and undertones. Tuned to the frequencies of the planets, they resonate harmonically with the cycles and rhythms of the cosmos. Their complex vibrations support the body’s natural frequencies and promote healing at a deep level.

The didgeridoo, an Aboriginal healing instrument, is played using a complex breathing-and-humming technique, and positioned at the client’s feet or over his solar plexus. Its deep, resonant sound grounds and connects the client to his physical body.

The rattle is one of the oldest healing instruments, and has been used around the world by many cultures. It is used in contemporary healing to loosen negative energies and emotional patterns.

Drums represent the heartbeat of the Earth. Their intense reverberations help ground energy in the body. Drumming and rattling can be used together to disperse blocked energy in the chakras and awaken the entire energetic system.


  1. Khan, H.I., The Music of Life. Omega Publications, 1983
  2. Gerber, R., Vibrational Medicine: New Choices for Healing Ourselves. Bear & Co., 1988
  3. Nakash, S., Music Therapy at the End of Life. Jeffrey Books, 2005
  4. Carey, D., de Muynck, M., Acutonics: There’s No Place Like Ohm, Sound Healing, Oriental Medicine, and the Cosmic Mysteries. Devachan Press, 2002
  5. Carey, D., Franklin, E., MichelAngelo, Ponton, J., Ponton, P., Acutonics From Galaxies to Cells: Planetary Science, Harmony, and Medicine. Devachan Press 2002.
  6. Kendall, D.E., DAO of Chinese Medicine Understanding An Ancient healing Art. Oxford University Press, 2002.
  7. Groleau, R., Resonance in Strings. Nova The Elegant Universe (Available from:, 2006
  8. Salmon, E., Kim, M., Beaulieu, J., Stefano, G.B., Sound Therapy Induced Relaxation: Down Regulating Stress Processes and Pathologies. Medical Science Monitor, 2002.
  9. Mornhinweg, G.C., Effects of Music Preference and Selection on Stress Reduction. Journal of Holistic Nursing, 1992, Vol. 10 (No. 2): pp. 101-109.
  10. Stadley, J., Ph.D., R.M.T., Hanser S.B., Ed.D., R.M.T.-BC, Music Therapy Research and Applications in Pediatric Oncology. Journal of Pediatric Oncology Nursing, 1995, 12, No. 1 (January): pp. 3-8
  11. Hanser, S., Music Therapy and Stress Reduction Research. Journal of Music Therapy, 1985. 22; pp. 193-206.
  12. Maurer, J.A., Research in Underwater Sound. (1998)
  13. Watson, P., Watson, I.D., Batt, R.D., Total body water volumes for adult males and females estimated from simple anthropometric measurements. American journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1980. Vol 33, 27-39.
  14. Gaynor, M.L., The Healing Power of Sound. Shambhala, 1999.
  15. Cousto, H., The Cosmic Octave. (Baker, C., Trans.). Life Rhythm Publications, 1988.
  16. Godwin, J., The Harmony of the Spheres: a Sourcebook of the Pythagorean Tradition in Music. Inner Traditions International. 1993.

The Emergence of Spirit in Healing: The Bridge of Reconciliation

25 Apr, 2006
The Emergence of Spirit in Healing: The Bridge of Reconciliation

Donna Carey, LAc
Bridging East & West, April, 2006

As Eastern and Western medical paradigms move into deeper communion with one another we, as healers, are given the opportunity to participate in a new and innovative creation story, one that can unite us all, just as creation stories and cosmologies have always united human consciousness and human communities as far back as we know or can ever imagine. There is a greater pattern leading us now, the pattern of the Tao, the pattern of nature itself, a dynamic, creative change process that will propel us toward more ordered, more complex, more interrelated states of interaction.

The great Tao flows everywhere, both to the left and to the right
Ten thousand things depend on it,
it holds nothing back
It fulfills its purpose quietly
and makes no claim

Lao Tzu

Medicine is on the threshold of taking giant leaps in the evolution of health care. Rules governing what works and what doesn’t work are shifting dramatically. We are a part of the change, we are creating a new story in medicine, creating what’s never existed before. East and West are making deep and powerful interdependent connections with one another, not excluding based on differences or separation of function, but by radically rethinking the most basic and most fundamental ways we view the world, and moving in trust toward a vision of holism. This new story represents the highest state of grace in the Oriental perspective—balance, integration, the reconciliation of dynamic and opposition forces that depend on, inspire, and augment one other. This reconciliation is not simply a mating of medical methodologies, it is a transformation of consciousness.

The story, the new medicine, will celebrate the integrity and the fullest potential of the human being, of human membership, and bring together fields of energy, fields of medicine, fields of people and of communities, and will contribute to the ongoing work of the universe. The act of bridging Eastern and Western medicines, or reconciliation, is in itself an act of healing, and another testament to the lush and infinite generosity of spirit.

REC’ ON CILE, [Fr. Reconcilier; L. reconciliare]
1. to make compatible; to bring into harmony
2. to compose

Rethinking health care requires that we as healers and as individuals of a culture, step out of human body and consider how the Eastern medical model treats health and disease, and how it perceives both the human body and the entire universe philosophically. The goal of Chinese Medicine is to restore the harmony that exists in all beings in the universe, and throughout the universe. This harmony can be disrupted by external factors (accidents, bacteria, viruses), and by internal factors (emotions, “psychological infections” and being disconnected). Both of these factors are equally important. Traditional Eastern medical schools of acupuncture and Oriental medicine emphasize the living, the deep, rich, interactive, interdependent, overarching relationships that exist within the universe of the body—feelings, correspondences of one system to another, the hinging of all things inextricably linked.

Oriental medicine reads the signs of imbalance within the body before structural, histological, or psychological damage occurs—it interprets and prevents disease before it develops. Western medicine is superlative at locating the cause of disease, and the etiological agents outside of the individual, and combating them-removing damaged organs, or interceding with drugs that target a specific bacteria. The philosophical constructs and theories in the Eastern and Western medical paradigm’s are distinct. Health from a western perspective is freedom or absence from disease. The individual, like the organ or the origin of disease is distinct from everything else. Health from the Oriental worldview is the ability of an organism to respond appropriately to the pantheons of challenges in a way that will ensure equilibrium and integrity to the organisms as a whole. The individual is connected with a larger system, like the systems within each individual are connected with one another. The individual is not separate from the universe. In fact, the individual is a microcosm of the universe itself.

The blessing of Western medicine is that it “cures” people of serious, traumatic, infectious conditions. But it does so by division, relegating treatment to particular organs, bones, and tissue, and looking for the cause of disease outside the limits of the human organism. The blessing of Oriental medicine is its effectiveness balances mind, body, and spirit on an energetic level and promotes healing from within, and a sense of integration and wholeness.

This is not to say that East is right and West is wrong; it is simply to open up to a new view of healing imbued with a richness in texture and saturation of wisdom from the Eastern philosophical system. It is the philosophy of nature, the philosophy of systems and interconnectedness, of the unquestionable honoring of the individual and of the whole. The world, our world, changes only when we shift to living consciously with a new set of values, beliefs, attitudes, and assumptions that is more generous and more inclusive. This generosity must come from all healers, Eastern and Western, and from all people. The capability and the magic we have is the ability to change our thinking patterns, to embrace something much larger and more complete. It is not only an unfortunate error in our thinking but a tragic diagnosis of impartial awareness that keeps us believing that the system we know is the best, the only. We can use both appropriately, embracing the universal laws of complementarity and mutual interdependence.

REC’ ON CILE, [Fr. Reconcilier; L. reconciliare]
3. To join evenly with one another

The call to each of us as healers is to open our awareness, our perceptions in order to create the new vision, the new story of medicine, a medicine of wholeness, of holiness and hope. We can use our work together as a symbol of what we cherish and to inspire the capacity and potential for effective work and change within the community. It is a sacred interaction with the ongoing sacrament and mystery of the universe. It is both our challenge and our greatest honor to come together to reconcile the separation we have created and perpetuated by splitting what is and has always been whole. We must use the bridge of reconciliation to create the most profound and healthy models for transformation within the medical systems and within the greater systems in which our medicines reside.

The thinking methods, attitudes, values, and beliefs that we as healers and community choose to integrate will determine the changes and transformation ahead and fuel the creation of a new medical narrative.

We Can Move:

Thinking Methods
From: Analyzing    
From: Knowing     
To: Exploring
From: Learning by objectivity    
To: Learning by participation/creativity

From: Certain    
To: Curious
From: Competitive     
To: Cooperative
From: Soloist    
To: Team
From: Humans Conquering Nature   
To: Ecological view

From: Owning    
To: Sharing
From: Specific roles/unequal status     
To: Empowerment for all
From: Hierarchiucal structure    
To: Shared responsibility

From: Fear/anxiety    
To: Trust/wonder
From: Good/bad/righ/wrong     
To: Non-judgmental
From: Protecting the past    
To: Creating the future
From: Independent relationships   
To: Interdependent relationships
From: Universe as a machine   
To: Universe as a sacrament

From: Parts    
To: Whole
From: Cure     
To: Prevention
From: Medicated society    
To: Healthy society
From: Lone practitioners   
To: Multidisciplinary care teams
From: Authority over patients   
To: Empowerment of patient
From: Health care as a privilege   
To: Health care as human right
From: Efficiency ruling   
To: Beauty as a part of the equation
From: Medicine as strictly science   
To: Medicine as the art of living fully
From: Rationality reigning   
To: Mythology abounding

Sedna: The Mysteries, Miracles and Infinite Capacity of Water, Remembering the Past and Future of Oriental Medicine

17 Feb, 2006
Sedna: The Mysteries, Miracles and Infinite Capacity of Water, Remembering the Past and Future of Oriental Medicine

Donna Carey, LAc, Ellen F. Franklin, PhD and MichelAngelo, MA, MFA, CTM
Oriental Medicine Journal, 2006

Returning Art & Spirit to Medicine
In previous articles in OM Journal we explored the Acutonics® Healing System and the growing field of Harmonic and Energetic Medicine. This integrated system of healing and education incorporates sound vibration with ancient Taoist teachings of the meridians, pre-meridians, and the immortal body. Through the application of precision calibrated tuning forks to specific acupuncture, acupressure and trigger points, you are able to access the meridian and chakra energy systems of the body on adeep cellular level. The tuning forks represent a natural harmonic series that is based on the orbital properties of the Earth, Moon, Sun and other planets. Their rich resonance, planetary correspondences, and vibration connects with and supports the body’s natural frequencies, bringing alignment with the cycles of nature and the cosmos known since antiquity as the Music of the Spheres.

When you work with these planetary frequencies, and deepen your understanding of the related archetypes and associated myths, you are able to fine-tune the energetic that is sent to the body. Throughout the Acutonics Certification Program, practitioners learn to work with and understand more complex archetypes and correspondences that come into play in the treatment process and reclaim the art, spirit, and mystery of medicine. Each musical combination or interval has its own unique healing properties. For example, combining the Ohm Fork—the sound of the Earth traveling through the four seasons—and the Zodiac Earth Fork—the sound of the Earth traveling through the 25,920-year zodiacal cycle—creates a 3rd. This is an excellent combination for reducing pain and scar tissue. The Mars and Venus forks combine to create a 5th, which provides an opening or gateway. This gateway sound is used to treat overloaded adrenals, balance charkas, access creativity, and achieve balance when we are pulled in too many directions. In this article, we invite you to take a journey, from the high Arctic to the far solar system, and learn about Sedna, discovered in 2003 and granted official name and status in 2004. Sedna truly represents the Water Element.

The Water Element invokes deep concerns regarding the conditions of our oceans, environmental degradation, and global climate change. My recent trips, with Donna Carey to the Arctic and Antarctica, left me with a deep, life altering understanding of the weight of water. I was not prepared for the majestic beauty of ice — icebergs, growlers, and pancake ice, the vastness of space, or our insignificance in the hands of nature, force twelve winds at sea in Drakes Passage, or the sheer majesty, indescribable beauty, and blessings you feel on sighting a blue whale in motion, the pain you experience when you read yet another report on the melting ice sheets, or experience it directly, the decimation of the whales, seals, and birds, over - fishing of our waters, and the PCB levels in the Arctic people and waters. Standing on this vast, unpopulated white continent, Terra Incognita, I touched the natural world with a different lens, and came to understand the force, power and capricious nature of the cosmos. This interconnectivity between heaven, earth, and humanity is at the heart and soul of Oriental Medicine. We are at a critical time in human evolution, and as teachers, healers, and citizens of the world we must take positive actions to help repair the damage that the human species has brought to mother Earth, and Sedna is both our herald and our harbinger.

This article and the theories that surround Sedna, are drawn from our advanced curriculum, and the forthcoming book, Sedna the Superconductor: Co-authored by Donna Carey, LAc, co-creator of the Acutonics Healing System, and co-founder of the International Institute of Harmonic Medicine and MichelAngelo co-author and co-developer of our advanced curriculum and Director of Astrological Medicine for the International Institute of Harmonic Medicine. For further information about the Acutonics System of Healing & Education, visit our website at

Ellen Franklin, PhD
CEO, Acutonics Institute of Integrative Medicine, LLC
Co-founder International Institute of Harmonic Medicine

The Discovery of Sedna
Sedna was discovered November 13, 2003, at 10:32 pm, by a team of astronomers working at Palomar Observatory in southern California (see discovery chart and interpretation below). The announcement of the discovery was made early in the morning on November 14 (6:32 am) in Nogales, Arizona. At the time of its discovery, the new object was given the official designation, 2003 VB12, but, almost immediately, in a notable break with astronomical precedent, was given the unofficial name Sedna by the discovery team. Dr. Chad Trujillo, one of the group, had this to say about this development:

“The thinking was that we wanted to name it after a mythology from a culture that was expert in cold climates, because the surface of Sedna is so cold … we also wanted something that was pronounceable in English and something with an interesting story. Also, we wanted a creation deity, because that is the most likely rule in the IAU that this object will fall under Kuiper Belt objects, (KBO’s, must be named after creation deities)… With all those constraints, Sedna seemed a pretty natural name after doing some research on the Web and coming up with a short list of candidates … our specialty is not cultural research, it is astronomy. So, Sedna just seemed to fit as a good name.”

The provisional name Sedna was granted official acceptance by the International Astronomical Union on September 28, 2004, leaving astrologers once again in their customary position of determining what this new planet “means.” A cold planetoid, about three-fourths the size of Pluto, Sedna has caused a tremendous amount of controversy both in naming and classification.

Sedna’s naming reflects a departure from the Greco-Roman patriarchal tradition. Sedna is an Inuit goddess of the sea who lived in the cold depths of the Arctic, the North, the primal yin. Sedna is the first observed body belonging to the Oort cloud with a highly elliptical orbit that takes about 11,487 years. Initially believed to have an exceptionally long rotational period of twenty to fifty days, newer measurements suggest a much shorter rotational period of just 10 hours, more typical for a body its size. Sedna is also one of the reddest objects in our solar system, nearly as red as Mars, an inner terrestrial planet. However, Sedna is well beyond the realm of even the outer gas giants, inhabiting the space where methane ice exists and dominates.

What does this have to do with the Practice
Of Oriental Medicine?

The Arctic peoples, Eskimos and Inuit are our ancestors, the descendants of the original keepers of Oriental Medicine. These Siberian shamans migrated across the Bering Sea, guarding spiritual mysteries. They are the taproots of knowledge, the sounders of sound, the original people. Our ancestors were aligned with the cycles of heaven and earth and lived in community and communion with nature. They believed in the cycles of the Five Elements, and held to universal ethics that we have forgotten. The shamans guarded and kept a vigil on the North Bushel, the big dipper. This ultimate expression of unity, this hologram and sacred geometry residing in space, manifests on earth as the northern direction and has correspondences in nature, the human body, and soul. Our ancient ancestors understood the weight of water for survival on all levels. Our modern Inuit ancestors understand the weight of water for survival on all levels. The people and animals of the Arctic, living in one of the most remote spots in the world, are among the planet’s most contaminated organisms. Inuit women have the highest levels of PCBs in their breast milk. The polar bear carries excessively high loads of industrial chemicals. Cubs are being poisoned by their mothers’ milk, which contains higher concentrations of PCBs than their mothers and billions of times more than the Arctic waters.

Since 2003, around the time of Sedna’s discovery, a growing number of scientific reports have been published including one sponsored by the PEW Charitable Trust, Recommendation for a New Ocean Policy, and Impacts of a Warming Arctic published by Cambridge University Press. These and many other reports raise awareness of the horrific conditions of our oceans, including the melting of the ice sheets, decimation of species thru pollution and global warming, costal erosion, changes in distribution and abundance of species. We have recently witnessed the increase in life shattering hurricanes, tsunam's in the east, heavy rainfall or draught, and these are only the beginning of the type of global climate change that we will experience in our lifetime as individuals and planetary healers. The reports, including a recent one on the rapid melting of the Greenland ice sheet, provide a harsh wake up call of our planetary responsibility to the North.

As practitioners of Oriental medicine, we cannot loose sight of the integrative nature of our work, it is systems theory, all parts relate to the whole, connecting us to nature, all beings, planets and the cosmos. The central goal of our medicine is cosmic attunement.

Planetary Discovery as a Mirror of the Evolution of Human Consciousness
Prior to the modern, scientific era, human beings knew of only seven planetary bodies: the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. These traditional cosmic wanderers, originally seen as divine “real estate,” over time became directly vested with the attributes of the gods. The correspondences between astrological planetary energies and the archetypes of Greco-Roman myth that we have inherited are demonstrably self-evident. The hierarchy of divine intelligences, which remained firmly in place for several millennia, was viewed as an absolute cosmic structure that reflected the primordial forces that governed human affairs.

However, in 1781, with the discovery of Uranus by the English scientist William Herschel, a long-established paradigm was rendered incomplete, and it became necessary for astrologers to incorporate an additional planetary body within their worldview. The naming and recognition of this object as “Uranus,” by the astronomical community, presented as a fait accompli, placed upon their more esoteric brethren the burden of illumination of this new archetype, one that could only be discharged through observation of the impact of Uranus upon contemporary world events.

Over time, a consensus was reached that the new planet encoded ideas relating to revolution against the established order, exemplified by both the American and French Revolutions; an increased sense of altruism that extended itself to the leveling or elimination of class distinctions, and enhanced freedom and self-expression for all members of society. Its arrival also seemed to coincide with a similar revolution and discoveries in the natural sciences, leading to the development of new technologies that partook of the electrical nature of the Titanic sky god and his thunder and lightning.

A similar process has occurred with subsequent discoveries – Neptune in 1843, Pluto in 1930, and Chiron in 1975. In each instance, the Western astrological community (for we should note that these new planets are not considered relevant by Vedic or Chinese astrology) has sought to assign significance to these emergent archetypes through a similar process. In an extension of the ancient Hermetic axiom of “as above, so below,” it has viewed each new planetary find as an outward manifestation of an inner process of spiritual evolution, shared by civilization as a whole. Similarly, 20th and 21st century astrologers, taking their cue from the theories of noted Swiss psychologist Carl Jung, have seen the workings of synchronicity in the seemingly arbitrary choice of mythical nomenclature for each additional celestial orb, and supported their interpretations with the evidence of mundane astrology.

The Discovery of Sedna
As we begin our investigation of this new planetary archetype, we should note that Sedna presents us with a number of anomalous features:
Sedna lies beyond the parameters of the solar system, and is best identified as an ‘oortoid,’ meaning that she emerges from the inner edge of the Oort Cloud, a region of deep space from which the long-haul comets that periodically appear are said to originate;

Despite the fact that, due to her location, astronomers would expect Sedna to be carbonaceous in nature (like Pluto), through the telescope, she appears a ruddy red-orange, like Mars;

The Sedna story is a mythic construct that departs from the prevailing Greco-Roman astrological paradigm;

Sedna is not divine, she is a troubled spirit; this is perhaps indicative of a movement beyond the semi-divine Chiron, a further departure from the  “divinity” of the Olympian pantheon. The Inuit tribes do not worship Sedna; they fear and respect her.

Astrologically, Sedna may perhaps function more like a fixed star than a planet; this is because its orbital period is so long, her position barely shifts from one year to the next.

The Sedna note represents a new frequency in the Acutonics® Healing System, with a correspondingly unfamiliar set of intervallic relationships; the logical result of this is a RETUNING of the tonal cosmos.

Beyond Synchronicity: As Without, So Within
Beneath the seeming synchronous nature of planetary “discovery,” there is a deeper core of truth, which has to do with the psychological phenomenon of projection. It is generally conceded by psychologists that the human psyche evolves through a process of incorporating aspects of itself that it initially perceives as being “other,” in other words, beyond the center of ego awareness. This is often the case in intimate relationships, where one partner is drawn to another because of the subjective impression that this “other” somehow possesses desirable qualities that one lacks in oneself. Over time, if the relationship evolves to a state of greater consciousness, each partner recognizes that they themselves partake of those very same qualities, which they have ascribed to their intimate other. Often, these qualities have been repressed due to some negative feedback, and conscious recognition and acceptance of them would not otherwise occur, unless an individual who safely embodied those longed-for attributes were somehow to manifest themselves with their “orbit.” Until that time, such disowned aspects of the individual nature are consigned to what Jung termed the “shadow,” which can serve, as well, as a repository for a myriad of unattractive personality traits that may be readily assigned to other people.

Thus the advent of a new planet presents an opportunity for collective humanity to identify an emergent aspect of consciousness, a new archetype, which, like all such universals, may have both desirable and less-than-admirable qualities. We might even speculate that the more remote the manifestation from the epicenter of human consciousness, i.e., the Earth, the greater the likelihood that the emergent archetype is consigned to the deepest regions of the collective psyche.

What hidden qualities of the human soul are encoded in the archetypal energy of a “planet” like Sedna, immured in the blackness and cold of the interstellar void, so removed from the light and warmth of our own terrestrial abode? And to what previously disregarded and disowned aspect of our collective humanity does it refer?

The Myth of Sedna
In our process of illumination of the new Sedna archetype, let us first examine the myth. There are myriad variations that occur throughout the Arctic; the basic outlines of the story are as follows:

Sedna is generally characterized as a somewhat vain, self-centered young girl; she is an only child, motherless, who lives with her father, and spends most of her time gazing at her reflection in the mirror, combing her long locks. In her self-absorbed state, she has rejected any number of eligible suitors, and shows very little interest in marriage, in defiance of the norms for behavior of young women of her tribe.

Suddenly, a mysterious stranger appears in Sedna’s village; he is tall, dark and alluring, and manifests all the requisite signs of affluence. Sedna conceives a passion for him, and prevails upon her father to let her wed. Her father consents to the union and following the ceremony Sedna and her consort depart the village for his home in his boat.

However, once out of sight of her village, Sedna’s new husband immediately transmogrifies into a frightening, eldritch spirit, a malignant creature of the air, perhaps a giant raven. He then transports her, very much against her will, to his aerie a cold, barren island in the sky, where Sedna is isolated from all human contact, and forced to subsist on a diet that consists entirely of raw fish.

Sedna is left desolate; her new husband and his companions spend all their time hunting, and she yearns for the solace of human companionship. After a certain amount of time goes by, she prevails upon her consort to permit her father to come for a brief visit. Presumably through his magical arts, the sky creature weaves the illusion of an idyllic marital situation, but, in spite of his efforts at deception, Sedna is successful at communicating her immense unhappiness and despair, and convinces her father to take her away with him. He agrees, and under cover of darkness, they depart the island in all due haste.

Upon his discovery of Sedna’s disappearance, her spurned paramour screams his displeasure, and he and his fearful relations descend from their aerial haunts in pursuit of his wayward spouse. Sedna’s father has made considerable progress toward home by this time, but, without warning, the great Raven and his brethren swoop down upon his little vessel, stirring up a great storm with the beating of their wings.

Stricken with terror, and in spite of the entreaties of his daughter, Sedna’s father (or, in other variants of the story, his crew) promptly throws her overboard, leaving her to a ghastly fate. In her desperation, floundering in the midst of the tempest, she grasps the gunwale of her father’s boat, and steadfastly refuses to relinquish her grip.

