When I look around, I find a certain dearth of Wiccan music.
It's out there, I know, but it tends to be made up of chanting and is generally based on other musical traditions like native aboriginal music. What I'm talking about is a distinctly Wiccan form of musical expression, something all our own which stands out from other musical forms.
One of the issues comes from the fact Wicca hasn't been around all that long, so there hasn't been much chance of development. The other issue stems from the disjointed nature of the religion itself, with small covens separated from one another, each with their own likes and dislikes, practices and ceremonial needs.
But Wicca is a rediscovery of the ancient pagan practices, so it would stand to reason we should incorporate their musical traditions as well. Celtic music, for instance, has a long and deeply developed history. Many of the oldest known rhythms are Celtic in origin. As well, many of the melodic elements of modern Irish and Scottish music has remained unchanged for thousands of years. It seems a good starting point.
There is some popular music made by Wiccan musicians which is distinctly Pagan in subject. Two of my favorite bands are Godsmack and Type O Negative, both of which are and were fronted by Neo-Pagans.
Sully Erna is a well known Wiccan, so much so he tired long ago of being asked to discuss it and now refuses to do so. I've always loved the song Spiral, the closing track from their second album, Awake, and many of their songs make reference to the Goddess, magick and reincarnation. I am especially taken by their use of uncommon modes and tribal rhythms, both of which lend a strong identity to their music which, at least to me, sounds very pagan.
Likewise, I am a fan of Type O Negative, whose primary songwriter, vocalist and bass player was Peter Steele, who unfortunately passed away in 2010, may the Goddess give him rest. Later in life he converted to Christianity, but his early work made reference to numerous pagan deities, including the Green Man, Bacchus and the Goddess, as well as referencing magick, ceremonial practice and Wicca itself. I don't know if he was a Wiccan himself, but given many of the topics in his music it seems likely he was at least a lay practitioner at some point.
There are other artists I can't really identify as Wiccan, Neo-Pagan perhaps, but not distinctly of the Craft itself. Sarah Mclachlan is one which, although I don't know, I suspect was and/or is of a Pagan persuasion. Her early work, of which I'm more familiar with, makes reference to ceremony, magick and voodoo. There is also a strong thread running through all her music regarding the sanctity of nature, bordering on worshipful respect, which feels like more than the ordinary.
Still, I wish there was more Neo-Paganism in popular music, as well as a strong tradition within the Craft itself. But, to take a different view, perhaps it's good we don't have such a unified musical tradition, it's a sign of our strong individualism, of the fact we are all of different minds and tastes. I can't really complain if that is the case and, somehow, I think it just might be, but I'll still keep hoping to hear something a bit more overt from the Neo-Pagan musicians in the future.
I, Patrick, Wiccan