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Crafted From: Des Moines, Iowa
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Website Profile: An experienced Witch priestess and ritual artist, Lady Isadora is also a critically-acclaimed singer-songwriter, guitarist, arranger, and producer. She was one of the early founders of the Witch & Pagan musical genre. All three of her classic albums, *The Queen of Earth and Sky*, *Priestess of the Pentacle*, and *The Witching Hour*, are Samhain 2010 re-releases on CD, with long-awaited new recordings in the works. See www.ladyisadora.com for details!
Isadora is a longtime clergywoman of the Craft with legal ministerial status, a trustee of the Universal Federation of Pagans, a member of ASCAP and the international Fellowship of Isis, and has been a biographee in *The World Who's Who of Women*. Following an absence of some years from the Pagan music scene due to family commitments and other aspects of her life and career, Isadora plans to make it up to her bewitched, bothered, and bewildered fans by releasing a series of long-awaited new albums and gigging as often as possible at festivals and other gatherings and events.
Wrote legendary Pagan journal *Green Egg*:
"In Lady Isadora's voice hear the singing of quartz bowl bells. In her heart feel the dedication of Witch and bard. Her voice slides waterlike from strong high places to splash into pools of evenly-grained alto note progressions, then carries us all willingly down storystreams of love, defiance, ethics, evolution... [Her albums] are a wonderful collection for Pagans, Witches, and writers. Her voice is an instrument of surpassing beauty with which she tells our tales and sings our souls."
Additional review accolades for Lady Isadora include:
"...soaring flutelike exaltation... lushly beautiful melodies combine with words of power..." --*SageWoman*
"... don't miss... sparkles with top professionalism... a voice that rivals Judy Collins' for clarity and emotion."
--*Circle Network News*
"The Joni Mitchell of the Wicca* movement... powerful..."
--Website for "Psyche van het Folk, Radio Centraal, Antwerp, Belgium
*Isadora herself uses only the term "Witchcraft"
"...an intelligence not often seen in this field... Raise your expectations for pagan music." --*The Red Queen*
"...a Pagan National Treasure..."
--Michelle Mays, *Fireleap: the Beltane Collection*, et al
"Like the sirens of mythology, Isadora calls our spirits to join her in ecstacy... truly this songstress is the Queen of Musical Witches."
--SkyDragon of Lucidian, *For the Lady and Lord*
"... a cauldron of mixed delights and metaphors... Candy for the ear, intellect, and spirit."
--Lord Foxglove, author of *Advancing the Witches' Craft*
"... excellent... delightful... I have absolutely no hesitation in recommending her work."
--Raymond Buckland, PhD, author of *Witchcraft from the Inside*, *Wicca for Life*, et al
"I was absolutely filled with joy... Every song, every line spoke to the heart... I can't imagine any Pagan being without them."
--DJ Conway, author of *Celtic Magic*, *Flying Without a Broom*, et al
"... a joy to listen to... inspiration while I write."
--Bettina Lindsey, author of *Swan Witch*, *Waltz with the Lady*, et al
"My cat Seraphine has given her emphatic 'meow' of approval, and believe me, she doesn't impress easily!"
--Lisa Thiel, *Songs of the Spirit*, *Lady of the Lake*, et al
"... a truly beautiful voice... brilliant."
--Kenny Klein, formerly of Kenny & Tzipora, *Moon Hooves in the Sand* et al; author of *The Flowering Rod*
--Jennifer Reif, *Mysteries of Earth*, author of "Morgan Le Fay's Books of Spells and Wiccan Rites* et al
"Isadora sings like the mermaids, full of truth and magic... lyrical, yet politically astute as well. A rare combination..."
--Shekhinah Mountainwater, *Songs and Chants of the Goddess*, *Witch-a-Way*, et al; author of *Ariadne's Thread*
"Thank you, Lady, for sharing your amazing talent with the world."
--Eternal, poet & writer, of "Support Pagan Artists" website
"...miraculous... spine-chilling... a true feast for the heart in all Lady Isadora's works."
--*The Wiccan Rounde*
"Her pure soprano voice comes from deep within her soul... moving, strong, poetic lyrics... Inspired and fulfilling music, highly recommended."
--*Heartsong Review* (1st review)
"Once more, Lady Isadora touches Pagan heartstrings with her lilting voice and magical melodies... themes of power and mystery... good thinking music, full of deep messages for contemplation mixed within the lovely harmonies."
--*Heartsong Review* (2nd review)
"... amazing... haunting... a precious gift..."
