I’ve been singing most of my life. Singing has been a hobby and, for a short while, I made a career out of it. Singing is part of my regular magical practice. I’ve discovered insights about my magic, how I approach life, and how I enter into devotion. All this by simply opening my mouth and letting the melodies take flight.
Singing With The Land
I stood in a stone circle, leaned against a marble altar, faced the snow-capped mountain that dominated my view, took a deep breath in, and began singing. I sang for thirty minutes straight, repeating the same few lines over and over again.
Picture the same scene, but now I’m deep in a redwood forest, thick with trees. Or, if you like, at the top of a thundering waterfall. Same act, repeated in my back yard.
Silence First, Then Singing
A key component to remember is silence, which might strike you as odd, considering I’m talking about singing. When I find myself in a wondrous place and overcome with the idea of singing with the land, I stop and listen. I fall into silence.
I notice the songs of the place I’m in. It could be bird calls, or a rushing river, or the moving air about the the place. The act of listening brings me present and let’s me know who else is about. It’s a bit like being at a gathering of people, listening to the conversations, and determining what, if anything, I have to add to the conversation. Often, I don’t sing. The place is alive with sounds and my noises wouldn’t add anything.
Singing And The Tingles
Singing and The Tingles, sounds a bit like a band from the early 1960’s, but I’m being serious here. On occasion, when I sing I get all tingly like.
Who knows what it is exactly. Perhaps it’s the presence of the gods descending upon me. I suppose it could be the spirits of place coming to meet me. Perhaps, my body comes alive a little bit more when I’m truly present, exactly where I am in the moment. Maybe it’s a weird resonance thing.I don’t know, but I love it when it happens. When the tingles happen, I’m frequently overcome with emotion. Sometimes I cry and other times I can’t stop smiling.
Mostly what I do is just keep singing and soak up all the feels I’m feeling.
What I Sing
Remember the stone circle and the redwood grove I mentioned earlier? Here’s the song I sang.
Awake, awake, you ancient watchers
Awake awake and let me in
Come down come down, from your waiting houses
Come down come down and let me in
The song was written by Sharon Knight and T. Thorn Coyle and appears on their 2008 release “Songs for the waning year”
Singing And Mortality
Odd segue, I know, but singing reminds me of my own mortality. My voice used to be a powerful instrument. A booming, massive, soaring, turn it up to 11 and fill the arena affair. It’s not that any more. Strained vocal chords, a digestive issue that bathes my throat in acid from time to time, and not being 22 any more, has changed my relationship with my voice.
I sing differently now. I’m still finding a range that fits what my voice can do and what I remember it being able to do. And, of course, this reminds me that I’m fighting a losing battle here. My voice, will continue to change and I and it will eventually fall into a permanent silence.
Which is why I sing whenever I can.
Awake! Awake! indeed.