Posts Tagged ‘Indigenous Wisdom’

Greta Thunburg: Woman Who Came From The Heavens

Greta Thunburg Meets Chief Arvol Looking Horse At Standing Rock

Find the article here

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In Conversation With Ilarion Merculieff

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Flourishing Diversity: Indigenous Earth Summit. London Sept 2019

“If you listen you can help the turning time”
They had come so many and so far, for the sake of the earth, for the sake of us all, with a
message for our time. Maori, Aborigine, Idu Mishmi, Bishnoi, Puyanawa, Ashaninka,
Guarani, Sami, Arucho, Okiek, Ewe, Yuroba, Lokota, Sioux, Ponka and Mayan Wisdom
Keepers. They gathered in London this month for the Flourishing Diversity summit, bringing
us the original ways of seeing and being. Urging us to put aside our differences, to silence
our monkey minds, and allow our indigenous selves to emerge. To stop talking and to start
listening.
The summit opened with a walk with intention for the Thames, the life blood of London,
from Kingston to Greenwich. The grandmothers held ceremony, each calling in their
medicine through song, for the task ahead. As they spoke the wind built, the trees leaned in
and the geese arrived. Tourists were filming the Grandmothers on their phones, one of
them was crying saying this is for real.
The walk ended at sunset on the Greenwich Meridian Line, the place where the troubles
started when time was carved up. The Grandfathers, the Mamos, made ceremony with coca
sending the darkness into the core of the earth and inviting in the light. When they finished,
the geese appeared again, flying in formation over us and into the sunset sky over the
Thames with the silhouette of Canary Wharf towers against the sunset to their right.
The Elders spoke for five days with translation in real time. They called for right relationship
and reciprocity with the land the water and the air. For reconciliation with the earth, with
each other and with ourselves
It’s not about ‘we the people’ it’s about ‘we the planet’. You have to ‘be’ peace if you want
peace with the earth. Energy is being given to you. A magical exchange of energy. We are
being given a second chance. To change our attitude to earth. Change our ways so we can
be humans together. We need to know the world from a different way. Start with yourself.
Seek your roots, know where you come from, know who you are.
The new way that’s coming means that we don’t have to compete for time and space. We
have and we are being dreamed into place. Let false things fall off us. Call back the wisdom
from the ancestors. There are teachings to guide us through these times. We must
collaborate together, share currency, and bring back reciprocity to the planet.
We don’t have to pay nature to look after us and we don’t have to kill her to survive. Nature
gives you what you need as long as you look after her with harmony and love. When we
adore this divinity, things come back to us. Ask for permission to enter the forest and take an
offering. Go with respect. Don’t take more than you need. Tread carefully. And share what
you have got. Be responsible for what you eat and drink – this is how you show dignity. Don’t
have what you don’t need. We invite you to come into the struggles to reforest the Amazon,
and to reforest our hearts our minds and our own bodies, because more than the forest,
what has been deforested is us as human beings. We have the sacred inside of us along with
the plants and the animals. We are ALL indigenous people.
There is no division between us and the land, no borders. We have to give up false divisions
we have been taught. Learn to live with everything – this is the law of divinity. The Four
Directions must come together now. The rise of the feminine. The return to balance. We
need to simplify how we live. Stop scheduling. Allow life to navigate, to flow, don’t control.
Lose arrogance – be humble. Learn to forgive. Don’t be afraid, be prepared.
Come back to community where you are working with the earth and listening to your
intelligence. Call in the goodness that is ready to birth through us each day. Stop thinking
with your minds and start thinking with your hearts. Don’t make a ‘plan’ or put an organic
process into a box. Just start with the seed. The seed is about relations. Start there and
everything will unfold. Once you say ‘yes’ you can’t stop until you have planted what you
have been given to carry.
There is an ascension of humankind into a new awakening. A new consciousness is rising.
The sacred feminine and sacred masculine is rising and there is big change coming.
If we really listen everything is being told to us. Prophesy has instructions for the time you
are in. Start to follow it, listen to it, instead of trying to navigate and be in the fast lane
If you listen, you can help the turning time. Give it all your focus, all your heart, all your
spirit, all your prayers. We only have this moment.
In the past some of these traditions have been in conflict, but now the elders from every
group have come together and formed a treaty to work together as one on behalf of Earth
at this critical time. They ask for our solidarity and support in this work.
Don’t fight for her – stand up for her. Join us – we are on the best side!
These are just fragments from the five day summit. Written by Sharon Brittain
For more information and follow up information go to:
www.flourishingdiversity.com

