Sunday, July 29, 2012

Mage Music: Whence Magick?

It was a very successful experiment.
-           Jimmy Page, Guitar World, 1993

Mage Music 12
How magical to get to use the word “whence” – never did I imagine I’d ever have reason to use it, but “Where Does Magic Come From?” is such a boring title for a blog post, don’t you think?

Last week on the official JimmyPage Facebook page, Sara said she can’t listen to more than one version of Tea For One or any Led Zeppelin song one after another because they are so intense she feels like they would stop her heart - she said she has to pace herself. It’s easy to feel that way about such powerful music. For me it’s particularly tough when I first begin to hear a Led Zeppelin song. Like Sara I feel that the act of listening could cause my heart to falter, my blood to cease to circulate, my lungs to be unable to take in oxygen ever again. That’s intense!

Intense… but not mundane.
What we’re reacting to isn't just ordinary music - there's plenty of music out in the world that's really great but it doesn't make anyone feel like they're having a near-death experience.  What we're reacting to is pure Power, and so much of the stuff that it feels like it is too much for a merely physical human being to withstand. Power... but not mundane. It's Magickal Power.

So where does this Magickal Power come from? And how is it that Mage Musicians can not only withstand the Power, but do so performance after performance?

Magick doesn't come from the Mage - let's get that straight. And so sorry, but Magick isn't a Super Power either.

Magick is a process that the Mage is a part of.

The process of Magick involves the Mage's engaging with and essentially becoming an active component of the evolution of the Universal Energy (you could call it Magickal Energy, Source, Great Spirit or just plain Power if you prefer) that everything that exists is made of, in order to bring about some change in the Mage's reality.

Desire, focus and ritual (conscious choice, will and action) bring about alignment with the Universal Energy that manifests as the change the Mage seeks. If the Mage fails in any part of the process, the whole process will fail. Failure means that something else will happen.  It could be good, bad or ugly - once the Mage falls out of alignment something will still happen, but it's the Universe, not the Mage, that "decides" what will happen.  

The Paradox of Control
The process of Magick is about control – having it and letting it go. The Mage has to have absolute control - not over other people or over things, but control of Self: Control of the Mage's own mind, thoughts, emotions and physical body. There needs to be so much control that the Mage can let it go; the goal is to move beyond it to as pure a state of simply being as possible.

In other words, the Mage's goal is to have no control of the process, of the Magick, at all.

This seemingly contradictory state of absolute control and absolute lack of control is like meditation - except that the Buddha had it easy: A Mage can’t do sitting meditation but must be able to perform the Magickal rituals while in the meditative state; a Mage Musician has to play a musical instrument while holding a pure state of being!

And to top it all, the Mage must also let the Power that results in the change in the Mage's reality do what it will.

To maintain sufficient control while giving Self to the music and the Magick and letting them manifest as they will is another seeming contradictory state of no will and free will, of control and no control. This is the true choice that a Mage makes: Choosing the end, then allowing the journey to happen; abandoning Self to the journey, trusting/knowing/believing that it will all come out the way it needs to; controlling to perfection and then letting it go… this is the choice that is made to allow the Power to pass through the Mage and into the Music, and it is the choice that means the Mage Musician is not burned out by the Magick.

A Mage Musician is a pure crystal lens that channels light without interference. No matter how strong the light, the lens is unharmed by it, but oh, beware when you are in the focus of that light! We mere mortal listeners to Mage Music risk frying our souls unless we, too, open ourselves and become lenses that pass the Light  through.

Future post:
Comments on Jimmy Page's playing a bit of Beck's Bolero in How Many More Times

Playlist for 07/29 post: How Many More Times
Please listen to these selections while contemplating what a Mage Musician is actually doing as he channels the Magick. 

Mage Music 12 Full Playlist on YouTube

Individual song versions:

Led Zeppelin Studio - Led Zeppelin 1969
Page & Plant Live Shepherds Bush Empire, London 1998 (How Many More Times begins at 7:00)

Links to other versions are appreciated.

No comments:

Post a Comment