...and the Beat Goes On.
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Article ID: 11200
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 2,597
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Author: Mama Fortuna
Posted: March 11th. 2007
Times Viewed: 3,839
“If she doesn’t have a job by the end of the week, she’s screwed.”
A friend in need is a friend indeed, and there’s no sense in being friends with witches if they can’t help sling the odds in your favor.
“I’m on it, ” I said, and promised to take care of it that night.
Walking home from work that night, the streets were empty and the air smelt like eternity. I figured I had an hour before I was due at the club, and I needed a shower before I’d be even remotely presentable. That didn’t leave much time for magic.
I took a pamphlet from a closed art gallery.
A logo painted on the side of a building I’d walked past a hundred times before took on new meaning. I got home and drew part of it from memory on the pamphlet, interbreeding it with the sign of Capricorn.
The sigil was ready for launch, and I even had time for a pre-club glass of wine.
The dance floor was my sanctum – before I got involved in behind-the-scene drama anyway – and the pulsating beat of the music was my key to unlocking the Universe. The image of my sigil burning behind my eyes, I danced until it felt like I was going to puke or pass out or explode and then made myself go just… a little… bit…. more.
There. Crescendo. Fire. Pant, wheeze, what just happened? And remember to breathe.
Took a trip to the ladies’ toilets to flush the scrap of pamphlet with the now useless squiggle on it down the pipes. Checked myself out in the mirror and saw only exuberant joy. Well, that and a lot of sweaty, tangled hair and smudged eyeliner.
My friend got a job within the week.
There’s a lot to be said for sending your consciousness out of your body, traveling astral pathways and gardens and far off planets, but some of my most intense magical experiences have been moments of perfect union of soul/mind/body. Everything just works together and there’s this terrific sense of not exactly being outside of yourself but rather of your Self expanding to touch everything in the known world.
Music is magic. It’s visceral and motivating and plays our emotions like a cheap guitar, making it perfect for inducing trance and altered states of consciousness. What genre you use is mostly a matter of personal taste, although I confess to constantly being surprised on pagan forums and message boards by what people choose to listen to: folk music and ‘traditional’ Celtic bands seem to be popular for reasons I just cannot fathom.
(To be honest, if you asked me “what is THE most magical band to ever have existed?” I would promptly reply “The Gorillaz” because they do not exist. A bunch of musicians assuming animated personas with completely made-up backgrounds, starring in videos they are never physically present for and performing concerts ‘live’ without ever once appearing in the flesh? How is that NOT magic? And if you answer “it’s slick marketing, ” then you flunk out of Magical College and have to go to Hogwarts with all the fake wizards, okay?)
What’s important? The beat, baby. It’s got to make you move. It’s got to make you groove. It has to be repetitive, but it can’t be so boring that you want to sit back down with your drink and wait for something better to come on. Not being musically inclined, I can’t tell you the magic equation that induces trance (although I’ve heard it’s 4.5 beats a second*) – I can only tell you to get out there and shake it until your thoughts fall away and the only thing that is left is The Beat, The Pulse, The Rhythm.
Go on, I’ll wait.
Dance as a sacred expression is not a new idea. (Walk like an Egyptian.) There are schools of dance that can trace themselves all the way back to temples, or to a bunch of drunk peasant folk boogying down to make the crops grow. And I am not the first person to feel that when she hits the dance floor she is GOD in platforms. I’m not the first person to invoke GOD in platforms, either. I remember dancing in utter exaltation of a certain deity, and then suddenly feeling His touch upon me, gently nudging my ego aside. I moved with Him, and He with me, and I wished it would never end.
“I offer this to you, ” I’ve said, “as an expression of love.” And then I speak with my body.
Under the flashing strobe, surrounded by the pulsating mass of your fellow man, you can feel Shiva’s dance of destruction through the floor. You can hear the raised voices of a thousand shamans in the background wail of an electronic track. You only have to open yourself to the idea.
Magic isn’t something you take out of the closet for special occasions. It isn’t present only in dark rooms with pentagrams chalked on the floor and pervy old guys in robes mumbling ‘ancient’ incantations and it isn’t solely in the undefiled glory of Nature; magic is alive and around you no matter where you are and whether you notice it or not. (Hint: it’s the noticing part that makes you a magician.)
So magic is in the disco. It’s in the raves held way out in the cornfields, in that gay club you dragged your conservative cousin to just because you felt like watching a dude dressed as Cher hit on him, in that concert you attended that made you feel like you were dying, in your basement when your stereo is cranked up to max volume and you’ve polished off a bottle of Jaggermeister.
Hell, magic could possibly be in a country and western bar, but I’m not brave enough to try and find it there.
Whether your goal is gnosis or something more mundane, music and dance offers an easy and enjoyable way to achieve it. You can be alone or surrounded by a few thousand people – in the end it is only the Beat that matters, and that you listen to it and heed its call.
See you on the dance floor.
* - (regarding 4.5 beats per second being ideal for trance) noted in "Seidways" by Jan Fries, published by Mandrake of Oxford
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
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