Roots of Wiccan Music, the Instruments Used Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

roots of Wiccan music, the instruments used and how the music moves participants into meditative states.

Use at least five books and articles as references and no Internet sites.

Wiccan music comes in many forms and uses a variety of traditional instruments and incantations to create themes and messages.

Wiccan Music


As a brief introduction, it is important to the subject matter of this paper to understand what Wicca is. Wicca is a neo-pagan religion, a religion of personal experience with several deities, both male and female, of equal powers. Worshippers in this religion are encouraged, taught and expected to develop an ongoing and positive direct relationship with the Gods and Goddesses. It is a very western religion in cultural flavor and very different from eastern religions.

Wicca is full of beliefs and traditions, many of which center around the use of music. Since Wicca has many holidays, festivals and celebrations that are cheerful and fun-loving, they use music and words to celebrate. Dancing, merriment and feasting generally characterize Wiccan celebrations.

Wiccan Music

Let's begin by trying to define what Wiccan music is. Most often, people associate New Age music with Wiccan music. However, other types of music such as Celtic, Gothic and even Electronic fall under the realm of Wiccan music. The key things about Wiccan music are the message and the theme and that would seem to categorize various types of music as Wiccan. Obviously, if the writer is a Wiccan, than chances are the music will be Wiccan in nature Even Native American music and Australian Aboriginal music may have had its roots in Wiccan music.

Pagan music is also closely associated with Wiccan music because a lot of the themes can be very similar. Wicca itself is a neo-pagan religion that draws inspiration from the indigenous, pre-Christian religions of Europe, the America, Asia, Africa and Australia (Blackthorne 2002).

Traditional and modern Wiccan music have not changed that much over the ages. What makes all of it Wiccan music are the themes that tie into the Wiccan religion. The music in either form or function deals with Wiccan ideology.

Wicca is an ancient pagan religion, although it has only been recognized as a legal religion since 1985. It centers around nature and around a single Goddess and her less powerful God counterpart. Some denominations have more deities than that even, and some have less; they don't worship the God at all. The Goddess is really the central point of the religion, and she teaches that everyone should be in balance with nature and with those around them (Poundcake 1999).

A lot of the traditional Wiccan music was used as part of rituals or ceremonies. Chanting is a big part of Wiccan music and ritual. Chanting was used to call on the elements or sung as part of traditional verses from various ceremonies. An example of a chant would be, "Earth my body, Water my blood and an example of a sung verse would be the words that are used to end a ritual: "The Circle is open but unbroken. May the love of the Goddess be ever in your heart" (Blackthorne 2002).

Basically, any type of music attempts to recreate the sounds that we hear in nature, like tones, the sound of birds, wind, and water. We often use instruments to imitate the sounds we have heard. Wiccan music is steeped in nature as is the religion itself. Because Wiccan music also involves rituals, drums are widely used and traditionally have been associated with inducing trances or a calming state in individuals.

Today, Wiccan music takes many elements from classical pieces and contemporary sources using a variety of instruments, including flutes, violins, guitars, harps, guitars and other small instruments. Traditional Wiccan music generally used drums, rattles and bells during and after rituals.

Like any form of music, Wiccan music can be composed for a variety of reasons -- use during a ritual, as an offering to the Goddess or to create a positive flow of energy and finally, just in celebration of life, joy or happiness. What's interesting here is that most people think of the Wiccan religion as associated with evil and negative things but Wiccan celebrates life and creation and much of that theme is evident in the music.

There are some primary instruments that are used in Wiccan music that actually have specific powers and are tied to the elements. Four distinct types of instruments have very…

Sources Used in Document:

Adler, Margaret. Drawing Down the Moon. Arkana Books, 1996

Farrar, Janet & Stewart. The Witch's Bible. Phoenix Publishing, 1996.

Pundcake. Wicca. Teen Magazine for Music, December 1999.

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