Blessings

by S. J. Tucker

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Darlisa
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Darlisa You warm my heart with your music Sooj, and tickle my toes and my nose! I’m so glad I got to be around you a couple of times with my daughter Shanti, and enjoy your music and energy in person. This album promises to be a favorite! It grabs the heart.
Katje van Loon
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Katje van Loon First song of SJ's that I ever really listened to. It sold me on checking out the rest of her albums. It's dark and sexy and I could probably listen to it for ages. Favorite track: Hymn to Herne.
Blair-Sanne Knoedler
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Blair-Sanne Knoedler This album is full of amazing music, from start to finish. Picking a favourite track was awfully difficult!

From the haunting beauty of For Love of All Who Gather (both the first track and the reprise) to the powerful, hip-swaying songs like Firebird's Child and In the Name of the Dance, there's a really rounded collection of music in this album to speak to every soul.

My introduction to Hymn to Herne came from Wayne Chisholm, and I've been hook on Sooj ever since! Favorite track: For Love of All Who Gather.
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1.
With but a single breath to clear the way, I honor all who listen as I play I honor Freya, Brigid, Cerridwen I honor every goddess, in my way I honor Sairyss, Fafnir, Naelyon, Grael I honor all my friends of wing and tail I honor earth and flame, rain and wind For love of all who gather, let the song begin
2.
All on an April Fool's Day Sunday Riding, riding we shall be Homeward thru the waking spring Clear 'cross Tennessee! My best love was riding shotgun Myself in the driver's seat We went riding all day Sunday home for our loved ones all to see. Unplug the bed, stretch and yawn. Felt like ash in the crack of doom, Leaving at the crack of Nine from a cozy North Carolina room. All on an April Fool's Day Sunday Riding, riding we shall be Homeward thru the waking spring Clear 'cross Tennessee! Left behind the Northern snow, fields of white, on the day before. Off thru the frisky mountain rain, winter storms we'll chase no more! Tunnels, trees and mountain fog, highway miles and a cloudy day, Laughing streams and waterfalls, springtime splashing all the way! All on an April Fool's Day Sunday Riding, riding we shall be Homeward thru the waking spring Clear 'cross Tennessee! New leaves rising on the vine and flowers simply everywhere, never doubt the day was fine. We rode as quickly as we dared! April fools and flowers bold, March is leaving like a lamb. Knoxville, Nashville, Westward Ho! (round the churchfolk traffic jams) All on an April Fool's Day Sunday Riding, riding we shall be Homeward thru the waking spring Clear 'cross Tennessee! And here's our priestess at the door! Merrily we greeted her. Circle round for what's in store: a pie in the face from a Minister! All on an April Fool's Day Sunday Riding, riding we shall be Homeward thru the waking spring Clear 'cross Tennessee! All on an April Fool's Day Sunday Riding, riding we shall be Homeward thru the waking spring to Memphis, Tennessee! Carrot casts the circle round and Rabbit rules the afternoon. Keep your leaping summer fires-- We revel 'neath an April moon!
3.
I am the firebird! I am his daughter! I am the firebird's child! I am a firebird! I am his daughter! And like the flame, I am wild wild wild wild WILD! I am the firebird! I am his daughter! I am the firebird's child! I am a firebird, the boldest song you've ever heard Join in the dance, and make it wild, wild, wild! Join in the dance and make it wild! To see a maiden dance around a fire is not so strange but fire dances round the limbs of this uncommon maid! Be brave enough to burn and you'll be brave enough to fly! Join your sister Solace as she lights the morning sky! I am the firebird... Wonders of the water air and earth are all the same you'll never know a wonder like the wonders of the flame! Freely fly as what you are and never walk in shame! You must not fear to blister if you'd live a life in flame! I am girl and firebird and solace is my name! I am the firebird... If you're brave enough to dance then you are brave enough to fly! Forget what's right and proper! You won't know until you try! If you're brave enough to fly, then you are brave enough to burn! Take my hand and join me in the Carnival of Dawn! I am the firebird... Sister will you follow me? Sister will you follow me? Sister will you follow me? Sister sorrow walk with me! (Solace, Sorrow, round and round Sisters burn the morning down Solace, Sorrow, round and round, Sister, burn your Sorrow down!) Like a flame you must be wild/I am a firebird! I am the firebird... You must not fear to blister if you'd live a life in flame! Freely fly as what you are, keep dancing just the same! You'll never know a wonder like the wonders of the flame! I am girl and firebird and Solace is my name!
4.
You can say your prayers, work your rites burn your little candles day and night you can shimmy 'til dawn to the pounding drums but you best be ready when the Horned One comes, yeah If you wake to the sound of a hunting horn, dance a ring in the gathering storm. If the Solstice time gets your panties in a wad, it's just the coming of the Horned God chorus He will call you out, make you sweat, give you a blessing that you'll never forget. So revel in the chase and let your heartbeat run: Blessed are the children of the Horned One! Hunter who tracks outside of time, guardian lord of ancient rhyme, brother stag in the musky glen and consort of the Goddess in her woodland den, we call you forth as we make our way, walking in your power every day. Guide us true in our hunt this night and maybe even later in the Great Rite! chorus He will call you out... If you wake to the sound of a hunting horn dance a ring in the gathering storm revel in the chase and let your heartbeat run but you'd best be ready, little one! You'd best be ready when the Horned One comes! chorus He gonna call you out...
5.
Darksome Night and Shining Moon Balance of the dark and light, hearken ye our Witch's Rune, as we perform our sacred rite! With earth and water, air and fire, by blade and bowl and circle round, we come to you with our desire: let all that is hidden now be found! With censor, candle, book and sword, and ringing of the altar bell, we tie a knot within our cord to bind our magic in a spell. Mother of the summer fields, goddess of the silver moon, join with us as power builds! dance with us our witch's rune! Father of the Summer dew Hunter of the winter snows With open arms we welcome you! Dance with us as power grows! By all the light of moon and sun, by all the might of land and sea, chant the rune and it is done. As we will, so mote it be!
6.
Fly we on o'er hill and dale spruces guard our fairytale hemlock branches bless and stay upon my lovely's wedding day Joy on thy fair handfasting day! Tide will roll and bridge stand fast eagles watch and breezes pass ebb and flow whilst ravens play upon my brother's wedding day Joy on thy fair handfasting day!
7.
Trickster came a'calling To find a totem here To teach the foolish heart of man Without installing fear. Many came and many went And still the Trickster paused; Bear and Cat and Tiger tried but had too many claws. Dog and Wolf though wise indeed Had teeth t'were quite a fright And Owl with his tawny eyes could only see at night. "No," the Trickster said at last "Teachers, I see many. But My way is full of laughter and in you I see not any." But beneath the tree where Eagle sat Coyote told the tale of silly hares cavorting In the old country of Wales. Raven stared unto the sun And Crow sang awful songs And Rabbit sat a'listening With ears so wondrous long. "Aha!" The Trickster danced a dance Of mirth and vict'ry sweet. He leapt with joy and swooped a swoop And landed at their feet. "Of all here now," the Trickster said "You are the very Beasts!" And Rabbit said, "I'm sorry sir But of all, we are the least." The Trickster smiled and raised a hand And spoke: "I have a plan The four of you shall help me To teach the heart of Man. Raven with your love of light The Sun you'll steal and soon. For the gift of warmth I give to man To be the greatest boon. And Crow, you silly creature Who sings without a voice, Teach man `bout pride and helping You really have no choice. Coyote my friend, together we'll spin Many a tale at night, And show man by our naughtiness What really should be right." At last He turned to Rabbit With a twinkle in his eye "You'll be my favorite creature And here's the reason why: Your eyes are bright, your feet are swift Your ears hear round the bend But your very simple humbleness Will steal the heart of men. Together we shall thwart the pains The gods do throw to earth And turn aside their fiery darts With merriment and mirth. And when time comes that men forget The lessons animals render T'will be the humble rabbit That mankind will remember." And round the Trickster the animals thronged The birds and all the beasts And humbly bowed to the king they found, who thought himself "the least."
8.
Walk between the worlds, bravely down the candle road. The light will lead you deep into your core. Move into the center, add your sorrow to the coals with incense rising, steady as a prayer. Though the heart is heavy as the dance is burning down, may you raise your eyes and never bow your head. We are not alone. It only takes the tiniest of fires sometimes to light the way you knew was aways there. In the heart of matters, it's the journey keeps us warm, the lights that lead us where we are to go. May you raise your eyes and know with every step: we are not alone. We are come to the labyrinth tonight, walking one by one. In the dark of Samhain, a riddle burning bright, and candles waving down. It only takes the tiniest of fires sometimes to light the way you knew was always waiting for you there. In the heart of matters, it's the journey keeps us warm and the incense rising steady as a prayer May you raise your eyes and never bow your head. We are come to the labyrinth tonight, walking one by one. In the dark of Samhain, a riddle burning bright, and candles waving down. We are vessels of the highest love in a lesson, burning bright, the lesson of our lives. When all our sorrows cauldron into one, be reborn, this Samhain night. We are come to the labyrinth tonight, candles waving down.
9.
By our very will, the rite is done with Lord and Lady watching, hand in hand By power of earth and rain, flame and wind, for love of all who gather, let the circle open.
10.
You don't have to speak: you can do it in the dance You don't have to hide: you are safe within the dance All of us are free in the heart of the dance So mote it be, in the name of the dance! The circle is here; it lives in each of us in perfect love and perfect trust. The circle is here; it lives in each of us when we meet in perfect love and perfect trust

