Led Zeppelin is one of the most influential and beloved rock bands of all time, known for their electrifying performances, innovative songwriting, and iconic sound. However, the band is also known for their fascination with mysticism, magic, and the occult, which is evident in many of their songs and album artwork.
In this article, we will explore Led Zeppelin’s fascination with the occult and what it tells us about the band’s creative process and the cultural climate of the time.
The Influence of Aleister Crowley
One of the primary influences on Led Zeppelin’s fascination with the occult was the infamous British occultist, Aleister Crowley. Crowley was a controversial figure in the early 20th century, known for his writings on magic, mysticism, and esotericism.
Many members of Led Zeppelin were fans of Crowley’s work, and his influence can be seen in many of their songs and album artwork. For example, the band’s fourth album, commonly referred to as “Led Zeppelin IV,” features an image of a hermit holding a lantern, which is believed to be a reference to one of Crowley’s tarot cards.
The song “Stairway to Heaven” also contains references to Crowley’s work, including the line “And if you listen very hard, the tune will come to you at last. When all are one and one is all, to be a rock and not to roll.” This line is believed to be a reference to Crowley’s belief in the ultimate unity of all things.
Mystical and Occult Themes in Their Music
Led Zeppelin’s fascination with the occult is also evident in many of their songs, which contain references to mystical and esoteric themes. For example, the song “Kashmir” contains lyrics about a mystical journey to a far-off land, while “The Battle of Evermore” features lyrics about witches, magic, and prophecy.
Other songs, such as “Dazed and Confused,” feature references to magic and ritual, while the song “Black Dog” contains references to the dark forces of the occult.
While Led Zeppelin’s lyrics often touch on these themes, the band’s music is also characterized by a sense of mystery, darkness, and transcendence, which is believed to be influenced by their interest in the occult and mystical traditions.
The Legacy of Led Zeppelin and the Occult
Led Zeppelin’s fascination with the occult has had a lasting impact on popular culture and the world of rock music. The band’s experimentation with mystical and esoteric themes helped to pave the way for other artists to explore these themes in their music.
In particular, the band’s influence can be seen in the emergence of heavy metal, a genre that is characterized by its use of dark, occult imagery and themes. Many of the bands that emerged in the wake of Led Zeppelin, such as Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden, were heavily influenced by the band’s use of occult themes in their music.
Led Zeppelin’s fascination with the occult and mysticism is a testament to the enduring power of these themes in human culture. Whether or not one believes in the reality of magic or the supernatural, it is clear that these themes have captivated and inspired generations of artists and musicians.
For Led Zeppelin, the occult was a means of exploring the mysteries of the universe and tapping into something greater than themselves. While their fascination with these themes may have been controversial at the time, their influence on popular culture and the world of music is undeniable.
image source: wikipedia,led zeppelin