Temple of the Moon Goddess CD by Heretix (Brian Abbott and Jackie Juno)

I came across this album through a friend who knows of my interest in anything connected to Goddess.

Being an intense type of person myself, I find this album very powerful - traversing the aspects of the Goddess both tender and fierce, beautiful and powerful, seductive and nurturing.

Jackie Juno (credited on the cover for vocals, flutes, stones, bones, butterfly cocoon rattles, percussion, lyrics) - also an artist, first painted nine images of different Moon Goddesses at certain phases of the moon; then created accompanying shrines; researched and wrote of her findings and her journey; led workshops based on the paintings; then worked with her husband Brian Abbott to produce this album.

Brian is primarily a guitarist, and has done all the keyboards, programming and engineering on the album. Both Jackie and Brian are known for their involvements over the years with many other bands and solo projects, including comedy and artwork projects. It's worth having a look at their website to get the lowdown; also you can hear four clips from the cd. (www.brianabbott.info)

This is not the sort of album to play in the background at a dinner party - it deserves undivided attention and excels when used as a tool for inner journeying (though many of the tracks are danceable to!) The inside of the cover folds out to show all nine paintings beautifully presented, with information about each Goddess and some of the lyrics. Apparently, the lyrics are taken from Jackie and Brian's inner journeys to meet the Goddesses, and make for powerful reading.

The varied musical styles reflect the many differing aspects of each of the Goddesses - from full-on dance grooves, to atmospheric soundscapes, to acoustic songs, to anthemic compositions.

My particular favourites are Lilith, the opening track which seductively relaxes you to "Let the night in", with its slow sleazy beat, breathy vocals, atmospheric guitar, and s-p-a-c-e to breathe...; and Hecate, not for wimps! - evocative of all things witchy, using crazy feedback guitar, grinding rocks and scratchy vocals....then Maia comes as a relief like musical balm to soothe the senses; a lilting and lovely gentle acoustic-led song. Yemaya's bouncy African-feel drum-led dancing rhythms - full of fertile joy! and final track Ishtar; an orchestral crescendo honouring the great deity, Mother of All Things, sweeping chords and triumphant vocals lifting spirits and capturing the majesty and power of Her greatness; "Everyone dances before Me. Here is another world; a world beyond this. I am ancient, I am young. I am all there is and all there will be."

Other tracks are Dakini, vibrant dance tune; Athena, experimental flute/breath experience; Coatlicue, deep journey to the underworld with classical overtones and soaring choral flights; and Kali, a mammoth dance track honouring the wild dark sexual power of Goddess. Not for the faint-hearted! (Or those who prefer wishy-washy New Age and MOR niceties. This has passion and guts). That is my only warning.

It comes highly recommended from a lover of Goddess in all Her guises.

©Sue Norris

Temple of the Moon Goddess CD by Heretix (Brian Abbott & Jackie Juno).