Lovers – Love Of Country

What everyone needs, when traveling around Australia is a copy of Kath Walkers (Oodgeroo Noonuccal) poems and a travel companion like Loving Country, co-authored by Aboriginal Elder Bruce Pascoe and artist Vicky Shukuroglou. At first glance, it is a travel guide to some of Australia’s most beautiful Country but on closer inspection, it reveals honest, riveting yarns about the true stories of Country told by the people who know and love her best: the local Aboriginal people with ancestral connections.

Key Words: Love, relationships, seeking wholeness, commitments, partnerships, decisions, making clear choices, values, balance, romance, unity, harmony

Kath Walker – Aunty Oodgeroo Noonuccal (1920 – 1993) was an Aboriginal rights activist, poet, veteran, environmentalist and educator. ‘Oodgeroo’, meaning ‘paperbark tree’ (whose bark is used for drawing), referred to her role as writer and artist. ‘Noonuccal’ is the name of her people, the traditional owners of Minjerribah and adjoining land for more than 20,000 years.

There is no doubt that the Lovers card is all about relationships. However it’s also about so much more than that, because this card represents our choices. It reminds us that we can heal any situation, and free ourselves from suffering whenever we choose to view it through the eyes of authentic love.

Do you have difficulty with truly loving yourself? Are you able to open your heart and be completely honest about who you are, and what you feel? Are you able to look at where you are at in life right now with acceptance and inner-peace? Who are you right now in this very moment, and what do you believe in? What are you aligning yourself and your energy with right now? What are you willing to sacrifice in order to focus your energy on this endeavor?

Through her stories, poetry and activism Kath Walker (Oodgeroo Noonuccal) expresses a great love for her land and the Australian Aboriginal culture to which she belongs. She is completely honest about who she is, her connection with the land and how she feels about the impact of colonialism

Aunty Oodgeroo Noonccal was a member of the stolen generation. Her mother, Lucy, was removed and placed in an institution in Brisbane at the age of ten. At fourteen years of age, without the skills to read or write, she was consigned to work as a housemaid in rural Queensland.

Aunty Oodgeroo Noonuccal grew up on North Stradbroke Island. She left home for Brisbane to work as a domestic for board and lodging, and less pay than white domestics received. However, armed with the ability to read and a talent for writing she would go on to become a leading Australian poet, writer, political activist, artist and educator.

As a poet Noonuccal identified Aboriginal people as the inspiration for her work, seeing herself as expressing the voices of the community she loved. She saw poetry as the most personal form of written expression and as a natural extension of Aboriginal oral traditions of storytelling and song-making.

In recognition of a lifetime commitment to Indigenous peoples and her outstanding contributions to Australian literature Oodgeroo Noonuccal was awarded three honorary doctorates by Universities within Australia.

Existential Choices

The Lovers card may be understood alongside key ideas from the philosopher and theologian Søren Kierkegaard (May 5, 1813–November 11, 1855). We face an existential choice between two life paths, either one willfully hedonistic or one grounded in our sense of ethical duty.

As Rachael Pollack points out, the 6th Tarot Card was once entitled Choice, suggesting that an individual may have to choose between desires. Equally the choice can refer to a person’s whole life, the decision about where to direct one’s passion.

Imagine Oodgeroo Noonuccal is still alive. You are a journalist who will be given the opportunity to interview this leading activist, poet, environmentalist and educator. You are only allowed to ask her three questions about life choices she made. What will you ask her?

Now change roles. Imagine you are Oodgeroo, and, using the knowledge about her life and personality gleaned from any research you have been inspired to do, write the answers you believe she might have give to the questions you posed. 

Finding and Following Your Bliss

The hero’s journey is one of self-discovery, of finding and following your bliss. No one else knows what makes your eyes light up and your heart leap. Take control of your own life. Reach for the stars.

Joseph Campbell was one of the pioneers in the discussion of bliss, suggesting that people “find their bliss.” He said, “The way to find out what makes you the happiest is to focus on being mindful of your happiest moments—not simply excited, not just thrilled, but deeply happy.”

To seek your own personal bliss, you might wish to sit quietly and meditate about a time in your life when you were the happiest. Remain with that moment, as well as the feelings stirring inside you. When you think you’ve figured out at least one thing that makes you feel blissful, then stay with it. Write about that state in your journal. Recording your feelings can help you dig deeper into self-discovery and determine the ways in which you can follow your bliss—always keeping in mind that bliss is a calling that’s calling you.

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