Chakuna Machi Asa is a transformative sound healing artist who creates New Age music and also practices in the ancient tradition of overtone chanting and shamanic drumming. She holds certifications in Massage Therapy, Reiki III, Therapeutic Kinesiology, Crystal Healing Therapy, and Reiki Drumming. She graduated with a BA in Psychology from Michigan State University with specialized studies in abnormal psychology, philosophy of love and justice, shamanism, and world religions. Her post graduate studies have included Peruvian Shamanic Healing, Herbology, Guided Meditation and Natural Health. Her spirit name, Chakuna Machi Asa, was activated in an ancient indigenous Peruvian Shamanic ceremony. The name comes from the Quechua word Machakuna which means Ancestor. If one chooses to pronounce “Machi” as Ma-Ki (Ma-Qi), it roughly translates to “my energy,” which she believes she has carried with her from a past life to this one so that she may use her gifts to transmit these healing vibes. Throughout her life, she has skillfully used sound vibration to activate the awakened natural state of universal being and to inspire personal transformation.
To me, transformation brings to mind the spirit of that which Is becoming, seeking to understand otherworldly visions, and what might be called “spirit emissaries.” Chakuna offers video teachings, music, high vibe energy healing tools, crystals, handmade wands, and jewelry to encourage us as individuals to explore our spiritual energy, to get in touch with our authentic self and to help us to add a spark of inspirational magic into our everyday life. She has been working for years on perfecting her art and music, figuring out the best ways of sharing healing energies with all who will benefit from it. I had the opportunity to ask her about her work, "My intention as an artist is to help open you up to a new experience of the multidimensional reality of human existence," she shares. "I always set my intention that any songs I create are healing for the listener. Overall, I am striving to evoke or call upon a more peaceful vibe in your mind, body, heart and soul."
Her roots are mostly Scandinavian, and she is a compassionate Artist, Vegan, Crystal Lover, and an explorer of Seiðr. I did my research, and Seiðr appears to translate from the Old Norse tongue something along the lines of “cord, thread, snare, or halter,” and is related to both the physical weaving of fabrics and the mystical Shaman healing practices, with a distinctive Northern European flavor. With a cord, one can not only bind together, but also pull remote things closer. The ancient practice of Seiðr is concerned with discerning the course of fate and working within its structure to bring about change, and the transmission of healing energy, thus combining seeing the future and taking steps to correct or positively influence the unfolding of destiny.
What I hear in her music is awesome vibrational energy with a profound awareness of sound, essence and healing, all working in perfect harmony because they're an extension of nature's innate balance, and here to give us love. The elements of this music all come together in perfect harmony because they're an extension of nature's advancement, bringing good thoughts, a healthy mindset and creating an increased feeling of overall well being, which promotes the flow of good energy to protect and guide the people in our lives, and all around the world.
I have been exchanging email correspondence with Chakuna, discussing her music, her art, and her path on this Earth. My inquiry had to do with how life on Earth has developed the use of speech, storytelling, and the preservation of history.
I asked her to speak about how she understands the creative arts, and how this ancient musical craft fits into our larger sense of human destiny.
CHAKUNA MACHI ASA: I look at music more in terms of sound, generally. Different beings and creatures all use sound to communicate but just in different ways. I do not see much of a difference between our speech phonics and syllables of sound patterned together to communicate in comparison to how whales use shorter or longer frequencies or birds use distinct songs. I actually think other creatures' methods of communication are sometimes more intelligent because they are functional but simple frequencies. I mean, do you ever wonder why some of the most intelligent people wear the same color clothing or outfits everyday? It’s because they have simplified a process so it consumes less time in their day. Well, animals and plants have an intelligent innate simplified system that works to connect everything in nature.
I doubt anyone could really disagree with the fact that humans have a lot of communication issues. I mean, I am kinda convinced that misunderstanding each other is one of the main principles that constricts the evolution of humanity. So, with that in mind, music is sounds brought together to form a structure. Some songs have lyrics, and lyrics tend to connect you to another dimension of the sounds.
