Time and Seasons

In Indigenous Australian culture, factors such as location, season, moon-cycles, daylight hours and climate measure Aboriginal time. Indigenous Australians have a cyclic view of life.  The circle never ends.

This liturgy takes into account the balance between the whole of creation. There is a season to accommodate all our spiritual and physical needs in life. Everything is looked at in terms of cycles rather than the western linear view of time.

Setting

Place a large yellow candle in the centre of a red cloth. This is our symbolic campfire. Light incense sticks to create the smoke and the candle for light and warmth.

Soft reflective music can be played in the background.

All join in a circle. If there are large numbers present, form another circle within the beginning circle.

Process

Leader 1

Fire was an integral part of the traditional life of the Koorie people. It gave:

  • warmth
  • light - to sit around hear stories / sing / dance
  • heat - to cook by - also helped to control & replenish the environment to ensure a plentiful supply of food.

Today this candle has been lit as a symbolic cleansing and purification act which took place before an important ceremony. As we smell the fragrance of the smoke, imagine the crackling sound of the wood as it burns, and the flames leaping and curling in their bright dance of merriment. Let us get in touch with God the Creator Spirit by opening our hearts and minds to all that is around us.

As the smoke rises and filters throughout this room, help us to move out of our comfort zone and dare to do as much as we are able. Jesus said 'I am the light of the world' and he pleads with us not to hide our lights under a bush. Today we light this candle to signify life through the warmth of family unity, nourishment and spiritual one-ness that were characterised in traditional Koorie culture. Let us pray that these same qualities will be evidenced in our own whole school community here today.

As people who try to live the message of God, we are called to spread his message of love and forgiveness to others. In a world where communion takes so many forms, far from the message stick of yester-year, the most powerful form of communication for Aboriginal people is the simplest one, it is:

  • The ear ready to listen when no one else will;
  • The comforting voice of a friend;
  • The smile of encouragement from someone who loves you;
  • The outstretched hand of someone who cares.

The cardinal points (of a compass) provide us with:

  1. A sense of direction, see the many paths set before us to follow. Seek God's wisdom to choose prudently;
  2. Complete harmony with yourself and all that is around you;
  3. Wholeness within yourself;
  4. Growth - spiritually, emotionally, physically and intellectually

Leader 2

Close our eyes and in our minds let us turn to the EAST.

It is the 'SPRING' of our life. With each sunrise that heralds the dawning of a new day, we ask for guidance and illumination to see clearly who we are before God our Creator Spirit.

Focus on the seeds of new life, and our spiritual development. May our relationship with God and the Earth be nourishing to our souls and fruitful to our existence. Deepen our relationship with God by restoring harmony in our life.

Leader 3

Let us now turn our attention to the SOUTH, the 'AUTUMN' of our life.

It is a time when Mother Nature displays her colours in all its brilliance, just before the 'fall' of the leaves.

Focus on our emotional growth and our inner journey of greater self-knowledge, which leads us to ponder how to be sensitive and respectful towards others and their feelings.

Cast off the feelings that are preventing you from reaching your full potential as a person, be at one with the land, be at peace with our Creator Spirit, God of all.

Show kindness and compassion to those in need. Set aside strong personal negative feelings in order to serve others.

Leader 4

We turn WESTWARDS, the place of the setting sun. Here we focus on the physical care of our bodies and the 'WINTER' of our life.

The day disappears and the night sets in. It is dark and cold and one can easily be discouraged by the mood of the day and season. We can be more susceptible to illness in our thoughts and our bodies at this time.

Show compassion to those on the edge. Show consideration for the physical struggles they have had to endure. Be grateful for the gift of life the Creator Spirit has given you.

Leader 5

Let us now turn to the NORTH, where the focus is on thought and intellectual growth. It is the 'SUMMER' of our life, a time when we are asked to put into action the learning and wisdom we have received from our parents, elders and teachers.

Analyse right from wrong and liberate ourselves totally. Break down the barriers that are preventing you from being free to love and forgive. Open your mind and heart to the needs of others. Let these new insights about yourself lead you to a balanced life, as it should be.

Conclusion

This experience of the 'Circle of Healing' will give us courage to grow personally by strengthening and deepening the quality of our relationships as well as our awareness of others, creation and God.

Finish with a creation song.