The Temple of the Ancestral Mother’s
Fall is definitely creeping through the foothills of the Appalachians and finally the temperature is beginning to cool. All summer I’ve yearned for cooler temperatures as there has been so many days where there is very little difference between the day and the night temperatures.
Today I feel unsettled, restless. I had this vision that I just want to retreat to the temple of the Ancestral Mother’s. To enter the temple in the half light of dawn and open the door and windows to the new day. I yearn to lie down in front of her altar, look up to see images of the ancient mothers and her symbols as I purify myself in the aroma of dried herbs grown from the garden. To turn on some music which expands this moment and stretches me back through the ages to my foremothers and to the future foremothers.
I’ll light some candles and offer prayers into the day. Remind myself to create from a place of mystery rather than yesterdays or last week’s emotions! Then i’ll make some coffee and head upstairs to the studio which shares the same roof as the temple as of course it’s sacred work!
Since the times when our temples to Her were razed to the ground, our beliefs poured into ‘fairy tales’ for safe keeping, our work done in the shadows as a reign of terror was raged on womankind, one which is sadly raging after thousands of years! I see the old temples held by each women – one might hold the light of the candles, another remembers the ancient songs. Some women recreate the banners and the old script, others create altars while some have the vision of the rituals and deep ceremony. When we come together in circle we rebuild the temples, we might have to travel for our temples are nomadic and the faces in our circles may change but between us we light the candles, sing the songs and still honor Her.
Altoid tin traveling altar
Her Temple on Scottish Soil
For now my temple and my tribe of women are nomadic. The call is out for women to gather and build that nomadic temple on Scottish soil. Some will bring the light of the candles, others bring her songs in their blood and each of us bring an honoring that is knitted into our bones. Together we will create her temple on Scottish soil on a land steeped in her rich mythology!
Please share this link with any kindred women who you know hold the memory in her honor!
Tour Launch Date is 31st August!
Wheels of Destruction
Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the volume of information and news stories we’re subjected to? Stories evoking an emotional response which can leave us feeling traumatized? Does sensory overload and a feeling of constantly running to keep up with life sound familiar? Some days this feels like the treadmill of our lives set to a soundtrack of daily onslaught of news of climate chaos, violence in unimaginable forms to political mudslinging which doesn’t even address the most pressing issues. Society knows it creates this dis-ease and so offers a host of distractions to take your attention from the things we really should be concerned about. All of this can leave us with a longing, a longing that we often can’t say what is missing.
We have arrived at that scary sci-fi future the one we watched in films which gave us nightmares. But you wouldn’t be reading this if you didn’t feel a longing for something more, if you dreamt of lives that are completely in tune with the planet and honor the great webs of interconnectedness with all the other winged and clawed, hoofed and burrowing beings on this planet.
Spirals of Reconnection
When I undertook my Masters Degree in Human Ecology on a weekend exploring Ecopsychology we set personal intentions for a day’s wilderness solo. I sat all day from a hill looking out towards the Isle of Skye and the Isle of Eigg watching the sun come up, move overhead but it was only when we entered into twilight- that magical time of not quite day and not quite night that I had a sense of my grandmother sitting beside me. My intention was to feel a sense of ancestry and she told me that I was a living ancestor – loved, watched and supported by all those who had come before. My ancestors stretching back through those blood ancestors who we knew in life way back through thousands of generations to what she called the bone ancestors the ones we are all descended from. She explained we could ask for their help and ask those future ancestors too – for what we did in the world shaped those generations to come.
Within the layers of overwhelmingness at all the work that needs to be done in this world a deep longing can sprout, one which is rooted in our soul. While we will explore this theme on the Retreat I use the work of Joanna Macy in her Work That Reconnects to go through a process which allows us to share our joys of being alive on this planet and experiencing life to then expressing the pain we feel, the sorrow and despair at what is happening in the world.
I bring in my own techniques in exploring her powerful work and with an otherworldly journey, we will travel to a place where we can ask ask advice of future beings. Coming back into circle we share our messages we received as we envision what that world looks like. Lastly we will share what we personally commit to doing towards what Macy calls ‘The Great Turning’ we’ll focus on some of our fears around our abilities to carry out that work as well as hearing replies from future beings of that new world.
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The Isle of Eigg is an inspiring place for this work as we are rooting ourselves in the deep herstory of women, the wise women, the shaman – on an Island named the Isle of the Big Women. This is a sample of one of the days on the retreat and yet each activity from the Stone Planting Ritual to the trance dance Through the Eye of the Cailleach and weaving in aspects of an ancient Celtic culture allows the opportunity to sink our roots down deep, make new connections as we connect to the spiritual bedrock of this planet and engage with the most Ancient Mothers of this land.