Songs of My Ancestors

Every time I hear kulning songs, I have a somatic response in my body. A chill runs through me, tears well in my eyes. I want to sing too.

Today I came across a docu-series called Woodlanders, a totally crowd-sourced project documenting the forest-ways of forest-people. The episode that I happened to stumble across was on the Fäbod culture of Sweden, and explored the tradition of the Swedish people to move their cattle north to the boreal forests in the summertime, which was where the tradition of kulning arose from as a way for the, more often then not, young women to both call to each other across the forest and call in their livestock from grazing all day. It is a haunting melody, that makes me think it is not human women singing in the forest but some fae creature, perhaps a skogsra.

My father's grandfather came from Sweden, I bear his name, a legacy of those lands and those peoples.

My inner forest woman sees these women tending their cows and their goats, swimming in the cold lakes, cooking over a fire in their log cabins... hears them calling out to each other and to their animals in the forest in my very bones.

It is a remembering, a longing stirring in the depths of my soul, a coming home.

Watching this video this morning, and a few others of some primitive mounted archery (something I have long had an interest in), set my belly to burning with the Knowing that the new path I have chosen, a path I have long been drawn to but have always danced around or hesitated in treading, is the right one.

A path of returning to the land, the forest-ways. A path of being a Staffholder and Gatekeeper, guiding other women who feel the call back Home. A path of remembering, of returning to our ancestral lifeways, a spirituality rooted in the earth, and a reclaiming of the wild woman within.

I can feel the draw of the bow in my arms, the weight of bounty harvested from the wildwood on my back, the spark of ember catching to flame with the work of my hands and the breath of my body, the vitality returning to my every cell as I step, softly, barefoot on the earth. I can feel the Spirits drawing closer, the Horned Lady with eyes of leaf-green watching me, my Horned Lord with the cloven hooves smiling warmly, the völva-goddess setting the staff and drum in my hands. They have been waiting, and I've finally awoken to Remembrance.

Currently in the works is this new pathway, a way for others to walk the road and do the journeywork too. I will be releasing more information soon, but for now-- I leave you with the songs of my ancestors.

Seeing the top video below was the first time I had ever heard kulning, by the beautiful and talented Jonna Jinton. I have shared it along with a couple of her other kulning videos here for your enjoyment. Listen, and remember too.

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All text and concepts Copyright 2017 Femme de la Foret // Aileen 'Juniper Wren' Peterson

Videos belong to their respective creators.

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