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Music Magick

Updated: Jan 28, 2020

“Music is a language that doesn’t speak in particular words. It speaks in emotions, and if it’s in the bones, it’s in the bones.” ― Keith Richards

My four year old will never know the anticipation of sitting by the radio waiting and hoping for his favorite song to come on like I did as a kid. He will never know what it’s like to wait for a cassette tape to rewind so he can listen to a song “on repeat”. He’s a post-iPod and post-streaming baby that will only ever know the on-demand world. He just assumes he should be able to access any form of entertainment, from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse to the Power Rangers theme song, no matter where we are or what time of day or night it is. It’s both amazing and infuriating.

I have crystal clear memories of being about nine, sitting on my bed with the windows open during the summer, listening to DC101 on a boombox I had commandeered from my parents, and just waiting and waiting through dumb Pearl Jam and commercial breaks for my favorite songs to come on the radio. This particular boombox let you record songs off the radio onto blank cassette tapes. Those years contained hours of wait, record, rewind, listen, repeat. And then once CDs and CD-R's were a thing in high school I was making mixtapes for my friends and me for nearly every occasion: homecoming, Christmas, driving to school, drinking in someone's basement. I made a bachelorette party Spotify playlist for my best friend last year and, even though we got a kick out of it, it still wasn't quite the same as passing back and forth some CDs with sharpie titles.

Studies have shown that music can impact our physical and mental health, affecting and even improving on everything from memory and mood to chronic ailments and pain. Listening to music can pump up endorphins and dopamine and can lower cortisol (the stress hormone). It can affect our personality and has even been shown to help reverse the degenerative effects of dementia and traumatic brain injury.

There’s a ton of research about how music is linked up with memory. Although the part of our brains where explicit memories are stored are more vulnerable to loss as we age, the part that stores music and the type of memory that music is stored as (implicit memory) has a more profound and enduring effect. That’s why hearing a certain song can trigger memories and emotions in ways that we can struggle to put a finger on. We can feel it deeply on a level we don’t even really understand.

I am fascinated by how this also ties into what researchers call the ‘reminiscence bump’, the phenomenon where the memories of experiences and feelings from our teen years are enormously significant in our brain vault of memories, the times before and after having less room and volume or clarity in what we recall as important or meaningful. “Music evokes emotion, but the sound and feel of it, while important,don’t necessarily define your feelings. A sad song could be associated with a happy time, a happy one with a sad one.” (BBC)

There have even been studies that prove that no matter how far we get from our teen years our listening habits still echo the importance of the music that was playing ambiently during the most profound and memorable time of our lives. They have been able to find a correlation on streamings services between listener age and the listener’s most played songs: users’ most played songs have a heavy emphasis on songs that came out when those users were teens.

I mean, one look at my Spotify playlists could tell you that, what with U2, Third Eye Blind, Blink-182, OAR, and other gems of the 90’s and early aughts still in frequent rotation my playlists, but I digress.

Music imprints on us, just like experiences do.

Just like our dream team (or your guides, guardian angels, god, whatever you want to believe) can use energy, specific symbols, repeating numbers, and more to get our attention, I am certain that they use music to get our attention too.

If you follow the paranormal at all (would you really have read this far if you didn’t kind of?) you know that one symptom of a residual haunting is the music of a specific time period playing without an identifiable source. It’s kind of like how some people report smelling their dead loved one’s perfume anytime they feel that energy around. People’s energy and the things that surround them imprint on their surroundings just like music has the ability to imprint on our memories and our souls. While residual spirit energy is kind of an unintentional effect of those imprints, I strongly believe that our guides use music intentionally to get our attention too.

My Great Papap (great grandpa) passed away in May 2005. From what I remember he was funny, always with a smile on his face. His funeral was in an old Catholic church in Johnstown, PA. In the middle of the ceremony, the speaker system (which was not even being used at the time because it was a really small group of us at the service) started picking up music. It started in low, kind of static like a radio was trying to tune to the right frequency. And then started to get louder. As best I could tell, it was old jazzy music you might have heard in the ’40s, though I couldn’t place it to be sure. At first, the couple dozen of us in the pews ignored it, but when it didn’t stop after a couple of minutes we started looking around at each other and snickering a little. Sure it was a somber occasion, but the old-timey music drowning out the priest, requiring him to start shouting over it as if it wasn’t on was FUNNY. The music itself was ironically peppy and FUNNY. I couldn’t stop laughing.

It was the middle of a weekday. There was no one else in the church that day. They couldn’t seem to figure out how this music was being picked up by a closed audio system. Eventually, it faded out and never came back on. I knew it was Papap though. It was his way of trying to get us all to stop being such bummers and smile.

Although I would rather cut nearly anything from my monthly budget than my Spotify premium account and am fully on board with the instant gratification of everything on-demand, I can’t help but feel like we lost a little bit of that music magick (yes, with a k) in the process. Wasn’t there something kind of magickal about the anticipation and then the dopamine rush we used to get from finally hearing the music we were waiting to hear come on the radio? Did you ever feel like you actually manifested a song to come on? Is it just me who has memories of a particular song coming on just at the right moment, in the right context?

When I’m sharing messages in a tarot reading for someone, I talk in real-people terms. I don’t use a lot of esoteric language. I’m known to use a real housewives episode as an analogy or a movie quote to get the point across. At first, when pop culture stuff started coming out in readings I felt like I was shooting in the dark. What popped into my head was a song lyric or a music video, but I wondered each time if the person I was reading just thought I was nuts. BUT... It has always - EVERY SINGLE TIME - resonated. Sometimes that person even has a personal connection to the song or reference I bring up. What happens is I’m calling in our dream team (our friends in the sky) to help us, and they are giving us messages in a language we will understand. If that happens to be in the form of a Lady Gaga quote or a meme then that’s OK.

I’m a big believer in synchronicity. The universe will put signs, people, messages, and (duh) music in our path for specific reasons at specific times. I’ve been honing this ability to tie music in with my readings - and that’s why I’m adding a new reading offering this week.

The Mixtape is a 3-card reading that I will send in a DM or email with songs that I channel to go with it. You can book The Mixtape as a regular 3-card reading or if you’d like a larger, more substantial spread and recommendations, contact me and we can work something out.

I am really pumped about this new reading and I hope you’ll take a chance and book one with me soon! They are so fun to do and I know you will love it.


“Music is a language that doesn’t speak in particular words. It speaks in emotions, and if it’s in the bones, it’s in the bones.” ― Keith Richards

“The only truth is music.” ― Jack Kerouac

“Music is the strongest form of magic.” – Marilyn Manson


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