Saturday, November 5, 2016

Occult Influences within Star Wars - The Force Awakens

"I believe that something is out there I just don't know what it is...but I do know that religions aren't based on it. They're human psychological needs that have been put together mostly to create a society....when you bring new things into society, just like the balance of the force, you can either use it for good or you can use it for evil....The whole thing in Star Wars was to take psychological ideas from social issues, political issues, spiritual issues, and condense them down to an easy to tell story...the crudest part of that in terms of the religious/spiritual thing is some people have taken those ideas and distorted them and you end up in a cult where they're using the psychological tools to make you adhere to their society. And part of it is they have to keep it closed...." - George Lucas

The question of whether or not the creation of the Star Wars films involves an occult agenda has been the subject of intense discussion since the first film debuted in the 70s. But "The Force Awakens" seems to go the extra mile to stoke them and, at times, gives an ironic wink to the more observant. However I have found that many of these discussions on the internet repeat the same information and omit quite a few breadcrumbs (or even entire LOAVES in some cases.) The reasons for this will become apparent later in this blog.

Let's start with the main promotional poster, which quite obviously contains a square and compass - the main symbol representing Freemasonry. These are mathematical tools used in building of course. They represent the circle and the square, which are very important in Freemasonry, both in their mathematical applications and in their philosophical/spiritual values. Symbols with multiple meanings are very common when it comes to Freemasonry as there has long been a mystical, occult side to it. In case you can't see it within the poster, Rey's head is right at the top section where the tip of the compass handle would be. The bottom elbow of the square ruler is about where the caped Stormtrooper's head is. The cross hilt of Kylo Ren's lightsaber rather blasphemously forms the lines on the left where the compass and square cross each other. Han Solo's gun is angled to form an invisible line which crosses Finn's lightsaber, forming the right side of the compass/square intersection. Finally, Han Solo's head seems to be the location of the letter "G" which some say stands for Gnosis, God, or Geometry. However, it is more likely that the "G" is a pictorial representation of a serpent. An uppercase G resembles a serpent swallowing its tail, while a lowercase one conjures up more of the squirming wave-like movements. What all of this has to do with the storyline within "The Force Awakens" is not immediately apparent, but we will explore this.

If we look a bit closer at the square and compass, we find it is actually an outline of 2 triangles. One pointing up and one pointing down. This is a pictorial representation of "as above, so below." Combine the 2 triangles and you get the star of David. The reasoning behind slipping this into the promotional poster in such an obvious manner opens the door to many questions, and it appears to do it quite purposefully.

Observe the blue and red also within the above poster - these are masonic colors in this context. Red represents chaos - Blue represents order. When police are in pursuit, they flash red and blue lights. This is because they are managers of chaos and order within our cities. Many gas stations such as Exxon, Arco, and Chevron have blue and red logos with masonic symbolism. This is because Freemasonic factions control them. Chevron is 2 squares turned on their side, one representing chaos, the other order. Arco has the square/pyramid inside of a circle viewed from the top with the missing capstone - or "eye of horus" or "all seeing eye," the same one on the back of a US $1 bill. Arco is likely an abbreviation for "Archon" (an ancient term for "ruler" or "fallen angel.") As for the Exxon logo, we find the double cross embedded within it.

The general themes of "chaos and order" and "duality" have always been central to the various plots and dramas within Star Wars, and we'll illustrate many examples of this later. Every key scene seems to revolve around "bringing balance to the force." The themes of duality are heavily at play within the mythologies of Darth Vader, Kylo Ren, and even Luke Skywalker (the former 2 even go by 2 different names!) This concept of a good person challenging their own sense of morality and shifting to "the other side" and then back again is a classic duality struggle. When we observe these aspects of the stories and match them with some of the symbols and their meanings, we can start to see that there is a correspondence, and that they are not just random things thrown in to get people talking. In some instances, the meanings seemed to extend beyond the screen. Just what purpose these occult symbols/ideas serve in this context is what we are after.