Also, songs with lyrics often tend to connect people together that have things in common and this is what makes some songs last for decades because they are so relatable and simple. I feel like the spiritual dimensions of a song run in parallel to what you are physically hearing. What you feel when you hear a song is what connects you to the spiritual dimension of a song. That is why some songs are uplifting vs. others that elicit feelings of sadness or anger.
ROBIN JAMES: What is your task as an artist?
CMA: My intention as an artist is to help open you up to a new experience of the multidimensional reality of human existence. I always set my intention that any songs that I create are healing for the listener. Overall, I am striving to evoke or call upon a more peaceful vibe in your mind, body, heart and soul.
I also hope to create a new feeling of safety for you so that you can explore your own authentic nature, one that has a deeper connection to the Earth. In other words my intention is to create a new connection between you and the frequencies that we all naturally vibrate to because we are made of mostly the same stuff the earth is otherwise we wouldn’t be able to survive on this planet. And, while I may not be literally physically changing your state of matter through the sound vibrations I create… for example, like the crystal glass shattering from a high pitch sound, lol. I still hope to influence your awareness of your connection to the earth and yourself.
I personally experienced this profound healing from music and sound, starting at the age of 11, when I discovered singing helped me transform my own emotions and gave me a new feeling of hope. I talk about this in the liner notes of the album. And, I have had many profound experiences since then as I started more purposefully sharing sound as a method for energy healing, in my 20s.
RJ: How has your process evolved as you have gained experience and how did you apply this to your new album?
CMA: I felt it was necessary to add another dimension to the art of my music by moving it more onto a mental and emotional level. And, I know that by sharing my story and my gift for composing, it will help listeners relate better to my music overall.
Of course, like any good piece of work a theme emerged organically over the course of this album. So, what started with a small intention, slowly gained a life of its own and became a full work that is reflective of my current feelings about my own ancestral lineage, my feelings on where we are as a global culture, my sense of my spirit guides and angels, the importance of all indigenous traditions and faith based practices, how time is related to our view of reality, and the use of inspiration from my dreams to transmit new healing energies into the world.
RJ: Are you able to bring music back from your nocturnal dreams?
CMA: Yes, I have a few times used my dreams for inspiration for my music.
I have always had a lot of conscious dreams since I was a child. By this I mean I am aware that I am dreaming and I am aware that I can manipulate my dream with my mind. I once became aware I was dreaming and flew out of the Earth, out into space, to another planet. I met with other beings that lived there. We made an offering together, a sort of wrapped up package that I was to bring back here and offer to the Earth. Of course, when I woke up there was no actual physical package anymore.
However, I felt like it was a sign that these beings were out there somewhere offering us help and I was carrying that message to people on Earth. The song “Planet Xeron” on my new CD album, Auroral Magic, is about this experience and carries the energy of this dream to you.
RJ: Dreams can be interpreted as one's internal dialog, each character you encounter is really yourself, and the messages taken from these mysterious phenomena are only subjectively given meaning by each individual dreamer. On the other hand, Jung was talking about a collective unconsciousness and a universal language of symbols.
CMA: Yes, dreams are always interpreted in different ways by different people. Philosophers, doctors, scientists and psychologists all have different theories. A dream could be a reflection, a collective unconscious symbol, or an interpretation of my daily experiences. But, possibly, a conscious dream could be an actual soul traveling experience. And, so let’s say that my soul traveling experiences are actually “out of body travel”. That seems like a far cry from our current physical reality and some psychologists may chalk it up to being “a vivid imagination” or a very conscious mind body experience. But, what if it was real in the way I experienced it? My awareness or my energy really could have the capability of traveling away from my physical body and connecting to other beings when I intentionally change the vibrational frequency of my brain waves. Honestly, I believe that being open to that possibility is more hopeful for humanity. It is saying that we have more potential than our current reality and that we aren’t really alone but we are all connected to the universe in a really profound scientific way that we could evolve into.
