Aboriginal Wisdom

March 1, 2021

The Light Of Ancient Wisdom


Filled with Aboriginal stories, legends, myths, and fables, the books have been on my shelves for more than two decades. And I thought they were wonderful. But then another book arrived, this one with the writings of Australian Aboriginal leaders and elders. And in these writings they criticized the cultural misinterpretation and even appropriation of Western white authors, naming specifically the man who authored the books I thought were wonderful.

These authors are attempting to carry out an impossible task. It is a futile exercise to attempt to capture a living tradition and cut it off from its life-force. In other words, to try and take s story form the land from which it was born … demonstrates an ignorance of exactly what a traditional Aboriginal story is, what it is connected to and what it cannot be disconnected from. I would argue that it is imperative for Western writers and readers of Aboriginal stories to be aware of the interpretative strategies they bring to the stories. Such a takeover of the stores by the West is analogous to ‘taking over’ the land. Christine Morris

Engaging with entities and energies in realms beyond the currently pervasive human perspective is fundamental to both Aboriginal and Irish spiritual traditions. I offer these words from the leaders and elders.

The Aboriginal view of the world is so very different to the Western view. We see land as an extension of our physical, spiritual, and emotional form, and as the essence of our life-force, to the point that all of life and creation are revered and valued. Dr. Anne Pattel-Gray

We Australian Aborigines make no distinction between the religious and the secular, between the natural and the supernatural. Our religion can be seen as a particular view of the universe and sets of relationships with it; relationships which include people, gods, Spirit, magical power, totems, the land, features of the landscape, living creatures, trees, plants and all physical objects. Relationships with people and the Ancestral Spirits are universally the most important, for at the centre of life is the community of (people) and Spirits, all of whom are alive. Djiniyini Condarra

The Dreaming was the creation period when the Ancestors created the land and all upon it. … Animals, the topography and humans were all one and the one emanated from the land. At the end of the creation period the Creators either became part of the land or some other part of the cosmos. So to my people, the Creator Beings are in the land. Their Spirit is ever-present in the land and can be called upon at any time. Christine Morris

There is a spirit, a force, that animates all life. Only when we accept this do we see humans as part of rather than separate from the web of life. Only when we acknowledge this can we begin to understand how our ancestors engaged with these life force energies and why, for the Irish, it was not an issue of avoiding the movements and migrations of the faeries. It was about attending the flow of life energies. All life energies.

Judith – judith@stonefires.com