Monthly Archives: August 2012

Donau Toba, Sumatra

Seventy four thousand years ago Sumatra was rocked by one of the biggest volcanic eruptions of all time. Anthropologists believe that the resulting dust cloud that covered the earth killed most of the planet’s population. From the mouths of hell sprang the tropical island paradise of Samosir, perched in the middle of Donau Toba the world’s largest crater lake.


I travel by bus from the south of Sumatra, a long crazy night in which our driver, sporting an Elvis quiff and a purple satin shirt, has the radio cranked and sings enthusiastically for the whole journey. In what appears to be a nightly ritual, we also make frequent stops at the roadside karaoke bars where he croons Indonesian love songs while we all wait on the bus.

It’s a relief to arrive in Parapat, the gateway to Toba Lake, and I am just in time for the first ferry. We glide across the thermal waters, before us looms the mountainous island of Samosir, its peaks shrouded in mist. Covering an immense 1700 square kilometres Donau Toba is the largest lake in South East Asia, and Samosir, which is almost as big as Singapore, is the world’s largest island on an island.

It is a place of panoramic vistas, covered in sprays of bougainvillea, fields of sunflowers and dense banana groves. Traditional boat-shaped Batak houses with their enormous saddleback roofs and elaborate carvings line the shores of the lake. The Batak people who inhabit the island are descendents of an ancient war-like cannibalistic kingdom that was converted to Christianity by Portugese and Dutch Missionaries. The new religion was adopted with zeal and countless Church steeples poke out from the tropical foliage.

I rent a Batak house which sits like a beached hulk, just meters from the lake and is decorated with hand-woven blankets and tribal masks. It’s like being on a house boat, but without having to worry about sea sickness, and manages to be cosy despite its soaring ceiling.  These traditional stilt houses have a beautiful symmetry and are rich in symbology, featuring 3 levels of existence, the tall roof reaching to the gods, the middle part where the family lives, and the bottom part for animals and the mythological dragon. The tiny doorway is designed so you have to bow down to enter the house, thus paying respect to the people inside. The gables are decorated with carvings of serpents, lizards and birds and the side beams are adorned with large carvings of ‘singa’, a mythological lion with bulbous eyes which is said to radiate positive energy and will apparently shield me from disease and evil.  I have to say that I sleep incredibly peacefully.

I wake each morning and dive into the clear, glassy lake which is infinitely enticing with its soft water that is just cool enough to be refreshing. Life here centres on the lake. People wash themselves, their clothes and their dishes; children frolic; fishermen in tiny dug-out canoes ply the water, as they have done for centuries. Late one afternoon an angry black storm creeps across the lake, whipping it into a frenzy of waves.  By dusk the storm has blown itself out and leaves a swirling fog in its wake. I can just make out the shadow of a man washing in the lake; he sings a soulful lament, his haunting voice wafting like the mist across the water.

My house sits on the corner of the Tuk tuk peninsula which juts out of the eastern side of the island and overlooks a picturesque bay on one side and the vast expanse of the lake on the other. A tourism boom in the early 1990’s saw hotels and restaurants spring up all over Tuk tuk, but these days they are mostly empty and the island is quiet.

It is a peaceful and laid-back place where tourism is squeezed between daily chores; attending weddings; harvesting crops and drinking Tuak (palm wine,) a favourite past-time of the Bataks.  I am drawn into Orari restaurant one evening by the sign out the front which says, “Lake Toba Wine – maybe not the best but we try to be.” Bottles steeped with fruits and herbs line the bar, I choose one at random and the bar man pours me a glass. The sign is right, it’s not the best, but it is definitely palatable and has quite a kick which adds a slight weave to my walk home.

The Batak people are fun-loving, friendly and love to sing. The traditional music is folksy and rousing, and singing is a natural accompaniment to most activities; riding a motorbike; cooking; taking a bath in the river; and most enthusiastically, while drinking Tuak. I constantly find myself in random exchanges with people. As I walk down the street one day a woman calls out to me, “Hey you – I like your body, you not too fat, you normal, it’s good”. When I have a problem with the lights in my house I call the owner. He says, “I better call the electrician before he gets drunk.” He returns twenty minutes later and says, “Sorry, too late, he’s already drunk.” I am happy to make do with candle light.  One afternoon I chat with a local guide named Luca. I ask about the volcano that once lay beneath us, he shrugs his shoulders and says “That’s what the scientists say,” and proceeds to tell me the ‘real story’ of Toba lake. “A long long time ago a man caught a fish in a stream, but the fish talked to him and said don’t eat me because really I am a woman and if you save me I will become your wife, but you must never tell anyone I was once a fish. Sure enough the fish turns into a beautiful woman who bares him a son. One day, in a moment of anger he calls the boy a son of a fish and with this betrayal the woman becomes a fish again and weeps for every more, filling the lake with her tears.”

