collapse
2019 Donation Drive

It's time for our annual Server Donation Drive! We need to raise at least $650 (same as last year) to keep The Cauldron's server online for another year. Please help! Either hit that Paypal button to the right and make a one-time donation in any amount or set up a monthly Bronze, Silver or Gold Donor subscription. You can find more info in this message!

Donations as of 24 Aug 2019: $260 donated. Only $390 more needed to reach our minimum goal!


Note: This total is updated manually, usually once a day


Author Topic: Music in ritual and magical work: tips, tricks, and experiences  (Read 1327 times)

Eastling

  • Master Member
  • ******
  • Join Date: Feb 2016
  • Location: Seattle
  • Posts: 484
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 305
  • Love and be free.
    • View Profile
    • Mystermercury
  • Religion: Dionysian pop culture paganism and heretical Judaism
  • Preferred Pronouns: He/him/his
I've really been all over this topic lately, so I thought I'd open it up to the Cauldron as a whole: how do you use music in your religious practice and/or magical workings?

More and more I'm realizing that music is incredibly key to my practice as a modern follower of Dionysos and his Queen, and I'd like to see how other people use it, too.

I'll be posting my own thoughts in a reply, but I'd like to hear from other people a few of the following things--as many as you feel interested in articulating:
  • Do you use music for religious or magical purposes? If so, why? (If not, why not?)
  • How exactly do you use it? What place does it have in your rituals or workings?
  • Do you have any particularly memorable ritual and magical experiences with music?
  • What methods work best for you and which ones don't?
  • Which particular songs, albums, playlists, etc have you had memorable results from?
  • Do you have any advice to give on the matter?


Or feel free to just express your thoughts on the topic in whatever form! I'm sure I've forgotten something, after all.
"The peacock can show its whole tail at once, but I can only tell you a story."
--JAMES ALAN GARDNER

Faemon

  • Grand Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: May 2012
  • Posts: 1229
  • Total likes: 9
    • View Profile
Re: Music in ritual and magical work: tips, tricks, and experiences
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2017, 11:11:28 pm »
Quote from: Eastling;203352
Do you use music for religious or magical purposes? If so, why? (If not, why not?)
Yes, because it feels closest to the nature of what I work with right now. Popular poetics for this stuff, I think used to be air because it was invisible and essential to life (spirit, spirare, to breathe) and more contemporary poetics take more from lay understanding of physical energy and quantum physics. I like music, theory and practice, so I often think of factors of the otherworld as operating in that way.

Quote
How exactly do you use it? What place does it have in your rituals or workings? Do you have any particularly memorable ritual and magical experiences with music?

I've had this cough for a month now, and had been a lot out of practice with singing before that...but before, I understood singing as a very physical bodily activity. It's almost an altered state of body and habit where there's a way to breathe and a way to pronounce words that's different from most of the time. Each piece in the repertoire had its own character and many possible decisions for what a singer individually brings to it. All of that has something to do with, or I relate it to, altered states of mind or world, and every aspect someone brings to the expression.

Now I compose tunes on my recorder flute or guitar, or humming into my phone's voice recorder. There's a melody for tuning the space, there's a melody for attracting/inviting someone specific I wrote it for in the otherworld, there are melodies to communicate specific common requests (although an answerer may not be involved, I believe the melody itself can influence that shift...but I haven't put them up to find out if they work for anyone else. Maybe it's only how I hear it.)

And sometimes it doesn't feel like me using music as a tool so much as I just feel like I can make music and want to. If that came from someone or somewhere uncanny, or ends up there, then it does...but most times they're just songs.

Quote
Do you have any advice to give on the matter?
I've had the privilege of studying this stuff and getting trained a bit, even owning instruments is a privilege...but I don't believe that composition or performance at all should be treated as something special, or that only gifted people do? Or only those with the money to learn the foundations to play an instrument or compose, have access to?

I generally sense this odd aversion to the art in the sense of composition being something mysterious, or performance always being an arrogant thing. I think that comes from very unnecessary limitations, although it could be so many people just aren't into it because so many people wouldn't be into it. And I can't imagine it's that, because I'm biased, I'm into it, and so I wish it were more common for just anyone to make new songs for this stuff. Like...filking for pagans and cunningfolk.


That said, if a song's already out there that I feel could fit into what's needed to do a thing, I haven't snubbed that just because I didn't make it myself.
The Codex of Poesy: wishcraft, faelatry, alchemy, and other slight misspellings.
the Otherfaith: Chromatic Genderbending Faery Monarchs of Technology. DeviantArt

sevensons

  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Join Date: Feb 2017
  • Posts: 168
  • Country: 00
  • Total likes: 5
  • | cure |
    • View Profile
Re: Music in ritual and magical work: tips, tricks, and experiences
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2017, 04:57:47 am »
Quote from: Eastling;203352
I've really been all over this topic lately, so I thought I'd open it up to the Cauldron as a whole: how do you use music in your religious practice and/or magical workings?

