Tag Archives: culture

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Rainbow Warriors Legend

The Maori of New Zealand have many ancient legends and stories to explain their beginnings, their ancestors, their deep connection with Papataanuku (Mother Earth), and their relationship with Io, the supreme spiritual power.

The Three Baskets of Knowledge is the story of Tane, who was called to make the journey and ascend through the many realms to the uppermost realm, occupied only by Io-Matua-Kore, God-the-Parentless, to obtain from Io the three baskets of knowledge and bring the wisdom back to Earth for the benefit of all humankind.

Archetypal journey of the mystic

Looked at simply, it is a story that explains how humankind gained knowledge of things both earthly and spiritual. However, at a deeper level, it is a metaphor for the archetypal inner journey of the mystic, as he or she travels inwards, seeking always to find unity with the universe, and to become one with his or her concept or knowing of Io or God or the Supreme Being or the Way.

The Maori song  about Tane’s journey, “He oriori mo Tuteremoana”, speaks of the incredible gift we are endowed with as part of the Source of all spiritual energy, and that is the power to create whatever we desire with our minds.

“Listen O son. There was only one spiritual energy that transported Tane to the Uppermost realm; it was the spiritual power of the mind.”

Rainbow bridge between worlds

The rainbow as a bridge between realms and as a sign of hope and inspiration for the world is found in countless legends and stories of the indigenous cultures. For instance, the Maori legend of Uenuku and the Mist Maiden is a testimony to the power of love, and the rainbow represents love in all its shades. The rainbow is a reminder of the covenant between land and sky, mortal and immortal, earthbound and celestial.

Tiwhana mai i e rangi a Uenuku-rangi! Span the skies, great rainbow of Uenuku!

Coming of the Golden Age

Many indigenous cultures believe that under the symbol of the rainbow, humanity will come into balance with one another and the Earth to experience the Golden Age. However, first an alignment with spiritual values, a healing between brothers and sisters, and a renewed reverence and appreciation for the Earth must take place.

The legends promise that when the devastation (especially as it was wrought upon the native peoples and upon the land itself) is at its worst, spiritually aligned souls among peoples of all colors, peoples of the rainbow, will feel a calling of Spirit and come together to bring things back to proper balance. These souls, who would do no violence and would work to end violence, would be called the Rainbow Warriors.

Let’s take a good look around us… It would appear that the time of the Rainbow Warriors has come.

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Photos courtesy Alex and James Wheeler, Pexels

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Rainbow Warriors Legend” © Susan L Hart 2019

Quotation from “He oriori mo Tuteremoana” is by Tuhotoariki, grand-uncle of Tuteremoana, the most famous descendant ot Tara, eponymous ancestor of the Maori Ngai Tara tribe. He lived nineteen or twenty generations ago. At his birth Tuhotoariki composed a well known oriori or song chant, “He oriori mo Tuteremoana”, which has survived to this day. Tohotoariki was a famous tohunga or priest of his time, and his oriori contains many spiritual teachings for his high born grand-nephew.

Susan L Hart Blog | SusanLHart.com

Are your Thoughts your Own?

We live in an information society unprecedented in history. Constantly bombarded with images and words from radio, television, print media, and the Internet, we have scarcely a moment of quiet solitude to hear our own inner voices. And therefore by extension, to be in touch with our innate wisdom. Whatever our conscious minds are not aware of, or care not to deal with in the moment, our subconscious is absorbing and filing away. Let’s face it; there are many external forces at work vying for a piece of our minds.

Essential to free thinking:

We cannot be autonomous, free-thinking individuals who rule our own thoughts and beliefs unless we (a) apply discernment to what information sources we give our conscious attention to, (b) apply critical thinking to information we take in, rather than just accepting it at face value, (c) commit to decoupling from media channels that knowingly apply negative subconscious programming, and (d) combine thoughtful analysis with our feeling awareness of the truth.

Critical thinking is an intellectual process involving questioning, examining, and analyzing information in order to come to one’s own conclusions. Too often, perhaps out of a lack of confidence in ourselves, or a belief that a particular media source is “expert”, honest, and unbiased, or out of just plain laziness, we readily accept prepackaged information as fact and incorporate it into our perception of reality.

Different points of view:

The daily news is perhaps the easiest to absorb without question, as we presume it to be fact based; it is supposed to be “real”. The problem is, from whose perspective is it real? While observing an accident on the street one day, I became aware of conclusions I was coming to based on a certain set of personal beliefs. Upon further analysis, I was shocked at what a narrow and judgmental viewpoint I had. I’m sure that for as many onlookers there were that day, there were as many versions of the “truth” about what really happened.

News reporters are trained to gather facts and present them in an unbiased and objective way, based strictly on the who, what, where, when, and why of the event. Ideally, opinion based on a personal viewpoint does not come into it. However, as objective as the individual news stories may be, their sum total in the newspaper or on the TV news show often paints a depressing collective picture of problems, fear, and impending doom. “The news” as a whole is frequently not unbiased. It is very much biased towards a negative viewpoint, where through select inclusions and exclusions, the audience is encouraged to think and feel a certain way about society and “reality”.

Ask yourself these questions:

The daily news affects our thinking, our emotions, and ultimately our collective belief system. Have you ever taken an objective look at it and asked yourself these kinds of questions:

“How much do I rely on just one media source for information on current events?” (One point of view).

“Who owns the media I follow, and what intent lies behind the particular slant or viewpoint in the content they are presenting to me?”

“Do I accept information I am receiving as ‘fact’ without question?”

“What kinds of beliefs are being reinforced by the media content I am taking in? Do they project an expansive world of joy and possibilities, or a world of fear, control, and limitations?”

