Sisterhood of the Antlers

Walking the path of the Ancestral Mothers of Scotland with stories, art, and ritual

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Entering the Wildwood

Beltane is a great Celtic festival although it's highly likely that it has its roots drawn down to a far longer distant past. My imagination has always been stirred by far earlier peoples.

At Beltane, the life-giving forces of the land are honored as it manifests within the land and people, yet that energy can take many forms throughout our lives. Here in the foothills of the Appalachians, the land is experiencing the great greening and I take a hammock and go head into the trees to listen to the song of the forest.

The wheel of the year is a lived experience drawing in folklore and ancestral memories which helps to make sense of the world. The wheel is an ancestral soul path, a pilgrimage around the year through the great festivals and yet the meaning of those holy days has morphed and changed through time.

At Beltane I put on a mask, inspired by the mask of Star Carr, a culture which existed at the end of the ice age and could hold a pattern of belief handed down by those who visited Britain in the summer months with the greening of the tundra as they followed great herds of reindeer and wild horses across the land.

Our modern society has herded us, sedates us and tries through a vast array of distraction and addictions to keep us from hearing the call of the wild. If we were to heed that call of the wild we'd find the old stories and ancient ways to know life wasn't always like this. Patriarchy didn't always exist. My Beltane takes me to wild places, islands off the West Coast of Scotland - wild places where I can re-wild my imagination, re-envisage this modern life and take ancient inspiration and weave it into my life in ways which resist the psychological smog patriarchy would prefer we lived in.

Red Deer Skull Headdress from Star Carr, Yorkshire, UK

Creative Resistance

Beltane can invite us to take off our socially acceptable mask, to listen to the plants under our feet, the calls of the birds and animals and step into relationship with the world. To watch the land painted in a wash of twilight which brings out the magic and mystery. To wear the mask of our wild self, to step between the worlds and see through the eyes of the Bean Feasa, the wise woman and offer gestures of ritual to that relationship. To weave

This is my Beltane to step into my wild self, re-imagine myself, celebrate my relationship with the world. To dance what is my heart's desire, the worlds' desire for if we don't dream these dreams we can't take the steps that are required to get there. This world needs our imagination more than ever!

What is your gesture of ritual this Beltane?

I will be launching 'Sisterhood of the Antlers' a creative journey around the Wheel later this year - click on the logo above to be added to the mailing list to get some travel updates as we head to Scotland and be first to hear when the new course launches

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Jude Lally is a forager of stories. You’ll find her out wandering the hills around Loch Lomond, reading the signs that guide her to stories in the land.

As a Cultural Activist, she draws upon the inspiration from old traditions to meet current needs.
She uses keening as a grief ritual, a cathartic ritual to express anger, fear, and despair for all that is unfolding within the great unraveling.
As a doll maker, she views this practice as one that stretches back to the first dolls which may have been fashioned from bones and stones and ancient stone figurines such as the Woman of Willendorf. She uses dolls as a way of holding and exploring our own story, and relationship to the land as well as ancestral figures.

She gained her MSc Masters Degree in Human Ecology at the University of Strathclyde (Glasgow, Scotland) and lives on the West Coast of Scotland on the banks of the River Clyde, near Loch Lomond. She is currently writing her first book, Path of the Ancestral Mothers.



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