Saturday, March 30, 2013


“If ‘all is one’... then the consciousness of one person can… change the consciousness of a billion people.”
~ Joachim-Ernst Berendt 1 
Mage Music 46: Transformation

Mage Music 46   

The concept of “all is one” is important for understanding how Magick works, since a Mage wields Magick to do one thing only:  Change his own reality.  In changing his own reality, a Mage can change the world.

Magick is another name for the source energy of the all-that-is. The process of Magick is one of aware, purposeful use of energy of the universe, as opposed to the unaware, unconscious use of energy that is how most human lives are lived.

Anyone can use Magick, but in fact only a few will.  Most will want but few will do what it takes to get what they truly want.

The Mage understands that it is not having that fulfills desire, but rather being.  A person does not have satisfaction and fulfillment - a person is in a state of being of satisfaction and fulfillment. Magick works because the Mage's whole reality is changed to the desired state of being.

The Path of Transformation

Magic requires a clear and absolute understanding of the change in reality that is desired. This means knowing, feeling, hearing, seeing, smelling, sensing and understanding in every way exactly what the new reality will be before it comes into being.

To achieve this level of understanding, the Mage constantly refines desire to match the outcome as it is revealed to him, purposefully omitting other considerations (the inertia of existing reality - including other people’s possible desires) from his awareness, and using powerful and unrelenting will to hold that feeling while performing ritual. 

It means making the new reality so real that the Mage no longer knows that the new reality doesn't yet exist. In essence, the source energy of the universe begins to resonate with the Mage and at that point, the ritual tips the transformation into manifestation.

The Time for Transformation

Unlike gods (or whatever spiritual being of your choice), which are the infinite stuff of source energy and therefore can manifest instantaneously, humans need time to manifest desires.  The ritual of Magick provides the time.  The more powerful – and pure - the desire and will, the less time is needed for ritual.

Mages are finite, human beings.  Mages who are also musicians can use the time provided by the ritual of music to hold the desire and will that will change reality.  The ritual is music, the universe resonates with it and so do the humans who hear it.

When you invite the music into your heart, you invite Mage’s Magick into your own soul.  In this way, without specifically intending to change you, the Mage effects change your own reality.

What was two - Mage and audience - is now one.  In such small steps the world is changed.

The World Is Sound: Nada Brahma: Music and the Landscape of Consciousness
Drawing from his friendships with composers and performers as well as his knowledge of new physics and Tantra, cybernetics, Sufism, and the works of Hermann Hesse, Berendt reveals the importance of sound in shaping cultural and spiritual life worldwide.

2  Reminder:  I use the masculine pronoun but there’s nothing to say a Mage wouldn’t be female.

3  Enjoyed listening to Lucifer Rising, among other Jimmy Page works while writing this. 

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Passion Play

Mage Music 45: Passion Play
Redlining the passion gauge
“…years ago in days of old, when magic filled the air.”
  ~ Ramble On

Mage Music 45

Back in the day when hot cars were as all-consuming as the new music brought to us courtesy of such guitar marvels as Jimmy Page, we talked about redlining.  It had nothing to do with smarmy financial practices and everything to do with living on the edge.

The term redline comes from the red bars that are displayed at the high end of a car’s tachometer.  If you were drag racing, street racing or just getting off the stoplight fast because you felt like it, you wanted those RPMs to be high to deliver the most power.  Winding the engine up to the red line got you the maximum possible from the engine at the risk of blowing it up.  It was dangerous, it could be costly.

It was worth it.  We couldn't help ourselves - we were passionate about the cars and the music and pushing the envelope.

On the emotional tachometer, passion is the human redline.  It’s not something that can ever be truly satisfied because it’s not like a desire for ice cream that goes away after you've had a banana split.  Passion is enduring and powerful - and when you mess with passion, you are in a handle-with-care state of being.

If you're a Mage, though, you can't avoid passion - it is actually two-thirds of the process of Magick.  

Desire can range from mild thoughts to an all-consuming lust for something.  Will - the drive to do something about that desire – can range from barely there to an unrelenting force.  When combined desire and will are at the high end of the emotional range, they earn the label of passion. 

You don't have to be a Mage to intuitively understand that any ritual of Magick needs to have some oomph behind it.  No one would expect a ritual to amount to much if the Mage only kinda-sorta wanted to, and only more-or-less felt like doing it.  With a car, high octane fuel provides more compression before detonating. Passion is high octane fuel for Magick.