These are the most talked about promotional posters online as far as people linking the film to Illuminati symbolism. And for this reason I'm going to gloss over them - because I believe these were created for shock value and to give the impression that "no further inquiry is needed" to confirm Illuminati presence within the film. They seem to be saying "peek a boo, we see you looking for us. We're looking back at you."

Kylo Ren's lightsaber is obviously a blatant, somewhat tacky anti-Christian symbol for viewers to ponder. George Lucas was always pretty serious about leaving specific religious references out of the Star Wars films - so this would seem to be a nice slap in the face from Disney (Lucas has not spoken favorably about Disney since he sold the rights to them). The main motive behind using a cross shape for Kylo Ren's lightsaber is probably to desensitize audiences to blasphemy, in order to erode Christianity and eventually destroy it or replace it with a new religion, as well as all the others, to make way for the one world order. Can't have a one world order with multiple religions can we? If this sounds like a far fetched explanation, I'd love to hear a better theory as to why picking on Christians is suddenly a good idea in Star Wars films....The toy version of Kylo Ren's lightsaber is now available at Target and Party City, so feel free to get one for your kid so he can go around cracking skulls with his giant red cross!

The First Order are the bad guys in this installment. It was formed by Supreme Leader Snoke from the ashes of the Empire and the Sith (Snoke is a mysterious giant entity who seems to exist in another dimension - more on that later). The term "First Order" is likely a slight variation on Hiter's "New Order" which he spoke about in a famous speech thusly: "The year 1941 will be, I am convinced, the historical year of a great European New Order". This gets close to another term more people are aware of: The New World Order, or NWO. This phrase is written on the back of the US $1 bill underneath a pyramid in Latin ("Novus Ordo Seclorum"). The First Order's appearance is heavily influenced by Nazi imagery. This is nothing new to Star Wars, as it has already been confirmed by those who designed the costumes that Nazi military attire was an influence. The Stormtrooper was a name given to a type of Nazi soldier during WWII. JJ Abrams has also acknowledged the connection in interviews. The scenes of General Hux delivering his hateful speech before a group of Stormtroopers, followed by a form of "seig heil" helps confirm any doubts as to the source material. The First Order are a very thinly disguised metaphor for Nazis, mixed with New World Order/Illuminati themes.

"That all came out of conversations about what would have happened if the Nazis all went to Argentina but then started working together again?’ What could be born of that? Could The First Order exist as a group that actually admired The Empire? Could the work of The Empire be seen as unfulfilled? And could Vader be a martyr? Could there be a need to see through what didn’t get done?" - JJ Abrams

The First Order's symbol is a hexagram with what looks like a star or sun motif contained within a circle. If you count the "rays" (or lines coming out from the center) you'll find there are 16 of them. If you remove the outer hexagram, you are left with a Nazi occult symbol for the Black Sun with the inner runes removed. If Mr Abrams wants the answer to his "what if?" he need only take a look at Wikepedia's definition of what modern followers of the Black Sun believe:

The younger Tempelhofgesellschaft was founded in Vienna in the early 1990s by Norbert Jurgen-Ratthofer and Ralft Ettl to teach a dualist form of Christian religion called Marcionism. This one was a part of the main THG/Homburg. The group identifies an "evil creator of this world," the Demiurge with Jehovah, the God of Judaism. Jesus Christ was an Aryan, not Jewish. They distribute pamphlets claiming that the Aryan race originally came to Atlantis from the star Aldebaran (this information is supposedly based on "ancient Sumerian manuscripts"). They maintain that the Aryans from Aldebaran derive their power from the vril energy of the Black Sun. They teach that since the Aryan race is of extraterrestrial origin it has a divine mission to dominate all the other races. It is believed by adherents of this religion that an enormous space fleet is on its way to Earth from Aldebaran which, when it arrives, will join forces with the Nazi Flying Saucers from Antarctica to establish the Western Imperium. Its major publication is called Das Vril-Projekt (1992).

