Freeing our Indigenous Soul
Indigenous to Mother Earth article by Sandra Cosentino: nature connection, tribal culture, western culture awakening ancestral knowing, sharing our stories, rationalist mind and native soul, indigenous expression of community.
Inherent within each of us is this direct connection to source of life, no matter what our cultural upbringing might be. Many of us, who many not be from a living tribal culture, also carry an awakened sense of love of Mother Earth and deep longing for more connectedness and creative expression in our lives that flows from our authentic source. Mother Earth has impressed deep into my psyche that I am birthed of her and she is my real Mother. In our roots, lies an indigenous soul.
“It is not the woods I hike through. I hike through the field of power around me that I call my soul, even though at this moment, in this place, I may call it “the woods.” (Tom Cowan, Yearning for the Wind)
Soul, according to Merriam-Webster, is:
1: the immaterial essence, animating principle, or actuating cause of an individual life
2: the spiritual principle embodied in human beings, all rational and spiritual beings, or the universe
“As a culture–through immigration, mobility and industrialization, we have mostly lost the experience of sharing our stories around the campfire. But the need remains: It is through the contemplation of our shared stories that we interpret and integrate our experiences–it is how we evolve.” (Whisper Panther)
Indigenous to Mother Earth
In ecology, an indigenous species is an organism which is native to a given region or ecosystem.
Without doubt I know I am indigenous to Mother Earth, not separate to her or an alien introduction. For me that ecosystem is the deserts and mountains of Arizona. But also in my inner sacred landscape are adopted mountains, canyons and plateaus of Alaska, the greater Southwest US, and Peru and Ecuador—all places that live in me. Once any place comes alive in you, it is a magic connection to all of Creation.
Pre-modern earth-based cultures carry a heritage that grew out of a direct relationship to the living spirit of the natural world. The great inter-related circle of life is expressed in stories, songs, art, spiritual and healing practices and are a precious living human heritage.
While most of us in western cultures did not grow up with direct access to our tribal heritage wisdom, we still carry an innate sense of belonging from these ancestral roots. We can free this in-dwelling wild connectedness to life through direct experience of the natural world, some inspiration from Native peoples who still carry a world-view and cultural expression from pre-industrial times and sharing our stories/life journey in circles.
I never wanted to apprentice or copy any particular tribe’s customs. Rather, I just absorb by osmosis,–honoring and valuing their ways of the circle–letting that enrich my life.
Ceremonies, which are a prominent part of Native culture, are usually centered on seasonal rhythms. They help humans rebalance body and mind, reinforce bonds to each other and expand our energies as we become conduits of universal energy for the good of all.
|This concept of indigenous soul is eloquently expressed by Martin Prechtel:
(Secrets of the Talking Jaguar, Memoirs From the Living Heart of a Mayan Village):“Somewhere during the course of my initiation as a shaman, I came to the startling and troubling realization that every human being alive today, modern or tribal, primal or over domesticated, has a soul that is original, natural, and above all, indigenous in one way or another. And like all indigenous peoples today, that indigenous soul of the modern person has either been banished to some far reaches of the dream world or it under direct attack by the modern mind…Since the human body is the world, every individual in the world, regardless of the background or race, has an indigenous soul struggling to survive in an increasingly hostile environment created by that individual’s mind, which subscribes to the mores of the machine age. Because of this, a modern person’s body has become a battleground between the rationalist mind and the native soul. As a shaman, I saw this as the cause of a great deal of spiritual and physical illness.”
Pathways to Awakening my Indigenous Soul
Childhood Summers at Mountain Ranch
Absorbed in exploring the rocky, juniper studded hillsides, the open meadows or the tiny creek, joy permeated my energy field—life was lived in the moment. Stories of pioneering times in this remote valley sparked a sense of pride and admiration. I had to meet my own challenges like fear of the horses biting me or throwing me off, of the rattlesnakes, of going back to the city where I felt like a prisoner.
Adult Discovery of Mystic Path
In my passion to see and feel primordial beauty and energies, I would literally send my energy into it creating a reciprocal pathway. Plus I was paying attention to survival. In this absorption, the worrying-doubting-overactive mind slowed down and I entered higher frequencies of consciousness which allowed simultaneously a heightened awareness of every sensory nuance around me and more insights from my own intuitive knowing to come forth.
I was instinctually coming into connection with the greater reality beyond that seen by my physical eyes. The inner nature mystic thus arose from my own direct experience. Inherent within each of us is this direct connection to source of life, no matter what our cultural upbringing might be.
Native People as Role Models
Patience and Letting Go
Balance of Opposing Tensions
So many times, I have seen participants who came to experience the power of a solo overnight vision quest, also be deeply touched by the campfire circle sharing, freeing of their voice and the interdependence and friendship engendered by camp living.
Contemplate our Shared Stories
Time to Sing our Songs
I agree with Martin Prechtel, when he said:
“For there to be a world at all, every indigenous, original, natural thing must start singing its song, dancing its dance, moving and breathing, each according to its own nature, saying its name, manifesting simultaneously its secret spiritual signature….Deep in our bones resides an ancient, singing couple who just won’t give up making their beautiful, wild noise. The world won’t end if we can find them.”
Article posted September 4, 2008