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The Singer and the Song


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#1 CelticGypsy

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Posted 30 April 2011 - 12:42 AM

I'm inclined to accept that within the Witchs' life, she/he are both the singer and the song, and together they are most powerful, and in some traditions the link between song and spirit is expressed in the language. In many places terms for magic, and song, especially songs related to birds, are the same word. The old German galdr , for example, meaning a magical spell, derives from galan , which means to sing and it associated with birdsong. In N. America the Klamath Indians use the same word for song and spirit. The English word enchantment is often encountered in the Celtic lore and derives from chant . Most dictionaries point out its linguistic links with other terms that refer to magical-mystical- spiritual power as allure, charm, fascinate, and bewitch. The poet or storyteller in pagan societies was respected and revered for the wisdom and truth the people found in the songs or tales. Poets and singers were thought to have acquired their knowledge and wisdome directly from the gods or spirits. Most cultural mythologies contain an account of how poetry was a gift from the gods, or sometimes from a single god/goddess of poetry and inspiration.

In the Norse tradition, for example, describes how the god Odin hung on the ash tree for 9 days and nights ( I believe he was in a trance state ) , during which time he discovered the runes, the divinatory alphabet, the secrets of wisdom. The Norse god also drank the sacred mead of poetry, a potent drink brewed from the blood of the wise and all-knowing sage, Kvasir, and mixed with honey. We have knowledge that the 3 drops from Cerridwen's Cauldron of Inspiration bestowed on Taliesin far-ranging knowledge and poetic insights. In the case of Witch's and Shamans poetic truth comes from journeys to the Otherworld and the intimate relationship with helping spirits. The " fitness of things" can be found in nature, social relationships, art, and one's personal life. The Navajo's call it hozro , usually translated as simply beauty, but with much broader, more mystical significance, it is the beauty of cosmic order, the pattern of perfection woven into the fabric of the universe at the creation. Hozro is a combination of beauty and harmony, and the truth one finds in the blending of the two.

We live in a cynical age we have come to mistrust the spoken and written word through advertising hype, failed political promises, and the calculated, manipulative use of language in the media, not the least of which is heard in popular song lyrics. In more innocent times truth was divine. " A man is as good as his word " was an aphorism that was taken seriously. The need to "save face" before one's family, village, or tribal associates was paramount to a meaningful life. Loss of face implies loss of faith, and someone who violated his or her word could never be trusted again.

Regards.
Gypsy

" The last thing you wanted a Witch to do is get bored and start making her own amusements, because Witches sometimes have erratically famous ideas about what was amusing "

 

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#2 Nineheart

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Posted 30 April 2011 - 01:45 AM

Very thought provoking, Gypsy, I instinctively thought of bards as I read through. The tales and knowledge are still alive today and proverbs help provide the connection. It's disgusting that constant lies and manipulating people are rife today and being suspect of others is the only way to ensure one's safety and well-being. I feel the witch is responsible for providing a moral compass to others and helping guide them to benefit society.

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#3 CelticGypsy

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Posted 30 April 2011 - 03:49 AM

Very thought provoking, Gypsy, I instinctively thought of bards as I read through. The tales and knowledge are still alive today and proverbs help provide the connection. It's disgusting that constant lies and manipulating people are rife today and being suspect of others is the only way to ensure one's safety and well-being. I feel the witch is responsible for providing a moral compass to others and helping guide them to benefit society.



