A little more of an upbeat subject this month and one of my favorite topics in general.
As far back as I can remember, music has always been a part of me. From those times in my earliest memories when it was country music of the late ’70s (I am in Appalachia after all) on the radio that was always on, or my dad belting out his favorite songs to sing at his band practices or the last black metal album I got into last week. I’ve loved it all.
It’s a family rite of passage. My grandfather was a fiddler, mandolin, and guitar player - and he brought up my dad in much the same way. Music.
Me, I’m a drummer and used to be an aspiring singer, but not so much these days. Age, time, and opportunity have not gotten along very well to be able to be active for a while now.
But even though I’m not playing, there is always, ALWAYS, a soundtrack in my head. I carry earbuds with me everywhere and I have extra pairs stashed in multiple areas. I need it. I breathe it.
My tastes have certainly changed since those early days. I went from the country-western background to the complete opposite end of the spectrum and everything in between. I didn’t even know there were other types of music until my parent’s split up and I moved down off the mountain, lol. But there it was. Rock radio on the bus to and from school in the mornings and my mind was blown.
Michael Jackson, Roy Orbison, Tears for Fears, George Michael - on and on and on. Anyone who was anyone in the mid to late 80’s that you can think of. I was like a sponge absorbing it all.
I didn’t have a particular genre that really pulled me in. Until, (lol) of all things, ZZ Top. Man what a ride that was. It was ZZ and then Aerosmith and with that came all of the hair metal, Motley Crue, Gn’R, Skid Row, man it was electric! Then.. Nirvana happened and it was the turn of another page.
I could literally go on and on and on about the different influences that sprang out of those early days. But, I want to bring it to my adult years and where I realized just how important music really is to me.
I’m a metalhead. First and foremost. I love a lot of genres but metal is my soul.
A soundtrack to many moonlit nights, bonfires, and adventures. I turned face-first into the goth aesthetic.
Candelabras, crushed red velvet, incense, an entire wardrobe of black. I let the outside match the inside. Black metal, pentagrams, and corpse paint. They all lifted my spirits better than any drug I've ever tried.
I had three defining bands, one was The Misfits, the second GWAR, and then Cradle of Filth.
Those guitars and double bass riffs made me imagine that I was floating in a river of sound waves that would wash over me and take me wherever they wanted to.
I'm sure you know that feeling. When you know, you know. That riff, that chorus, that solo of that song that grafts itself to your brain. Your tastes may change, but you'll always be able to come back to that moment every time that song plays.
Now, there is also the use of music in rituals. Adding just the right soundtrack before, during after your practice, your prayers, your offerings.
This to me is as much a part of the magick as your wand, your cards, or candles. Music helps set the mood and your mindset to be open and receptive and to offer a hospitable place for your deities and ancestors to have a tranquil and receptive gathering place as you go through your rites.
There’s something about finding just the right soundtrack and how it can transport you to another time and another place. You feel it in your soul, it helps transcend you to another level of connection to your deeper self.
I have always used some kind of ambient, instrumental music, as described from videos as “Pagan” or “Norse” or “Celtic” and that has always set the tone just fine.
One night I discovered a deeper connection to my spirituality and music like I had never known before. It anchored itself to my core. (I hope everyone gets to have a true experience like I had and can make it their own). I was enjoying a playlist from YouTube that was in this category of “pagan” music as I had mentioned and relaxingly fell asleep. But, I woke up in the middle of the night and was completely and totally transfixed by what I was witnessing. It spoke to me in a way that no other group or artists in this genre had ever come close to hitting. A group named Heilung. Absolutely amazing. That’s when I felt that pull on my soul from the inside and understood that I was missing an element in my spiritual life. When you know something that connects to you from the past deep inside you, don’t let it go. Embrace it, let it speak to your subconscious letting it take you further into your spells and ceremonies than you ever thought possible.
No matter your religion or practice be it Pagan, Christian, Satanic, or anything in between. There's a soundtrack out there that will add just that extra element to your setting and your practice.
A poesy for the music ingrained into us that gives us our motivation and soundtracks to memories.
Spilling into your mind
Like a dam that broke away
Lifting you higher and higher
When you didn’t know you were down
There’s nothing as moving as music
When your soul is so hard to be found
Till next time. H.B.VV.
The HellBilly Pulpit Blog by @hellbillyvvitch