Re: Great Mother Dragon -- Sun -- Songlines ...
--- In LeagueOfTheLastDays, "Millennium Twain" wrote:
the book is one of the 'most awakening' we
have shared. it is "Voices Of The First Day:
Awakening in the Aboriginal dreamtime". The
author is Robert Lawlor.
millennium & megumi
--- "rasheedaas" <rasheedaas@> wrote:
Could you tell me the first name of Lawlor,
so I could look up his/her book?
--- "Millennium Twain" <yonibluestar@> wrote:
Songlines in the culture of Indigenous Australians
Songlines are also called Dreaming tracks by Indigenous Australians.
Australian's indigenous peoples conceive of all things beginning with
the Dreaming or (in some Indigenous languages) Altjeringa (also called
the Dreamtime), a 'once upon a time' time out of time where archetypal
ancestral totemic spirit-beings formed the World. These shapeshifting
spirits embodied forms of animals, plants, people, natural phenomena
and/or inanimate objects and their existence is revealed by their
formative journeying and the signs they deposited through the
landscape. Their dreaming and journeying trails are the songlines (or
"Yiri" in the Walpiri language). The signs of the Spirit Beings may be
of spiritual essence, physical remains such as petrosomatoglyphs of
body impressions or footprints, amongst natural and elemental
simulacrae. To cite an example, the Yarralin people of the Victoria
River Valley venerate the spirit Walujapi as the Dreaming Spirit of
the black-headed python. Walujapi carved a snakelike track along a
cliff-face and deposited an impression of her buttocks when she sat
establishing camp. Both these dreaming signs are currently discernable.
Another example is that the Rainbow Serpent followed a path across
Northern Australia, creating rivers and mountains as she went, and
stopping at especially sacred places such as Ubirr. A song, created by
her, is still sung by Indigenous Australians, and describes her
journey, and the features along it. These songs may also be used for
navigation, as they describe where, for example, waterholes may be
found in the desert.
Another example is the Native Cat Dreaming Spirits who are said to
have commenced their journey at the sea and to have moved north into
the Simpson Desert, traversing as they did so the lands of the Aranda,
Kaititja, Ngalia, Kukatja, Unmatjera and Ilpara. Each peoples sing the
part of the Native Cat Dreaming relating to the songlines for which
they are bound in a territorial relationship of reciprocity.
Songlines are an ancient cultural concept, meme and motif
perpetuatedthrough oral lore and singing and other storytelling
modalites such as dance and painting. Songlines are an intricate
series of song cycles that identify landmarks and subtle tracking
mechanisms for navigation. These songs often evoke how the features of
the land were created and named during the Dreaming. The Dreaming
Spirits as they travelled across the Earth, created and named trees,
rocks, waterholes, animals and other natural phenomena. Molyneaux &
Vitebsky (2000, p.30) augment further: the Dreaming Spirits "...also
deposited the spirits of unborn children and determined the forms of
human society." Therefore, establishing tribal law and totemic paradigms.
By singing the songs in the appropriate sequence, indigenous peoples
could navigate vast distances (often travelling through the deserts of
Australia's interiority). The continent of Australia is a
system-reticulum of songlines, some of which are of a few kilometres,
whilst others traverse hundreds of kilometres through disparate
terrain and lands of many different indigenous peoples ~ peoples who
may speak markedly different languages and champion significantly
different cultural traditions.
An interesting feature of the paths is that, as they span the lands of
several different language groups, different parts of the song are
said to be in those different languages. Thus the whole song can only
be fully understood by a person speaking all the relevant languages.
In the Sydney region, because of the soft Sydney sandstone, valleys
often end in a canyon or cliff, and so travelling along the ridge
lines was much easier than travelling in the valleys. Thus the
songliness tend to follow the ridge lines, and this is also where much
the sacred art, such as the Sydney Rock Engravings, are located. In
contrast, in many other parts of Australia, the songlines tend to
follow valleys, where water may be more easily found.
