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Author Topic: Singing Charms  (Read 7340 times)
TisiphoneSeraph
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« Topic Start: September 04, 2010, 10:57:10 am »

So normally I'm not a big fan of taking inspiration for my practices from fiction, but I was listening to the Redwall series the other day and there was a part where a character covers up talking to a couple of prisoners by saying he was singing charms.

While the character wasn't serious about it, the idea has kind of stuck in my head and I wondered if anyone here used songs in their magic, specifically in their low magic like home wards and protection and good fortune type spells. The idea really intrigues me. Does anyone know if singing charms were used historically and where?

Even though I'm not much of a song writer, I really want to try this. I've been very interested in Hedge and Kitchen Witchery lately and I feel like this would be a sort of magic that would fall somewhere in that category of magic.

If you have any and wouldn't mind sharing I would really appreciate it.

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« Reply #1: September 04, 2010, 11:09:44 am »


If I'm not mistaken the word 'charm' came from some Latin word to do with singing.

Oh yes: Etymology for Charm

I can carry a tune fairly well, but the most I've done is to have a handful of pop love songs associated with particular people, and to focus hard on them when singing. Much like everyone else, I imagine.
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TisiphoneSeraph
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« Reply #2: September 04, 2010, 12:17:34 pm »

If I'm not mistaken the word 'charm' came from some Latin word to do with singing.

Oh yes: Etymology for Charm

I can carry a tune fairly well, but the most I've done is to have a handful of pop love songs associated with particular people, and to focus hard on them when singing. Much like everyone else, I imagine.

Thanks for the link. I never knew the two were connected.

I suppose that's an idea too. Taking existing songs and crafting an intent.
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« Reply #3: September 04, 2010, 02:02:58 pm »

While the character wasn't serious about it, the idea has kind of stuck in my head and I wondered if anyone here used songs in their magic, specifically in their low magic like home wards and protection and good fortune type spells. The idea really intrigues me.

I use them regularly: the exploration of the intersection of music and magic/ritual was also a core part of why I wanted to hive and form my coven. Most of it is music I've created, but I've also played with adapting other music - mostly traditional tunes with new lyrics - for specific needs.

One thing you might want to explore is that historically, a number of professions had songs that went with them to help keep pace in the activity. We're most familiar with marching songs, these days, probably, but a lot of the traditional sea chanties and related music also were designed to keep everyone working in sync on a particular task. (And I've seen examples for other things: weaving, for example.)
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« Reply #4: September 04, 2010, 02:13:41 pm »

So normally I'm not a big fan of taking inspiration for my practices from fiction, but I was listening to the Redwall series the other day and there was a part where a character covers up talking to a couple of prisoners by saying he was singing charms.

While the character wasn't serious about it, the idea has kind of stuck in my head and I wondered if anyone here used songs in their magic, specifically in their low magic like home wards and protection and good fortune type spells. The idea really intrigues me. Does anyone know if singing charms were used historically and where?

Even though I'm not much of a song writer, I really want to try this. I've been very interested in Hedge and Kitchen Witchery lately and I feel like this would be a sort of magic that would fall somewhere in that category of magic.

If you have any and wouldn't mind sharing I would really appreciate it.




You may also be interested in galdr which is a form of Germanic magic to do with singing/saying charms (which can include the runes, but does not have to). 
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« Reply #5: September 04, 2010, 02:44:39 pm »

One thing you might want to explore is that historically, a number of professions had songs that went with them to help keep pace in the activity. We're most familiar with marching songs, these days, probably, but a lot of the traditional sea chanties and related music also were designed to keep everyone working in sync on a particular task. (And I've seen examples for other things: weaving, for example.)

That's an idea I hadn't thought of. Thanks.

I vaguely remember my favorite Scotts Gaelic singer talking about laundry songs and weaving songs but I hadn't thought about how they could be charms themselves.
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TisiphoneSeraph
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« Reply #6: September 04, 2010, 02:48:04 pm »


You may also be interested in galdr which is a form of Germanic magic to do with singing/saying charms (which can include the runes, but does not have to). 

I did a quick google search on them and they do seem similar to what I was thinking of. Do you have any preferred resources regarding them?
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« Reply #7: September 04, 2010, 04:41:08 pm »

I vaguely remember my favorite Scotts Gaelic singer talking about laundry songs and weaving songs but I hadn't thought about how they could be charms themselves.

