Playlist for the Wheel of the Year: Mid-Autumn

Over the years, I have created rituals to celebrate the Wheel of the Year with my wife and children. Music has been an essential part of the experience. Without it, it would be much more difficult to create the sense of sacred time and space and to evoke the experience I desire for each ritual. So I want to share with you my playlist for each station on the Wheel of Year. Here’s the seventh list. Enjoy! And share your suggestions in the comments below.

Samhain/All Hallows/Mid-Autumn

Mythologically, the Dark God is crowned as the Holly King. He leads the Wild Hunt as it emerges from the Underworld to roam the winter countryside. The Dark Queen rides beside him in her aspect as the Huntress, the devouring aspect of the God­dess.

“Ghost Riders In The Sky” by Johnny Cash

Well, an old cowboy went riding out one dark and windy day
Upon a ridge he rested as he went along his way
When all at once a mighty herd of red eyed cows he saw
Plowing through the ragged sky
And up the cloudy draw

Their brands were still on fire and their hooves were made of steel
Their horns were black and shiny and their hot breath he could feel
A bolt of fear went through him as they thundered through the sky
He saw the riders coming hard
And he heard their mournful cry

Yippie-yi-ay (yippie-yi-ay)
Yippie-yi-yay (yippie-yi-yay)
Ghost riders in the sky

Their faces gaunt, their eyes were blurred, their shirts all soaked with sweat
He’s riding hard to catch that herd, but he ain’t caught ’em yet
‘Cause they’ve got to ride forever on that range up in the sky
On horses snorting fire
As they ride on hear their cry

As the riders passed on by him he heard one call his name (Merle Haggard)
If you want to save your soul from hell a-riding on our range
Then cowboy change your ways today or with us you will ride
Trying to catch the devil’s herd
Across these endless skies

Yippie-yi-ay (yippie-yi-ay)
Yippie-yi-yay (yippie-yi-yay)
You lost a “yippie” there
Ghost riders in the sky
Ghost riders in the sky

“The Wolf” by Fever Ray 

Eyes black, big paws
And it’s poison in his blood
A big fire, big burn
Into the ashes and no return

We took you right from your mother’s womb
Our temple, your tomb
Can be your pick, not pawned
The poisonous blood

We’ve been calling
Black paw who’s soaring

We go out in the morning
Down the trail to somewhere

You are the sound that I hear
You are the sound that I hear
We are not standing
We are falling

“Now The Day Is Over”

Note: I couldn’t find a recording of the Unitarian version (STLT #46), so here is the Christian version. The Unitarian lyrics are below.

Now the day is over, night is drawing nigh,
shadows of the evening steal across the sky.
Now the leafless landscape settles in repose,
waiting for the quiet of the winter snows.
Now as twilight gathers let us pause and hear
all the slowing pulsebeats of the waning year.
May the season’s rhythms, slow and strong and deep,
soothe the mind and spirit, lulling us to sleep.
Sleep until the rising of another spring
keeps the ancient promise fall and winter bring.

“When Darkness Nears”

When darkness nears and embers die,
the wind in trees a distant sigh,
the end of day like a lover’s voice nearby.
The night draws close, a fond embrace;
the heart then slows its frantic pace,
and fear drifts off as a calm breath takes its place.
The end of day, the passing year,
the rush of time need cause no fear,
we’ll love the night and its myst’ry now so near.

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