Karyn Crisis – Gospels of the Witch Part IIThursday, 5th March 2015
Dead Rhetoric: You are open about being a medium, witch, and shaman. Does Gospel of the Witches seem to be a link between your metal and nonmetal endeavors?
Crisis: Absolutely. When I took a break from music, I didn’t really expect to make music again, I just didn’t want to at that time. I just wanted to take a break and discover more about the things that were happening to me. Like seeing ghosts in the room or being able to heal an animal. All of those “supernatural” things that people talk about that have been a part of my life since I was very young. So I took the time to explore and learn more and more about those things, and along the way I felt I was supposed to make music and I reached out to someone to connect me with Davide Tiso when I was going through a lot of learning and training. I ended up meeting him in Tuscany, Italy where we were supposed to work on my solo album at that time. The album didn’t happen but we did end up staying in a guest house in a haunted house. In the haunted house, there was a witch spirit who was teaching lore and other learnings from people, but she was in spirit, and she was teaching me a lot of these things. When we moved back to California, a lot of this teaching and learning continued. Even all the while that Davide and I were trying to work on music. He was writing a lot of incredible music at the time. I was growing so much but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to say and how I wanted to say it. If I can’t really imagine the atmosphere or the vibe of something, I’m not sure where to go.
So we kept recording and some of his songs became a project that he released called Manuscripts Don’t Burn and if you were to listen to those songs, you could hear some similarities between that time period of music and Gospel of the Witches but while [Davide] was growing as musician because he’s such a prolific songwriter, I was growing as a medium and a witch and discovering what my lineage really meant. Discovering what all these things were that were happening to me and how to organize them and technically understand them, and know what they had to do with me and everything else. Once I got deeper into my training and organization of this, I began to work on my paintings, for example. I didn’t sketch, I didn’t make a painting before the big painting to make sure it would work out, I just worked on it in my mind’s eye. I wanted to devote all of the paintings to witchcraft and shamanism, and the healing art.
Eventually in time, Davide’s songwriting had taken a certain turn where I felt like I was finally ready and it was like my witch spirit guide came really quickly and helped me get a feeling of everything the album is supposed to be about, which is basically dedicated to her and everything that I’ve learned about witches in Europe. While I was doing all this training and while I was trying to stretch myself musically, there was a lot of growth that had to happen. Then once I locked into some of the songs he had written, all the lyrics came out and the visual ideas and concept of the album came out very quickly. It was kind of an inspiration because a lot of what I found out about witches in Europe was they weren’t really even called witches, there was no such word. They were mediums who would channel their goddesses and their spirit guides to get information on how to cure diseases with plants and to do natural healing and all sorts of other information. As a result of that information they got, they were actually curing diseases. They were really changing the lifestyle for people in the farming community. Whereas people were going to the monks at the churches for healing and they were dying. There were female Druids and there were a lot of other subcultures of faith practicing these things together and they were really dramatically increasing the quality of life for people, still even beyond the doctors, because they were getting this information through mediumships.
That’s what ended up becoming the threat to the government and the Catholic Church was that people were actually feeling a connection to God/Goddess through women in mediumship and having their own experiences. They were being healed, they were finding better ways to live their life, and things were going really well. So here we are again, having the community of women stepping into their power and helping other people with it, so this takeover began. Like, okay we have to strike down these females and the church and government created this idea of a witch and they began to break down the credibility of these women through punishment and torture and then decided to install this synthetic form of religion. Which was to tell everyone that this is God and who he is, even though you can’t feel him like you can with those old witches, you just have to take our word for it or we are going to torture you. So they began to systematically kill, rape, and imprison so many women, tens of thousands at one point in Europe, that over a period there weren’t any women left in Druidity. So a lot of these things were blending something that was near to my heart anyway in life but also with the things I was learning about witchcraft and mediumship and that’s just what I decided to talk about with the new music.
Dead Rhetoric: I don’t think I’ve ever gotten that much history about that before, it’s very interesting.
Crisis: I had to find a lot of [the information] in Europe. Davide found some books for me while he was visiting family in southern Italy in an area called Benevento, where people still keep these things alive and they all know about the witch history there. So he had to translate some books to me from Italian to English.
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