I rent a bright red automatic scooter, and set out to explore. My first stop is in Ambarita where the roadside market is brimming with hand woven blankets, miniature carvings of batak houses and hand tooled leather craft. On a hill behind the market a megalithic site set in a dark grove provides a silent testament to the island’s cannibalistic past.  The circle of 300-year-old stone chairs was once the conference area for Batak kings and a place for passing judgement on a criminal or enemy prisoner. At an adjacent site, the accused would be bound, and rubbed with chilli and garlic and then beheaded with a long knife. A local man shows me around and points out thespecial curved stone where the beheadings took place. He explains that the head would be thrown into the lake and the body cut into small pieces that were mixed with buffalo meat and boiled into a stew. “Fortunately,” he says, “we are now Christians and do not eat men any longer.”

Some of the island’s best preserved Batak houses are also found in Ambarita and are set up as an open-air museum which  incorporates another set of stone chairs built around an ancient banyan tree. The banyan is the tree of life for the Bataks and these majestic trees with their branches twisting and turning in every direction are found all over the island. Heading north I leave the lush rainforest, palms and banana plantation behind and find a sparser more mountainous landscape, with low lying areas planted with corn, rice and vegetables. Family tombs shaped like miniature Batak houses are so prolific that there seems to be no vista that does not incorporate at least one. Ancestor worship remains a strong custom on the island and the tombs are built above ground so that everyone can see and never forget. Some are quite small and simple, while others are huge and topped with large crosses and life-sized statues representing the departed.

I follow a rough and bumpy dirt track up into the mountains. The panoramic view allows me to appreciate the immensity of the crater and the cataclysmic explosion that caused it. Nature at its most furious has created a place of infinite beauty, peace and refuge, the island is the calm after the storm.


The enchantment of the Yasawas


I was nervous and jittery as we began our descent into Nadi, it felt like I was going to meet a lover, my heart was beating fast and when we finally landed it took all my self control not to push past all the people in the aisle. At last I was down the stairs and on the tarmac taking big deep breaths of Fiji…. warm damp air tinged with just a hint of sugar cane.

I was determined to stay detached, after all I had only come back for a few weeks to look after my friends resort and to finish research on my book about my former life here.   I mean, what could happen in three and a half weeks…..?   The only thing is I have gone and fallen in love all over again…. The spirit of Fiji seems to be running through my veins and the thought of leaving in a couple of days fills me with such sadness. I am certainly no stranger to beautiful places, or to goodbyes but these enchanted islands move me beyond words, and it is a rare thing for me to be lost for words…..

I am sitting in the office, it’s pouring with rain and the guests are huddled in the dining room as the staff perform the meke, a traditional Fijian performance of song and dance.  Nobody sings like the Fijians, they harmonise so beautifully and sing with such passion, gusto and joy, it must be the happiest sound in the world, but it is so hauntingly beautiful that it always makes me want to cry. Everyone is in such good spirits, it’s Frasiers 60th birthday – he has been with the resort since it opened and is the loveliest man, with the sweetest smile and the kindest nature. We are celebrating his birthday in true Fijian style… morning tea preceded by a bowl of kava for everyone, and a flower lei for the birthday boy, then Grace said grace, and we all tucked into bowls of tea (yes bowls) and heavy buttery cakes which the Fijians love. The party continues with singing, guitar playing and more kava, (the quintessential fijian drink that makes you feel mildly euphoric, and leaves you legless if you drink enough of it… ) All the guests have joined in – today its one big Navutu family, except of course Maddalena, Freddy and Giovanna are missing, and this is their baby!!!!   Like me they were seduced by the island magic, so much so that they built this beautiful resort from scratch, no easy task in this remote group of islands adrift in the Pacific Ocean.  Fiji certainly isn’t for the feint hearted, and despite incredible challenges they persevered and created this  island paradise. Now they are in Cambodia and have just opened their new resort Navutu Dreams.  Actually, Madalena is in Thailand about to deliver her third child, and thanks to modern technology I can send her a constant stream of photos and updates via facebook.  Life has certainly changed from a few years ago when our only communication with the outside world was by two way radio…….

