Pioneer Sound Healer Jonathan Goldman says that the vowel sound “Ah” is the sound of the heart.
What I have noticed after learning this is the variety of names of God there are where that “Ah” sound is incorporated. In Hinduism we have Brahma, Shiva and Krishna; in Buddhism we have Brahma.
In Judaism we have YHVH, which is not supposed to be pronounced as the ultimate name of God. For those who choose to say it, the first syllable is “Yah.” Other names Hassidic Jews use for the deity are HaShem (again, note the first syllable) and Hevaya (last syllable). One could add Shekinah to this list – a name denoting the presence of God within, and also associated with divine radiance.
While the anglicized name, Jesus, doesn’t fit this model, consider the Hebrew version: Yeshua. There’s that nice “Ah” ending. And the same can be said for many Biblical notables: Isaiah, Joshua, Jeremiah, and perhaps even the first syllable of “Abraham,” depending on the pronunciation of the vowel.
African gods also have some “Ahs.” A quick internet search reveals Abassi, the supreme god of some Nigerian peoples. There is Bemba, god of the Bambara people of Mali, and Chiuta of the Tumbukas of Malawi. The Yoruba have Orisha-Oke, the Sky God.
As an Anthropology student in college I had the opportunity to visit Mexico and the temple ruins there. I was intrigued with the Aztec god’s name, Quetzacoatl. In considering it now, it has two very nice “Ah” sounds.
How about the Lakota of North America using Wakan-Tanka for the divine? And from the Tlingit People’s website: Tlingit tales tell of the creator, Kah-shu-gooh-yah, whose sacred name was never said above a whisper. This being created all living things, in addition to controlling the sun, moon, stars, and daylight. (Hmm… can’t say it louder than a whisper is a little reminiscent of Jews not saying YHVH…)
Some Iroquois deities include Gendenwitha – The goddess of the Morning Star (actually the planet Venus) and Geha – The wind god and father of the good and evil twin deities whose battle represents a large part of the Iroquois Creation Epic. (Yes, there are many other Iroquois gods whose names do not include the Ah sound. But it’s still interesting that these two do!)
Are there more? Probably. I’ll let you do your own research if you’re curious about this. I’ll also invite you to have a personal experience of “Ah.” Use Jonathan Goldman’s Temple of Sacred Sound (http://www.templeofsacredsound.com/), which gives some voice background. This may make it feel less intimidating. Try different tones for your “Ahs.” Notice where you feel resonance in your body. Many times as I sound the vowel “Ah” I feel it go right through my heart area.
Jonathan Goldman also has a 2-CD set of toning sacred vowel sounds to the notes of the musical scale, and “Ah” is incorporated in that for the heart chakra. His website says it's out of stock at this time, but here's a link to it on a site called DailyMotion: https://www.dailymotion.com/video/xy9ltu
Another nice chant you can try for this is Guru Ganesha Singh’s “Ma.” Yes, it has the “m” consonant, but you can still move into a nice, extended “Ahhhh” sound while singing along with this. The toning/chant is a tribute to the Feminine – specifically, the word for “mother” and a mother’s love for a newborn child. Towards the end, he moves into singing, “Bountiful Am I; Blissful Am I; Beautiful Am I” – which he says on the CD package are wishes a mother in India has for her child.
Open wide! Sound “Ahhhh…” And have a peace-filled day.
Susan C. Moyer, MSW
Is a sound healer and transformational coach. She has 25+ years experience in using alternate states of consciousness to access deeper healing on all levels: physical, psychological, mental and spiritual.