Updated: Aug 28
Magickal music and art invokes wonder and inspires...
Great music + art should transport you from the mundane into a special psychological state - gnosis - much like a deep and successful meditation or an eerily insightful dream.
Making magickal music and art has the power to deepen your sense of the mystery of life and death, regeneration and disintegration.
This is a real and sacred gift that is badly needed in a cruel, chaotic, world where pessimism, nihilism, and withdrawal are what at first glance appears to be logical states of view to take given the state of affairs.
As creators, we are able to create real, tangible things from the invisible bioelectricity of our thoughts into the real material world.
I suggest we take in the real and create the super-real, as both a means of coping and to take steps toward the creation of the super-real itself - bringing it from a space just within the mind into the space without, as we do when we record a song or paint a canvas.
Life may very well be at times bleak and seem meaningless, but we can help to cast light into the bleakness, and cast meaning into a universe where it may not exist on its own accord.
How can we work to bring the sacred into our art and thus our lives and the lives of others?
1. Create an Altar:
Choose a type of Energy, in the form of a concept, Archetype, a deity, or your own Genius that is important to you. Obtain or Create a Physical Representation of the Energy You Wish to Embody.
This could mean your Ancestors, Hope, Nature, Jesus, Creation, the Sun, etc. My patron diety is the Goddess of Art, Knowledge and Music, Saraswati.
Make a spot on a bedside table or desk where you can set up a little “shrine”, or even just hang a picture on your wall. You can gather things from your home, and later add things from outside of it, that you think this Energy corresponds to. For example, I have one that is for Love. Aphrodite is the Goddess of Love, so I have a small picture that reminds me of her, some pink salt, some earrings and perfume, a wire rose my dad made me, and it all is placed on top of tiny marble slab. I add or take things at times.
Use this space to light a candle and say a prayer or mantra in conjunction with this Energy. Make something up. It may not always come out smoothly or articulately, and that is part of the process.
Always be grateful, and always stay humble. You may ask for things, but the basis of any prayer should always be “Thank You”. You are likely already blessed in ways you do not perceive or do not comprehend. No matter what you feel you may be lacking, it can always be worse, so be kind and thankful to yourself and to the Universe for what you already possess.
2. Research World Religions And Philosophies:
If you spend your time contemplating these works, they will inevitably impregnate your mind and add layers of meaning and nuance to that which you create.
The intellectual, scientific, and spiritual insight humanity has glimpsed throughout the centuries is truly awe inspiring.
While the news may be filled with stories of humanity’s worst and most destructive tendencies, the vast literature of the world is filled with our kindness, perceptiveness and ingenuity. We may be barbarians and apes, but we are yet noble in fleeting moments. Seek out these moments and you may have hope to feel it and convey that through the things you create. This will foster our connection with the divine and give us inspiration from which to create magickal music and art.
Improvisation is my most sincere and pure form of prayer and meditation, of reverence, of worship to the mysteries of creation. It is to me the best way to honour myself and whatever connection I have with the divine. Forming it into songs is secondary, although also important.
However trying to “hold on” to moments of inspiration in that way can lead to missing the connection at the moment of the note’s conception. It is like taking notes on a conversation; not only can it become distracting, but it changes the context of the situation.
Many musicians I know are quite uptight and lack a certain intuitiveness when approaching their instruments and often times their lives. This is a fear reaction I’m sure most people know quite well.
Turn down the lights, and light candles and incense. Close your eyes, hum and breathe and feel yourself ground. Feel your eyes, your arms, your hands, and your fingertips. Get in front of your instrument, hold it. Don’t think about what notes to hit, but let your hands and body move itself. I like to record these sessions, but if you have performance anxiety, this may cause you to miss the point.
The point is to have a moment between you and the Universe, no one else. Where you are simply matter and energy moving matter and energy, and where there is as little friction as possible from the mind.
Improvising can help free us from this expectation that things need to be “perfect” to be ok, to be loveable, to be worthy. This is how we can get to the source of magickal music and art – by getting out of the way.
4. Release Yourself From Judgment
We are often harsh critics, the criticisms we give others echoing in our own heads whenever we pick up an instrument.
The mind, with its psychic censor, will likely go about telling you that “that is so stale”, “that sounds like ___, they’ll think I stole it”, “I’m never going to get good” – or on the opposite side, arrogance: “this is so genius”, “I’m going to be rich”, “everyone wishes they were as good as me”. Both sets of thought come from fear and take the focus away from the art itself, cutting its light and dimming it.
It is not your place to judge your own music – of course polish things and make them as you wish – but in the end it is not “yours”.
It is just energy you are turning into movement.
You are the universe expressing itself. There is no need to feel fear nor pride over it. The monkey mind, the ego, will drive itself mad over its value in comparison to others regardless.
There are many things that we can do to feel connected to the sacred and create magickal music and art.
If we foster that connection it will come through in the art we create.
Some other things I do include spending time in nature, chanting, reading books on Magick and the Occult, and painting. Working with intention, following one’s intuition, and increasing the knowledge of one’s area of work are also valuable in this pursuit.
What else do you do to feel connected to Spirit?