Yes, I reflect on Bards too, the riddles of song/poetry/ truths. One of the most striking legends of the Bard/Witch/ Shaman is a teller of truth is the story of Thomas the Rhymer, a medieval ballad set in Scotland and recorded in different versions over the the centuries. One day a young poet and harper named Thomas was sitting under the Eildon tree when a beautiful woman rode up on horseback. She was the Queen of Elfland, and she " enchanted " Thomas with her beauty, luring him into the faery realm where he remained for for seven years ( 7 implies the time frame of shamanism ) he enjoyed her sexual favors but always longed to return to mortal life. In time she released him and returned to " Ordinary reality ", but the queen's farewell to him was a gift that would render him forever a stranger among mortals...( He wasn't Ordinary any more ) the inabilty to speak anything BUT the truth. For the rest of his life Thomas the Rhymer lived with the burden of truth, he could neither utter a falsehood NOR look over deception. Depending on how you look at it, Thomas the Rhymer was either blessed or cursed with the responsibility of telling the truth. Is it the because he was shamanistic with a personal insight to the " fitness of things " ??? He claimed " I saw more than I can tell, and understood more than I saw, for I was seeing in a sacred manner the shapes of all things in the spirit, and the shape of all the shapes as they must live together like one being ." Very much what the Souix shaman Black Elf would say. ( Black Elk Speaks : Author : John G. Neihardt, 1975 ) for reference.

Regards,
Gypsy

" The last thing you wanted a Witch to do is get bored and start making her own amusements, because Witches sometimes have erratically famous ideas about what was amusing "

 

Terry Pratchett Legends 1 


#4 Dream Walker

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Posted 30 April 2011 - 05:42 AM

I think this ties in with an older thread by Michele about Galdorcrafet wherein the power of the spell or chant is derived from sound itself. In Xtian tradition Viva Voce means with living voice. Things like Gregorian chants and Baso Profundo are examples. If anyone has been to a Gnostic/Hermetic mass they may have noticed this being observed in the naming of the Arch Angels. For that matter, a Catholic priest does the same in most masses and a hymn is thought to be worth more (or more powerful) than a prayer.
"Time is a moving image of eternity" - a mechanical copy of a more profound reality.
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#5 CelticGypsy

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Posted 30 April 2011 - 12:20 PM

I think this ties in with an older thread by Michele about Galdorcrafet wherein the power of the spell or chant is derived from sound itself. In Xtian tradition Viva Voce means with living voice. Things like Gregorian chants and Baso Profundo are examples. If anyone has been to a Gnostic/Hermetic mass they may have noticed this being observed in the naming of the Arch Angels. For that matter, a Catholic priest does the same in most masses and a hymn is thought to be worth more (or more powerful) than a prayer.


Dream Walker, you gave me thought. While I've never been to any other type mass but the catholic and occassional protestant wedding. What is to stop the Witch in developing his/her own hymn/incantation within the body of a soul/song as you hint on the subtle remark of " worth more ( or more powerful ) " ? While xtian priests, and monks, already have this chanting taught to them, or handed down, or memorized the words to a repetitive. Also, I believe that this is a group effort, as lets say a congregation of sorts. All those present at this recognizing of these chants, are in one accord with the energy of the place/surroundings. I believe there is a much deeper reason, and I'm personally seeking out an answer for myself. I'm semi-believing that in developing this personal song, as a solitary, would offer a key, to some closed doors of the mind/brain. Open up something that has laid dorment for the seeking Witch.

Regards,
Gypsy

" The last thing you wanted a Witch to do is get bored and start making her own amusements, because Witches sometimes have erratically famous ideas about what was amusing "

 

Terry Pratchett Legends 1 


#6 Dream Walker

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Posted 30 April 2011 - 02:37 PM

Dream Walker, you gave me thought. While I've never been to any other type mass but the catholic and occassional protestant wedding. What is to stop the Witch in developing his/her own hymn/incantation within the body of a soul/song as you hint on the subtle remark of " worth more ( or more powerful ) " ? While xtian priests, and monks, already have this chanting taught to them, or handed down, or memorized the words to a repetitive. Also, I believe that this is a group effort, as lets say a congregation of sorts. All those present at this recognizing of these chants, are in one accord with the energy of the place/surroundings. I believe there is a much deeper reason, and I'm personally seeking out an answer for myself. I'm semi-believing that in developing this personal song, as a solitary, would offer a key, to some closed doors of the mind/brain. Open up something that has laid dorment for the seeking Witch.

