Sunday, August 29, 2010

aboroginal myths

In the beginning the earth was a bare plain. All was dark. There was no life, no death. The sun, the moon, and the stars slept beneath the earth. All the eternal ancestors slept there, too, until at last they woke themselves out of their own eternity and broke through to the surface.

When the eternal ancestors arose, in the Dreamtime, they wandered the earth, sometimes in animal form -- as kangaroos, or emus, or lizards -- sometimes in human shape, sometimes part animal and human, sometimes as part human and plant.

Two such beings, self-created out of nothing, were the Ungambikula. Wandering the world, they found half-made human beings. They were made of animals and plants, but were shapeless bundles, lying higgledy-piggledy, near where water holes and salt lakes could be created. The people were all doubled over into balls, vague and unfinished, without limbs or features.

With their great stone knives, the Ungambikula carved heads, bodies, legs, and arms out of the bundles. They made the faces, and the hands and feet. At last the human beings were finished.

Thus every man and woman was transformed from nature and owes allegiance to the totem of the animal or the plant that made the bundle they were created from -- such as the plum tree, the grass seed, the large and small lizards, the parakeet, or the rat.

This work done, the ancestors went back to sleep. Some of them returned to underground homes, others became rocks and trees. The trails the ancestors walked in the Dreamtime are holy trails. Everywhere the ancestors went, they left sacred traces of their presence -- a rock, a waterhole, a tree.

For the Dreamtime does not merely lie in the distant past, the Dreamtime is the eternal Now. Between heartbeat and heartbeat, the Dreamtime can come again.

The Great Father Spirit whispered to the sleeping goddess. Yhi awoke and immediately light appeared. Yhi represents the mother goddess image so often associated with fertility and the bringing of life in many ancient Creation traditions.

The mother goddess brought vegetation to life and insects were the first to appear. Insects became an important part of Aboriginal life, both eaten and used as medicine. The witchety grub, for example, was an important insect desert food. Animals were brought to life, their spirits called out of dark caverns. According to the myth, evil spirits attempted to impede the efforts of Yhi.

The world was filled with ice. The light of the mother goddess melted the ice and she created the seasons. Significantly, at her departure, she promised the grieving animals reluctant to see her leave that their spirits, upon death, would live on with the goddess. That the afterlife extends to all living beings is a belief found in many early societies, including the Native American.

From traditional aboriginal art- looks like the modern model for the structure of the universe and indra's net right?

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