My Clan Mother

It felt an empowering action that while I was en route to the Women’s march back in January I stopped off at the Post Office and mailed my mDNA sample. And as I walked the hour and a half to the rally I couldn’t help but think of all the generations of women on whose shoulders I now stand, of the countless generations and millions of women of my lineage – their stories, their experiences and what of their voices is knitted into my very bones.


Two months later and the results are here – all the way from the Oxford Ancestors lab in the UK. I am descended from Xenia who lived 25,000 years ago on the southern margins of the Great Plains, which stretches from the low lying British Isles in the west to Kazakhstan in the east. The plains were bare of trees save for a few patches of birch and willow scrub. This was a bleak and windy place with vicious blasts from the expanded polar ice caps sending winter temperatures down to -20oc (-4of) for days or even weeks at a time.

Mammoth bones & hides were the only materials for shelter

Xenia’s lineage is an interesting one and DNA records that as the ice ages got more severe they split up with some generations heading west and others east throughout Asia and eventually over the land bridge into the America’s. Her people would have followed the great reindeer herds as well as the woolly mammoth and horse herds. I have often had dreams of the great icy tundra and of following reindeer which in part might be due to a diet of documentaries from the FIlm Board of Canada when I was young or you could call it an artistic streak that listens to my ancestors stories which are knitted into my very bones! 

Tundra

This insight will continue to resonate and inspire for knowing our matriarchal lineage certainly evokes empowering ancestral memories and inspirations which vibrate those luminous thread from us to them that connect us through space and time. We can still move between these worlds and ask them for their wisdom and insight and then weave that into our lives.

Working on mini drums for a new series of clan mother dolls – the drums set against a map o the Loch and Ben Lomond.

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Click above to join the women only space the ‘Sisterhood of the Antlers’ and join the conversion – you’ll also be in the draw to win a set of antler prayer beads.

Links: 

An interesting family history which stretches back to Xenia

The Origins and Expansions of Ancient Boat-Oriented Way of life. The Post-Glacial Development and Expansion of Boat-peoples

Oxford Ancestors Lab

Sisterhood of the Antlers – Win a set of antler prayer beads

Sisterhood of the Antlers is a gathering place for women – sometimes in person, sometimes nomadic and sometimes virtual where we learn, share and inspire through online courses, workshops and journeys to the lands of the Ancestral Mothers of Scotland. Most of all we remember that although we were born into a patriarchal warring culture things weren’t always this way!

Sisterhood

As women come together in circle, as they have for countless generations (why do I know this? for the simple reason that circle keeps us sane!)  we rebuild the ancient temples once dedicated to the great Goddess. Each women plays her part – some carry the light and so tend to the candles, another woman carries the sacred songs, some are called to roles such as guardian and gatekeeper and some remember the ancient script which they paint on banners. Others create glorious altars, some step into the role of priestess, some are keepers of the drum, others keeper of the rattles, some are called to tell the old stories and together they all create ritual and ceremony and dance between the worlds to ask the old ones, the foremothers and most ancient grandmothers for their insight and wisdom.

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The Women Who Followed the Reindeer

Since I could walk up my local hills I have always been fascinated by some of the first peoples to arrive in this area. After learning about a reindeer antler which was found not too far from those same hills, that belonged to the time of the great ice – my imagination was fired! Britain at that times was connected to mainland Europe by the land bridge of Doggerland which now lies submerged beneath the North Sea. I imagine picking up that antler on the day it was shed from one of the female reindeer of those great migrating herds (of all deer it is only the female reindeer who have antlers). Just as fascinating as witnessing the great herds would have been in seeing the people that followed the reindeer. As the female reindeer led her herd I imagine the people being led by she-who-follows-the-reindeer. Of those women some gathered under dark and full moons in ritual and ceremony, wearing clothes made from reindeer skins and headdresses adorned with antlers as they raised their drums and chanted as they began their dance between the worlds to petition their foremothers and the great antlered one herself.

Antlered Prayer Beads – click to view on Etsy


Weaving Wisdom

We keep many of their traditions such as gathering in circle, picking up our drum as we dance between the worlds to petition those old ones for for insight and wisdom. We do this and share our experiences in circle so we can make sense of them – sometimes we create art from these stories – through doll making and painting, gathering natural materials or clay. We do all this so we can weave that wisdom into our daily lives and let it feed our actions in the world – with each other, our community and the work we do in the world.


Antler Prayer beads with Golden Black Obsidian 

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 Support

This year Sisterhood of the Antlers is supporting Equality Now! helping to support their work to end FGM (Female Genital Mutilation), to end sex trafficking as well as to end the practice of Child Brides. You can learn more about their work by clicking on the image above. Equality Now! are partners with Girls Not Brides in working to end child violence through forced marriages. We are also supporting Kiva through providing micro loans for women around the world.

Win a Set of Antler Prayer Beads

To be in the winning either join our Faceboook group or sign up for the Sisterhood of the Antlers (previously celtic Soul School). These prayer beads are made with spider web jasper, as you use the prayers beads your intention, prayers, gratitudes or worries move out from your fingers and onto the great web web which connects everything. With jasper a great nurturing stone it can bring tranquility in times of stress.