Sisterhood of the Antlers

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

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Who Extends A Hand (and Invites You Out of the Cave)?

Posted by on in Paths Blogs



I usually start my mornings with a reading from the stones, sometimes bones sometimes a mix of both. The stones are made from clay are embellished with the symbols of the Ancestral Mothers. This morning it was clearly Amazon who answered (there are many myths of Amazon’s and big women in Scotland).



Clay stones with symbols of the Ancestral Mothers of Scotland


As we slowly cycle to Spring Equinox you might feel an invitation or two to come out of the winter cave - it's interesting to note, who extends a hand in an invitation? I am by no means ready to leave my cave but it's interesting to give form to what you might have been working within the dark of the year. A few memories from dreams, some sketches and daydreams. 

Sometimes those things that we might want to work with can feel fleeting in today’s world with its never-ending smorgasbord of distractions. Distractions that come in every color, taste, and form we could possibly desire. It’s important to record these things - to write them down, make yourself notes, make art - and then slowly we might see who or what is extending a hand and inviting us to step out of the cave and back into the world again. 

For me, I have been working with Keening - in the traditional way of death and guiding a community through their grief and also leading the body back home to the otherworld. But keening can also be used to address our grief for what's going on in the world and to help transform it (as overwhelming as it is) so we can find our feet again and engage in all our creative acts of resistance! 

So what is taking form in your world? Can you collage the pieces together and say what you're ready to work with - are you brave enough? Can you also say what you'd like to leave behind in the dark - that too needs to be defined as it won't magically disappear with a puff or a banishing of 'what doesn't serve you'. It needs to be named and worked with. 

Some days it takes that Amazon strength to walk our own path, even if it's the path less traveled - yet, it's a path our foremothers traveled and one we walk with our ancestors. Something that seems a radical act in today's world! 



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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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