Our imagination may really be more than what we think it is and all we need to do is evolve this cyclical dance of frequencies so that we have the power to tap into and open our brains electromagnetic communication system up to other worldly dimensions. I’d personally rather believe that there is more potential for this atomic dance in my brain! If you think about it the only real way to evolve on any level of humanity is to remain open to the possibilities of not what it is but what could be.
That is actually the driving force of my purpose. It’s my choice, what I choose to believe and that is the exact way we move our brains energy, right?
That's why I have learned over the years that our belief systems are the most powerful structures and also the most powerful change agents on the planet. Belief systems based on fears tend to hold us back in life. It’s the “what ifs” that really get you. Except that during a profound healing you realize maybe my past traumas are really making up my current fears and they don’t hold true today. That’s a good place to come to. Letting go of fears that hold you back in life. I think everyone is in this process at some point in life, hopefully.
And, so somehow in order to move forward together as a collective we must change the negative what if’s into positive what if’s. So... “what if” we can evolve and all feel more connected? That’s what I choose to believe.
RJ: How do you put together your songs for healing?
CMA: It always starts with intention. Mainly, the intention to awaken authenticity and a feeling of safety in the listener. Many songs hold a particular emotional charge and also a particular vibration of spiritual frequencies. However, a lot of the songs that I have created and will create in the future are meant to transform emotional frequencies rather than to play into the ones that you already carry.
So, while I am capable of delivering an emotional filled melody, I lean more towards wanting to create a new experience for you. I feel like when I share my chanting, in a performance, I draw from an ancient system that humanity is hungry for, containing something more authentic.
I want to create something that's not skewed by pop culture or money driven statistical data. Did you know that the music industry tracks the most popular structures of drum beats and uses that in order to create the next best hit?
While it is nice that humans have learned what our minds like to experience, in order to give us more of that, it also tends to erase a bit of authenticity that some of the best older songs had. I think everyone knows when this authenticity is lost in a song and like with any addiction of the mind people lose interest in why they are doing what they are doing, they just know they love it. So in other words, the industry keeps doing this because when they do it we are all like, “yasss” this feels good in my brain.
I relate it to the same feeling of when someone likes your facebook post. They created a whole new social media era off the fact that the brain enjoys the gratification of filling up its own ego.
RJ: With the current state of our global culture we face some bygone legacies as well as some uniquely modern tests.
CMA: Yes, I’d like to see a larger global cultural awakening for the sake of humanity. That’s always been something that has kept me up at night, since I was a kid. I’d ask myself “what the heck is going on here?” How did such a simple thing become so complicated? You know, “Peace on Earth.”
It has really been a devastating thing, to be born onto a planet with so much hate, greed and struggles for power. People that don’t love other people or the planet, should never be in power.
Why is this so complicated? I guess that will always be a loaded question with many viewpoints… or… Rather than making it complicated we could just be kinder to each other overall, more empathetic, place shame where it should actually go, improve our system, develop a new level of trust in our community by acknowledging that the pain we have caused each other is real, take note that more than one person might be right when it comes to our overall belief systems as a global community and develop ways to become more ecologically sustainable. Luckily, I do believe there are hard working amazing people that are dedicating their lives towards those very things.
RJ: What music has changed your path?
CMA: I'm not sure If I would say changed but just impacted me profoundly. Since my early twenties when I discovered the use of chanting for sound healing, I have felt like maybe I can only do these chants in a ceremonial space, meditation circle, or energy healing setting where people get what it is that I am doing. And, I always felt like people aren’t going to understand what this sacred art is.
