Dreamtime is a sacred 'once upon a time', when all life began and is often referred to as the 'time before time'. Ancestral beings ‘born out of their own Eternity’ emerged from the earth and created everything that is. These ancestors were human, animals, landforms, elements and organisms. The Australian Aborigines speak of jiva or guruwari, a seed power lodged in earth, containing the memory of its origin and which is a vibrational residue, or symbolic footprint, of all original beings who actioned the creation of our world. The shape and energy of a place, its mountains, rivers, and forests, echo the events that created it and are referred to as the "Dreaming" of a place, which is sacred. Dreamtime is seen as a ‘beginning that never ended’ and takes place on a continuum of past, present and future. During expanded states of consciousness one may become attuned to the inner dreaming of the Earth.
Mary Graham (1999, p. 105) identified two basic precepts central to this worldview which, at its heart, is an ethic of how to be in the world. Firstly, the land is the law and, secondly, you are not alone in the world because you are connected to others, including the land. The land is ‘The Teacher’, teaching humans’ relatedness and caring for something beyond ourselves. The fundamental reciprocity between people and land means there is mutual support for the healthy functioning of each other. In this sacred web of connections each person has numerous relationships with other beings: human, ancestral, mythical, and land-based. In this system’s view of consciousness a person’s sense of self is contextualized within the larger ecological whole which consist of the many voices and collective wisdom of different beings.
“The land is a sacred entity, not property or real estate; it is the great mother of all humanity. The Dreaming is a combination of meaning (about life and all reality), and an action guide to living. The two most important kinds of relationship in life are, firstly, those between land and people and, secondly, those amongst people themselves, the second being always contingent upon the first. The land, and how we treat it, is what determines our human-ness. Because land is sacred and must be looked after, the relation between people and land becomes the template for society and social relations. Therefore all meaning comes from land.” (Graham, 1999, p.106)
Source: Sepie, A.J. More than Stories, More than Myths: Animal/Human/Nature(s) in Traditional Ecological Worldviews. Humanities 2017, 6, 78.
Art credit: Chern’ee Sutton https://www.cherneesutton.com.au/
A social media post I wrote for @jungsouthernafrica
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