I’m a musician, a storyteller & a folklorist. I love magic. I don’t really know what it is but for me it’s something close to art. When I’m writing a song the music & words sometimes appear to come from another place & I’m the vessel which helps it along. When I’m telling a story I am crafting a shared place in the imagination we occupy and journey through.
Experiencing a great story, piece of literature or piece of music can transform us. Momentarily or permanently. If you are the kind of person who likes to think in such terms you could consider that to be magical.
Transformation from one state into another.
I go under the artist name, Cunning Folk, because I love the stories about the Cunning Men & Women of the villages & towns of Britain who could rustle up a herbal remedy, lift a hex, whisper a horse or animal, break out the witch bottle at midnight if needs be.
Low magic has power which we all still half remember when we refuse to cross on the stairs or say hullo to the magpie. There is a harmony of living when you carry a nutmeg around with you & only get your haircut on the wax of the moon. Old school mindfulness with sympathy for our ancestors.
High magic has power. The counting of angels on the head of a pin. The understanding of the Sigil. Jungian thought forms. Cockney visionaries. Enochian languages. Annie Besant, Madame Blatavsky, Crowley, Dee, Gardner, Graves, Valiente; exceptional lives led half in reality, half in dream. Poetic truths to augment our journey through life. Methods to augment our understanding & relationship with the worlds.
Whether magic is ‘true’ is moot to me. A magical state of mind invites opportunities to understand & relate to the world in a rich & nuanced manner. This is not for everyone, but it is open to all.
Magic has inspired me to create a set of songs which I am recording to release in the next year or so. It also gives me a great opportunity to visit my friends at Atlantis Bookshop on Saturday June 29th from 6.30pm for an evening of free performances of songs about Cunning Folk, songs about Annie Besant, Doctor Dee & musical adaptations of the songs of Aleister Crowley. There is also going to be songs from the amazing Burd Ellen, one of the finest folk singers in Scotland & a good friend.
If you want to listen to songs & stories of high & low magic in the bookshop where Crowley & Gerald Gardner & Steve Wilson shopped for free this is the event for you. Atlantis Bookshop is a stone’s throw from the British Museum & is ace. You are likely to buy a book or item from them if you enter!