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Notes From The Flourishing Diversity Indigenous Earth Summit London 2019

The Flourishing Diversity Summit – Sat 7 September – Wed 11 September 2019
Representatives came from the following people:
Maori (New Zealand), Aborigine (Australia), Idu Mishmi & Bishnoi (India), Puyanawa, Ashaninka (Brazil/Peru) Guarani (Brazil/Argentina), Sami (Sweden) Arucho Mamos (Columbia) Khoisan (Namibia), Okiek (Kenya), Ewe (Ghana), Yuroba (Nigeria),Lokota, Sioux, Ponka, Yuroba (USA), Mayan (Mexico)

Saturday
The summit opened with a walk with intention for the Thames (the life blood of London) from Kingston to Greenwich. The grandmothers held ceremony, filling everyone with energy and medicine for the task ahead. As they spoke, the wind grew and the geese came in. Tourists were filming the Grandmothers on their phones, one of the elders was crying saying “this is for real, this is for real”

The walk ended at sunset on the Greenwich Meridian Line. The place where the troubles started when time was carved up. The Grandfathers, the Mamos, made ceremony with coca sending the darkness into the core of the earth and inviting in the light. When they finished, the geese appeared again. The night ended with sunset sky over the Thames with the silhouette of Canary Wharf towers against the sunset to the right, and the huge V of the geese flying into the sunset to the left.

 

Throughout the five days the elders spoke for themselves. The words in italics are their words, or the words of the translators who were translating real time

Guarani Nation – Amazon Rainforest
Eunice Kerexu
When we adore this divinity, things come back to us
Women are the guardians of the culture, the language and the seeds
Warriors went to war and did not come back
Warriors are still dying in attacks on the amazon
Women left preserving
Women had to make a stand & put a sustainable proposal together for the world
Women have organised the tribes to work together
2000 indigenous women came together
We need protection because we protect the world

We pray in our language
Spirituality is in the language
Words are seeds and we are stewardesses of words and seeds
Join us – we are on the best side
No machine can give us pure water, clean air, trees

We have the sacred inside of us along with the plants and the animals
I invite you all to plant lives, sew lives and reconnect so we can live a little bit longer.
If we go on like this there will be no more life left

Brazil’s indigenous people are under attack!
Brazil’s rainforests are under attack!

Articulação dos Povos Indígenas do Brasil


www.yvyrupa.org.br

Ashanininka Nation –
Amazon Atlantic Rainforest
Nature gives you what you need as long as you look after her with harmony and love
Don’t have what you don’t need
Nature gives us knowledge, so much wisdom, so much to teach
Not through logic and reason
There is no division between us and the land, no borders
Our Divinity is very unhappy, this is a very sad time for all of us
We pray for all of us.
We are one people
We belong to one planet
Animals plants and stones all have protecting spirits and guardian angels

We don’t live by clocks – Day is to ‘do’ – Night is to pray and rest
We live in 2 cycles –
Spring/summer is New Time,
Autumn /Winter is Old time – We withdraw and reflect and think of the future New Time
New Time is when we have rituals and baptisms of seeds and children
Name is given by the shaman who is told the name
The forest is our life and we are part of the forest + the cycle of nature
EG I need permission from divinity to cut a tree or I am doing something wrong
Land and water are sacred like blood
The river in Sao Paolo is a corpse
Now we are told we are invaders of our own land
We are here with a cry for help
Asking you to help us so the amazon can be saved
The shaman say “man is killing our mother”
We are the guardians of the forest and mother earth is crying for help
A call for us to reforest our hearts our minds and our own bodies
The hope for us is in the Divinity
We are ALL indigenous people
Stop the assault on the spirits of the land

