Saturday, November 5, 2016

Star Wars Symbols and their Meanings

The Force Awakens

These titles are here to help people find this page:

Star Wars Freemasonry

Star Wars Egyptian Mythology


"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 enforce the idea, even appearing to give an ironic wink to the more observant. Although there is plenty of discussion regarding this topic already online, I have found that many of them repeat the same information and simply don't go into certain areas, for whatever reason. My goal with this blog is to provide something a bit more complete, or at the very least, less derivative than what is already out there.

Let's start with the main promotional poster, which quite obviously contains a square and compass - the main symbol representing Freemasonry. These 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 utilized widely in Freemasonry as there is 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, Geometry, or even 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 what we will explore here

Looking 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 inclusion of this hidden symbol into the promotional poster opens a door to many questions, but apparently this line of topic is "off limits" to the biggest Star Wars buffs?

Observe the blue and red within the above poster. In a Masonic context, blue can represent the first 3 degrees, or the "Blue Lodges." Red can represent the remaining degrees up to the 33rd, which is generally considered to be the highest - although this may vary from Temple to Temple. In a more basic occult context, red is the color of fire, or chaos. Blue is water, or order. This suits the theme of good vs evil, Empire vs Republic, First order vs Resistance. When viewed from the angle of political propaganda, red can be viewed as the American Republican Party, Blue the Democratic Party. The exact meaning of these symbols and colors can depend upon the context in which they are being presented. It's probably safe to assume many messages are being delivered symbolically by these films, on multiple levels.

The general themes of "chaos and order" and "duality" have always been central to the various plots and dramas within Star Wars. 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 seem to extend beyond the screen.

These are the most talked about promotional posters online as far as people linking the film to Illuminati symbolism. I don't see any reason to deny it, there's a square and compass embedded in the promotional poster, and this "one eye" thing has been all over mainstream media. The "eye of providence" at the top of the Freemasonic pyramid on the back of the US $1 bill is a perfect correspondence. Also known as the "Eye of Horus," linking it to Egyptian occultism, which is very much incorporated into Freemasonry. Egyptian mythology has also been heavily associated with Star Wars.

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 did not initially speak favorably about Disney since he sold the rights to them). Why would Star Wars want to blasphemy Christianity? Well if we view this again from the "Illuminati" angle, this corresponds with their alleged agenda to destroy all religions, in order to introduce the new one world religion. Christianity seems to be the most prolific in the world, so "let's start with that one."

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" reminds one of 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. 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 American society has been conditioned to fear conversation along these lines, and ridicule those who initiate it, these concepts remain unacknowledged by the mainstream, 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 in the Wiki quote and the ones presented within the film: moral duality, a "magical" force/energy (vril), space travel, and of course intergalactic war.

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 cropped on the page dedicated exclusively to explaining the meanings behind the symbols [actual image from the site above, I did not crop the image, that is how it appeared on the site the day I posted it]. There also exists a strange website called orderoftheblacksun dot com which has multiple "handbooks" for sale through its' links purporting to reveal the secrets of the power of the dark side via it's "Sith Academy." The aim of this website appears to me, 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 it is connected to the Star Wars franchise, the Illuminati, Neo Nazism, or none of the above, at the very least it shows that there are those much more serious about this Black Sun/Star Wars connection than most people would ever guess. The books are available on Amazon as of the day I type this. Some of the reviews for the books I saw ranged from very positive, to suggestions that their authors must be terrorists.

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. I am not suggesting they always mean the same thing, as this depends upon context. But it is interesting to note the geometrical correspondences between them.

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

Next picture shows the Resistance on Starkiller base attempting to blow up the thermal oscillator, which is the shape of a black hexagram. As we just saw, the hexagram is a 2D version of a cube, in this case black. A Black Cube is worshipped at Mecca [called the Kaaba, which means cube], a black cube is used in practical Kabballa/Judaism, and the black cube is also incorporated into some Freemasonic rituals. [this can all be verified easily with a few minutes of research on google] After they blow up the thermal oscillator [black hexagram/cube] in the film, the planet implodes and becomes a star. Saturn is referred to as the Black Star in ancient Judaic beliefs. A sun is a star. So doesn't take much of a leap to arrive at "Black Sun" here, again echoing the Black Sun theme discussed earlier. Saturday is named after Saturn, that is why the Jewish Sabbath is on that day, while Sun-day [named after the "Son of Man"] is Christian. Saturn is the 6th planet from the sun, and Saturn-Day is the 6th day of the week, counting from Monday [named after the moon]. A hexagram has 6 sides, hense the Saturn representation. Saturn represents death and time, among other things, in the old esoteric traditions.

The last picture is of the planet Saturn itself. There is a permanent hexagram seen on the north pole of it. What does all this mean? Hell if I know, but pretty damned weird considering the black/cube hexagram correspondence dates to way further back in time before man could technically view Saturn this closely!

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. One common theme there could be 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. This suits perfectly the fact that FN2187 is a mind controlled slave who then "awakens" from his mental/physical prison to reclaim his humanity and rebel against the system that created him.

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) play a large role here.

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 historical references rolled up into one character.

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." Why is it these symbols are there in the film, yet we aren't supposed to acknowledge them?

Kylo Ren clearly has emotional damage. His temper tantrums and obvious insecurities are clear signs of this. We're not really told in this episode where that damage came from specifically, but Supreme Leader Snoke obviously exploited Kylo's insecurities for the purposes of recruiting him into his dark order. So you could say he was ritually abused at some point, probably under the guise of "training in the dark arts." The difference between ritualized abuse and other forms lies in the intent of the abuser. For example, if the abuser is a man who sporadically beats the neighbor's dog when they are not home - 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 ritualized abuse, the response can be calculated to a certain degree. It can then be delivered with the specific intent to cause a dog to respond a certain way. It's really no different than training an animal, we're just throwing abuse into the equation to see the response, and decide whether it is favorable.

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 during WWII, continuing on into MK Ultra, via the Paperclip program. This is why more people need to know this ugly side of history, and why it is so heavily suppressed. 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 the victim. Sound waves can also be used in this manner. This then leads to the likely assumption that the results of these experiments, and their continuing evolution, are being applied from very high places, such as those occupied by the upper elite. Now, substitute Snoke for an Illuminati leader and substitute Kylo Ren for a gifted civilian who happens to be from a powerful bloodline - and suddenly "The Force Awakens" doesn't sound so much like science fiction fantasy anymore.

With the above in mind, consider the scene where 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 like 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. Very similar to Anakin's transformation into Darth Vader ["Daath," being a Kabbalistic concept and Veda, drawn from Hindu spirituality]. The film 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 feel 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. But 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. But by who? Recall again the square and compass embedded within the poster. Seems like they are telling us who is behind the film to me!

"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. 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. Recall the giants mentioned in the Bible, who were "illuminated" beings, mediating between the gods and the material plane where man dwells. The "EL" in "Elohim" is associated with Saturn. So everything kind of circles around here back to the same concepts again and again.

I also did a blog on THE LAST JEDI

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

Here are some other popular blogs I have done, click to read.

The Darrell "Dimebag" Abbott Murder
The Chris Cornell Death
Star Wars and the Occult
America: Land of the Plumed Serpent

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Monday, October 17, 2016

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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