There are many ways in which we may respond to the spiritual needs of people at this time in history. As we scan the horizons of our Life-worlds, it is clear that within the extraordinary demands of modern life, the needs for over arching meaning, for a life direction and purpose, for a place in the total scheme of things remain. There is a sense though, in which there is something else speaking to us. It is a voice calling for spirituality which is grounded in daily life and which connects us with the web of all life and spirit on this planet. Something real, palpable and creative which lets us be in the world in a way, which serves the growth and balance of our spirit as individuals and as community.
We can be lost so easily. The journey of the soul in this life is a fragile one. Drawn into the world and absorbed, withdrawn from the world and buried. Assaulted and diminished by stress and trauma; escaping into medication of body and spirit. How many ways can our balance be lost? How can we be healed in all of the ways needed?
The Spirit of the Earth Medicine Society (SOTEMS) addresses all of these concerns. It has grown from a recognition of the value of traditional forms of knowledge and healing which have informed indigenous cultures for millennia and which are alive now, in our common humanity and they speak to us in ways which expand our minds, our medicine, and our capacity for a creative and healing social life.
In our society we hear the cry of youth, of elders, of people in all forms of life crises and transitions for direction, for a pathway through these times and a glimpse of a fulfilling future in which the self can be realised. For many people, the solutions lie in spiritual traditions from other cultures. But there is a need for a spirituality that arises here in this oldest of continents, this youthful nation.
SOTEMS works extensively with medicine ways and shamanic practice as a recognition of the importance these practices play within our lives and how they serve to preserve healing traditions and to form the basis of training and guiding healers into their vocation.
These are communities within communities dedicated to the healing arts and the living experiences of myth, symbol and ceremony. SOTEMS has accepted this model as a starting point for work in Australia, but it has opened its doors to the wisdom of all cultures as inspiration for creation of a healing community distinctive to Australia.