Today’s blog post comes after another week-long dry spell in which I haven’t been getting a lot of writing done. And, once more, this is a question of my own design. It’s kind of strange to think that I started my Year and a Day Journal at the first of November, and now it’s almost the opposite time of the Wheel of the Year, Beltane. And yet, I’m only about a month’s worth of journal entries into the endeavor. At this rate, how long would it take me to finish 366 journals? Er…well, if there are twelve months in a year and each month’s worth of journals takes me approximately a half-year, then I should finish up after about…six years?
28-year-old me could very well still be a novice Witch.
But anyway, like I was saying, today’s post is of my own choosing, so here we go. Does music play a role in your Craft? How do you use it in a spiritual sense?
I was inspired to write on this topic today because I have been absolutely obsessed recently with a Swiss musician/composer named Adrian von Ziegler. I stumbled upon his music one day when I was searching for some meditation music or something to listen to while doing yoga. I was feeling particularly drawn to Celtic music, so I just searched on YouTube for Celtic instrumental music, and some of his stuff came up. What a lucky day that was, because now I listen to his stuff all the time. One of his songs in particular, “Fear No Darkness,” has become a song I regularly listen to and I’ve been considering purchasing, along with some of his other works. (In the country I’m living in right now, torrenting or illegally downloading music is really not frowned upon at all, and is considered the normal thing to do. However, I usually use iTunes and really tend to shy away from anything illegal. I’ve been referred to as a goody-two-shoes on numerous occasions in my life.) Anyway, I was on his website and listening around for the best songs and, yeah, I think I’ll buy some. I highly recommend his stuff, and you can listen to it on YouTube or on his website first, if you want a tester.
In any case, this kind of music does something really powerful for a magical setting–it puts you in the correct mindset. As a novice Witch, something I really get sucked into is doubting myself or my ability (and sometimes even the existence of magick itself), and yet, when I listen to this kind of music, I momentarily forget that I’m even in a 21st century world, in a run-down 20th century apartment. For a moment, I think I’m thrust back into a land of myth and a time of magic (I’m a Merlin nerd), and I can do anything.
Composers like Adrian write with this idea of transcending time in mind. You only have to look at the titles of some of his works (“Ancient Storm,” “Kingdom of Bards,” “Druidic Dreams,” and even “Morrigan” are some of the names he’s given his pieces) to understand that this music is meant to bring you to that sacred place of the moors, the forests, the lochs–even if you can’t leave where you are.
Obviously, I’m lauding prerecorded music right now. But I haven’t yet talked about another equally powerful–if not more powerful–method of invoking magick, or even just getting into a magickal mindset. That is, of course, producing music yourself.
I was very lucky to be raised by parents who tried to afford me every opportunity. As a result, I have been able to travel all over, and, even at home, I’ve tried everything from acting auditions to modeling to dance. Not everything stuck long-term, but I took piano lessons for eight years, starting at age six. I never had the passion for it, but it gave me the ability to read music and I can still play a bit. It really set me up for my next instrument, however, which was violin. I started that when I was ten and I played all through high school and college, and I still play (I didn’t lug it across the ocean, but when I go home I’ll pick it up again). I also sing, and I’ve sung in choirs and done solos for various things, including church, weddings, and even a performance at the Sydney Opera House (like I said, I’m extremely fortunate).
It is certainly not far-fetched to say that music has always been and will always be a huge, important part of my life. It only makes sense, then, that I would incorporate it into my Craft. I’ve already tried doing this before. For example, if you go back to my post about Yule, I wrote about how I wore jingly earrings to bring sacred sound into my ritual–like an offering to the Universe–and how I sang the song “As the Dark Awaits the Dawn.” It not only was a defining and focusing part of the ritual, but it truly was an offering of my skill to the Universe, to the elements, to the energies of whatever gods or goddesses were at play. For me, singing was something so powerful to give, because while most offerings laid on an altar or out in nature are things from nature which you change in some way (for example, making a flower braid), the gift of singing is something which comes very much so from me. It only takes the things that nature gives me to sustain myself. And it truly is a whole-body experience.
I’m looking forward to going back home and being able to use my violin to do further offerings or rituals. I have a very woodsy backyard, and I can definitely picture myself wandering around playing among the trees. The best part is that it doesn’t have to be amazing. It just has to come from me.
So, this one was pretty short and sweet. Music is great and I definitely find a place for it in my Craft. There are many other things which I have incorporated or would like to incorporate into my Craft as well, which I’m sure I’ll detail here in the future.
Just one week ’til Beltane!