Another way of calling to the winds is with a whistle. Unlike most singing voices, whistles can hold a pure tone for longer time periods. The ancient ones knew about the power of whistling vessels. Pierced antler whistles dating to the Upper Paleolithic age (9000 BCE) have been found in Central and Western Europe.[i] Archaeologists conjecture that these tools were used for warning, hunting, healing rituals, and magic. Whistling vessels made of bone, hollowed reed, and wood are found worldwide. In Peru, there is a set of ancient pottery wind vessels still used for healing and ceremony. In Mexico, they used a high-pitched death whistle for transition rituals. In Appalachia, indigenous tribes carved wind whistles from alder. Tales of the Feadan, Irish tinwhistle, go back to the third century BCE. In the tribal tale of Ailen, Tuatha Danann, the chief of the faeries, would cast a sleeping spell over the inhabitants of the king’s palace at Tara, in order to carry out mischievous deeds.[ii] Sailing history has many tales of skilled whistlers who could charm the wind.
The jaguar-faced whistle used in wind work was discovered by chance one day at a pyramid site in Mexico. There was a vendor selling a replica of the ancient death whistle, constructed from clay and resin. Still clueless as to where the winds were taking me, I purchased a few as souvenirs and took up the art of wind whistling for healing and magic. One night as I was calling in the winds during a ceremony, the participants marveled as the forces of nature arrived on command, blowing open a door in one direction, while moving water across the pool in another direction. I then used my whistle to conjure up a steady wind at the fire.
Blowing into the wind whistle changes your perception by altering brain waves. Whistles provide expedient access into other states of consciousness. Whistles create a beat frequency that elevates consciousness, lowers your heartbeat, and enhances your body’s natural healing potential.[iii] When I feel out of sorts, blowing into a whistle changes my perspective. Clients immediately feel the shift in energy once I begin to blow the jaguar whistle.
[i] Historique, accessed March 7, 2017, http://www.sifflets-en-terre-cuite.org/HtmlE/Hist/paleo.html.
[ii] L.E. McCullough, The Complete Irish TinWhistle Tutor (New & Revised), (Oak Pulbications 1987) , Historical Notes on the Tinwhistle.
[iii] 9waysmysteryschool, “AZTEC Death whistle,” 9waysmysteryschool, last modified 2002, http://9waysmysteryschool.tripod.com/sacredsoundtools/id31.html.