As Neptune stationed near the transiting North Node in Aquarius this weekend, a friend and I traveled about an hour and a half outside of Palm Springs, to Flanders, Calif. Our destination? A public “sound bath” at a building called the Integratron. This is apt because Neptune rules music and it’s in the sign of groups (Aquarius) and with the North Node, another indicator of involvement in a collective endeavor.
As you’ll see from the photo above (the first I’ve ever posted on Astrology Mundo!), the Integratron is a vaulted wooden structure that is painted white. It’s said to be sitting on top of a vortex of electromagnetic energy, which seems plausible given its proximity to the San Andreas Fault.
The Integratron is the creation of aeronautic engineer George Van Tassel, who died in 1978. Its current owners, Nancy and Joanne Karl, bill it as the only all-wood, “acoustically perfect sound chamber in the U.S.”
Van Tassel, who worked for such aerospace contractors as Lockheed, Douglas Aircraft, and Hughes Aviation, built the chamber based on the ideas of inventor Nikola Tesla and information he allegedly gleaned from channeling extraterrestrials. He began building the Integratron in 1954, not far from Giant Rock, a place long considered by Native Americans to be sacred because of its powerful energy.
Asked to describe the Integratron, Van Tassel told people that it was “a machine, a high-voltage electrostatic generator that would supply a broad range of frequencies to recharge the cell structure.”
Nancy Karl facilitates the rejuvenation with public sound baths, where she plays a series of nine quartz crystal bowls designed to activate the chakras in the body. With her radiant appearance and grounded, laid-back manner, Nancy is a walking advertisement for the benefits of the Integratron. It’s definitely working for her.
We mingled with folks before yesterday’s sound bath, many of them repeat customers for the $10, half-hour treatment. “California is wonderful that way — random strange things in the desert,” said one young woman as we prepared to enter the chamber.
The sound of the quartz bowls hurt my ears a little at first, but as the notes changed, I felt more comfortable. Many of the roughly 40 people in our sound bath fell asleep, but I didn’t feel particularly relaxed. In fact, the opposite was true. I felt energized, much the same way I have during acupuncture sessions when the therapist attached wires from the needles to electrodes.
When we left the Integratron, the colors outside seemed more vivid than when we entered the chamber. I was definitely on a high that I can only compare to the way I felt not long after crossing the finish line of the New York City Marathon in 1999. I was also starving, so we stopped at the funky Crossroads Cafe in Joshua Tree for a restorative lunch. Then we made our way to Joshua Tree National Park, which felt like a trip indeed, thanks to my heightened sensitivity to color.