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Author Topic: Using songs in magic  (Read 4960 times)

Liadine (dragonflyeyes)

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Using songs in magic
« on: September 02, 2011, 02:23:10 am »
Does anyone else here use songs in their magic? I don't just mean overtly 'pagan' songs, but pop songs, classical music, and so on.

Music is important to me in a lot of contexts, and I've found that certain songs are useful while doing magical work. Usually it's just there in the background, but sometimes I incorporate the song into the work itself by putting the song on repeat and singing along with some of the lyrics while I work as a way to 'say' the spell.

For example, I've used 'Get Out Of My House' by Kate Bush while doing work to keep certain things (not necessarily people) out of my actual or metaphorical home. I've also used 'Night Terror' by Laura Marling while doing a protection spell for a loved one. I find that very few songs lend themselves to being used this way (it's a combination of lyrics and music that happens rarely), but I can usually spot good songs as soon as I hear them these days.

Thoughts? Experiences?
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Lecia Hale

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Re: Using songs in magic
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2011, 04:16:45 pm »
Quote from: Liadine (dragonflyeyes);17323
Does anyone else here use songs in their magic?

 
I  have a playlist on my iPod called "spellsongs".  Basically, they've all got lyrics that I can use for specific purposes. One on the list is Fuel by Metallica... "Give me fuel, give me fire, give me that which I desire."  Others are of a more personal nature, but you get the idea.
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Darkhawk

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Re: Using songs in magic
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2011, 05:22:32 pm »
Quote from: Liadine (dragonflyeyes);17323
Does anyone else here use songs in their magic? I don't just mean overtly 'pagan' songs, but pop songs, classical music, and so on.

 
I actually wrote an article a while back about mix-tape magic, the summary of which is:

Start with a song that describes the current condition.  End with a song that describes the desired endpoint condition.  In the middle, go through all the necessary transformational steps, and make sure none of the transitions between music disrupt the energy flows.
as the water grinds the stone
we rise and fall
as our ashes turn to dust
we shine like stars    - Covenant, "Bullet"

Liadine (dragonflyeyes)

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Re: Using songs in magic
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2011, 12:51:09 am »
Quote from: Darkhawk;17453
I actually wrote an article a while back about mix-tape magic, the summary of which is:

Start with a song that describes the current condition.  End with a song that describes the desired endpoint condition.  In the middle, go through all the necessary transformational steps, and make sure none of the transitions between music disrupt the energy flows.

 
I hadn't ever thought about mix-tape magic (though making mixes is a slightly obsessive hobby of mine). Is the article available anywhere? Either way, thank you, you've given me something to think about :)
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Darkhawk

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Re: Using songs in magic
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2011, 12:58:38 am »
Quote from: Liadine (dragonflyeyes);17558
I hadn't ever thought about mix-tape magic (though making mixes is a slightly obsessive hobby of mine). Is the article available anywhere?

 
Used to be, I'm not finding it right now, unfortunately.
as the water grinds the stone
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we shine like stars    - Covenant, "Bullet"

SunflowerP

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Re: Using songs in magic
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2011, 06:40:55 am »
Quote from: Liadine (dragonflyeyes);17323
Does anyone else here use songs in their magic? I don't just mean overtly 'pagan' songs, but pop songs, classical music, and so on.

Music is important to me in a lot of contexts, and I've found that certain songs are useful while doing magical work. Usually it's just there in the background, but sometimes I incorporate the song into the work itself by putting the song on repeat and singing along with some of the lyrics while I work as a way to 'say' the spell.


It's one of my standard methods - and I do it in very much the way you describe, singing along with those parts of the lyrics I most want to bring into the magic.  I find that's especially important when other parts of the lyrics are less relevant or even contradictory - the more there are some that are out-of-sync with my intent, the more I'll make a point of averting my focus from those.

Quote
For example, I've used 'Get Out Of My House' by Kate Bush while doing work to keep certain things (not necessarily people) out of my actual or metaphorical home.


I've never actually had occasion to use that one, but I've known for years (like, since The Dreaming, the album it's on, came out) that it'd be a kick-ass component in a banishing spell.

Quote
I find that very few songs lend themselves to being used this way (it's a combination of lyrics and music that happens rarely), but I can usually spot good songs as soon as I hear them these days.

 
I'm not sure if we disagree or agree here - on the one hand, I've found quite a few songs that work for this; on the other, they're only a very small percentage of all the songs there are.  Also, I'd say it's not just the combination of lyrics and music, but things like arrangement and style, so one artist's rendition of a song might work really well for a purpose but another might not work at all.

