TBT: Music and Identity
As a Cancer rising, I tend to be the keeper of family memories. In this series, I take a photo from my past and reflect on how time and experience has shaped my current perspective and practice as an art witch.
My earliest microphone was a wooden block. I remember dancing around my family’s living room, aged 4 or so, singing Billy Joel’s It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me into a bright yellow cylinder.
After my performance I would lay down on the floor next to the big speaker so I could feel the bass of Eagles classics like Heartache Tonight.
What fascinated me was not the act of performance, but the music itself. I have always been moved by music and song lyrics, and throughout my childhood and adolescence I established and defined my identity primarily around the music that I, and those around me, listened to.
In my natal astrology chart I have a strong aspect between Neptune and my Sun and Venus. I feel this gives me an appreciation for music but also makes me associate my musical preferences with my identity and core values.
Growing up, my parents played a great deal of music — first vinyl records, then cassette tapes, and eventually CDs. There was often music on before dinner and certainly played during the long hot days of a Southern California desert summer spent mostly indoors. I remember as a child seeing my dad’s headphones with a long curly phone-like cord next to the green velvet rocking chair that he sat in to listen to music. My parents put great pride in their music collection, took care of it, and listened to it regularly. I think this also instilled in me an early reverence for the importance of music in everyday life.
My house was filled with 70’s country and rock staples such as the Eagles, Joni Mitchell, Paul Simon and Jackson Browne, as well as pop music outliers like Gordon Lightfoot and Jimmy Buffett. These were the albums I heard on repeat as a child, and they formed the foundation of my musical education.