In an ultimate, violent act of renunciation, her father severs Sedna’s fingers with his ice axe, whereupon she descends to a watery grave. However, in so doing, her amputated digits are miraculously transformed into the animals of the Arctic north – the whales, seals, dolphins, fish, and other sea creatures – and Sedna assumes the position of their Queen, a hyperborean “Mistress of the Animals.”

Now immersed in her dark, silent, aqueous demesne, Sedna is anything but content with her new state. From time to time, her uncoifed, lengthy tresses become irretrievably tangled due to the ebb and flow of oceanic currents; her subsequent displeasure at being unable to perform her toilette, due to the lack of fingers, leads her to withhold the bounty of her sea creatures. She also roils up the ocean, engendering violent storms. It is at these times that Inuit shamans must journey to Sedna’s “queendom”, and render her the valuable service of combing her hair and singing gentle songs of consolation and homage. It is only then that Sedna is mollified, and, in a more amenable frame of mind, permits the return of her subjects to their homes, thus ensuring that the Inuit will not go hungry.

Mythic Considerations
The Sedna myth can be broken into six underlying motifs.

Refusal to conform with societal expectations regarding marriage/children (creativity), rejection of suitors, inappropriate choice of partners, violation of reproductive taboos.

Vanity, narcissism, hubris.

Abduction into non-earthly realms by a dark figure associated with death (raven); lack of nurturance, initiation into womanhood.

Escape to earth; betrayal by family of origin/tribe.

Dismemberment results in the birth/re-birth of nature.

Descent into the underworld; displeasure gives rise to cycles of abundance/famine.

Sedna’s physical dismemberment is also a form of sexual initiation, in that it leads directly to the birth of animal life, in particular aquatic life. According to the Inuit, Sedna’s power is at its greatest in the winter, when, due to the almost perpetual dark and cold above the Arctic Circle, there is a scarcity of animal life. As in the natural world, the rebirth of nature occurs once the goddess has been appeased through observance of the appropriate rituals. Sedna finds her ultimate identity as a dark queen of the nether regions, regarded by her subject peoples with fear and trepidation.

The Inuksuit
Keeping a lonely vigil and embedded with secret testimonies of time, space, and history throughout the Arctic are stone sculptures called Inuksuit. The Inuksuit can weather the violent and brutal forces of wind and snow and ice for centuries, yet remove one stone and the rest will crash to the ground—they are born and created in unity, and the strength of the whole lies in the commitment of unity, interconnectedness, and interdependence.

The Inuksuit are often arranged in the shapes of human beings with outstretched arms and are the compasses that guide the lost or disoriented travelers safely towards home, or point toward abundant hunting grounds. But they also serve spiritually and etherically as moral compasses, artistic and primal messengers of guidance, trust, and connectivity in a vast, severe, uncompromising and solitary land. In this place, the sun never rises in winter and never sets in summer and human beings rely on the cooperation of nature, the animal realms and each other to simply survive. When an Inuit hunter sees an Inuksuk, they know they are not alone.

Inuit myths and legends are rich, abounding with themes of interchangeability between humans and animals; hunter and hunted transforming into one another, women marrying octopi and bearing offspring, the stubbornness of blue jays, the grudges of wolverines, the body and spirit of a human fusing with the body and spirit of a seal or a bear or a bird, seeking the tenuous balance that allows each to survive, prosper, and become larger somehow, without overcoming the other. The strongest and most enduring ties bind people to nature with a deep respect, awe, necessity, and connectivity. This is a tenet of Oriental philosophy, which informs the medicine.

Throughout history, people have learned from animals, mimed them in dances, echoed their voices and cries in song, created ritual homage to them in great number, maintained communication with them through harmonic languages or through shamans. Animals have been loved, admired and feared, and humanity has engaged an entire range of emotions and ritual to honor and attend their vital importance in every day life, and to entertain their vanity. We find animals as tricksters, messengers, guides, prophets, spiritual overseers, givers of medicines and riches, deities, lovers, portents, husbands, wives, and magicians—the visible and invisible world of animals. And shamans lived the life of all the animals, revered nature and honored the consciousness.

The messages of the planet Sedna speak to the heart and the soul of Oriental Medicine. These themes, cosmologies, and universal truths compel us to enter, explore and understand the ancient roots of our medicine. There is richness and tradition that we have lost, as we sell out our shamanistic egalitarian and cooperative roots, the way of water and the mysterious female to a dominator matrix that controls, cannibalizes and monopolizes. But the markers are still there to help us understand the Way. We must each find true north, the compass center direction of healing and dreaming. Open the mysterious pass that brings us to an appreciation of the beauty and interdependence of all things, to revere and respect the myriad sentient beings and forces that inhabit and animate life, and recognize that neither heaven nor nature begrudge the Way but simply circulate it in the manifest world.

In Superconductivity, Superfluidity, In Living Organisms, And In Societies, There Is A Collective Order Within Each Chaotic And Random Motion, So That Radically New Forms Of Behavior Emerge At Critical Points Through The Cooperative Action Of The Whole.

Interpretation of Sedna Discovery Chart
Natal Chart (Method: Astrodienst/Placidus)
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Ascendant: Leo

The chart signature is mutable water (dominant element by sign and modality). Hence, this is a very watery chart; also Mars in Pisces is located in the 8th house, which is associated with Scorpio. Neptune, the planet traditionally associated with the sea, is setting; perhaps this is an indication that a new energy relating to the oceans is about to emerge. One might even suggest that the idea of “mutable” water would indicate that the essential nature of mankind’s relationship with water is in the process of changing;

It manifests a grand sextile in water and earth (Sedna,Mars, Chiron, Sun, Jupiter, and Saturn are involved), both by sign and house; in other words, the planetary “players” are located not only in water and earth signs, but also the water and earth houses (2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12). A grand sextile appears as a Star of David against the backdrop of the heavens, and traditionally this would be considered a configuration of great significance and potential benefit. Sextiles, which are 60 degree aspects, are considered to relate to opportunity; hence, a grand sextile might, in simple terms, be considered representative of a “huge” opportunity. We should note, however, that, in this instance, both beneficial planets (Venus, Jupiter) are overshadowed by malefics, planets inimical in their effects, Venus by Pluto,Mars by Jupiter.

It is interesting that water and earth, the two elements that are considered yin in Western astrological symbolism, should be the signs emphasized in the chart. In a divinatory context, it is frequently the case that an emphasis on a particular element may, in fact, be indicating exactly the opposite. This might reflect the fact that our planet is becoming increasingly yang, and that, while the emergence of the Sedna archetype may be a harbinger of a long-overdue evolution in man’s relationship to the biosphere, the news is not all good. We are living on a planet that is out of balance;

In the language of astrological aspects, the opposition is traditionally considered to be the most challenging, in that it encodes the greatest potential for hostility and antagonism; we can associate this with the more negative aspects of projection. However, at the same time, because the two planets are most visible to each other, they can communicate more readily, and perhaps achieve a rapprochement that would not necessarily be feasible were they in a different energetic relationship. In the discovery chart, we have Sedna opposite the Sun; we might characterize this as illustrating the greater implications of the emergence of the Sedna archetype; it is in the interaction between the Sun and the oceans that weather is generated. The one symptom of global  warming that is almost impossible for the average person to ignore is the recognizable changes in weather patterns.

Another interesting aspect of the discovery chart is that, while Sedna is the most elevated planet, i.e., the closest to the top of the chart, the midheaven (MC), the Sun (in opposition to Sedna) is approaching the nadir of the chart, the lowest point, called the Imum Coeli (IC). This is entirely appropriate, as Sedna revealed herself to the astronomers for the first time at night (with the Sun below the horizon, represented by the Ascendant/Descendant axis). In a larger sense, though, what we see here symbolically, is a submersion of the solar principle; not only is the Sun in a water sign (Scorpio), it is also in the 4th house of the chart, associated with Cancer, ruled by the Moon. Hence, we find the Sun itself symbolically drowned, as the Moon and Cancer relate to the waters of the Earth. The Sun, representative of the light of human consciousness, is consigned to a watery grave;

However, we can also view any given chart as relating to the period of a year; this is because a chart has 12 houses, representative not only of a 24-hour day, but also a year of 12 months. From this perspective, the chart is also indicative of that time in the year when the Sun is at its most feeble, and, according to the Inuit Sedna is most powerful. This is immediately prior to the midwinter solstice, at which time the Sun would be at the IC of the chart;

Another symbolic connection that strikes me is the idea of fire (Sun) vs. ice (Sedna), and I am reminded of Robert Frost’s famous poem, “Fire and Ice.”

Fire and Ice
Some say the world will end in fire
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

–Robert Frost

Exploring this polarity, we can see the Sun, which is a fiery star, as representing on one hand, the human potential for self-destruction by self-immolation; the Sun is a great furnace, driven by the engine of nuclear fusion. It is also quite easy for us to implicate the Sun in our perception of the current Earth changes; the Sun is the most obvious agency behind the global warming trend. In contrast, we have Sedna, at the opposite pole of the solar system, a fact that is indicated quite clearly in the opposition aspect between the two. Sedna lies in the frozen interstices between the worlds, and in spite of her orbital motion, would in many ways, seem to embody the principle of entropy. Nevertheless, it is the action of the Sun upon Sedna’s realm of ice, i.e., its melting of the polar ice cap, that poses the greatest threat to our climatic equilibrium; this action of the Sun upon Sedna’s icy domain may indeed precipitate the end of the world as we have known it, through a phenomenon known as Abrupt Climatic Change, as a new Ice Age descends upon the globe;

Yet another take on this Sun/Sedna opposition would be that the Sun, as fire, is representative of technology, since fire, the legendary gift of the Titan Prometheus, was the first technological innovation of mankind. In contrast, Sedna, associated with the Inuit, and by extension, other aboriginal peoples, represents the idea of sustainable living. The ascendancy of Sedna here then suggests that it is our slavish devotion to technology at the expense of the natural resources of the planet which will drag us relentlessly downward into the abyss, and only by adopting a lifestyle more in harmony with nature will we survive.

It may appear that much of what is gleaned from this investigation of the astrological symbolism in the Sedna discovery chart is pretty dire. However, let us return briefly to the configuration of the Star of David (also known as a hexagram) that has accompanied this initial manifestation of the Sedna archetype:

According to medieval alchemists, the hexagram was viewed as a union of two triangles, the upward pointing triangle symbolizing the element fire, and the other water. Together, they represent the potential for the harmonization of seemingly irreconcilable opposites, and it is perhaps in this way that salvation lies. What I find interesting about this idea is that, even in the blackness and cold of interstellar space, Sedna “burns” with a mysterious, ruddy glow. It is as if in some way, this vagrant planetoid is a concrete embodiment of the Tai Chi, the symbol for the inter-relationship and inter-connectedness of all things.

SOLITON: A type of non-linear equation, a “solitary wave” discovered in a wide variety of non-linear systems like electrical circuits, nerve impulses, and the vibration of atoms. They are sustained through global activity. These non-linear manifestations of nature have been discovered in a diversity of systems—tsunamis, the Great Red Spot of Jupiter, heat conduction in solids, super fluidity, and superconductivity. Einstein anticipated the Soliton but it was first discovered rolling with great velocity, in a waveform, by J. Scott Russell while riding beside a channel of water.

Sedna Has Everything To Do with Us
Sedna rules the North (and South) poles, the cosmic axis, the pillar of heaven, both the microcosmic orbit and the macrocosmic orbit, the yin, the capacity of reverting to the root, winter, cold, the doctrine of resonance—sympathies—the doctrine of signatures and correspondences, dreaming, weather, and celestial divination, shape shifting, death, rebirth, and healing. She rules the spine, and vertebrae, as well as the cerebral spinal fluid, the Northern Bushel (Big Dipper), water, bones, memory both cellular and cosmic, the kidneys, hair, the ear, hearing, listening, sound, harmonics, and harmonic language. Her sacred animals are the polar bear and whale. Sedna symbolizes water as the source of all birth, the sacred darkness, the great yin, the Wu-wei, where all the forces of nature collect and are hidden. She represents the highest germinal concentration and capacity of all force, time and space. Her season is winter, her color is black, and she is the guardian of the Zhi (will). She reigns over superconductivity, super fluidity, and super creativity. Her emotional key is fear. She keeps The Book of Power over Water, Doctrines for Purifying the People, and the Original Bone Oracles in the etheric realms and watery spaces of the dreamtime. Sedna carries the energy and power of the North Bushel (Big Dipper) in her heart, and in the heart of all of the animals she protects.

Thus it is easy to see the commonalities that Sedna shares with shaman Yu. Long before the earliest explorers headed north, the indigenous peoples of Asia settled there. Stone Age artifacts recently discovered in the Yana River Valley suggest that humans hunted big game animals in that region 30,000 years ago. When the sea fell at the end of the last Ice Age, a land bridge was formed between Siberia and North America, and these distant ancestors of our medicine and of the Native Americans crossed into the new world following mammoth herds across the huge Artic grassland called Beringia. Anthropologists believe a second migration of the ancestors of the Na-Dene occurred 12-15,000 years ago, and the Inuit, the last group to migrate east, 7-8,000 years ago made their way to Alaska, and then to Canada and Greenland. The oldest archeological sites identified as Inuit are in southwest Alaska and the Aleutian Islands and date from around 2,000 BC.

About 5,000 years ago, the legendary shaman Yu, from the tribal people in Northern Asia, settled along the shores of the Yellow River. There he surveyed the land and measured the world. He learned the secret knowledge of water. An engineering expert in hydrography, Yu held back the floods. The Lo Shu was revealed to Yu on the shell of a tortoise that emerged from the river when the floods receded. The pattern the Lo-shu pa’qua, described the nature of flux and change in the universe, and became the taproot of the Chinese divinatory arts. Yu flew to the heavens to gain knowledge of the stars. He shape shifted into animals to assist in their realm, and was granted their knowledge. At birth he shifted into a bear and throughout his life he often moved between man and bear, shuffling as he walked. This legendary walk known as the Pace of Yu traces the pattern of the Northern Bushel (Big Dipper). It is still practiced and reenacted today by those who carry on the work of water and uphold the shamanic traditions, reenacted in the dances of Taoist priests, mystics, and martial artists.

Thus, through both Yu and Sedna, we see the myriad connections between life itself and the universe. The maps of the individual hold the energetic blueprint of all that exists throughout space, time and the known universe. And yet, we are a species out of harmony with life. The Earth is diseased in all of its systems, soil, water, air, and in all of its ecological processes. We must recall the legacy and shamanic roots of our medicine, discovering new ways to remember and disseminate it. We cannot forget our spiritual roots, or the universal imperatives of a harmonious cosmos. We must remember our role as individual Wu in the journey to maintain balance through right conduct and ritual, participating as integral parts in the healing of universal patterns. We must work without and within, honoring both heaven and earth, to heal ourselves, and our planet. When we align ourselves with north, we can assist in the healing and transformation of our planet by showing our respect for nature and mother earth, and the myriad of sentient beings that inhabit the planet with us.

The North, represented by Sedna and Yu, provides us with many lessons and gifts for healing, purification, and transformation. Remember that sound travels four times faster in water and that we are more than 80% water. When we use the frequency and vibration of the Sedna tuning forks on points and meridians, particularly the more ancient Eight Extraordinary Vessels, we establish resonances and correspondences with our ancient ancestors invoking a powerful force, to conduct, transform, and create cohesive quantum states of new global and cooperative behavior of the individual organism and the planetary organism.

Sedna Keywords:
S is for Sound, Soliton:
Solitary and Non-Dual, Superconductivity, Superfluidity, Super Creativity, Synchronicity, Super-Implicate, (t)Sunami, Shifting: Shape Shifting, Poles Shifting, Quantum Shifting, Thermal Shifting.

As you deepen your understanding of the science, myth and associated archetypes that surround Sedna, there are key healing themes that emerge.

Betrayal: Our betrayal by others, to others, to our planet, to our medicine, to our spirit, to our soul.

Forgiveness and Compassion: On every level where trust has been broken.

Creativity: Connection to rebirth, to the creative and universal mind, to super creativity and to conception. Infertility and fertility, drought and drowning.

Global View: Upholding higher law, global perspective, global ecology, global theology, global mythology, all residing in the One.

Toxicity: Individual and ancestral, planetary: purging and purifying.

Water: The mystery, magic, weight and infinite capacity, all elemental water issues or any correspondences.

Transformation/Transmigration (death/rebirth): The old themes, worldviews, patterns, personal, ancestral, societal, cultural, gender based, elemental, planetary, all that holds us back or brings destructions.

Non-Linearity/Non-Duality: Ability to see the universe as an undivided whole, be a true Taoist, no differentiation of mind/matter, scholar/shaman, individual/planet. Ability to comprehend the soliton, the solitary wave, whose patterns and forms emerge out of the ground, are sustained, and die back into the field that gave it birth.

Right Conduct and Responsibility: Understand right action, and personal responsibility, honor the animals and respect the larger cooperative. In the myth, Sedna withheld food from the hunters and brought violent weather if norms were broken.

Sedna: “Retuning” the Earth
In the Acutonics® System of sound healing, the Earth is represented by the tone Ohm (approximately C# in the Western harmonic scale), this frequency is derived from its orbital velocity around the Sun. The Ohm tone is the fundamental tone of the system, and because of this, in a manner consistent with astrology,we might regard Acutonics as a “geocentric” system.

Including Sedna in the Acutonics “scale” introduces a frequency (C)) that is lower than Ohm; this is appropriate in that Sedna, who resides at the Pole, also relates to the Earth’s axis. If we accept the idea that all the planets in the solar system were originally whirling balls of hot solar gases that gradually coalesced, then the axis of any given planet is its point of origin, since movement around the axis has provided the initial impetus for planetary “creation.” This is in keeping with Sedna’s identity as Divine Creatrix, and also hearkens back to the origin of life here on our planet, since we are moving from the element of Earth (Ohm) to the element of Water (Sedna). All life originated in the seas, and it is this relationship of mankind to water that is crucial. Sedna reminds us of our essential watery nature, and points the way toward a slowing down of the relentless increase in vibration that is associated with this new Information Age.

Many historians believe that part of the Chinese character for doctor (Yi) retains the archaic link and represents the magical cry of the shaman.

Moreover, the key of C has historically been associated with nature in Western music. This would certainly seem to be reinforced by the fact that the only perfect 5th in the Sedna tonality is formed with Earth Day. The 5th, which is the 2nd overtone that is generated by a particular fundamental, creates an interval that, as a structural component of music both harmonic and melodic, serves as a springboard to a higher octave. We may thus construe it as an interval, which represents a potential evolution in consciousness. At this point in our history, the blending of Sedna and Earth Day, representing the yin aspects of our terrestrial ecosphere, is most assuredly sounding a “wake-up” call to humanity regarding our increasingly tenuous grasp upon the environment. It also seems reasonable to suppose that Sedna, which is at the opposite extreme from the Sun (which is the most yang) should function as the polar opposite, the most yin.

Working with the Sedna Intervals
The following intervals are created by working with the basic Acutonics Tuning Forks that include the Earth, Moon, and Sun Frequencies, taught in Level I of the Acutonics Certification Program, and covered extensively in the book, Acutonics: There’s No Place Like Ohm. In this healing system, we always work with musical intervals, the combination of two tones or frequencies. The interval is the space in between the tones and is a powerful phenomenon, born from the origins of yin. Clinically, we always work with two forks together to create and apply the interval. For those of you with a music background, the following intervals have been designated as M-major, m-minor, or p-perfect. To help you understand the power of each interval, its basic characteristics are described along with suggested points for its use. A full treatment and a healing ritual are described after the intervals.

Ohm: Earth moving around the sun in its 365-day journey through the four seasons and the five elements.

Earth Day: Earth rotating on its own poles, its axis in a 24 hour cycle.

Zodiac Earth: Earth moving thru the constellations of the zodiac in its 25,920-year cycle, also known as the processional cycle.

Sedna: Sedna orbiting the Sun in its journey of 11, 487 years.

Applications: Symbolic Interpretations With Suggested Points
Sedna/Ohm (m2nd): Helps reestablish our connection to Earth, a simulacrum of Earth itself.

Apply this combination of earth (Ohm) and water (Sedna) to KID 1 and KID 3.

Sedna/Earth Day (5th): The only perfect 5th within the Sedna “tonality;” establishes harmony with Earth; and creates balance between yin and yang. This can be used as an antidote for an excess of speed or heat; cosmic time vs. clock time, and realigning our personal axis, or microcosmic orbit.

Apply the Sedna/Earth Day interval to the Huato Jiaji, the Baliao, Extraordinary Vessels: REN and DU.

Sedna/Zodiac Earth (3rd): This interval opens us to cosmic/intergalactic consciousness; moving our awareness beyond a traditional spirituality. It represents an evolutionary leap of revolutionary insight, tuning an individual with the Galactic Center.

Apply the Sedna Zodiac interval to the Four Gates of Heaven LI 4, LIV 3.

Sedna/New Moon (6th): Use this interval for difficulties with conception, infertility, creative sterility, issues around betrayal from family and community.

Apply the Sedna/New Moon interval to Zi Gong, REN 4, Extraordinary Vessels: Yin Wei and Ren.

Sedna/Full Moon (6th): This interval helps us with all nurturance issues, including loss of mother, uterine surgery (hysterectomy/myomectomy), irregular menses, reproductive issues, fibroids, and supporting movement into rhythm with emotional shifts.

Apply the Sedna/Full Moon interval to REN 4, LU 1, Extraordinary Vessels: Ren and Chong.

Low Sedna/Sun (7th): This new interval is more dissonant than the Low Ohm/Sun and provides more warmth, because Sedna is a superconductor, she helps us to thaw frozen or buried emotions and sheds light on them. This interval also directs us to our highest spiritual potential, leading us to the next octave.

Apply the Low Sedna/Sun interval to KID 7, and the Extraordinary Vessels: Yin Wei and Chong.

Whenever you apply the tuning forks remember to ground using the Ohm Unison on KID 1 or KID 3.

Treatment Strategies and Clinical Applications:
Individual and Planetary

Individual Treatment
This treatment is basic but very powerful designed for realignment and connection to the themes and frequencies that are invoked by Sedna. Tune into the keywords and the more universal imperatives, reset your own poles, your personal axis mundi to your souls’ directive and reunite the scholar (shi) with the shaman (wu). Remember that when you treat yourself and others, you contribute to planetary healing through the resonant frequency of the earth tones. The frequencies are based on the elliptical orbits of the planets.

On the Huato Jiaji points, or the Shu points, either line, use a progression of the following intervals: Sedna/Ohm, followed by Sedna/Earth Day, followed by Sedna/Zodiac Earth. Follow down the spine, one fork on either side and into the Baliao (Immortal Caves), sliding the vibrating forks down to UB 40 (Spirit Storehouse). Apply each intervals a few times and again slide down to KID 1 (Gushing Spring).

Reground using the Ohm unison on KID 1 or the sacrum.

Next, use this same progression Sedna/Ohm, followed by Sedna/Earth Day, followed by Sedna/Zodiac Earth on the Extraordinary Vessels pairing the REN and the DU, our microcosmic orbit, remembering to ground with the Ohm Unison on REN 4 (Origins Pass) or KID 1 first.

Sedna is used on the opening point and the Earth on the contralateral balance or coupled point. The interval flows between the two points. Contralateral entrainment helps the body establish the ability to open up new neural networks and to flow more easily from side to side.

Reground using the Ohm unison of REN 4 or KID 1.

Healing the Northern Element and the Arctic Oceans: Transmitting Planetary Healing with the Individual as Medium
This treatment protocol may be used on or (preferably) above the body to create the geography of the Big Dipper in the individual and to deliver distance healing, using the body as a medium to transmit global phenomena. You may touch down and anchor points on the body, but for points such as ST 17 (Breast Center) it is better to work above the body in the etheric field directing the vibration into the point.

