the voice of the siren

The voice of the siren

Of female vocal power & vocal (honor) fear

Author: Saskia Baumgart
Category: Art / Music / Literature
Issue No: 90

The author takes an unbiased look at the myth of the sirens, their vocal power and their unknown realm between heaven and earth, where we can experience flow and inspiration. It is a wisdom that has been almost lost in the wake of patriarchy and the domination of nature. Through song and music, healing can occur, and with the sirens we can enter into the oceanic feeling of being alive.

Something is with her … So many prohibitions, regulations, rules and laws that exist worldwide, entwine around her, like a fence taming a wild animal. Equally great must be the existing fear, which, as an indefinite fear, encourages such measures, cross-culturally, through the millennia.

Prohibitions for women

Even today, women are not only not allowed to show their hair, but likewise their voices when they enter a Russian Orthodox church, which shocked me during a trip through Siberia in 2018. They wear a headscarf and have to remain silent. As long as they don’t raise their voices, they are welcome to engage there and serve for the whole community. That’s the deal. Likewise, it is still forbidden for women to sing in Jewish synagogues.





In the country of Iran and in many other countries, women are forbidden to sing in public, under threat of the harshest penalties. Female singers have to leave the country if they want to show their art and thus share beauty and cultural wealth. Part of the ancient singing culture, passed down from generation to generation, is forced to remain silent, perish or take high risks that can be life-destroying.


According to legend, the powerful singing and semi-human mythical creatures called Sirens are daughters of Gaia, the Earth Mother, and the Sea God. Other sources give them as daughters of the Muses, patrons of the arts and the beautiful mind. They are considered sensually attractive beings, half woman, half water creature, endowed with fish tails, sometimes winged, resistant to marriage and free in their love life.

This was also the origin of the social attribution as a danger to the morality and integrity of the man within the social order of patriarchy, where such freedoms belonged only to men. As in other famous cases of human history, these independent female beings were demonized, devalued, blamed and declared the personified evil to beware of.

The connection of femininity and its natural attraction, a kind of female magnetism and its dangers, especially if not regulated by male laws, becomes clear here as a deeply implemented basic fear. The message’s warning to man seems clear: “Beware, therefore do not be drawn into the deeper feminine waters, it may destroy you.”

In the full article, also read the well-known ancient Greek story of Odysseus, who had himself tied down on his ship so as not to succumb to the sounds of the sirens.


What does this being connected to the energy and creative power of life have to do with the sirens and the female voice? In Indian Hinduism, this force is called “Shakti” and corresponds to the feminine aspect of the Divine, which endows us with exactly this energy. It appears, for example, as “Sarasvati”, the goddess of arts and science.

The feminine voice seems to be directly connected to this powerful representation, reminding us of this wave movement of coming and going, the cycle of life, between birth, death and rebirth.

When we feel at one with this fundamental movement, it is easy to live. In resistance to this wave, existence can become torture.

In resistance is usually the ego, which does not sufficiently communicate with and trust the wisdom of the anima, because it focuses on control.

The anima, according to Carl Gustav Jung, is considered our inner feminine part, which every human being possesses, the counterpart to the animus, its male counterpart and complement. In this potential conflict of polar forces, the oceanic quality of dissolution of boundaries, as the ability of the muses and their daughters, the sirens, can work wonders. Thus, as we know, a song can move us to tears, a line of poetry can remind us again of what is essential, and a voice can lead us out of perceived narrowness by softening or even melting us.

It is precisely this magic of life that we seek and need, and therefore seek it out again and again, with all the means of art. The task of dosing it well, so as not to sink groundlessly into it, is our own, whose level of development indicates what we have already learned – about ourselves and about life.


Die Verbindung zu den Sirenen kam früh in meinem Leben, als mich immer wieder Menschen darauf ansprachen und meine Stimme als sirenenhaft bezeichneten. Oder als ich im peruanischen Amazonas als Sirene bezeichnet wurde und eine dementsprechende Meisterpflanze zum Meditieren und Studieren zugeordnet bekam.

Ich wusste intuitiv sofort, worum es ging, und wunderte mich nicht. Ein vertrautes warmes Heimatgefühl kam in mir auf. Ich fragte mich, warum vor den Sirenen, diesen singenden geflügelten Wasserwesen, in einigen Geschichten so eindringlich gewarnt wurde und ihnen ein so negativer bis mörderischer Ruf vorauseilte. Das wollte ich ergründen.





The promise of longing lies in discovering that the unknown shores turn out to be part of one’s inner home. Thus, the greater journey out into the world becomes a homecoming to one’s innermost being, which can now shine differently, audibly in the sound of one’s own voice. A voice that can become a wake-up call, a call of the siren.

That’s why I called my first Sasperella solo album “La Sirène”. It was finished in 2021 and is available online here. It is a tribute to the magic of the winged water creatures that remind us of our spiritual home as well as our soulful connection to it, and that inspire us to give it expression, in many ways. And still, when I sing and give myself completely into it, I begin to flow and fly and see the ocean in front of me.

Not one of the seven earthly ones we know, but an ocean that resembles them and yet is another. It encompasses them all and shines supernaturally, in a special light. Here is ultimate peace, home.

What would really have happened if Odysseus and his men had not circumnavigated the island of the Sirens, but had bravely followed their call?

About the author: Saskia Baumgart

Saskia Baumgart is a singer, vocal coach and music therapist. She works artistically and healing with singing and sound, gives solo concerts as Sasperella, with her trio Magic of Sound, individual sessions, workshops and groups on singing, sound as well as voice, also especially on the female voice. In addition, she accompanies dying people with her music, people in emotional crises and accompanies processes for the development of potential in all situations of life. Stays with various indigenous cultures of the world have deepened her shamanic connection.

This article has also been published on the German Website:

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