Whether you take the above text seriously or not, the fact is that this "mythology" is very close to the heart and soul of what the deepest Nazi occult beliefs/philosophy stemmed from. In short, this was/is their sacred bible. Their re-writing of history. Their "New World Order." Their "First Order." In fact high ranking SS officer Heinrich Himmler was one of the main cultivators of the Black Sun cult, drawing from the earlier Thule and Vril societies. Black Sun symbols, as well as the Swastika, are illegal to print in Germany. Given the known Nazi influences already used within Star Wars, you can be sure this Black Sun insignia was inserted with full knowledge of how serious and offensive it is in REAL LIFE - even when presented in a negative light and as fiction. This would seem to be a very risky move given the reactionary, overly sensitive culture we live in today. But because knowledge of what this symbol means is limited to a small quarter of society, it remains hidden even though it is in plain sight. In addition to the inclusion of a nearly literal Black Sun symbol within the film, it's interesting to note the parallels between the Black Sun mythology and the ones presented within the film: moral duality, a "magical" force/energy (vril), space travel, and of course intergalactic war. So we're not just talking about influence here, we're getting very close to cutting and pasting.

This might sound like a lot to assume from a mere symbol. However, there is a "Black Sun" cult already within the extended Star Wars universe, which apparently appeared in the mid 90s with the "Clone Wars." (insignia on the upper left) Their symbol is a less obvious reference to the Neo Nazi Black Sun symbol, but does also contain 16 points. It appears to be an eye as well, another symbol we're seeing more of within the latest Star Wars film and its promotional posters. This, and other insignias are briefly explained at, however the First Order insignia is the ONLY ONE that is partially obscured on the page dedicated exclusively to explaining the meanings behind the symbols (actual image from the site above). There also exists a strange website called which has multiple "handbooks" for sale through its' links purporting to reveal the secrets of the power of the dark side. The aim of this website appears to fit right in with the agenda of the Illuminati, which is the establishing of a new one world religion. This of course would require the destruction of all the old religions. Whether this is connected to the Star Wars franchise, the Illuminati, or neither, it is interesting propaganda obviously influenced by all topics mentioned thus far. It also shows at the very least that there are those much more serious about this Black Sun/Star Wars connection than most people would guess. The books are available on Amazon.

The four images above contain quite a bit of information, so let's take one at a time.

First image is obviously a hexagram with a circle in the middle, similar to the First Order logo. If you connect the points within the hexagram a certain way you get both the Star of David and a 3 dimensional cube. Therefore, the star, the cube, and the square/compass are all variations of the same symbol.

The second picture is of the Resistance planning their attack on Starkiller base. They are pointing out the "thermal oscillator," which was its weak spot.

Next picture shows the Resistance on Starkiller base attempting to blow up the thermal oscillator. It's hard to tell from the pictures, but it is in the shape of a black hexagram. If you search for a perfect image on the internet of this thermal oscillator you will find it's a bit difficult to get a clear one (this may be because it is not supposed to be as obvious as some of the other symbols). After they blow up the thermal oscillator, the planet implodes and becomes a star.

The last picture is of the planet Saturn. We are looking at the northern hemisphere where a mysterious hexagram can be seen. This planet has long been associated with time (as Kronos), the law, agriculture, judgement, death, the number 6, and Satan among other things. Saturn is known to be worshipped in occult circles and is symbolized by the hexagram or the black cube. The black cube also has important significance in Freemasonry. As we've seen, the cube is merely a 3D version of a hexagram. Saturn is also associated with the sun in ancient texts and there is a growing belief called the "Electric Universe theory" which suggests Saturn was our original sun during an age where the planets had a different configuration. It was the shifting of these planets which may have caused some of the major disasters witnessed/documented by the ancients. Needless to say, the topic of Saturn is too deep and lengthy to discuss here, but the fact that Starkiller base turns into a star as a result of its black hexagon power source being destroyed opens all kinds of questions of inquiry to followers of occult symbolism. (As a side note - both "2001: A space Odyssey" and the following book "2010" featured Saturn in the original storyline. These were changed to Jupiter for the films. The alleged explanation was that the rings would be too difficult to articulate on screen. Not everyone buys this explanation.)