More and more I'm realizing that music is incredibly key to my practice as a modern follower of Dionysos and his Queen, and I'd like to see how other people use it, too.

I'll be posting my own thoughts in a reply, but I'd like to hear from other people a few of the following things--as many as you feel interested in articulating:
  • Do you use music for religious or magical purposes? If so, why? (If not, why not?)
  • How exactly do you use it? What place does it have in your rituals or workings?
  • Do you have any particularly memorable ritual and magical experiences with music?
  • What methods work best for you and which ones don't?
  • Which particular songs, albums, playlists, etc have you had memorable results from?
  • Do you have any advice to give on the matter?


Or feel free to just express your thoughts on the topic in whatever form! I'm sure I've forgotten something, after all.

 
With music I go into a new level I find the artist I listen to are clever beyond human understanding. the world changes every day so you need to change to go with the flow. it can be such a good learning curve in life. you need to discover life to ground out the best experience. believe in gods help to get the real shit going.

Chatelaine

  • Staff
  • *
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Posts: 710
  • Country: gb
  • Total likes: 45
  • Metaphors be with you.
    • View Profile
    • Are We There Yet?
  • Religion: Eastern Orthodox Christian
  • Preferred Pronouns: she/her/hers
Re: Music in ritual and magical work: tips, tricks, and experiences
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2017, 01:27:25 pm »
Quote from: Eastling;203352
I've really been all over this topic lately, so I thought I'd open it up to the Cauldron as a whole: how do you use music in your religious practice and/or magical workings?


I've always used a lot of chant for ritual. From Gregorian to Tibetan, either completely unaccompanied or with just minimal instrumentation (love me some singing bowls). The intro to Loreena McKennitt's 'The Mystic's Dream', just over 3 minutes of wordless male choir, still knocks me into meditative space. A friendly DJ has made me a 20-minute loop that I still use.

Unsurprisingly, I'm right in my element in the almost-completely-sung tradition of Orthodox worship. I still have a lot to learn about tones, but I try to sing as much of the services as I can, even at home. Sure, reading is faster, but singing is a lot better for focus.

I have also accumulated a rather bulky collection of Orthodox chant recordings, mostly off YouTube, and play them on my commute, during study, or to fall asleep to. It felt a bit weird at first, using devotional chants in mundane activities, but I soon got used to it. I do, however, get the occasional askance glance if others get to hear. It's not a very good time for foreign languages in public, unfortunately.
'You created us restless, O Lord, and we find no rest until we rest in You.'
~St Augustine~
Whole blog o' nonsense: Are We There Yet?

unveiledartist

  • Sr. Apprentice
  • ****
  • Join Date: Feb 2016
  • Posts: 59
  • Total likes: 1
    • View Profile
Re: Music in ritual and magical work: tips, tricks, and experiences
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2017, 03:52:38 am »
Quote from: Eastling;203352
I've really been all over this topic lately, so I thought I'd open it up to the Cauldron as a whole: how do you use music in your religious practice and/or magical workings?

More and more I'm realizing that music is incredibly key to my practice as a modern follower of Dionysos and his Queen, and I'd like to see how other people use it, too.

I'll be posting my own thoughts in a reply, but I'd like to hear from other people a few of the following things--as many as you feel interested in articulating:
  • Do you use music for religious or magical purposes? If so, why? (If not, why not?)
  • How exactly do you use it? What place does it have in your rituals or workings?
  • Do you have any particularly memorable ritual and magical experiences with music?
  • What methods work best for you and which ones don't?
  • Which particular songs, albums, playlists, etc have you had memorable results from?
  • Do you have any advice to give on the matter?


Or feel free to just express your thoughts on the topic in whatever form! I'm sure I've forgotten something, after all.


Yes. I use music in ritual. A couple of songs I like are I hear you calling by Chalice and Blade, Born of Water, Earth is my Mother, From the Goddess, and I am the Goddess. Hurt by Christina Aguierla and Cancao de Mar are not "Pagan" songs but the music moves me just as well.

Most of my rituals are outside with nature through dance. My body does it's own thing from happiness to tears. I can't predict it just comes.

I think it's good to do ritual with your own music as well. I write and draw, so many of my prayers and rituals are through the creative arts. I love music but I can't hit a note in a bucket. That distracts me from the ritual so I don't create my own music.

Does Dionysos and his Queen have any specific rituals they do? I'm not familiar with any Pagan gods and goddesses but I'd assume many of whom have their own worship preferences as well.