Working here has been amazing, my days are long and often bizarre, with twists and turns in every directions –  spontaneous visits from the island chief, boats breaking down,  local fishermen dropping by to sell freshly caught snapper and mud crab, our  waiter Wati (better knows as Queen Mother) doing his Billy Ocean dance routine, most strange of all is one of the guests (quite a diva)  who  refuses to eat in the dining room because she saw the resort cat there,  and apparently has a cat phobia. And now the meke has finished and all the guests and the staff are doing the snake dance around the dining room and laughing hysterically. Actually its the  laughter i love more than anything, in all my travels around the world I have never met a culture more disposed to happiness and merriment,  and it is so utterly contagious. How blessed I am to have Fiji in my life….


Return to Blue Lagoon

Today I went back to Turtle Island….. its been five years since I left this island paradise, but as I walked down the dock it was like I never left at all. Just like the old days Richard was waiting for me in a cart to take me on a tour of his gardens – his pride and joy.

Richard Evanson is the most amazing and inspiring man I have ever met, and it was thanks to him and his vision of creating a community owned resort in the remote islands  that I first came to Fiji. Richard had loaned the money to one of the island clans to build Oarsman’s Bay Lodge so that the village could have an income. Life improved dramatically with greater access to health care and schooling, but also created lifestyle issues for people who had always lived in a subsistence/barter economy, where everything was shared communally.  Working with the community was  an amazing experience but one fraught with challenges as I struggled to find a balance between preserving  indigenous culture with  the needs of tourists and running a financially viable business. Initially I was quite intimidated by Richard, he never went easy on me, but despite our occasional  disagreements he always supported me and came to be a true friend and an ally, and eventually I left Oarsman’s Bay and came to work with him at Turtle Island. I just came across this interesting article and video interview about sustainable tourism filmed while I was at Oarsman’s.

About Richard

Richard’s story could be a movie, he  made his millions in cable tv in the 60’s and lived the high life before getting  lost in a haze of alcohol. In the early 70’s he came to Fiji for a holiday and wound up at a bar in Nadi where someone asked if he wanted to buy an island.  “Why not” he said, and early the next morning he was on a small charter plane flying over the chain of volcanic islands known as the Yasawas.  He fancied himself as a castaway and as he spotted pristine Turtle Island surrounded by coral reef and an iridescent sea, it was love at first sight. Back on the mainland, the papers were quickly signed, and he bought a boat and  loaded it with beer, a generator, a small fridge and set sail.

He eventually reached the island and had just one day to enjoy himself before a ferocious cyclone hit and he had to tie himself to a tree so he wouldn’t blow away. For two long wet windy days the cyclone raged knocking down trees, sending coconuts flying at 60 miles an hour and huge waves crashing onto the beach. He vowed that if he survived he would never drink again.  And he never did!

He set about creating a home on the island and a couple of years later scouts came looking for a location to film the Blue Lagoon movie, and so it was that Brooke Shields and her eyebrows came to the island. After all the excitement of the movie set, things seemed awfully quiet once Hollywood left the island and Richard decided to turn it into a small exclusive resort. Over the years he planted hundreds of thousands of trees on the island which had been almost bare on his arrival, but these days has thick forests of iron wood, Honduran Mahogany and Eucalyptus. Guests are welcomed like family and utterly pampered for their entire stay and I have seen more guests than i remember weeping as they departed on the seaplane. People always ask me what is so special about Turtle Island, but I don’t think its something that I can put into words, its more of a feeling, an energy, a unique  magic. Of course – that’s the guest experience, for those of us working to maintain that magic (as I did in the 8 months I spent managing the resort) its a whole different story. But nevertheless leaving here, and leaving Fiji  was one of the hardest things I had ever done, and I shed more than a few tears myself as I climbed aboard the seaplane and flew to a new life.

Returning today brought back a lot of memories and emotions, but it was so wonderful to see Richard, and to meet his gorgeous two year old son and his new wife Sena (its his fifth or sixth marriage…. Richard approaches all areas of his life with gusto…)  First up on my island tour was the solar installation – 900 solar panels that will power the whole resort, it was a pretty awesome sight…..  Then on to the fruit and vegetable gardens, which have expanded in every direction, the harsh inhospitable Yasawan climate countered with irrigation channels fed by a sizeable dam he built a few years back. Shredded coconut husks keep the moisture in the soil and everywhere  I look there are vines flourishing with fat juicy tomatoes, crispy capsicum and 20kg watermelon, there are thick bulbs of fennel,  huge heads of cauliflour and brocoli,  and verdant leafy herbs. In a region where nothing much grows except for coconuts, papaya and banana these gardens are a true testament to one man’s iron will and steady determination – and again a  vision.

