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Magick and Blue Cheer

This post was written by Donald Michael Kraig
on October 18, 2009 | Comments (1)

On October 12, 2009, Dickie Peterson died.

Many of you reading this may not know Peterson. He was the singer and bass player for a band called Blue Cheer. Blue Cheer began in 1966 and played their last concert in December of 2008 (with the usual break ups, reforming, and new members). Peterson’s death also marked the end of the band.

Blue Cheer had only one hit song, a power-mad, volume turned up to 11, unmistakable version of Eddie Cochrane’s “Summertime Blues.”

If It’s Too Loud, You’re Too Old

Although based in playing the type of music known as the Blues, the band was known for being loud–very loud. They were the loudest band I ever saw (although Lee Michaels—who now owns a small chain of shrimp restaurants—came ear-achingly close, and Uriah Heep at the Whiskey a Go Go was easily in 3rd place). If you complained about the volume you were basically too old to be listening to them. They wanted their music to be loud.

How loud? Loud enough so you couldn’t be talking to the person next to you about work or school. Loud enough so that you couldn’t order a drink at a club. Loud enough so that you couldn’t do anything but pay attention to the music. Why? As Peterson said in an interview given to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in 2007, “Our whole goal was to make music a physical experience as well as an audio experience.”

Magick and Intensity

Perhaps you have been to a public ritual where performers mumbled words from a script. Perhaps you performed a magickal ritual by reading something aloud for the first time, something you had written and which logically seemed like it would work. And yet, that public ritual had no impact on you and the magick wasn’t effective. There are many reasons why that might be so, but one of the primary reasons I regularly see for the failure of ritual and magick is lack of intensity.

In my experience, the more you put into a ritual of any kind, the more intensity you have, the more you have a likelihood of success. Be aware of the meaning of every word you say. Let it fill you with passion and intensity. Express that intensity in word and action. The more intensity, the better.

Once, I was helping a student who had flown from Jamaica to Los Angeles for training. She had a bright smile, was friendly and talkative. Her laugh could fill a room. But when doing a ritual, she spent so much time “in her head” thinking about it—rather than letting it fill her with intensity—that she sounded like a little mouse. She was not being effective.

I had her do all sorts of breathing and singing exercises. She did very well with them, but still no passion in the ritual. Finally, I had a desperate measure of an idea. I stood behind her as she did the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram. As she came to the last syllable of the God name AGLA, without letting her know what I was going to do, I kicked her in the butt! The “LA” came shooting out of her soul, lighting up her aura and the circle. After wondering if I were crazy, she realized what had happened, she raise the intensity and passion of her rites, and her ritual work improved by leaps and bounds.

Power, passion, and intensity form the match that will light up the bonfire of your rituals and magick.

So for your next ritual, give this a try. Turn you passion up to 11. Bring up your intensity. Let the ritual be a mental, emotional, and physical experience.

After you do that next ritual with increased intensity and passion, share the results here.

[By the way, it would be remiss of me not to note that the loss of Peterson and the end of Blue Cheer took place on October 12, the anniversary of Aleister Crowley’s birth. Coincidence? Meaning?]

Reader Comments

Written By Thomas E Jackson
on October 27th, 2009 @ 5:32 pm

Ah, Blue Cheer and Crowley,
Don, your talking about my childhood now, at fifteen they were all I cared about. I too am a keyboardist, and was playing with musicians who were seniors, and B.C. was a big part of that, I was completly ready to beleive that I was apart of something greater then the establishment could perceived, and loud heart pounding onlt made sense.So I understand what your relating too, when speaking of their(Blue Cheer)intensity, in fact I liked the band so much, that in 8th grade, I attempted a school underground newspaper and named it “BLUE CHEER” I was also into drawing Alice at the edge of the mushroom, looking up at the catapillar smoking a hookah. Yes I know, what in the world of HGA’s does this have to do with Magical intensity? well, personally everything! universally? I’d guess that would depend on ones perception, and life experiences, and in some cases your age as well.
I have found that vocal intensity in ritual, is not about volume, as much as it is vibration. When I hear my
voice project out in a multitude of octives, sounding like a Moog synth string section, crossed with the tibetin monks, for me, thats intensity! Another aspect
would be the variation of tone projection, and the resonating response of harmonizing spiritual qualities.
Yes, I do feel we can tune in on many levels. Oh, and thanks for rocking my memories, perhaps I should dust off those file cabnets on my own, a little more often.
By the way 8th Grade was in 1969, OK?, all accross the USA, just another year for me and you, another year with nothing to do. Yeah I know that was the stooges, and Iggy Popp. But hey, I grew up in the Ann Arbor area, what do you expect from a Circle Books, bookstore junkie? Power to the People Man!!!

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