Emma Eldritch

  • Staff
  • *
  • Join Date: May 2012
  • Posts: 1265
  • Country: 00
  • Total likes: 67
    • View Profile
    • https://rocknrollwitch.blogspot.ca/
Re: Music in ritual and magical work: tips, tricks, and experiences
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2017, 02:22:15 pm »
Quote from: Eastling;203352
I'll be posting my own thoughts in a reply, but I'd like to hear from other people a few of the following things--as many as you feel interested in articulating:
  • Do you use music for religious or magical purposes? If so, why? (If not, why not?)
  • How exactly do you use it? What place does it have in your rituals or workings?
  • Do you have any particularly memorable ritual and magical experiences with music?
  • What methods work best for you and which ones don't?
  • Which particular songs, albums, playlists, etc have you had memorable results from?
  • Do you have any advice to give on the matter?


 
I love music in general, so I also love using it for ritual and magical purposes. I find it helps shift my mental state into one that is conducive to worship or doing magic. Generally speaking, before I start in on any of the mystical crap, I'll select one of my playlists and start it up. It sets the mood. (I have several playlists, and if a specific goal requires a specific mood then I'll create one solely for that.)

A lot of my early 20s was devoted to magical experimentation - it was the early 2000s, and I was one of those kids lurking around the Barbelith Underground - and a fun part of that was dancefloor sigil launches. Around the same time I was learning stuff like the Lesser Banishing Ritual, and I would practice while music played. I remember having a particular song line up perfectly with the Qabalistic Cross, which was a very shiver-inducing moment. So that's memorable for me.

I think the most recent impressively magical/religious music moment for me happened in October last year. I went to see in concert. I even dressed appropriately - ie: in skullface with a habit - because I figured if you're going to go see a bunch of nameless ghouls and a Satanic pope, you may as well go all out. And it was incredible. Aside from just being a great concert, it really was like being in a 1970s-devil-movie style church. 10/10, would recommend to any and all heretics.

I don't tend to enjoy 'pagan' music very much. There's nothing wrong with it, and I'm sure if I were ever to attend a large group working I wouldn't be put off by the Celtic flutes or whatever, but it's just really not my thing. It doesn't feel like it has enough balls or ovaries or something. I hear 'pagan' music and I expect to see Frodo and Sam come running over a hill - that's not what my religion or magic is about. I need something that grabs me in a primal way.

The only advice I can give for people looking to incorporate music into their practice is just to listen to a lot of it, and keep note of how it makes you feel. The stuff that makes you shiver, or your heart rip open? That's the good shit. And don't pay any attention to what other people might think of it. If Justin Timberlake makes you feel religious ecstasy, use it. Yes, we'll TOTALLY be judging your taste, but who cares? This is bigger than music snobbery.

Sefiru

  • Staff
  • *
  • Join Date: Nov 2013
  • Location: In the walls
  • Posts: 1676
  • Country: ca
  • Total likes: 334
    • View Profile
Re: Music in ritual and magical work: tips, tricks, and experiences
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2017, 06:46:22 pm »
Quote from: Mama Fortuna;203459
I love music in general, so I also love using it for ritual and magical purposes. I find it helps shift my mental state into one that is conducive to worship or doing magic. Generally speaking, before I start in on any of the mystical crap, I'll select one of my playlists and start it up. It sets the mood. (I have several playlists, and if a specific goal requires a specific mood then I'll create one solely for that.)

 
I don't use music in ritual much, but I do use it to regulate my mood. I have a collection of songs pretty much for this, based on both sound and memory associations.

One tip: don't just play music that matches the target mood; I find it helps to start with music that matches my current mood, and then use a series of tunes to shift over.

Emma Eldritch

  • Staff
  • *
  • Join Date: May 2012
  • Posts: 1265
  • Country: 00
  • Total likes: 67
    • View Profile
    • https://rocknrollwitch.blogspot.ca/
Re: Music in ritual and magical work: tips, tricks, and experiences
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2017, 10:06:07 pm »
Quote from: Sefiru;203493
One tip: don't just play music that matches the target mood; I find it helps to start with music that matches my current mood, and then use a series of tunes to shift over.

 
That's a really cool idea.

Darkhawk

  • Senior Staff
  • *
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Posts: 4815
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 692
    • View Profile
    • Suns in her Branches
  • Religion: An American Werewolf in the Akhet; Kemetic; Feri; Imaginary Baltic Heathen; Discordian; CoX; Etc.
  • Preferred Pronouns: any of he, she, they
Re: Music in ritual and magical work: tips, tricks, and experiences
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2017, 11:06:03 pm »
Quote from: Sefiru;203493
One tip: don't just play music that matches the target mood; I find it helps to start with music that matches my current mood, and then use a series of tunes to shift over.