We need to know the world from a different way – scientific has made the planet sick
We must cure the illness that is inside our minds and inside our feelings
We need to simplify how we live

The earth has life because of water, forest, and fungus
No distancing between any of the parts
Learn to live with everything – this is the law of divinity

HOW CAN WE CURE THIS ILLNESS?
Look at what you drink. Look at what you eat. Where does it come from & what are you throwing away?
How are you going to use what we have been given?
Use one tree for your needs and plant another for your children
For every plant tree and animal, you kill, put one back.
We must learn where we came from
We must learn the human language and the language of birds and animals and fish.
We don’t have to pay nature to look after us and we don’t have to kill her to survive.

Be responsible for what you eat and drink – this is how you show dignity

A centre of creation has been made to save the world, and we have put into practice.
The minority are protecting the world for the whole of humanity
We must change and restore
What are you eating? What are you drinking? How are you getting rid of your waste?
We (the Ashaninka) live in an invisible world, an enchanted world which you will never know if you don’t look inside of yourselves.
We are sure about who we are and what we want
We are able to create new planes and new plans
Spirit and strength has helped us reclaim our history
Wake up – lets live
Without lived spirituality and lived culture it grows very difficult
A great alliance of indigenous people is coming together
All ‘Nations’ are planting trees
Our power comes from songs and chants
9 women received communication that we must save the traditions, the rituals and the culture to save the earth.
Everything comes from women
We come from a drop of water

 

The Mamos
Our mission is to look after birthing elements
The sacred world is reflected in our genitals
From the beyond we are born from the water
And we materialised when we reached the earth
There is a positive charge in our Right-Hand side, and a negative charge in our Left Hand side – these are the tools we have to heal the earth.
We were born with the elements and the elements are now in danger
Help us preserve this way of thinking

When we talk about the earth we talk about ourselves
Placenta is the origin where we feed ourselves form the sacred
The baby must be registered in all four elements to be an ingredient in mother earth to help in her salvation
To work we must ensure the physical wellness of the placenta
The placenta is the personal sacred place

Mamos have direct access to the origin
A change coming will affect the next 9 generations
A new structure will be born we need to baptise into nature
Mamos are involved in the birthing part

There is a rule – if you leave a legacy of destruction, there will continue destruction
This mission is of great importance to mother earth.

MAORI
I am the river and the river is me
The whites are going nowhere – very fast!
Water of the mother and water of the father make fire in the heart
This is the Maori understanding of creation
1 From the night and 1 From the day and remain in a loving embrace
From that embrace the forest, the weather, the keeper of all humanity, the water, the keeper of all cooked food, uncooked food and of medicine still in the womb of papatua
The first land you own is the placenta – every human being owns land
The life-force is from time immemorial
From the source
The movement of the ‘knowing that moved’
Give us back our land – if you don’t we have the biggest military force known to man – Mother Earth!
Give us back our land and let us teach you how to be with yours
The lifeforce comes from the source of love – so get your love stuff back!
Stop being afraid!
Learn to forgive
Extinction Rebellion – learn to forgive

MAYAN (‘may’ means corn)
Kya-Xe’ Zelaya Dudney
The prophecy of the rainbow corn – (detail to follow)
Weeks after the vision/experience the grandmother was in Guatemala and gifted a new corn cob from an all white cornfield. When she opened it there were red white yellow and black kernels all mixed together
The 4 directions must come together now.
The rise of the feminine
The return to balance
Stop thinking with your minds and start thinking with your hearts
No water – no life
Build community
Flow
Stop scheduling

GRANDMOTHERS OF THE WHITE CORN
Elin Teikus (Sami Sweden)
If the reindeer are good, I am good
We speak earth