For most of us, our first glimpse of "the Force Awakens" was this image of John Boyega, a black man wearing a white Stormtrooper outfit, which is known to be inspired by Nazi themes. Boyega's character Finn is perspiring and has a terrified look on his face. His name is actually a number initially, and we find that he is literally a mind controlled slave for the First Order. The racial themes here are almost so literal and obvious that we look right past them and fall into the conclusion that the film franchise is simply trying to diversify their lead characters. But even if that is true, does that lessen the impact of the racial imagery in this shot? The fact is, people would rather not discuss what is right in front of them if it is too shocking and disturbing to confront. So we fall for the 2nd option, which was mentioned. We look right past it and we give the film a "get out of jail free" card. Because frankly, we just wanna enjoy the film we don't want to be bothered by possible social/political messages - even when they are clearly there.

The name FN-2187 is derived from a short independent Canadian film George Lucas saw as a young student called 21-87. It was made by a man named Arthur Lippset, who committed suicide in 1986. It is widely believed that Lucas came up with the idea for The Force from watching this film. This is not the first time homage was paid to 21-87 within Star Wars. In the first film "A New Hope," Leia's cell number is 2187 when she is held captive. The common theme there is that the number represents a prison of some sort. For Leia it was a holding cell. For Finn it was his entire identity. So if we look past the "nudge nudge wink wink" nod to Lucas' roots, we get a name that sounds more like a product bar code. Which suits perfectly the fact that FN2187 is a mind controlled slave who then "awakens" from his mental/physical prison to reclaim his humanity.

The opening scene of "the Force Awakens" shows a brigade of soldiers slaughtering a village of people they believe to be hiding a map leading to Luke Skywalker (Luke means "light" by the way, and Skywalker is what the stars do - they "walk" across the sky.) The slaughter of these villagers is reminiscent of a scene from WWII or any number of disturbing events from history where entire villages are slaughtered by troops in cold blood. In the midst of this, we have FN2187 who suddenly "awakens" and has an instant moral transformation. Since FN2187 contains the name of the film where the concept of "The Force" allegedly derives from, we can assume that FN2187's "awakening" is where the film's title comes from. The force awakens within Finn. Again, we have the duality theme of a character jumping from one side of morality to the other while the force hangs in the ether, fluctuating polarity. This is why Kylo Ren observes Finn hesitating during the slaughter and does nothing. There was a silent message transferred in that moment which goes unexplained directly, but we can infer a deeper meaning from it. This awakening is why Finn is able to wield a lightsaber and confront Kylo Ren in light saber combat with no previous training. The film is careful to throw in a crash course sword fight between Finn and a Stormtrooper earlier in the film. But that would hardly prepare him to go head to head with Kylo Ren, who was trained by both Luke Skywalker and Supreme Leader Snoke. The repeated implication that he who is on the "correct side" of the force wields more power hints that morality (or ones' perception of it) itself is at least connected to the force, if it isn't the force itself.

The themes of slavery, mind control, and moral/spiritual/genetic superiority recall a vast array of contemporary themes ranging from Civil War era issues to post WWII controversies. During WWII there were a number of well documented experiments being performed within Nazi death camps ranging from physical to mental torture. After the war, the "Operation Paperclip" program allowed Nazis to continue their work in the United States and other countries. Notable former Nazi Wernher Von Braun was the leading Rocket scientist for Nasa and launched the Saturn V, which lead to the successful Apollo 11 voyage. Another large part of continuing Nazi research involved the further exploring of the concept of mind control, which was the basis for MK Ultra - a CIA sponsored program which conducted experiments on American civilians for purposes of advancing psychological warfare and to create mind controlled slaves who would willingly carry out acts of violence, sex, or anything else they are programmed to do by "Dr Frankenstein." So with Finn, we have a profoundly deep collection of negative history rolled up into one character. This is why that opening scene is so compelling. We know what we are seeing on some level, it's just too shocking and involved to acknowledge in any simple way. So we grab onto the surface plot - which is "bad guy has a sudden change of heart," then we close the door to further discussion.

