The Chaos Magick Audio CDs, Volume 2: Liber Bootleg, performances by Peter J. Carroll, Ian Read, Ingrid Fischer & Charly Brewster
CD, New Falcon Publications, 1561842524
This is an interesting CD set. It is a re-release of some out of print cassettes that were previously available. The first disc is introduced as being a collection of basic magick workings. Most of the rituals on this disc are protective rituals that can be used as alternative banishing rituals. The introduction suggests that some of them can be used for basic personal fortification, protection from nightmares, or from poltergeist activity. It also warns against attempting these rituals while heavily under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
The first two rituals come from the Golden Dawn. The first being a version of the qabalistic cross, the second being a “Dispersion by Pentagram”. These are followed by “Mass of Chaos C” and a reading apparently from “Theogony of Hesiod”.
An “Asgard Pathworking” is next, which for me is one of the highlights of CD1 of this set. The pathworking takes you on a journey to Asgard where you must pass Heimdall before reaching Valhalla and having an audience with Odin. This is the easiest of the rituals to follow but some knowledge of runes would be of use to the listener.
Next is “Pillar of Chaos” which aims to improve visualisation and can be used to relax and recharge the individual at any point of the day it may be required. It is quite a simple techniques to follow and I certainly found it relaxing.
“The Mummy and The Mirror” is an interesting guided enegry movement, which uses Egyptian mythology and iconography to help one create a protective shell around oneself. I can myself using this ritual a lot as it is easy to follow and works with a paradigm I don’t normally use.
“Green + Black” is an odd ritual that could do with a lot more explanation before I could say much about it.
The cd finishes with a basic gnostic banishing ritual.
All in all I think this is a very interesting CD that could be very useful for the Chaote to get inspiration for new workings if they feel their practice is getting a little stale. The introduction to this cd gives the impression of being an introduction to magickal practice. I thing it does have the potential for this but most of the rituals are not fully explained, which would leave the novice wondering what is going on. If this had been accompanied by a short booklet explaining each track then I would highly recommend it to novices.
CD2 in this two CD set is much better in my opinion. The introduction gives much more insight into what is to follow. It states that the rituals presented are only presented as a historical record of the practices of the individuals at the time of recording. It also suggests that invocation and evocation are exercises not suitable for the beginner who should begin with the other disc.
The first ritual on the disc is “Mass of Chaos B”, which is the mass of Chaos published in “Psychonaut” by Peter Carroll. I always find it fascinating to hear others performing rituals that I myself have engaged in and this is no exception.
The next track is “The Enochian Call of the 10th Aethyr”, which is quite drawn out and is one of the least interesting tracks on this disc, though it may appeal to those iwth an interest in Enochian/John Dee.
“Disursus Cum Daemone” is an invocation of Choronzon to ask advice. Invocation is an area I haven’t yet experimented with so this made for interesting listening. This ritual and the one that follow it are the highlights of CD2, in my opinion.
The next ritual is “Evocation of Tiamat”. For me this is the best of the historical records on this disc. Tiamat is invoked to give advice for the Chaotes present. Tiamat comes across as quite funny and is obviously enjoying the experiment and amused by the humans. This track on the CD alone is worth the money for me.
“Target Practice” is another ritual that is not given much of an explanation but is an interesting listen all the same.
The CD ends with a “Chao/Runic banishing”, which is quite basic and could be useful for those looking for ideas for a personal banishing ritual.
This CD of the two probably offers the most to both beginners and old-hands at the magick game. With the fuller explanation at the beginning of the CD novices will have more of an idea of what is going on and be able to see what kind of things are possible if they stick to their magickal practices. More experienced magickians will get the benefit of hearing other people performing rituals that they may include in their own practice. They may even pick up some different approaches. A couple of the tracks are just entertaining hearing the interactions between the magickians and the invoked beings. I’m glad these cassettes have been re-released in cd form and are more readily available.
If I were to give this a mark out of 10 it would have to get a 7. This would be improved by the inclusion of a booklet explaining some of the nuances of the rituals presented.
