Sisterhood of the Antlers

Stories of the Ancestral Mothers of Scotland from folk magic and the wise women who honored them. Rooted in the Bean Feasa (Wise Woman) tradition.

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Touched by the Wing of Talieasker

The Ancestral Mothers Wheel of the Year

We are approaching the threshold between Lughnasadgh and Autumn Equinox. Summer has felt endless, a groundhog day repeating itself over and over. For me, summer started with long lingering Scottish twilights and progressed to Appalachian nights full crickets and cicada lullabies draped in a clinging humidity with a constant thread of spiders webs.

Yet I can feel the threshold approach, whispering change. It's ushered in by the wing tips of an age-old figure, Talieasker. She's been with me most of my life, and no doubt made herself know to others before me.  She was there when my teenage self raged with anger with a desperate longing for something modern life no longer holds, even although then I didn't know what that was.  She and I danced in my need for catharsis, an outlet to hold the screaming in reaction to what we are doing to the world.

Showing my crow self

I am descended from a long line of wise women - for I too am a shapeshifter, a mythmaker, a woman who has always had one ear to the ground and a foot in the other world. Sometimes my shadow shows my other self, sometimes crow sometimes the shadow of a bear, I am She Who Wears Antlers.

This morning she appeared, the green woman curled up as if returning to the womb. It is the call of nature herself announcing the coming change, for change is the only constant. Galaxies swirl, new stars are born, birds hear the call to migrate, spotted fish at the bottom of dark lochs swim in certain patterns and the repetitive cycle of birth, life and death repeats.

So with the sign of this curled up woman it will be soon to mark this point of the wheel in an ancient ritual I was taught - a small green doll (I don't know her name or her story), only that she must return to the earth, marking the beginning of the dark of the year, crossing that threshold from light into dark.

Pay attention to this approaching threshold, maybe the swish of a dark wing might brush against you, look to the greenery, the sky, the stars and know that change will come - whatever your situation. Maybe you'd like to join me in a journey around the year honoring of the Ancestral Mothers - warriors and women who honored the way of bear, of great whales of the ocean, seals, of reindeer, Goddesses, and age-old crones. Join me in a tradition of marking these festivals in ritual with art and story, community and journeying between the worlds.

 

 

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As an artist and Cultural Activist, Jude Lally is rooted in the inspiration of her Ancestral Mothers. All her work comes about through exploring her relationship with the land through art, ritual, imagination, and creativity.

She uses the inspiration of old traditions to meet modern needs. While keening, was traditionally a way to ament the death of someone in the community, Jude uses it today as a way to address modern needs in allowing an expression of grief we hold for all that is happening across the planet. In using keening in this cathartic way she then engages participants with gestures of ritual which help them deal with their grief and then inspires them to work in creative ways in acts of resistance, working towards a restorative culture.

She calls herself a Radical doll maker who views her art as part of a practice that stretches back to the first dolls fashioned from bones and stones – such as the Woman of Willendorf.

She gained her MSc Masters Degree in Human Ecology at the University of Strathclyde (Glasgow, Scotland) in partnership with the Center for Human Ecology, with her thesis entitled ‘Fire in the Head, Heart, and Hand. A Study of the Goddess Brighid as Goddess Archetype and her Relevance to Cultural Activists in Contemporary Scotland’. She currently lives in Asheville, Western North Carolina but is moving back to Scotland this year.

Website: www.pathoftheancestralmothers.com

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