Once Finn escapes and is given his new name, he puts on Poe Dameron's jacket. The jacket is brown with red patches. The intentional shift from the white militant stormtrooper garb to a brown jacket with red patches seems to symbolize, quite intentionally, a black man's bloody escape from his white prison. The stormtrooper costume and his former identity representing the oppressive prison/captor. This is very sophisticated symbolism because it successfully conjures up very specific racial feelings but escapes them at the same time by making the First Order "raceless." So here we have the film again, flirting with social/political controversy from another angle and yet somehow escaping the claim under the banner of "well, it's just fiction don't look too deeply into it." And yet, if these racial themes were any more obvious we'd be watching a WWII or a Civil War documentary.

Kylo Ren clearly has emotional damage. His temper tantrums and obvious insecurities are clear signs of this. We're not really told where that damage came from specifically, but Supreme Leader Snoke obviously exploited Kylo's insecurities for the purposes of recruiting him to his dark order. So you could say he was ritually abused at some point, probably under the guise of "training in the dark arts." But it really doesn't matter who was responsible or how he was abused for this discussion, only that he exhibits the characteristics of one who was. The difference between ritualized abuse and other forms of abuse is the intent of the abuser. For example, if the abuser is a man who sporadically beats the neighbor's dog - the dog will show signs of abuse at random times. But if the neighbor brings roses, rings a bell, beats the dog, then offers him a treat at the same time every day in the same order - the dog will begin to respond to the smell of roses, time of day, bells, and offers of treats in a particular manner. This could be called "ritualized abuse." With this sort of abuse, the response can be calculated to a certain degree. Therefore, the abuse can be delivered with the specific intent to cause a dog to respond a certain way. This is really no different than training an animal, we're just throwing abuse into the equation to see how effective it is. To train an animal is to control its mind to a degree. It would be naive to assume the Nazis did not exploit this concept and advance it to a very high level on HUMAN SUBJECTS. Other known experiments in ritualized abuse involve electricity specially applied to the brain, which has shown that brain waves can actually be manipulated to induce an emotional response in someone. Sound waves can also be used in this manner. It would also be naive to think that the results of these experiments are not being applied from very high places, such as those occupied by the Illuminati. Now if you substitute Snoke for an Illuminati leader and you substitute Kylo Ren for a gifted civilian who happens to be from a powerful bloodline - suddenly "The Force Awakens" doesn't sound so much like science fiction fantasy anymore.

When Kylo Ren kills his father, Han Solo, the film is careful to show us every detail of every emotional expression. There is a pregnant pause where Kylo asks his father to help him do what he must. It's almost an instructional scene demonstrating the process of someone abandoning their own sense of empathy and morality. It's basically the birth of a cold blooded killer in slow motion. This is a re-telling of Anakin's transformation to Darth Vader. But it goes a step further in illustrating the transformation. This repetition of constantly questioning morality and constantly asking "what is good and what is evil?" starts to sound like a long winded interrogation after a while. Because it is. You, the viewer, are being grilled on your sense of morality in a way that is compelling and entertaining. And because you walked into the theatre convinced that this is simply "entertainment" it doesn't occur to you that your sense of morality is being eroded and conditioned. This is why the square and compass are slipped into the promotional poster BEHIND the characters. THEY ARE LITERALLY SHOWING YOU WHO IS BEHIND THE FILM.

