Spiritual Unity of the Tribes
19th Australian Gathering at Pomonal - Gariwerd
"Bringing the Balance"
5th - 8th April 2017 - Halls Gap, Victoria
Bunjil is the creator recognised by numerous tribes in Victoria – depicted in an ancient cave painting at Burrunj, the Black Range near Gariwerd. Bunjil also provides the people with law and customs, and takes the form of the wedge tail eagle.
With the blessing of local Djab Wurrung people, Spiritual Unity of the Tribes will host a Gathering for four days in Pomonal, placed right between Burrunj and Gariwerd. The gathering ceremony will commence at sunrise on Wednesday 5th April with ceremony to light the sacred fire, which will be the centre of the Gathering. The Gathering will conclude with ceremony on the afternoon of Saturday 8th April, followed by a celebration meal Saturday night. You will be asked to honour a treaty between yourself, SUT and the Elders regarding conduct while on the land.
History: Everyone is aware of changes that are occurring all over the planet. Changes in technology, language, weather, disease, changes in lifestyle: medicine people all over the world have been aware of the need for changes in the attitude of the people. In 1989, in response to a vision given to a Pasqua grandmother Grandmother Ironeagle, three medicine men put in place a mechanism to help address this problem. Jim Walton, Ben Rhodd and Harvey Ironeagle (all respected medicine men) planned Spiritual Unity of the Tribes, a series of gatherings designed to bring people of all faiths and races together. Over four days and around a sacred fire these gatherings of people were addressed by the elders, by people with vision, by healers and by mothers. No politics were mentioned; just prayers, healings and a sharing of medicine to heal the people.
Spiritual Unity of the Tribes (SUT) has been brought to Australia at the request of Medicine People overseas, to help spread the healing that the world so desperately needs. If offers a safe community camp of people sharing a common belief – an acknowledgement of a higher power and intent and belief that through prayer change and healing can occur. All people are welcome, in particular youth and children as an acknowledgment of their role in the future, to share this camp and sacred fire. SUT is sponsoring several elders to attend and share their wisdom around the fire.
A gathering will hold as its centre the honouring of spirit, the sanctity of the land and the wisdom of the elders. Gatherings are to be living demonstrations of the ancient values of truth, peace, non-violence and love. They will nurture deep, connections as they bring people of all faiths and races together.
Honouring the Water: Could everyone please bring a small amount of water from their local area, a creek, river, dam. We will mix these together for a special ‘Honouring the Water Ceremony.’
Everyone is welcome around the sacred fire. Families with children are encouraged to attend.
Come earlier Tuesday 4th is camp day. Stay longer Sunday 9th is cleanup day.
LORE and PROTOCOL
All ceremonies will be under the guidance of the Gathering Council. This is a spiritual cultural gathering not a music festival.
RESPECT FOR ALL OUR RELATIONS
NO: alcohol, marijuana, illegal drugs, chroming, firearms NO: politics, proselytizing (preaching or promoting other business' or causes) NO: CD players, radios, MP3 players
No pets are allowed at the gathering, other than assistance animals. Photographs can only be taken in the general camp area and at the fire before or after the closing ceremony. Mobiles phones should be switched off and only used for outgoing calls in camp if absolutely necessary. The gathering is being held on private land, please respect the land and leave it as you found it.
Sacred Fire: The fire in the arbour is sacred. No rubbish, cigarette butts, crystals or personal objects should be placed on or near the fire. There will be a basket of ‘offerings’ sacred to the area which can be placed on the fire to ‘carry’ your prayers. Only the fire keeper must put wood on the fire.
Dress Code: You are requested to exercise a sense of modesty in the way you dress while at the gathering. This is to demonstrate proper respect for the sacred fire, the elders and for those of all backgrounds and beliefs who may attend the gathering with you.
Other protocols will be explained during the gathering, but if you are unsure about any protocol, behavior or ceremony, please ask a member of the Gathering Council. We simply ask for all people to conduct themselves with respect for all, in a good way.
IF YOU ARE UNABLE TO HONOUR THIS ‘LORE' PLEASE DO NOT COME TO THIS GATHERING it is not for you. Those not honouring the lore will be asked to leave by the Gathering Council.
In keeping with the spirit of the gatherings everyone is welcome at no formal charge, so no one is excluded by lack of money, however gatherings do cost so donations are needed and gratefully accepted. Please consider bringing and supporting an elder or grandmother, or a young person from any family or nation.
This gathering depends on your support, both in attendance and participation. The gathering is not for spectators. Help us share the essence of living as told by the grandmothers.
Your help is necessary for a successful gathering. Please sign up for tasks upon arrival.