Richard’s story is part of the book I am writing about my time in Fiji, it’s a story that needs to be told.

Can Crystals heal?

ImageThe human connection to crystals and stones spans time, cultures, continents and religions. Ancient Sumerians included crystals in their magic formulas; Egyptian pharaohs had their headdresses lined with malachite in the belief that it helped to rule wisely; while native American shamans used them for divination and healing. Their curative properties are mentioned repeatedly in ancient Vedic Hindu texts and referred to in the Old Testament of the Bible; while the mysterious black stone at Mecca (possibly a meteorite) forms an intrinsic part of the Islamic pilgrimage.


The Black Stone of Mecca

In 1880 Jacques and Pierre Curie discovered the piezoelectric property of quartz  – when squeezed or stretched, a voltage is produced across the crystal’s face. These days crystals are utilized in almost every form of technology. Liquid Crystal brings us the clarity in our computer screens, quartz keeps watches ticking, and electronic grade crystals are used in cell phones, clocks, games, television receivers, radios, computers and navigational instruments. But although science readily accepts the vibrational qualities of crystals, when it comes to the less tangible realms of crystal   therapy,   the suggested positive vibrations of gemstones is often relegated to the fringe of ‘new age;’  even though it is a tradition that is about as ‘old age’ as you can get.  We have been communing with stones in one way or another for as long as we have roamed the earth.

Like many before me, I have a fondness for adorning myself with gemstones and jewels and this story starts with my discovery of Atlantis, a shop in Seminyak filled with glittering gemstones, gleaming jewel encrusted silver bracelets, shimmering druzy pendants and crystals in all shapes and forms.  I left wearing a striking pendant of amethyst wrapped in a silver serpent.   I loved the way it felt on my skin, the way it shimmered in the sunlight and I started to wonder why we are so drawn to stones and crystals. Is it because we are naturally attracted to that which is beautiful? Is it a primal connection with something that is formed deep within the earth’s crust, or is it something more; could it be possible that stones hold some sort of therapeutic power? So I decided to try and find some answers. I had no expectations, just an open mind, a touch of skepticism and an abundance of natural curiosity.

The story became quite a journey that led to interesting people, places and experiences, I learned a lot about crystals, physics and geology, and I learned a lot about myself and my own belief system. My encounters with crystal therapy in various guises were thought provoking, sometimes profound, and always left with me a smile.  I can’t claim to have found all the answers I went looking for, or to have been miraculously ‘healed’ (thankfully I have no major ailments,) but I can share my experiences and the findings of those far more knowledgeable than myself.

Meeting Momo

As this story started with my newly acquired crystal pendant, I figured its creator might help shed some light on the power of crystals. I was right, Momo of Mercurious Designs, turns out to be a veritable mine of knowledge on the subject.   Atlantis is temporarily closed while he looks for new premises, so I visit his home, filled with crystal treasures; giant clusters of quartz and amethyst, translucent crystal balls, gleaming pyrite and ancient fossils. He discovered early on that, “There is much more to the world than what’s on the surface,” and as a kid would spend his time squeezing through tunnels emerging into caves full of sparkling crystals. These explorations sparked a lifelong passion and Momo became a kind of modern day adventurer travelling to remote regions of the world collecting minerals, stones and knowledge. He introduces me to the concepts of piezoelectricity and jeweled movements; and points out strong animist traditions, including stone worship in Indonesia.  He describes how he is drawn to “The dance of life, the energy and movement that is revealed in gemstones.” Much of his unique jewelry range is inspired and created by sculpting these “Natural art forms into something out of this world.”  We chat about crystal healing which he describes as “An intuitive art – not a science,”   and adds, “everything that has energy vibrates, if you can tap into that it’s fine, if not that’s ok too.”




