"Spirit Nation" by Gypsy: a CD review
Boston Pagan Examiner: Valerie Hadden
“Spirit Nation” is the new CD by musician, singer, and Witch, Gypsy. It's
an amazing work of art. Like the illustration on the CD cover (shown here), the
songs are complex and beautiful tapestries. They incorporate vocals, spoken
word, and “Special Effects and Instrumentation too numerous to elucidate,”
the CD booklet describes.
Gypsy Ravish is the Rev. High Priestess of Temple of Nine Wells (tnw-salem.org)
in Salem MA, and co-owner of the Witch shop Nu Aeon, also in Salem. (wlpssp.com)
The songs on “Spirit Nation” vary in tone from traditional to avant-garde.
They vary in theme from the search for a soulmate to mourning the passing of a
loved one. But in each Gypsy brings her listeners a passionate, melodic,
carefully crafted musical piece. The lyrics frequently reference the Goddess,
the Four Elements, and other pagan themes. On first listening, the intricate and
engaging tunes grab your attention. The second time, the lyrics begin to take
shape; you find yourself continually pressing “Back” to listen to it again
until you’ve learned every word.
One of the most moving songs is the final track: Gypsy’s version of “We
Won’t Wait Any Longer.” Though many of the pieces on “Spirit Nation” are
originals, this stirring anthem was written years ago by the late Bard of the
Church of All Worlds, Gwydion Pennderwen. It addresses oppressors directly.
“You have…razed the sacred grove / You have driven native peoples / From the
places that they love / … / Though you thought you had destroyed / The memory
of the Ancient Way / Still the people light the bale fires / Every year on
Solstice Day.” Gypsy also sings of how Witches respond to such oppression:
“our patience and endurance / Through the Burning Times* and now / Has given
us the strength to keep our vow / … / And fulfill our ancient pledges to the
Earth.” The song concludes with voices singing several well-known pagan
chants: “Hoof and Horn, Hoof and Horn, / All that dies shall be reborn / Corn
and grain, Corn and grain / All that falls shall rise again / We all come from
the Goddess.” These voices gradually fade, as if the singers are walking down
a hallway away from the listener. The final result is a moving tribute to the
sacred traditions of Witchcraft, past, present, and eternal.
Gypsy says, “Spirit Nation celebrates my point of view as a Priestess of the
Craft… These songs have emerged from some of my most personal experiences and
from the poetry of bards and mystics who have inspired my Priestessing… When I
listen to this cd it is a shield of power for me. May this be so for all who
join with me in Spirit Nation.”
“Spirit Nation” is $17.95. You can purchase it at Nu Aeon at 88 Wharf Street
Pickering Wharf in Salem, or online at wlpssp.com. If you want Gypsy’s CDs
(she has another one called Enchantress that is excellent too) in your
neighborhood store or available from your favorite websites, just ask the
retailers to contact White Light Pentacles/Sacred Spirit Products Inc.,
Gypsy’s distribution network.
*The Burning Times was the period in European history in which those accused of
Witchcraft were executed, often by being burned alive.