It's one of those interesting questions - would the people singing them have considered them spells or charms? Depends, I suspect, on the people - but there's certainly stuff out there about boats coming safely home, or other protection+wellbeing sorts of stuff. Definitely an interesting model for designing your own.
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« Reply #8: September 04, 2010, 06:37:40 pm »



Its not quite singing, but I used to play my pennywhistle to do some things. I haven't in a while due to shared house and the fact my boyfriend sat on my favorite one -.-;;
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« Reply #9: September 04, 2010, 08:28:59 pm »

So normally I'm not a big fan of taking inspiration for my practices from fiction, but I was listening to the Redwall series the other day and there was a part where a character covers up talking to a couple of prisoners by saying he was singing charms.

While the character wasn't serious about it, the idea has kind of stuck in my head and I wondered if anyone here used songs in their magic, specifically in their low magic like home wards and protection and good fortune type spells. The idea really intrigues me. Does anyone know if singing charms were used historically and where?

Even though I'm not much of a song writer, I really want to try this. I've been very interested in Hedge and Kitchen Witchery lately and I feel like this would be a sort of magic that would fall somewhere in that category of magic.

If you have any and wouldn't mind sharing I would really appreciate it.



I'm actually a singer.  There is a power that certain notes and chords have, especially in a group of trained singers.  The harmonies are tangible.  They stir the air as much as they stir the energy.  I've been with groups of trained and talented singers to produce this effect, but never with them actually attempting to do such.  Basically- they were warming up exercises and training exercises for holding pitch in close harmonies and dissonances.  I am a firm believer that -if- people who knew what they were doing to raise power along with music, they could probably accomplish quite a bit.  I have yet to test it out other than just with professional or simply talented singers that didn't know about energies and power... though I would love to.  Until then, it's just a strong hunch.
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« Reply #10: September 04, 2010, 09:18:49 pm »

I did a quick google search on them and they do seem similar to what I was thinking of. Do you have any preferred resources regarding them?

One of the only references I've found on them is Swain Wodening's Germanic Magic: A Primer to Galdor, Runes, Spa and Herbs. 

Books on the runes may have a galdr section, but those would have to do with using the runes in that manner. 

There is another book the Galdrabok, but it is expensive on Amazon and I don't know how accurate it is.   
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TisiphoneSeraph
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« Reply #11: September 05, 2010, 05:16:27 pm »

One of the only references I've found on them is Swain Wodening's Germanic Magic: A Primer to Galdor, Runes, Spa and Herbs. 

Books on the runes may have a galdr section, but those would have to do with using the runes in that manner. 

There is another book the Galdrabok, but it is expensive on Amazon and I don't know how accurate it is.   

Thanks for the suggestions.
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« Reply #12: September 06, 2010, 03:18:35 am »

So normally I'm not a big fan of taking inspiration for my practices from fiction, but I was listening to the Redwall series the other day and there was a part where a character covers up talking to a couple of prisoners by saying he was singing charms.

While the character wasn't serious about it, the idea has kind of stuck in my head and I wondered if anyone here used songs in their magic, specifically in their low magic like home wards and protection and good fortune type spells. The idea really intrigues me. Does anyone know if singing charms were used historically and where?

Even though I'm not much of a song writer, I really want to try this. I've been very interested in Hedge and Kitchen Witchery lately and I feel like this would be a sort of magic that would fall somewhere in that category of magic.

If you have any and wouldn't mind sharing I would really appreciate it.



I'm not a singer, but I am pretty proficient at the piano.  I have done magic with it before by picking a song that fit what I wanted to accomplish, and then as I played I manipulated the energy it created much like I would the energy from a regular spell.  I have been able to make it work with playing a song on my cd player, but it is much more difficult to do.
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« Reply #13: September 06, 2010, 06:18:42 pm »

Thanks for the suggestions.

You're welcome. 

Galdrabok is on the list of recommended reading in the Asatru/Heathenry SIG so I'm guessing it's a pretty accurate book.
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« Reply #14: September 07, 2010, 02:27:59 pm »

I'm actually a singer.  There is a power that certain notes and chords have, especially in a group of trained singers.  The harmonies are tangible.  They stir the air as much as they stir the energy.  I've been with groups of trained and talented singers to produce this effect, but never with them actually attempting to do such.  Basically- they were warming up exercises and training exercises for holding pitch in close harmonies and dissonances.  I am a firm believer that -if- people who knew what they were doing to raise power along with music, they could probably accomplish quite a bit.  I have yet to test it out other than just with professional or simply talented singers that didn't know about energies and power... though I would love to.  Until then, it's just a strong hunch.

I'm also a singer, and I totally agree.  I'd love to find some like-minded (voiced) people to try it out.
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