Everything in the natural world leaves its mark on the earth. The Australian Aborigines, who have one of the longest continuous cultural histories of any group on earth, know this. Dreamtime, the spirituality and culture of the Aborigines, explains the origins and culture of the land and its people. In Aboriginal Dreaming, every meaningful activity, event, or life process is believed to leave behind a vibrational residue. Aborigines speak of the seed power deposited on the earth that all natural life brings forth known as jiva or guruwari. As plants leave an image of themselves as seeds, so too do the oceans, the mountains, and the smallest pebble. Everything in nature contains the memory of when they were created and vibrates with that life force.
“Dreaming,” in Aboriginal culture, is comprised of the knowledge, faith, and practices derived from the stories of creation and the history of Australia. Dreamtime ceremonies, rituals, stories, and drawings describe the time when humans, plants, and animals were created. Often referred to as the time before time, it was during Dreamtime that the ancestral spirits came to earth in human and other forms, creating rivers, lakes, hills, and deserts. When their work was done, the ancestral spirits became a part of the earth, changing into plants, animals, land, and the sky.
The places the ancestral spirits traveled and where they came to rest was told to the Aborigines through Dreaming. Aborigines know that they do not own the land but are a part of it and that it is their duty to respect and look after the earth. Aboriginal Dreaming acknowledges that the ancestral spirits still reside in the natural world and their imprints resonate everywhere. The past is still alive and breathing today, as it will be in the future.