Ground with Ohm unison on KID 1 or KID 3, use Sedna/Ohm on P 8, (Construction Palace) left side, SJ 10 (Celestial Well) left side, LI 15 (Shoulder Bone) left side, ST 17 (Breast Center) left side, ST 17 right side, ST 25 (Celestial Pivot) right side, ST 25 left side, tracing the dipper above the body, use the same point sequence with Sedna/Pluto to purge toxins and unconscious patterns around pollution internal and external, followed by Sedna/Neptune to conduct through water, for spiritual purification, for collapsing of boundaries of time/space, individual/collective, followed by Sedna/Chiron to clear the wounding of the waters, the animals, the wounding of the healers, followed by Sedna/Full Moon, to connect with the memory of nature and to deeply nourish. Complete with the Sedna Octave, to move energy to a higher level.

Reground with Ohm Octave on KID 1 or KID 3 and REN 4.

Lantern of the Seven Lights Planetary Ritual: Blessings and Purification of the North for the Balance, Healing, and Transformation of the Planetary Axis
Make an altar facing north, with an oil lamp, incense and essential oils. Use a Tibetan bowl and place healing prayers, intentions, and petitions into it. The ritual should be performed when the North Bushel is visible, preferably a cloudless night. Arrange flat stones in the pattern of the Big Dipper, and place candles on top of them.

Write your intention for healing self and the North, use archetypes, symbolic associations, and correspondences, to key into the larger healing themes of cultures and collective intelligence. Use flags of power or create talismans imprinting or drawing the Big Dipper on the cloth, or write intentions on paper to be placed inside the bowl. Rituals and intentions are powerful sacred connections that rely on correspondences, signatures, and intention to achieve a collective goal. Rituals reach out on universal meridians to communicate messages across time and space. Petitions written on paper should be placed inside the Tibetan bowl and those written on flags or on talismans positioned in a circular design surrounding the dipper stones.

The ceremony begins at 11 pm and at that time the candles on top of the seven Dipper stones must be lit and the Tibetan bowl containing prayers and petitions placed inside the ladle of the Dipper. The leader—priest/priestess, healer lights the candles and purifies the ceremonial grounds and altar and traces Yu’s steps of the seven stars with a wooden or metal stick. The stick signifies the axis mundi and the Dipper, the unification of primal yin and yang as symbolized as the handle and the ladle, the union of opposites. The leader then invokes the energy of the North Bushel, and sends out a general petition, intention and prayer for healing.

Use Chen-Jen the third star as a focal point: it is sacred and represents the three pure ones, the triplex unity between heaven, earth, and humanity, this sacred star evokes the creativity, the power and the bond between all worlds and the manifestation of intentions.

Next, light the papers of intention in the Tibetan bowl and strike it to release the words and petitions. Trace the Dipper above the stones in the etheric field and spiral around the dipper and around participants with the Sedna/Ohm forks or chimes to focus and set context and geography, followed by Sedna/Pluto for release of unconscious patterns, negative destructive patterns, especially suicidal tendencies (Inuit have the highest suicide rates in the world) and toxins, as the Arctic North has some of the most toxic waters on the planet, a veritable sinkhole for industrial wastes of China and Russia, as well as other industrialized nations. Follow with Sedna/Neptune for the deep healing of water and the waters of the psyche, for removal of that which keeps us in a state of spiritual or communal amnesia; for the cleansing of addictions especially alcohol (Inuit have the highest rates of alcoholism in the world) followed by Sedna/Chiron to clear the wounding to the earth and waters and to animals and ancestors–for our personal wounding as well as elemental wounding to the water element. Touch the center of the ladle with the Sedna/Ohm forks then REN 17 (Primordial Child) of each participant with the forks.

Give thanks and blessings. Place all the flags and talismans in the center of the ladle for three days to cook in the energy of the Dipper and to amplify intentions.

Oriental Medicine in the 21st Century:
Revert to the Root

Our ancestors of the Arctic are providing us an Inuksuk, mapping a safe passage as we struggle to make wise and enduring decisions about what legacies we will leave behind, both as individuals and as a collective –as healers and transformers alive with the gifts of a tradition rich and far reaching that includes nothing less than universal imperatives. The traditions and wisdom they point us towards will guide us like a compass down the path of creative evolution. Our Arctic family, our ancestors, the inhabitants who have endured for millennia after millennia, are fighters who have struggled and evolved, adapting to brutal, hostile, capricious environments both natural and man-made. Often at the mercy of others, our Arctic predecessors have been treated like foreigners in their own land yet any efforts to shatter their communities and their culture fail miserably.

Canada’s government separated Inuit children from their families, farming them off to school for more than a century. Despite this the Inuit retained their heritage. Greenland’s Inuit of the Thule region were evicted by the US and Danish governments in the 1950’s, to establish a military base during the Cold War. The people persevered, creating the village of Qaanaaq. And the Alaskan Inupiat, in spite of massive infusions of oil monies and relentless international efforts to ban their whaling, have remained avid hunters in the traditional sense. There are a multiplicity of new pressures from the outside that severely threaten the Arctic cultures and ecosystems—namely contaminants, climate changes, modernization…all created from the carelessness and greed of humanity.

The Inuit and native Arctic populations, are descendants of the originators of our medicine, keepers of the waters, of the North, the direction of healing and of death and rebirth, of the treasures and the mysteries of the frozen deep geometries. Not helpless or hopeless, they embrace their plight, patient, intuitive, awaiting their fate, practicing the Tao in the midst of daily life. The Inuit may think often of lofty wonders and the empty void, but carry out the human Tao, fulfilling their nature, working for the benefit of all people, participating in evolution, knowing that heaven and earth are one, and that positive energy arises in the ocean of the primal, that fire arises within water, the creative and the receptive repeat and sustain, that the way of water is one of the great mysteries of mysteries, profoundly vast, undeniably infinite, reflecting the celestial order and time itself.

Super Implicate: Holographic order where the transformation of the part affects the whole and is able to order and organize non-linear functions.

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December 2005 Report on the melting Greenland ice sheet can be found on NASA’s website at

Knud Rasmussen, The Fifth Thule Expedition: 1921-24 The Danish Ethnographical and Geographical Expedition from Greenland to the Pacific, published 1926

From Galaxies to Cells: Bridging Science, Sound Vibration and Consciousness Through the Music of the Spheres

15 Aug, 2005
From Galaxies to Cells: Bridging Science, Sound Vibration and Consciousness Through the Music of the Spheres

Ellen F. Franklin, PhD and Donna Carey, LAc
Subtle Energies & Energy Medicine, Volume 16, Number 3, page 283

The purpose of this paper is to introduce the concept of working with a sound healing methodology that is rooted in Oriental Medicine but integrates the therapeutic use of tuning forks, which are tuned to the frequencies of the earth, moon, sun and planets, in place of or in conjuncture with acupuncture needles, acupressure, chiropractic, physical therapy, or various massage techniques. Drawing on Oriental Medicine, archetypes, correspondences, and sympathies, the authors present a case for the use of a sound healing methodology in a clinical setting. At the core, our work recognizes the profound universal connections between the natural world, body, mind, and spirit, and the role that they each play in our journey toward wholeness—attunement or at-one-ment with all things. This paper does not attempt to prove the efficacy of Oriental Medicine. There have been many fine studies conducted by leading research institutes that speak to the value and growing acceptance of this ancient medicine, as a viable medical system. Rather, we will demonstrate how a basic understanding of Oriental Medicine combined with knowledge of human physiology, music theory, and the power of archetypes, myths, sympathies, and correspondences create a powerful vehicle for health care delivery.

Keywords: Tuning forks, sound vibration, energy, correspondences, sympathy, archetypes, the great theme, Music of the Spheres, Oriental Medicine, Acutonics, Pythagoras, Kepler.


For the past 15 years we have been involved in the creation and evolution of a system of sound or vibrational healing that begins with Oriental Medicine, but draws on cosmological studies, depth psychology, music theory, physics, metaphysics, mystical traditions, astrological medicine, and physis—the essential nature of all things. As an acupuncturist and clinical dean of an acupuncture college, several factors led to the development of a sound based methodology for the stimulation of acupuncture points. But, perhaps the most profound experience was one in which Donna actually heard the Music of the Spheres, and knew at a core level that these profound sounds must be brought into her clinical work. In this paper we will take you through an exploration of how our unique approach to working with sound has evolved, and the clinical results, which have been documented by teachers and practitioners of Acutonics®.

Everything in the universe vibrates, from the smallest particles, to the planets in our Solar system, to the billions of stars in the Milky Way Galaxy. The universe is in a complex rhythmic structural pattern of vibrational activity. From galaxies to cells, at every level-cosmic, biological, and molecular-the infinite and intelligent universe is governed and regulated by an amazing complexity of cycles and rhythms that span nanoseconds to thousands and millions of years and interrelate and affect one another. At the macroscopic level-lunar and solar cycles produce light, tides, and the alternation between day and night-to the microscopic or cellular level, there are biological rhythms that govern organic life, that regulate respiration, perception, and reproduction.2 For our bodies to function there must be harmony, resonance, balance, and sympathy. As our heart beat and our lungs regulate the breath, our organs work in mutual support and resonance with each other.

Throughout recorded history, and most likely well before the advent of written records, the movements and mysteries of the sun, moon, stars, and planets have fascinated humanity. People instinctively felt that what happens in the skies above is intimately related with life on earth, and that by better understanding the heavens, they could better understand themselves and the great mystery. The ancient Sumerians and Taoists recognized that each piece of the universe is linked to the whole and that each piece exists in relation to the other as part of an interlaced network of divine harmony with humanity at the center, a receiver of energy from both heaven and earth. This concept of a musical and undivided universe is found throughout time, within many cultures and most spiritual traditions, and it forms the foundation for many healing systems, including Oriental Medicine.3 At the foundation of Oriental Medicine is a basic understanding that just as the Earth has grid lines, meridians, and waterways, so does the human body. These energy pathways begin to form shortly after conception and are called the extraordinary or cosmic meridians. There are eight confluent points, located in the hands and feet, and these points activate the eight extraordinary meridians, our pre-meridian and embryonic vessels, and link them with one another and the larger meridian matrix such as the twelve primary meridians and a myriad of interconnecting pathways that infiltrate muscle fascia, and tissue. Oriental Medicine practitioners recognize that when the body is out of balance, yin, our more feminine or watery aspect, and yang, our more masculine or electrical aspect, are not in right relationship; or when qi, our core energy is stagnant, the energy pathways in the body are unable to flow freely, and disease may arise from this blockage in the bodies energetic systems.3

By working with tuning forks, which when combined together create a musical interval, a specific vibratory energetic with its own unique healing properties, and applying these frequencies directly to acupuncture points, chakras, and points of pain we are able to access the bodies core energetic systems in a noninvasive way.

Waterways, Resonance and Music

The human body is approximately 70% water; our bones and marrow contain nearly 25% water, and sound travels four times faster in water, thus the human body becomes a natural resonator for sound.4,5 At the most basic level, we know that certain music can invoke joy, bring on sadness, reduce stress, or keep us going on the elliptical trainer, with its steady rhythmic beat. The use of music for relaxation and stress reduction has been studied extensively. But perhaps more difficult to prove is that music also helps up to connect on profound level to the heavens. If you’ve ever sung in a choir, the very nature of voices blended together lift you to new heights. In fact, it is believed that the powerful voices of the sisters singing the music of Hildegard von Bingen, at church liturgical functions, lifted people to such extraordinary heights, that the church silenced her. Hildegard was a healer, mystic, and musician, who embodied the Music of the Spheres. Her extraordinary compositions were created from 1151 to 1158. Her music and her art are reflective of divine inspiration and the idea that music is the highest form of human activity, mirroring the ineffable sounds of the heavenly choirs.6

Think for a moment about how you feel physically when your ears are assaulted by harsh or abrasive sounds, a jackhammer in the street, the screech of a fingernail on a blackboard, a car alarm that won’t quit. Do these sounds make you edgy? Or how perhaps listening to a symphonic orchestra, playing Handel’s Messiah, or choral voices singing the Hallelujah chorus, can bring about a sense of peace or joy, or invoke memories of holiday gatherings.

In her work as a clinical psychologist, teacher, music therapist, and composer working with end of life patients and their families, Silvia Nakkach incorporates the transformational nature and power of music, voice, breath, a gentle drumbeat, or rhythm to relax, calm and ease the transition. Recognizing, as do many indigenous and shamanic traditions. Recognizing, as do many indigenous and shamanic traditions that the process of dying is a journey, Nakkach incorporates ancient practices from the Eastern tradition of yoga and qi gong that support and guide the return toward “Source.” Being present without an agenda, she is able to select music that connects deeply with the spirit of the patient.7

In his research, John Beaulieu, naturopath, psychologist, teacher, noted sound healer, and early adopter of the therapeutic use of tuning forks makes the case for Nitric Oxide (NO) being the molecule that produces the physiological and psychological relaxation the body experiences while listening to music. NO also aids in the development of the auditory system and blood flow to the cochlear. Beaulieu is also working on additional research on the use of tuning forks to spike NO in different tissue. He writes, “although the science is reductionist based on moledules and sound I think that NO is a ‘marker’ that appears when we are in alignment with the Universal Energy Field. Scientists who have seen the rising and falling wave of NO have called it the ‘breath of god’.”8,9

New York based Oncologist, Mitchell Gaynor, believes that sound based therapies are one of the most powerful healing modalities, and that when we are attuned to the delicate vibrations of the universe, we are better able to resonate with our core essence or true self. Dr. Gaynor incorporates a variety of sound healing techniques, including guided mediation and crystal and Tibetan healing bowls.10

The initial and primary focus of our work is the application of tuning forks, tuned to the frequencies of the earth, moon, sun and planets to acupuncture points, trigger points, and points of pain. In the therapeutic environment we also utilize sound healing tools including Tibetan Bowls, drums, rattles, and fine classical music that evokes the archetypal and mythic qualities of the planets.

The Music of the Spheres

In Western Culture The Music of the Spheres, or the concept of the heavenly harmonies can be traced back to 6th century BC and Pythagoras, who recognized that sounds are subject to mathematical laws and proportions, and represent the very foundation of the universe. In all the accounts of Pythagoras, whether historical or mythical there are references to his belief in the power of music to heal the body and soul. Many of the metaphors for music, which date back to Pythagorean traditions, are still used in modern health care: tone, tonic, temperance, harmony, and disharmony. Although, there are no surviving documents that can be directly attributed to Pythagoras, this semi-historical or mythical figure has been written about extensively, and is credited with the discovery of the conceptual framework for musical intervals. Through the ancient writings of Plato, Aristotle, Iamblichus, and Renaissance humanist Marsilio Ficino, we are given a conceptual framework for the existence of a musical universe that is based on mathematical laws. The evolution of the great theme, as above, so below, the concept that heaven, earth, and humanity are one, while linked to Pythagoras, evolves over centuries in cultures around the world. It is from the writings attributed to Hermes Trismegistus, translated by Ficino, that we a see a revival of the great theme, where all things in the universe are viewed in relationship to each other. However, it wasn’t  until the 1600’s that Johannes Kepler, scientist, and mystic, unveiled the inner mysteries of the world in his masterwork, “The Harmony of the Universe,” which is a synthesis of geometry, music, astrology, astronomy, and theology. Like Pythagoras, Kepler believed that the creator is represented in the natural world, and in the individual soul, which carries the imprint of the cosmos.11-14 It is Kepler, who in the 1600’s discovered the elliptical paths of the planets, and validates the evidence of the relationship between the musical ratios and planetary motion, or velocity—the Music of the Spheres. In the twentieth century, a Swiss mathematician, Hans Cousto, converted planetary velocities into musical tone or hertz.15 It is Cousto’s musical transposition of Kepler’s planetary orbits that provided us with the initial frequencies for our planetary tuning forks, and gongs. Carey went on to create a coherent methodology for the application of these frequencies as well as new frequencies for more recently discovered planetary bodies. Many contemporary writers and scholars such as Jamie James, Angela Voss, and Joscelyn Godwin, also provide us with extensive insights into the musical universe of Pythagoras, Plato, Ficino and Kepler, and the concept of the heavenly harmonies.11,13,16

As an acupuncturist, first with a busy clinical practice, and then as Clinical Dean of an acupuncture college, responsible for fourteen community health clinics, Carey’s work has been guided by a life altering experience in which she heard The Music of the Spheres. She knew first intuitively, and then through clinical trials with specific frequencies that these sounds of the natural world had a profound impact on the results she obtained clinically. Franklin’s graduate work in human and organizational transformation, provided keys, into the complex nature of transformational change. Through our combined experience of working with sound vibration, and understanding the power of archetypes, correspondences and sympathies, we began to witness, powerful and profound shifts.

The Study of Planets: Sympathies, Correspondences, Archetypes, and Myths

What is the human body but a constellation of the same powers that formed the stars in the sky? The body of man is his home, the architect who builds it is the astral world. The carpenters are at one time Jupiter, at another Mars, at one time, Taurus, and at another Orion. Man is a Sun and Moon and a heaven filled with stars. —Paracelsus

The concept of the body as a planetary landscape is drawn from both ancient and contemporary western and eastern traditions in healing. In the Western tradition, there is a huge body of learning that utilizes correspondences and sympathies to create a system of medicine that draws on the power of the planets. In the Eastern tradition, the body is viewed as a planetary landscape, a garden that reflects the cycles of nature, seasons, and the elements, each part of an interconnected web of correspondences that operate and flow through the dynamic energies of the meridians.17

Both of these traditions use maps of the body to navigate its physical and subtle systems. The acupuncture locations on the human body are reflective of the cosmic and terrestrial maps. The points located on the surface of the body give access into the flow, intelligence, and energy of the meridians. Each surface route of a meridian reaches beyond itself, penetrating into internal branches and infinite networks that connect more deeply into the organs and muscular systems, flowing outward over the body into the matrices of subtle fields and centers, interconnecting the physical and non-physical body. By applying these planetary intervals on the points on and above the body, we call in levels of intention, correspondence, and sympathy, which promote healing across multiple dimensions, and integrate beautifully into many disciplines of healing.

The sun is the heart of our solar system. It is masculine guardian of the gateway to the worlds. It generates warmth and provides energy for us and for all growing things. The sun is our wake up call, our benefactor, looking to us with protection and unconditional love. The physiological action of the sun is heat generating, vitalizing, activating, circulating, combustive. We use it to treat extreme fatigue, depression, seasonal effective disorder, immune deficiency, dampness in the joints, edema.

When we work with sympathies, we acknowledge the affinity or correspondence between two subjects enabling the same influence to affect each subject in a similar way, or a relationship between two organs or parts of the body such that one organ impacts the other. There is a correspondent or sympathetic relationship between the kidney, ear, and fetus, hearing, listening and the original primordial qi in the physical body, our celestial blueprint impacted to us and developed in embryonic form. But sympathies provide us with something far greater, recognition that each one of us is part of a global collection of individuals that inhabit the earth. None of us can be separated from the whole—each and every single one of us—each and every single thing is an integral part of the great them-created within nature and a part of nature. This is what Jung calls individuation, a part expressing itself as its unique self but also being part of the whole. In Physics, we are a quantum phenomenon—both a particle and a wave-drops in the ocean yet a part of the great matrix-so, all things are united as a whole-what the Taoists call the Wu-Qi—and western mystics call the Music of the Spheres or the heavenly harmonies.18

In real terms sympathy is LOVE—it is the law that binds all things together—that binds molecules, galaxies, and cells together. When this law is broken there is chaos, discord, dissonance. When adhered to, it brings peace and harmony. Both are essential.


Vibration is also periodic change of state, the difference between yin and yang, positive and negative, mind and heart, heaven and earth. Everything in the universe demonstrates these changes of states-thus, we view vibration as the common denominator, the creative force itself.18


By working with planetary frequencies, we also gain access to archetypal maps in our collective psyche. These symbolic references help us to navigate through the multileveled realms of being and experience. To Joseph Campbell, philosopher, storyteller, musician, and scholar, the Music of the Spheres, or this song of the universe, was the ultimate tale. It’s via his writings, interviews, and teaching about myth, that we come to see how archetypal images provide us with a way of experiencing the inner and outer world that transcends space and time and provides us with a key to the entire universe, helping us to understand the critical role that myths and archetypes play in human evolution.19, 20

Although the concept of archetypes are universal idea that have existed form the beginning of time, it is from Jung that we gain a psychological framework for understanding their influence in the therapeutic setting:

“Archetype” is an explanatory paraphrase of the Platonic eidos . . . this term . . . tells us that so far as the collective unconscious contents are concerned we are dealing with archaic or—I would say—primordial types, that is, with universal images that have existed since the remotest times. . . The archetype is essentially an unconscious content that is altered by becoming conscious and by being perceived, and it takes its color from the individual consciousness in which it happens to appear.21

What is emphasized in this definition is the idea that the “color” of the archetype is shaped by the perception of an individual’s consciousness. Jung maintained that not only do these universal images interject themselves consistently into myth, religion, dreams, and other symbolic systems such as astrology, but our understanding of them is also shaped by an evolving subjective psyche, that is influenced by society and family. This point is significant because it implies an inherent subjectivity in the Jungian concept of archetype that is often overlooked, and gives support to an archetypal conception for planetary or cosmic influence, and their greater role in the practice of vibratory or energetic medicine.22


Our work with correspondences dates back to the ancient practice of medicine, where we link the cosmic body with the human body. So, when we talk of the sun in Oriental Medicine terms, it is very yang, or masculine. It corresponds to the heart, thymus, spine and back, our physical essence. We use the sun to boost the immune function in the body, to strengthen and energize. Its physiological action is heat generating, drying vitalizing, activating, and circulating.

In the Western medical tradition, the correspondences for Jupiter include its association to the liver. It is strongly connected to the nourishing and protective properties of blood and the expansiveness of the arterial system. In the Western psychological tradition, the archetypal qualities of Jupiter are the pursuit of personal growth, expansion, going beyond limits, faith, spirituality, philosophy, optimism, abundance, and excess.

In the Eastern or Oriental medical tradition, the liver meridian or energy system is called the “free and easy wanderer.” It is associated with the season of spring and with the element wood. It loves growth and expansion-excess. It is associated with the element wood. It loves growth and expansion-excess. It is associated with the tendons and is the visionary. The liver meridian also represents the etheric soul called the Hun, and its energetic pathway flows from the big toe, runs inside the leg, through the genitals, breasts and throat, to the eyes and the top of the head.17,23,24

Pathologies or imbalances of the liver include stagnation. When the liver energy stagnates, we have symptoms of excess, such as PMS, hypertension, agitation, and restlessness. Any of the areas that the Liver Channel energetically traverses through, both on the surface and more deeply on the inside and out, can be affected. The emotion associated with the liver is anger and depression.

In treatment, we may use the Ohm/Jupiter 4th on the liver meridian and the liver points such as Liver 3, Great Surge, the liver source point. This point provides access to the place of origins, allowing the imbalance to open up to the generous, abundant, and surging energy of the liver to help it flow free and easy and unconstrained, Jupiter expands and so can open up stagnated Qi and blood. Another treatment point on the liver meridian is Liver 14, Cycle Gate. It is the last point on the meridian, the exit point, and the Ohm/Jupiter 4th can smooth the flow of energy and emotions and help tune in to an expanded view of the self. In PMS conditions, stagnation may manifest as sore breasts, ovarian pain, or pain radiating into the low back, light sensitivity, and vertex or migraine headaches, along with psycho-spiritual components of anger and depression. The liver energetics and the liver organ also address detoxification and blood correspondences on all levels.

Planetary Tuning Fork Color Codes, Intervals and Western Correspondences

This chart is a highly abbreviated explanation of the planetary frequencies, archetypes, and correspondences, and physiological actions that we work with from both an Eastern and Western perspective. It is included to help you understand the following cases. The frequencies are Cosmic Tunings where all notes are approximate and the colored fork is combined with the gold ohm fork to create the intervals.

