Spirituality Of Australia’s Aborigines

The indigenous people of Australia, known as the aborigines, are a highly spiritual people with a rich religious life. Although much of the traditional lifestyle has been changed due to the colonization of Australia from other cultures (especially Europe) the traditional religious beliefs are based on a sense of belonging with the environment, the land, sea, people and culture that surrounds them. The main source of spirituality is a resultant of stories about the Dreaming.

Spirituality of Abrorigines Dreaming is a way that aborigines identify with each other and themselves. It teaches them their native ways and how their ancestors thought and about their daily lives. It’s a complex form of knowledge that leads to the way they practice their faith and rituals. It dominates all forms of aboriginal spirituality, and is taught to the children when they are very young. It governs social and physical behavior, teaches the young people about important parts of life, and also shows the people how to live on the land without stripping the resources bare. At one time, those who did not follow these rules were punished.

Dreamtime is how the aborigines refer to the time that all things were created. However, dreaming is also referred to stories that play in an individual’s head while they are sleeping. During the time of dreaming, spirits came to earth and created everything, the mountains, rivers, animals, plants and people. This was the way the indigenous people explained how they had become isolated from everyone else, how they had come to discover fire, and how things like language, art, and dance were created. The dream stories gave the people answers to questions which helped them sort and organize their lives easier.

The aboriginal societies did not own the land, since it was made during the time of dreaming before humans. It was a part of them in that they lived with it, not necessarily “on” it; they needed the land just as much as the land needed them. Although many Europeans tried to stop the practice, it did not stop when the Europeans colonized Australia. It became more secretive, but just as important, if not more. The stories warned that if they were not taught to the new generations, terrible things would befall the entire continent.

The dreaming stories were essentially about life and language of the indigenous people. Dream tracks are places where lots of different dream stories cross paths with an ancestral being. One of the best known spirit ancestors is the Rainbow Serpent. He is a large snake-like entity who has to do with water, lagoons, rives, creeks, that sort of thing. It is both a destructive force (tidal waves) and a protective force (first rain needed for crop growth).

Europeans sometimes tried to stop the telling of these stories so they had to become more cryptic. Sometimes the aborigines would give stories about Jesus and God spins from the dream stories so as to not get in trouble. The belief in the dream stories persisted for quite some time, even up to current day in some cases because these are powerful forces not to be reckoned with. The people were scared that if they gave up their traditional ways for the more modern stories the Europeans told they would feel the full wrath of the Ancestral Beings.

Dream Interpreter Psychic Judy

Dream Interpreter Psychic Judy

When it was time to celebrate the dreaming stories, the aboriginal people would dress up like the characters from the stories to pay homage to them. Often, family groups would all go as the same Ancestral Being, but each individual would get to design their own version of how the being would look. Body paint and masks are still a common part of these ceremonies that are repeated annually to pass along the dream stories.

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