Pagan Studies

Learn how Classical Music harbors subliminal and not-so subliminal Pagan messages.

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Anger and Beethoven

    Considering the articles I've read lately about whether or not pop culture icons and fluffy bunnies are appropriate idols for worship, and whether or not to bow to them, I'd like to address the reverence I feel for Classical music and the composers of that art.  At the beginning of May, I sang in a concert of music by Beethoven.  This concert may have changed my life.  Towards peace. 

    Mostly everybody knows Beethoven as an angry fella, and it's not hard to understand why: being a deaf musician is a recipe for disaster.  But not everybody knows the other reason why he was angry.  In the program for the concert there was an excerpt of a letter Beethoven wrote to someone, I believe it may have been a student, about his anger.  He wrote that he had always believed that the world was a beautiful, loving place, and for the most part, his belief had been validated.  However, the people who disturbed that peace with violence and dishonorable acts crushed his spirit.  He was so troubled by this that he considered suicide multiple times, and that were it not for his music, he would have completed his attempt.  


  Inanna's lover Dumuzi was stolen from her by her sister, Ereshkigal.  Inanna was so broken by this that she refused to let the world grow, and instead, she went down to the Underworld to bring him back.  At each of the seven gates of the underworld, she had to remove a piece of her raiment, until finally, she stood before the cruel Ereshkigal naked and vulnerable, and demanded him back.   Ereshkigal had her impaled on a hook.  This caused the other gods to punish Ereshkigal and force her to return Dumuzi to Inanna, and to return Inanna's life to her. 


  Durga had exhausted herself. She was beyond beaten, though she had defeated hordes of the enemies that had come to destroy civilization and all that was good in the world. She closed her eyes and called within for the strength and the power to defeat her enemies, which transformed her into Kali-Ma, who laid waste to everything in her path like nuclear fallout, but in her rage, had forgotten everyone and everything she had ever loved.


  Are these stories so terribly different?  We know that Beethoven suffered under the heavy hand of his father, so much so that it could have cost him his career.  Did it stop him? No.  Inanna knew her sister hated her, and knew that going into the underworld would be an awful torment. Did that stop her? No.  Durga knew that she was beaten, but did that stop her? No. 

  Both myths and reality have the power to inspire greater things in us as people.  We are born, we live, we die.  What do we do with ourselves in between?  

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Amarfa has been studying the occult, wicca, and paganism for 17 years and counting.  She has been a musician since age 5, studying first guitar, then accordion for 10 years, placing 2nd in her division in the 1995 ATARI/ATAM New England Regional Competition,  and has been studying voice for 9. She has directed small early music ensembles, performed publicly, and starred in local theatre works, particularly the World Premiere of Nightsong, a musical theatre piece with direction and book by Jon Brennan and music by Kari Tieger and Kevin Campbell, as well as composing a musical of her own and writing music in her spare time.


  • Taylor Ellwood
    Taylor Ellwood Saturday, 25 May 2013

    Well said. And I agree...what we do is ultimately up to each person and whatever path calls to them.

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