about

Blessings is a purely spiritual work of art. This daring album is entirely dedicated to, and inspired by, the pagan segment of S.J.'s fanbase. For those who are open to alternative spiritual paths, this album is not to be missed. Blessings opens with an invocation and includes other musical passages which are both powerful and functional, such as a moving piece about the power of the labyrinth, a hymn dedicated to the male deity Herne, a pair of highly energetic tunes devoted to dance, and many playful numbers besides. Ginger Doss of Dreamtrybe and Velvet Hammer fame describes Blessings as, "The most sacred, most highly evolved body of pagan work I have ever experienced. SJ walks her path, and it shows."

This album is now in its umpteenth printing.

credits

released June 20, 2007

All guitars, bass, bodhran, bells, bowls, djembe, programming, vocals and harmonies: S. J. Tucker
Synths: Ginger Doss
Guest djembe on 'Hymn To Herne': Winterhawk
Guest harmonies on 'Herne': Omnisti and Valkyrie

Tracks 1, 2, 5-9 mixed by Ginger Doss at Eagle Audio
Tracks 3, 10 mixed by S. J. Tucker at Rolling Minstrel, Ltd
Track 4 mixed by Winterhawk at Tekneek's Hidden Studio
Album mastered by Mark Yoshida of AudioGraphic Masterworks

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