Article #5: The Great Remembering

“The land defines us, shapes culture and passes on a timeless wisdom.”

-Karla Riddell

There is one thing all old wisdom traditions have in common, they all listen to the land and take care of this great Earth. They understand that they are guardians of the Earth, here to protect this most precious resource, for without a healthy environment, we as people become sick.

We see in the world today destruction and degradation of land, mind and health. No longer do we care for our elderly, our healers nor our environment, far from the totality of connection, ever searching for individual immortality and power. These actions and ideas live in all of us, me included. I take full responsibility for my bit, and I write this in the hope that with compassionate awareness we can return to a deeper connection to self, land and our people.

I wouldn’t even know where to start to reference the following quotes, they are universal to all indigenous cultures. So here is the lore of nature, listen intuitively and you will come to understand the universal lores that we as humans can never defy. We choose in every moment to honour this great land or to take from it, to heal or to harm. That which we inflict on our self, we inflict on another and that which we disrespect in the earth we disrespect in ourselves. We can never live independently from the land, we rely fully on the nourishment of food, water and air, more specifically oxygen (produced by plants). On a deeper level, we are also in constant connection to the spirit of the land, of ancestors and the universe, be it wisdom, realms or other. We are always connected, so how did we come to forget, how did we come to believe we were separate?

I believe it is always more healthy to speak to the positive polarity so that we may move towards it freely. Here is my story of how I came to remember my connection to land and spirit, of how I remembered to listen and receive a deeper wisdom, one that would lead me on the path of remembering.

To truly appreciate my homelands in western New South Wales I needed to travel far, far away. When I was 26 years of age I chose to leave my career as a paramedic and travel the world. There was a sadness within me, a deep loneliness and a painful void, I could feel the enormity of my role on this earth, but I was not yet equipped to deliver the work. There was a calling within me to venture far from the familiar, and I knew that my destiny lay on the other side of this great journey. So I embarked, leaving behind all that I perceived as truth, entering into constant motion and transformation.

For five months I travelled, and I found myself very quickly surrounded by a whole tribe of people like me, from all across the globe. In the sacred valley of Peru I finished my journey of becoming. For two months I sat in ceremony, learnt traditional healing ways and more profoundly, learnt to see, hear and feel the land beyond normal capacity. In this liminal space, a space that is unfixed (referred to in earlier articles as the dreaming), I soon realised a deeper ability that lay within me. In this state I could see the earth breathe, the tree’s dance and even rocks appeared to be in a constant, ever so subtle state of motion. Everything in nature was so alive. I could feel the wisdom within the rocks as if they truly were from far galaxies, older than the earth itself. I could hear frequencies that were never present before, a kind of high pitch sound, almost like my ears were ringing. I could feel places where ceremonies would be held and I could feel sacred sites before I saw them. I was in a constant state of high attunement to my surroundings, particularly with the land. Each land I would travel would feel different and I would often sense the presence of other spirits.

This transition into deeper sensing was rapid, and my mind was left far behind. Still to this day I have trouble putting this information that I receive in these sensitive states into words and mental frameworks. That is my main purpose for writing these articles, to attempt to articulate this deeper wisdom that was once passed onto us through rites of passage and ceremony. Now like a baby trying to walk, I attempt to convey my deeper reality, unveiling a truth that has been hidden from us for far too long.

~ I honour the traditional people of this land and I give my gratitude to all the lands I have travelled. I write this with reverence and pure intention. I honour the custodians past, present and future and ask forgiveness if any information is misaligned to traditional belief systems. ~

Does this resonate for you?

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Karla is the founder and facilitator of the Young Shaman Foundation. She is dedicated to creating rites of passage to connect people to self, nature and tribe.