Real Magick: The Mysteries of Singing as Antidote to Antipathy


I am extremely interested in discovering ways of rediscovering our human penchant for empathy. It’s one of the reasons that I became heavily interested in the tarot. Something about working with it—independently and in conjunction with others—made strong connections evident, allowed strangers to become empathetic for one another in the intimacy of the reading. And in a world of exponentially increasing removal from live interaction, and non-visual communications, and mis-interpreted intentions due to “technology advances,” finding antidotes to those things became increasingly important to me. Having two young next-generation family members growing up outside of an institutional [religious] form of moral pedagogy left me searching for other instructional ways that the information might be able to be passed on…and the tarot was one of those ways.


When we talk about the arcana (secrets) of the tarot and its mysterious hidden knowledge that we vainly, somehow, struggle to investigate and determine…I think that we miss a whole set of obvious magick that occurs virtually every single time we use our deck of cards… Perhaps the reason that its secrets are so mysterious is because they are largely felt rather than seen. …Not unlike Love, which poets, playwrights, novelists, and the young are constantly and forever trying to pinpoint and define… the things that benefit us from the tarot are essentially invisible. Not just Love…but ALL the virtues—Cardinal, Theological, major and minor, great and small—they’re all invisible entities, which is why former generations and ancient peoples constructed personifications for them, so that they could be more readily appreciated and related to…so we could dialogue with them. We feel them, but they affect our lives with invisible prods.


I might premise that the secrets of the tarot are the Virtues themselves. The tarot deck is like an invocation of those virtues and various invisible emotions and feelings. The very reason that we have so much trouble pinpointing them in our normal lives is because of their invisibility…and the tarot helps eke them out of us in order to confront them.


Empathy is one of those foremost invisible entities that makes itself known when we approach the tarot deck with respect. As part of the spell, as with any spell, we make sacrificial gifts—we offer the tarot honesty, vulnerability, and attention—and out of the cauldron smoke we find ourselves able to relate better to our peers and fellow humans, we become more generous as a result, more compassionate, more relate-able, less self-centered (…if you’re doing it right).


But the tarot deck isn’t the only form of magick that can invoke the goddess of Empathy; she is accessible through a variety of long-lost secrets. Here, then, is another method of bringing her forth to shine…




men's choir singing 1920


Yes.  That same talent used for centuries (and even millennia) by nomadic tribes, and monks chanting psalms, and church revivals shouting gospel hymns or lowing penitent rounds, and Broadway musicals, and community choirs, and experimental chamber singers…


Singing is one of the oldest, most primal community activities known to humankind. And recent scientific research has discovered several amazing facts about the inveterate human practice… Newly published research confirms that raising voices together is an effective way to forge feelings of connection and inclusion. “The finding that singing together fosters social closeness — even in large contexts where individuals are not known to each other — is consistent with evolutionary accounts that emphasize the role of music in social bonding,” writes a research team led by the University of London’s Daniel Weinstein… Singing releases endorphins, including oxytocin, which has been known to alleviate anxiety and stress as well as enhance feelings of trust and bonding.


…Ah, yes…ancient magick indeed. An antidote to social isolation


Gospel choir singing


But that’s not the only magick associated with choral singing or singing in groups… Other recent studies have confirmed that—again, regardless of the size of the singing group—that singing in a group causes the entire chorus’s heart rate to synch. That’s right…the entire choral group becomes one synched entity. This is not unlike when two or more stem cells are places in proximity to one another, they will start behaving like one another…a stem cell placed near heart muscle cells will start beating at the exact same rate and will eventually develop into muscular heart tissue. Likewise, the stem cell will imitate and duplicate any other type of body cell with which it comes into proximity.


Hmmm…the magick of community harmony…


Children's choir singing


Then there are the studies that have proven that—despite being often the first thing to be cut from school budgets—music studies and choral singing enhances intelligence and learning capacity. Musical studies have been shown to increase capacities for learning languages, and any number of other areas of study, including STEM fields. Musical training has been shown to lead to improvements in a wide variety of different skills, including memory and spatial relations, verbal memory, literacy, and math….and perhaps even emotional intelligence.


Yes!… The magickal antidote to intellectual degeneracy!


See what other benefits and mysteries you can uncover in this ancient practice. Sometimes the most powerful magicks are the subtle energies and the things that we can’t even see…


‘Tis the season! Maybe after your next tarot reading, you should go out caroling!





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Posted in Psychology of Tarot, Reading for Virtue, Tarot Philosophy, Virtue Philosophy and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , .

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