Desert stories

SOUL FIRE STORIES

Please visit my YouTube video channel for more Soul-Fire stories.

These Soul-fire Stories belong to the Red Heart of Australia. As a young professional, Anne Marie worked as counsellor to the town of Alice Springs and provided outreach services to Yulara and Tennant Creek. She shares with us the magic of living in Aboriginal Australia and learning Reiki.

 

Ever wondered what happens when a white city girl gets seduced by the desert and goes on walkabout? She has lots of unexpected adventures…

 

When white people live in aboriginal country, country teaches them to go about life in a more authentic, heart-centred way. Alice Springs is the heart of Australia. I was led to learn Reiki through a series of what white people would call ‘coincidences’ and aboriginal people describe as ‘going walkabout’.

 

There are times when the magic of living in aboriginal country sings in your blood. This is one of those moments. Eagles are deeply significant for me as a symbol of initiation… change… new beginnings… this is why…

 

One world, one people… we are all deeply connected. When you find yourself out of your depth and living within the rules and knowingness of another’s culture, there is only one thing to do… open your heart.

 

ANNE MARIE SAYS…

These have been a challenging videos to make because of the cultural traditions of Aboriginal people. Language and words are very important in aboriginal tradition. Images are also sacred. Some words and images may only be used by those who have been given permission to use that word or artwork for sacred story telling. There are designated custodians of sacred story or lore. The stories I tell here are my own.

When I use the word ‘walkabout’, it is because I was given permission by local people. The term was used in general conversation in Central Australia in the 1990s by white people. We were a community with a shared language. There are words I still use now that others may not because I was given specific permission. I worked with two-worlds people of Eastern Arrente, Western Arente, Walpirri, Pitjantjatjara and Anangu families with the deepest respect for their traditions. When white people live in Aboriginal country, we absorb ways of being from living in country even though it is not our ‘country’. (The word ‘country’ is used to describe the sacred relationship that Aboriginal people have to the place of their ancestors. They ‘belong to’ country in the deepest sense of that meaning.)

Similarly, I thought long and hard about the use of the image of Uluru (a sacred site of the Mala men). I decided to use the image because Uluru is part of my story too. I drove 925kms every 3 weeks to provide outreach counselling, training and critical stress management for employees at the resort. I have never climbed the Rock or played a didgeridoo in respect to these custodians. I have enjoyed the stories that were free to share with white people, and I have always approached sacred sites with respect as taught by Eastern Arrente elders.

It bothers me today that the Land of Red Kangaroo Dreaming, the land of the Adelaide plains, that the Kaurna people belong to and where I was born, is disappearing under concrete.

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