To indigenous peoples, songlines also confer a title and deed to the
holder or the keeper of the particular song (or Dreaming) and entails
an inherent obligation and reciprocity with the land.
In his 1987 book, The Songlines British novelist and travel writer,
Bruce Chatwin describes the songlines as:
"...the labyrinth of invisible pathways which meander all over
Australia and are known to Europeans as 'Dreaming-tracks' or
'Songlines'; to the Aboriginals as the 'Footprints of the Ancestors'
or the 'Way of the Law'.
Aboriginal Creation myths tell of the legendary totemic being who
wandered over the continent in the Dreamtime, singing out the name of
everything that crossed their path- birds, animals, plants, rocks,
waterholes- and so singing the world into existence."''
Songlines have been linked to aboriginal art sites in the Wollemi
National Park in New South Wales.
New Age Interpretation
Some New Age writers identify songlines with similar lines or paths
elsewhere in the world. For example, Molyneaux & Vitebsky (2000) state
that a particular totemic ancestral spirit being is often associated
with a number of sites, "each of which serves as a landmark to denote
the course of its travels". The routes of these spirits are the
dreaming trails or songlines and to indigenous peoples, chart the
energetic currents of the earth . Therefore, in this view, songlines
may be understood as the Earth's subtle energy currents: ley lines in
the United Kingdom, naga or snake lines in India, dragon lines (dragon
current, or lung-mei) in China.
Lawlor (1991: p.104) states that for many indigenous peoples:
...the blood of the gods, the subtle magnetic, celestial flow,
circulates in the veins of the earth. This concerpt underlies the
extensive occult science known as geomancy, the study of ley lines,
for which John Michell is the most eloquent commentator. (NB: original
Lawlor (1991: p.104-105) states
A number of anthropologists and scientists have found that the
Aborigines possess an acute sensitivity to magnetic and vital force
flows emanating form the earth, which they refer to as songlines.
Perhaps the oldest geomancy tradition, songlines are fundamental to
Aboriginal initiatic knowledge and religion. Songlines are so named
because they are maps written in songs, depicting mythic events at
successive sites along a walking trail that winds through a region.
Some inidgenous Australians applied red ochre and/or blood, both
substances are considered maban, to their bodies to heighten their
sensitivities to the Dreamtime and their geodesy prior to ritual
dance. Archaeogeodesy is a growing discipline.
Lawlor (1991: p.105) quotes the biophysicists F. A. Brown and F. H.
Barnwell who have conducted research on the biological effects of the
Earth's magnetic field (and particularly how it relates with
directionality and wayfinding):
There remains no reasonable doubt that living systems are
extraordinarily sensitive to magnetic fields. By extremely simple
experiments it is shown that highly diverse plants and animals may
have their orientation modified by artificial fields of the order of
strength of the geo-magnetic field...The nature of the response
properties suggest that the organism is normally integrated with its
geo-magnetic environment to a striking degree. 
Lawlor then builds on this with citing research conducted on homing
pigeons which has pinpointed a tiny crystal in their brain. This
crystal which is supersensitive to the earth's magnetic fields or
geomagnetic currents, works in tandem with the birds other wayfinding
propensities. As Mathrani (2002) states:
Many animals have the ability to sense the geomagnetic field and
utilize it as a source of directional (compass) information. Studies
have shown that salamanders and frogs use magnetic fields for
orientation when they have to find a way to escape from danger, such
as from predators. Other animals that have been known to migrate via
the detection of the Earth's magnetic field include sparrows, pigeons,
bobolinks, yellow fin tuna fish, honeybees, and bacteria. Magnetite
has been found in the tissues of all these organisms.
Crystals of magnetite have been found in some bacteria (e.g.,
Magnetospirillum magnetotacticum) and in the brains of bees, of
termites, of some birds (e.g., the pigeon), and of humans. These
crystals are thought to be involved in magnetoreception, the ability
to sense the polarity or the inclination of the earth's magnetic
field, and to be involved in navigation. The study of biomagnetism
began with the discoveries of Caltech paleoecologist Heinz Lowenstam
in the 1960s.