Jyoti Vision Keeper (N America)
Energy brings a story so we can respond not react
Seek your roots, know where you come from, get yourself adopted by a ‘good’ mother
The new way that’s coming means that we don’t have to compete for time and space.
We have and we are being dreamed into place.
Yesterday was about where we are at and there was a lot of shame and guilt.
Today is about possibility hope and dreams
Don’t fight for her – stand up for her
Watch your dreams
Lose arrogance – be humble
Allow life to navigate, to flow, don’t control
Don’t be afraid, be prepared, receive, clear fear
Living a life guided by dreams is not always an easy one, but is a significant one
Did you forget that you are holy?
Once you say ‘yes’ you can’t stop until you have planted what you have been given to carry
The underworld of abuse is a great teaching
The water is working – work with the water
Timing in alchemy is the ultimate thing

Come back to community where you are working with the earth and listening to your intelligence
Step out of the box
Let false things fall off us
Don’t be afraid – pay attention
Do we burn the karma or roll around in it?
Call the matriarchal system back and the wisdom from the ancestors – stories to keep your life fed
Return the economic system to original form
Come back to the original form of currency – healers, grandmothers, doctors, lawyers – all form of currency
Have the humility to sit at the same table and share currency + bring back reciprocity to the planet
Don’t make a ‘plan’ or put an organic process into a box.
Just start with the seed
The seed is about relations
Start there and everything will unfold
There are teachings to guide us through these times. We must collaborate together and share currency.
Mantra – to be spoken every morning before anything else
“I am the divine mother
She lives in me
And everything she needs
Comes to me easily”
Call in the goodness that is ready to birth through us each day

GRANDMOTHER OF THE BLACK CORN
Luisah Teish (Iyanifa & Oshun chief, Ifa/Orisha tradition of the West African Diaspora)
Representing the unrepresented African/Americans who are not seen as indigenous to anywhere
If you want to protect the earth but don’t know how…
Which element do you belong to and are responsible for?
Which element /deity were you born to serve?
How do I serve?
Where in nature do I feel most comfortable/connected?
Where do I show up most of the time?
Where do I go to restore?
The Archetype of Oshun and the Divine Feminine
-YouTube

The story of Oshun is all about protecting the divine feminine
We need to protect the water
We are responsible for protecting the ‘sweet’ water (fresh water) not the salt water
Only 2% of the earth’s water is fresh water and most of that is frozen in icebergs
Fresh water is like liquid diamonds
We have to give up false divisions we have been taught
Every child is my child. A hungry child is my child
How to find out what your work is? – When you feel an impulse to do something ‘because it is the right thing to do’
Energy is being given to you to eg clean up the water, clean up the beaches.
A magical exchange of energy
Oshun is the goddess of second chances
We are being given a second chance
To change our attitude to earth
Change our ways so we can be humans together.
Truth telling – This is what has happened, this is what has been done, and this is what we are going to do about it.
This year a message came from Oshun:
“The women must be in the lead”
If you shut your monkey mind and breathe, there is an opening for your indigenous self to surface. Ask for permission to enter the forest and take an offering.
Go with respect.
Don’t take more than you need
Tread carefully
And share what you have got

GRANDMOTHER OF THE RED CORN
Loretta Afraid of Bear Cook, Ogala Sioux
Sit down at the still point of the heart, of what is
The fontanelle is the most sacred place on the body
The hair is most sacred

The balance between men and women must learn to get along
Scha – masculine – is the movement in everything
Wawha – feminine – the law in everything

The natural law keeps everything in balance
Rites of passage – seven sacred ceremonies
Women own the world and men are the gifts.

The white, yellow, black and red people – their palms are all the same colour
You see that palm print all over the world
Ceremonies are to give, not to keep
Bless your water – always be holy, always be pure

Otomi-Toltec
Xiye Bastide – Mexico
Bringing personal stories into the data creates personal change/creates policy change
A new way of life we have to be living
It’s not about ‘we the people’ it’s about ‘we the planet’
You have to ‘be’ peace if you want peace with the earth.

