Interpreting the world around us, or understanding a world that is as spiritual as it is physical is one of the most delightful challenges I have experienced in discovering the ancient Lore of Tribal Australia. As I child I wandered the Aussie bush with an often wary childish delight. There you can feel the presence of many worlds, the touch of ancient spirits and come to understand more deeply the legends of Aus’.
One such legend is that of the Jongorrie. He goes by many names but his remains the same. A small, often grotesque spirit creature of the caves and bush he is something of a trickster, a thief and a creatures of excessive habit. He is also a helper, an aide to the Kadaitcha or men of the Featherfoot, he is a companion of questionable qualities. He is the guardian of children, particularly those lost and he is an irascible prankster. The Jongorrie lives in the shadows, emerging from a forgotten world of legend. Along much the southern eastern coastline of Aus’ where the Great Dividing Range shelters enormous tracts of bush and forest, the Jongorrie is considered ‘Mens Business’, but deep in the rainforests of Cape York and the Daintree he is a creature that belongs to legend and tales told to children around camp fires. He is purely an mischievous Australian spirit character of the vast bush lands.
There are many such spirit creatures that inhabit our southern land and it is the greatest pity that many of them go unrecognized and often unremarked. Aussies will recognize perhaps the Bunyip, though argue over his form. They also will have heard of the Yowie, the mystic creature also of the forests who has a cousin in the Yeti or Bigfoot of northern lands, a creature who gains much more notoriety in other cultures, but the Yowie is distinctly different in character and often appearance and perhaps more mysterious. The tales I write, envelope Aboriginal Lore, introducing such creatures to the reader and this largely is much of my purpose in writing these contemporary stories about the ancient spirit creatures, who still inhabit our world.
The most predominant spirit creature throughout our vast southern land is without exception, the Rainbow Serpent. But what many do not understand is that the Rainbow Serpent was so named by a whitefella, an anthropologist, who identified the dominance of the serpent in Aboriginal Lore yet failed to realize, or portray, that the Rainbow Serpent was a spirit creature of much diversity. The Rainbow Serpent is a term for what is really many serpents, or a family of spirit creatures from the Dreamtime.
The Rainbow Serpent, as a collective, is an important spirit creature or primary deity in Aboriginal Lore. It is often a creator spirit of the highest order, but the creature can also be many other things. They can be a vengeful spirit creature, a Lore-giver or even a weapon of retribution or the devil by another name. The Rainbow Serpents are also creatures of water, found in billabongs, rivers, waterholes and even in the rainbow’s of the wet season, or rainy weather. A creature of many colours, not only often found on one serpent, but colours that are representative of a serpent of a particular colour. The Kajoora serpent, for example, is a white serpent, a serpent of the limestone caves largely, while the Numereji serpent is one of many colours, colours used to attract the eye of children as she/he steals them away.
Their legends are vast and we traced the legend of one, the Waugal, from Western Australia. She is a Creator Serpent, the mother of the rivers and lakes found in the SW corner of WA. She guards her young, in the form of eggs and we were particularly delighted for the opportunity to visit the thombolites of the region… which can be portrayed as the serpent eggs of the Waugal Serpent which have sat in Lake Clifton since the beginning of time. A real story of the Dreamtime, which touches our modern lives in their very existence.
There are indeed many serpents of legend, each with their individual role in legend and Lore, each with its role in the creation of man, and all are identified as part of the Rainbow serpent Lore. The oldest Lore known to human civilizations which spans back some 50,000 – 60,000 years into prehistory, or unwritten history. Writing after all is only a much more recent creation.
In my novels I introduce the spirit creatures of legend and Lore, bringing to the reader an interpretation of this ancient Lore that can be easily understood in a contemporary world. A world revealed that hides within our own experience.
The Spirit Children Series is a series of smaller books that introduce the steps of young men and women into the Lore. It also will introduce concepts and the Spirits of legend and Lore that are part of this ancient belief system and often lost traditions. It is a thrilling adventure.
Join me in exploring these legends and Lore. The Dreaming Series books each introduce different spirit creatures, each book can be read independent of the others yet the four books of the series come together in a story that will lead you into an understanding of an ancient world.