Jack of Many Trades

Of Music, Meatloaf and Magic

Originally posted: 2017-02-17

Last summer I spent a solid month doing the same spellwork to the same songs each day, to see what benefits I could get from associating an outside element with a specific piece of energywork. The best outcome was a song that basically throws up wards for me automatically when I play it, which is pretty cool.

I thought that was exciting, the way I felt energy flare up around me when the notes started up. It stirred a sense of something Project Protagonist-y, the memory of how I'd used to use music, how I still stumbled into using it sometimes but never seemed to be able to catalyze.

My understanding of the science is that nothing you hear later in life will never be as meaningful as the stuff you liked in high school because of the way your brain is developing at that point in time. I'm literally too old to listen to music now like I did then. So I wondered if perhaps I just couldn't do that kind of magic the way I used to, where I was almost outside of myself as I sang and screamed and danced.

I sure as hell can't dance like I used to, thank you bad knee and once-broken foot. Maybe, I wondered, you outgrow stuff that uses that kind of emotion and you have to find other ways to get it to work.

But last week on The Cauldron, while I was in the early throws of an awful stomach flu, Eastling asked about spiritual associations with albums (as opposed to individual songs) and I thought of a couple. All from high school, since who listens to albums since Napster and the shuffle function in WinAmp were invented, right?

And then I couldn't get fucking Meatloaf out of my head.

Today I was finally feeling relatively humanoid again, so once the baby went to bed I found a playlist of Bat Out of Hell II and started it up. The extended opening of "I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)" started up, all glitched motorcycle revs and piano and it was like an electrical fucking shock.

If I managed to charge some songs by working with them daily for a month or two as a busy 35 year old dad and banker, well, it seems reasonable that the shit I lived and breathed in my teens would still be holding a charge twenty years later.

It's not like I haven't listened to things since I was a teenager. I have plenty of the stuff of my small town radio station upbringing tucked away with the rest of my MP3s, and I loved everything from Garth Brooks to U2 to Alanis Morrissette to Rancid.

I still do the occasional bit of old spellwork built on U2 songs, but... why am I not using this? I may not remember the original, precise uses of all of these songs, but that doesn't mean I can't explore the energy they still hold and figure out how to redeploy them. It's the same principle as finding a wand in a treasure chest in D&D, right? You figure out what it does and then you get to work with it. And hey, I probably won't fireball myself in the face with a Meatloaf song, so bonus!

On one hand, this was a terrible idea, because it's 1am and I've gone through about 3/4 of Bat Out of Hell II and this was not at all the blog post I sat down to write and I am so awake. So awake. And I have to be at work early because of course I do.

On the other hand, I am super excited to see where I can go with this. Time to break out the flannels and hoodies (that I totally wear all the time anyway, because it's always the 90s in Portland, that's completely true) and get to work on some Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness spellwork.