DREAMTIME with the Waitaha

I am feeling so lucky and inspired right now to have this opportunity. I am on my way to experience a truly unique adventure.

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As many of you know, I'm in New Zealand right now taking part in a two week event full of talks, trips, and workshops with hundreds of brilliant and inspiring minds. And it's all for a good cause! All profits are going to the Sophie Elliot Foundation, to support survivors of domestic violence and their families. 

Today, I'm headed from Dunedin, to Auckland and on to Kerikeri to take part in a Dreamtime ceremony with the Maori tribe of the Waitaha.

 Image courtesy of W aitaha.org

Image courtesy of Waitaha.org

The Waitaha are an ancient tribe, said to go back over 2000 years. They are a peaceful and deeply spiritual people. I can tell already by the description of our trip that it's going to be a powerful experience for me. Below is the information/background they gave us prior to the trip, it's beautiful.

“‘The Dreaming’ or ‘the Dreamtime’ indicates a psychic state, in which or during which, contact is made with the ancestral spirits, or the Universal Law, or that special period of the beginning.”
                                                                                                                          - Mudrooroo, Aboriginal writer

The English language can never fully capture what ‘Dreaming’ or ‘Dreamtime’ is all about. The Dreaming and its stories are linked to the creation process and spiritual ancestors, and it is still very much around today, as a living part of Aboriginal, Maori and Waitaha cultures.

 Image courtesy of  Waitaha.org

Image courtesy of Waitaha.org

“We are the water containers of the Creator. And in our containers we have been given the many gifts of all that is the Universe. Waitaha is older than old. We come to Aotearoa (New Zealand) to nurture the land and walk in Peace. And we followed the gentle ways of Rongomaraeroa (Goddess of Peace) down the ages and sheltered the kits that held the sacred songs of our ancestors...for those who have the heart and the spirit to look into the simple and to find the pattern of the Universe. May all the star doors of the Universe open at opportune times for all nations. May all nations welcome the opening of these star doors of change and of progress. We wish everyone the very best of the world and the Universe and pray for the time when the cloak of peace is worn by all nations in time to save the Universe.”

                               From ‘Whispers of Waitaha” – Makere & Te Porohau Ruka Te Korako

‘Dreamtime’ is not considered as a time past, in fact not as a time at all. Time refers to past, present and future, but the ‘Dreamtime’ is none of these. The ‘Dreamtime’ is present everywhere, it is the environment that the Waitaha lives in, in every moment, and it exists today, all around us.

If we try to use an English work, Dreaming might work better than Dreamtime. It expresses better the timeless concept of moving from ‘dream’ to reality, which in itself is an act of creation and the basis of many Aboriginal, Maori, and waitaha creation myths (none of the hundreds of Aboriginal languages contain a word for time). Note that ‘Dreaming’ is not the product of human dreams. The use of English word ‘dreaming’ is more an analogy than a translation.

“The Dreaming is more than just an explanation of cultural norms, and where humans came from. The Dreaming is a complete guide to life and living - it is an encyclopedia of the world. It is not just stories - it is art, songs, dance; it is written into the land itself.

Through the Dreaming we are taught knowledge of plants and animals, to us many of the flowering plants are treated as signs of animals available to hunt, fish about to appear, fruits about to ripen; the movement of the stars foretells the changing of the weather, the birth of animals, the time for ceremony and gatherings.

The Dreaming completely surrounds us, we are shown proof of it everyday. It’s not some old book written thousands of years ago, it is the living world itself. The Dreaming belongs to every Aboriginal person - it isn’t the sacred property of a few priests/rabbis/imams, it is the property of everyone - every ceremony, every right, every tradition, and every bit of knowledge is destined to be known to an individual sometime within their lifetime.

The Dreaming was not designed to be just practiced one day a week, or to only be turned to only in times of need - it is designed to be lived in every moment, and the shield you from those times of need. It serves as a guide to day-to-day life, a guide to the spiritual side of life.”