But like with a car engine, redlining passion is risky.  Powerful surges of emotion are like powerful surges of adrenaline or high octane car fuel – they have to be burned off before they blow up the engine.  With adrenaline you have to take physical action.  With powerful emotion at the level of passion you have to feel it, surrender to it and let it take you where it will because if you try to control it you risk blowing up. 

Here's the tricky part:  The powerful surges of passion are barely controllable, and yet a Mage must channel passion through the ritual, the controlled component of Magick.  The Mage must have the technical ability to do justice to the music, and that ability must live in muscle memory so it doesn't constrict the flow of passion.  The skill (technique) must be such that the Mage doesn't think about the musical instrument as much as let it be played directly by the passion.

Mage Music: The Hands of a Mage
It's simple but...
If Magick was easy, everyone would be a Mage.  If channeling passion through a musical instrument was easy, everyone would be a Mage Musician. Magick is simple but it is not easy.

"That's my lifetime achievement - that people would be inspired by the music."
~ Jimmy Page, Echo music award 2013

Mage Music and music lovers everywhere congratulate Jimmy Page and Led Zeppelin on receiving the Echo music award.  Believe me, we're inspired.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Ain't No Emo Here

"I don't deal in technique, I deal in emotions."
   ~ Jimmy Page 1977 Guitar Player interview.

Mage Music 44

Mage Music 44: Ain't No Emo Here
Magick is a process of desire + will + ritual. Yes, I know I keep telling you that, but only because it's so important. Each of the parts is necessary, and the whole is fueled by emotion. It's possible that powerful enough desire and will could drive the Magickal process without emotion fueling it, but it's hard to believe any Mage with that much will and desire could be emotionless about it. After all, emotion fuels just about everything we humans do.  Emotion is connected with the most primitive parts of our brain - and not coincidentally, so is music.

It is because of the close inner connection of music and emotion that hearing music can make us feel emotion. In a sense, music (or the right kind of music) is emotion made manifest in the world.

The right kind of music - Mage Music - draws emotion out of our hearts and souls, mixes it with Magick and returns it to us so we are uplifted and purified.  Emotion:  It's what we live for. The rest is just experience that gives context for the emotion.  That's why we listen to Mage Music - it may not be the most beautiful, technically brilliant stuff, but it delivers what we crave.

Ain't Emo  

Not to pick on Emo, but it really is a poor excuse for what Wikipedia says is supposed to be "emotional hardcore" music.  I don't think so.  Emotion expressed as music isn't from "melodic musicianship and expressive, often confessional lyrics" but is from Magick.  A Mage digs deep into his own emotion and puts it forth through the ritual of music. No wonder Jimmy Page, having become arguably the most technically accomplished guitarist in the world, left technique behind in favor of the messy business of emotion.  If a musician can't deliver emotion, then all he's delivering is sound.  It might be entertaining but it won't be Magick.

♪ ♪ ♪ 


You might want to go back to listen to last week's playlist just for the pleasure of hearing how Jimmy Page pushes the envelope, exploring new ways to bring forth emotion in his music.  I love listening to the music I chose for this week's playlist because Domino (which is on both week's lists) and both the Embryos are such gutsy, meaty pieces.  No emo there - they are luscious and dripping with emotion and not a confessional lyric to be heard.  That's why I prefer Mr. Page's instrumentals - no matter how brilliant a vocalist he might perform with, it is Jimmy Page who brings the Magick to the music and it is his work I want to hear.

Domino evolved to become Embryo No. 2.  There are echos of the past and hints of the future in these two works, and that's worth listening for as well.

I threw in the bit of Ramble On that Jimmy Page did for It Might Get Loud because of his overdubbed commentary.  And last but not least, I find Jimmy Page's words at the end of Domino to be particularly lovely:  "That's the first time I've played that number for anybody, so thank you very much indeed."

No, thank YOU, Mr. Page.

Mage Music 44 Ain't No Emo Here

Saturday, March 9, 2013

It's Your Magick Too

"A rock concert is in fact a rite involving the evocation and transmutation of energy."
~ William Burroughs, Crawdaddy Magazine, June 1975. Rock Magic: Jimmy Page, Led Zeppelin, And a search for the elusive Stairway to Heaven 

Mage Music 43: Your Magick  jimmypagemusic.blogspot.comMage Music 43

This week's Mage Music came about because of a birthday playlist request.  You may have noticed I stopped doing playlists in these posts.  I realized how much time choosing the right music takes and, as important as this blog is to me, I nevertheless decided I needed to use that time for other things.  That makes this playlist a little more special.