I had this knowing that I was to share these healing chants to help people, to ease their suffering, but I often asked myself “how am I going to do this and why is this my calling?” I feel like most people won’t understand what I am even doing. I never want to frighten people with my work because sometimes it is so unique. And then I saw the video on YouTube of Eivor singing “Trollabundin.” The video is filmed outside by the water and it is so powerful. I saw myself in her and I thought well if she can share such unique ancient music with others, then so can I. I also later realized that my connection to her music may be related to the fact that she is from the Nordic region and so are my ancestors. So, it was a connection and healing for me on more than one level. After seeing that video I took a deep breath on a soul level.
RJ: How did your parents introduce music to you when you were small?
CMA: There was always lots of music at our family gatherings. We had family members and friends that would bring guitars to our family events and share songs with everyone. And, we always had amazing music programs at our schools.
When I was a very young child my dad would play the guitar and sing to us. My dad also played the piano and wrote some of his own songs. He enjoys singing as well. I know my mom has a good voice too but she doesn’t sing much in front of other people.
My brother played the saxophone when he was young too. As I got a little older, at about age 6, I got more interested in the piano that my parents had sitting in our living room. In fact for a while that was the only thing sitting in our living room. Oh and a stereo system that was often playing 60s and 70s music.
I think I will always be a fan of the Eagles and Simon and Garfunkel. Those songs will always touch my soul on a deep level. I always joke around and say that I have hippie parents. Peace, love, art and music.
I loved to just play that piano sitting in our living room. I would make up random songs and play for hours. My parents started taking me to piano lessons at the Gitfiddler in Northville, Michigan. So, I did learn to read music on a very basic level. I think I got to second grade piano books. I played music by ear better than I had ever read music. It was so boring to sit and read someone else’s music. My piano teacher recognized my gift of playing by ear so he would often play a song first and then I would just play it back. He nurtured my gift and didn’t force me to study super hard on reading the actual notes. I would often get the question from my choir teachers over the years, “how did you learn to play those songs”? “Did you make those up”? The answer was always, yes. I always composed my own piano songs from a very young age.
And so, it is definitely a gift.
RJ: What would you like to try that you have not tried yet?
CMA: I would like to learn Finnish, Swedish or Norwegian language to regain more of what we lost when my great grandparents moved to the US in the very late 1800s.
My Grandpa spoke fluent Finnish but was encouraged by the government not to speak it anymore and to assimilate our family. I have been working on incorporating nordic languages into some of my songs too. I am also trying a few songs with a faster beat and a high vibe energy.
RJ: Your song "Blood of Our Ghost," the first track, sets the tone for the new album, connecting the listener to the sacred ceremonies of the past, like ghosts that remain in the dark unknown places. To me, this song is about bringing these spirits home, to once again lead the way, as ancestors traditionally have always done.
What ancestral lineage is in your family?
CMA: My lineage is mainly from Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Scotland. I am approximately 70% Nordic bloodline. I also have some bits of English, German and French.
My great grandparents on my mom’s side were born in Sweden and Finland. My mom said her grandma didn’t want to be assimilated in the United States. She didn’t speak much English and didn’t really want to. I wish I had known her better and that we could have kept our native tongues, because when our family lost our language, I feel like we lost so much of our history. My grandfather spoke fluent Finnish but was encouraged by the government not to pass our languages and traditions down to our family. He told me that they encouraged the family to assimilate and try to speak only English. On my fathers side, I am a descendant of Robert Munro (14th Baron of Foulis), the Foulis Castle, of the Munro Clan in Scotland. Marilyn Monroe is actually my distant family member as we share ancestors of the same line. My lineage is important to me and I am proud of my ancestors and our family history. Honoring my ancestry is one of the main themes flowing through my album Auroral Magic. It is also how the northern lights tie into the theme. You can explore more of my sharing about this and my spiritual name in the liner notes of the CD album.
RJ: I want to be sure to explore with you the task of the Seiðr. How did you find your way here?