"The best place to hide anything is in plain view" - Edgar Allen Poe

The last issue we will explore is the character called Snoke. Like many of the topics discussed here, there are lots of people presenting theories about who Snoke is. Being that I have not studied the extended Star Wars universe much, I can't really speculate who he might be within that mythology, but if we step somewhere halfway between the Star Wars film and ancient writings, we find a possible explanation. The best one I've heard is hidden within his name. "Snoke" is very close to "Snake." Snoke is also presented as a giant from what seems like another dimension, or a remote location in the galaxy. This opens a huge can of worms (pun intended) and I am trying to bring this blog to a close, so I will attempt to condense it the best I can....

In ancient Egyptian mythology, the Djedi is a deep spiritual concept involving the harnessing of a FORCE by balancing one's energy. It was associated with agriculture, but also branched out into many other areas, including what would seem to be one of the highest states of spiritual enlightenment. The Djedi is symbolized by the Phallus or the Serpent. This would explain the importance of Serpent imagery in ancient Egypt and why it is often depicted in the location of the "3rd eye" on the forehead on some of their more ornate headdresses. The word "Djedi" obviously contains the word "Jedi," so this is another topic you can explore that is pretty fascinating. We mentioned earlier the "G" in the Freemasonic square and compass. If it represents the serpent, we have our potential connection to spiritual wisdom and ancient Egypt there as well. If Snoke is a "Snake," perhaps HE is part of some ancient order of serpent - men or Archons/Watchers. He appears to be white skinned, and being a GIANT - this connects him to Archon mythology, Gnostic texts, the bible, and the Black Sun cult and their beliefs as well. Finally, the word "Elohim" connects us to the Freemasonic beliefs in ancient giants who were "illuminated" beings, mediating between the gods and the material plane where man dwells. "EL" is associated with Saturn. So now we have our Saturn connection.

You may like the blog I wrote about THE LAST JEDI

You may also be interested in the blog I did about the film WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES

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Monday, October 17, 2016

70s Black Sabbath tunings

The topic of Black Sabbath tunings over the years is a vast one. So for both simplicity's sake and to stick with what I know best from experience, this blog will focus on the 70s era. Although this topic has been covered quite a bit already in guitar magazines and other places on the internet, I rarely come across anything complete - so I've done my best to gather the whole picture here in one place.

So before Black Sabbath existed, most rock bands played in E Standard tuning. This is the tuning that guitars were generally designed to be played with. Here's what it looks like:

As most people reading this probably know already, Tony Iommi had an accident early on and the tips of his fingers were sliced off. So his fingers used to bleed. This is generally regarded as the reason Black Sabbath started loosening the strings and tuning way down. Although lowering 1 or 2 strings was pretty common when playing blues/slide guitar, it was not common to lower ALL the strings down equally in the early 70s, not even in the hardest rock music. Initially Sabbath went down a half step to Eb/D# standard (Eb and D# are the same note btw) and here's what that tuning looks like:

Later, they went even lower to D standard and finally the C# standard:

That pretty much covers all the tunings they used in the 70s. So which tunings were used on which albums? Below is some more detail on that. Some of you reading this may be beginners and some of you may be shredders. Since I have no idea who will be reading this, I'll assume you are a beginner so feel free to skip the real basic stuff if it starts sounding obvious...

Black Sabbath(1970)

This album was recorded in standard E. Best way the verify this is to play along to N.I.B. The whole song is in E, and the main riff uses the low E string a lot. So if you play along to the studio version and just strike the low string over and over, you will find it rings perfectly with the tune almost all the way through. It's real easy to solo along to if you start on the 12th fret and play E minor pentatonic. This also happens to be one of the most common scales Tony Iommi uses, so you might as well just learn the bloody 5 note pentatonic scales if you haven't already! Anyhow, the best way to figure out what tuning they are in is to pick a song with a real simple riff (like N.I.B.) that obviously utilizes the lowest open string. Determine what that lowest open string is and you have the tuning. If you hear a note LOWER, than you know you have not found the lowest open note and therefore you need to use a lower note for your tuning to play it accurately. With Sabbath, it's usually the very first note in the song. Some albums deviate, but this first one is very straight forward. Keep in mind, live recordings, even as early as 1970 MAY NOT MATCH THIS TUNING. The band was already tuning lower to Eb within a year of recording this. So when playing along to ANY live Sabbath, you have to remember it may not be in the same tuning it was recorded in!

