I can't help it... I love Pagan Folk, I know it isn't cool or fashionable but I don't care.  Somethings we imprint on young and Folk music is, for me, just one of those things. 

So I wanted to do a quick round up of my current favourites. 

1. Sharon Knight and T.Thorn Coyle - I felt for a long time that Pagan Chanting had been blessed with Z Budapest's work but there was little else out there.  Sharon Knight and T.Thorn Coyle have produced two amazing CDs of modern Pagan chants which are truly stunning.
2. Spiral Dance - more classic folk but with fantastic lyrics which really draw on the Pagan experience.  Spiral Dance is one of the bands who are unashamedly writing songs about life as a Pagan.  Given the lack of cultural expression Paganism has in the mainstream media, being able to listen to music with lyrics so clearly describing my life experience is a real joy.
3. Omnia - A dark folk band who draw on a diverse range of sources for their inspiration. The second I heard The Raven I was in love with Omnia's work.  Who doesn't want a bit of Edgar Allen Poe and Shakespeare set to music.
4. Damh the Bard - Damh is a regular on the UK Pagan scene, host of the fabulous Druidcast podcast and gifted musician.  I don't mind admitting that every time he calls this home of mine Albion I am filled with and overwhelming sense of the land I live on.
5. Hagalaz' Runedance - I was always going to enjoy music inspired by Norse mythology and Runes, but Hagalaz Runedance introduced me to folk with a definite Scandinavian and Germanic twist which was fresh and exciting (fresh to a committed UK Folk fan anyway).  I have found a deepening of my relationship with the runes and Norse Deities through their music which has been absolutely joyful.
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I absolutely love meditating to music.  Silence might work well for some folks but not me, I need something soothing and ambient to help me escape from the daily worries.  If I am doing a particular magical working I may even want something which stirs a particular feeling in me - whilst at the same time keeping that same steady ambient, background noise.  So I thought I'd share a few of my favourite artists and composers below.

Please do tell me in the comments who you love to listen to since I am always on the look out for more fantastic music!

1. Alan Stivell  - the man responsible for the renaissance of the Celtic Harp for which I am very grateful and Celtic Breton music generally.  This is really magical stuff, evocative of a very spiritual landscape and his website has some streaming samples you can listen to.

2. Claire Fitch - I stumbled upon Claire Fitch's music when I received a free sample from the Magnatune website and I was instantly hooked.  She is an amazing cellist and I love the way her music (the Ambiencellist album in particular) just sounds like an Arctic vista or underwater adventure.

3. Suzanne Teng - Another Magnatune find, Suzanne Teng plays the flute and creates very soothing and yet deep soundscapes with her work.  Magnatune allows you to listen to all the songs before you buy them (the whole thing, not just a sample) so have a good rummage around for free!

4. Tim Wheater - another fabulous flutist with a huge back catalogue and a really soulful approach to his work.  I think my favourite album of his would be the Soul Medicine Man but Golden Light is also excellent.  His website can be found here and don't forget that Amazon Downloads lets you listen to sample of the songs before you buy.

5. Chris Kimber - Another UK based New Age Composer.  He has a diverse set of albums taking inspiration from a eclectic range of places from elements to reiki, chakras and the I Ching all for relaxation and mediatio

I think that the take away message here might be the strings and flutes really rock my meditating world.