Abigail Spinner McBride
High Priestess of The Family of Fire
In an article that I wrote for ´The Secret Art Journal´ on Abigail Spinner McBride last year my opening paragraph read:
“We sometimes come across the term, “Renaissance Man.” It is used to describe extremely talented and remarkable people. Abigail Spinner McBride is an extremely talented and remarkable Lady. Therefore, I have every reason to describe Abigail as a “Renaissance Lady.” She is a Spiritual, Esoteric, a Versatile Musician, Singer, Dancer, Percussionist, Writer, Priestess, Businesswoman, and a Magicenne. And for the three people reading this who may not have heard of her, she is also the wife of Jeff McBride. Graceful and beautiful both inside and visually, she not only excels at all of the above, but is also a true inspiration to all those who know and cherish her.“
Based in Las Vegas, Nevada, and as referred to above, she is a High Priestess of the Family of Fire, a Massage Therapist, Musician and Dancer. She is also a highly skilled facilitator of fire-circle technology and the co-author of Universal Fire Circle Alchemy.
Her latest album, The Family of Fire, is a collection of her original music that has been inspired by the fire circles. Abigail is also the lead singer and percussionist for Zingaia. Her recent release, Dancers of Twilight, has won critical acclaim. She travels worldwide, performing music, magic, belly dancing, teaching drumming, chanting and awareness workshops ().
She spends her free time deepening her arts, cooking and practicing the art of levitation as the lead assistant to her husband, the International Magician Jeff McBride.
I posed Abigail a question about her relationship with Music and this is the enlightening and joyous response I received:-
“ The music which flows through me is the true voice of Spirit whispering magic in my ear... hidden melodies, long-ago forgotten tunes, secret harmonies and counterpoints. The muse of my inspiration is a flighty creature, often disappearing for long periods of time, no matter how much I will her to return. She speaks to me in her own time; she cannot be coerced, only welcomed. Often she sings to me in the voice of a little girl, a breathy, whispery kind of song, usually starting as a humming inside my head, sometimes comes out through my voice without my being aware that I’m humming or singing. Every so often, the words flow out, fully prepared, completely written, already rhyming and grammatically correct.
The finest music doesn’t have to be a long, drawn-out process in which I endlessly try to find the rhyme and rhythm and timing and motion. When I slow down and open consciously to the beauty and the sacred around me, my muse feels more at home. When the singer completely becomes the song, there is no difference between spirit and matter. When the voice of the fountain and the murmur of the mountain align in total harmony, the music flows out like a river towards the ocean and I simply float along on the surface, easily carried on the current.
The first time I heard the siren song of love issuing forth from the voice of the drum, I was just twenty-one. I was at a gathering of women musicians, and one evening, I decided to go for a walk... I began to hear the most magical sound of people drumming together, really listening to each other, and carrying on an involved conversation, through their music-making. I was absolutely swept away in the energy and the feeling of the music, and I followed my ears to the source, a small bonfire of women, gathered with their drums, playing as the sun went down. I stayed near the edge of the group, listening, enthralled, until the players took a break. I went and sat near one the women who had been playing, and asked her to show me something, anything, how could I join this marvelous current they were all swimming in... And she patiently taught me one part, and then another and then another... And by the time I wandered back to my tent, it was well past midnight, and I knew I had to find out more. I went back the next night and the next night after that, and then it was time to go home. The next week, I found a drum-maker who made me my first drum, a honey-blonde hybrid of a conga and an ashiko, with a thick cow-skin head and heavy, metal hardware.
The drum has led me through each one of the major transitions and changes in my life. It has introduced me to the people I am closest to in my life, including my husband, Jeff. It has led me across the country, and through most of the fifty states. I have taught classes throughout New England, the Southeast, in the mountains, in the desert, in the woods, in churches and temples and under the sky. I have played for dance classes of up to a hundred people, and for rituals involving one dancer. I have played music for people who were being born, being transformed, and dying.
I have opened myself to Spirit’s guidance, chosen to trust my inner intuition when she says “sing!” or “dance!” or “play!” and this voice has never steered me wrong. It’s only when I don’t listen that I lose out on an experience, or when I let someone else’s fear or shame get in my way. I choose not to give my power away like that anymore. As an artist, I want to find ways to encourage others to be in their creative flow, truly expressing their own hearts. It is not my job to tell others to be quiet, nor is it my job to listen when others would tell me not to sing or play or to quiet down. I am blessed with my voice and the songs that pour through me, and my main responsibility is to Spirit, to be grateful for the gifts that I do have, and to use them abundantly; it is this which can encourage others to blossom and open into their own fullness.
The heart of the rhythm, the sweet, strong beat, flows from the ocean of emotion in motion,
and from the higher fire of desire; flames in my blood and pulses in my soul like sweet Oshun-honey.
The first-heard sound in my prenatal ear was the steady heartbeat of my mother, and now,
the heartbeat of the Earth herself pours in me and through me, singing through my voice and playing through my hands like water, like fire, like magic. It has been said that if you have a heartbeat, you have rhythm and if you have rhythm, you can drum, and this, I know, is true.
The drum leads us on our paths, introducing us to new friends and lovers, granting us blessings and teaching us lessons on the way as we dance, or stumble along, changing our lives, in the process. The drum is a microcosmic universe for us to experience, just as we do the greater whole; any issues, any growth, any feelings we encounter while playing are working themselves out in the macrocosmic world around us. We heal ourselves, each other, and the planet as we learn and teach and play together, reminding ourselves through rhythm and trance who we deeply are.”
By: Anthony Darkstone