Black Sabbath tuning: standard E (E B G D A E)

Paranoid (1970)

I'm going to reveal a secret here that I haven't seen anywhere else. I'm not sayin I am the first asshole to figure it out, but I'm just saying it doesn't seem to be real common knowledge that this album is NOT in Standard E. However, it is SUPPOSED to be! Let me explain...if you grab a guitar tuned to E Standard, you aughta be right in tune with N.I.B. or anything else on the first album. But if you play along to the song War Pigs or PARANOID(both of which are SUPPOSED to be in E) you will find that it sounds a bit funny. This is because Sabbath actually tuned UP on this album! This had to have been an accident - maybe the recording was sped up or maybe someone in the band was sharp - but the tuning here is a slightly SHARP E standard tuning! But it is NOT so sharp as to be a full half step, so you won't be in tune if you tune UP a full half step. Therefore, you cannot play along to the first and second album without slightly sharpening all your strings for the Paranoid songs! Now you would think that the tuning would correct itself at some point on the album, but the fact is, it's the same on the whole album. So whatever reference point they were using, at least it is consistent! Again, live versions will be lower. In fact, I believe it was the Paranoid tour that they started tuning down to Eb standard. Live recordings from 1970 reflect this as well. Check out "Paris 1970" on youtube for confirmation of this.

Paranoid tuning: (slightly sharp) E B G D A E.

Master of Reality (1971)

I recently heard a rough demo of this album which had some of the songs recorded in standard D. However, they ultimately decided to go down to standard C# for most of it. Best way to verify this is to play along to "Children of the Grave." The first note is C#, and they never play a note lower than this one on the entire album. For further verification, check out the Randy Rhoads tribute album where Randy actually plays the song in the recorded key (C#) while his guitar is actually tuned to E standard (very hard to do - try it!) This is why he plays it higher on the neck and gets away with it! But let's not get side tracked...The exceptions here are "After Forever" and probably "Solitude" which were kept at D standard for some reason. This is probably why they never played "After Forever" live until much more recently. I have not checked whether they went ahead and played it in C# standard or not live, but that would be consistent with Sabbath's history live. They tend to stick with 1 or 2 tunings at the most on a given live performance. It's only a half step, so why bother changing for one song? If you listen to live recordings of Sabbath pretty much from 1971 until 1978 - they play all of their songs in C# standard. Which is why songs like "War Pigs" and "NIB" sound so monstrous from this era. They also did this in 2006 when I saw them at Ozzfest, and I think they went back to this tuning on the last "Farewell tour" as well - presumably so Ozzy could have a bit more of an easy time hitting the notes.

Master of Reality tunings: standard C# (C# F# B E G# C#), standard D (D G C F A D) - on "After Forever" and "Solitude"

Volume 4 (1972)

This album is all in C# standard except the song "Changes" which starts out in the key of B major. However its played on piano, so guitar tuning is not really applicable. To verify tuning, it's best to play along to "Snowblind." First note is C# and the open low string is used throughout the song. Try tuning it even a half step up or down and it's impossible to play along to the CD without sounding all weird. For some reason I thought I encountered a version of "Tomorrow's Dream" in standard D but now I can't find it - which brings me to a quick note - occasionally, someone will upload a song at the WRONG SPEED onto youtube! But for the most part you can count on it. Still, if you need absolute confirmation, ALWAYS use the official CD (not a CDR) or a properly working record player set at the correct RPM! On the Volume 4 tour, they played their entire set in standard c# tuning.

