For sources of song and music books, CDs, CD reviews, lyrics, and sources of musical equipment, take a look at this page Song Circle Resources
Song circles aren't a religion. While they can be used to honor anything you want, the foundation of what they do is connect people with the strengths inside and outside themselves, and then connect these strengthened people together, which generates more strength.
The added strength and sense of connection frequently opens the heart to being filled with joy. You can't create joy, but you can certainly clear the path for it.
An age long problem is the temptation to give power to objects. This both wastes precious energy, and creates a risk of being trapped if the objects fail you at a critical time. Better to nurture the existing strengths in living beings, and in whatever spirits you believe in, and then directly connect and magnify these strengths through a song circle, than to ever give away strength - share it, don't give it away.
There is something very potent about sharing strength in a song circle. I don't completely understand it yet. When I am singing alone, I can feel harmonics when I sing along with a CD that aren't there when singing by myself without the CD. It might be that shared song and dance align the channels, free the blocks, and allow the body, mind, energy, and spirit to more fully connect, and allow people to start living closer to their full potential. I believe this happens, I just don't fully understand why yet. However you don't have to know why to experience the benefits, you just have to participate!
There is always some strength, if you look deep enough.
You control your strength;
Empower this belief through acting on it.
Shared strength always grows;
Share your strength in a song circle;
Reap the rewards of more strength and joy!
This web site focuses on resources to support my personal values. However, most of the resources can be used for song circles intended to honor the natural world and all living beings. These resources can be adapted to many purposes and religions. Just ignore the ones referring to goddesses and gods you don't believe in. They are all probably just different faces of the same awareness anyway.
I would be very sorry if any difference between your beliefs and mine prevented you from using these resources to strengthen your community through song circles.
My personal beliefs focus in the direction of honoring the mother goddess and the natural world we share with all the other living beings. I don't belief in subjugating myself or worshiping anything - we are all in this universe together. Everything deserves and needs to be respected and honored. This maintains the balances and connections needed for everything to work well. It is one of those interesting subtleties that the more energy you put into respect and balances, the stronger you become!
I have been programmed with too many ideas about a negative vengeful male god for "the" god to be male, and then to work well for me for now. Also I'm not sure if there is one goddess, with a bit of herself in everything or maybe it is like a hive with many gods and goddess and their awareness combines to form the swarm with an intelligence that is on a much higher order than any of the individual components.
In any case, once again the details don't matter. The bottom line there is some spiritual awareness in all objects and locations, and the gestalt of this combines to form the ultimate spiritual awareness. So whenever you are broadcasting thoughts, feelings, and energy, something is listening, and eventually responds, if you are focused on deeply listening.
All this isn't to say that there aren't objects with spiritual overtones in my home. They cheer me up, focus my attention, help center me, and help remind me of the many cycles around me.
The critical point is they aren't essential, but if they are helpful, anything is better than nothing, and if you have forgotten, remembering late is better than never.
Fundamentally I believe life is interconnected with a web of circles and cycles, and so my home has many rounded objects, and reminders of the many cycles, which evolve over the seasons.
I also have a deep fondness for trees and savannahs, so this is another thread running through everything in my life.
One source that has influenced my ideas and beliefs in this area is Terry Pratchett. He is a great satirical commentator on the nature and meanings and foibles of reality, life, and civilization. I find that his sense of humor, penetrating observations, and deep underlying compassion almost always will entertain me, cheer me up, and center me.
The bulk of his stories are about Diskworld, a flat planet held together by magic and the principle that everything has to eventually happen somewhere. However, he speculates that maybe the gods were just bored the day it was made. It sails through space rotating on the backs of 4 elephants standing on the back of a turtle, and so has a strong magical field and 8 seasons.
Anybody who has enjoyed stories of this type and is interested in exploring the concepts of belief and strength as it applies to any of my comments above should read his witch series. The characters evolve, so it is best to read them in the order they were written:
Lords and Ladies
Riane Tennenhaus Eisler
I am beginning to think the work that Riane Eisler has done is one of the most important things that has happened in the last couple decades. Sometimes you read a book, find it useful, and it fades into the background. Sometimes you read a book, and it grows into the foreground. Riane Eisler's books are having this impact on me. The more I think about her ideas, the more they provide answers to questions and concerns I have had for my whole life.
Other people seem to have had the same experience because I am now finding books, that I really like, that credit her with being a critical source of inspiration. Much of the ideas above have roots in her work.
The Chalice and the Blade: Our History, Our Future
Publication Date: May 1987
Sacred Pleasure: Sex, Myth, and the Politics of the Body
New Paths to Power and Love
Publication Date: May 1996
The first book describes the historical research and basis for the ideas she presents. In short, she believes there was a pervasive ancient culture that fundamentally believed in partnership - partnership between the genders, different peoples, all living beings, and the natural world around them. I find the concepts and research very compelling. The sad thing is this culture was destroyed several thousand years ago by a culture that believes in domination as the basic dynamic in relationships.
The second book describes the most critical impacts of these cultures on our lives, what we lost, what we have to gain, and the paths people are following to regain a sense of wholeness and partnership with life, and with the people around them.
By clearly verbalizing what has been going on in the deep background of our culture and subconscious, I was able to see remnants of darkness that I had been holding onto, and participating in. Since then I have been working on letting this go, and have been more effective in steering my life in a positive direction.
Anybody who feels there is some kind of sense of connection missing, or is working towards building a more positive life should read these books. They are some of the most empowering books I have ever read.
Just thinking and writing about the vistas of opportunities for partnering and connecting with the world around me is causing my spirit to dance for joy.
I hope all these ideas and activities bring as much improvement to your life as they have for mine.
May your day be filled with grace and joy,
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Last Updated: July 21, 2001