Something I was going to say earlier but missed, is that in general I prefer songs that aren't specifically or overtly pagan for this, but I don't know if that's really true, or if it's partly that pagan songs aren't, on the whole, any more likely to work well for this than non-pagan ones, and since there are far fewer pagan songs than non-pagan ones, my repertoire includes more of the latter.

A few examples of things I've used (incomplete list, just a few notable examples off the top of my head - most of the actual magical purposes involved are kinda private so I'm omitting that in most cases):
"Midnight Rain" by Wide Mouth Mason
"Lay Your Hands on Me" by The Thompson Twins
"The Voice" by The Moody Blues
Quite a few Rush songs, including but not limited to "Chain Lightning", "Vital Signs", and "Dreamlines" (Rush is a rare conflation of being really good at making songs that work well for this purpose, and fairly often using pagan themes - though even there, the two don't often overlap)

Rather inexplicably, Enya's "Orinoco Flow" is a very effective vehicle for my favorite "curse" (the subject is seen by others as s/he really is, not as s/he wants to be seen - not much of a curse really, except for those who are working hard to seem to be something they're not... but it's people who harm others with the false image they present that I get sufficiently PO'd at to bother cursing, so).  This isn't precisely the same kind of thing, since it doesn't involve singing along with relevant lyrics (as far as I can tell, none of the lyrics are relevant, hence inexplicable), though I do sing non-word sounds to bits of the tune.

As ritual, rather than mundane-world-practical, magic, The Beatles' "Here Comes the Sun" has been a staple of my Brigidfeast/Imbolc rituals (or, the last couple of years, belated Returning Light rituals), whether solitary or group, for over a decade now.

Sunflower
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buttercup

Re: Using songs in magic
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2011, 11:28:46 am »
Quote from: Liadine (dragonflyeyes);17323
Does anyone else here use songs in their magic?
Thoughts? Experiences?

Well, I don't use actual songs, but I make up little rhymes or just poetic strings of words and sing them as I do the spell.  Seems to me to be pretty effective.  But I've never thought of using other peoples songs.  Good suggestion!

GreyWolf

Re: Using songs in magic
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2011, 04:36:53 pm »
Quote from: buttercup;17613
Good suggestion!


Yeah it is! I never thought of that! I make up songs that I sing while doing spells, sometimes the spells are songs themselves...but I never would have thought of using "regular" songs in magic. That's a neat idea!!

Darkhawk

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Re: Using songs in magic
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2011, 04:41:04 pm »
Quote from: Liadine (dragonflyeyes);17323


 
Another one:

Random shuffle divination.  Can be done with a multi-disc CD changer, an MP3 library, whatever.  Pose the question; next thing on shuffle is the answer.

Some people have put together specific libraries for this, some just use whatever they ordinarily listen to.

My favorite random shuffle divination was a time that I was agitated out of my mind by something, and the random shuffle music seemed relevant, so I threw at the computer, "Okay, FINE.  Now what do I do?"

It started to play this.
as the water grinds the stone
we rise and fall
as our ashes turn to dust
we shine like stars    - Covenant, "Bullet"

Liadine (dragonflyeyes)

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Re: Using songs in magic
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2011, 06:33:09 pm »
Quote from: Darkhawk;17664
Random shuffle divination.  Can be done with a multi-disc CD changer, an MP3 library, whatever.  Pose the question; next thing on shuffle is the answer.


I've tried that before, but I found it didn't work very well for me. (I ended up making an actual oracle deck based on Tori Amos songs, though!) I'm glad to hear it has worked for other people, because it's such a fabulous idea that just knowing other people use it makes me happy. :)

Quote from: Darkhawk;17664
My favorite random shuffle divination was a time that I was agitated out of my mind by something, and the random shuffle music seemed relevant, so I threw at the computer, "Okay, FINE.  Now what do I do?"

It started to play this.

 
*BOL* Awesome.
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Liadine (dragonflyeyes)

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Re: Using songs in magic
« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2011, 06:43:40 pm »
Quote from: SunflowerP;17579
It's one of my standard methods - and I do it in very much the way you describe, singing along with those parts of the lyrics I most want to bring into the magic.  I find that's especially important when other parts of the lyrics are less relevant or even contradictory - the more there are some that are out-of-sync with my intent, the more I'll make a point of averting my focus from those.


Quote from: SunflowerP;17579
I'm not sure if we disagree or agree here - on the one hand, I've found quite a few songs that work for this; on the other, they're only a very small percentage of all the songs there are.