--*The Beltane Papers* (1st review)
"Listen to this music in a darkened room lit by candlelight, and let the magic happen."
--*The Beltane Papers* (2nd review)
Lady Isadora is a genuine Renaissance woman of many hats. "My favorites are the Peter Pan and tall pointy black ones, along with my lunar crown and winged Valkyrie helmet, " she says. "But I'd adore one of those wildly chic, great big extravagantly-plumed numbers like the highwaymen and pirate captains of yore used to swagger about in, bless their brazen black hearts, the bedeviling blackguards! Literally to die for? No, thank'ee! I'll stick with one of my signature long scarves, tied firmly 'round my head, when scalliwag-channeling or in 'Stand and deliver!' mode-- I'm far less likely to lose the thing during a frenzied midnight gallop 'all on the Queen's Highway', or deep, down, derry-down-down in the Old Briney, should the Powers-- or perhaps a fearsome encounter with the infamous Captain Jack Sparrow? Yessss!!!-- conspire to take me for a sudden swim. And so what if they do! Far out! Mermaids!"
Isadora is a longtime writer, languages enthusiast, and researcher in a number of diverse fields of interest. She has published articles in various Pagan, New Age, and mainstream journals, and is working on an unusual novel about Queen Elizabeth I, not to mention a very unusual series of girl detective novels. She is also compiling for publication a compendium of original rituals, poetry, and essays, entitled *The Pen is a Magic Wand*.
In honor of her adored favorite Sabbat, the annually happily-holly-crowned Isadora is readying an album of Yule carols with original and adapted lyrics, and both traditional and original melodies: *Goddess Rest Ye Merry, Gentlefolk*. She has previously recorded a winter solstice suite entitled "Three Carols for Yule" on *The Queen of Earth and Sky*. Wrote *Green Egg* of her "achingly beautiful" song "Our Lady Greensleeves": "Though many have written words for this primally moving melody, this telling of the Wheel Year in the crystalline voice of Isadora is the pinnacle of all."
Isadora's first album, *The Witching Hour*, was recorded in 1981 with her former partner, the formidably multi-talented Lord Pan. It was one of the first few Witch albums ever made. Following the 1990 dual release of Isadora's 24-track studio solo albums, *The Queen of Earth and Sky* and *Priestess of the Pentacle* (on which she duets with then-7-year-old daughter Andred on one song) , Isadora has continued to hold a devoted following and receive high praise from a number of Pagan luminaries and publications.
"For the Goddess sings both softly and loudly
In a lullaby croon or a scream of pain
And if in some she's still silent
Then in others, she's loud and clear
And she'll keep singing till the whole world can hear!"
--From "The Goddess Sings" (words and music by Lady Isadora) , *The Witching Hour*, copyright 1981, 2006, 2010 Dance of Life Records (ASCAP)
For nearly three decades, *The Witching Hour* has been hailed as a historic contribution to Witch & Pagan recorded music-- a beloved favorite of many in the magical community. Wrote Phoenix NightSong of NC about Isadora: "...this gorgeous haunting voice to rival Sarah Brightman, guitar prowess to rival Lita Ford, and a songwriting gift to rival Lennon-McCartney." From K. Vaughan of CA: "Lady Isadora's voice is a gift of the Goddess." From Annie Redbird of MN: "There's a CD out there actually claiming to be the *Best of Pagan Song* without Lady Isadora on it. No comment, except that's like having a *Best of '60s Folk* without Joan Baez!" From L. Brustad of ND: "...truly the finest Pagan music I have ever heard." From Hunter Nolen of NE: "You're AWESOME! Thank you thank you thank you for YEARS of enjoyment of your music! You ROCK, sister!" From C. Sheehan of FL: "Divine Genius... phenomenal..." And from F. James of CA: "I'd like to say something nice about her music and her voice, but there are no words, at least not in the English language."
Isadora has been described by recent reviewers as “Queen of Musical Witches” and “a Pagan National Treasure”, having already earned such accolades as “a voice that rivals Judy Collins’”, “guitar prowess to rival Lita Ford”, and “the Joni Mitchell of the [Witchcraft] movement”. However, Isadora declines to style herself with such titles.
“Of course, I’m very flattered to have been given so much praise, ” she admits. “If somebody says it or writes it, I’ll have it put on my reviews webpage, with great appreciation. If all the promo quotes sell somebody on checking out my music, so be it, and I hope they enjoy my songs. Like any other musician, I want to be able to make a living from my work. Like all musicians, I have my influences. But I don’t want to get stuck on them.