CMA: The term Seiðr is what I resonate with most strongly now because it reflects the old world spiritual traditions that have been a bit buried throughout our history. From my research, Seiðr is what I find to be most closely related to my current path, purpose, visions, inner guidance, and my ancestors' transmissions to me. Of course it is not exactly matched to my current practices as nothing in old text holds the same energy when mixed with the modern era. All my current spiritual practices are executed in energetically different ways than they would have been in ancient times . For example, I do have some spiritual gifts that I do not utilize regularly and this is due to the current climate of humanity and how my energy is woven in. However, I feel from the depth of my soul that this Old Norse Seiðr lineage is in my Nordic bloodline. It explains all of my dreams, visions, gifts, my draw to both ancient shamanic lineages and my connection to magic. I am more grounded in my sense of my spiritual practices because I have learned that much of the indigenous traditions that I have studied are also similar to the practices of Seiðr. And, yet now I feel more connected to my own ancient ancestral traditions of my bloodline. I do believe that spiritual gifts are passed down through your bloodline. I never directly had a family member share their physical traditional knowledge in a way that some pagan lineages still have today, but I can feel my ancient ancestors with me, guiding and helping me re-kindle this earth-based magic in my life.
This is part of the expression of the song “Blood of My Ghost.” It is my ancestors singing through me. “Can you hear me?” “Can you hear me?” “Whispering to you through the blood of our ghost.” They are asking you to stop and listen because they have important things to share with you. And, I am their channel to share this energy with you. However, please keep in mind that the only intention that I set for this album was to share healing energy with you. I do not plan out a mental concept or reflective nature prior to creating an album. I let that process flow through me, naturally. I later just reflect on what the album means to me. So, it might take on its own life inside of you as well. I appreciate what it means to each listener and it can vary from my own interpretation. Each person's own perception, lineage, spiritual nature, and cultural background may bring forth their experience of the album in their own unique way. And, because I feel that I channel my work, I have even found that some of the words that I channel mean the same or slightly different things in different languages where the similar sounds emerge.
I also feel that cultural and religious oppression has influenced the current fabric of our planet in such a way that has influenced our human evolution. I believe that one of my jobs is to move energies in a way to allow for people to remember the authenticity of our humanity. This is not as extravagant as it sounds though. It could be as simple as knowing and accepting that the feeling of hope is alive inside you and it will never die. Helping you feel safe by reintroducing you to a more earth-based grounded sense of the natural world vibration. Or it could be the awareness that we really do all share a common thing, our nature, which is the foundation of our humanity. And, so I want to also mention how this relates to sound healing for me. You asked about the fabric that Seiðr energetically weaves which is similar to the concept of sound healing. We use the vibrations of sound to transmit energy into the energetic fabric. If you would like more information about the nature of this patterned fabric. One of my favorite books that touches on this concept is "Dancing Wu Li Masters, An Overview of the New Physics," by Gary Zukav. It discusses our own atomic/molecular structure, how it is in relation to the world around itself and the universal quantum dance of energy that ties everything together. My own interpretations of the energy fabric are made up of a combination of wisdoms from that book, string theory, and my own interpretations of the meaning of time, based on my studies over the years. A couple of my songs on the album Auroral Magic are directly related to my interpretations of time, this patterned fabric, and its connection to gravity. The lyrics for the song “Space Shift” are inside the liner notes. The song “Time Womb” is the other one but it has no lyrics. It is more of a musical interpretation of the cycles of creation and its relationship to this energy fabric.
RJ: One of your strengths is crystals, which are in themselves a lifetime of exploration, but as they are big in your online presence, I want to touch on crystals and music/sound. For the curious and uninformed, what do crystals do?
CMA: So… each crystal has a different elemental structure and is made up of electromagnetic vibrating energy. If you sit with different crystals you may find each one may have a different effect on you. Crystals are said to each have their own healing properties based on their vibration and are often imprinted with the energy of their origin. I use the different vibrations of the crystals to accent my art, wands and jewelry that I make. I also show people how to create crystal grids to help ground their intentions, goals and assist in their meditation practice.