Listening session with Grandmothers
The ones that are coming are very old beings
Ascension of humankind into a new awakening
A new consciousness is rising
The sacred feminine and sacred masculine is rising
Big change coming in 2026
A collective…..forth – men, women, old, young from the four corners
If we really listen everything is being told to us
Prophesy has instructions for the time you are in
Start to follow it, listen to it
Instead of trying to navigate and be in the fast lane
If you Listen you can help the turning time
We only have this moment
Give it all your focus, all your heart, all your spirit, all your prayers

 

In the past some of these traditions have been in conflict, but now the elders from every group have come together and formed a treaty to work together as one on behalf of Earth at this critical time. They ask for our solidarity and support in this work.

These are just fragments from the five days.
For more information and follow up information you can go to the website:
www.flourishingdiversity.com

 

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NEW: ECOLOGICAL WARNING WEBSITE: HOW YOU CAN HELP

Great things have small beginnings and nothing changes if nothing changes

A Friend with strong links to the Kogi and drawing inspiration from them and their film Aluna has just created this website with many valuable links
An Ecological Warning that offers solutions –
See what is already being done that it may inspire you to join forces with like-minds and do something too.
To discover more go to website.

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Mind And Morality: Where Do They Meet? An Essay by Larry Merculieff

I have had a traditional Aleut (Unungan) upbringing in the Bering Sea which guides me in writing
this essay
My people were in the Bering Sea for over 10,000 years, and we are still there.
From an indigenous person’s perspective, I find the question to be critical in terms of the
violence around the world today in all its forms and the continuing decline of life support
systems of Mother Earth. The questions we ask about our plight as human beings are central
to where we go from here. Alaska Native Elders say that we must look at the root causes of
our challenges and not at the symptoms. The root cause of our plight is disconnection from
our hearts—which inform our minds, and our minds then direct what we do.

In today’s society, we are focused on how the brain works and what it produces.
The qualities of mind, according to The Free Dictionary, deal with “thought, perception,
memory and decision.” Merriam-Webster defines mind as “the organized conscious and
unconscious adaptive mental activity of an organism.” If this is the case, where is the heart?
The “heart” I am talking about is the inexplicable aspect of us that is in connection with
the divine and guides us impeccably. “Heart” is the source of correct thinking and being.
Einstein is quoted saying,
“we cannot solve the problem with the same consciousness that created the problem.”
I would argue that the consciousness of the mind, as we define it,
is the consciousness that created all the problems faced by humans today.

When veterans returned from Vietnam, thousands came back with a peculiar disorder that the
doctors had to deal with. It was invisible until they put a name to it:
post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The vets took to addictions and other behaviors: drinking alcohol, taking drugs,
watching TV for seventeen hours a day, and even isolating themselves in the wilderness or in other ways.
Most of these veterans had depression. They used these coping behaviors to try to escape from their
reality of remembering the horrors of war. To escape required detaching from the present moment
because it was too painful. One definition of an addiction is a strategy to escape the present moment.
These veterans used this strategy to detach, as much as possible, from the heart.
Native Elders say that this is like creating a big stomach that is always hungry and is never filled;
the result is addictions.
The Elders also say that when we swallow feelings we create a stagnant pool inside ourselves
and these stagnant pools create depression. The addictive behaviors were passed along from generation
to generation for coping with anything that hurt one’s spirit, and these behaviors remain with us today.
The addictions, one can argue, are society-wide wherever we take without thought to the consequences
and do harm to others and to Mother Earth.

Prior to the “beginning of time,” all people had an internal guide for how to behave and how to think.
Time began when we focused on guilt, shame, remorse, anger, rage, jealousy, and like feelings; or fear,
which is a projection into the future of something that has not happened yet.
Time began when we focused anywhere except the present moment where the “heart” can be found.
Instead, we simply replaced the present with feelings of the past or future, and so we live there today.
Someone once said, “God can be found in the silence between one’s thoughts” and,
according the Depak Chopra, “the point of power is in the present moment.”
Native Americans say that one who lives in the present moment
is the “real human being”: one who is whole, who knows their place in the world.
In the names they gave themselves as a people and cultures, Alaska Native peoples call themselves
the “human being” or the “real human being.” They understand that human laws and the study of morality
are creations of those who live outside of the present, necessitating that these things be memorialized
and made into laws and fields of study because they have forgotten how to be integrated into life as
real human beings. In the time before time began, we never had prisons. Why? We never had to deal with
human-caused things like warfare, felony, and climate change—the destruction of the life support systems
of the planet.
Why? We never invented the term “sustainability” as a concept to guide how we interact with the earth.
Why? Simply put, the Indigenous Elders say these society-wide struggles stem from a memory lapse:
we have forgotten how to be “real human beings” guided by divinely-inspired laws for living.