 
I've done mixtape spells in this mode.
as the water grinds the stone
we rise and fall
as our ashes turn to dust
we shine like stars    - Covenant, "Bullet"

Eastling

  • Master Member
  • ******
  • Join Date: Feb 2016
  • Location: Seattle
  • Posts: 484
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 305
  • Love and be free.
    • View Profile
    • Mystermercury
  • Religion: Dionysian pop culture paganism and heretical Judaism
  • Preferred Pronouns: He/him/his
Re: Music in ritual and magical work: tips, tricks, and experiences
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2017, 08:58:53 pm »
Quote from: unveiledartist;203406
Does Dionysos and his Queen have any specific rituals they do? I'm not familiar with any Pagan gods and goddesses but I'd assume many of whom have their own worship preferences as well.


My own practice is heavily rooted in Judaism, so I can't really say how much the ritual I do "belongs" to Dionysos and Ariadne-Aridela, who also take very personal forms with me. But I'll talk a bit about the ritual I do for them below.
 
Anyway, getting back to my own post rather belatedly...

Quote from: Eastling;203352
I've really been all over this topic lately, so I thought I'd open it up to the Cauldron as a whole: how do you use music in your religious practice and/or magical workings?

More and more I'm realizing that music is incredibly key to my practice as a modern follower of Dionysos and his Queen, and I'd like to see how other people use it, too.


Music--and in specific my little black Sony Walkman MP3 player--has a dual role in day-to-day practice for me. During the week, it keeps me sane and functioning at work; on Friday nights, I use it as accompaniment to a meditative/ecstatic ritual.

For that, I always play through a single album or soundtrack--I could in theory use a playlist of my own creation, but I haven't tried yet. I suspect that using a musical arc created by someone else helps keep the ritual structured, though.

Some observations I've made:
  • I find music with a clear structure and meaning works best for me by far. There's some music out there, especially in the New Age category, that's designed to avoid this, and while that may work for some people, it doesn't for me.
  • Shuffle doesn't work for me. I get distracted wondering what song is going to come next.
  • Sometimes I don't want to get distracted by lyrics, so I find it useful to play music in a language I don't know. I sometimes use fan rearrangements of the music of a favorite Japanese video game for this, which gives a really interesting mix of the familiar and the foreign.
  • I tend to have several albums or arrangements I can play regularly to create a general musical atmospher, but when I need a specific effect I'll try something different--usually an album or soundtrack particularly suited to certain meanings.
  • For instance, using the soundtrack of a recent revival of West Side Story for a ritual focusing on Ariadne-Aphrodite's role as goddess of passionate and often star-crossed romantic love.


Some final (for now) advice: consider what kind of power you want the working to pack. A number of the things I've mentioned are mostly geared towards increasing a ritual's energy, but don't underestimate the effect that can have. I recently used the Born to Run album as background for one of my weekly rituals; I was over a year far away from my New Jersey home for the first time and dealing with too much stress and not enough sleep. I got very overwhelmed and wound up actually blacking out briefly when the title track came on. (I was fine, but it took me a minute to remember where and who I was.)
"The peacock can show its whole tail at once, but I can only tell you a story."
--JAMES ALAN GARDNER

Tags:
 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
23 Replies
4164 Views
Last post November 16, 2011, 02:53:42 pm
by mandrina
12 Replies
3897 Views
Last post September 14, 2014, 02:55:38 am
by NightQueen
25 Replies
1687 Views
Last post April 19, 2017, 04:35:50 pm
by Sorcha
8 Replies
1033 Views
Last post June 18, 2018, 06:51:20 pm
by Sefiru
4 Replies
401 Views
Last post May 07, 2019, 01:24:52 am
by EnderDragonFire

* Who's Online

  • Dot Guests: 30
  • Dot Hidden: 0
  • Dot Users: 3
  • Dot Users Online:

* Please Donate!

The Cauldron's server is expensive and requires monthly payments. Please become a Bronze, Silver or Gold Donor if you can. Donations are needed every month. Without member support, we can't afford the server.

* In Memoriam

Chavi (2006)
Elspeth (2010)
Marilyn (2013)

* Cauldron Staff

Co-Hosts:
LyricFox & Randall

Senior Staff:
Darkhawk

Message Board Staff
Board Coordinator:
Sunflower

Assistant Board Coordinator:
Aster Breo

Board Staff:
Allaya, Chatelaine, HarpingHawke, Jenett, Morag, rocquelaire, Sefiru

Discord Chat Staff
Chat Coordinator:
Morag

Reserve Staff:
Aisling

Cauldron Council:
Bob, Catja, Emma-Eldritch, Fausta, Jubes, Kelly, Phouka, Sperran, Star, Steve, Tana

Cauldron Assistants
[Non-Staff Positions]

Site Assistants
[Non-Staff Positions]
Webmaster:
Randall