I wanted to pick songs that have Magick for me personally (even though the list is meant for someone else), not just songs that are well performed.  The songs are not necessarily beautiful, the playlist doesn't even flow well from one song to the next.  I picked the songs because it seems to me in each one Jimmy Page was pushing, exploring, reaching for something deeper and more meaningful than ordinary music conveys.  I chose these particular songs, too, because the more closely I listen, the more they prompt me to join in that reaching.

This made me think about Mr. Burroughs' comment about what a rock concert is about, and what music brings to us, the audience - or, more specifically, about the Magick from the audience point of view whether or not the audience is at a live concert.

But I'm not going to talk about any of that this week.

You'll have to forgive me - or be PO'd if you prefer - for my not going further with these ideas right now.  I'm taking a little time off for other work.   Perhaps some of you have thoughts on this - I welcome them.  Right now, though, I'm leaving you with the birthday playlist and getting back to my other work.  Enjoy!


Note:  I recommend not looking at the visuals, and not paying attention to lyrics.  These songs are about the vision of Jimmy Page as expressed through the music produced by his own guitar.

White Summer Black Mountain Side  1969 (live)  Led Zeppelin June 27, 1969 London's Playhouse Theatre First released on LZ 4-disc boxed set 11/08/90
Lucifer Rising Outtake 2 1972 (studio) Jimmy Page, Album: Lucifer Rising
Guitar Solo 1977 (live)  Led Zeppelin  May 30, 1977 Landover MD (from bootleg Double Shot - sorry, the end of the song is cut off for some reason)
Cadillac 1986 (studio)  The Firm, Album: Mean Business
Emerald Eyes 1988 (studio)  Jimmy Page, Album:  Outrider
Saccharin 1993 (studio)  Jimmy Page, David Coverdale.  Unreleased.
Domino 1999 (live)  Jimmy Page, NetAid Benefit Concert.  Unreleased.
Nobody's Fault But Mine 2007 (live)  Led Zeppelin + Jason Bonham, Celebration Day O2 Concert
Ramble On 2008 (live) Foo Fighters, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones.  Wembley Stadium.
Summer's Day 2011 Happy birthday, Sue Clement.  Hope your day is special.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Devolution Device

Nam et ipsa scientia potestas est: And thus knowledge itself is power 
Mage Music 42: What It Is Sir Francis Bacon, Meditationes Sacrae (1597)

Mage Music 42

Back in Merlin's day Magick was still an accepted scientia, that is, a form of knowledge.  Today scientia is understood to be a discipline with exclusionary rules rather than of direct and personal knowledge. Magick has been reduced to the sleight of hand of Las Vegas, which is no Magick at all.

Magick is scientia in the original meaning of the term.  Knowledge of the true nature of Magick persists, though modern science can't explain it.  These days if a thing isn't science then science says the thing is fiction, and that makes the scientia of Magick harder than it has to be.  Of course, Magick never has been easy, truth be told - not even for a Merlin. After all, Magick taps into the foundational energy of the Universe, and if that isn't a challenge then what is?

Ironically, humans have an intuitive knowledge of how the Universe and its parts work because not only do humans live in this Universe - they are a microcosm of it. How could humans not understand Magick, then? We only have to look within.

Do Not Enter

Mage Music 42: Fiat Lux  jimmypagemusic.blogspot.comScience has made fiction of Magick in self-defense, even though Magick is an extraordinary and yet natural process of human manipulation of energy that works perfectly well. Magick has an impact on reality that can be directly known, if not exactly duplicated, measured and quantified. So what does it matter if science can't explain it? 

It matters because what Sir Francis said is absolute truth: Knowledge itself is power. How could anyone have control over anyone else if everyone could have knowledge... and thus power?  Ideas like that give entities that are in positions of control (governments, religions, science and other institutions) the willies - it's bad enough to them that there are artists loose out there.   

We have no Merlin these days because people with true knowledge threaten the social, scientific and political status quo, and wielders of true scientia can't afford to be blatant about it.  There isn't an Inquisition any more, but history warns us that there are plenty of ways of dealing with Mages that are darned effective besides inflicting physical pain, as traditional as that has been.

Still, there's no stopping scientia.   Discretion may be the name of the game in these modern, so-called "enlightened" times, but there still is Magick and there still are Mages. Some of them just don't use the same tools of the trade as Merlin did.