The songs I use, I have been given specific rights to, or they have come to me through the Tunkasilas (Ancient Beings). Although, there are many ways other than mine to get songs. Most important is the heart’s intent. The song can be toning or chanting or just making a series of sounds while your heart is set on it’s intent. I’ve seen some people howl like a wolf or coyote. Growl like a bear. Make a series of tones and sounds. Chant. This all works. Every culture has or had a way of sacred singing. In my youth, I often criticized those who did things different than me and each time, I ended up humiliated. There was always a very good reason for a person’s behavior. Especially, in a sacred context. My Grandmother often said: “Don’t criticize or judge, maybe the Creator is making them do what they do.”
When we sing we connect the heart and mind. This is called “sending a voice”. The metaphysical concept of “sending a voice” is actually based in science. Scientists say that when a sound is made it lasts forever and goes into the universe ringing to infinity. Well, my ancestors knew this a long time ago. That’s why we have so many songs and they are always a part of every ceremony, gathering or event.
There are many types of ceremony songs. The most common are:
“Calling songs” which call or invoke the helpers or spirits or Ancient Beings (Tunkasilas).
“Four winds, powers, or direction songs” which acknowledge the powers symbolized by the wind and/or the four directions.
“Healing songs” these songs are often used during Sun Dance or Doctoring ceremonies. It is said, “They are sung so the people may live.” There are more healing songs than I can count. These songs typically have a fast tempo and a hard drumbeat. In fact most ceremony songs have a quick or fast tempo and hard drum beat to quicken the heart and make us feel alive and well.
“Thanking songs” are sung to thank the spirits, helpers, or ancient beings who came to the ceremony and helped us.
Gathering these basic types of songs will give you a good foundation for ceremony.