For other uses, see Ancestor Moth.
Readscroll 02

The Moth Priest, Dexion Evicus reading an Elder Scroll.

"The Order of the Ancestor Moth is as ancient as it is noble. We nurture and celebrate our beloved ancestors, whose spirits are manifest in the Ancestor Moths."

The Cult of the Ancestor Moth, also known as the Order of the Ancestor Moth[1] is one of the many cults in Tamriel. The members of this order are called Moth Priests.


Temple of the Ancestor Moths

The Temple of the Ancestor Moths in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.

The priests believe it is their sacred duty to study and discern the Elder Scrolls in order to divine the future and use the knowledge to aid the Emperor. Sometimes, the priests may venture out into the world to search for more scrolls to bring back to the library of the White-Gold Tower.[2]

The power of the Elder Scrolls exceeds even the gods, the Aedra and the Daedra.[1] The moth priests are able to read the Elder Scrolls, through a special ritual known as the Ritual of the Ancestor Moth, which involves the ancestor moths, from whom they also gather silk. However, the readings of the Elder Scrolls causes the moth priests to eventually become blind.[3] Even with their blindness they still have the ability to make out shapes or figures of objects and people.[1] The junior members of this cult, who have not fully lost their sight, assist the elder members.


An ancestor moth

The silk of the ancestor moths is gathered through an esoteric ritual of capturing the singing and hymnal spirits of one's forebears, which they use to create various vestments and costumes.

Monks of the higher orders prefer to wear the moths about the neck and face. They must chant the mantras constantly to maintain skin contact with the ancestor-moths, a discipline that they endure for the sake of some cosmic balance. When a monk interrupts these mantras, in conversation for example, the moths burst from him in glorious fashion every time he speaks, only to light back upon his skin when he resumes the inaudible chant.[4]

The ritual of the ancestor mothEdit


An Ancestor Glade located in Skyrim

Main article: Ritual of the Ancestor Moth

The priests are able to attract the ancestor-moths through the application of finely ground bark-dust gathered from the gypsy moth's favorite tree, and through the sub-vocalization of certain mantras.[4] The ritual usually takes place within one of the many secluded Ancestor Glades scattered across Tamriel.[5]