The Pagan Disco

Music blog Shards, Fragments and Totems brings forth the idea that Disco is actually the ideal music for modern Pagans.

“A while ago I put up a mix of music that related to some of my more spiritual interests, in the shape of the Industrial mix. Then, in April this year, I went to Gozo, where I went to the amazing Neolithic temples (the oldest freestanding structures on the planet), and read Frank Tope and Bill Brewster?s fabulous book Last Night A DJ Saved My Life. I became obsessed by disco-influenced (is there any other kind?) house music, and I came to believe that Disco and all its descendents might well be the ultimate pagan music…I’m fed up with the boring stereotypes of what witchy, pagan music should be. It’s always the same old genres: goth (eurgh), folk (which is OK), antedeluvian rock (zzzzzzz?) ? nothing that really captures the feelings I have as a pagan. And over the last few weeks, I’ve become obsessed with the idea that the ultimate pagan music is DISCO. It, and all the genres that have sprung from it, especially house music, for me represent a much more vital spiritual force. Disco’s pulse, its abandonment to pleasure, its delivery of physical transcendence via the agency of rhythm, combine to make it a far more Dionysian experience than I gain from the musical genres usually associated with paganism. Furthermore, positing Disco as the ultimate pagan music challenges paganism?s cultural stereotype (hippy-goth clothes, patchouli oil, Stonehenge posters?) and helps to remove pagan ideas from from simply being part of what can be seen as a lifestyle package.”

I suggest reading the whole article. The special mix he made to illustrate his thesis isn’t up at the moment, but I bet if you e-mail him he might be able to make it available.

I share his feelings about the excellent book “Last Night A DJ Saved My Life”, though I have a higher tolerance for goth than he does. I have long railed against the large amount of sub-standard music being made “for” the Pagan community, it was what made me start my “Darker Shade of Pagan” project. I feel that a truly diverse and quality musical and artistic culture is essential to the long-term relevance of our faiths. This means moving beyond purely insular festival-based music and embracing the promise of our modern musical culture.

Jason Pitzl-Waters