Sacred Songs, Part 5: Darkness Increased by 1

Today is the Winter Solstice, an important day in the calendar, when darkness culminates and the return of light begins.

The darkness has seemed particularly dark this year, so the end of this cycle is welcome. But before moving on I felt like taking a minute (or an hour) to wallow in it. Darkness, after all, is overcome by confronting it, not by avoiding it; in the I Ching, the “young light” emerges only after “darkness is increased by one.”

But of course, being who I am, I couldn’t resist adding some uplift at the end. It may take a while to arrive, but hold on, it’s coming. I recommend listening at dusk with a cocktail in hand, as I am doing at this very moment.

[mixcloud https://www.mixcloud.com/American_Magic_and_Dread/sacred-songs-part-5-darkness-increased-by-1/ width=100% height=120 hide_cover=1 light=1]

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Sacred Songs, Part 4: The Life of the Mind

lotm

This mix is dedicated to the memory of the fat John Goodman, who apparently is no more.

[mixcloud https://www.mixcloud.com/American_Magic_and_Dread/sacred-songs-part-4-the-life-of-the-mind/ width=100% height=120 hide_cover=1 light=1]

Playlist:

  • Look Upon Me  John Goodman
  • This World  The Staple Singers
  • If I Follow My Mind  Jimmy Cliff
  • It’s All in Your Mind  The Soul Angels
  • Stoned Out of My Mind  The Chi-Lites
  • Out of My Mind  Buffalo Springfield
  • Can’t Find My Mind  The Cramps
  • Dear Prince  Lord Buckley
  • Starfish and Coffee  Prince
  • All in My Mind  Love and Rockets
  • My Mind Is Connected…  The Soft Boys
  • Turn Off Your Mind  Timothy Leary/The Stranglers
  • Tomorrow Never Knows  Junior Parker
  • My Body Is a Cage  Peter Gabriel
  • Cut the Body Loose  Astronautilus
  • Postures (Leave Your Body Behind)  Chris Thomas & Tabby Thomas
  • Light Years  The Gift of Gab
  • Free Your Mind/Back in Our Minds  Funkadelic

Sacred Songs, Part 3: Sing, Cuckoo, Sing

cuckoo-07-artur-tabor

I know it’s generally considered rude to remind people that they’re going to die. But I’ve been guilty of it in the past, and if you listen to this I’ll be guilty of it again:

[mixcloud https://www.mixcloud.com/American_Magic_and_Dread/sacred-songs-part-3/ width=100% height=120 hide_cover=1 light=1]

And yes, sure, it can de depressing to contemplate mortality. But then again, as Ford Prefect says (paraphrasing, I think, Dr. Johnson), “the prospect of death contracts the mind wonderfully.” Often as not, and maybe this is just a quirk of my strange personality, I find being reminded of my own eventual demise oddly exhilarating: a reminder that I am in fact alive now, and free to do as I please for whatever time remains. It can be nice and bracing, like a splash of cold water across the face, if you’re into that kind of thing. Caveat auditorus.

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