Song Analysis

Cactus Practice

Thursday 22 September 2011, by Cécile Desbrun

(Coming Soon! In the meantime, read Tori’s quotes about the song.)

"Anabelle then shares her view of the couple and makes tori aware that ’Every couple has a version of what they call the truth.’ Anabelle tells tori to call all that lies beneath both stories back to her own fire and to embrace the truth of what she finds. Anabelle has turned into her goose shape. Anabelle offers tori an elixir of cactus to open up tori’s vision and her heart so that she can actually claim her part in this shattering separation from ’Him’. As with any elixir, it’s job is to take the participant to a depth of feeling and understanding that they have not been able to achieve in the cold light of day." (Track-by-track commentary, first posted on on July 2011)

"Tash is very much involved as Anabelle. When she and I discussed her involvement, she wanted to make sure that Anabelle had an effect on the woman because Tash has said to me, ‘You know, grown-ups sometimes aren’t really good listeners and children maybe know some things that could help grown-ups.

Anabelle offering Tori the cactus elixir was to bring in a ceremonial transformational element. And that clearly the woman needed to grow very quickly and to open her mind up." (Night of Hunters EPK)

Having taken part in the ceremonial use of ayahuasca, a vine with psychedelic properties, in the 1990s, Night Of Hunters’ Cactus Practice finds Amos alluding to the use of the similarly ritualistic drug peyote to reach a different state of perception.

“Yes, it is inferring that. I think because that in particular is a ritual, I wanted to take this to a ritualistic place instead of an experimental and hallucinogenic place. Tash said, ‘You know, Mom, the song cycle’s protagonist, Tori needs a bop on the head or something – maybe one of those pomegranate margaritas Dad makes’. I said, ‘You know what, that’s not far away from what we’re doing’. Tash understands Native American ritual and that it’s very different from drug experimentation – you approach it completely differently. I need to make it clear that we’re not encouraging her to do that – she just turned 11 last week – because to approach that kind of thing it’s not really rock’n’roll partying, it’s more about reclaiming parts of her soul and pieces of herself have to die to make that happen.” (Rip It Up, September 22, 2011)