| Norma Gentile
Norma Gentile is a recording artist and professional sound healer who works with the music of Hildegard von Bingen. She will teach Healing With Sacred Sound on Saturday, January 22, 10:30-1:30 pm, $35, at New Renaissance Bookshop. To find out about her concert or for private sessions, Norma can be reached at email@example.com.
Connie: Tell me about your work.
Norma: I've always seen auras but I didn't know what they were. As a child I asked about people who had different colors in them. The next thing I knew my parents got me glasses. Once, about the same age I was standing under a table looking at the brown table legs, wondering why I couldn't walk them but I could walk through the green energy between them. I spent the afternoon walking into a table leg and falling down -- not crying -- but saying "Huh. Let's try that again." It's one of my earliest memories, thinking "What is this world about?"
Then in the late '80's I couldn't move my jaw well. I'd studied lots of techniques and nothing worked. Suddenly, I knew that I needed to look at a spiritual aspect and immediately the pain eased. A friend suggested an energy workshop and I said "Sign me up!"
I went through a couple of different systems: a hands-on system, a hands-off system, a channeling system, and I combined them all. I was and still am a professional musician, which went in the pot, too. I started noticing that energy had sound. When it was quiet I could hear harmonic chords, clusters of sounds or one or two sounds. Focusing on the inner sound I could change things. When I work with people, I focus on these inner sounds and notes. It shifts the energy running around my body.
Often people are already experiencing their sound, but not trusting it because of noise around them.
Connie: Do you do private sessions with people?
Norma: Yes, that's about a third of my work. Another third is concerts and the last third is workshops. It's a good balance. Each workshop is different. I tend to draw in performing artists as well as psychics and healers. I love watching the exchange, performing artists are clueless about where their second chakra is, but if I say "Imagine this happening," all of a sudden their singing voice just takes off. It's just what they've wanted their voice to sound like. And the psychics go "Wow, look at that. How cool!" When I work with the psychics, the singers will say "I don't know what you told her to do, but her voice is so much better!" Or "look at how much freer her body moves now!" Everyone gets my work at the level that they get it.
Connie: What will people get from coming to your workshop at New Renaissance?
Norma: They will get a chance to experience the inner sound: I will be singing and allowing the sound to come through me. The workshop at NRB falls two days after the first of six eclipses next year.
The first eclipse represents things we already know. The second eclipse (on 2/5) is the reverse -- new energy, the reverse of whoever we are. As we go through the year we will go back and forth between what we're familiar with and what we are not. As we flip back and forth we are reminding ourselves of how we created polarity on purpose. Here's what we've chosen and here's what we haven't chosen. We get to live with what we didn't choose for a while and go back and forth between the two energies all year. The meditation at the January workshop (1/22) is the first of a whole series of meditations to help people integrate both sides -- what they've chosen and what they haven't.
The concert I'm giving at the Old Church (1/20) is on the eclipse; I picked that day purposely to bring in and firmly anchor the energy with which we are familiar. That way people should feel more solid going into the new energy.
Connie: In the workshop, what if people are not singers?
Norma: No problem. Many people who come are not singers. It's a great place to work on your voice, to get a bit more freedom, openness, and to get rid of fifth chakra blocks. We will be doing some singing, but if you don't want to sing, you don't have to. It needs to be a safe environment.
Most of the time people enjoy it, and people who have not sung in decades come and enjoy themselves. You don't have to sing or have a great voice to get something out of the workshop. It's about breath and learning how breath influences your voice, how you can increase the length of time you can talk or sing with a shift in your breath and energy. You will get some basic tools to have some awareness about how you use your voice and how others perceive it.
A lot of times people will say "I don't have a good speaking voice." It's not that they don't have a good speaking voice, but they have, on some level, decided they have to strain one way or the other or they were told to speak quieter. And they are constantly speaking lower than their natural voice. So, their voice is not natural for them.
Connie: This is a way of opening up and also about speaking your truth and standing in your power.
Norma: Yes, distortions of the voice have everything to do with personal power and speaking one's truth.
A lot of people look at sound healing and wonder what that is. And in a concert and large group setting, the shifts that happen tend to happen at a large level. Not that people walk out having grown new limbs or regained eyesight, but that people walk out with an inner shift.
Someone came to my concert once who hadn't sung in 20 years. After graduating from music school she just stopped singing. After the concert she actually sang for the first time in 20 years. She had a huge inner shift and went back to music.
Working one-on-one with sound healing is more a matter of letting the guides sit in the sound and accentuate what is going on. Kidney and gall stones break up nicely with sound healing. I also use sound to help people focus. Often people are just sort of bopping through their day, and with a group or one-on-one, the sound becomes the focus. A straight, single, sustained tone is the quickest way to move into a gentle "trance" state. In this trance state (a quiet state) they are more open to allow healing to happen.
Connie: What would you say to someone about why they should come to the workshop.
Norma: It's not just about voice or breathing. It's about experiencing your connection with divinity and other people and still being yourself.
Connie Hill works at New Renaissance Bookshop and is a local astrologer. She can be contacted at 503-291-8229, ext. 2 or firstname.lastname@example.org.