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 Visit From Sheela

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

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Some days it’s interesting to see who just turns up each morning in that magical half light that isn’t quite dawn and isn’t quite day. Sometimes I sit alone and on others I have company. Sometimes it is the brush of crow’s wing and I know Talieasker is close. On other days I can feel a warming on my back and I know there are ancestors peering over my shoulder – curious to see what’s going on.

Then on some days, others swoop in to help – such as the appearance of Sheela-na-gig in offering her protection to help a young girl. Sheela’s story is multi-layered as the different era’s added on their interpretation. While she holds the power of regeneration I sometimes see her in a Baubo stance – yet instead of evoking laughter she can invoke a defending primal scream of terror which holds the fury of women everywhere.

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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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