"I’ve always felt it’s the individual voice one represents, and what one brings to music that’s new and unique, that are truly important. I don’t want to play the Jonier-than-thou game some young female singer-songwriters today seem rather caught up in. Yes, Joni Mitchell and other great mainstream recording artists have been pioneering musical sisterspirits for many of us. Listening to their work in our younger years helped awaken the chords of our own beings – and those are the chords we really should be playing, when all is said and sung.
"I put my own Witchy and very personal stamp on my influences, I feel, and took them in new directions. I’ve continued to grow and deepen as a songwriter, so I’m eager to share my previously-unreleased and more recent material with fans, as well. Yes, Joni et al are fabulous, without doubt, but so are we. We’ve got our own voices to raise and our own songs to sing.
"So... I don’t see myself as Judy Collins in a tall black pointy, or the Witch Lennon-McCartney, or Empress of Ethereal Sopranos, or the bitchin’est, bewitchin’est Broomstick Babe of Bards, or whatever. [Laughs and winks.] OK, OK, well, under the circs, I can see I'm FORCED to confess I was once known to certain veddy British male admirers in my desperately mod girlish days in the '60s as "Queen of the Birds", tee hee. A story I shall NOT at present delve into in any detail. [Chokes back a wee chortle-- just barely.] At any rate, I suppose it might be cool to be considered the next Billie Holiday, or the next Hildegard von Bingen-- or maybe a quirkily groundbreaking new combination of the two [laughs again]-- but I'd really rather be the one and only Lady Isadora, anyway. If I happen to be somebody’s favorite musician, then sure, I’m happy, but I do keep it in perspective. Music is an art, not a contest! And there is such a glorious amount of talent in the Pagan music scene these days... a true joy for us all!”
"O have you heard that there are street-corner preachers
in the world today
Who think Jesus died to take their minds away?
I know they're wrong-- I know that we're not deceived!
But they'll tell you 'the devil' has got your soul
They'll rant and they'll rave with their rigmarole
Don't let them win! Stand up for what you believe!
They'll throw the Book at you
Try to convert you to the Father and the Son
There's something missing when they leave out the Mother
Of everyone-- don't let them bring you down!
Ye priests and ye priestesses of the Earth
Come drink from Her grail of the soul's true worth
The whole wide world shall be Her Table Round!"
--From "Table Round" (words and music by Lady Isadora) , *Priestess of the Pentacle*, copyright 1990, 2010 Dance of Life Records (ASCAP)
Isadora and her daughter are co-priestesses of a family-based coven, Tree of Thirteen Runes, in Des Moines and at points beyond. Isadora's primary focus for many years has been on the British Isles and Old Norse deities and mysteries of her ancestry. She is a devotee of Gwenhwyfar the Golden-Haired and the fabulous freewheeling Freyja, and has a particular affinity for sun goddesses.
Isadora and daughter Andred are co-founders of Our Lady of Spiritual Audacity, an organization inspired by such "uppity women" heroines of male-dominated religion as Joan of Arc; Pope Joan (Joan English, whose legendary existence as Pope "John" VIII the Catholic Church emphatically denies, yet for whom there remain many persuasive clues-- see Peter Stanford's *The Legend of Pope Joan*) ) ; and medieval mystic abbess-composer Hildegard von Bingen, "the Sibyl of the Rhein". While not Christian per se in any "orthodox" or traditional literalist sense, OLSA is dedicated to exploring and promoting public dialogue and awareness about the apparently Pagan roots of the legendary Jesus figure and original Gnostic Christianity, as theorized with abundant impressive evidence in such revolutionary books as *The Jesus Mysteries: Was the 'Original Jesus' a Pagan God?* by critically-acclaimed Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy, *The Christ Conspiracy: The Greatest Story Ever Sold* by incisively insightful archaeologist-historian Acharya S, and *The Pagan Christ: Recovering the Lost Light* by Tom Harpur, distinguished academic and former Anglican priest.
One of Isadora's nicknames has long been "Dizzy Aura". Nevertheless, from the more broadly eclectic priestessing of her younger years, Isadora still retains a special devotion to mighty Isis, iridescent Iris, stalwart Athena, wise Hecate, sacredly symbiotic Demeter and Persephone, and sublimely compassionate Mother Mary, among others. In any case, it is Peter Pan, that blithe and bonny Junior Green Man, who has been the ultimate god of Isadora's idolatry since childhood, during which time, as one of her song lyrics affirms, she also "read every Little Witch Girl book [she] could find in the library".
Business and personal correspondence: Bluestocking & Broomstick, P.O. Box 41246, Des Moines, IA 50311 USA
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