I think the first quote might be where we differ a little bit on how many songs work - I can ignore a certain amount of 'this doesn't apply here' in the lyrics or music, but only to a point. I find it very, very difficult to ignore a song, particularly if I know it, so I know that if a song has too many lyrics that don't apply to the magic then the whole thing might fall flat like a souffle.

On the other hand, I do agree that there are quite a few songs out there that work :) I just have... a very large collection of music, and a much smaller collection of songs that work for me.

Quote from: SunflowerP;17579
Also, I'd say it's not just the combination of lyrics and music, but things like arrangement and style, so one artist's rendition of a song might work really well for a purpose but another might not work at all.


Agreed. There are a few songs where the original does nothing for me, but a cover of it is in my 'could be used for magic' playlist, or vice versa. If the lyrics were all that mattered I could just stick to poetry, but the music and arrangement is a really integral part, and sometimes other artists really bring something to the table that works.
We owe it to each other to tell stories [Neil Gaiman]
night's a good herd [my religious tumblr]

GreyWolf

Re: Using songs in magic
« Reply #11 on: September 03, 2011, 10:55:24 pm »
Quote from: Darkhawk;17664
Another one


I did that exact same thing a few times, but it wasn't for divination purposes...my friends and I do that exact thing as a game. I asked my ipod what my career should be and I got "Airship pirates" by Abney Park. And a long time ago, I asked it how I would die, and it gave me "A Gorey Demise" by Creature Feature!! :eek:

Liadine (dragonflyeyes)

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Re: Using songs in magic
« Reply #12 on: September 03, 2011, 11:21:08 pm »
Quote from: GreyWolf;17737
I did that exact same thing a few times, but it wasn't for divination purposes...my friends and I do that exact thing as a game. I asked my ipod what my career should be and I got "Airship pirates" by Abney Park. And a long time ago, I asked it how I would die, and it gave me "A Gorey Demise" by Creature Feature!! :eek:


I've done that too! Funnily enough, that works for me, but proper playlist divination doesn't.
We owe it to each other to tell stories [Neil Gaiman]
night's a good herd [my religious tumblr]

Rhapsody032590

Re: Using songs in magic
« Reply #13 on: September 03, 2011, 11:54:12 pm »
Quote from: Liadine (dragonflyeyes);17323


Music is important to me in a lot of contexts, and I've found that certain songs are useful while doing magical work. Usually it's just there in the background, but sometimes I incorporate the song into the work itself by putting the song on repeat and singing along with some of the lyrics while I work as a way to 'say' the spell.


Thoughts? Experiences?


I use instrumental music like classical or some new age stuff in the back ground. I've also been know to sing my intent off the top of my head with improvised melodies.
I also used musical theater songs or pop songs charged with intent and power. An example I've used "Everything's alright" form Jesus Christ Superstar as a calming chant for myself or a group. I'm very musical in my practice as a whole.

SunflowerP

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Re: Using songs in magic
« Reply #14 on: September 04, 2011, 07:44:51 am »
Quote from: Liadine (dragonflyeyes);17689
I think the first quote might be where we differ a little bit on how many songs work - I can ignore a certain amount of 'this doesn't apply here' in the lyrics or music, but only to a point. I find it very, very difficult to ignore a song, particularly if I know it, so I know that if a song has too many lyrics that don't apply to the magic then the whole thing might fall flat like a souffle.

 
I almost typed a really long elaboration about how I might evaluate the balance, when I posted last night, but decided it was going to be a long enough post without that:).  It's complicated - not that it's complicated for me to do, exactly, since most of it is reflexive (but I learned the hard way that if I don't do a conscious check of what my gut is telling me, I might have a face-to-face encounter with the Law of Unintended Consequences), but explaining in words to someone else how it happens would be.

Especially, I don't know if I could explain the difference between non-applicable lyrics that I can just register as a null signal, and non-applicable in a way that would break the flow - how well I know it has something to do with it, but it's not a direct correlation; likewise choruses tend to carry more weight than verses but that's not absolute either.  Sometimes what matters isn't the non-applicable stuff so much as just how much ass the applicable bits kick - the more those bits resonate really strongly, the more I can ignore the non-applicable ones.

And then of course there's the bit where I go, "okay, that's not inherently applicable, but can it be made applicable?"

Sunflower
I'm the AntiFa genderqueer commie eclectic wiccan Mod your alt-right bros warned you about.
I do so have a life; I just live part of it online!
“Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.” - Oscar Wilde
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My much-neglected blog "If You Ain't Makin' Waves, You Ain't Kickin' Hard Enough"

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