The End of Times

Image of ancient ruins and Zoso
Artwork first appeared on Mage Music blog in March, 2015

The End of Times is always the Beginning of Times.  It is Law.  But hey, don’t get your bustle in a hedgerow over this — it’s just a kind of spring clean for the May queen.

In other words, out with the old to make room for the new.

OK, before I go any further I want to say this: I’m going to be talking about magick, with a K to indicate I’m not talking about stage tricks and sleight of hand but in changing actual reality

Second, don’t bother reading more of this blog post if you believe that magick is something… magical.  That is, just the stuff of fantasy. 

Third, stop right now if you believe that power is something outside of you that you tap into.  You might as well click on this link and enjoy some pretty music because reading on will be a hopeless task for you (if you know me at all, you know I’m being sarcastic about the pretty music — I can’t stand Neil Young’s voice).  

I’m here to tell you that you are power.  And that magick is just another word – a way cooler one — for the power that you are.

The Law I mentioned above is not the “do what thou wilt” one, as attractive as that might be.  It’s the law of conservation of energy, which is that energy can neither be created nor destroyed*.  Energy simply is.  It’s infinite, eternal, and it literally is everything that is.  And thus we’re talking about a Law that applies to physics as well as metaphysics, the mundane as much as the magickal.  Because the energy of existence is what everything is.

So yeah, that means the Law applies to you and me. 

We’re made of the same stuff as stars!  We’re mostly stardust!  Stars are physical things just like we are, and maybe they’re huge and hot but they are also finite, with beginnings, middles, and ends.  We’re just like stars, except not quite as huge or hot.

In a way, though, we’re more powerful than stars.  We’ve got something extra going that – as far as we know – stars don’t. 

Stars can affect energy but we mere humans can purposefully shape it.  That is, we can decide to shape it and then do it.  We don’t have to even be Mages to shape energy, but — and pay attention now — we tend to do it even when we don’t know we’re doing it.  In fact, everything that happens in our lives mostly comes about without our having a clue that we had anything to do with it. 

Too bad, because you and I each do have the power to shape energy in whatever way we want.

But yeah.  Cold comfort as we come to the end of the second year in a row that feels like the end of times is nigh.

But wait!  The end of times is nigh! It’s always nigh!  Every moment is an end because every moment is also a beginning.  That’s what change is. We just don’t notice most of what’s happening.  If we did (aside from going crazy) we’d discover that a) we can always fix what’s broken if we want to; and b) it’s easier to change things at the beginning of times because they come immediately after the end (um… even if the end is not actually the end, if you get my meaning). 

All we have to do is pay attention.

What the end of times portends is change, and change is the potent point of potential.  Change = the indefinable moment when a state of energy ceases being one thing and begins being another.  Purposeful change happens on the cusp of that state of change, the point when it takes the least energy to influence the new course of events. 

Let’s talk about inertia!  By which I don’t mean slouched on the couch watching the tube and eating pizza.  As attractive as that might be.

Inertia is another one of those physics things that applies to mundane as well as magickal.  Inertia is “a property of matter by which it continues in its existing state of rest or uniform motion in a straight line, unless that state is changed by an external force.” Oxford Dictionary

“A property of matter…” 

Inertia is about matter… physical, finite stuff – not so coincidentally the stuff we are made of.  And not so coincidentally the stuff we can manipulate.

We can be the external force that changes the existing state of matter, and there are and have been people throughout human history who can do so at will. They can create those cusps, actually.  The rest of us need to take advantage of the optimal times to do it, like, for instance, on the cusp between the end of times and the beginning of times. 

When it only takes a little personal energy to effect that change instead of a whole lot.

A nudge, rather than a shove.

Fate vs. choice.  Contrary to what many people seem to think, fate is not set at or before your birth. It’s not about what will happen to you.  Fate is merely the already-developed warp and weft of the energy of which you are a part.  You are not merely a thread in that tapestry but you are also the weaver – of your own thread, at least.

The name of the tapestry might be destiny (fate), but when it comes down to it destiny is as subject to inertia as anything else.  It’s created by an infinite number of choices and nudges that shape the energy of it.  Some of the shaping is recent – like nano-seconds ago – but by far most has been set well before our ancestors walked the Earth. The older, the more set.

Inertia, baby.

Except destiny has never been in a state of rest or of uniform motion. Destiny is made of change. Change is made of choices.

Choices, you see, are what create individual destiny — not the other way around.  An individual’s choice shapes that individual’s experience and thus that individual’s destiny.  The fate you’re weaving yourself through right now is only and always the result of your choices — be they made consciously or not, or even made by your soul in this lifetime. Doesn’t matter. Each choice – to breathe in at this moment or hiccup first; to smile or frown; to turn the page or reread the last sentence – each choice is like all the other choices that brought you to the very moment that is Now.  Each choice will create the next Now and the one after, to the end of time.

If you are into shaping energy, then each moment is your cusp of the end of times, waiting for your choice — each choice transforming the energy into the next beginning of times.  You always have leverage right now to nudge rather than to sweat and groan over a major Working of Magick. You can just do a little nudgy kind of magick any time you want.

And hey — you never have to wait till somebody else’s end of times to create your own new beginnings.

So it’s the end of times? Great news!  Exciting times!
 Now is the powerful moment for you to leverage into the beginning of the next Now!

 Grab the choice and GO FORTH INTO YOUR FUTURE!


* This post is about Magick and personal power, not science.  Just in case you were confused about that.

