Chanting

For this my first post as part of the Pagan Blog Project I chose to use one of the suggested topics for the letter C … Chants.

I first encountered group chanting at Oakleaf Camp, a small group that meets the last weekend of July in Yorkshire.  The focus of the camp is the burning of the wicca man on the Sunday during which there is chanting.  Prior to that, sometimes on both the Saturday and Sunday, there is the option to join in a chanting workshop.  The first time I did this it was with some nervousness as in one secondary school I attended the music teacher would not allow me to sing at all.  The cause of the poor singing was singled out in grammar school and I joined the choir there but the way that music teacher singled me out … it left a mark.

Chanting is nothing like singing, it is so much better.  The time in choir did help me as I remembered my breathing … from the diaphragm not the top of the chest!!!  Chanting, especially as a group raises some amazing energies, it’s awesome and for me one of the best parts of going to camp.  Not only is there the chanting workshops, where amongst other chants we practise the ones for the Burning Ceremony, but there is often chanting around the fire … usually after the drumming curfew lol.  At Oakleaf the chanting workshops sometimes take place at the edge of the field, under the trees but often, especially if the weather is very hot or wet, they take place inside the roundhouse.  Although we stand to chant there is a comfortable bench all around the edge to take a brief rest on in between songs if, like myself, standing isn’t something you can do for long.

  

Sitting here, thinking about and writing this post I’ve been trying to remember some of the chants.  I’m finding it difficult, I’ve struggled with this before but once someone starts I can nearly always remember them.

A couple of my favourites are:

I am a circle, I am healing you

You are  a circle, you are healing me

United as one.  United, be as one.

When we do this one during a workshop someone goes in the middle and we chant to that person.  Last year (2011) I was in the centre, it was something I needed, I cried while we chanted and I felt the energies fill me and lift my soul.  I can’t really describe how heart healing it was.

Moon rise, so rise I

Starfire burning, so burn I

Spindle spin, so spin I

The wheel turns, so turn I

Mother I feel you under my feet, Mother I hear your heartbeat

Mother I feel you under my feet, Mother I hear your heartbeat

This one you chant faster and faster as you go along, often with chants you’ll have people more vocally able creating harmonies and where there is two parts as in the above chant the chanters will split and sing the opposite parts.

Hoof and Horn, Hoof and Horn,

All that dies shall be re-born.

Corn and Grain, Corn and Grain,

All that fall, shall rise again!

 

This photo isn’t from Oakleaf, it’s from The Mercian Gathering, another pagan camp I attend whenever possible.  It is held in the beginning of September where Lammas is also celebrated with chanting and burning the Wicker Man.  The chant we sing while the Wicker Man burns at both camps is this one:

Horned One, Lover Son,

Leaper in the Corn

Deep in the Mother

Die and be Reborn

Well there a few thoughts on chanting … I hope you enjoyed reading about it and I strongly encourage you to take advantage of any opportunity which comes your way to take part in chanting.  Yes you can chant by yourself, I have done so, but chanting as part of a group is a totally different experience.

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About Willow

II'm a 45yr old divorced pagan with a son (He's 23 now? How did that happen?) who wants to explore the world ... well the UK anyway (one of my dreams is to have a camper van, preferably a personalized one).
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