In order for all of us to rest our minds from the hard days at work, college or school, I wanted to recommend some Pagan bands which have really grown on me throughout the years. Pagan music is now a very broad term, much as any other genre of music is, so it too has its sub-genres such as Pagan folk, metal, rock etc. Some would even say ambiental music falls under the Pagan category and you surely must have noticed the "New Age" genre of music. Of course, I'm not here to list genres or their definitions but to help you relax. The best way for you to learn about Pagan music is to listen to it!
I would like to mention a few of my favorite Pagan bands partly because I believe that some of their songs could very nicely into a ritual, meditation or something similar (because this really is the case for me), but mainly because I want to share my love of music with you in hopes that the following songs will relax you and make you happy, as they do me every time I listen to them.
This is the first Pagan band that I ever heard and it has stayed my favorite. I have been listening to them for years and they never seem to get old. Many of their songs have made my rituals complete and have simply led me into a trance. I hope they make you as happy as they make me!
My search for an artist which surpassed Omnia was almost over when I came across Damh. This sympathetic man delighted me with his lyrics and I have to say a good word or two about his musical production. He really is a great bard because he blew me off my feet with his talent.
Even though they sing in German, their sound doesn't cease to delight me even though I have absolutely no idea what they're singing about half the time. I would definitely recommend the album "Eden" which you can listen to in the following video. :)
For all you Medieval music lovers. :) You will notice that an unusual German version of the bagpipe called a sackpfeife dominates their songs, although it is precisely this that gives Faun their uniqueness in my opinion.
This is a Danish band that plays Irish and Scottish Medieval music...yup. But the combination is ingenious! Most of their songs are very happy and just make you want to get up and dance!
It was at the very beginning of my Pagan path that I came along the famous cover of the Witches' Rune, although back then, I had no idea that the cover was by S. J. Tucker. But in this post, I would like to recommend another song which intoxicated me with its rhythms and vocals.
They are much more "gentle" than the previous authors and this is exactly why they are great for when you just want to calm down and enter a different world where the worries of the physical reality just don't exist.
I have listened to their song "Drawing Down the Moon" countless times, usually during an Esbat, and it has never failed to create a nice, mystic atmosphere. This band has many songs which are connected to various Pagan traditions, and especially to Wicca.
Even though one cannot really call them a Pagan band, they are a folk band and their rhythms really go along well with the happy Pagan attitude if nothing else. :D
Up to now, we've have touched upon Ireland, Scotland, England and so on, so it was about time we went a bit more northwards. This band has a somewhat "darker" tone to it than the previous bands, and it gets its inspiration from Germanic cultures. I can't listen to them every day; I really have to be in the mood for them, but that doesn't mean that you won't be able to listen to them non-stop. :)
In a previous post on raising group energy, I talked about the importance of sound or rather music in rituals. Music is something that served as a portal to other worlds since the beginning of time (metaphorically speaking, of course). It was able to change peoples' consciousness and transfer to other spiritual sphere. Its role hasn't changed to this day. Sound, or better said hearing has a special ability that I would say the other senses have in a far smaller degree. Maybe I'm just too big a music lover, and correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that music alone could be enough to perform a good ritual, a beautiful meditation or just have a great day. Simply remember all the times a song got your mood up, or perhaps got you sad, helped you remember a long-forgotten memory or has just intoxicated you so much with its beauty that you just stood there staring at a blank spot unable to move.
If you think that you haven't yet experienced music in a spiritual way, then I dare say that you're wrong. You have percieved it in such a way, but you just aren't aware of it yet. If you have ever danced in your life, then you have experienced music spiritually because it was in those moments that the music simply carried your body - you soul was the one dancing. If you have ever danced in a large crowd, then you have felt that ecstatic sensation that took control of you. It is because of this feeling that so many primitive cultures danced, that African tribes still dance to the beating of drums and frantically wave, fall on all sides and jump around.
The next time you listen to music, try to let yourself go to it. :)