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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She Who Runs With the Herd. A Second Antlered Tale for Advent.

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

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Our antlered tales for advent are:

  1. The Old Antlered One

  2. She Who Runs With the Herd

  3. She Who Wears Antlers

  4. A Sisterhood of the Antlers

     

The women are tending to the shrine under the antlered moon. Each year they make the pilgrimage up to the crest of the hill to the stone and bone shrine that their foremothers created. 

They take time to reposition any antlers that have fallen. Some antlers belong to creatures that no longer exist and only walk the earth in spirit. There is a way to read the bones. Some are etched with maps that show the migratory routes while some hold symbols that perhaps tell the mystery and magic of shapeshifting itself. 

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The women know these stories well, they know these bones well and in the retelling, they say the names of the women whose role it was in life to carry the stories - women who now walk this land in spirit.

Once the bones have been read the women honor the stories with their voices, deep songs that send their prayers up into the night sky and tumbling down the hillside like small streams.

As the women turn around, their backs facing the shrine they look out over the landscape below, their voices light up ancient pathways, making them luminous so they shine like visible maps. Their words move like solar winds overhead, creating great waves of color in the northern lights. You might begin to feel a tingling above your head as great branching antlers grow like antennas reaching towards the sky. You begin to move, shifting your body - running on the spot. Your arms grow until they touch the ground, you're curved over until you feel four hooves on the ground. The urge to run is powerful, you race down the hill and suddenly there are others by your side. You run through secret valleys, over streams up hills and down, You know the way as it's etched into every cell of your body. Running the terrain is a dance between you and the landscape, it’s effortless and as you find your stride you enter the flow. The flow takes you between the worlds, between what has exited and what is still to unfold and it is here that the earth energy flows. That is the (..a flow that takes you between worlds). You feel that there are old, old stories set into these pathways, and these are the pathways that earth energy flows through. The others around you are kin. 

You know they way as its etched into every cell of your body. Running the terrain is a dance between you and the landscape

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The herd is a map, the ones which know the way with every hood beat and heartbeat, communicating with those who honor these pathways before them and reaching out into the future to those who still seek the path. 

It has been the tradition for countless generations for these women to tend to the high shrines and read the bones. To step between the worlds and run with the herd. For they know the old ways which say the pathways must be run. They must be run so new stories can be laid down and the old ones retold. Tending to the pathways is tending to the magic and the mystery. So run the pathways, or dance them from wherever you are. Dance, rattle, drum the pathways. Sing the pathways, do magic on the pathways, chant, do ritual. Do all this and feed the pathways - for the earth is the great holder of these visions and insights, dreams and plans. Whisper these things to her and she will feed you in return.

Come join these shapeshifting women, tend the high shrines with your own bones, etch your sacred maps onto them. Tune into the heartbeat of the drum, become the dancer between worlds, the shapeshifter. Attune your antlers to the answers you seek and run out over the magical pathways, come run with the herd.


Our third Antlered tale will be ‘She Wo Wears Antlers' which I'll share next week.

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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. I am a listener to old bones and a collector of stories that I gather from the shorelines, deep in forests or atop mountains. Sometimes my shadow shows my other selves sometimes crow sometimes bear, I am She Who Wears Antlers.

I am a radical doll maker, taking this tradition back to its roots and the hands of my foremothers. They remind us of our sacred connection to this world, the otherworld and our ancestors. I am a collector of stories, carrying old ones and those who need retelling.

I am inspired by the Bean Feasa tradition, a wise woman tradition that stretches back past pre-Celtic generations. People sought the wisdom of the wise woman in times of personal crisis and today this tradition can help us face this deepening global crisis.

I am a cultural activist working from the Bean Feasa tradition rooted in pre-patriarchy which honors imagination and creativity and provides us with tools that can help us overcome the psychological effects of patriarchy.

Visit my website for details of online courses, in-person workshops and our annual pilgrimage to the lands of the Ancestral Mothers of Scotland.

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