The Wychazel studio pixies are pleased beyond measure to announce the release of another new album: Pagan Priestess.
If you can move away from all of the anti-social tendencies, the excessive candle-burning and elaborate costumes depicted in various media productions about Vikings, there is a lot of softer stuff to be found in Norse mythology.
While it is fair to say that most of the interactions between the Norse Gods and other inhabitants of the nine worlds of ancient myth rarely ended well, some of these Gods did have a softer side.
Take the goddess Freyja and her twin brother Freyr for instance. Originally from Vanaheim, these two were associated mainly with love, beauty, fertility and magic. Quite a different set of values to those held by the gods of Asgard – for whom feasting and fighting seemed to be the preferred pursuits . . . followed by more fighting. Needless to say the gods from both of these worlds didn't always get on with each other.
Vanaheim was one of the nine Norse worlds bound together by the roots of the sacred tree Yggdrasil. It was one of the more pleasant worlds and the original home of Freyja and Freyr. Any self-respecting Viking warrior who had died in battle after fighting bravely could count on a 50% chance of being raised to an afterlife in Freyja's domain - Fólkvangr,
The other 50% would end up in Odin's Hall . . . to enjoy an afterlife of feasting and (as you've already guessed) fighting.
When she wasn't raising fallen warriors, Freyja would spend her time fending off unwanted marriage proposals while searching for her absent husband and crying tears of gold. Freyja wore a much coveted magical feathered cloak and must have appeared more than a little unusual as she travelled through the worlds in a chariot drawn by two large cats, usually accompanied by the huge boar – Hildisvini – presumably some kind of pet?
The music on “Pagan Priestess” has been inspired by some of the folklore, instruments and musical influences from Scandanavian sources which have played an important part in the evolution of Gaelic and Celtic musical styles. Instruments include Skin Drums, Reed Pipes, Bowed strings, Whistles, Chant and percussion. This album perhaps has more of a feminine emphasis than the previous two (On Pagan Shores and A Pagan Land). Thanks to your support, both of these earlier albums achieved the No.1 position in the MG Music top 10 listings and I hope you will enjoy this one too.
As ever, my thanks to all you lovely people and Happy Hippies out there for supporting my music, for your encouraging feedback and emails.