Table 1:
Five Element Chart: Eastern Correspondences

Elements Correspondences: Wood
Yin Organ: Liver
Yang Organ: Gall Bladder
Season: Spring
Climate: Wind
Emotion: Anger
Sense Organ: Eyes
Tissues: Sinews
Color: Green
Animal: Monkey
Archetype: Pioneer
Spirit: Ethereal Soul
Planet: Jupiter
Qi Energy: Hun

Elements Correspondences: Fire
Yin Organ: Heart
Yang Organ: Small Intestine
Season: Summer
Climate: Heat
Emotion: Joy
Sense Organ: Tongue
Tissues: Vessels
Color: Red
Animal: Tiger
Archetype: Wizard
Spirit: Higher Mind
Planet: Mars
Qi Energy: Shen

Elements Correspondences: Earth
Yin Organ: Spleen
Yang Organ: Stomach
Season: Late Summer
Climate: Damp
Emotion: Over Thinking
Sense Organ: Lips
Tissues: Flesh
Color: Yellow
Animal: Deer
Archetype: Peacemaker
Spirit: Intellect
Planet: Saturn
Qi Energy: Yi

Elements Correspondences: Metal
Yin Organ: Lung
Yang Organ: Large Intestine
Season: Autumn
Climate: Dryness
Emotion: Grief
Sense Organ: Nose
Tissues: Skin/Hair
Color: White
Animal: Crane
Archetype: Alchemist
Spirit: Corporeal Soul
Planet: Venus
Qi Energy: Po

Elements Correspondences: Water
Yin Organ: Kidney
Yang Organ: Bladder
Season: Winter
Climate: Cold
Emotion: Fear
Sense Organ: Ears
Tissues: Bones
Color: Black
Animal: Bear
Archetype: Philosopher
Spirit: Willpower
Planet: Mercury
Qi Energy: Po

In Oriental Medicine two kinds of energies, Yin and Yang, move through cycles, referred to as the five stages or phases. The five stages to relate to archetypal images of the Five Element—Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water. Each phase represents patterns and qualities that interrelate with the other phases and qualities in complex, interdependent ways. Some Oriental Medicine applications, for instance, ascribe personality types to each of the five phases. Diagnosis based on a deep understanding of the Five Phases can be very insightful, although that is beyond the scope of this paper.17,23 However, a few of the correspondences are helpful in understanding how acupuncture meridians and points are selected in the treatment of a patient.

Gold; Note: C#; Interval: Ohm Unison, Earth in the solar year, season to season, it is the fundamental tone; Action: Ground, balance, reduces stress, harmonizing; Correspondences: Physical body, sacrum, hips, liver, legs, feet; Keywords: Mother, birth, life, death, grounding, material gain, food.

Zodiac Earth
Purple; Note: F; Interval: Zodiac 3rd, Represents the earth cycle as it travels through the Zodiac—25,920 years; Action: Relieves pain, relax tightness, treats physical and emotional stress; Keywords: Expansive, meditative, relaxing, disperses, gathers, wisdom and experience.

Earth Day
Green; Note: G; Interval: Earth Day 5th, Earth spinning on its own axis in the 24-hour day; Action: Generative, boost immune function, create growth, generate qi; Keywords: Nature, sustenance, reason for being, birth, youth, midlife.

New Moon
Blue; Note: G#; Interval: New Moon 5th, The cycle of one new moon to the next; Action: Opens, releases, dispels, moves blocked energy and fluids; Keywords: Opening, feminine, spiritual, new beginnings, gently releases.

Full Moon
White; Note: A#; Interval: Full Moon 6th, The cycle of one full moon to the next; Action: Moistening, tonify yin energy, consolidate, build, brings to fruition; Correspondences: Limbic system, lymphatic, hypothalamus, cycles, fertility, body fluids; Keywords: Fullness of time, tides, illuminating, essence, nourishing, supports cycles.

Sunflower Yellow; Note: B; Interval: Solar 7th, The Star we know best; Action: Heat generating, drying, vitalizing, activating, circulating, build immune function; Correspondences: Heart, thymus, spine, back, physical essence; Keywords: Vitality, initiative, authority, confidence, divine spark.

Silver; Note: C#; Interval: Ohm/Mercury Microtone; Action: Synthesis, excites, activates, removes stagnation, alchemist, synthesis, adaptogen; Correspondences: Memory, nervous system, throat chakra, arms, hands, respiratory system; Keywords: Communication, unification, synergy, swiftness, activates, irregular, restlessness.

Pink; Note: A; Interval: Ohm/Venus 6th; Action: Centripetal movement, moistening, warming, nourishing, generative, diuretics; Correspondences: Female hormones, reproduction, venous circulation, kidneys, bladder, throat; Keywords: Love, beauty, creativity, balance, harmony, attraction.

Red; Note: D; Interval: Ohm/Mars 2nd; Action: Energy, assertion, hot, dry, energetic, positive; Correspondences: Head, adrenals, tendons, tissue, hemoglobin, immune system, male hormones; Keywords: Propel into action, assertion, survival, decisive, desire, masculine, physical initiative, courage, originality, determination, power, virility, resolve.

Marine Blue; Note: F#; Interval: Ohm/Jupiter 4th; Action: Stimulate growth, expand, breaks illusory boundaries between spirit and matter; Correspondences: Liver, glycogen production, pancreas, insulin, hips, thighs, cell growth, tumors; Keywords: Expansive, optimistic, abundance, opulence, enthusiasm, growth, learning, understanding, social consciousness, luck, fearless, wisdom, leadership, tolerance.

Copper Brown; Note: D; Interval: Ohm/Saturn 2nd; Action: Restraint, establish healthy boundaries, discipline; Correspondences: Bones, cartilage, joints, skin, teeth, knees, ears; Keywords: Stability, patience, structure, self-discipline, law, control, power, limitation, wisdom, perseverance, restriction, protection, caution, achievement, overview, time.

Sky Blue; Note: G#; Interval: Ohm/Uranus 4th; Action: Initiation, expand awareness, communication, coordination of bodily activities; Correspondences: Nervous conditions, tension, lower legs, ankles, calves, pineal and sex glands, kundalini, electrical flow in the body, spasms, and shocks; Keywords: Individualism, originality, rebellion, electricity, genius, creativity, revolution, innovation, resourcefulness, pulses, rhythmic component of body.

Sea Green; Note: G#; Interval: Ohm/Neptune 5th; Action: Dissolve out-dated patterns, attachments, false projections and illusions. Access potential for intuition, inspiration and artistic creativity. Unifies and dissolves; Correspondences: Pineal gland, edema, thalamus, emotions, spinal cord, cerebrospinal fluid, intoxicants, anesthetics, water in the body; Keywords: Mystical, illusive, transcendental, inspiring, visionary, compassionate, sacrificial, psychic and cosmic awareness, spiritualism.

Black; Note: C#; Interval: Ohm/Pluto Microtone; Action: Creative, regenerative, transformative, growth and transcendence through conflict; Correspondences: Reproductive organs, elimination of toxins and waste, cell formation; Keywords: Transmutation, integration, sexuality, illumination, transformation, liberation, potential, shadow, death and resurrection, rebirth, polarity.

Periodot; Note: D#; Interval: Ohm/Chiron 2nd; Action: Catalyst to help us access our deepest wounds to move forward with strength, compassion and wisdom to achieve our true destiny; Correspondences: Brain, right/left brain synthesis, minerals of the body, wounds, bleeding, scarring, spleen and pancreas, liver and gall bladder; Keywords: Non-traditional healing methods, alchemy, vision, destiny, self-sacrifice, animal power, integrity, strength, compassion, wisdom, knowledge, dependability, unconventionality, craftiness.

In developing treatment protocols, the practitioner is guided by an understanding of these rich and colorful correspondences and overlapping and interpenetrating themes of Western and Easter wisdom, both historic and pre-historic. As you consider what the written histories, both intellectual and esoteric, provide, keep in mind that planetary medicine and cosmic correspondence draw on unrecorded histories that also reflect in mythologies, shamanic teachings, oral traditions, and archeological statements about cosmic cycles, mysteries, and humanity’s place in the great theme.

An approach to working with each client is crafted according to the maps of all systems-learned and intuited-maps are transmitted and revealed and maps often lead us into unknown territories in the healing journey, to blank spaces that cartographers call “sleeping beauties”—and just maybe this is the place, the interval where true healing and transformation happen. As we enlarge our concept of a map and the cartographer, we step into a magical and unlimited place where worlds are no longer flat, where the mapmaker and the map are one, multidimensional, miraculous, and infinite.

Musical Intervals—The Spaces in Between

An interval is the distance or space between two tones or musical notes. Our understanding of the mathematical relationships between harmonic intervals dates back to Pythagoras. The concept of the interval is key to understanding music theory and our approach to healing with musical intervals. Although there are many types of musical scales, for the purpose of this article we will concern ourselves with just three: the major scale, chromatic scale, and cosmic scale. The major scale contains seven notes that are represented by the white keys on a piano’s keyboard. Beginning with C, the C Major Scale would be CDEFGAB. Or if you think back to the Sound of Music, when the children are learning to sing, they learn: do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, ti, do, as scales repeat, again and again. In the chromatic scale, you add in the black keys, which contain sharps and flats. Scales consist of notes, which ascend and descend in a pattern of intervals. The chromatic scale is a straight progression of half steps, in the major scale it is an irregular combination of whole and half steps, and throughout the world different scales are created  based on where you start, for example the Aeolian mode of ancient Greek music is played by beginning with A and only playing the white keys.13

We refer to our scale or tunings as cosmic, aligned with the cycles of nature, unconstrained, cooperative, and integral. These frequencies, which represent the planets, are derived from Johannes Kepler’s calculations of the orbital velocities of the planets around the sun. The velocities have been converted to musical tone or hertz, which is represented by cycles per second. The fundamental or home tone is Ohm, C#, or 136.1 hertz, representing the rotation of the earth our home, through the four seasons, 365 days. The earth has two other cycles, the rotational spin on its own axis, (the Earth Day) a 24-hour cycle, which is approximately a G and the Zodiac Cycle, which is the progression of the earth through the processional cycle of the zodiac, a 25,920 year cycle, which is close to an F. When we work with the power of the interval, we combining two notes together, starting with our fundamental or home tone which is C#, we take steps between the notes, which when combined together create a musical interval. For example to create a 5th, which is a harmonious opening sound, we would begin with the C# (Ohm) and progress to G#, this combination in our system creates the New Moon 5th. It represents the archetypal qualities of the New Moon, and is used to move blocked or stagnant energy in the body. It is especially powerful for emotional release, as the moon is the memory of nature, so it is also the memory of our own nature, half filled-always seeking fulfillment. It is especially powerful for emotional  releases, addictive tendencies, or any type of habitual patterns and cycles.3

In the Acutonics System we also work with middle, low and high frequency tuning forks, which span three to four octaves. Unless otherwise noted all intervals represented in this article are middle frequency. High frequency tuning forks are most commonly used off the body in the etheric field and the low frequency are used to deepen the work.

Meridians—Pathways of Energy

In Oriental Medicine there are twelve primary energy pathways or meridians located in the body. These pathways, discovered by ancient healers, communicate with the surface of the body at specific points. These points or gates are opened, closed, or mediated through the application of sound vibration. Just as in ancient times, gates built on rivers and channels of water, were opened or closed to divert or supply water to the landscape, acupuncture points keep the body’s landscape flourishing on all levels. Water, our most precious commodity, is needed to sustain life. Heavenly water or essence is needed for the spirit and soul to grow. Each meridian contains a source point, where the original or heavenly give qi is contained. When we apply sound vibration to the source point we gain access to the core of the Meridian.

In a therapeutic setting we focus our work on the use of source points and the confluent points of the Eight Extraordinary Vessels. These points are easy to access in the physical body, and provide a foundation for understanding the depth and power of Oriental philosophy and healing. This constellation of points are highly transformational, and provide access and support to not just the physical manifestation of imbalances, but also to the complex emotional and spiritual aspects of an illness or physical disharmony.3

By focusing on source points and reclaiming the poetic name of acupuncture points we gain insights to the power of these energetic gateways. Point names provide an image that gives cues into the points’ function on the physical, emotional, and spiritual levels. These names are drawn from the culture of Chinese Medicine, which dates back 5000 years. Unfortunately, today it is rare that students learn the names of points in acupuncture school, loosing many of the powerful Shamanic and Taoist traditions of the medicine. By working with sound vibration, and musical intervals on these points we are also able to fine tune the energetic that goes into a point, thus we open the meridians and vessels of the body in a way that helps the patient expand beyond the individual into the greater cosmic connection each of us has with the earth, moon, and planets.3

For example, Kidney 3, Great Ravine, the Source Point of the Kidney is located in the depression behind the inner anklebone. This is the source point of the Kidney Meridian, which provides a high level of access into the energy or qi of the Kidney. This point is used to treat symptoms that may manifest as low back-pain, adrenal overload, or fear. In Oriental Medicine the Kidney is our battery and the source of vitality in the entire body. Great Ravine helps people to stay grounded while doing fearful procedures, or experiencing deep emotional, physical or spiritual shifts.

Another example is Lung 1, Central Treasury, which is located six inches lateral to the midline in the first inter-costal space in the depression between the pectoralis chest muscle and the shoulder bone. This is the collecting point for all the energy of the lungs. It is the beginning of a new meridian cycle and allows for regulation of the energy in the chest. This point is used to treat asthma, and to provide general support to the lungs.

Liver 3, Great Surge located approximately two inches below the webbing of the big toe in the depression between the tendons is the Source Point of the Liver Meridian. This point is used to release pent up energy that causes anxiety, anger, irritability, fidgetiness, tension headaches, and PMS symptoms. This point is often used in combination with Large Intestine 4, Union Valley, which is located in the depression between the index finger and the thumb about half an inch above the webbing. This is the command point for the face, mouth, and head and is used to treat sinus congestion, allergies, headaches, and toothaches. It is also used for neck pain. The combination of Liver 3 and Large Intestine 4 is known as the Four Gates of Heaven, tuning forks are placed contralaterally to open up the flow of blocked energy in the body.

These are just a few examples of the power of point names, which provide meaning, and illumination, that help guide us in both our assessment and treatment strategy. As we explore our use of the Eight Extraordinary Meridians, you will see even more significance to the naming of points.

Extraordinary Vessels

The extraordinary vessels are vast oceans, seas, and seeds of energy within the body, that derive their energy from the Kidney, our original qi. The kidneys also relate to yin, water, and to memory—personal, collective, and cosmic—to winter, the root, death, and rebirth, the ear and the medium of sound itself. The vessels also relate to bone on all levels; our bones contain marrow, rich in heavenly essence (jing), the bones of the past, of generations, and the original bone oracles that were the basis of the I Ching and trigrams.

In many shamanic cultures, the soul and spirit is said to reside in the bones. As oceans and seas, the extraordinary vessels conduct sound more rapidly, transporting the harmonies of heaven to earth, resonating through time and space, to connect to the place of creative origins, back to the one. These vessels help us to remember the deeper realities and levels of correspondent intelligence, the sound bridges between the macrocosmic and the microcosmic from galaxies to cells.

The Vessels connect to and integrate with the twelve Primary Meridians. They regulate, provide qi and blood and serve as a reservoir forming intricate relationships to the meridians. Before birth, forming from a single cell, the Conception Vessel (REN) and the Governing Vessel (DU) take form. In embryology these vessels are the endoderm and ectoderm, respectively. Together they are called the Microcosmic Orbit and they provide a key to understanding the power of our work with the Extraordinary Vessels. The Governing Vessel runs up the back of the spine to the top of the head, and the Conception Vessel runs from the top of the head down the front of the body. Together they represent yin and yang, inner and outer, heaven and earth, and like all the extraordinary vessels are closely linked to kidney energy, the ear and hearing.

Understanding the extraordinary vessels and their applications will take a practitioner beyond the superficial and into the depths where true soul and spiritual healing happens. In this place we recover out immortal selves. Through sound vibration and intention these points become portals that take us deep within the body, to connect with source and the more ancient traditions of Taoism. Thus helping us to understanding our personal, energy, and destiny, as well as our cosmic, infinite, and transpersonal destiny.22,25

Huato Jiaji Points & The Immortal Bone

The Huato Jiaji points are located on either side of the spine between the vertebrae. Each vertebra is associated with an organ or other energetic nexus within the body, so these points can be used to balance, tonify, and renew the entire system. The vertebrae are rich in marrow. They have a strong connection with the kidney, which rules bone, and essence (marrow), opens up to the ear and so is connected with hearing and orientation in space and time, memory of time, history, and cellular memory. The kidney is shaped like a fetus and has a deep and eternal connection with our original embryonic energy and with the more universal forces of the water element.

The Taoists called the sacrum the Immortal Bone and the Baliao the Eight Immortal Caves. The sacrum connects the spinal marrow to the small brain (brainstem), and the upper brain to the marrow within the brain. Working in the sacrum generates qi and connects it to the Original Force.

When we concentrate on the points along the spine and work with both the bones and the nerves we can greatly enhance the flow of qi and open up the spinal energy. This can expand the spaces between the vertebral discs and create energy cushions to protect the bones and nerves. This in turn can harmonize, nourish, and provide life force for the entire system.3,22,23

Case Studies

The following case studies provide a foundation to explore a new approach to health care that bring us into harmony with the natural rhythms, functions, and cycles of nature and the universe. Cases have been chronicled by Acutonics teachers and practitioners and provide examples of the power, and long lasting effects that can be obtained when we work with these universal harmonies, archetypes, and healing themes. With more than fifteen years of case documentaries and research, we know that the Acutonics System of Healing has profound results, and that it is indeed a field of medicine.

In Oriental Philosophy and Medicine, patterns and correspondences of things that may appear non-related causally are part of the larger puzzle, of inter-connective, organic, energetic, and psychological systems. It is the understanding of the nature of these patterns that lead to the identification of the root or true origin of the imbalance. Treatment then involves the movement towards rebalancing from the root all of the systems, physical, emotional, and subtle, all of the interdependent pieces of the garden towards the greater harmonic ecology of the body.

Table II
The Confluent Opening and Balance Points
Extraordinary Vessels and Their Indications

Extraordinary Vessel: Yin Wei Yin Linking
Opening Point: Pericardium 6 (P6) Inner Gate
Balance Point: Spleen 4 (SP 4) - Grandparent's/Grandchild

Extraordinary Vessel: Chong Penetrating
Opening Point: Spleen 4 (SP 4) - Grandfather's/Grandson
Balance Point: Pericardium 6 (P 6) Inner Gate

Anatomical Indication: Chest, heart, stomach
Energetic Indication: Intergenerational patterns, heart chakra issues
Extraordinary Vessel: Du Governing
Opening Point: Small Intestine 3 (SI 3) Back Ravine
Balance Point: Urinary Bladder 62 (UB 62) Extending Vessel

Extraordinary Vessel: Yang Qiao Yang Motility
Opening Point: Urinary Bladder 62 (UB 62) Extending Vessel
Balance Point: Small Intestine 3 (SI 3)
Anatomical Indication: Neck, back, shoulder, inner canthus
Energetic Indication: Kundalini rising, energy integration, blown out sacrum
Extraordinary Vessel: Yang Wei Yang Linking
Opening Point: San Jiao 5 (SJ 5) Outer Gate
Balance Point: Gall Bladder 41 (GB 41) Near to Tears

Extraordinary Vessel: Dai Mai Griddle Vessel
Opening Point: Gall Bladder 41 (GB 41) Near to Tears
Balance Point: San Jiao 5 (SJ 5) Outer Gate
Anatomical Indication: Cheek, outer canthus, posterior ear
Energetic Indication: Lingering emotional pathogen, energy trapping, fence-sitting
Extraordinary Vessel: Ren Conception
Opening Point: Lung 7 (LU 7) Broken Sequence
Balance Point: Kidney 6 (KID 6) Shining Sea

Extraordinary Vessel: Yin Qiao Yin Motility
Opening Point: Kidney 6 (KID 6) Shining Sea
Balance Point: Lung 7 (LU 7) Broken Sequence
Anatomical Indication: Throat, chest, lung
Energetic Indication: Throat chakra issues, spiritual disconnection, nurturance, Kundalini rising

While our approach is rooted in Oriental Medicine, our practitioners come from many diverse backgrounds, integrating Acutonics into their clinical work as acupuncturists, chiropractors, nurses, physicians, psychotherapists, massage and bodywork practitioners, veterinarians, music therapists, yoga teachers, and energy healers. The documentation of cases, help us to understand the extraordinary results we see again and again, and to gather and form the scientific and quantum basis for Harmonic Medicine.

These case studies include specific treatment approaches, protocols are defined, and many unique combinations are employed. Acutonics, in its simplest form is being used in the home, for basic self-care, and in combination with many other integrative health care modalities, including private clinics, spas, and hospitals to reduce nausea, stress, fear, and pain and to help support and bring to homeostasis people going through traditional western therapy, and to provide hospice care to the dying.

New models and more sensitive research equipment are required to measure the quantum impact of this work which ameliorates symptoms, improves health and well being of our patients, and appears to result in global shifts in consciousness, that impact not just body and mind but the soul. Much of our research is based on capturing people’s unique stories, recording case documentaries, and developing a consistent nomenclature for the recording of treatment protocols and results.

Peripheral Neuropathy

In her work as an acupuncturist, and Clinical Dean, Carey had responsibility for 14 community clinics, providing care for patients with chronic pain, HIV/AIDS, and elderly populations. One of the most profound impacts that was witnessed was the treatment of AIDS related neuropathy, by working with two primary acupuncture points, Stomach 36, Three Mile Li and Spleen 6, Three Leg Yin. These points are major meridian intersection points in the body that carry large amounts of qi and blood, yang and yin. Using the regenerative power of the sun fork, combined with the Low Ohm (the Solar 7th Interval), immediate relief from burning and tingling sensations was experienced by some, while others reported various deg...

Another case, which has been followed for twelve years, concerns a 74 year old woman, who has a family history of peripheral neuropathy. Currently she receives treatment once per month and reports symptom free intervals for at least two weeks, since the tuning forks have been introduced into her treatment protocol. Many different treatment modalities were tried and documented, but they all fell short of the results proved by the tuning forks.

In this instance, the woman is very yin deficient, and the solar 7th interval proved too warming and induced insomnia when no previous history of sleep disorder had been documented. Therefore the treatment was modified to substitute the New Moon 5th Interval, a gentle opening interval that nourishes the yin. The treatment begins by gently warming the feet with a heat lamp, Mugwort oil was then massaged into the feet, and the tuning forks were applied to each foot. Just the New Moon 5th interval, is used, both for gentle massage, and application to specific points, Stomach 41, Kidney 1, and the Bai Feng (the points on the toes between the webbing) and Liver 3, for approximately 7 minutes per foot. This generated the most long lasting relief of her symptom complex.

Elbow and Wrist Pain and Plantar Fasciitis

A woman presented with symptoms of wrist pain, radiating up to her elbow on the right side. This was manifested after daily work at the computer for eight hours per day. The wrist pain is a fixed pain at Large Intestine 5, Yang Ravine, radiating through Large Intestine 10, Arm Three Li, around Small Intestine 8, Small Sea, and two inches further up the arm. (These points start at the wrist and go to about two inches above the elbow). After palpation it was discovered that there was soreness on her inner scapular area on the right side as well. Western diagnosis was tendonitis of the arm secondary to a repetitive motion over use syndrome.

The patient was also over weight and had left heel pain consistent with the western diagnosis of Plantar Fasciitis. She expressed a strong desire to work on weight loss, which would be more likely if her Plantar Fasciitis was resolved.

Diagnosis: Liver/spleen Qi stagnation, kidney yin deficiency, and blood deficiency with stasis.

Extraordinary Vessel Treatment
The Yang Wei Mai was selected, by placing the New Moon fork placed on San Jiao/Triple Heater 5 Outer Gate, and the Ohm on GB 41, Near To Tears. The Yang Wei, releases neck and shoulder pain. This was followed by using the Zodiac 3rd, placing the Ohm on GB 41, Near To Tears, and the Zodiac of San Jiao/Triple Heater 5, Outer Gate, to sedate or release the pain. The Low Ohm and Low Zodiac were then used to access these points on a deeper level. Pluto was then used on San Jiao/Triple Heater 5, Outer Gate, and Ohm on GB 41, Near To Tears, to go to the hidden and more mysterious aspects and to more deeply empower the yin. Next Chiron was applied to San Jiao/Triple Heater 5, Outer Gate, and Ohm to GB 41, Near To Tears, to remove old pain patterns and emotional wounding revolving around the weight issues and previous life wounding. At this point Uranus was placed on San Jiao/Triple Heater 5, Outer Gate, and Ohm on 41, Near To Tears, to create that divine spark in the center of her being. The intention was to shift old thought patterns and structural beliefs, and to ignite interest in weight loss.