The more I delve into the crystal realms, the more I come across this term. Is this the key – can the vibrations of crystals affect our bodies or our minds in some way? Quantum physics recognizes that everything vibrates, even the tiniest atom, but certain things, due to their composition will vibrate at a higher frequency.  For example, quartz which is 100% crystal, resonates clearly and harmoniously due to a highly organized molecular structure.   We have all experienced ‘good vibes’ and the  sense of harmony  experienced by  listening to music, visiting certain places or meeting someone that we feel in tune with; as  opposed to situations or people that create discord  and throw us off balance. Similarly when we are attacked by viruses or subjected to stress we feel out of sync. A holistic approach to therapy is all about restoring balance, so maybe the vibrations of certain crystals can help. This makes sense, but the link is still tenuous. Then I stumble across a book called “Hidden messages in water,” by Doctor Masar Emoto.  The book contains a series of astonishing photographs, in which single drops of water were frozen and the crystals they formed captured.  Fresh spring water produced beautifully formed crystals, whereas city water barely produced crystals at all. But here’s where it gets really interesting, when Bach was played to water, the resulting crystals were magnificent, but when heavy metal music was played to the same water, it produced badly formed crystals or none at all. Town water that had initially created ill formed crystals – suddenly made perfect formations after 500 people simultaneously prayed for it to be clean. The most beautiful of all crystals had been exposed to the words love and gratitude. In all these cases the structure of the water was fundamentally  altered due to the vibrations it was subjected to. As Humans bodies are comprised of over 70% water, is it possible that our physical process can be altered by positive vibrations?


water crystal

Vogel and crystals

According to Marcel Vogel who spent much of his life conducting extensive research into quartz crystals, it means precisely this! Vogel was a highly respected research scientist who received over 100 patents during his 27 years working for IBM.  He discovered that he could fundamentally alter the structure of water by spinning it around a tuned crystal.  Using such a process, the ph levels of water could be sufficiently altered, the freezing point significantly lowered and the molecular patterns rearranged and restructured.

In the same way that the healthy water in Emoto’s experiments created beautiful well formed crystals; the water found in healthy tissue cells in our bodies is formed into organized, geometrically shaped molecule patterns. While unhealthy and cancerous cells feature ungeometric and disorganized water molecules. Vogel’s findings showed that the clear vibration resonating from crystals helps to organize the water in our tissues and cells, creating healthier cells.  Further to this, he pioneered the use of a precisely cut quartz crystal, the  ‘Vogel-cut®  which transmitted a high level of energy and produced a constant vibration of the same frequency as water in its purest state.  He also developed a protocol in which a crystal could act as an “energetic scalpel” to remove unwanted vibrations from a person in distress.

History of stones

Our history is inextricably entwined with stones. Stone age man carved primitive tools and amulets, stone walls have traditionally provided us with shelter and protection, and gem stones have always been potent symbols of power and beauty. Through the ages various megalithic cultures erected impressive standing stones, monuments and stone circles that became places of, worship, ritual and meditation. The early Indonesians were animists and worshipped natural features in a belief that all objects have a life, a soul force. Vestiges of this practice can still be found, particularly on islands such as Flores and Sumba  where ethnic traditions hold strong. In Lombok the ‘Stone of Worship’ at Batu Pujaan was erected over 3000 years ago, and is associated with rituals of magic, meditation and the concoction of herbal medicines.   Here in Bali, megalithic structures are still used for worship in a scattering of villages inhabited by the original Bali Aga people; while  Lingga (monuments) carved from gold, jewels and stones can also be found in Hindu temples across the island.


Stone megaliths in Bena, Flores

These days our lives are increasingly removed from nature, so perhaps certain stones help us reconnect with the earth and our more essential selves. There are few things more grounding than minerals, so maybe wearing a crystal, collecting stones or indulging in gem therapy can help restore a sense of calm and balance. It all boils down to intent.  If you believe that wearing a crystal will empower you, it probably will; if you attend a crystal healing session with a strong intent to heal, then for sure you will feel some benefits. It’s all up to the individual.  Wear them, meditate with them, place them on the window sill, attempt to see the future, douse for water, summon spirits, admire them as objects of immense beauty. Or ignore them completely…… If crystals work for you on some level – that’s great, if not, that’s ok too – because crystals are totally optional.

If you do decide to explore the world of crystal therapy then Bali has plenty of choices.

 Crystal healing

Jelila provides my first healing session, and arrives at the door, blonde and fairylike bearing a guitar and a big bag of crystals.  She talks about the resonant vibration of crystals due to their highly organized molecular structure. “Having a positive person around you raises your vibrations –  it’s the same with the right combination of crystals.”

