Galdr II

What about music? What about song? Well, those are good questions. How does one incorporate music and/or song into your magic? Well, for centuries, humanity has been touched by music, and knowing that there was something special and unique about it. There are tons of theories about notes and pitches and keys and modes and tones and scales and rhythms and instruments and vibrations. I have sought to familiarize myself with most of it, and in doing so, realized that most of it is pretty much worthless. Why? Because it fails to compare to the love song that makes your heart flutter, the punk rock clamor of drums and guitars, the soothing ballad of folk singers, and the hypnotic and pulsing rhythms of electronic music, and whatever else is popular and moves people and makes people identify with that culture or this sub-group based upon music which unites them all. So really, it does come down to making music that at least feels right and powerful to you, to work your galdr. All the different theories fall flat, when it comes to your own song and the galdr you can work with it.

Everyone can sing. Every One CAN sing, and because anything I say three times is true, everyone can sing. It’s true. Not everyone has the same timbre (that is the distinctive sound, like the difference between a trumpet and a saxophone) and some timbres are more “popular” then others. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t sing. It just means your voice isn’t popular. You aren’t going to be the next American Idol. Get over it. But your voice can still carry power and be used to sing galdr that can change the world, at least your world, if nothing else. To reach that point though, you need to be comfortable with your voice, and get it to do the things you want it to do. There are some ways to do this, which will help you.

One of the first things is how you breathe. Breath work is popular thing in contemporary occultism, as many books out there feature breathing techniques, from pranayama, to just focusing on your breathe; to holotropic breathing (check it out). The key to breathing for singers is to re-learn how to breathe naturally. If you have been doing breathe exercises for a while, you might have already stumbled on this by accident, but most people don’t breathe naturally, except for when they are infants, or when they are asleep. As infants, they just breathe. Their brain does what does, and the lungs fills and empty as the diaphragm is moved by the brain. When we are asleep, it is the same thing. To be consciously aware of natural breathing, the best technique I have ever learned is very simple. Lay down, flat on the floor. No pillows or supports, just flat. Then breathe. Feel your back expand a little, as it pushes against the floor. Notice that you shoulders and chest don’t heave up and down. That is how your breathe flows naturally.

The second part of singing and breath is to not start singing before you have exhaled. Your voice box can start vibrating to produce the desire sounds before the air starts flowing through them. This can cause problems later, if you do this too much or all the time. You might have heard of pop singers have “nodes” on their voice, and they have to be quiet for a few days, a week, or longer, while their voices heal. That is caused by singing before the exhalation. So, let the exhale begin before you start sing. This will also help in carrying your voice and even causing it to amplify, over time.

An interesting overlap in getting trained to sing and some of the exercise of magic is that the full sound of the human voice cannot be “controlled” consciously. The space of your sinuses and the jaws and nose are what is term as “resonant space”. You may have heard singers, whose natural voice just seemed to be very large and loud (even when they are singing softly) that just fills the space around them. This is because they have “trained” their body to let the sound fill that resonant space, which also amplifies the sound produced by the voice. This is also what theater types refer to as “projecting”. You aren’t shouting or yelling, but your voice just fills a space and carries. There is no conscious way to control this. But you can work towards it using (wait for it) visualizations. Basically, as you sing, you visualize the sound filling up and flowing in a certain way, one voice teacher I had suggested the image of a massive cathedral, and my voice was like a fountain of water, shooting higher and higher up into that cathedral. This is also how you learn to sing high notes too, but you can learn that on your own.

So, now that you have all of this in mind, lets move on to actual sounds. Take a breath, start exhaling and make a sound and sustain it. Guess what? You are singing. Easy, isn’t it? Keep making the sound. That sound you are making is a pitch. You can move that pitch up and down, and in doing so, you start to create a melody. When you add in another singer or an instrument, you have now created “harmony”. By harmony, it means that more then one note is present and combines in various ways. Some combinations are very easy on the ear, and it has to do with how the pitches relate to each other, in terms of sound waves. Other combinations can sound very “harsh” because their sound waves don’t line up the way the “easy” sound waves do. But they are all harmony, even if it doesn’t always sound like it. You can keep this in mind for galdr, where the “easy” sounds and the “harsh” sounds could be used to express certain feelings. Depending upon how quickly or slowly you move from pitch to pitch, that will create rhythm. Rhythm is one of those sneaky things that can make or break a song, and yet most people are often unaware of it, unless it really hits in you the face, like a march, or a dance. When it comes to song, it tends to play second fiddle to melody. These are the basics of most single person song. When it comes to other structures of music, I will present those, but melody, harmony and rhythm are the three main components.

Here is the fun part. Go to your music collection, which I am sure everyone has, and go listen to it. While you are listening to it, identify how some music or songs make you feel. Stirring love songs, tearful break up songs, stirring rock anthems, and pulsing, maybe even erotic dance music are all possibilities. If there are words, listen to see how the music works with the words, or against them. You might notice that there are some songs that sound happy, but the lyrics are actually really sad and vice versa. If something is fast paced, what is trying to express through that? If something is slow, what is it trying to say by being slow? How do you feel when listening to a slower song or a faster song? When the rhythm is driving and dominant, or when the melody just seems to soar above everything and floats along. When you have listened to 10 songs, and made (perhaps copious) notes, see if you can identify any patterns in your music collection and preferences and feelings. Does every slow song make you feel sad? Does every fast song make you feel energized or maybe angry? What gets you to feel sexual? Confident? Brave? Like you are touching the divine? Remember that. The purpose of this exercise is to help you familiarize yourself with what inspires feelings within you, and then you can incorporate that into your galdr. A galdr to prepare you to for that afternoon presentation can be sung in the way that reminds you of confidence. Before a night out on the town, you might want to sing a galdr that carries the feelings of sexual attractiveness. When you are feeling down and fatigued, sing a galdr that sounds energized and upbeat to keep yourself moving along. The possibilities are really endless.

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