The Contemporary New England Witch

The Contemporary New England Witch
Ms Faith

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Ancient Magickal Techniques - Using Music

The Divje Babe Flute - 67, 000 years old

Good Afternoon My Witchy Readers,

 When we practice magick today, conduct rituals, celebrate Sabbats, web-weave with other like minded magickal people we often have 'new age' or 'witchy' music as an accompaniment or background to our festivities.

It is almost impossible to go through a day in our world, in our society without musical accompaniment. From listening to the radio in our cars, to television commercials, to the musical score that flows through each and every movie we watch, to the background of every video game and phone app game you play.  Every television show, whether it is a news show, a sports show, or a sit-com, they all have a musical theme song that starts and ends each show.

That is not even mentioning the nightclubs, bars, churches, restaurants, and of course concerts and casinos, malls and supermarkets we frequent. Actually music is around us all of the time, so subtle so many times we are not even away of it. We take for granted that music will be there, and when we find ourselves somewhere without the music and chatter of humans the silence can be "deafening."

This discussion started as I was contemplating the origins of music created by humans and when it would have started being used ritually/spiritually in our world. I find we must go far back into the mists of time back to prehistory, back to the dawn of paleolithic times, where archaeologists and music-archaeologists have come to some very interesting conclusions where they have found prehistoric cave paintings in caves, in areas of caves where the resonance was optimal and 'pitch perfect' if you will, than in other areas of the cave.

This has been proven to be the case in not one, but in several caves and in any areas where cave paintings were found, and some of these paintings were in very unusual places, very difficult for humans to access and seemed to make little sense as to why they would be placed there, but when the resonance was determined to be musically superior in these locations it seemed to make more sense as to why these remote locations may have been chosen

Ancient flutes, carved by human hands from bones made from bear bones, bird bones and other animal bones have been found, one being as old as 67,000 years old found in Slovenia. Understanding how humans lived back then, spending every waking moment in the employment of staying alive. Hunting and gathering food and animals to be made into food, clothing and other items for purposes of sustaining life. Crafting shelter and tools, and doing all that needed to be done to ensure life and survival for oneself and ones tribe or village. The Divje Babe Flute, 67,000 years old is believed by some experts to be the only musical instrument associated with the Neanderthal culture, whereas other experts feel that the use of musical instruments by the Homo Sapiens and not the Neanderthal is one reason the Neanderthals became extinct and the Homo Sapiens flourished, but we will never know for sure. We can only speculate.

It seems activities such as making music would be more directed towards ritual practice, which was to thank the Creator, rather than making music for festive entertainment and fun.  We have much evidence by unearthed early Goddess figurines that early man felt it was a Great Mother figure, who was the Creator of all of life. I have written earlier about the Achuellian Goddess who has been carbon dated to between 800,000 and 1 million years B.C.E. (Before Common Era) and is the oldest human crafted artifact ever unearthed, to this date.

Some of the oldest musical instruments to have survived to this day, including the above pictured flute The Divje Babe Flute, and this flute dated to 35,000 years old
were all created during the time of an era where artistic culture began to develop and became very significant among human tribes that interacted among each other on the earth. This time was between 70,000 and 30,000 approximately years ago.  This is when most of the early cave art paintings were first developed, the regular practice of crafting and wearing of jewelry was undertaken, Many more Goddess figurines were being crafted, such as the Willendorf Goddess  (crafted between 28,000 - 25,000 B.C.E.) which again falls into the window of the artistic cultural era. It makes perfect sense that this level of human creative development would include the development of musical understanding.

In the earliest books of the Bible, the Old Testament, there is many references to music and musical practice in relation to honoring God and celebration of the Spirit. Many have heard of King David and his use of music in religious ritual and historians ascribe the 150 psalms of the Book of Psalms from The Old Testament, attributed to King David,  as the poetry most often set to music in Western civilization than any other. We have heard of the trumpets that brought down the walls of Jericho, which were really rams horns called shofars, and whereas their melody may be questionable they were absolutely music played for divine, religious spiritual purposes.

There are some music-archaeologists who feel the first concept of music struck early prehistoric man when he felt his own heartbeat. as the oldest musical instruments made by mankind to be found date to 165,000 years ago and are percussion instruments.
Percussion stones  165,000 years old

Now, many believe the very first musical instrument was the human voice, but after that, the banging and rhythmic beats kept by banging and striking objects against other objects, making a rhythm or a beat in a manner to resemble the heartbeat may have been one of the first musical making instruments made by prehistoric mankind.

Whereas these percussion stones were used to strike and bang and to make noise of a sort, the oldest skin drum ever found, so far, is an elephant skin drum found in the Antarctica dated to 37,000 years old. Here is a portion of this ancient drum pictured here:
It was preserved during the ice age.

Pan Pipes are at least 30,000 years old and date back to the ancient Greek Culture:

The bull roarer also known as a rhombus or a turndun is an ancient ritual instrument and with the loud sound it makes was also used as a way to communicate over long distances. It was used in ancient Greece in rituals and dates back to at least 17,000 B.C.E.



Aside from musical instruments you might be interested in the earliest known written musical notes and those are found here in this cuneiform tablet from Iraq, and dated to 2,000 B.C.E. with these notes specific to strings on the Lyre. This tablet represents one of the earliest melodies ever found.



During later cultures we have well documented ritualistic musical practice where some ritual groups would go into musical frenzied dance to create an element of magickal power and to raise their energy. Some use music to aid in meditation, to go into ritual trance, to tap into the magickal energy to aid in our rituals and our spell casting.

Music still today is used in churches to raise spirits, to touch the energy of the Divine, used in rituals of Pagans as well as every spiritual and religious group typically found in this country and around the world. What is today called religious is also known and was in ancient times known as magickal.

There are times when singing a song I can feel the energy of the Divine overtaking my spirit and overtaking my entire being and I am filled with an energy and a power greater than myself. This is what the ancients felt and what we so often feel today. The best thing about music is you do not have to be in a sacred space to create this phenomenon, because music works by its very vibrations on the airwaves and by doing so, it creates sacred space simply by the notes being played, wherever you may be.

Something as simple as ringing a bell to start a ritual, three small notes, can start an amazing magickal energy that builds and accumulates until we release the cone of power to be sent off to manifest in the change we wish to make.

Humans have known the power of music for thousands of years, hundreds of thousands of years and the magick of music is with us still.


Live, Laugh and Always Love,  Ms. Faith








© 2010-2017 Faith M. McCann. Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see www.enchantmentsschool.com or go to the title of tonight's discussion and click, it will link you to my school's website. Please note that the copying and/or further distribution of this work without express written permission is prohibited. 

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