Harmony is a word that features largely in Jena Duncan’s life. For 84 years, this lively young woman has had an ability to play the ‘music of the soul’- a unique harmonic sound that every living being creates through their own energy vibrations. Listening with her heart and playing the piano by ear, she provides a tonal therapy – full of colour and the elemental harmony of being – a sound people recognize as their own true music. Her intuitive gifts help heal people, restoring balance and consciousness to the Self.
Jena has always been able to freely give of her gifts to others – but she has spent a lifetime seeking a harmony of her own.
Born on a Texas ranch in 1922, she was called the "Crazy Baby.” Unexplainable gifts of psychic abilities, to see, hear and sense things that others could not, lead to a confusing childhood. She struggled to understand her differences and thought she could train herself out of them. At age nine, she began to study magazines that offered ‘lessons’ about psychic things, and found only that what she considered her personal handicap was growing stronger.
Tragedy played a part early in her life when she was unable to stop a chimney fire from destroying the family’s large and luxurious ranch house. The people in her family changed with the hardship. Jena says she felt even more alone after that.
Beautiful to look at, she was also charismatic and attractive – Jena was courted relentlessly by local men. Still a teenager, she married the playboy son of a Texas oil-baron in a move that she says was primarily to enable her to leave home and her small town behind. But there was abuse in the marriage, and it didn’t last. Jena looks back now with an understanding of how her own imbalanced identity led her into a series of marriages – 5 in all – where she tried to find herself through other people’s eyes.
She was blessed with a singing voice that ranged over four octaves. As a young woman in the early 1940’s, she made her way to Hollywood, where starlets were continually being discovered. She studied drama and voice and languages for years, and worked her way throughout the Hollywood movie industry. But Jena found she was extremely sensitive to negative vibrations that she felt coming from the materialistic and self-absorbed community. She became disenchanted with trying to become a star and concentrated on her singing career, which she says, gave her the opportunity to sing with the great Nelson Eddy.
Another marriage, to her World War II Marine sweetheart, produced three children. After the birth of her first child, Jena won a scholarship in Drama and Voice to a university in North Dakota, and earned a degree there in two years. Returning to California, she and her husband separated and Jena began to use her talents and intuitive abilities in entertainment – stage plays, showcases, fashion shows and professional singing engagements. She was often asked, impromptu, to play the piano at social gatherings where people told her they experienced a feeling of peaceful calm during the music, no matter what it was that she played.
All the while she continued to study herself. She investigated her psychic gifts in clairvoyance, clairaudience, psychometrics, ESP and out-of-body experiences. At the time, the supporting community was a small and quiet one – acceptance of the unexplainable was not widespread. Jena wasn’t aware then of the potential magnitude of her gifts in the fields of health and healing.
In the 1950’s, she began to learn about the Metaphysical church and became a licensed minister. She spoke publicly about some of her experiences and beliefs on radio, television and the stage. She became ‘a personality’ which led to an ESP act that she performed for years, as "Princess Jena from Outer Space” at children’s shows and for private parties. Hiding her gifts as an entertainment was the only way to let them out into the light of those days.
She married again, a tenor, and they sang professionally together. But the new husband didn’t want Jena’s children with them, so they were sent to live with relatives and their father. A life filled with drinking and prescription pills soon followed the loneliness and unhappiness she felt. Jena was checked into a mental hospital as an alcoholic.
Over her six week stay in the hospital, the doctors asked Jena to use her abilities to help other patients, and in so doing, help herself. She brought people out of catatonic states with her ESP; used her singing voice to ease depression, and played her music to ‘describe’ the energy vibrations she could hear emanating from people. She learned to call this "Tonal Therapy,” and watched as there were noticeable changes in the health of the patients.
The 1960’s saw the world change. Not so completely alone as a ‘child of the universe’ anymore, Jena turned to a more holistic and healthy life. She continued with her studies and her lecturing in Metaphysics. She began to practice and teach yoga. She became a vegetarian. She began to speak about her gifts on radio and to ever larger public audiences. Most importantly for her, she took herself through the twelve steps of Alcoholics Anonymous and it changed the way she had always seen herself.
Using her psychic gifts, with her understanding of spirituality, and the awareness of all of life as a form of vibrational energy, Jena began to work on gathering knowledge – about herself and the new consciousness around her. This time, she had the full support of a larger and accepting community. She went to colleges and universities again in the 1970’s and studied psychology and vibrational therapy. She also discovered a new science first taught in the 1960’s, called Polarity Therapy – the forerunner of today’s models of holistic health and healing through energy work. Jena began to see new and limitless areas for her abilities.
She moved to Vancouver Island in the 1980’s and participated in a new phenomenon that was rapidly gaining momentum: the Psychic Health Fair, held, on occasion, at such august locations as Victoria’s own Empress Hotel. She studied Reiki through the 1990’s and earned three degrees, making her a Master and a Teacher. She even gave herself some time to begin to write about her life and its many stories of hardship and triumph. And for all of the past 25 years, she has continued to ‘read the music within,’ and play for people the sounds of their own inner song.
"Everyone’s song is different,” Jena says. "I ground myself and then just listen.” The high notes of the song she hears come from our angels and guardians, she says, with the lower notes sounding through the subconscious mind. The ‘body’ of the vibrational music she plays is a series of notes that help to heal and settle out any imbalances for the person, all the while expressing the true harmony of their inner Self.
At nearly 85, Jena Duncan is still beautiful, charismatic and attractive. She admits to a feeling there is another romantic, musical interlude yet to come in her life – but she smiles and keeps the details to herself. She has learned so much about who she is now – what she really needs. Her home is filled with light and photos and her piano, and beautiful music plays all around her from recordings of her own soprano performances. She is quite happy to be asked to speak openly about her abilities, her knowledge, her awareness – now is truly Jena’s time. She is alive and well and shining with her own energy. And if we could only hear the sound of her unique vibrational song, there’s no doubt that it would be a masterpiece of musical harmony.