“How do I feel when I am finished watching or reading about the daily news?”

“How much is it preoccupying my thoughts and affecting my own personal sense of empowerment in the world?”

“Is it really serving me well to immerse myself in it day after day?”

Taking back ownership of our own minds is an important first step towards creating a new world. Our minds are powerful tools of creation, and as long as we allow them to be cluttered with negativity and despair, that is all we will ever experience. What will you choose to focus your mind on tomorrow … The media’s projection of doom and gloom, or your own glorious vision of your life and the world you live in?

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Are your Thoughts your Own? © Susan L Hart 2019

Susan L Hart Blog | SusanLHart.com

Tick-tock Madman

That round evil man
with his shallow pretty face
leers from my wall.
Cruelly and incessantly
he chips away at my life
with his sharp little pick-axe.

Tick-tock, tick-tock.

My days mete out
in an endless dribble of
task and responsibilities.
And he watches me.
Be on time, get it right!
Get up again, do it again.
And again, and again, and again.

Tick-tock, tick-tock.

I thought he was my friend
that insidious little man.
Mom said he was.
Dress for success, be on time,
and your life will be right.

Tick-tock, tick-tock.

Then one day I woke up
and my life felt all wrong.
Where are my dreams
you cunning little man?
You stole them when
I wasn’t looking.
I was busy listening to your

Tick-tock, tick-tock.

Oh poacher of my hours –
Is there still time for me?
Still hope for me?
The Me you took while I was
distracted and toiling,
And worried about being on time.

And that smug little man
with his false pretty face
just stares coldly at me
from his unfeeling wall.
Silent he is, but for
the relentless

Tick-tock, tick-tock.

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Tick-tock Madman © Susan L Hart 2016-2019

Photo courtesy NEOSiAM 2020, Pexels

Susan L Hart Blog | SusanLHart.com

Seeing Beauty in Australia

The beloved poet Rumi wrote about beauty, and a favorite quote has been, “Beauty surrounds us”. But much to my surprise, I discovered just lately that the full quote is actually, “Beauty surrounds us, but usually we need to be in a garden to know it”. Yes! He was making the point that we tend to tune in on a narrow bandwidth for seeing beauty. This was really driven home to me personally when I began to travel.

My old lens sought landscapes lush and green

I started my travels almost 20 years ago in paradise: Hawaii. When I close my eyes and picture the plumeria trees, the heavenly scent floats back to me, and with it all of my memories of Hawaii. You might imagine that this would be my epitome of landscape beauty, but that is not true.

I grew up immersed in rugged, expansive and stunning landscapes, with lush green summers and glorious fall color. Art was my passion, and my goal was to show people the beauty that surrounds them, every day. My eyes became used to seeing the Earth in a certain way, that of the landscapes I painted. And when I began traveling, that was the lens that I took with me.

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Suffice to say, Hawaii was a delight. But, being as lush as it is, it did not challenge my idea of beauty one whit. In fact, it only helped to “raise the bar”. Australia, on the other hand, significantly challenged my viewpoint.

Australian summer started to stretch me

We arrived in Australia in December, the beginning of their summer. To say that Aussie summers are harsh is an understatement. The intense sun and heat are severe and unforgiving. In extremely short order, the grass is fried to a crisp, and the eucalyptus trees take on a dull drabness. In my eyes the landscape was colorless; as Mom would say, “nothing to write home about”.

Eventually, we arrived at a point near Adelaide, South Australia, where we decided to stay put for awhile. Daily I tramped up and down, again and again, a dusty little dirt road for my exercise. Usually I walked an hour a day, so that meant many laps of the same short road. For personal safety I did not venture off my route, as the area was somewhat remote from town.

I learned a broader way of seeing beauty

Day after day there was seemingly nothing new to look at. I was therefore forced to examine every detail and nuance of that road to relieve the boredom. And little-by-little, the beauty blossomed before my eyes.

Like Monet, I love the play of light on a landscape. I have tried to capture that often in my own paintings. I started to schedule my walks for dusk. At that time of day, the sky was softening from hard azure to soft pinks and apricot. The sunlight turned deep golden, burnishing the rough trunks and dry leaves of the eucalyptus trees that rimmed the road.

And the birds came out to play

And, perhaps best of all, the pink galahs and cockatoos came out to play. The respite from the torrid heat was their invitation to soar and cavort. The distinctive calling of the birds in unison echoed over the valley. Previously I had only ever seen a cockatoo imprisoned in a pet cage back home. Something about those birds playing together unleashed a feeling of freedom in my soul. It was if they were calling out to me, “Open your eyes, open your eyes; come play with us!”

The brown, dry grassland receded, and I was surrounded by beauty that I could not see at first glance. That was because I had been looking through the same old lens, using it as a measuring stick to judge and reject.

There are many lessons on the big road of travel

All these years since, I have very fond memories of that little dirt road. I can picture it clearly to this day. It opened my eyes wider, and I saw deeper. I spent many a walk along that road, whispering “show me the magic”,  for I was also struggling with loneliness. And it did reveal itself to me, as told in my story Miracle in the Park.

Being a landscape artist, I believed I knew this already. And to a certain degree, I did. But throughout my travels, I am still learning it in a deeper and deeper way. I am falling in love with the world. Thank you, Australia, for showing me a different way of looking.

It’s a big world out there. Seeing beauty everywhere takes desire and a broader point of view. But, it’s always there to be found, for eyes that want to see.

Seeing Beauty in Australia

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Seeing Beauty in Australia © Susan L Hart 2019

Forest photo courtesy Pixabay, Pexels
Australia photo courtesy Sabel Blanco, Pexels