The Best of Pagan Song, by Serpentine Music
CD: 0247710042, 2004
My 23 year-old daughter and I have many differing opinions, and we often agree to disagree on things, but as soon as she saw this CD, she asked if she could give it a spin on her player. Looking over the play-list she cheered the inclusion of “Burning Times” (Charlie Murphy), “We Won’t Wait Any Longer” (Gwydion Pendderwen), “Christians and Pagans” (Dar Williams), and “Magick” (Gypsy). Then she started reading the liner notes and discovered that “Every Woman Born” (Ruth Barrett) was written in honor of my daughter’s Fairy Goddess Mother’s (Z. Budapest) 40th birthday. Needless to say, that made her day. [See her impressions attached to the end of my review]
The hour’s worth of music on this disc runs the gamut from irreverent to deeply moving (kind of like the spread from Discordians to family traditions). As such, it is a great metaphor for the Pagan movement in its entirety.
Although there are some songs and artists I am unfamiliar with, many of them are old favorites I have worn out copies of tapes and LPs with, and by, some of them. I have, as a result of listening to these wonderful songs revised and expanded my “wish list” of albums to add to my collection.
I have to agree with my daughter’s comments and evaluation. I must say I look forward to exploring the catalog of Serpentine Music. I am sure I will find more treasures waiting to be discovered.
Sheri’s Comments: A magnificent compilation for ritual, parties, or even a teaching tool. Old timers like me will find this a wonderful reminder of why we have come this way and why we’ve stayed. Newbies who may not be aware of our universal presence in the arts will most likely find themselves inspired to pick up the standard. All said, it’s just an incredible album. Whether you’ve been an initiate for 30 years or a student for three months, “The Best of Pagan Song” affects all that connects to the self, the Mighty Ones, and to the universal Pagan community we can all achieve if we believe in ourselves, each other, and the Lord and the Lady.
Bardic Tales from the Mabinogion, by Hughin the Bard
CD: Llewellyn, 1567186556, 57 minutes 16 seconds, 1997
This CD contains a bit less than an hour’s worth of music (57 minutes 16 seconds), and 16 tales ranging across the mythos of the Mabinogion. Some are light-hearted and stir joy in the heart, and others tells tales of heroes and heroic exploits.
The tone of the songs and the sound of Hughin’s voice remind me of two songsmiths I had the pleasure of listening to in the early days of my Pagan experiences in the Midwest, at pagan Spirit Gathering (and their predecessor – Midwest Pagan Gatherings)) – Jim Alan of Circle and Gwydion Pendderwen of Nemeton.
Although not acapella, the sound of the human voice is far and away the dominant impression carried throughout this recording. The instruments provide support, but do not overwhelm.
The CD is divided into two approximately equal parts – Tales of Olde Dyved and Children of Don, representing two different threads of myths. All of these songs, and many more, may be found in A Bard’s Book of Pagan Songs, by the same author (ISBN 1-567180603-3 © 1996 published by Llewellyn).
While you don’t need the book to enjoy the CD, and you don’t need the CD to enjoy the book, they do make a wonderful combination. I had owned the book for several years before acquiring the CD. It provides a wealth of music to be shared and enjoyed.
For those of us who grew up on either Irish or American flak music, this music draws us back to those days. But, even if you are unfamiliar with the content of the Mabinogion (a collection of ancient Welsh tales), even if you have never heard a bard sing the history of his people, even if you couldn’t name a single folk song, these songs will seem, somehow, familiar. The rhythms course through our veins and our lives.
To hear these tales told in song is to be drawn back in time when a visiting bard was a major event in the life of a village. There would be entertainment for a night or two, and the youngsters would heard of the glory of their ancestors, and dream of the glory they would win for themselves and their families.
This CD is no substitute for sitting down and reading the Mabinogion (there are a few translations out there). It is, however, a good inspiration. After hearing this CD you may find yourself looking around for such a translation. These versions of the tales are kept very simple. If they weren’t, this would be a multi-disk set.
I wouldn’t recommend it for ritual – vocals tend to be a distraction from invocations and magickal focus – but for an after-ritual potluck, as an introduction to a class on Welsh mythology or the magick of music, or simply to set an enjoyable mood for a Pagan gathering, it is certainly an appropriate choice. And, it is fun to listen to as well.