Did you know that quartz crystals are actually used to track time in clocks because of their cyclical vibration and they are also used in radios because you can tune them to particular frequencies? The study of crystals is an amazing thing. I am actually also certified in crystal healing therapy. I learned how to lay crystals on the body to tune the body's electromagnetic energy field to the frequency vibration of the different crystals to help with energy healing, relaxation and meditation.
So, it is a study that is using a bit of intuition and then understanding the healing properties of the piece. I usually feel that intuition plays a vital role in the use of crystals. If you are drawn to a particular crystal or crystals that is the one that's vibration is calling to your electromagnetic field. If you can tune a crystal to a particular electromagnetic frequency then the crystal’s energy can definitely have an impact on you, right? Anyway, that's a really basic way to start to understand the connection of crystals with our energy field and the planetary field. As they are made of the Earth's atomic structured frequency. Except of course for the meteorites which vibrate to frequencies that are slightly unique from the crystals made of the Earth's elements.
RJ: What are the most beautiful places you have performed in?
CMA: One of the most beautiful venues I performed in was Carnegie Hall. My choir in high school did a performance there. However, I enjoy performing in churches because they tend to have a very acoustic atmosphere in which the sound resonates and bounces all over the room. Otherwise, in general performing outside in nature is my favorite because I feel very connected to the energy of the Earth and the listeners.
RJ: What is your most cherished accomplishment?
CMA: Learning about boundaries and how to respect myself. I have experienced some truly severe trauma in my young adulthood and youth. I am lucky to have my supportive parents, spouse, therapist, and spiritual traditions that have helped me heal over the years as I have not told too many people about my experiences and might not talk too much about any of it at this point in my life.
RJ: What new artists would you recommend listening to?
CMA: I don't know how new they are but I recommend listening to these artists:
Deya Dova, Mogli, Alice Phoebe Lou, Jeffrey Michael, Paul Avgerinos, Ricky Kej, and Jonna Jinton
RJ: What do you listen to lately?
CMA: I love new age music and I have a long list of meditation songs that I revisit frequently, but I also listen to many different unique artists from multiple different genres.
First of all, I am a Detroiter and love my 95.5 radio station. I do enjoy a good beat and keeping up with the current pop music trend. I don’t remember the artist's names all that well. But, it is something that I am working on. I really just enjoy getting lost in the vibrations and sometimes the lyrics of a song.
I truly enjoy the lyrics for the new Billie Eilish song “Therefore I am” because it's about respect and I can relate to this, as a woman. We are often easily demeaned particularly by men who are looking to feed their own ego.
I am also into some classics like the Eagles and Simon and Garfunkel. My dad was friends with and went to high-school with Glenn Fry so the Eagles will always hold a unique place in my heart for that reason, as well.
I like Miley Cyrus because she is smart, rebellious and has an amazing voice.
I frequently listen to the artists Alice Phoebe Lou, Mogli and Aurora.
Tori Amos will always be one of my inspirations and my favorite.
As far as new age music, I listen to so many but some of my favorite artists are George Winston, Steven Halpern, Suzanne Doucet, Jeffrey Michael, Paul Avgerinos, Ricky Kej, Gary Stadler “Fairy Nightsongs,” Shawna Carol “Goddess Chant,” Liquid Mind Music, Zen Monk chanting and a new artist I just found on YouTube, Deya Dova.
RJ: Where do you dream of going, for vacation, tour, exploration, by time machine, etc.?
CMA: I am a nature girl, so Crater Lake, Acadia National Park, and Zion National Park.
I would like to go back to London and maybe also explore the regions my ancestors are from.
I’d like to go back to Yosemite, Smoky Mountains, Grand Canyon and Sedona.
I would like to travel to sacred sites to share some of my healing chants in multiple locations around the USA someday in the future.
RJ: Thank you for your time today, and for your gifts of music and light.
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