Jelila has a background in yoga, meditation and energy healing and you can join her classes at Yoga barn. She also practices crystal healing which she describes as “A complex art form, based on an intuitive sense of your present energy, aura and life. ” She adds that, “It is non invasive and harmless, the worse thing that can happen is nothing.”   We start with an aura reading, and each of my chakras is assigned colours, shapes and sounds. My rational mind does not understand, but her observations are unerringly accurate, and deep from my subconscious, where the demons lurk, she unearths an extremely irrational fear. Right she says we are going to fix this. She guides me through a visualization, or re programming as she calls it,   and then explains that she will use a combination of crystal energy and sound healing to integrate this transformation.   I close my eyes as she drapes strings of crystals over me, and become aware of a powerful tingly sensation around my head, it feels like my hair is standing on end. I assume Jelila is doing some kind of energy healing but when I sneak a peek I see she is busy placing crystals around my feet. The feeling is so intense I can’t help laughing – “What’s happening to my head,” I ask, “That would be the detoxifying crystals I put on your pillow,” she answers.   By now Jelila is softly playing the guitar and singing, her beautiful voice flutters around me. It’s extraordinarily soothing to be sung too and lulls me into a warm and cosy state. Afterwards I feel happy, calm and kind of floaty, more than anything I feel liberated from an irrational fear. No doubt I could have sat in an office with a psychiatrist and progressed to this point after weeks on the sofa talking about my childhood  – but therapy is  much more enjoyable when you are covered in crystals and sung to!  Jelila also designs healing necklaces and has recorded a range of CDs.



The Crystal Light Bed

I find myself at a house on the outskirts of Ubud and am greeted by Tamara, an intuitive healer who also performs healing sessions utilizing a Crystal Light Bed.  This contraption was created by John of God, the famous Brazilian spiritual healer who is estimated to have healed hundreds of thousands of people. Science has no answer for this kind of healing in which John of God acts as a spirit medium, allowing  “entities” to take over his body and perform surgery while he is in a trance.  However, his work has been documented by medical teams from around the world, who confirm miraculous recoveries from AIDS, cancer and other illnesses that were deemed incurable. He developed The Crystal Light Bed as an adjunct to healing and it consists of 7 Vogel-cut Brazilian quartz crystals which are suspended over each of the seven major chakras.  Tamara explains that it is essentially a chromo graphic machine that combines energy, colour and light; the colored lights that beam through the crystals act as a magnifier of energy and intent for healing.  She explains that this is “Different from other forms of crystal healing in that it enables a specific current of John of God and his various healing spirit entities.” It sounds kind of wacky and my rational mind is screaming,  ‘How,’ but I apply my motto ‘Never try never know,”  and as I lie down she  tells me to say a prayer of intent. From the moment I shut my eyes I enter a state of deep blissful relaxation – at times it’s almost as if I am levitating and I sense the presence of others in the room. Perhaps it’s my imagination, perhaps not – it doesn’t matter. What matters is that this is a lovely experience that leaves me calm and peaceful. I ask Tamara if she can see an immediate change in people following the treatment, and she comments that I am sparkling…. ..When I look in the mirror I do seem to have a bit of a glow and my eyes are shining clear and bright. email


crystal light

Crystal Sound

I first had the pleasure of Healing Sound Therapy at Bali Spirit Festival during a workshop led by Awa Hoshi, a statuesque, gently spoken woman of Cheyenne – Slovakian descent who plays silicon quartz crucibles (pure quartz carved into receptacles of various sizes.) A talented musician, Awa Hoshi pioneered the use of crystal sound therapy over two decades ago and her work has been well recognized across the world.  More than 100 of us were gathered that afternoon and as we stretched out on the floor we were instructed to visualize what we desired most at that point in time. Awa Hoshi  started to play, and the room was filled with  lingering, beautiful  waves of sound. Everything ceased to exist beyond the sound of crystal, and my vision of fully sustaining myself as a freelance writer. The sensation was not so much of hearing, but of feeling. Afterwards everything seemed incredibly clear and when I checked my emails I had two commissions from magazines to write about the festival, and have had a constant stream of work ever since. It’s not magic, I didn’t just blink my eyes and find I was suddenly  consumed with work,  but during that crystal sound filled afternoon I had given myself the space to realize what it was that I really wanted and from that time on focused my energy into achieving it. When I meet Awa  Hoshi again, she explained that sound therapy   helps us to   “ Crystallize an  intention, then magnetize that reality.” She adds that it, “Provides a foundation, it’s then up to us as to how we deal with it.”

Hearing is the first sense to develop in the womb, the most developed of all our senses, yet most of us only have a small amount of pure, clear sound in our lives, bird song, running streams, leaves rustling in the breeze are often drowned out by the hum of air conditioners, the roar of motor bikes, the incessant chatter of television. Awa Hoshi tells me that “The sound of pure tone crystal returns us to our natural state as beings of harmony – it is a sound that takes you beyond sound.”

Picture 5 Awa Hoshi