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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Jude Lally

Jude Lally

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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Felted Bear Hearth Altar by Jude Lally 
 
I'm sure I'm not alone in feeling that just one more worry, just one more stress can tip me right over the edge and into free fall. As we move from Autumn Equinox and cycle towards Samhain what is is that keeps you balanced? What is it that you root yourself down into? 

For me, it begins by trying to shut off my head, although silencing those chattering voices aren't always easy and so I try to let my feet or hands take over.

Feet take me a walk around the neighborhood and never too far afield these days but there is still lots of magic to be found in the hedgerows. 
Hands perform rituals which have always been a focus to keep me sane, to make meaning when sometimes it feels that there is none. They keep me tethered to the land and the voices of the old ones. Small little gestures about how I'm feeling - needing an unravelling here and a weaving there. 

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Dzooqua (Doll), Tsagaglala Petroglyph and the Cauldron of the Cailleach 

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The Sisterhood of the Antlers

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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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There have been a few moments in the last few months where I feel I have come close to losing it. As I look over my journal I notice a secret language of symbols - flames, birds or mighty bolts of lightning - which hint at what was going on. 

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