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The Return

Jamie Shadowlight - Violin, Concept and Production

Aurora Lagattuta- Inspiration and Choreography

Xavier Vazquez-video, editing, addition of waves

Soma Ghazale Sabery- Daff drum, Bass Drum, Vocals, Crystal Bowl

Recorded at Pacific Beat Recording by Alan Sanderson


One night, I met with a friend, dancer/choreographer Aurora Lagattuta. In our conversation by the fire, she initiated me to the story of the Strega, "the Witches of Sicily". They held hands and walked into the ocean and drowned themselves. She had been studying this story and told it with such power that it planted a seed in my soul. To us, they represent the feminine energy that could not exist in this world in those times. After she told me the story, few days later, I was falling asleep and I had a vision. Of a bunch of women WALKING BACK OUT OF THE OCEAN. This is symbolic of the times we live in. Where someone like you, me, so many powerful and self realized women can exist We feel very strongly about this piece, this call to walk out of the depths and be seen. It was such a beautiful experience, this celebration of being able to live fully in this world as unique and powerful women and i hope it reminds all of you to find your truth and be seen in it. Thank you to all who came out and made the pilgrimage to the ocean to create this with us, and to all those who were there in spirit. Every part of this piece was divined, beyond thought or control. In a sense, it created itself. ------------


- Aurora’s thoughts on the story: Often when I hear such stories as the one I told Jamie Shadowlight, it is as if I am not hearing them for first time, as if a part of my body re-members. Such was the case when I came across the story of the Sicilian Stregas (or witches) told by Starhawk in her book, A Rebirth of the Ancient Religion of the Great Goddess, like a forgotten dream, this tale stuck with me. Starhawk recounts the tale of the Stregas’ chosen death: a group of powerful and magical women who choose to hold hands and walk into the Mediterranean Sea to drown under their own terms as opposed to being tortured and killed by their oppressors. It was a chosen act of resistance. It was an act of taking self-responsibility and holding their personal power. It was also an act of female solidarity. Heartbreakingly, the world was not safe for them anymore so they chose to leave it together. The Return came about in response to this story. It is the call for this history and the energy of these powerful women to return to this planet now. Now, the act of walking out of the water is not only a rebirth of the old, it is a call for stepping out of hiding and fear. Now, the action we are being asked is to be seen, is to stand together in love and unity. It is not blind love or naivety. Rather, it is a love that knows the sadness of our shared history drowned by the tears of our losses, and still in spite of this, courageously steps forward, hands held and feet on the earth. A Rebirth of the Ancient Religion of the Great Goddess. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1989

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