We need to listen to these Elders who know. They say that “nothing is created outside [of us]
until it is created inside first.” We are in conflict outside because we are in conflict inside.
We judge others because we judge ourselves first. We criticize and find fault in others because
we are finding fault inside of ourselves first. And we trash the environment outside because
we trash the environment inside. As long as this kind of consciousness exists,
we will never create anything truly new, inside or out.

So, where do the mind and morality meet? The answer is the heart, which directs our individual thoughts,
feelings, and actions if we have the “ears” to listen to what it is saying in any given circumstance.
It is the only aspect of us that guides without doubt or hesitation, and it guides us perfectly.
How do we get back to being heart-guided people? The Elders say that the model for our cultures
should be a two-year-old child. The two-year-old cries when she feels like crying; she laughs in the moment.
When she is angry, she deals with it in the moment, and then she is fine.
Two-year-olds are masters of moving energy.
We need to remember how to move energy to be real human beings’.

Quoted  from Humans And Nature http://www.humansandnature.org/

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Making Friends With The River by Bruce Garrard

The Black Line Initiative has arisen as a result of the film ‘Aluna‘ and interest raised in the Kogi people of northern Colombia.
The (much delayed) general release of the film towards the end of last year coincided with two significant things. One was a series of dramatic events – including a massive and lethal thunderstorm – in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, where the Kogi live; this has convinced them that they need to be proactive in working with ‘little brother’, the people of the modern world, in making efforts to turn back the tide of ecological destruction that is now threatening life on our planet. The other was that the film’s producer, Alan Ereira, found himself inundated with messages from people all over the world saying ‘great film, but what can we actually do?’

The result is the Black Line Initiative, which is just beginning to take shape. In Kogi terminology the ‘Black Line’ is the connection between everything, both physical and spiritual, and in this particular context the link between people all over the world who are committed – within the context of their own local environment – to being part of making the necessary global change. The Kogi are preparing to give direct support to people working in their own localities around the world. This initiative, inspired by the thinking and actions of the Kogi themselves as indigenous people, is different from what we would think of as a ‘political movement.’ The Kogis’ exhortation to ‘make friends with your local river, forest, mountain, desert …’ directly addresses the key problem of modern peoples’ disconnection from the natural world – physical, emotional and psychological. The Kogi are particularly concerned that we should look after our rivers. All this has arrived just as my own project with the River Brue is picking up momentum. I have compiled a history of the river over the winter, and I am planning a five-day walk from the source of the River Brue to the mouth of the River Axe over midsummer in June.

Back in the 1980s, the Kogi had appeared in Alan Ereira’s film ‘Message from the Heart of the World’, to say that the way we treat the planet has to change otherwise it will not survive, and neither will we. The only rational, intelligent thing would be to do as they suggested. At that time, as many people were pointing out, humanity was at a cross-roads; we could go this way, and sort out the mess, or that way, where the consequences would be unthinkable; and we were bound to make the right decision, we are such an intelligent species. But we didn’t go this way, and neither did we think about the consequences of going that way. We sleep-walked towards the abyss. Another quarter century of environmental destruction ensued. The Kogi called back Alan Ereira and made another film: ‘Aluna.’

