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Music and the Occult

To: alt.occult.methods,alt.magick.tyagi,alt.magick,alt.pagan.magick,alt.paranormal.spells.hexes.magic
From: nagasiva 
Subject: Re: Music and the Occult
Date: Wed, 20 Mar 2002 20:29:21 GMT

50020320 VI (Lady Duvessa):
> Is anyone here also interested in the connection between music and the occult? 

I greatly enjoy using self-made (usually drumming or singing, but
sometimes other percussives) and recorded music within magical 
and divinatory rites or spells. I find that something inspirational
and quasi-shamanic, else psychedelic and trance-inducing, works best
(of course this is my favourite type of music at all times). 

ritual music taste (slightly off-topic)

my favourite music for such purposes right now is by early Pink Floyd
(first two albums: "Piper at the Gates of Dawn" and "Saucerful of
Secrets" -- collected together as 'A Nice Pair'). for reflection and
meditation I prefer Brian Eno's "Apollo", or maybe some later Floyd
as from "Wish You Were Here" or "Dark Side of the Moon". for a 
peculiar type of urban shamanism I love Meredith Monk's "Dolmen Music" 
and a number of albums by Laurie Anderson (at least "Big Science"
and "Sharkey's Night"). last night I got the Beatles' "Revolver" album 
on a 5-for-1 trade-in (did I get a good deal? unsure yet), only some 
of which seems to me suited to magical work -- particularly "Love You To" 
by Harrison, because I like sitar, and "Tomorrow Never Knows", which was 
the main reason I got the album (establishing a foundational collection 
of British Psychedelia as adjunct to Syd Barrett and Pink Floyd).

I have some wonderful memories of rituals involving both types of
music. several of them included professional musicians and their 
contributions to the working of a group. several of them were what 
I'd describe as 'art-magic' in that the ostensible reason for the 
gathering was a 'concert', but the result *I* (and some of my friends) 
experienced was that the event was a ritual of goodly proportions, 
and that the musicians had directed a congregate energy available 
through the medium of attention (Yes, Robert Plant, and Peter Gabriel 
come to mind).

general, occultism/music

but almost any kind of music can be used for ritual activities. I've
explored everything from Ministry and Megadeth, Throbbing Gristle and 
Skinny Puppy and Dead Can Dance to Enya, and Andres Vollenweider, 
Phillip Glass, and Beethoven! some kind of classical themes and 
variations can be extremely important to the development of a ritual. 

in fact, there are numerous ritualists and spellcrafters who describe
the value of *emotion* in ritual and magical construction. it is thus
a very personal and subjective selection as regards 'the best' or
'the most effective' music for these purposes. suggestions for music
for magic and ritual, therefore, can roughly parallel any discussion
in music forums about favourite tunes.

> Does someone have some interesting information about that?


the connection between music and mysticism more often appears in 
text, from what I've seen. Mickey Hart's drumming magic book is 
one of the more recent. there is a longstanding history of 
association between octaves and energy centers, and so some 
investigation into the 'Music of the Spheres' and tonal sync 
with mantra ('intoning' or chanting) and a variety of cosmic
theologies and metaphysics -- particularly Gnostic and, more
modernly, neo-Gnostics and Hermetics, will likely prove helpful.

books on art, such as "Surrealism and the Occult", can prove to
be quite insightful on the cross-over between the *playing* of
music or its expressions and occult arts and sciences. the
intersection between music and occultism spans from music that
is created by occult practices, to music integrated into or
inspiring ritual magic or divination, all the way to music AS
an oracular or magical event/phenomena. the related subject
category of music made *by* occultists, often containing themes
and ideas important to the occult community (e.g. Ministry's
"Psalm 69" after Crowley's chapter in "The Book of Lies", or
groups like "Coil" and "Current 93", who may actively practice
magic during performances, tends to distract from discussion 
of occultism proper as it extends into a comparison of taste.

blessed beast!


	Practice Only (divination, magic, alchemy)

[this is why I typically set the followups on quasi-theoretical
 inquiries to alt.magick.]

	Practice *and* Theory

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