The Spirit of the Earth Medicine Society [SOTEMS] is a community spiritual organization which is nationwide. It is dedicated to the cultivation of medicine ways, the practices and philosophy which focus on healing …. healing ourselves, others, the community and our relationship with the environment.
SOTEMS is also profoundly committed to assisting in the creation of an Australian contemporary spirituality and has established ceremonial and healing practices which reflect this. The Society has been in operation in Australia for almost 25 years. Currently, SOTEMS operates in Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.
It has an elected management committee, which serves and guides the affairs of the Society. Within this framework the Society has several major centres of activity, which are as follows:
Spirit of the Earth Medicine Lodge (SOTEML)
This is the seat of all SOTEMS work. It has a spiritual director, Dr. Rafael
Locke, who also founded the Society. SOTEML is the main teaching and ceremonial
arm of the Society and it is based in Perth, WA- Its regional components are
clans. So, the core clan is in Western Australia and in South Australia,
Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales there are regional clans.
SOTEMS has undertaken development of a new series of programs which takes people to places in Australia where the power and beauty of nature and spirit can be experienced. With experienced teachers and healers, we can explore our spiritual lives in nature with fellow travellers and enjoy the wonders of this extraordinary ancient continent, the first out of the primal sea.
The sweat lodge is found in many parts of the work, including Aboriginal Australia. It is a ceremony of purification of the body and spirit, which is conducted, in a small, circular lodge. The symbolism and ceremony are related to our lives as part of the earth, as being supported by the mother in the womb and waiting for rebirth. It is a physical and spiritual ordeal through which we rehearse life and renew ourselves over and over. Balance and quiet dignity follow.
A powerful traditional meditation in nature in which through ceremonial preparation, fasting and sleep deprivation, we can experience our connection with nature, the spirit of all things, and discern our path and medicine (personal healing power). An ancient ceremony, which speaks to our need for connection in modem urban life.
Training as a healer (Medicine Ways) in a system of mentorship. The period of
training is not fixed but varies according to the pace of development and needs
of the apprentice.
Myth and Ritual
Throughout all of SOTEMS work, the community is actively working to create relevant and viable ceremonies and spiritual practices, which reflect the needs and lives of Australians now and in the future. This is an exciting project, which is one of joint or co-creation. Song, dance, art, ceremony, drama and healing are all flowing from this vital and growing energy. Ceremonies which work for you.
An important part of SOTEMS work here is to develop new ceremonies, which speak to the needs, and interests of modern Australians. For example, the much needed rite of transition for youth, women experiencing menopause, birth, death, marriage and divorce. SOTEMS offers the opportunity to create ceremonies, which address these universal human experiences in a personally meaningful way.
So, SOTEMS is a community, which is evolving. It is growing through involvement of people who have trodden many paths and who share the vision of a healing community originating and resident in Australia.
Copyright © 2004 Spirit Of The Earth Medicine Society (SOTEMS) Last modified: 15-Jun-2013