The Mystic Force of Music


Dreamshade's album 'The Gift of Life'Not everyone seems to enjoy music that brings them up. Maybe for some a bit of ‘down’ or slow tempo helps them calm down and brings balance. Not everyone gets up with the same style of music either. But listening to my favorite new band today (Dreamshade, melodic death metal from Switzerland) I’m reminded of a practice from old, raising power. Raising power is about raising energy.

This seems to have remained an esoteric practice of mystics and witches. In our increasingly ‘secular’ culture people seek it in other ways and that is just fine with me. Spirituality and creativity are intertwined.

Starhawk leading power raising http://www.starhawk.org/

Starhawk leading power raising ritual

Someone once advised me to do whatever it takes to keep up my joy. Same sentiment. “You are only as powerful as you are joyful,” she told me. So true.
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I don’t know how music works, how it connects us to a bigger or higher feeling of life. I don’t know how I went through certain periods of my life without it. I only see the results looking back and they were not good.

I think artful music of any genre can raise energy. I especially notice this when the composition creates a climax of some type partway through or near the end of a song.

So nowadays I leave aside the search for more power. Instead I look for more music to love. It gives me more ways to keep up my spirits. That is where the power is. Yes, heavy metal can do that for some of us.

Killswitch Engage 2013: Mike D’Antonio (bass), Justin Foley (drums), Jesse Leach (vocals), Joel Stroetzel (guitar), Adam Dutkiewicz (guitar, vocals)

I like bands with a positive energizing message and feeling like Dreamshade, Times of Grace, Killswitch Engage, In This Moment, Dream Theater, Kobra & the Lotus, System of a Down. Even Ozzy has some songs that do it for me sometimes.

Me with Joel Stroetzel in Feb. 2011 after a Times of Grace show here in Portland. Joel was as nice as anyone could expect, taking time after the show to pose with some of us for photos, even patient through my first two botched attempts at a decent shot.

Me with Joel Stroetzel in Feb. 2011 after a Times of Grace show here in Portland. Joel was as nice as anyone could expect, taking time after the show to pose with some of us for photos, even patient through my first two botched attempts at a decent shot.

Somedays it has to be Reggae only and that puts me where I need to be. Bob Marley and all his kids, Collie Buddz, Bunny Wailer, Peter Tosh, Rebelution, Matisyahu, Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars. Sometimes meditation or a spiritual attitude is not enough. There is this connection of Spirit to body and nothing makes it like music.

If you’re into metal and you want a new buzz here’s a good one:
Peace out.

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