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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Invoking the Cailleach in the Fight Against the Dakota Access Pipeline

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Click on image for source. Sacred Stone Camp, North Dakota.

'Our elders have told us that if the zuzeca sape, the black snake, comes across our land, our world will end. Zuzeca has come – in the form of the Dakota Access pipeline – and so I must fight.The Dakota Access pipeline threatens to destroy our sacred ground. I am defending the land and water of my people, as my ancestors did before me.' Lyuskin American Horse in Canon Ball, North Dakota (click to read Guardian story) 

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Water is life. All life here on earth depends on it. When exobiologists look for life in the universe they look for the presence of water. Our planet looks mostly blue when seen from space. I’ve watched videos on twitter with the gathering of native peoples and supporters across America and been inspired with speeches on Standing Rock Spirit Resistance Radio which is based at the protest. 

More than anything i’ve been so moved by these gracious people, rooted deeply in non violence. How they talk about the fight, their lives and their solidarity with people supporting them with a spirituality that seeps into every word and action, comments rich with concern with the children and future generations.

Their fight is our fight, water is under threat around the world from fracking, pollution and this huge proposed pipeline which would carry approximately 470,000 barrels per day of fracked oil from the Bakken oil fields, 1,172 miles through the country’s heartland, to Illinois. The pipeline will cross the confluence of the Cannonball and Missouri rivers, where it threatens to contaminate our primary source of drinking water and damage the bordering Indigenous burial grounds, historic villages and sundance sites that surround the area in all directions.

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Sacred Stone Camp founder LaDonna Tamakawastewin Allard's great-great-grandmother, Nape Hote Win (Mary Big Moccasin) survived the bloodiest conflict between the Sioux Nations and the U.S. Army ever on North Dakota soil.

I'm not saying anything new here but in light of the lack of news (or tainted news from mainstream media) we are now the media. Sharing each others stories, films, news from the frontline.

In the oldest beliefs from my country the Cailleach, the oldest deity is renewed every one hundred years when before any birdsong or human noise she submerges herself fully under the waters. These waters are her otherworldly source, they are the the primal and cosmological essence which everything is born from. To pollute the waters is to pollute the most sacred essence, upon which our lives depend on.  Ancient wells found around Scotland and Ireland are decorated with clooties, Celtic prayer flags where people leave requests from the deities of the place. The water itself comes from deep underground aquifers - the embodiment of the Great Mother who on her gushing forth into the land provides life.

Today in the same lands the Cailleach is often laughed at as an old irrelevant hag, a useless old woman but she is still here and I wouldn't mess with her. This dark moon I held a silver bowl filled with sacred waters from the Well of the Holy Women from the Isle of Eigg in Scotland - and evoked this great old one in this fight against the zuzeca sape (the black snake, the Dakota Access Pipeline).

Modernity no longer honors the crone - but she forever renews herself and answers those that call on her (warning - you might not like her reply!) Click on the above film for a short ilm on the Cailleach and the modern age that has ignored her!

We can support the people on the frontline with rituals and magic, with donations and sharing this news.

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I'm offering to donate half of the first ten sign ups for the online Cailleach course to the Sacred Stone Camp at Standing Rock. 

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In times of dire need Celtic folks would light a fire, a big huge burning festival - the roots of this lie in pre-celtic times and maybe even before the great fire festivals themselves. So in this time of need light your fires, raise $ and send it to the camps - offer prayers and ceremonies. Lets invoke the old Hag so she can do whats she does best! Bring death to the black snake, for without death there can be no renewal of life - and a way of living that doesn't threaten life. We invoke her for the folks on the frontline the protectors of the sacred lands of North Dakota.

The Sacred Stone Camp - Direct Donations:

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Click here to support the Sacred Stone Camp fund via GoFundMe - We are asking for financial support for water-propane - food and blankets  for the camp.  This is a prayer camp movement to save our sacred land and water and has been entirely supported by the people and the campers.

Click here to donate to the legal fund

Click here for the Sacred Stone Camp FAQ - other ways to help

 

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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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