Volume 4 tuning: standard C#

Sabbath Bloody Sabbath (1973)

This entire album seems to continue in C# standard without any deviations. First song on the album is in C#. The main riff is played higher on the neck, but towards the end when Ozzy screams "where can you run to/what more can you do" you'll hear the bottom C# note being palm muted in that signature Tony Iommi style. Another way to check is to play "Spiral Architect." It has lots of open notes and it does not sound right unless you are tuned to C# standard. As I mentioned earlier, the open strings are pretty much the give away to the tuning, as those open strings MUST be tuned to those notes - therefore revealing the tuning at least partially. Also, it helps to pretend you only have 2 fingers (your 1st and 4th) as Tony tended to write parts that were easily played with those 2 fingers. Intro the Spiral Architect is a perfect example. If you are in the right tuning, try using just 2 fingers and you will crack the code to what he's playing. They continue to play their entire set in C# standard on the Sabbath Bloody Sabbath tour - there is great footage of them playing around that time if you look up "cal jam 1974" on youtube.

Sabotage (1975)

This album is also recorded in standard C# tuning. However, I'd like to point out that the band was obviously becoming aware of their overuse of the low C# note, as they get much more creative songwriting wise here. As such, we actually need to use the 5th (F#) string to verify tuning. First note on "Hole in the Sky" is F#. It rings out quite a bit and is the key to playing this song right. Without that open F#, you can still play it but it sounds more stiff and doesn't quite nail the feel. Again - open strings are the key to nailing the tuning. "Thrill of it all " also begins with, and utilizes the open F# as a key to the sound. As a side note - the 5th string ("A" if you are in standard tuning) is very popular in rock and you'll will find all over classic rock radio. So in this sense, the open F#/5th string in C# standard tuning nails a similar guitar rock feel. For some reason electric guitar just wants to rock with the 5th string open! Another good example is "2 Minutes to Midnight" by Iron Maiden and "Mob Rules" also by Sabbath. All rely on that open 5th string but are not all in the same tuning. Anyway, if you really need your low C# confirmation, check out Supernaut where Tony chunks it out a little in between that bluesy 7th chord thingy he does during the verses. Of course, the band continues to play their set entirely in this C# tuning on the Sabotage tour. This would be the last album Sabbath records in the 70s using this tuning. And I believe they never went back to it, except live.

Sabotage tuning: standard C#

Technical Ecstasy (1976)

Clearly getting burned out on the low sludgy doom riffs, Sabbath decides to tune back up to standard E on this album. "Back Street Kids" opens right up with the low E that Metallica would milk the hell out of all through the 80s. "All Moving Parts" utilizes the previously mentioned open 5th string. It was F# in the previous tuning, but now has become the familiar classic rock "A" that bands like Queen, Zeppelin, Deep Purple, and countless others use on many of their popular hits. I'm not sure what Sabbath did for this tour, as the only song I can find from this live is "Dirty Women," which they play on their famous Hammersmith 1978 recording (easy to find on youtube). On that recording, they tune Snowblind UP to E standard - which is why you will find it sounds kinda strange (I personally hate that version!) So if they did tour for Technical Ecstasy, they probable played all the songs in standard E and eliminated most of the C# songs from the set.

Technical Ecstasy tuning: standard E

Never Say Die! (1978)

Never Say Diebegins, again, on the familiar "A" rock chord Tony utilized on the previous album. I don't have to mention it, but I will anyway that this is the same riff Thin Lizzy uses in "the boys are back in town" so there's really no need to further illustrate how the "A" chord (or 5th string) is one of the most ROCKING ones you can play on guitar. The tuning becomes harder to nail on some of the other songs, but if you listen to "Air Dance" Tony plays a chord with the open high E (1st string) at about 44 seconds in. You can't play the chord this way unless you are in standard E. There's some really cool songs played in the key of "F" also, which do not utilize many open notes, and can all be played fairly easily in standard E. I haven't scrutinized this album or Technical as much as the others so I welcome any comments on these, or anything else on this post that you think might be of interest.

Never Say Die! tuning: standard E

Hopefully this was helpful or at least an enjoyable read. Cheers to all Sabbath fans out there!

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