In the Arms of the Wild
Through the Darkness
In the Arms of the Wild
In the Arms of the Wild:
More Chants from the Reclaiming Community is a wonderful collection of Goddess chants performed by local artist
Beverly Frederick. Frederick's voice is wonderfully mesmerizing, and she is joined by several outstanding musicians and vocalists.
A sequel to
Through the Darkness: Chants from the
the album is dedicated to Julia Butterfly Hill and Luna
, the 1,000 year old redwood tree that was her home for two years as she fought to save it from the lumber yard.
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If you can't find these CDs at your usual music outlet and don't want to buy
online, you can send $16 for CD or $11 for cassette (Through the Darkness only),
plus $2 each s/h to the address below. All the money for online or snail mail
purchases goes to Beverly herself.
The Beltane Review Pagan * Spiritual
For those of us eagerly awaiting the follow-up to Frederick's utterly essential Through the Darkness: Chants from the Reclaiming Community, the wait is over! Here is another compelling collection of Goddess chants, with several beautiful instrumentals. Some old favorites are here (Rise with the Fire, Spiraling Into The Center. May the Circle be Open), along with new Frederick original that are destined to become standards (Moonsong, We Are Your People, Be Blessed, Look to the Forest). I love the sprightly South African freedom song, Chico
Le'Le (but it's only a minute long!) There's even a soulful version of my absolute favorite Starhawk chant, Way to the Well. Frederick's voice is still wonderfully mesmerizing, and she is ably assisted by several outstanding musicians and vocalists, including the Wild Women Chorus!
The album is dedicated to one of the most amazing heroes of our time, Julia Butterfly Hill, and Luna, the 1,000 year old redwood tree she lived in for two years in defiance of the patriarchal corporate power structure, who sought to destroy Luna (and failed!) The title track was adapted by Frederick as a
praise song to Luna. Through the Darkness took us to the mysterious Celtic world of the Faerie. In the Arms of the Wild brings us full circle, "through the darkness" and into the arms of Mother Gaia. I can think of no more nourishing place to be.
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I suppose I have to begin with Witchcamp, the life changing live-a-year-in-a-week summer intensive in feminist witchcraft that I discovered some years back. The Reclaiming Community (Starhawk and some of the most ecstatic and marvelously irreverent witches on earth) puts on several witchcamps every year at various locations throughout the U.S., Canada, England, and Germany.
A hundred or so women (and men too) gather together to chant, drum, do intensive and focused magic, build ritual fires and wild activist community, and commune with the earth. But it's more than that: it's a village, a glimpse of the future, as I would envision it. It continues to feed my soul right through the year.
So I was really jazzed when Beverly Frederick (one of the aforementioned ecstatic, irreverent witches) released Through the Darkness, her firs CD, with the haunting rendition of the Scottish Faerie ballad Tam Lin she sang so powerfully at our ritual fire. That ballad, "Weaver, Weaver," and the nineteen other songs and chants on that first CD, kept me connected to camp, and to spirit, through some really hard times.
This year I left camp with In the Arms of the Wild, her new CD. Listen here, sister, this one has some of the beautiful Celtic inspired songs and violin solos reminiscent of Through the Darkness, but it also gets down with some seriously witchy gospel: "We Are Your People," "Way to the Well," "Rise With the Fire"; and some rockin' blues: "Healin' in the Earth," "Divine Mother," "Inanna (Take us)". But it doesn't stop there.
From the rousing traditional South African freedom song "Chico Le'Le," to the thoroughly danceable Indian kirtin "Shamba sada Shiva," to the elegant Mexican round "Tierra me Cuerpo," Beverly has pulled together the best of the best. Add to that the outstanding harp originals by Evergreen Erb and the title cut, beautifully recorded and dedicated to Julia Butterfly Hill, and you have over an hour of the best witchy chant recordings I've heard. Check it out! You just might want to join us at the Mendocino Woodlands next July.
For information about California Witchcamp, call Madrone Productions at 415-789-7674 or email KimJack@sirius.com.
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This is the newest addition to the Reclaiming
musical collection. This delightful mixture of songs, chants, and instrumentals
is sure to be a favorite addition to your musical library. Beverly Frederick, a
voice who Reclaiming fans will recognize, is fabulous. Her lead vocals contain
all the passion, beauty, and spirituality that fans have come to expect. The
magical nature of the CD itself produces an energy that rises and falls much
like a ritual.
Opening and the Summing Song are two examples of
the meditative, calm beginning of the CD. The soulful melody and words of Inanna
and Divine Mother begin to draw the listener in further and raise the level of
energy. Rise with the Fire and We Are Your People brings one to the core of the
musical ritual with power and passion, while In the Arms of the Wild and Look in
to the Forest brings one back with a contemplative conclusion to the musical
ritual experience. This CD includes several new chants and some old favorites
with new twists, as well as a nice variety of chants done in their original
language. From beginning to end it is a journey worth taking. Released in 2000
by Veladanza Arts of Monte Rio, California.
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Rowan Hagen, Magazine Australia
The Reclaiming Community links Earth-based spirituality witches, eco-feminist politics. We teach classes, publish a quarterly magazine, hold public rituals for both men and women and offer summer intensives. We strive to embrace the cycles of live and death and other dark mysteries of nature's unfolding as we would a lover' daringly, in the midst of uncertainty, and yet with deliberate reverence - prepared to face whatever may unfold. Many of these chants came to birth in the San Francisco Bay Area; others came from sister communities in Vermont, Missouri, and Los Angeles. We are community ever growing in our journey through myriad shades of dark and light. May light thrive!
Through the Darkness is the first collection of chants from the Reclaiming Community, and as I listened to it I felt that it held great promise, both musically and as a celebration of the spirit of the Community itself. By promise, I mean that if felt as if the artists were in the process of coming together and discovering what was possible. Other pieces showed their true potential clearly. My favorites were: Every Step is Sacred/the Midwife's song; From Your Silence; Through the Darkness: Is, Was, and Shall Be; Holy Well & Sacred Flame. In the Arms of the Wild brings the fulfillment of that promise. Although this is a much larger collection, the musical quality is consistent, and the tracks follow each other smoothly.
The artists obviously have worked hard and gained confidence in the time between making these two CDs, and the results show significantly. There are a variety of influences here, from soul to gospel to indigenous, South American and Eastern sounds. I would be hard pressed to list any favorites from this CD, but after the first few listenings Trillium; Shamba Sada
Shiva; Divine Mother; Way to the Well; May the circle be Open remained most
strongly in mind. Throughout I found myself singing and toe tapping, which is
for me the mark of an enjoyable musical experience.
In terms of content, each of these tracks celebrates an aspect of the vision
of the Reclaiming Community. They emphasize the Divine Feminine, the healing of
the Earth and of each other, blessings and thanksgivings for Earth's gifts, and
freedom for oppressed peoples everywhere. Much appreciation to all those
involved with In the Arms of the Wild!
"In the Arms of the Wild"
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