The Story Behind Stairway to Heaven
Let’s have a look at occult symbolism in Zeppelin’s lyrics as well. Many of you probably know that Stairway to Heaven is the most highly requested radio song of all time. Those famous first chords are among the most identifiable in rock history. Some eight minutes long, it plays out as a mystical quest of sorts with elements of paganism and mythology all mixed in to create an experience that is still being had daily on classic rock stations all over the planet. The song’s theme has been explained by some as a search for meaning in a world of ambiguity which is the ideal playground for deeply accessing the subconscious.
Stairway has been described as not just a song but a spell. I’d say that’s dead-on for a number of reasons. The spells that are cast during occult rituals gain power through belief, emotion and repetition as these important elements accumulate energy; very much like the buildup to sexual climax. Sound has supreme power in magick as the vibrations that sounds create are a bridge between the 3rd and 4th dimensions. This is why so many occult traditions utilize bells, drums and song when communicating with the invisible beings they seek assistance from. We’ll go into rock concerts as ritual in the next chapter but the keys here are sound and repetition which have perpetuated the endless spell that Stairway to Heaven has become.
Jimmy Page and Robert Plant have publicly alluded to a number of their songs being ‘channeled’. In the case of Stairway to Heaven they have undeniably stated it. Plant said that the lyrics were written (by his hand) while he was unaware of what was happening to him. This is commonly known as automatic writing or channeling in spiritualist and occult circles. Basically, you relax and open yourself up with pen in hand and paper in front of you. This happens to some people without them consciously asking for it and others intentionally will it upon themselves.
Ideally you should clear your space or do a purification of some sort before opening yourself up to the highly unreliable and suspect spirit world. This purification can take many forms and could involve verbally banishing negative entities or creating a magick circle, etc. The list could go on and on and although there is no guarantee that purifications work it’s at least worth a shot. However, in the other category you have the folks that consciously open themselves up and don’t do a purification or those that aren’t really aware of what is happening and of course no protective action is taken.
There are many that have practiced different types of channeling techniques for years and claim no adverse effects. This could very well be true but as I mentioned earlier, the spirit world cannot be scientifically measured nor trusted in any way, shape or form. I said scientifically but only in the 3rd dimensional sense. I still believe magick is a science but unfortunately it will never fit into an acceptable, measurable context recognized by the masses. But who cares, right? Once you know this stuff is real through direct experience, other people’s validation is irrelevant.
Work on Stairway to Heaven supposedly began in a 250 year old Welsh cottage called Bron-yr-Aur. As the story goes, Plant and Page were by the fire one night when Plant jotted down the first words to the song. He later claimed that the lyrics came to him, as if written automatically. He remembered being in a very bad mood and was just sitting there with paper and pencil in hand and all of a sudden he was writing out the words to Stairway to Heaven. He said that he almost jumped out of his seat.
However, Jimmy Page told a different story under oath during a 2016 plagiarism trial over the song. He stated that he wrote the music on his own and first played it for the rest of the band at an old stone castle in England called Headley Grange. Zeppelin fans will likely know of this place as it was used as a recording and rehearsal venue by many famous bands in the 60’s and 70’s. Parts of four different Zeppelin albums were composed and/or recorded at Headley Grange so it’s obviously a significant location for the band. Plant also confirmed this version of the story under oath. So what’s the truth? The automatic writing story is pretty creepy but was it nonsense?
Now to be fair, this happens to some degree quite often and I’ll bet many artists of all types will agree that some form of communion with the spirit world or another part of their consciousness (who can say which is which) occurs when they get into the ‘zone’ or tap into their inspiration to create art. However, this is Led Zeppelin and the occult will always be inextricably linked to them.
A curious detail is that Plant said he was in a very bad...