So, back then it was urgent; now, it is beyond urgency. Perhaps it’s too late. What can we do? What’s the point? But there were the Kogi; they’d called back Alan Ereira to make another film, to re-state their message in a new way – and, in spite of everything, they clearly weren’t giving up. An important part of this message, I had heard, was that we have to look after our rivers. I went to see the film in a crowded café in Glastonbury; and in the mean time I had been thinking about my local river, the River Brue. In the middle ages it had been diverted and the source cut off from the mouth of the river; once it had joined the River Axe and the two had continued to the sea as one substantial stream, though not many people know that now. ‘Aluna’ woke up a feeling that they must be joined back together, at least in a spiritual sense, this connection must be re-made; and people must know. By the end of the film I knew what I had to do: I must go to the mouth of the River Axe and find something, whatever it might be, to take to the source of the River Brue, as an offering. It seemed like a mad idea, but the sense of needing to do this, that this was absolutely the right thing for me to do, was very strong. All of a sudden I was on a mission.

The mission was inspired by the Kogi and their film ‘Aluna;’ it was given shape by the Sufi teacher Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee and his ‘four point plan.’ Llewellyn has written a lot about what he calls ‘spiritual ecology,’ pointing out the growing crisis that is overtaking the natural world is also a spiritual crisis, that arises from our culture’s materialism and disconnection from any spiritual reality. His message, certainly as it relates to the natural world, is much the same as the Kogis’. Those who have taken note have asked him, ‘What can we do?’ At first he would simply say that it was not for him to tell people what they should do; they should look within and follow their own guidance. But one day in what he described as a moment of inspiration he came up with a ‘four point plan’ for how we can creatively approach this situation on the material level as well as the spiritual.

The four points are: witnessing, grieving, prayer, and action. The first point, witnessing, is actually asking us to stop habitually trying to ‘do’ anything at all. To witness, with awareness, what we and our culture have done to the world. To look for no outcome, no result; to refrain from trying to fix things, but to thoroughly acknowledge how things really are. The second point, grieving, is to allow ourselves to fully feel the pain arising from that witnessing, that understanding of what we as a species have done. This is the honest and appropriate emotion that we must feel, and in a strange sense – in the situation we are in – the greatest gift that we can give to the world. For those of us who are products of white, middle class, English culture, trained through our up-bringing to keep it under wraps, this will not be easy. Praying, even more so. I do not understand or relish the idea of an act of prayer. It is embarrassing. But I am beginning to suspect that the world situation is by now beyond what we little humans can figure out and put to rights ourselves. We, after all, are the problem; not the rest of the world. Perhaps our best hope is some form of divine intervention. Llewellyn tells us that prayer, as a cry from the heart, arises naturally from our feelings of grief. All I can say for now is that I am prepared to go there and find out. And finally, action. Once we have re-oriented our minds through the practices of the first three points, and not until then, not until we can think in a genuinely different way about the task at hand; then we will know what to do.

So far I have made what I think is a good start on the witnessing, and I have been doing this in two inter-connected ways. First, by walking along the river, getting to know it, making friends with it. One friend took me kayaking on the river; another encourages me to go swimming in the river with him. Gradually I am building up an intimate knowledge of the river, what it looks like, what it feels like, the shape of the land through which it flows. The other is by reading about the river and subjects related to it; its history and natural history. I am compiling the river’s story, and it is very interesting. It is a story that mirrors the story of the world.

The River Brue is a disconnected river. Quite literally: the medieval monks effectively cut it in half. And the disconnection is metaphorical too: once the river flowed past the island chapels of saints in a consciously sacred landscape. It was changed from a river to a canal, and finally to a drain, its perceived purpose simply to get rid of the water. In times of flood, water can be deadly dangerous, but that doesn’t stop it being the stuff of life, the most essential ingredient for all living beings – and also the flow of existence. The Somerset Levels are drying out and the millions of birds that once lived there, or visited on their migrations, are year by year disappearing, dying. The river and its story makes an allegory for the whole of the natural world.

