Several years ago, while practicing Yoga, I learned a Nidra (which can be a type of guided meditation—a conscious relaxation practice, sometimes called Yogic Sleep, designed for ultimate rest, health, and well-being.) It is a practice that embraces and explores various states of consciousness, which I incorporated into a rattle practice designed for healing and general well-being. Combined with the intonation of specific sounds related to the chakras, I've found that this method successfully breaks-up negativity around the body. It aligns your physical body, your emotional/mental body, and your spiritual body. Sometimes, you can actually feel this harmonizing of energy as a "click" where everything just falls into place either during or right after the practice. Its construction melds sound and mind into a healing tool. You aren't just shaking the rattle and hoping for the best. Here, you have a method with structure to bolster the completion of our intent. Those who have used this technique have told me that they breathe better, feel better, and that emotional burdens and troubles seem to slip away. Adding this practice to your morning routine helps to energize the mind/body and prepare you to enjoy the day. It even helps if you find yourself overly stressed or stuck on a particular problem. Although I always try to start my day with this technique, you can use the procedure as many times a day as you feel you need.
Choosing Your Rattle
I have a gentle rattle made of sea pods from Peru. I so love this instrument that when someone stepped on it by accident and broke the handle, I crafted a new handle and added copper. It works better than it did before! This incident taught me that ritual items can encourage change by their physical alteration. What at first I viewed as a loss was actually an essential breakthrough for my practice. Once again, I learned that my perception is the key.
Choose a rattle that really vibrates with you. Some like loud and demonstrative (and I have those) where others like the lighter touch. I've found that for this particular technique, the softer sound mixed with my own voice creates the vibration that is right for me.
The Rattle Technique</.strong>
With this method, you will be passing the rattle over various points of the body to clear away negativity and heighten healing, spiritual vibrations. The technique uses the standard seven chakras, as well as minor energy points. If you find intoning the sounds bothersome or irritating, you don't need to do it. Just stick with the rattle, and you will be fine. Before I begin, I turn on the fountain by my altar. During the summer, I open the doors and windows to allow the fresh air to stream through the ritual area. Embrace the four elements with the practice. Light a blessed candle and incense if you like. Ring a sweet bell to begin your session if you are drawn to it.
Begin by taking three deep breaths, slowly inhaling and exhaling. Allow your mind to settle, seeking that still-point within. If you are having trouble entering a calm state, practice breathing in and out while directing your focus to the air moving in and out of your nostrils. When you feel the sweetness of balance within yourself, state your intent. This can be general or specific. For example, "I embrace healing and peace for myself this day."
Start the rattle process by shaking the rattle softly in front of you. Close your eyes if you like. Breathe deeply. Let yourself flow with the gentle sound of the rattle. Let the tool become an extension of you. You can keep your eyes closed, or you can open them—this choice is entirely up to you. Hold the rattle over your Crown Chakra and intoning the sound "Om" in your Throat. If you can, visualize purple light (if this is too much, no worries). For each chakra point you will incorporate one deep inhale, rest for a one-count, and exhale before moving on to the next.
Follow the Crown Chakra by shaking the rattle at your Third Eye (in between your eyebrows), visualize indigo light, and repeat the sound "Om." Remember one deep inhale, rest, and exhale. Shake the rattle at your Throat, imagine blue/turquoise and intone with the "Ham" sound. Inhale, rest, exhale. Move the rattle to the Heart Chakra. Visualize green light and repeat the sound "Yam" while shaking the rattle. Don't forget the deep inhale, rest, and exhale before moving to the next segment.
Don't worry, we will get to the other chakras, but, first, we want to "light up" several energy points. As you shake the rattle over each point, visualize white light literally popping and sparkling over the area. Move the rattle to the right shoulder, right elbow, right wrist, right palm, right fingers (one, two, three, four, five—one at a time). Continue back to palm, right wrist, right elbow, right shoulder, and heart chakra. Repeat the sound "Yam." Inhale, rest, and exhale deeply.
Let's move to the left. Shake the rattle over each point, again visualizing the light popping over each area mentioned. Left shoulder, left elbow, left wrist, left palm, left fingers (one, two, three, four, five—one at a time). Continue back to palm, left wrist, left elbow, left shoulder, and heart chakra. Repeat the sound "Yam." Inhale, rest, and exhale deeply.
Move the rattle to the Solar Plexus Chakra, intoning the sound "Ram" and visualizing yellow light. Remember the deep inhale, rest, exhale breath. Next, shake the rattle over the Sacral chakra, intoning the sound, "Vam." Visualize an orange glow. Inhale, rest, and exhale deeply. Move the rattle to the Root Chakra, chanting the sound "Lam" and visualizing a red light.
Again, we are going to "light" up several energy points. As you shake the rattle over each point, visualize while light popping and sparkling over the area. Move the rattle to the right hip, the right knee, the right ankle, the center of the right foot, the right toes (one, two, three, four, five—one at a time). Continue back to the middle of the foot, right ankle, right knee, right hip, and over the Root Chakra, intoning the sound "Lam," inhaling, rest, and exhale deeply.
Move the rattle to the left hip, left knee, left ankle, left center foot, left toes (one, two, three, four, five—one at a time), back to the left-center foot, left ankle, left knee, left, hip, and pelvis (root chakra). Intone the sound "Lam," inhaling, rest and exhale deeply.
Now it is time to "close up" the cleansing work you have done. Work upwards with the rattle, centering on each chakra, remembering to breathe deeply at each energy point—Sacral, Solar Plexus, Heart, Throat, Third Eye, and Crown. Hit the rattle on the ground or table 3 times to finish. This is the sealing "sound."
In all honesty, this practice takes a lot longer to read than it does to do! The rattle bath is perfect for any time or for any purpose, even when you are feeling just a bit sluggish. With the guidance of the chakra points and the amazing power of the combined sound of your voice with the rattle, you have a tool to enhance your life as well as the lives of others. We've had remarkable results using the rattle bath here at the RavenWolf hearthstone. Students and seminar attendees love the practice and have written to me later to tell me how wonderfully it has worked for them. I hope that you experience great success with this fun and delightfully easy method of healing and harmonious transformation.