The New Moon 5th was used on the Dai Vessel (New Moon on GB 41, Near To Tears, and Ohm on San Jiao/Triple Heater 5, Outer Gate). The Dai Mai treats pain in any joint, in this case, the elbow, wrist, and heel. New Moon is used on GB 41, Near To Tears, to open and release pain. The Ohm is applied on San Jiao/Triple Heater 5, Outer Gate, to ground. Pluto was placed on GB 41, Near To Tears, and Ohm on San Jiao/Triple Heater 5, Outer Gate. This goes deeply into the meridian. Next, Uranus was used on GB 41, Near To Tears, and Ohm on San Jiao/Triple Heater 5, Outer Gate. Uranus was used to help create a sudden change in perspective, to shake things loose, and support the goal of weight loss.

Heel Pain Direct Works: Ah Shi points (points of pain) were treated on and to the side of the left heel.

The protocol used was as follows: Ohm Unison; New Moon 5th; Zodiac 3rd; Low Zodiac 3rd.

Follow-Up Treatments: The elbow and the wrist were vastly improved after one treatment. After two treatments, the patient reported that the elbow pain was gone as well as the wrist pain. The heel pain was 40% better. After 4 treatments the heel pain was 95% better.

Results/Conclusions: The client reports that her spirit is calmer and she is able to work longer on the computer new that her wrist and elbow pain is gone. She is coming weekly for treatments, and is ready to focus on weight loss, as well as expressing a greater desire for integration of her body, mind and spirit.

Carpal Tunnel Treatment Approach

A 28 year-old female who has worked in a bicycle repair store for five years developed Carpal Tunnel in her right arm from years of repetitive movement. She had been taking 800mg of Ibuprofen twice a day for the two weeks prior to coming for treatment in an effort to keep the pain down she wore a wrist splint given to her by her primary physician. These measures helped measures helped minimally but she wanted to be pain free, and keep her job.

KD appeared happy and healthy, with a clear complexion and bright eyes. Her pulses were strong and her tongue was pink and moist. She was in good shape and rides her bike daily. Her diet is typical of many Americans. She relied a bit too much on cold sandwiches and ice water or cold soda at lunch, and cold cereal at breakfast. She was advised to add more warm and cooked foods while she was healing, as the body prefers warmth to cold and to drink water at room temperature rather than iced, especially with meals.

Treatment: Since the liver rules the tendons and sinews of the body, it was important to help regulate the liver qi by using Liver 3, Great Surge, and also Liver 14, Cycle Gate. Local points were used to reduce swelling in the area and open the channels running through the wrist and arm.

With KD in the supine position, the Four Gates of Heaven were needled (Large Intestine 4, Union Valley and Liver 3, Great Surge), to free up the constrained liver qi and open all the channels of the body to relieve pain. (Tuning forks could also be used on these points by placing the gold Ohm fork on Large Intestine 4 and the purple Zodiac fork on Liver 3). The Ohm Unison forks were used on Kidney 1, Gushing Spring, and Kidney 3, Great Ravine to ground, center, and open the client to her healing experience. This was followed by the New Moon/Ohm on the area of pain, placing the Ohm fork on San Jiao/Triple Heater 5, Outer Gate, and New Moon fork on Pericardium 6, Inner Gate, to deeply open the tissues and feed them with yin energy. The Mars/Venus 5th forks where then applied to the same two points, placing the Mars fork on San Jiao/Triple Heater 5, and the Venus fork on Pericardium 6, to feed the muscles with the healing energies of Mars, and the tissues with the yin energies of Venus. Mars and Mercury was also applied to these two points, by placing the Mars fork on San Jiao/Triple Heater 5, and Mercury on Pericardium 6, Mercury addresses the electrical nerve tissues, neurological systems, shoulder, neck and arm pain, and Mars governs the muscles and inflammatory processes.

GB 34, Yang Mound Spring, is the master point of the tendons and sinews in Chinese Medicine so the New Moon 5th, Mars/Venus 5th, and Mars/Mercury forks were applied to these points. In addition, Jupiter and the Full Moon tuning forks were applied on Liver 14 to release any liver constraint and feed yin energy to the liver. In all instances the tuning forks were applied three times, and allowed to vibrate for there full duration, which is approximately 25 seconds.

Follow Up Treatment: The client had one additional treatment, seven days later, and reported that she had been free of pain since the first treatment. She continued to wear her wrist splint while at work, changed her diet to warm foods and water at room temperature and noticed an increase in her energy level throughout the day.

Results/Conclusions: The client remained pain free for one year. She returned for treatment when she noticed a small amount of pain returning. The same treatment protocol was repeated and she was instructed in the use of the Mars/Venus 5th tuning forks for self-treatment at home.

Acutonics & Children

Some of the most rewarding work with Acutonics is the results we see while working with young children. Many children have been treated with Acutonics and we find that they are consistently curious, receptive and enthusiastic about the forks. They love to listen to them, feel them on their bodies, and respond very well to this non-invasive approach to vibrational therapy. These case studies provide some background on how we have effectively worked with young children. There is tremendous promise for future research in the area of behavior disorders, ADHD, Autism, and Asthma for which formal research studies are just being designed.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder; Anxiety

A 6 year-old boy with a history of OCD and severe anxiety, with a  possible diagnosis of bipolar disorder has been treated affectively with Acutonics. He is sensitive to all stimuli—noise, clothing labels, textures, etc. He has frequent outburst and has trouble sleeping. His Mother says that fear is his primary emotion in most situations. He also has extreme reactions to any change.

Diagnosis: Disharmony of Water element, leading to excessive fear; the Water element is not able to properly nourish the Wood element according to the generative cycle, contributing to a Wood imbalance (allowing Wood to rise up causing outbursts). Wood in turn, is unable to properly nourish Fire (Water is also unable to control Fire) causing Shen or Spirit disturbances, possible mania (temper outburst can manifest in the manic phase of bipolar disorder and fear of being out of control (his reactions to change).

First Treatment:
Ohm octave on Kidney 1, Gushing Spring, to ground. The Four Gates (Liver 3 and Large Intestine 4) with Zodiac 3rd to smooth his Qi. Mars/Venus 5th on Kidney 3, Great Ravine, to nourish Kidney yin and yang. It was especially important to build a relationship of trust with the child. Because of this child’s sensitivity, especially to noise, the first treatment was very simple.

Follow Up Treatments: Subsequent treatments included the same protocol as the first treatment with the addition of the Huato Jiaji points with the Mars/Venus 5th and chakra balancing with the Mars/Venus high frequency forks. Unexpectedly, the child was fascinated by the planetary gongs and loved to “help” play them, which bathed him in the harmonics and energy of the gongs. The drum, which is very grounding was also introduced and placed directly on his spine.

Results/Conclusions: This child has improved dramatically. He is much more tolerant of sounds, noise, and textual stimuli, and better able to manage his anger. Before beginning treatments, this boy was unable to tolerate the most minor changes in his schedule and his routines. He has recently been through his parents’ separation, a move to a new house and spending time with both parents in their new homes on a regular basis. His coping skills are much improved. Also, and most importantly, fear is not his primary response to life.

Lung Congestion/Child

A quiet and reserved four-year old boy, accompanied by his mother and 1-year old sister, came in with congestion in his lungs. He was running a fever previous to the appointment. He appeared flushed with signs of dehydration, and mucus that was not being expectorated. The day he came in, he had a dry cough with chest constriction. His mother was concerned because every time there was an illness going around he would get it and it would settle into his lungs. This condition seemed to have increased since the birth of his sister. The mother, who is also a client, demonstrates an excess Earth element, which seems to overpower her children with excessive worry or concern.

Diagnosis: Compromised Metal Element overshadowed by the mother (Earth) Weakened Immune system, damp Heat in the lungs.

Treatment/Rationale: Ground and Balance. The session started with the child reading one of his favorite books while Tibetan singing bowls were played and the Ohm Unison Tuning forks were held near his ears. Then Ohm Unison was applied to Kidney 1, Gushing Spring, to ground, center and relax. Ohm Unison on Pericardium 6, Inner Gate, to calm Shen, opens the chest, and begins to clear heat.

Extraordinary Vessel Treatment
New Moon 5th on Ren Vessel (Lung 7, Broken Sequence, and Kidney 6, Shining Sea) to open the chest and release emotional constriction. New Moon 5th on Chong Vessel (Spleen 4, Grandparents Grandchild, and Pericardium 6, Inner Gate) to access and heal intergenerational patterning and open stagnation in the chest.

Build Lung Qi and Clear Congestion: New Moon 5th on Lung 1, Central Treasury, to open the qi and release constrictions and emotions followed by Full Moon 6th to help build the energy of the lungs.

Tonify and Strengthen Immune System: New Moon 5th followed by Mars/Ohm 2nd on DU 14, Great Hammer, to clear Lung heat and then tonify and support Defensive Qi. Solar 7th on Stomach 36, Leg Three Li, to build and enhance the immune system.

Results: By the end of the session, the child’s breathing was more clear and relaxed and he was much more interactive.

Children will invariably walk into a treatment room and identify the exact tuning forks that need to be used in their session. This child was very curious about the forks and asked to listen to three forks in a specific order (not the order they were arranged in), Ohm/Mercury microtone, Ohm/Pluto microtone, and the Ohm/Chiron 2nd. He proceeded to listen to the forks in that order. His choice of forks were a clear reflection of the underlying condition that his symptoms were expressing. Mercury (the messenger) with winged feet; rules the lungs and communication, traverses to the underworld, Pluto (Hades), uncovers what is in the shadow and bring the wound to the surface with Chiron (the wounded healer).

Asperger’s Disorder

A 10 year-old boy who was recently diagnosed with Asperger’s Disorder has been successfully treated with Acutonics. The child received language therapy at the age of two years, nine months due to delays in expressive language and articulation. He was diagnosed with Anxiety Disorder before the age of six, and a learning disability in first grade. He also received occupational therapy for visual-motor integration and fine-motor skills. In April 2004, he was diagnosed with Acute Reaction to Stress, Predominant Disturbance of Emotions, and Anxiety related performance. His parents had separated two years earlier and are in the process of a divorce. He and his mother have moved into an apartment. His father has not been contributing financially, which has made life even more difficult for them. He has been having frequent anxiety attacks, usually doesn’t show affection, and prefers to play by himself. He states that playgrounds and cafeterias are too noisy. He had been seeing a tutor on a weekly basis for a year. He has trouble focusing and understanding his schoolwork. He frequently complains of nausea. Storms are very frightening for him. There is a family history of panic disorder and learning disabilities.

Diagnosis: The child meets the criteria to be diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, specifically Asperger’s Disorder.

Treatment/Rationale: Primary objective is to calm anxiety so that he can function easier in all aspects of life.

Extraordinary Vessel Treatment
In the first session because of his acute sensitivity only the Ohm Unison Tuning Forks were used in the following sequence, Ren Mai (Lung 7, Broken Sequence, and Kidney 6, Shining Sea), Du Mai (Small Intestine 3, Back Ravine, and Urinary Bladder 62, Extending Vessel), these two Extraordinary Vessels make up what is called the microcosmic orbit. Then the Ohm Unison was applied to REN 17, Chest Center, and to Large Intestine 4, Union Valley, and Liver 3, Great Surge (Four Gates of Heaven). A still point was induced using Ohm on DU 16, Wind Mansion, and DU 4, Life Gate. And the first treatment concluded.

Follow-up Treatments: Two sessions were done on consecutive days. The second session was the same as the first. In the third session, the intention was to open up his heart chakra. The two extraordinary vessels selected were Yin Wei Mai (P 6, Inner Gate, and Spleen 4, Grandparent’s/Grandchild) and Chong Mai (same points, reversing the opening and balancing points). Beginning with Ohm unison, and then following with Mars/Venus 5ths. This treatment strategy was used for several additional sessions.

For his sixth session, the Ohm/Jupiter 4th Interval was added in the Cosmic Capstone configuration (DU 20, Hundred Convergences, Pericardium 8, Palace of Toil, and REN 17, Chest Center. Since these points help to tap into higher levels of information. The Du Mai, (Small Intestine 3, Back Ravine, and Urinary Bladder 62, Extending Vessel) and Ren Mai (Lung 7, Broken Sequence, and Kidney 6, Shining Sea) were also used with Ohm unison followed by the Ohm/Jupiter Interval. (Jupiter was the Opening Point and Ohm was the Balancing Point).

Results/Conclusions: Immediately following the second session, the child went to see his tutor, who inquired about what was different in the child’s life as he was able to stay focused and it was easier for him to do his work. His mother responded that the only thing different was that he had two Acutonics sessions. The tutor recommended that he continue receiving them as she could observe a difference. On the way home from the third session, the child told his mother that he loved her so much! When they stopped at the traffic light, he wanted to give her a hug. Continuing to enjoy his sessions the child turned down a trip to the zoo and said he would rather receive an Acutonics session. After the sixth session, the child went to work with his tutor, who was with another student when he arrived, so she gave him a white board to draw on, while he waited for a short time. When she came out to get him, he hadn’t drawn a picture but rather had come up with several three-digit math division problems. He solved them correctly, made them into fractions and found the common denominator. It was well above the level of work he had been doing. This child continues to receive regular Acutonics treatments, he continues to show affection, and enjoys playtime with others.

Women’s health is another area that has been heavily documented by our practitioners and teachers. Here is one example of how we treat stress and panic attacks.

Stress and Panic Attacks

The patient is a 54 year-old woman with chief complaints of stress and anxiety resulting in what her physicians have diagnosed as, panic attacks. She experiences chest tightness, jaw tightness, anxiety, and episodes of intense stifling heat from the waist up. Evaluation by a cardiologist found no evidence of cardiac disease. Her stress level increased when her husband experienced a health crisis, which necessitated his hospitalization and surgery. She is the primary care giver for her father in law, who has Alzheimer’s disease and who lives with her and her husband. She feels unable to get any restful sleep because of concerns that her father-in-law will fall or have some other kind of accident in the night. Besides caring for her father in-law, she travels across the country periodically to check in on her ailing mother, who is in an assisted living facility.

The patient’s health history includes multiple surgeries and medications related to a series of gynecological problems and sinus problems. She began to avail herself of more alternative health care options starting about 10 years ago, and since then has relied mostly on herbs and dietary supplements and naturopathic and chiropractic care. She is extremely sensitive to energy and does not tolerate acupuncture well, even with very few needles. She is quite affected by electromagnetic energy and can only spend brief periods on a cell phone or at a computer before she begins to feel ungrounded and physically uncomfortable. The physical symptoms she experiences include a “buzzy” feeling in her head and a sense of physical agitation.

The client is extremely capable, resourceful, and reliable but finds her self spread pretty thin. She seems so busy taking care of everyone else, that there is little time for self-care. She has dark circles under eyes and her energy feels extremely scattered. Her pulse is wiry and thin and her tongue is pale with red sides and tip, a dark center, and no coat.

Diagnosis: Stress resulting in liver Qi stagnation with rising liver yang, Kidney Qi and yin deficiency causing gynecological imbalances and failing to ground liver yang, Ren and Chong imbalances.

Treatment/Rationale: This patient was so sensitive that even placing tuning forks on points was too intense so all the forks were used over the points in the subtle energy field. The patient was grounded with the Ohm unison over Kidney 1, Gushing Spring.

Extraordinary Vessels
The Ren Mai (Lung 7, Broken Sequence, and Kidney 6, Shining Sea) was chosen to nourish the yin and help balance the gynecological problems at their root. The Low New Moon 5th was used to open and gain deep access to the channel, followed by the Low Venus/Ohm 6th to support the kidneys and to address gynecological issues and the Low Full Moon 6th to deeply nourish the yin.

The Chong Mai (Spleen 4, Grandparent’s Grandchild, and Pericardium 6, Inner Gate) was chosen to relieve stagnation in the chest, to quell the anxiety, and release intergenerational issues. The channel was opened with the Low New Moon 5th followed by the Low Jupiter/Ohm 4th to expand and release stagnant energy, and the Low Full Moon 6th to promote full release of intergenerational attachments.

To circulate the liver Qi, the Four Gates were used (Large Intestine 4, Union Valley, and Liver 3, Great Surge). The Low Ohm was placed over Large Intestine 4 and the Low Jupiter over Liver 3, contralaterally and bilaterally, to create the circulating energetics of the figure eight.

Kidney 3, Great Ravine, was used to nourish the kidney yin. The Low Venus/Ohm 6th was used to support the kidney, especially its yin aspect, followed by the Low Full Moon 6th to more fully nourish the yin.

To open the heart and quell anxiety, Heart 7, Spirit Gate, and Kidney 6, Shining Sea, were treated with the high frequency New Moon 5th followed by the high frequency Neptune/Ohm 5th.

Chakras: Because of the energy and heat rising, the chakras were stimulated in the field from the top down with the Ohm Octave 2.

Planetary Essential Oil Blends: Planetary essential oil blends were chosen based on the patient’s particular imbalances. The Venus and Moon blends were used for tonifying the yin and cooling and the Earth blend for grounding. These oils were used to punctuate certain parts of the treatment. They were placed on the Brow and Crown chakras and introduced into the subtle energy fields near the nose.

To calm her anxiety and balance her energy, Tibetan bowls were placed around the treatment table and sounded to produce a sound bath.

Planetary Chimes: A Low Ohm hand chime were played for grounding and the Chiron hand chime was played to help promote healing of her physical and emotional wounds.

Planetary Gongs: The Venus, Full Moon, Jupiter, and Neptune gongs were used to tonify the patient’s yin, smooth and release her liver Qi, and to cool and promote fluids. The Mercury gong was used to amalgamate the energies of the other gongs. Finally, the patient was again grounded with the Ohm Unison over Kidney 1, Gushing Spring.

Follow-Up Treatments: After the initial treatment, the patient reported feeling more grounded and having fewer and less intense episodes of heat and chest tightness. Her sleep had improved. The second treatment repeated the first with the addition of the Low Full Moon 6th and Low Venus Ohm 6th intervals over REN 4, Origin Pass, for increased kidney yin tonification. The Saturn gong was also added to help solidify the grounding energy. The patient was instructed in how to use mantra to ground, balance, and calm her spirit, and so that she could maintain more even energy. The following three treatments were the same as the second with the addition of the Chiron gong for deep healing.

Results/Conclusions: The patient reported significant improvement in her sleep patterns and energy. Over the course of six treatments, the heat sensations and chest and jaw tightness totally resolved. She reported feeling more grounded and was using mantra and meditation to help her to maintain calmer and more stable energy.


Working with the frequencies of the planets helps us to cultivate the Tao, our original spirit, and learn to access heaven. In doing so, we create harmony with the different levels of energy in our Universe, and we become more aware of the vastness and power of the forces that influence us both on the physical and non-physical plains of existence. Key among these forces is a recognition that the planets, stars, sun, and moon, don’t just impact the Earth, but they impact each one of us, and what happens to our Earth can’t help but be reflected in us.  When we understand the planets, attributes, correspondences, and archetypes, and their role in the greater galactic healing schematic, we come to an authentic truth that honors ancient wisdom, Oriental Medicine, astrological medicine, Energy Medicine, and contemporary science. Bridging rational and intuitive knowledge, art and science, we are able to explore much larger connections and principles and weave them into a unified whole.

Acknowledgements: Special thanks to our teachers and practitioners who have provided case documentaries of their work, Donna Carey, Anita Shelton, Gail Byrnes, Carolyn Green, Carmen Cicotti, Dahvid Weiss, Frances Dachelet and Jude Ponton, for inclusion in this article, and in our new book, and to our co-authors and collaborators, Paul Ponton, LAc, Jude Ponton, DC, LAc, MichelAngelo, MA, on the forthcoming book, Acutonics® From Galaxies to Cells: Planetary Science, Harmony & Medicine.

Correspondence: Donna Carey, LAc, and Ellen F. Franklin, PhD • Acutonics Institute of Integrative Medicine, LLC • 157 Pacheco Rd, Box 8 • Llano, NM 87543 • email:,

References and Notes

  1. H. I. Khan, The Music of Life (Omega Publications, New Lebanon, NY, 1983).
  2. F. A. Brown, J.W, Hastings & J.D. Palmer, The Biological Clock (Academic Press, Inc. New York, NY, 1970).
  3. D. Carey & M. de Muynck, Acutonics: There’s No Place Like Ohm, Sounding Healing, Oriental Medicine, and the Cosmic Mysteries (Devachan Press, LLC, Vadito, NM, 2002.
  4. P. Watson, I.D. Watson & R.D. Batt, Total Body Water Volumes for Adult Males and Females Estimated from Simple Anthropometric Measurements, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 33 (1980), pp. 27-39.
  5.  J.A. Maurer, Research in Underwater Sound (1998).
  6.  H. Von Vingen, Canticles of Ecstacy (CD Liner Notes translated by L. Rosenwald, BMG Music, New York, NY, 1994)
  7.  Nakash in: D.A. Loewy, (Ed), Music Therapy at the End of Life (Jeffrey Books, 2005)
  8.  E. Salamon, M. Kim, J. Beaulieu & G.B. Stefano, Sound Therapy Induced Relaxation: Down Regulating Stress Processes and Pathologies, Medical Science Monitor (2002).
  9.  J. Beaulieu, Personal Communication on Sound Healing Research and Measurement of NO Molecule (2006).
  10.  M.L. Gaynor, The Healing Power of Sound (Shambhala, Boston, MA, 1999)
  11.  J. Godwin, Harmonies of Heaven and Earth: The Spiritual Dimensions of Music from Antiquity to the Avant-garde (Inner Traditions International, Distributed to the book trade in the US by Harper & Row, Rochester, VT, 1987).
  12.  J. Godwin, The Harmony of the Spheres: A Sourcebook of the Pythagorean Tradition in Music (Inner Traditions International, Rochester, VT, 1993).
  13.  J. James, The Music of the Spheres: Music, Science, and the Natural Order of the Universe (Grove Press, New York, NY, 1993).
  14.  J. Strohmeier & P. Westbrook, Divine Harmony: The Life Teachings of Pythagoras (Berkeley Hills Books, Berkeley, CA, 1999).
  15.  H. Cousto, The Cosmic Octave (LifeRhythm, Mendocino, CA, 1988).
  16.  A. Voss, The Music of the Spheres – Ficino and Renaissance Harmonia (In Culture and Cosmos, Vol. 2, Nicholas Campion, Ed., 1998).
  17.  H. Beinfield & E. Korngold, Between Heaven and Earth: A Guide to Chinese Medicine (Ballantine Books, New York, 1991).
  18.  D. Pond, E. Cayce, J. Keely, R. Steiner, N. Tesla & C. Bloomfield-Moore, The Physics of Love: The Ultimate Universal Laws (The Message Company, Santa Fe, NM, 1996)
  19.  J. Campbell & D. Kudler, Myths of Light: Eastern Metaphors of the Eternal (New World Library, Novato, CA, 2003).
  20.  J. Campbell & B.D. Moyers, The Power of Myth (Doubleday, New York, NY, 1988).
  21.  C.G. Jung & R.F.C. Hull, The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious (Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, 1980).
  22.  D. Carey, E. Franklin, MichelAngelo, J. Ponton & P. Ponton, Acutonics From Galaxies to Cells, Planetary Science, Harmony and Medicine (Devachan Press, Vadito, NM 2007).
  23.  M.M. Chia, Awaken Healing Light of the Tao (Healing Tao Books, Huntington, NY, 1993).
  24.  D.M. Connelley, Traditional Acupuncture: The Law of the Five Elements (Traditional Acupuncture Institute, Columbia, MD, 1994).
  25.  M.O. Chia, Dirk, Taoist Astral Healing (Destiny Books, Rochester, VT, 2004).


Acutonics the Sound of Healing

18 Jan, 2005
Acutonics the Sound of Healing

Elizabeth Eidlitz
Is a free-lance writer, newspaper columnist, writing teacher and a studio potter in Hopkinton, Massachusetts.
Massage Magazine, January/February 2005

In ancient Greece, the pain of sciatica and gout was eased with flute playing; in Biblical times David treated King Saul’s depression by playing the harp. Today, growing recognition that certain sounds influence health, character, mood and consciousness has given rise to the new field of Acutonics, an energy-based therapy. It is part of the larger field of harmonic medicine, which effects healing through vibration and sound.

