"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.