Bob Dylan at 80 and I don’t care

Robert Allen Zimmerman was born May 24, 1941 in Minnesota. That makes him 80 years old today. Happy Birthday Bob Dylan and now can we move on to a much more interesting topic? How about, oh, Jimmy Page?

But wait, you might say. It’s Bob Dylan — you can’t just move on! No? Sorry (not sorry) yes! Why dwell on a poet who couldn’t sing but did anyway, and who played decent guitar but apparently considered instruments (including his voice) as unwanted baggage for his poetry.

Yeah, okay, everybody loves Bob Dylan. Just not me. Which is not to say he wasn’t great at what he did, just that his work is not my cup of tea. Of course there was good music hidden in it but in my opinion it took others — actual musicians — to bring out the magic.

Since everybody who pretends to hate Led Zeppelin likes to accuse the band of stealing songs (because obviously none of those four guys could possibly come up with their own music) let’s talk about one of the most amazing stolen songs that Led Zeppelin performed: In My Time of Dying (link: Earls Court 1975), stolen from Blind Willie Johnson (link: 1927 recording) – that is, stolen by Bob Dylan in 1962.

The song was a traditional gospel tune. Mr. Johnson was probably the first to commercially release the song, then called Jesus Make Up My Dying Bed. Dylan changed the title when he recorded it on his first album. I don’t see any evidence of credit there for Blind Willie Johnson or any of the other musicians who had subsequently recorded it. In fact the album liner notes say that Dylan had never sung the song prior to the recording session and that he didn’t recall where he first heard it. Uh huh — but hey, it’s Bob Dylan and nobody’s taking him to court claiming copyright violation.

Led Zeppelin recorded their version of In My Time of Dying for their 1975 album, Physical Graffiti — a double album of one masterpiece after another. Zep didn’t bother crediting anyone besides themselves for the song, not even Dylan. Which serves Dylan right for having snubbed Peter Grant the year before at a party in Los Angeles, but that’s another story.

This is the real story about the old gospel tune: Led Zeppelin took what was and made it into their own. It’s always the four of them, but Jimmy Page takes it to another level. His slide guitar channels the dark magic of blues sung by the people who lived it.

Page uses his two-pickup 3021 model Danelectro to create a shivery, slippery slide intro. Bonham and then Jones join in, and, after a long chord, Plant comes in with the lyrics. Well, well, well. I’m dyin’ just listening to the signature Led Zeppelin approach: tight but loose, with pauses so pregnant that quadruplets are conceived and born by the time the next notes crash over us.

Page’s fret hand is up and down the neck, his focus on the instrument, with the occasional magical gesture that makes me gasp with its theatrical perfection. He’s working it hard — the music, the magic. They all are. This is not your grandfather’s blues.

Not Bob Dylan’s either.

At 10:45 in the Earls Court performance, when Plant and Page do the call/response, the audience briefly cries out in acknowledgment and then the place is silent again until the end, when the place erupts. As it should.

Heavy stuff, friends. But then, that was just Led Zeppelin at Earl’s Court on Bob Dylan’s birthday. Go to 10:45 on the Physical Graffiti remaster version and listen for a few seconds…

Ya gotta love them boys.

Introducing Mage Music blog

On Monday, May 7, 2012, I started a blog called Mage Music. I intended to write about the music of my favorite guitarist, musician, musical producer, and creator, Jimmy Page. The blog soon morphed into my thoughts about the meaning of creativity, the magic of it. And then I began exploring magic itself.

I’m continuing the blog on a new site. But it’s still about music and magic, about acts of creativity.

What I wrote almost nine years ago still applies today


I’m curious about music – why it works, why it generates the responses it does.  I’m not educated in music theory, but I want to know more about music than just that I like it or that it seems powerful.  I want to know why.  I’m hoping you do, too.

There’s lots of pages devoted to Jimmy Page as guitarist, solo, with Led Zeppelin and others. There’s discussion of the lyrics of the songs, and there’s lots about Mr. Page’s guitars and techniques too.  There’s not so much out there about the music itself, though.

I’m curious about the music.  About why it is so magical, how someone with no classical music education could compose the way Mr. Page does, about what works, what doesn’t. About the influences – both on Mr. Page and that of his music on others.

With the help of thinking people everywhere who admire Jimmy Page and his work, this blog is dedicated to serious (and maybe not-so-serious) analysis of his awesome music.

Be advised that it is this blogmaster’s opinion that Jimmy Page is truly The Rock God; nevertheless we understand that there are other musicians and music of value.  Thus, all music can be discussed with reference to Mr. Page’s work as long as it is done in a respectful manner, and with insight that will allow us all to learn.

PS – we will NOT beg Jimmy Page to reunite Led Zeppelin on this blog, OK?

Hey there, it’s me, Lif

I’ve blogged before. You might have seen my stuff on my original Mage Music blog, or on my website,, or even my Patreon page. The original MM (Mage Music) blog was more focused on the music of Jimmy Page and for the moment I’ve said what I want about that. I started this blog so I could have a place separate from my personal one, where I babble on about my adventures (hiking, bread making, cooking, wrassling with writing and photography and fabric art).

Yeah. This is a place where I babble on about magic.

Not magic as in card tricks, but as in manifesting from the non-physical to the physical. It’s not a new or even unique concept, but I like to think that my point of view is just different enough that maybe sharing it would be an okay thing to do.

So I am.

[Note that I’m learning how to use this WordPress interface, so everything is subject to change for a while!]