Regards,
Gypsy



There is even a computation of sorts determining how many prayers a hymn is worth but I can't seem to remember it. Your on the money with the group aspect (Cf. Matt. 18:20) basically says that when the rosary is said in groups it is more powerful and invokes Jesus himself. I know many hate the Xtian dogma and what not but their ritual practice has been honed by thousands of people over a huge expanse of time. Some things are worth learning I suppose. If you haven't seen the video I posted in the Galdorcrafet thread you must! It is the absolute apex of Xtian chants.


"Time is a moving image of eternity" - a mechanical copy of a more profound reality.
- Plato/ Tobias Churton

#7 winter night

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Posted 01 May 2011 - 08:18 AM

As a musical person I really agree with your post CG,

Hope I am not taking this thread on a tangent, but I would give an example of what I mean here:

When I have read me wee ones their stories at bedtime, I will always sit for a while and sing them to sleep.
The song and melody is never the same, and I just draw on what comes naturally at that time. It mainly runs along the theme of wrapping them up tight for the night, protecting them, describing the land and sky, animals going to sleep and the day turning to night (etc - you get the idea!)

It is the casting a spell - to send them protection and love, while they sleep. I hadnt quite thought of it in this way until I read your thread, but thats just what it is.

Like the lullabys sung through the years, these are songs for protection.

I think what I am trying to say is that it is just not singing for singings sake. Hope this hasn't confused everyone! LOL!


#8 CelticGypsy

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Posted 01 May 2011 - 02:36 PM

As a musical person I really agree with your post CG,

Hope I am not taking this thread on a tangent, but I would give an example of what I mean here:

When I have read me wee ones their stories at bedtime, I will always sit for a while and sing them to sleep.
The song and melody is never the same, and I just draw on what comes naturally at that time. It mainly runs along the theme of wrapping them up tight for the night, protecting them, describing the land and sky, animals going to sleep and the day turning to night (etc - you get the idea!)

It is the casting a spell - to send them protection and love, while they sleep. I hadnt quite thought of it in this way until I read your thread, but thats just what it is.

Like the lullabys sung through the years, these are songs for protection.

I think what I am trying to say is that it is just not singing for singings sake. Hope this hasn't confused everyone! LOL!


Confused ? I think not, with this thread, you have been a candle on my path. I don't have small children, nor grand children to set in motion this type of mystical soul song. I will align myself up with one of my cats. You are so right on the mark, " it is just not singing for singings sake ". Myself, not being a music person would of not contemplated the analogy of just a simple lullabys, and the freedom of acknowledging that the " personal song " is not bound to be the same song or melody. Brilliant illumination Winters, thank you so much.:hug:

Warmest Regards,
Gypsy

" The last thing you wanted a Witch to do is get bored and start making her own amusements, because Witches sometimes have erratically famous ideas about what was amusing "

 

Terry Pratchett Legends 1 


#9 winter night

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Posted 01 May 2011 - 06:44 PM

Confused ? I think not, with this thread, you have been a candle on my path. I don't have small children, nor grand children to set in motion this type of mystical soul song. I will align myself up with one of my cats. You are so right on the mark, " it is just not singing for singings sake ". Myself, not being a music person would of not contemplated the analogy of just a simple lullabys, and the freedom of acknowledging that the " personal song " is not bound to be the same song or melody. Brilliant illumination Winters, thank you so much.:hug:

Warmest Regards,
Gypsy


its your posts which get my mind thinking, so thank you CG! :cheers: and what with all that Irish in you, you are bound to be musical!


#10 CelticGypsy

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Posted 01 May 2011 - 06:55 PM

and what with all that Irish in you, you are bound to be musical!


LOL, I'm going to attempt to give you a visual of my musical self. Put one finger to your nose and close off one nostril, with the opposite finger, tap away from the open nostril, while humming the tune of " How Dry I Am ". That's my musical self, oh I can whistle a bit too. But as far as a musical instrument, no talent what so ever. Yet I adore music and have it playing all the time through the house.

