The High Priestess – Tori Amos

“You don’t need my voice, girl, you have your own.”

-Tori Amos, Bells for Her

This one was very personal. Back in 1993, when I was sixteen years old, my older brother Jeff walked into my room with a CD, and said, “You need this.” The CD was Little Earthquakes, and he was right. I really did need it. Before then, Jeff and I barely spoke about anything; after, we talked about Tori.

She was more than just a touchstone for my relationship with my brother, as if that isn’t enough. She was a lifeline for me personally, too. Her songs were like riddles I immediately understood, and the answers were the secrets and longings and terrors I never had the words for. Her dreamy, ethereal and tumultuous sound was unlike anything else, and it became my first, perhaps only, true musical obsession. I saw concerts, bought b-sides and bootlegs, and knew all the names of the alternate versions and rare recordings. I was a Tori-phile.

Around 2009, I sort of fell away from active fandom, so my personal Tori playlist mostly runs from Little Earthquakes to American Doll Posse, but Tori has continued creating grand, visionary soundscapes without me. That’s ok. I can listen to Girl or Honey or Past the Mission and still be sixteen again.

So how does this relate to the High Priestess? The High Priestess is the divine feminine, who passes between the worlds of dark and light. She is about knowing things that you don’t have words for. She knows some things can’t just be said. But as the lady said, “That’s ok, ’cause sometimes I hear my voice, and it’s been here, silent all these years.”