In this noninvasive precisely calibrated tuning forks, representing a natural harmonic series based on the orbital properties of the Earth, Moon, Sun and planets, are applied directly to acupressure points, trigger points, points of pain and chakras to access and open the energy pathways in the body. Acutonics is being increasingly incorporated into spas, and is also appropriate for massage therapists in private practice to use.

“Every cell in our body is a sound resonator,” says Donna Carey, who co-founded the Acutonics technique and the Kairos Institute of Sound Healing in Llano, New Mexico. “Every cell lives in a rhythmic pattern. Each organ has its own cycle and its own pulse. Each and every system has a cycle, rhythm, pattern and pulse that exist in resonant harmony and sympathy to the cycles of the Earth and the heavens.”

When we lose connection to the rhythms and cycles of nature and the interconnections to all things in the universe, this alienation manifests itself as imbalance and disease. Acutonics seeks to harmonize and balance the body, psyche and soul and to reconnect clients with the cycles of nature and the cosmos.

The Philosophy of Healing Tones

The belief in sound as vibration, a link between spirit and life force that affects every aspect of creation, is evident in all cultures and mythologies. Sumerians and Taoists, observing nature, inferred that each interlinked piece of the universe is part of divine harmony with humanity at the center. Pythagoras documented the “music of the spheres,” which represents the supreme interconnecting harmonic intelligence of the cosmos. In the 17th century, Johannes Kepler, examining the elliptical orbits of the planets, calculated velocities and demonstrated the relationship between planetary motion and musical ratios, which, three centuries later, Hans Cousto translated into musical tones.

Carey, a licensed acupuncturist and herbalist, educator and poet, was awakened to the power of sound after a near-death experience in which she said she heard “the music of the spheres.” She began integrating a variety of sound-healing tools into her clinical practice, including planetary-symphonic gongs, tuning forks, Tibetan bowls, drums and didgeridoo. Carey concluded that custom-calibrated tuning forks would be the most versatile and transformational tool for achieving the alchemy of outer medicine, used to cure illness and prolong life, and inner medicine, used to transcend being and enter into non-being. According to practitioners, Acutonics balances, grounds, builds, expands and releases energy in the body.

Patty Evans studied Acutonics after receiving it from Carey. She now incorporates the technique into her Hellerwork practice in Taos, New Mexico. “Even weeks after my first treatment, I felt the impact of this powerful work on physical, emotional and spiritual levels, as though I were suddenly in tune and touch with the inner vibration in my body, while totally conscious of how everything in the universe vibrates,” she says.

“It felt as if [Carey was] improvising a symphony on my body,” says Justin Bailey of Taos, New Mexico. “I ended up having a out-of-body experience and found myself in a place of utter peacefulness.

The Training

Specialized Acutonics facial treatment (left) balance the hemispheres of the face, and lead to lifting and toning. Acutonics tuning forks can be applied directly to acupressure points (right), trigger points, articulation points, points of pain, and the chakras to access and open the body's energy pathways.

Learning to work with middle-, low- and high-frequency tuning forks sets, as well as with essential oils and a variety of sound healing tools, such as Tibetan bowls and tinchas, gongs, bells and drums, is part of the Acutonics practitioner certification program at the Kairos Institute. Students also learn how Acutonics blends traditional Chinese medicine theory, Western science and cosmic-music theory into a variety of healing settings. There are seven levels of training, from beginner to advanced. Many certified practitioners of Acutonics continue their training and become certified teachers. According to the Kairos Institute more than 40 certified teachers are spreading the teachings of Acutonics around the globe, and there are 2,000 certified practitioners.

“I added it in because it complements massage very well, bringing another dimension into the body along with touch. In some cases it has helped set the stage for a much more effective massage while in others it creates access to levels of the body and consciousness that massage can’t reach,” says Carol Tiebout, a therapist at the Hot House Spa in Seattle, Washington.

“Most of my sessions include at least some Acutonics,” she continues. “I’ve used it to augment massage by accessing craniosacral rhythms, and working with points that help decrease physical pain and muscle tension. I’ve used it to help calm the nervous system and to help bring clients out of the thinking realm and into the language of their internal oceans and currents. I’ve [also] worked with [chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia], fertility, depression and chronic sinus infections.

“For clients who feel that in some way they do not fit quite right in this world, this a particularly profound experience,” Tiebout adds.

Acutonics is finding a home in spas across the country. At Lake Austin Spa, in Austin, Texas, it is applied with Tibetan bowls. The Living Spa at Monte Sagrado resort in Taos, New Mexico, uses the Acutonics tuning forks to provide a complete energy-balancing treatment.

“My use of the tuning forks has been adapted to bodywork for trigger-point release on muscles and joints, and revitalization of connective tissues to release tension and stagnation,” says Alex Rentz, a massage therapist at the spa. “Acutonics tuning forks are a wonderful tool for energy balancing in conjunction with more subtle bodywork like polarity, craniosacral and visceral therapies. I have also incorporated Acutonics into working with hot stones and gem stones.

Mary Elizabeth Wakefield, a massage therapist at Chi-Akra spa in New York City, uses Acutonics for facial treatments, to balance the hemispheres of the face.

“This pairing of masculine and feminine (the right relates to yin, Venusian archetype; the left to the yang, Martian principle) not only restores the equilibrium of brain chemistry but also promotes an inner sacred marriage that manifests outwardly as a lifting and toning of the face,” she says.

Infinite Treasures of the Heart

Susan Stone, founder of Stone Health Center, in Southborough, Massachusetts, and a certified Acutonics teacher, outlines reasons for massage therapists to incorporate Acutonics into their repertoire: “It saves the practitioner’s thumbs, fingers and hands. It expedites the pain-releasing process. It affords wider access to clients’ pain—emotional sources beyond the physical. It provides therapists with a fundamental understanding of traditional Chinese medicine and new approaches and techniques for working with the energies of the body without having to become acupuncturists.”

For clients, the results form the combination of massage or bodywork and Acutonics are powerful and long lasting.

“While I was aware of what [the therapist] was doing to me [and] there was some pain involved, I started to feel better and better as the tuning forks vibrated and [her] magic touch worked the kinks and stress out of my body,” says Judi Ritchie, a London resident who has received Acutonics treatments at Canyon Ranch spa in Lenox, Massachusetts. “After this session, I felt more energetic than I had felt in six months.

“On my return to Canyon Ranch this year, with a digestive problem, some aches and pains, and very low energy, [the therapist] used shiatsu techniques and also the tuning forks,” Ritchie continues. “I could feel the vibrations travel through my body as she applied the forks to my pressure points, sending energy to parts of my body where I was in need of it.”

“Sound is the mysterious key of memory—cellular, muscular, emotional and spiritual,” Carey says. “It helps us to unlock the infinite treasures of the heart. Acutonics speaks to the work of the heart, reminding each soul of its attunement with the harmonies of the universe, where true healing happens.”

Oriental Medicine, Harmonic Vibration and Planetary Responsibility

25 Sep, 2004
Oriental Medicine, Harmonic Vibration and Planetary Responsibility

C. Birch Storey, DOM
Oriental Medicine Journal, Earth/Late Summer 2004

Acutonics® is a profoundly transformational and inherently coherent system of Sound Healing, that incorporates the use of tuning forks in conjunction with or in place of Acupuncture needles. It also incorporates the ancient Taoist teachings of the meridians, the pre-meridians and the immortal body. This harmonic system provides a comprehensive methodology that is rooted in Oriental Medicine, Music Theory and the Vibrations of our Planetary Ecosystem. Acutonics emphasizes the cosmologically rooted principles of Oriental Medicine, with Oriental Medicine’s worldview of inter-connectedness. If we are to usher in a new era of consciousness that has some hope for planetary healing, it is imperative to remind each person, on a cellular level, of their interdependence with all the living systems that surround them. Acutonics can balance the physical body, but more importantly it has the direct ability to re-awaken a deep appreciation for the whole Earth Body.

The Pythagorean concept of The Music of the Spheres is the central mystery, theology, and cranial philosophy of the Acutonics system. Pythagoras concluded that when the planetary spheres revolved, musical sounds were made and harmony was created. The Cosmos was conceived as a vast lyre made up of crystal spheres. The planetary speeds measured by their distance around the sun are the same ratios as musical concordances and the sounds emitted by their movements create the harmony of the universe. Pythagoras was able to synthesize the modern day oppositional stances of the mystical, religious, scientific and mathematical. He was able to link these ideologies by a unifying vision, the vision of Harmonia, which lies at the heart of his teachings.

There is a mystical and eternal kinship between this music and the human soul that follows the laws of nature, beauty, infinite generosity, and creativity and represents the inter-connectedness of the universe. Music is number and Cosmos is music. More than a dream, a scientific concept, or a poetic conceit, the Music of the Spheres is harmonic intelligence. This cellular theology sings in the blueprint of every membrane, organism and atom. All things contain this knowledge, music, and longing for the whole. Our complex inextricable caring for one another cannot be taught; it is our being, it must be remembered and it is activated by the Music of the Spheres. When we apply the Acutonics tuning forks, we are literally feeding the body these cosmic frequencies and galvanizing the cosmological stem cell and sonic library of our soul.

Acutonics is the embodied art of the Music of the Spheres, made possible through modern day metallurgic technology. Donna Carey, LAc, Co-founder of the Kairos Institute of Sound Healing, developed the Acutonics Harmonic approach to Oriental Medicine, while she was Clinical Dean at the Northwest Institute of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. The Acutonics tuning forks are the ultimate manifestation of a vision held by Tomaso Campanella, a 16th century renegade Dominican, who was of the heretical heliocentric persuasion. He passionately believed that there would some day be new instruments to allow humanity to hear the Music of the Spheres in the same way that the telescope made the celestial bodies visible. The harmonics of the Acutonics tuning forks represent the elliptical orbits of each planet realizing Campanella’s vision.

In 1930, Hans Cousto, a Swiss mathematician, took the orbital velocities formulated by Johannes Kepler, and translated them into the musical tones used in the Acutonics system. By ‘playing’ the calibrated tuning forks, an Acutonics practitioner permeates the whole being of a person with the vibrations of the cosmic ecosystem, harmonizing their cells and DNA to the very frequencies in which they evolved. The forks can be applied directly to the meridians, acupuncture points, trigger points, marma points and chakras. They also work when applied off body, as a way to regulate dosage, to apply vibrations homeopathically and to balance and restructure the Etheric bodies.

The Ancient Chinese perceived human beings as a microcosm of the universe that surrounded them. Suffused with the same primeval forces that motivated the macrocosm, a singular continuum within and without. Disease was considered to be a manifestation of imbalance with respect to the natural metabolic, seasonal, and emotional cycles of life. The modern day practitioner of Acutonics has the ability to weave and layer holographic symphonic treatments using ‘the Music of the Spheres’ as Pythagoras called it, entraining the body into ‘right relationship’ between its internal and external cycles. In some ways the depth, scope, and refinement that Acutonics provides can be considered revolutionary and a significant advancement in the medicine, but in truth, the snake continues to eat its own tail, for the system is invoking and making immediately viable, its Shamanic past, and Celestial origins.

The fundamental or Mother tone of the Acutonics system, around which all the healing harmonies are built, is Ohm. The Ohm tone is calculated as the sound of an Earth year as it goes through the 4 seasons. It is approximately C#. In Hindu tradition, it is said that all was dark and quiet in the womb until the first movement spontaneously created sound. Ohm is the sound of this primordial vibration, the original mantra and sacred tone that sounded the earth and the universe into existence. Ohm contains every sound and has been declared as the storehouse of mystical power; when we listen to this tone we become one with the earth and the heaven. As our bodies align with the universe, healing begins. The musician Paul Winters found that when he listened to the songs of the wolves, whales and eagles, they all began and ended their songs with Ohm.

The Acutonics System roots itself in Ohm because the true challenges of our time are to awaken and embrace cosmic consciousness, to translate heavenly harmonies into the realm of human relationship, and to ground a visceral appreciation of the seamless fabric of nature into our daily lives. Ohm is the ground, the root, and the solid earth. Just like a tree needs roots to grow and thrive, we need Ohm. It is our earthly source and center of gravity. Ohm represents balance and seeks to harmonize any energetic imbalance in the body.

When we look at the Earth Mythology, we see that it dates back 30,000 years across all cultures. Gaia was the name given by the ancient Greeks to the primordial goddess worshipped by humanity since the dawn of the Stone Age. An even more ancient form of her name Ge, is used in the names of the Earth sciences, Geology and Geography. She was also known as Prithivi to the Hindus, Assaya to the Yurobans and Kunapipi to the Australian tribal people. She is the oldest and most universally worshipped religious icon in all of human experience. Her ancient figurines are found all over the Eurasian continent, from Spain to Siberia.

In Greek mythology, Gaia created light and love from the primal cosmos chaos. Pierced by Eros’ arrow, Gaia gave birth to all the planets, animals, Titans, Gods and Goddesses and of course the human race. Gaia is mother to us all, guiding and sustaining all we undertake.

In Five Element Theory, the Earth element corresponds to late summer. As summer wanes and fall approaches there is a hiatus, a period in which time seems to stop and the glory of summer hangs suspended. Late summer marks the ascendance of the power of Earth, the time of ripening, when all that has grown and matured in the spring and summer lies ready for harvest. Momentarily free of the cycle of rebirth, growth, decay and death, this is a secure time of peace and plenty during which we appreciate the flowering of our labor. Some consider the Earth element to correspond with the Doyo, or the chaotic liminal phases between each season, representing the Earth as the pivot or stable fulcrum around which the season’s cycle.

The Earth element, the soil that feeds us, and the ground that locates us in space and time, imparts stability. It provides equanimity, perseverance, practicality, serenity, and a sense of being grounded and Earth symbolizes nourishment sympathy and mediation. The Earth relates to the qualities of remembering, intention, ideation and attentiveness. Unification is its guiding principle. Through the power to establish and sustain relationships, the Earth nurtures and promotes our connectedness with each other and the world.

Focusing on what is mutually shared, the archetype of the Earth synthesizes what is divided and antagonistic into what is unified and interdependent. Negotiating peace for its own sake, the Earth tirelessly serves humanity as the great balancer and equalizer, the preserver of families and societies.

When the Earth element is in harmony, people will present themselves as nurturing, supportive, relaxed, oriented, and sociable. When one has a weak and porous Earth element, he/she may focus solely on the mental and spiritual realms and allow the practical application of he/she life to erode. If they overemphasizes the Earth element, then they become dense and stuck, unable to move in any direction. One also tends to focus on the accumulation of material wealth and earthly consumption.

As a culture we over emphasize the rational aspects of our being. With the advent of the Gutenberg Press our minds started to retract from the sensual world. When we look at a printed page we say that ‘it speaks to us’ whereas the speech of our ancestors, their tones, rhythms and inflections would correspond with the contour and scale of the local landscape, attuned in multiple and subtle ways to the visual rhythms of the local topography.

In 1641, Descartes made material reality a strictly mechanical realm and nature became something prosaic and predictable, purging it of subjective experience. We have subsequently become divorced from our senses, our living body, no longer experiencing the larger body of our world, or the interpenetrating interdependent nature of the sensible landscape. As the 20th century solidified mind as a separate object, we continued to disembody, floating in our technological addiction. The breathing body as it experiences and inhabits the world is very different from the objectified body diagrammed in physiology with its separable systems. Whenever we attempt to explain the world conceptually we seem to forget our active participation in it and in striving to represent the world, we inevitably forget its direct presence. We are in desperate need of a reconnection with the flesh of our being and the dark vital ground from which all-human endeavors are rooted. The use of the Acutonics Ohm Tuning Forks helps to activate this connection.

In contrast to the mind-body separation of the West, the core belief of Taoism and Oriental Medicine, according to Chung Tzu, has always been that “heaven, earth and I are one, all things and I, form an inseparable unity.” This is called the three treasures: heaven, earth and humanity. We are the intermediaries. The three treasures form the figure eight. Humanity is at the center, receiving the beauty and grace from heaven and the nourishment of our heart and soul from earth. We also have different elixir fields in our body that relate to the three treasures: energy, vitality and spirit. The aligning of these three treasures with the three elixir fields is an ancient technique for achieving immortality. It is imperative that we vibrationaly align ourselves if the Earth, in its capacity to sustain us, has any hope for longevity.

Cultures at respective times have had different reference points, either being dominated by a celestial focus with the attendant neglect for the body or by being geocentric with an attitude of righteous exploitation. We no longer have the luxury to get caught in either scientific determinism or spiritual idealism. We need to shift the perception so that the perceiver and the perceived are interdependent and in some sense made of the same animate element that is both sensible and sensitive. The use of the Ohm forks, help us to express our spiritual and emotional connection to our cosmic and earthly origins.

Gaia has come to stand for the ecological perspective that views the earth as a single interconnected whole. This is the notion of earthly nature as a densely interconnected organic network, as a biosphere from which each entity draws its specific character from its relations, to all other things. In my clinical practice I have experienced that underlying all imbalance is a sense of disenfranchisement from meaning, from the meaning of the world, from the meaning of incarnation. It’s therefore not just a matter of using the Ohm forks to connect each person to the Earth element, and the substantive vigor it promotes. But also about reconnecting the person to the dynamic of connection itself, which forms the basis of a healthy, balanced and integrated psyche. Whenever we employ the vibration of the Ohm forks in healing, we are also simultaneously enhancing the natural rhythmic pulse of Gaia herself, the ground of our experience.

Resonance is a critical concept in understanding the impact of sound on the physical body. It is defined as an echo, a continuation of ringing. It is the quality of one vibrating body as it reaches out and sets another body into motion. When one applies the Ohm fork to the body or the land, one enters into sympathetic relation; there is an attunement or synchronization between the rhythm of the forks and the rhythms tones and textures of the things themselves. When we are resonating with the Earth, because it is the ground song for all tones and our communal reference point, we are necessarily creating greater community and consonance amongst interacting entities. Earth attunement also offers perceptual reciprocity. To touch the coarse skin of a tree is, at the same time to experience one’s own tactility, to feel oneself touched by the tree. With this reciprocity of the sensuous we may as well say that we are the organs of the world, the flesh of its flesh and that the world perceives itself through us.

Physically, the earth presides over physical structure and form and represents the homework that each person must do. It governs the sacrum, hips liver, legs and feet. Ohm Forks bring a sense of relaxation, balance and grounding. You feel soothed, comforted, and safe in your body and at homes. The Ohm Forks work specifically well for rooting and grounding – using them on the bottom of the feet, KID 1, Gushing Spring, for any kind of hyperactivity or anxiety, insomnia or high blood pressure.

To tonify and build core energy and to bring a sense of deep centeredness and orientation, place the Ohm forks on CV 4, Origins Pass and CV 6, Sea of Qi.

When Kundalini energy is rising at an unmanageable rate, root it by using the Ohm forks in the Baliao. This is the place from which the uterus and testes are innervated and therefore the Baliao has an important energetic relationship to birth and rebirth at an emotional, physical and psycho-spiritual level. It becomes very active during times of transformation. This is also indicated when working with infertility or other gynecological issues and obviously contraindicated in pregnancy.

To clear the sinuses, apply the Ohm Forks to ST 3, Great Crevice, LI 20, Welcome Fragrance, UB 2, Gathered Bamboo, GB14, Yang White, GB 15, Head Governor of Tears, and DU 20, Hundred Convergences. Use the Ohm forks bilaterally down the Huato Jiaji, the points along the spine, to calm the nervous system and bring overall balance.

The center of the body corresponds with the Earth element. The point ST 25, Tian Shu, or Celestial Pivot, is named after one of the greatest stars in the divinatory arts. This is one of the most important points on the body to tonify the Earth element and yet its name still mentions the heavens. Apply the Ohm forks in any case of digestive disturbance. The Earth forks are especially useful for survivors of trauma that find it difficult to be fully present in their bodies.

There are two other variations of Earth in the Acutonics system: the Zodiac and the Earth Day Forks. They are used in combination with the Ohm Fork to create a musical interval that has its own unique healing ability. An interval is the combination of two tones and the quality of the interval is determined by the position and relationship to the fundamental or home tone, Ohm. Two tones sounded together create a unique personality. Rudolph Steiner says that humanity needs more of the 5th, as it brings in the spirit. A 6th is more about filling or bringing to fruition. A 3rd is creative, meditative, relating to birth and letting things out. Within intervals, dissonance can be sought after as it helps to release stagnation. It is both the archetypal energies of the forks themselves and the musical intervals, created by two forks used together that govern their function. It is in the ‘space in-between’ that true healing happens.

The green Earth Day Fork represents the generative and energetic cycle of the 24-hour day, the time it takes for the earth to revolve around its own axis. Its note is approximately G. Much of American music is in the predominant key of G., from the pulsating beat of jazz to the fast action of rock, this music drives, and without a doubt, we are the fastest moving society in the world. The Earth Day helps us to connect to the cycle of the earth in our most direct way. Each morning we are offered a fresh start, as we hear the birds sing, and each evening we are graced with the beauty of the sunsets. In many cultures the turning of night into day and back again is represented by the call to prayer, to greet and thank the divine, the generative source of all life.

The Earth Day fork, when combined with the Ohm fork creates the interval of a 5th. This is a highly energetic interval. It is not a perfect fifth. It is more like a diminished 5th or an augmented 4th. When you listen, it has a slightly dissonant, edgy quality, an activating, motivating, get-up-off-the-couch dissonance, breaking up lethargy and inertia. Nature itself replicates this interval on a biological level. It forms the key tension in nitrogen during photosynthesis. Schubert calls this the green note. I call this fork liquid chlorophyll or a cup of coffee because of the kind of regenerative kick it gives, without the jangle.

Listening to the Earth Day 5th can bring a sense of open, energetic movement and invigoration, a sense of spinning faster, a sense of joy and hope. To stimulate overall energy I use the Earth Day 5th (Ohm and the Green Earth Day Fork) on CV 6, Sea of Qi. For low back pain, use it on KID 3, Great Ravine. To build the immune system and tonify metabolism, use on ST 36, Leg Three Li. To stimulate a deficient Earth Element, weak digestion, anemia and for those who worry too much apply to SP 3, Supreme White and SP 6, Three Leg Yin. It can also help to relieve depression, and chronic fatigue and it helps people to wake up to their greater journey. Don’t use it on any of the points contraindicated in pregnancy or directly on tumors.

The purple Zodiac Earth Fork represents the expansive and meditative sound of the 29,200-year cycle it takes the earth to revolve around the entire zodiac, also known as the processional cycle. We just transitioned from the age of Pisces and are now in Aquarius. The musical note of the Zodiac Fork is approximately F. The tone has a relaxed, transcendental quality and a dispelling and dispersing nature that takes us out and beyond. Think of this fork as smoothing. Think of how spacious and vast the orbit is.

This is the nature of the Zodiac fork. It brings the cool calming effect of spaciousness. The interval that is created when you combine the Zodiac with the Ohm Fork is a 3rd, which relates to birthing what has been held inside. The spaciousness of the Zodiac Fork allows for the channels to widen, for the constraint to subside. Like the cervix needing to dilate during labor, the widening arc of the zodiac fork allows for clarity to be differentiated and movement to breathe. Steiner said that the single note F reaches out to our Etheric and Astral bodies, reminding us of the immense space all around us. The ancient Chinese placed great importance on this tone for it brought them closer to spiritual silence.

The Zodiac 3rd creates an interval of peaceful detachment. It reminds us that there is plenty of time to do what we need to do and be who we need to be. It is a meditative interval with effects that have been described as a traveling outward, an unlocking of one’s mind, lightness, coldness, and a departure that taps us into the collective unconscious. All suggest a dispelling, dispersive effect and a mystical feeling of simply being. It works wonders at relieving emotional and mental stress.