Inspired by the Kogi I went walking along the river, sometimes on my own and sometimes with groups of friends, bit by bit during the summer walking the whole length from above Bruton down to Glastonbury, then across the moors where only remnants and ditches remain to show where the river once flowed, into the Cheddar valley and along the River Axe. Finally I visited the mouth of the Axe at Uphill near to Brean Down, where I collected a handful of beautiful sea shells tinted in a variety of pastel colours. I took them to the source of the River Brue, where there is a little stone structure like a miniature shrine to the river goddess, and I gave these sea shells to the water as the offering that I had intended, what the Kogi would call a ‘payment.’ I cannot explain quite how or exactly why, but the result was extraordinarily profound. Somehow, in my mind, in ‘Aluna’ perhaps, I was making a first step towards healing that disconnection. In the silence that followed the river quietly said that it was pleased.

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Staying Here Now by Larry Merculieff


‘The wisdom keepers say that the only place to find the power of the Creator is to be present in this moment.
If we have fears, we are projecting them into the future. Into a future time that does not even exist.
If we have guilt, we are living in the past, for the past things we did. We are not living now.
All the spiritual keepers, of all groups in the world, be they Buddhists, be they Islamic, be it part Red Pack,
be it medicine pack– you name it– say [that] the only way to find the power that has been given to us from the Creator
is to be here, now. Not to escape.
How do we start this healing? When you are quiet within yourself and you sit next to the river– ask.
Do not be afraid to ask. Ask the Creator. Ask whoever you feel is your higher power,
“Please help me find the way because I do not know how to heal.” “Make me your history.”
And when you ask that, with humility in your heart,
you will get it. You will find it. And it will be given to you,
you will see this healing starting to spread like wild fire. It is just exciting.
Exciting to see. And the key to it is staying here, now.’
Larry Merculieff

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The Voice by Sandra Lee Stillwell

In a dream
I walked amongst the ancestors,
They tended their fires,
played flutes and drums.
and danced as only the elders could.

I watched as an old woman
took ashes from the fire
and spit on them.
Then rolling them
into a ball,
which she tossed
again and again into the air.
With each toss,
the ball changed,
until it was a tiny replica
of our own Earth.
With tears in her eyes,
she handed it to me.

I held it up against the sky,
and was amazed to feel it vibrate.
It was alive!
There were tiny birds in the skies,
the blue rivers and the seas
churned with fish and water creatures,

The land itself was alive
with animals, insects and reptiles,
many of whom have been extinct
for longer that I have lived.
This tiny blue and green Earth was perfect,
unblemished, it was as it had been
when the people themselves
were brand new.

I looked into the old woman’s face
and heard her say.
“Go back now,
be the voice for those
who cannot speak for themselves,
and for the Earth, our Mother.
Hurry child, time passes quickly.”

When I awoke,
I held in my hand a ball,
colored blue and green.
I held that tiny ball
up against the big sky,
and whispered,
“Yes grandmother.
Yes.”

In A Dress Made Of Butterflies   by Sandra Lee Stillwell

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The Plant World: Aboriginal Cosmology

‘In Aboriginal cosmology, the plant world does not descend directly from the Ancestors in the same way humans and animals do.
Plants emerged later, from the potencies deposited during the formation of the earth.
All human and animal species that ever have existed, or ever will exist, on earth have a continuous existence in the Dreaming.
They manifest if their particular plant or other foods are put forth by the nourishing earth mother.
The same view of creation is found in the ancient Indian Vedas:  “A species will come into being only if its food exists.
If the earth provides not its food, the species will exist but remain unmanifest.”
In summary, humans and animals preexist in the Dreamtime as pure animistic energy and emerge simultaneously,
while plants exist first as potencies in the earth during its formation, deposited by these animating forces,
that physically manifest later after the completion of the Dreamtime.
This ancient concept of the relationship between the three kingdoms affords a completely different view of nature
and its recent crisis of species extinction, which is at present occurring at 400 times the natural rate.
The plants of the earth are like Aboriginal message sticks:they call forth from the Dreaming various animal and human species.
These species exist permanently in the Dreaming, but they manifest and disappear in specific combinations during particular
eras as the earth’s plants come forth to call them into existence.’

Voices Of The First Day  Robert Lawlor

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