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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My Ancestral Mother of Beltane

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Scottish Hebridean Dolphin Skull

Beltane Fires Burning

In my younger years, my Beltane was often a wild affair and was celebrated with fire - just as a fire festival should be! Yet my vision of Beltane, and the wheel of the year, in general, has changed over the years. I now I look upon Beltane as an ebb and flow of many different forms of desire.

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Photo copyright Jasper Schwartz - Beltane Fire Society

Beltane on the Ancestral Mothers of Scotland wheel is marked by sacred desires and unspoken yearnings - those long far off callings that speak to us through time. I often feel they are longings that call to us of home, and home looks different for every woman, home becomes apparent when we take time for ourselves wrap ourselves up in our sealskins and then we’re recharged ready to engage again - with family, our community and with our role we play in the world.

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The Wise Woman Cee-al

Each festival on the Ancestral Mothers journey around the year is represented by an Ancestral Mother - Bear guardians, Goddesses, Bean Feasa (Wise Woman), priestesses - they take many roles but are women who honor Her in her many forms.

Cee-al is the figure of Beltane, her story comes from the nomadic mesolithic peoples off the west coast of Scotland around 6,000 BCE. They traveled from island to island following the natural rhythms and the natural harvests of the land and sea. Cee-al’s role was to know when to move, to know those signs in the landscape to ensure they moved at the right time. She also has a deep relationship with seals and is a guide to women who seek out their sealskins, to women who wish to feed their ancient longing.

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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 one who need retelling.

I am of 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 Fesa 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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