Regards,
Gypsy

" The last thing you wanted a Witch to do is get bored and start making her own amusements, because Witches sometimes have erratically famous ideas about what was amusing "

 

Terry Pratchett Legends 1 


#11 Tana

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Posted 02 May 2011 - 11:27 PM

As a musical person I really agree with your post CG,

Hope I am not taking this thread on a tangent, but I would give an example of what I mean here:

When I have read me wee ones their stories at bedtime, I will always sit for a while and sing them to sleep.
The song and melody is never the same, and I just draw on what comes naturally at that time. It mainly runs along the theme of wrapping them up tight for the night, protecting them, describing the land and sky, animals going to sleep and the day turning to night (etc - you get the idea!)

It is the casting a spell - to send them protection and love, while they sleep. I hadnt quite thought of it in this way until I read your thread, but thats just what it is.

Like the lullabys sung through the years, these are songs for protection.

I think what I am trying to say is that it is just not singing for singings sake. Hope this hasn't confused everyone! LOL!


SO TRUE!! It made me tangentially think of the traditions of story and song telling and how much of that was linked to spellcraft. It strongly reminds me of the excellent read "Women who run with the wolves". Also for the legacy of references to Witchcraft in our poetic, song and storytelling traditions read Robert Graves equally inspiring "The White Goddess".



)0( Tana )o(

If I break faith with thee, may the skies fall upon me, the seas drown me, and the earth rise up and swallow me.

#12 winter night

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 09:07 AM

SO TRUE!! It made me tangentially think of the traditions of story and song telling and how much of that was linked to spellcraft. It strongly reminds me of the excellent read "Women who run with the wolves". Also for the legacy of references to Witchcraft in our poetic, song and storytelling traditions read Robert Graves equally inspiring "The White Goddess".



those books sound really interesting - going to have to check these out - thanks Tana!


#13 LdyShalott

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 04:53 PM

Awesome and thought provoking thread.. from storytellers to chants. It all seems to be rooted in the alchemy of sound. Observation leads me to note how many indigenous peoples use some form of sound, ie song, chant , drumming for ceremonial and sacred purposes. There is power in sound, vibrations creating healing, protection and shifting of energies... CG , I am liking your notion of "developing a personal hymn /incantation within the body of a soul/song."

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#14 CelticGypsy

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Posted 29 July 2011 - 11:17 PM

[quote name='LdyShalott' timestamp='1304441635' post='98452']
Awesome and thought provoking thread.. from storytellers to chants. Could " chimes " hold a key ?

It all seems to be rooted in the alchemy of sound. YES ! Observation leads me to note how many indigenous peoples use some form of sound, ie song, chant , drumming for ceremonial and sacred purposes. There is power in sound, vibrations creating healing, protection and shifting of energies... CG , I am liking your notion of "developing a personal hymn /incantation within the body of a soul/song."
Thanks, I'm thinking Wind Chimes could give the Witch a new tool, to develope the Witches Ear.:thinking: We all know when we develop or see by purpose or even accidentally, the Witches Eye, do we not ? :thumbsup: What about the Witches Ear ?

Regards,
Gypsy

" The last thing you wanted a Witch to do is get bored and start making her own amusements, because Witches sometimes have erratically famous ideas about what was amusing "

 

Terry Pratchett Legends 1 


#15 Michele

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Posted 29 July 2011 - 11:36 PM

I'm inclined to accept that within the Witchs' life, she/he are both the singer and the song...

Regards.
Gypsy
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I believe it was Mr. Chumbly who found the Lover and the Beloved to be the same...

M


#16 CelticGypsy

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Posted 29 July 2011 - 11:57 PM

I believe it was Mr. Chumbly who found the Lover and the Beloved to be the same...