The Zodiac 3rd can be used directly on sore muscles, trigger points and tendons. It has become a highly prized tool by body workers. It relieves sciatica when used on GB 30, Jumping Circle, GB 32 Middle Ditch, and GB 34, Yang Mound Spring and can be used on the lower back. Make sure you hold the intention for it to stay with in the musculoskeletal layer rather than sinking into the kidneys. To help relieve congestion in the liver place the Zodiac 3rd combination on LIV 3, Great Surge, but if you have a weakened patient and you want to re-cycle the energy then place the Zodiac Fork on LIV 3 and the Ohm fork on KID 1, Gushing Spring. Just listening to these forks can help calm stress or tension, while creating a light feeling in the body. It is excellent on scar tissue and nodules. Use it first in the field if it’s a fresh scar and then after a week use locally.

Acutonics is being integrated into many diverse fields including nursing, massage and bodywork, music therapy, psychotherapy, Veterinary Medicine, Astrological prescriptions and Earth Healings. Nurses are using it in labor and delivery and in post- operative situations, as well as cancer support. The Acutonics Tuning Forks are being used to reduce anxiety prior to surgery, and post surgery they are being used to reduce nausea, relieve inner cranial pressure, and help to heal scar tissue. The higher frequency Tuning Forks are used to repair the tears in the Auric grid or to fill it out and maintain its integrity, if it has folded in response to soft or hard drugs.

There is a contemporary call to not only be Physical and Spiritual Healers but also Earth Stewards. With a little patience and a modicum of sensitivity one can feel where the land itself needs our attention. In places with a high density of electromagnetic disruption we can apply the Ohm Unison or Ohm Octave, to the space to facilitate grounding and a recalibration of the frequencies. For areas that are contaminated we can apply the Zodiac 3rd and for those areas that have become so weakened that they have lost their regenerative capacities, we can apply the Earth Day 5th. These principles extend to the garden to boost nutrient deficient soil, to the healing of wounded branches, to the clearing of contaminated water, and to the promotion of interspecies relationships.

Since it’s creation, Acutonics has not only been used on people, but an entire program has been developed for the treatment of animals. The first class, Equine Acutonics: Balancing Horse and Rider, which is targeted at helping people to work with and care for their own animals.

Acutonics provides me with a non-invasive highly effective system to apply the wisdom of Oriental Medicine. Sound continues to reverberate through the body days after a treatment, with patients reporting sustained states of peace and release from pain with Acutonics. I have found that when I use sound, people release the attendant emotions that correspond to their physical ailment more easily. Sound penetrates through the cracks of a person’s emotional and physical blocks. It facilitates deep access and clients demonstrate greater courage in engaging with the emotional process, because they feel that they can ride on the back of the sound. Working with the momentum of the sound there is less fear of getting stuck and re-traumatized. Sound also facilitates the problem of emotional transference in the therapy. When the injury has been to the trust, sound can be the bridge to healing.

No amount of logical elucidation as to the reasons why we should respect and heed both fellow man and the well being of nature will affect our sensorial behavior. Only a visceral vibration alignment will renew our attentiveness to the perceptual dimension that underlies all of our existence. Harmonizing to the very vibration of the Earth through the application of the Ohm Forks will rejuvenate our carnal, sensorial empathy with the living land that sustains us.

The tides are changing; there are many individuals today who experience profound anguish over each report of clearing, spill, or extinction. It is an anguish that comes from the earth itself, from the flesh of our bones. When we reconnect with the song of the Earth, our speech will start to reflect the principles of the natural order, which has the thrust to thrive and create harmony. Attuning to the earth helps us to remember the living dimension in which all our endeavors are rooted.

The Earth suffers from commercial domination and environmental exploitation because people suffer from gross underdevelopment of the heart, bloating of the left-brain, and a total abandonment of wisdom traditions, and the sustained perception of separation. We have a huge opportunity to change our course. However, we must recognize that we are all part of a vast temple of oneness, and that the space we must truly inhabit is the space that our souls know and have always known, the space of undifferentiated wholeness. We are not parts, but patterns in the collective field. It is therefore crucial to call on all the resources that have the power to integrate and harmonize a person with their natural habitat, and to reconnect them with the mindful life of the body. By directly applying the very vibration of the Earth to the body, we can reawaken the deep knowing of our interdependence. Every cell in our body remembers and has awareness of this vibration. We can break through our modern day inertia by resonating the body to the frequencies that truly sustain, nourish and heal us, so that we, in turn, may heal the Earth. To do so we must learn how to re-attune ourselves to our heaven-earth axis and to reweave ourselves into the great fabric of evolution. Acutonics really is a revolutionary system that uses the sonic link to connect our souls back to the divine harmonies and destinies, allowing us to begin the process of rebuilding the heavenly architecture here on earth – calling our hearts back to the mystery, to the oneness, and to participation in the sacredness of the universe. Acutonics is not just about learning a methodology based on wisdom traditions, it is about connecting us with universal perspectives and the greater imperatives of our time. Resonating with the sounds of our universe has the power to lead us to unified vision, harmonic revelation, and personal and planetary transformation.

Carey, D & de Muynck, M. Acutonics®: There’s No Place Like Ohm, Sound Healing, Oriental Medicine and the Cosmic Mysteries, Devachan Press, Vadito, NM 2002.

Integrating the Acutonics Healing System into Practice: A Natural Rhythm

3 Aug, 2004
Integrating the Acutonics Healing System into Practice: A Natural Rhythm

Susan Goldstone, Dipl. Ac, LMBT, MA
Acutonics Senior Faculty


Integrating the Acutonics system into my Oriental Medical practice has been such an organic process that I wanted to share my experiences with other practitioners who may be questioning how they can incorporate harmonic sound medicine into their practice. This system is easily integrated into any and all complementary or traditional healthcare practices, eastern or western medicine, acupuncture, massage therapy, psychotherapy, naturopathy, nursing, chiropractors, music therapy, occupational therapy, physical  therapy, veterinary, or medical physicians, just to name a few.

I first realized that there may be a concern regarding transitioning one’s professional practice when a colleague, who had also taken the Acutonics training, was having difficulty integrating this work into her long standing acupuncture practice. Her fear was that patients identified their healing with acupuncture and would not be open to other forms of healing. Also, there was a feeling that healing with sound was moving into a realm that may not be accepted by some patients who were comfortable with acupuncture as a mainstream complimentary medicine.

In addition to the concern about patient acceptance, I recognized that there was another issue that needed to be addressed. And that was how we as practitioners, can get attached to the practice that we have grown to know and how uncomfortable it can be to break from our old patterns even when we know the tools that have been placed in our charge can be powerfully beneficial. All of this led me to do some soul searching on how I integrated sound healing into my own practice.

I was first introduced to sound as a therapeutic modality when I was working with an occupational therapist on Sensory Integration with my 5-year-old daughter. There were specific sounds that would invoke chemical changes in the brain that would then alter inharmonic behaviors. After months of listening to specific sounds and frequencies, I noticed a significant shift in her behavior. She was more at ease with herself and her surroundings. She was more present and in her body.

Though I have always had soothing music in my treatment rooms, I began to think how wonderful it would be to have sounds that would invoke specific healings in my practice. I began to explore this. I was talking to a colleague who had just found the Acutonics Healing System- a system that merged sound and Oriental medicine. It was a perfect match! I immediately contacted Acutonics, home to the Acutonics Healing System. Donna Carey, co-developer and author of the book No Place Like Ohm answered the phone. I explained who I was and my interest in learning about Acutonics. She sent me the book and the Professional Earth Moon set. I immediately began practicing the techniqueson family and friends. The results were equally as beneficial as acupuncture and in some cases better.

Then I took Acutonics I: Sound Gates to Meridian Harmonics. When I returned from the workshop, I was very excited and felt that I now had the tools to effectively communicate this practice to my patients. I began to introduce this work into my Oriental medical practice. First, I would talk to patients about sound healing. If there were an interest, I would give a brief treatment with the Acutonics tuning forks. I would work with the Ohm Unison forks to ground a person on KID-1. Then, depending on the person and their specific condition, I would treat two of the Eight Extraordinary Meridians using New Moon 5th and Ohm Unison, Full Moon 6th, or whatever was appropriate. I would always ground again with Ohm Unison on KID 1. I kept the treatment short and simple, but the results never ceased to amaze me.

Patients were immediately receptive and open to this work. There was a sense of, “I don’t know what this is doing but I feel much better and more like myself.” As a matter of fact, when I didn’t use the forks on them, I heard about it! After seeing and experiencing the clinical results of the Acutonics I workshop, I was propelled into the Acutonics II: Higher Harmonics and the Inner Nature of Tone workshop.

In Acutonics II: Higher Harmonics and the Inner Nature of Tone workshop, I was taken deeper into the history of sound healing using the more advanced forks, techniques and instruments. Again, once I returned to my practice, I incorporated this work into the treatments. Patients were very excited about the use of high frequency forks used over the body. Their treatments went much deeper. Pain and scars were being successfully treated by the Lower Zodiac forks. Deep emotional wounds were being gently released with the high frequency forks. The Tibetan bowls brought deep transitional shifts. Menopausal issues were being dispelled. People were experiencing a sense of grounding, a greater sense of self, and their connection to something greater. The energetics of my practice shifted and so did I.

One of my own personal/professional energetic shifts was what I call ‘my initiation into this work of harmonic medicine.’ This happened when I hung up the Acutonics tuning forks in my treatment room. The beauty of the multicolored sounds dangling from their individual places, hung silently waiting to invoke healing with their unique sounds. Needless to say, everyone who came into the room noticed this colorful piece of art hanging on the wall. Some were already familiar with the effects of this sound medicine and were pleased to see the sounds in the room. Others were intrigued by this colorful array of sounds and asked what they were. Everyone commented on our new addition in the room. This engaged us in a conversation about Acutonics. For those who had not experienced the work, we discussed how it could be worked into their treatments. I then ask if they wanted to experience sound medicine. And that was their initiation.

Patients then began to ask for Acutonics treatments. Some wanted full sound healing treatment; others enjoyed the combination of Acutonics with the other therapies that were offered to them—acupuncture and/or craniosacral therapy. My Oriental medical practice of over 12 years shifted to a Harmonic and Energetic Medical Practice—broader, more expansive, more in line with the traditional roots of ancient Oriental medicine.

My journey with this work has just begun as a practitioner, as a Certified Teacher of Acutonics, as a student, as a mother, as myself. With forks in hand, gongs standing ready, Tibetan bowls beaconing their song, I have embarked into a realm that heeds attention by practitioners and patients. Edgar Casey recognized that sound is the medicine of the future. The future is now.

So my advice to all who begin this harmonic journey, whatever your healing profession, after you take an Acutonics seminar, display your Acutonics tuning forks. Showing the colors of sound will demonstrate the vibrancy of your own true colors as well. Dangle those beautiful sounds for all to see and hear. You know the benefits of these tools. Share this harmonic medicine with those who come to you for healing and guidance. The Music of the Spheres will guide you, teach you, and send you to a place of healing, a place to be healed, a place of one—Ohm.

Sound Healing Strategies for Women in Transition: Treating Menopause and Perimenopause

1 Jun, 2004
Sound Healing Strategies for Women in Transition: Treating Menopause and Perimenopause

Donna Carey, LAc and Ellen F. Franklin
California Journal of Oriental Medicine, 2004, Volume 15, No. 2 - Summer

Transitions are about growing into our greatest capacities and launching into our highest expression of self with renewed energy and wisdom.

In an earlier CJOM article, we wrote about sound healing, Oriental medicine, and the three treasures. We provided some basic treatment protocols for the application of tuning forks to cultivate the three treasures and to create balance, harmony, longevity, and wholeness by accessing and strengthening the kidney. This is accomplished through the application of sound to the huato jiaji and the immortal caves, or baliao. In this article, we will address women in transition and the use of tuning forks for the treatment of menopause and perimenopause.

Menopause and perimenopause is one of the most significant and powerful transitions in a woman’s life. This time is marked by physiological, psychological, and spiritual changes, often requiring a blending of treatment strategies and paradigms. It is a time when women access a new and oftentimes confusing sense of power. The use of sound healing tools is invaluable for dealing with the issues and subtle textures experienced during this time of transition. Deep down, the issues of menopause and perimenopause are associated with the natural rhythms and cycles, with which we’ve lost contact. By working on specific acupuncture points with the frequencies of the new and full moons, we are able to provide the individual with nurturance, emotional support, and sympathetic vibrational rhythms.

Women will often present with a constellation of symptoms that are ignored or labeled as hormonal and/or psychological imbalances. Western medicine and some alternative therapies will deliver multiple diagnoses, including Sjoegren’s syndrome, hypothymia, non-specific autoimmune disorders, fibromyalgia, depression, hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, chronic fatigue, and so on. These diagnoses alone are often not the answer, and in many cases they are inaccurate. As clinicians, we must also consider that during this time of transition women are being initiated into their power, self-autonomy, destiny, and a larger blueprint which can be one of the most profound, life-altering, confusing, and shattering experiences in life. Unfortunately, many of us live in a world and within family structures that do not support these transitions because the outcome is feared—namely change. These are often irreversible and irresistible changes that come when we are given a gift of insight into our life. Women begin to access their divine spark and often experience a heightened awareness. They are called to move beyond their existing structure and to redesign or craft a brand new architecture for their lives based on inner authority and guidance.

All of these symptoms and syndromes that seem so overwhelming and unbearable are not all that complex, strange, or pathological. Remember that in other cultures this is a celebrated and sacred time. Our culture minimizes transitions, and offers few rites of passage, thereby disempowering these powerful times, especially the powerful times of women. Lab results measuring a biochemical moment leading to a medical diagnosis do not tell the complete story.

Transitions are about growing into our greatest capacities and launching into our highest expression of self with renewed energy and wisdom. The menopausal years are part of this critical transition.

Rather than providing many individual case studies, we offer some general treatment strategies that have been extremely effective in clinical practice.

Menopausal syndromes almost always involve a constellation of patterns and symptoms around the factor of heat. From an Oriental medicine perspective, the diagnosis is kidney yin deficiency. Yin is the female aspect (Moon), the material base, the nurturing substance and process. Yang is the masculine principle (Sun), the energy, and the action. Yin and yang are complementary forces that exist within our body, within nature, and throughout the universe. These forces interplay, complement, and check one another. When in balance, there is harmony. When yin is deficient, yang will take over. We see how the yin (water) deficiency cannot provide the root, and the yang (fire) will immediately exhibit itself with a flare.

Symptoms of heat include hot flashes, heat rising up in the form of headaches, restlessness, fidgetiness, sleeplessness, and irritability. The heat can give way to dryness, both vaginal and general dryness of mouth, eyes, skin, and a feeling of itchy, crawly skin. Joint aches can occur due to the loss of moisture and lubrication as well. There may be feelings of being ungrounded and unrooted due to the energy constantly rising up. The heat can cause unsettling feelings of anger, aggression, nervousness; it may also cause either excessive menstrual bleeding (heat will burn collaterals), or incessant spotting (yin source drying and preventing blood production). Emotionally, there is a wide gamut—from elation with constant activity and restlessness, to depression and very little activity. Insomnia may be present with hypo- or hyper-emotions.

Psycho-spiritual symptoms may include a blown out low back or sacrum, which is common in transformational crisis—the stability of our old life and ways of thinking and being are challenged. Our creative urge for spiritual and soul growth is awakening at the base of the spine and Kundalini energy is being stirred up at its core. Other symptoms women may experience include feelings that the world and the people around them are becoming too small as well as feelings of loss or impending change. The nervous system oftentimes becomes extremely sensitive and fragile—everything becomes a crisis, and there can be a loss of control. Things once taken in stride become overwhelming. When this is coupled with inability to sleep and surging power, our system’s circuitry can easily become fried.

The following are general treatment protocols designed to be used in combination with the constitutional work that would be a part of a comprehensive treatment plan for your clients. The behavior of the forks and duration of vibration when placed on points can also provide key diagnostic information, but that is beyond the scope of this article. When dealing with menopause, the primary forks that we work with will be the Earth (deeply grounding) and the New and the Full Moon (nurturing and watering).

After activating the tuning forks by tapping them lightly, the stems of the forks are placed directly on the indicated points for approximately 25 to 35 seconds or until they stop vibrating. In some situations, we point the weighted ends of the tuning forks over an area or organ that is being treated. As a general guideline, we would repeat the application of the forks to each point or area approximately three times.

It is critical to ground, root, and settle the nervous system, which helps to bring the body back into its new rhythms and cycles. When we work with the planetary frequencies of these tuning forks, we are brought into alignment with the cycles of nature and the universe. The best place to begin a treatment is with the fundamental and foundational cycle of Ohm, the sound of the earth traveling through the four seasons. It is excellent for grounding, rooting, balance, and homeostasis.

Begin your treatment by having the client listen to the Ohm Octave, the Low Ohm fork, and the Middle Ohm fork sounded together. Then, place these two forks together on the soles of the feet at KID 1, Gushing Spring.

Next, use both Middle Ohm forks together (Ohm Unison) and travel down the entire spine first along the huato jiaji points, and then out from the spine on the shu points. This helps to settle the nervous system and aids the client in integrating the new energies, frequencies, and insights that are coming into the body. After going down the spine, be sure to work on the sacrum and coccyx, ending at the bottom of the foot at KID 1.

Next, use the Ohm forks above the body, sweeping energy from the top to the bottom of the body, guiding it downward toward the root. Apply the combination of the Ohm and Full Moon fork on the inside of the lower leg on SP 6 (Three Leg Yin). This is a powerful psycho-spiritual point, and using this combination can water the yin of the body and help harmonize the emotions. Once the client has turned over, root again using the Ohm Octave on REN 4, (Origins Pass). This point is great for rooting the core energy, centering, and supporting the kidney.

One of the most effective treatments for leveling, grounding, nourishing, and helping to realign energies in the physical and subtle energy bodies is using the Full Moon 6th Interval (the Ohm and Full Moon fork) on the extraordinary vessels. The combination of the chong and ren mai support the treatment of signs and symptoms and reach deep into the root to allow a rebirth or new conception of self to form on all levels. Begin by treating the chong mai (Penetrating Vessel). Place the New Moon fork on SP 4 (Grandparents/Grandchild) and the Ohm on P 6 (Inner Gate). Follow with the Full Moon fork on SP 4 and the Ohm on P 6. Repeat the sequence on the ren mai (Conception Vessel), placing the New Moon fork on the opening point LU 7 (Broken Sequence) and the Ohm Fork on KID 6 (Shining Sea). Follow with the Full Moon fork on LU 7 and the Ohm on KID 6.

In addition:
For liver stagnation and heat: Zodiac 3rd on LIV 3 (Great Surge) or LIV 14 (Cycle Gate).
For dry eyes: Full Moon 6th on KID 6 (Shining Sea).
For insomnia and or irritability: Full Moon 6th on SP 6 (Three Yin Intersection) and HT 7 (Spirit Gate).
For heat and nightsweats: Full Moon 6th on HT 5 (Connecting Li), KID 7 (Recover Flow), and KID 10 (Yin Valley).
For heavy bleeding: Earth Day 5th on ST 36 (Leg Three Li) and SP 6 (Three Yin Intersection).
To root, ground and settle: Ohm Octave on KID 1 (Gushing Spring), SP 3 (Supreme White), and REN 4 (Origins Pass).
For additional emotional and spiritual balance: New Moon 5th and or Ohm Unison on KID 23 (Spirit Seal), KID 24 (Spirit Ruins), and K 25 (Spirit Storehouse).
To nourish kidney yin and yang: Full Moon 6th followed by Solar 7th on KID 3 (Great Ravine), BL 23 (kidney shu point), REN 4 (Origins Pass) and DU 4 (Life Gate).
Trace a figure eight above the body with the Ohm Forks to signify the infinite connection between heaven, earth, and humanity. Then, hold these near your client’s ears to end the treatment.

The frequencies of the tuning forks that we work with are based on the work of Kepler, who in the 1620’s discovered the elliptical paths of the planets. Kepler calculated the velocity of all known planets (invalidating the accepted concept of circular orbits). He presented scientific evidence of the relationship between the musical ratios and the planetary motion—the music of the spheres. In the 20th century, Hans Cousto translated the planetary velocities into musical tone. Cousto’s musical transpositions of Kepler’s planetary orbits provided a foundation for the tuning fork frequencies that we use. Carey & de Muynck expanded on these translations and calculated the frequencies for Chiron, Nibiru, and the four largest asteroids.

Each musical combination or interval used in this system has its own unique healing properties. For example, a musical 3rd, a dispersing interval, is created by combining the Ohm fork, the sound of the Earth traveling through the four seasons, and the Zodiac Earth, the sound of the Earth traveling through the processional cycle of the zodiac, where Earth disperses in a 25,000-year cycle. This is an excellent combination for reducing stagnation, calming the liver, and dealing with the mobilization of scar tissue. The New Moon 5th is created by combining the Ohm fork with the New Moon fork. This 5th creates an opening in the flow of energy and is used for lymphedema, treatment of window to the sky points, and for releasing old emotional patterns. The Earth Day 5th is created when the green Earth Day fork, which represents the earth revolving on its own axis (a 24 hour cycle), is combined with the gold Ohm fork to produce a strongly generative combination. The Solar 7th Interval is also generative as well as vitalizing and warming. It combines the Sun Fork with the Low Ohm fork. This combination is being used in place of moxa with great results. The Full Moon 6th combines the Full Moon fork (white) with the Ohm and is used to nourish yin and essence. All applications of tuning forks are based on planetary correspondences and sympathies and can be directly integrated into Oriental medical diagnostics.

Acutonics Intervals Used in the Treatment Protocol for Menopause and Perimenopause
OHM UNISON: Two gold Middle Ohm tuning forks. This is the fundamental tone interval. It grounds, balances, roots, and connects us to earth. It provides us with a sense of ease, safety, and feeling at home. (Ohm is approximately C #)

ZODIAC 3rd: Gold Middle Ohm and Purple tuning forks. This interval is calming and meditative. It is expansive and dispersing and relaxes mind and muscle. (Zodiac Earth is approximately F)

EARTH DAY 5th: Gold Middle Ohm and green Earth Day tuning forks. This interval is generative and tonifying. It is also energetic and stimulating. (Earth Day is approximately a G)

NEW MOON 5th: Gold Middle Ohm and metallic-blue middle New Moon tuning forks. This interval opens and disperses. It is feminine, nurturing, watering, and emotionally releasing. (New Moon is approximately G#)

FULL MOON 6th: Gold Middle Ohm and white middle Full Moon tuning forks. This powerful interval builds and bridges. It is feminine, watering, and brings emotions to fullness. This interval is the ultimate expression of yin. (Full Moon is approximately A #)

SOLAR 7th: Gold low Ohm and sunflower yellow Middle Sun tuning forks. This interval is vitalizing and warming. Its masculine, initiatory power tonifies and pulls us toward source. This interval is the ultimate expression of yang. (Sun is approximately B)

OHM OCTAVE: Gold Low Ohm and gold Middle Ohm tuning forks. This interval completes and grounds while connecting us to deeper issues. As it unifies parts of the whole, it works well to energetically connect the lower and middle body.

(Note: Because these are cosmic tunings, the notes are only approximate)

1. Carey, D., and de Muynck, M. Acutonics: There’s No Place Like Ohm, Sound Healing, Oriental Medicine and the Cosmic Mysteries, Vadito, NM: Devachan Press, 2002.

Acutonics® A Harmonic Approach to Oriental Medicine

25 Jun, 2003
Acutonics® A Harmonic Approach to Oriental Medicine

Sue Wadden, LAc
Oriental Medicine Journal, Fire/Summer 2003

The Acutonics® system of vibrational sound healing, whose musical tones and intervals are based on ancient mathematic calculations known as the Music of the Spheres, is the most profound and effective form of medicine that I have experienced. I have been working with the meridian system professionally for over ten years, first as an acupressure therapist, and now as an acupuncturist. I also hold an undergraduate degree in Preventative Medicine. I discovered the depth and power of Acutonics during a very stressful period in my life. My father was dying and I was worried deeply about his spirit and concerned about the pain that he was suffering. I was exhausted, having just finished my acupuncture degree and exams while working every weekend. I was also in the midst of my Chinese herbal studies, starting a practice and trying to make ends meet. I felt like what the Tibetan monks call the nature of the mind: a horse running in a thousand different directions.

