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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A Beltane Story. Cee-al, Wise Woman of the Seal People

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Beltane morning. I am in the foothills of the Appalachians yet there is a cool breeze blowing which transports me to the Isle of Oronsay, sitting on top of a Mesolithic shell midden - made by people who perhaps moved around their landscape in a great ritualistic gesture.

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Sitting on a Mesolithic Shell Midden on the Isle of Oronsay - looking over to Jura. Photo by Joanne Wright

 My days of Beltane as a great fire festival and all the celebrations of dancing wild around fires with strangers have changed over the years and now I choose to go sit with Cee-al.

 

 

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Dolphin Skull - An altar to the Wild.

 This is a reminder to feed your wild self - walks in the rain, the sight of storms brewing, dance and song - whatever your wild self yearns for. Cee-al is the holder of your most sacred desires, your wildest yearnings. These desires should be rooted in the world, a yearning for a world to come into balance - what is your role in all of this? What can you do in your life, in your community that brings us back to balance with the Earth, the wild and all living beings? Beltane 2020 is a unique time to brings these yearnings into being - to make changes happen in the here and now.

 

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Selkie Stone

 

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My Selkie Skin hearth altar holds a divination of Scottish cowrie shells. The clouds are racing East this morning as crouch in the garden and wash my face in the dew.

 

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          Click on the image to hear Julie Fowlis and the Unthanks sing the Great Silkie of Sule Skerry

 

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The guided journey will take you to meet  Cee-al, the Wise Woman of the Seal People. She will wrap you in your Selkie Skin, sit you on a rock and face you out towards the sea.

 

 

 

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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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