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"Humanity is failing, because we have forgotten where we come from"

by Karen Lynch Castillo
Denver, Colo (NFIC)
News From Indian Country - Hayward, Wisc
Late March 2001 p. 12B

Indigenous earth healers from across the globe convened in Denver to share earth-healing traditions of song, chant, story, ceremony and prayer for the first Indigenous Earth Healers Day 2001.

They came from Australia, Canada, Peru, South Africa, Bhutan and the United States. Indigenous peoples throughout the world are being called to join the global community for earth healing.

"Never has there been this many people on earth," said conference moderator Tom Goodman, a Muskogee traditionalist, earth healer, and founder of the non-profit organization Earthkeepers. "We are losing animal species every day. As the human population increases, animal numbers decrease."

"It is a planetary necessity to heal the earth," said conference organizer Janna Moll, of the Heart Healing Center of Denver, a healing touch organization that assists those in need. "These spiritual leaders carry secrets of healing the earth," she said. "Their path is togetherness and unity - the message during this new millennium."

Last summer, during the Millennium Peace Summit in Washington DC, an Inuit elder told of hunting in Greenland, where his people have hunted near mountains of ice for thousands of years. After their big tribal hunts 10 years ago, there was a trickle of water coming down the iceberg. "The climate is changing," he was told.

This year after the hunt, the elder said, the "trickle is now a river and I tell you the ice is melting."

Water is important in all cultures. In Hawaii, the land of water, traditionalists bless babies by covering them up to their waist with sand and placing them near the water.

"This practice draws the baby close to your heart throughout its life,:" said Nettie Pualani Tiffany, spiritual healer from the island of Oahu.

"She is known as a Kahu, a caretaker of the land's past, present and future. She was trained at a young age to become a Kahu, a tradition handed down from her great grandparents and her mother.

Among the Zulu peoples of South Africa, water is just as important. "The land is a healer and in South Africa, if for some reason we become displaced somewhere we can establish ourselves near water or a river because water is a healer," said C.J. Hood, representing the Zulu of South Africa.

A video message from Africa's most well known healer, Credo Mutwa of South Africa said Zulus are taught "to respect those around them, the earth, everything on this planet. But as we move away from our traditions we must also begin to return to our traditions. This is how we heal our world."

With so much to be accomplished to heal our world, even if "the ice is melting," the Inuit elder said, "this ice is easy to melt compared to the ice of the human heart."

From the country of Bhutan near Tibet, Lama Karma Namgyel, chanted a prayer for healing. He then read a message from the Dalai Lama's official representative, Dr. Rabgyal of the office of Tibet in New York, who said, "As we enter the new millennium, this is a good time to walk as human beings. We must work for a more compassionate world and if we see opportunities to benefit others, do so without thinking about self-interests."

As each spiritual leader came to the microphone, quietness within a room of 900 people seemed easy, respectful of the presence of elders.

"Teachings of Inca legend say that there are three worlds. The birds are of the higher world. Then there is the physical world - where we on earth reside. And then there is the underworld," Myrta Waarnars said in relation to the traditions of the Inca peoples of Peru. In describing the energy within these worlds, she said, "On earth there is light energy and the underworld there is heavy energy." Waarnars said humanity is failing, because we have forgotten where we come from.

"We all talk about love and unity but when is it going to happen?" said Tulley Spotted Eagle Boy, a Red Bank First Nation spiritual leader from New Brunswick Canada, and member of the Micmac tribe.

"Talk is cheap but action speaks louder and is a force of healing. When you go back to your communities, take these messages with you and take action. Native American people have the power to communicate with the earth. We are its caretakers and we need to work together as one people. May the Great Spirit bless you all with good health and happiness always."

Donna Augustine, also from the Micmac Nation of Canada, said of the four races of the world - red, yellow, black, and white - it is the red race of people who were given a responsibility to earth. She told the story of the white buffalo calf born some years ago in Wisconsin - an event that brought together the four races of the world to unite in prayer.

She said, "This happened according to prophecy and not only was I blessed to be there and conduct a sacred ceremony, but I also feel that this event is another significant time in history for the four races to meet again, this time to pray for healing of the earth and also of ourselves - physically, emotionally and spiritually."

Bringing together nine earth spiritual leaders took one year for conference organizer Janna Moll. "The idea began in January 2000," said Moll, "while I was having a conversation with our aboriginal elder from Australia, Bob Randall. I asked him how to go about doing earth healing. He said I would need permission from whoever owns the land traditionally and spiritually."

In a year's time, Moll's work has paid off. "We have been able to create an incredible amount of energy for healing, not just for this area but around the globe."

"When I contacted Myrta Waarnars who was to locate an Incan Priest in Peru, she told me that when she found him, before even mentioning this event to him, he said, 'We've been waiting for you a long time. It is very important that we should be involved with this event - in bringing the condor and the eagle together.'" The condor represents the south and the eagle represents the north.

"To me this was phenomenal," said Moll, "Because the High Priest didn't know that this conference was going to happen."

"Everything just came together," she said. "There was so much that happened behind the scenes to create the energy for that day that you couldn't help but feel it, even if the elders never opened their mouths and said one word.

"Each elder was so different and their perspectives different, each of them came fully to the table from their hearts and connected fully with each other. It was not just them as individuals when each presented, it was them as a group that was presented. And that's the message of unity that we tried to get across."