My friend suggested that I go have an Acutonics treatment, and while I had no idea what was involved, I knew that all I had to do was call the Northwest Institute of Oriental Medicine where the students were practicing Acutonics under the guidance of the director of the clinic, Donna Carey, and make an appointment. I had heard that this amazing woman, Donna, had helped facilitate the development of acupuncture clinics in Cuba, and that she was a pioneer in this new field of vibrational sound healing. Having been a Peace Corps volunteer, I was interested in working with someone who saw the importance of organizing health care systems in less fortunate communities. I remember the moment Donna first swept into the room after the students had taken my pulses. From her presence I sensed a certain grace and power that only a few healers possess. She made a few suggestions to the student clinicians, read my pulses, and was gone. That first treatment has always stayed with me. How could I explain the wholeness I felt while being attended to by these soothing and gentle tuning forks that were placed on specific acupuncture points, along the kidney, spleen and lung channel. I actually felt my breath return. The room was then filled with the sound of Tibetan bowls being softly rung all around my body. It was then that I felt the pieces of me that I thought were long since scattered into the wind being called back to the person I had almost forgotten: my own true self.

It has been said that the soul orients itself to sound. How could it not? When the soul leaves the body, it knows its way by the Music of the Spheres, the tones of the planets, the hum of the stars. Everything has vibrational essence. Every cell in our body carries the awareness of vibration. How else could the body communicate within itself? I believe that our physical bodies are organized through sound. The sounds and tones used in the Acutonics system are the pure tones of the mathematics of the planets. Miraculously, I learned the frequencies assigned to the planets, as calculated by great scientists such as Pythagoras and Keplar, actually harmonize musically with each other. The tones of Mars and Venus, for example, create a musical fifth when “played” together. Not only are the planets balanced in a harmonious way with one another, but their influence on our physical and spiritual bodies are thus profound and deeply healing. In Chinese medicine, we pride ourselves on looking for root causes of disease. We see the body as energy and life force. We strive to balance the individual through the ancient rivers of Qi in the body known as meridians. The Acutonics system goes further. It calls the theology of the stars back to what I believe is the root of the medicine itself: its Shamanic past, its celestial origins.

The meridian points are themselves orientations to the stars. What are Window to the Sky Points? How can we remember their original translations? How can we treat them with the original reverence in whose light they were once held? These are heaven’s points: Celestial Pillar, Celestial Storehouse, Celestial Chimney, Heavenly Pond, Celestial Window, and Heavenly Appearance. Each of these points’ names are approximate translations for these portals to the eternal soul. This medicine is steeped in the acknowledgement of our heavenly origins. We learn of points that are entry points for the corporeal soul. We know where the Hun enters and leaves the body via the gates of the Liver outer Shu points. We know that LU 3 carries the memory of all of the soul’s past and that the blueprint of this energy is carried through each lifetime. We speak of congenital essence: an inherited vibration of Qi that is carried, like a flame, through all of the generations through the kidneys. These are the concepts that are woven into our medicine that reveal its comprehensive nature and understanding. Yet, in TCM we are limited in our way of accessing the deeper longings of these energy centers in which all of history is held. The Acutonics system provides us with the tools and a methodology to address such universal energy.

I have witnessed the most astounding results clinically when applying these tools created by the Acutonics system on these sacred and mystical points. Inherent in the system are concepts, first studied by Plato and Pythagoras who drew their wisdom from sacred books known as Books of Thoth such as: “As Above, So Below”. Diving below the surface of the points using the lowest frequencies in the system, accessing deep energy, then calling the patterns and energy to the surface using the middle tones, and then using the highest frequencies above the body to clear the etheric imprints and patterns that linger beyond the physical symptoms, the patient begins to feel old and disruptive energies disappear. The patient also experiences a sense of peacefulness during an Acutonics treatment. Since sound continues to resonate beyond the application of the tuning forks themselves, patients report days of deep peace following their treatments. Pain falls away. Asthma attacks become less and less frequent. Anxieties are replaced with feelings of hopefulness. Night sweats decrease. Skin conditions shift and are healed. The entire scope of the medicine is enhanced with this music held gracefully in the tools developed by Donna Carey, LAc and co-founder Marjorie de Muynck, MA, LMP.

Every single health concern can be supported on all levels with this exquisite modality of sound healing. I have seen results with each and every one of my patients, whose health and life paths seem to shine ever more brightly as they incorporate these treatments into their lives. One public health trend that I see and would like to help change, is an increasing rate of asthma in children. I am alarmed at the statistics of not only the number of children who are using inhalers, but also the knowledge that these medications could potentially be quite dangerous to their future health. This blast of steroids has a direct affect on the heart, and over time could deplete the very energy that carries the future of all generations: the kidney qi and essence. All asthma conditions hold in common an underlying lung and kidney qi deficiency. What is also unique in asthma is the concept of wind lodged in the bronchial and usually an underlying yin deficiency. Most of my patients with asthma present with a more rapid and tight pulse, and their tongues are not coated, as one might expect. The tongues are often thin and slightly red and there is a stagnation quality in the color. Many times, their asthma is worse at night. This indicates to me more of a yin deficiency, which makes sense due to the nature of the kidneys and the lungs which are prone to such a deficiency. Where in allopathic medicine will one speak of wind and yin in relation to an acute asthma attack? Yet when a patient, young or old, is on my table struggling for breath, applying the Acutonics Ohm/Chiron 2nd Musical Interval to UB 12, the wind point of the urinary bladder channel, I feel within minutes, a deeper breath return.

In Acutonics, often we begin a treatment by applying the paired Ohm Tuning Forks along the Huato Jiaji points along the spine and include the eight sacral foreman points. When I have a patient in my office who is in the midst of an asthma attack, even if she is eight months pregnant, I will indeed follow the application of the fang feng/UB 12 point with this grounding technique. All asthma attacks also have a relationship with the heart, on some level. Certainly they can be wind heat, wind cold, allergy or exercise induced. They can even be liver induced: wood insulting metal. However, calming the nervous system with the Earth tones of Middle Ohm instantly lets the body know that a shift is being made to a more parasympathetic state. I can always tell if the body is shifting, and it happens every single time with an asthma patient if their stomach begins to make sounds, showing me that we are “out of the woods,” so to speak. The body simply won’t digest food if it is on high alert. If a child has had a series of wind invasions and is treated only with antibiotics, the wind is never fully resolved, and the condition that ensues is one of chronically lodged external wind. Often, there is an emotional component due to an internal agitation that is never fully resolved. Again, Acutonics is the most brilliant way to clear, on all levels, this complex mesh of conditions. Children are fine with needles, especially when they know they will feel relief from the pressures of the stagnant energies. However, children love and respond naturally to music. Place a set of tuning forks in front of any child, show them how they work, and they never hesitate to listen to each and every one of the forks. Children, like adults, crave these celestial tones.

One other focus with the Acutonics system is the acknowledgement of the power of the extraordinary vessels. All of these original grids of energy run through the kidneys. The Chong and the Ren actually store Kidney qi. The Yin Qiao Mai transports kidney essence to the eyes. The Yin Wei Mai originates at KID 9. The Du Mai tonifies kidney yang and nourishes the spine and the brain. The Yang Wei Mai connects all Yang channels. One question I have had in regards to asthma is why the eosinophil white blood cell count is always higher during an asthma attack. This histamine producing leukocyte is an angry factor in the inflammation patterns of all asthmatics. Where are these cells produced? They are formed in the red bone marrow, which in Chinese medicine is ruled by the kidneys. The application of the tuning forks on these extraordinary points, these channels that are formed in the minutes following conception, have been essential in the treatment of all conditions related to kidney deficiencies, including eczema. Applying the Full Moon 6th on P 6 as an opening to tonify and nourish yin and sooth the heart while grounding the energy of the yin Wei Mai by placing the Middle Ohm fork on Spleen 4 has proven effective over and over again as a healing medium for all conditions related to anxiety and a feeling of tightness of the chest. Young boys who are coming to see me for skin conditions as they step into their years of puberty and transformation are greatly balanced by applying the New Moon 5th on LU 7 and then balancing the Ren Channel with the Middle Ohm on KID 6. This same combination is also essential for supporting asthma patients in the summer and between attacks when the kidney and the lung qi need to be replenished. Young people who are trying to come to terms with the divorce of their parents, whose symptoms might include eczema, insomnia, leg pain, and depression are supported in the most profound ways by using the Acutonics system. The Ohm/Chiron 2nd and the New Moon 5th are applied to the Yin Qiao Mai Channel, opening KID 6 first with the Chiron Tuning Fork, Chiron represents the wounded healer, and then with the New Moon, while balancing the meridian with the grounding Ohm energy to LU 7.

A full-term pregnant woman’s labor contractions will become more regular and powerful using the Zodiac 3rd on LIV 3 and LI 4. Using the Solar 7th musical interval on UB 67 has shown me the power of helping position a baby for delivery. It is much more convenient to use the tuning forks at a hospital birth than moxa and needles. In a world where we are striving to find peace and harmony, positive and trusting communication, a renewed sense of caring for our lovely planet, and a feeling of hopefulness for our future, this beautiful and poetic, ancient and effective, comprehensive and integrative model of medicine, known as Acutonics, is clearly the cool drink of water that we have been craving. Working with women during their pregnancies has been one way for me to help contribute to a healthy future for these babies yet to be born. Babies hover in dream time. They too respond to the healing tones of the Acutonics Tuning Forks. They love the Tibetan bowls.

Where would music be without the stillness between the notes? In dreams we are carried to the places of the subconscious that only the soul knows. In healing, we find change happens in the spaces between. Music carries us to other realms and takes us outside linear rhythms into a more universal language of time.

If the kidneys rule growth, so too must they rule our aging. By feeding the kidney system with these ancient and original tones, are we following in the footsteps of shamans who knew how to walk between the worlds. There is home that our souls know which has no clock. It is the place that in Taoist traditions were known only by the immortals. In Sumerian cultures, there were men made from the “original mold,” who were known to have transcended time and who joined those realms of the gods. We do not know what is ultimately encoded in our DNA. However, we do know that our genetics, according to Chinese Medicine, is stored in the essence of the kidneys. Acutonics, then, gives us a glimpse of our immortality: the eternal quality of the soul. Even in life we can know the dimensions of the soul without form, held in reference to the vibrations of sound. Perhaps this is why these tones sound so familiar. And remember, the ear is the first sense organ fully formed and functioning in the fetus at four months, intimately related to the kidney, and it is our first link to awareness. Through sound we have our first sense of our selves as individual and yet connected to everything that is around us. From the beginning we remember the biology of one, and from the one, the ten thousand things…Are we just a vehicle through which the universe is praying? Namaste.

Facial Soundscapes: Harmonic Renewal: A New Non-Needle Modality

19 Jun, 2003
Facial Soundscapes: Harmonic Renewal: A New Non-Needle Modality

Mary Elizabeth Wakefield, LAc, MS, MM and Donna Carey, LAc
Acupuncture Today, June 2003

What Is Sound?
Sound is vibratory motion. Everything around us is in constant motion, from the planets and stars to the smallest insects on the planet. Everything produces a sound vibration; therefore, everything produces sound. Some sounds we hear audibly; some we cannot. Some sounds are heard at 20 to 20,000 cycles per second; others, like the great symphony of the "music of the spheres," we hear with our spirit.

Although sound exists all around us, humans hear within a very limited range. Although we can't audibly hear all the vibratory sounds of the universe, they are still accessible to us. These sounds - these unseen powers - can be harnessed to help us heal at physical, emotional and spiritual levels. We know this is true on a musical level when we listen to music to help soothe our sadness; lighten our spirits; wake us up; put us to sleep; help us relax; or just experience the pure joy of a particular composition. We can (and do) see our depression lift, our bodies loosen and our pain subside, while our spirits soar as we feel the impact of the music in our body.

Scientific research has demonstrated that the effects of music are quantifiable and innumerable; for example, it has been proven to have an effect on blood pressure, heart rate and circulation. There is also conclusive evidence that musical sounds can reduce high fever and the intensity of physical pain.

According to scientists, our cells, molecules, atoms, glands and organs all absorb and emit sound. When relaxed, our brain waves vibrate at eight cycles per second, attuning us to the octave in music, and to the electromagnetic energy of the earth and the cosmos.

Many religions and cultures believed that sound called the universe forth into being. To the Hindus, the "mother tone," Aum, created the universe out of nothing. All the frequencies and overtones of all other sounds were contained within this seed sound.

Swiss medical doctors Hans Jenny pioneered the study of wave phenomena. His experiments applied pure tones to inert powders, pastes and liquids to demonstrate the effect of sound over matter, creating sacred, life-like, floating forms found throughout art, nature and architecture. Sir Guy Manners, an English osteopath, uses this process to achieve a balanced metabolic state in a cell or organ. Dr. Mitchell Gaynor, working at the Strang- Cornell Cancer Prevention Center in New York, uses Tibetan and crystal bowls with cancer patients. Jeffrey Thompson, DC, uses nature sounds to promote healing at the cellular level.

We use sound via vibratory tuning forks to balance, tone, and lift the muscles of the face. This treatment supports the body's ancestral DNA level via the eight extraordinary meridians; the ying or nutritive postnatal level, with specific acupuncture points; and the wei level, to release any tensions around the neck and shoulders.

Our body is nearly 80% water, making it an ideal conductor or resonator for sound. Since water corresponds to the kidney, we are indeed supporting and affecting the deepest level of cellular structural integrity and memory, especially when we open the treatment with the eight extraordinary meridians.

In this article, we offer a basic balancing tuning fork facial using two tuning forks that vibrate at the frequency of the earth as it travels through the four seasons. Scientists have proven that DNA and RNA chains have a specific resonance maximum corresponding exactly to an octave tone of the earth's rotation. This frequency is balancing, grounding and calming. It also tones, tunes and renews the face.

A more involved facial treatment works with the intervals of a 3rd, 5th, 6th and 7th, all of which have their own unique archetypal and musical qualities and can either tonify or sedate the acupuncture points and muscles.

Lao Tzu referred to the interval as "the sound of universal harmony between the forces of yin and yang."

Facial Soundscapes: Harmonic Renewal A Balancing Tuning Fork Facial Introduction
Use the two gold earth (ohm) tuning forks, and open with the eight extraordinary meridians, depending on the results of your diagnostics.

  1. Have the patient listen to both forks (hold them beside the head).
  2. Begin by placing both forks on yintang.
  3. For the forehead, slide both forks horizontally and vertically around the frontalis muscle; hold GB 14 (B).
  4. For the sinus, slide the forks over UB 2; yuyao; TH 23; GB 1; qiuhou; ST 1; UB 2; LI 20; bitong; UB 1; UB 2 TH 23
  5. Eyebrow lift: pinch the eyebrows together between the two forks.
  6. Cheek lift: ST 3 › SI 18 › taiyang (B); pinch above and below the zygomatic (cheek bone) with both forks.
  7. For the smile line (nasolabial fold): ST 4 › LI 20 (slide); pinch the center of the wrinkle together.
  8. For the lips: DU 26 › LI 19 › jiachengjiang › Ren 24 (around lips).
  9. Chin and jaw lift: starting with Ren 23 and 24, pinch the top of the jaw and underneath the jaw (insertion of platysma muscle); move outward toward the ear.
  10. For the neck: ST 9 (hold point bilaterally); under the clavicle, ST 13 › glide up the neck to underneath the jaw. Do the entire neck.

1. Carey D, de Muynck M. Acutonics: There's No Place Like Ohm, Sound Healing, Oriental Medicine and the Cosmic Mysteries. Vadito, NM: Devachan Press, 2002.
2., April 2003.

The Great Elixir: Sound Healing, Oriental Medicine and the Three Treasures

10 Jun, 2003
The Great Elixir: Sound Healing, Oriental Medicine and the Three Treasures

Donna Carey, LAc and Ellen F. Franklin, PhD
California Journal of Oriental Medicine, 2003

Nourishing, Enhancing and Tonifying the
Three Treasures with Sound Therapy

Ancient cartographers and physicians believed that there was nothing on earth that did not reflect a parallel patterning and correspondences in heavens.

The power of sound to heal and transform can be traced to almost every culture and every cosmology across time and history. Ancient Aboriginal cultures of Australia believe the didgeridoo was used to sound the world into existence; ancient Hellenic culture has a record of the flute being played to cure gout; and in the bible, the harp is played to ease depression. Music can lift spirits, ease depression, settle people down, deepen meditation and get things moving. In Oriental Medicine and Daoism, inner alchemy and the use of sound to heal can be traced to its early shamanist roots, and was fervently embraced by Lu Yen (Ancestor Lu).

This article will discuss the use of sound to treat the essential part of our nature, exploring aspects that go beyond the physical, access and relationship to spirit, and how this connection relates to the physical imbalances associated with illness. Treating original essence unites people to the source, the undifferentiated whole, the very basis of Oriental Medicine. This article will also cover treatment protocols that apply specific sound frequency to the huato jiaji and the sacred bone, or baliao, which are direct and pre-meridian links to the Kidney source and original essence.

Synthesizing theories, philosophies, and mathematical calculations, a coherent and integrated system of sound, healing and education was developed that integrates both Eastern and Western science. This approach to sound healing draws on philosophy, mysticism, music theory, and theology, and initiates students, practitioners, and clients into a way of life that is in concert with the great harmonies—the life that the soul already knows but has forgotten. The music of the spheres is recognized for its unique healing power, and made accessible through a system of education and tools (such as tuning forks) that enables these cosmic frequencies to dance into the body via acupuncture points.

This energy-based, non-invasive treatment places precision calibrated tuning forks on specific acupuncture points to access the body’s meridian system. The tuning forks represent a natural harmonic series based on the earth, moon, sun and planets. The velocities of the planets travelling around the sun were originally calculated by Johannes Kepler in 1627, and in the twentieth century, they were translated into musical tones, or hertz, by Hans Cousto, a Swiss scientist. Donna Carey and Marjorie de Muynck expanded on the work of Kepler and Cousto by calculating additional frequencies for the system that they work with to create their system of cosmic tunings.

These cosmic sounds provide a vibrational link that helps souls, minds and bodies connect back to their divine harmonies and destinies. This modality is especially effective when dealing with the elderly, chronic illness, and debilitating conditions, where needles may not be tolerated, or may not touch the essential or emotional nature of the illness. Sound bridges the outer medicine with the inner medicine and activates a cellular remembrance of undifferentiated wholeness.

Daoists refer to the study of mindbody health as the “science of essence and life.” The science of essence deals with the mind; the science of life deals with the body. Their goal is to nourish, enhance, and unify the three treasures of existence: energy, vitality, and spirit, and restore original wholeness and health of the human being. The outer medicine is used to cure illness and prolong life, while the inner medicine is used to transcend being and enter into non-being. When the inner medicine and the outer medicines are united, we have what is known as the golden elixir, or the immortal embryo, and are on the way to discovering our authentic story. Sound provides a powerful access point for this alchemy.

The concept of the three treasures was expounded on by Ancestor Lu, progenitor of the School of Complete Reality, and one of the great figures of Daoism. He developed the means and methods of inner medicine, inner alchemy, and was considered an immortal. Ancestor Lu understood that the music of the spheres must exist within, and that the three treasures must be harmonized to go back to the One. “Using real knowledge, harmony, and awareness, combine them with the three treasures. When the three become one the great elixir is made.”

The three treasures are known as the three bases, or the three elixir fields: Vitality is associated with creativity and sexuality, energy with movement, power, breath, and magnetism, and spirit with the essence of consciousness, and with thought and reflection. Spirit makes its home in the chamber of heaven, energy in the central chamber (the microcosmic orbit in humanity), and vitality in the chamber of earth.

“This modality is especially effective when dealing with the elderly, chronic illness, and debilitating conditions, where needles may not be tolerated, or may not touch the essential or emotional nature of the illness.”

The three treasures also represent the triplex unity, the bond of heaven, earth, and humanity and the shared inheritance of heaven and earth, the basis for life and the promise for health and longevity. In the human body, vitality refers to the sacrum and coccyx, energy to the midspine, and spirit to the back of the head or brain. These three centers interact, and relate directly to the total state of mental, physical, and spiritual well being. The Taoists believed that one must refine vitality into energy, energy into spirit, and spirit into openness, where we merge with the source, the place of origins, the place we come from and go back to.

How does one cultivate these treasures, create balance, harmony, longevity, wholeness? How do we call our own hearts, and the hearts of those we are honored to serve, back to life to deal with the physical, emotional, and spiritual disconnection so prevalent today. By going to the source, to the kidney. Many of the conditions seen in clinical practice today—chronic fatigue, infertility, renal failure, arthritis, diabetes, hypertension, living life in fear, and an inability to harness our personal will to the divine will—have a direct relationship to the kidney. And one of the most effective ways to treat the kidney and promote core healing is by working on the Huatou jiaji and the Immortal Bone.

Sound vibration delivered through tuning forks enables one to work more deeply and agilely with the huatou jiaji and the immortal bone. The huatou points are located on either side of the spine between the vertebrae. Each vertebra is associated with an organ or other energetic nexus within the body, so these points can be used to balance, tonify, and renew the entire system. The vertebrae are rich in marrow and have a strong connection with the kidney, which rules bone and essence (marrow), and opens into the ear, and so is connected with hearing, orientation in space and time, memory, history, and cellular memory. The kidney is shaped like a fetus, and has a deep and eternal connection with our original embryonic energy, and with the more universal forces of the water element. The human body is nearly 80% water, and as sound travels four-times faster in water, it makes a perfect resonator for sound. When one applies specific frequencies, one gains access deep into the essence and marrow. By applying sound to the huatou jiaji, one can access both the bones and the nerves, greatly enhance the flow of qi and open up the spinal energy. This expands the spaces between the vertebral discs and creates energy cushions that protect the bones and the nerves, and harmonize, nourish, and provide life force for the entire system. It is in those spaces in between, in the still-point, that true healing occurs.

Working in the sacrum, or what the Taoists call the immortal bone, and the baliao, or eight immortal caves, one generates qi and connects to the original source, which can help individuals in crisis. The sacrum also connects the spinal marrow to the small brain (brainstem), the upper brain, and to the marrow within the brain. The spine and the sacrum connect the terrestrial branches (twelve meridians) to the celestial stems (the meridians of higher law) and help to unify the three treasures within.

Applying the Ohm (gold) tuning forks (approximately a C#) (1) bilaterally along the spine from the neck to the tailbone creates relaxation, general balance, grounding, and tonification of organs and systems, especially kidney qi and jing. Applying the Ohm forks at the kidney shu points and mingmen further supports the kidney and adrenals and increases vitality. Continuing down the spine into the sacrum, apply the Ohm forks bilaterally in the baliao. Next use the New Moon 5th Interval tuning forks (approximately a G#) on the baliao to open and release pain, trauma, and emotional toxicity. Continue into the sacral hiatus and coccyx to liberate unresolved issues from the past. The New Moon 5th interval combines the gold Ohm Fork and the New Moon Fork and represents a 5th in music, and allows for emotional release and provides greater access to spiritual teachers. End the treatment with the Ohm (gold) forks on Ki 3 (Great Abyss) and KID 1 (Bubbling Spring).

This simple and powerful treatment begins the process of nourishment and enhancement of the three treasures and the balance and tonification of all body systems. It provides access to the physical, emotional and spiritual parts of self that are often out of alignment. When we apply the frequencies and intervals of these tuning forks, our bodies and souls remember these ancient cosmic tones. Treating the original essence unites people with the source, the Wu Qi, the undifferentiated whole, and the very basis of Oriental Medicine, inner harmony and unity.

(1) The Ohm Fork is approximately a C# and the New Moon Fork is approximately a G#. Approximate is the key here as they are not chromatic but represent cosmic tunings calculated originally by Kepler, with other frequencies developed by Donna Carey and Marjorie de Muynck.

D. Carey, M. Muynck, Acutonics: There’s No Place Like Ohm, Sound Healing, Oriental Medicine and the Cosmic Mysteries (Devachan Press: Vadito, NM 2002)

M. & M. Chia, Awakening Healing Light of the Tao (Healing Tao Books: Huntington, NY, 1993)

T. Cleary, Vitality Energy Spirit, A Taoist Sourcebook, Transl. (Shambhala: Boston 1991)