M



I'm not readilly familiar with Mr. Chumbly, just from what has been said here ( on the Forum ) as reference(s). These ponderings I've had are mine to figure out, piece together, and find resonation with them. I get weary of " shelving " my ponderings for another time, with any intelligence those here can illuminate me, or nod their experianced approval, as they have had these experiances and found them worthy to keep with them on their individual path. I can only keep on plugging away, as I'm tenacious that way, I really believe that the Witch has her/his own powerful personal Song and I mean to find mine. It's not a tool, in a tangible way, you can't touch it, smell it, or see it, but it is a tool just the same, as you can hear it, it comes to life when you use it. It becomes one with the Witch, like active breath, in my wee opinion.

Regards,
Gypsy

" The last thing you wanted a Witch to do is get bored and start making her own amusements, because Witches sometimes have erratically famous ideas about what was amusing "

 

Terry Pratchett Legends 1 


#17 8people

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Posted 30 July 2011 - 01:10 AM

I actually find this quite interesting as when I was younger I used to sing near constantly. Whilst at a Christian school my interest in the supernatural and the craft were curbed and I was scolded, within weeks of stopping reading, writing and talking about anything in the vein of the craft I literally lost my singing voice.

Whilst my voice has (mostly) returned there's a sense something is missing, I hope to find my song again one day. Perhaps a matter of confidence.


#18 Michele

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Posted 30 July 2011 - 01:26 AM

It's not a tool, in a tangible way, you can't touch it, smell it, or see it, but it is a tool just the same, as you can hear it, it comes to life when you use it. It becomes one with the Witch, like active breath, in my wee opinion.

Regards,
Gypsy


And that is, IMHO, a big part of the greater work... when seperateness is erased and the witch no longer manipulates the current, but BECOMES the current (which she always has been)... and as you say, the singer becomes the song :-) xoxox

M


#19 RavenFlyer

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Posted 30 July 2011 - 05:13 AM

While reading this thread all I could think about was the movie Hocus Pocus and this scene in particular: (This is the scene where Sarah the witch sings into the night and causes all the children of salem to leave their houses and come to their cabin).




And so after thinking about that my thoughts went to the pied piper. Yes the piper played a flute, but it was still a song. And magic was definitely involved in this action in my opinion. So I think once the witch finds his/her song magic would definitely be workable through just the singing or playing of the song.

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#20 CelticGypsy

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Posted 30 July 2011 - 02:29 PM

I like these references, Raven. I've not seen this movie, but yes it's a beneficial visual. The Pied Piper, another good reference. What I'm seeking to find, is that melody, that I believe was given to some at birth, or some who have stumbled upon their melody, and know that is them in the melody. Those musical notes, that have Alchemist power, whether it be a chant, a hum, a rhythm. Once the melody is established within, the words follow. Especially for those like myself who have no musical talent, but I don't think really a "talent" is necessary, although it helps for sure. We have some really gifted/talented Witches here, they are confident in their gift/talent, so this Alchemist power comes easy for them. While I have a deep desire to attain this and call it my own, my confidence level is being stirred in this direction, as I can't let go of the Witch becomming the Melody/Song. It's a bee in my bonnet, which I'm beginning to find, pleasantly annoying !! LOL ! And something as simple as a Wind Chime, has been a subtle way of illumination. I've even found that my Wind Chimes, sing differently when they are blowing in the rain, verses just the wind. The rain added another/different subtle sound to them. So I have 2 Elements to work with, Wind/Air, Rain/Water. :thinking: lol ! I wonder if I took a flame and you know how heat has it's own properties, as in wafting up, the eye sees the currants of the heat, and within that currant objects move? Think about how one has a fire outside, and the heat rising from it would make the leaves on a tree, shudder ? Even when there is no Wind?


Regards,
Gypsy

" The last thing you wanted a Witch to do is get bored and start making her own amusements, because Witches sometimes have erratically famous ideas about what was amusing "

 

Terry Pratchett Legends 1