The songlines are calling me today. I was messaging briefly with a womb sister Cheryl from my womb apprenticeship in 2016, a witch who works with plant medicine and she was talking about using sound in the creation of her plant potions and shared a book she was reading songlines – tracking the Seven Sisters. As it happens I had updated my cover photo on Facebook this week with a picture of the songlines.
I am still uncovering and learning about this ancient memory code but feel it deeply in my bones. The land of Australia has been calling me since 2016 when I journeyed deeply on my womb mentor Janine McDonald’s land in Gilgai, NSW. After spending over two months in other trainings in 2017, namely Sexological Bodywork and Kahuna Massage, and making some deep tribal connections along the way the land continued to sing to me until I needed to heed the call and so in April 2018 I plan to move to the Sunshine Coast and inhabit fully her song.
In the next week I will once again journey on the Red Earth in Gilgai on retreat in ecstatic menopause opening the channel to the archetypes of medicine woman, wise woman, grandmother, creative muse, eccentric adventurer, wild witch, mystic lover, juicy crone and death hag, transforming this rite of passage and entering this ancient rite of passage in ecstatic anticipation
“On your first bleed you met your power, during your bleeding years you are practicing your power, at menopause you become your power. “(Native American Indian Proverb)
The Dam at Wild Innocence on the Red Earth in Gilgai
Songlines are maps of the land dating back 7000 years. Indigenous Australians have the longest continuous cultural history of any group of people on Earth.
To this day, their history is preserved and passed down through intricate song, dance, art and stories of the Dreamtime. Because of Aboriginal culture, we have these continuing stories to our country that other countries don't have.
Woven into this history is the oral tradition of songlines—an ancient memory code used by indigenous cultures around the world. Songlines trace the journeys of ancestral spirits as they created the land, animals and lore.
Integral to Aboriginal spirituality, songlines are deeply tied to the Australian landscape and provide important knowledge, cultural values and wisdom to Indigenous people.
Songlines are known as navigational tracks, in that the elders or the trained Indigenous people will sing the landscape and therefore be able to move from location to location through it and teach each other. At every location, each sacred site within that sung track, they perform rituals. Those rituals are repeated songs, and those songs encode the information.
Songlines link positions in landscape. Each location in the landscape acts as a memory aid to a particular part of the information system, so the knowledge is literally grounded in the landscape.
They are singing the information in songs that tell stories because song, story, mythology, is so much more memorable than a list of facts. By describing a plant and giving it characteristics and behaviour, it makes the information much more memorable.
I have always sung since I was a child. Singing was and is a place of refuge for me where I inhabit, transmit and transmute that which goes beyond words and the mind. It a place where my heart can deeply meet others where there is no need for words. Growing up on a farm I have always felt deeply connected to the Earth. For much of my life my Voice has taken me to live in urban cities where I often felt disconnected from the land. Being Peri-Menopausal I feel I’m now in a time where I must inhabit her more, by living in a more rural environment, letting her speak more through me and commune with her on a daily basis.
I have been blessed with the gift of a beautiful Voice. At times it has felt like a curse and has taken courage to continue to let this Voice be seen in its most authentic form. It has led me away from conventional ways of communing in our current societal traditions of marriage and children. My Voice was my child and I had to nurture and give birth to her first and foremost before any other.
She still has much to teach me and others as I drop in deeper with her. She holds such power and beauty. Sometimes she scares me. She is not always pretty, sometimes she’s pretty damn ugly but in that ugliness there is profound beauty and light. She will not be contained in a box, she is vast and wild. She grows on the outskirts of civilisation and in her weeds, blooms the flowers. She is waiting to be unwrapped as she has many layers to her and I have to listen to the Call of the Collective to know when she is ready to be seen and witnessed and taken in. But there is ecstasy in her song and wonder and I am filled with such contentment when she rises up and spills forth her nectar.
In the beginning was the word And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld her glory, full of grace and truth. More will be revealed, this I know…
Journeying on the Red Earth on my Womb Apprenticeship- 2016