· Meal preparation and clean up · Assisting the Elders · Fire Keeping: under the guidance of traditional fire keepers · Children’s activities · Clean up · Set Up and Security: please contact the Gathering Council on email@example.com
The Sacred Fire which is the heart of the Gathering is on private land. Camping can begin Tuesday 4th April so that we can all get settled in and complete necessary tasks prior to the opening ceremony.
The opening ceremony will be at sunrise Wednesday 5th of April. And the closing of the fire ceremony will happen on Saturday afternoon, 8th April followed by a celebration evening. Participants are encouraged to stay over till Sunday to assist clean up and farewell. Workshops will also be held on a variety of related topics; some discussion, some culture and art.
Lennox Rd, Pomonal, Victoria. Go towards Halls Gap which is approximately 2.5 hours west of Melbourne. Take the Ararat - Halls Gap Rd. Lennox Road is about 15 minutes before Halls Gap and before the Halls Gap Zoo. Turn on to Lennox Road then follow SUT signs.
ACCOMMODATION: Basic camping on the land. No electricity. No water. No showers. Plenty of room for tents, campers etc. For safety reasons parking next to tents will not be possible, camper/van parking will be allocated away from the tent area. Caravans will be permitted in the van area.
We are asking that everyone, who is able, to donate $5 per night to camp at the gathering site. This will go directly to assist us to bring in Port-a-Loos and set up the camping area.
Halls Gap has a wide range of accommodation houses and caravan parks for those wishing to stay off-site. It’s about a 15 minute drive to the gathering site from Halls Gap. Consider car pooling to the gathering.
Brambuk Backpackers 277 Grampians Rd, Halls Gap, Ph: 03 5356-4250 is providing a reduced rate for SUT members. Mention SUT Gathering for a discount.
Lakeside Tourist Park 23-27 Tymna Dr, Halls Gap, Ph: 03 5356 4281 is where we have held the gatherings for the past few years; they are very supportive of SUT.
FOOD AND SUPPLIES
There is no water on site. It is imperative that everyone bring their own drinking and personal use water.
The noon meal will be collectively prepared and offered to the entire Gathering. Donations of food to the kitchen are necessary. We will need volunteers for meal preparation and clean up. If you are part of a group and wish to volunteer for an entire meal preparation and/or an individual who wishes to help, there will be a sign up sheet at the gathering. If we can coordinate any meal preparation groups or food donations (remember the year of the pumpkin) in advance, it would be appreciated. Please contact the kitchen coordinator Lynn at firstname.lastname@example.org
Bring your own reusable cutlery, plates, cups, and bowls for shared meals.
All other meals are the responsibility of the individual: you must bring enough food to feed yourself for the entire gathering. The celebration meal on the Saturday night will be a ‘bring a plate’ and there may be some donated food to use for this meal only.
Other supplies: Folding chairs, sunscreen, water bottles, umbrellas, torches, groundsheets/tarps. Include solid footwear, rain gear and warm clothing, nights will be cold. BE PREPARED. Remember this is a basic camping situation and the sacred fire is there for you day and night.
If you are driving and have room, and in the spirit of the gathering, please bring things such as chairs, tarps and blankets to share with elders or those flying in. Mark your name clearly on all shared items.
Please contact the SUT Treasurer John Palmer at email@example.com if you can assist with any of the following needs of the gathering. All donations are tax deductible as we are a registered charity.
Sponsor an Elder: The Elders have indicated that they should speak, sharing their wisdom and knowledge with us. We would like to assist as many Elders as possible with their transportation and accommodation.
General Donations: SUT gatherings have no formal charge so that no one is excluded by lack of money, however there are costs, so all donations are gratefully accepted with thanks.
Membership of Spiritual Unity of the Tribes Inc Assoc. is available at $33 per person per annum.
Fundraising Auction: Please bring something wonderful to donate to our auction, which will be held on Saturday at the celebration meal. Books, craftwork, jewelry, art, etc. Advance notice is not required for Auction donations, unless it is a major piece which we could advertise in advance.
1st gathering at Dja Willam, Daylesford 1999
The Vision of S.U.T.
To bring to the people medicine through ceremony to preserve and in some cases re-teach elements of the old ways of living. To enable the vision of Black Elk which was for the reunification of all peoples, all colours, all religions, all classes. To work towards the sacred unity of all
With tears running, O Great Spirit, Great Spirit my Grandfather-with running tears I must say now that the tree has never bloomed. A pitiful old man, you see me here, and I have fallen away and have done nothing. Here at the center of the world, when you took me when I was young and taught me; here, old, I stand, and the tree is withered, Grandfather, my Grandfather. Again, and maybe the last time on this earth, I recall the great vision you sent me. It may be that some little root of the sacred tree still lives. Nourish it then, that it may leaf and bloom and fill with singing birds. Hear me, not for myself, but for my people.
I am old. Hear me that they may once more go back into the sacred hoop and find the good red road, the shielding tree.
From Black Elk Speaks by John Niehardt