Walkabout in Kakadu - Journal from our Founder
I was recently invited to go walkabout on a pilgrimage through Kakadu and Arnhem land. My time in this wild and spectacularly beautiful natural landscape, and with the wise Elders I was blessed to sit with, was one of the most life-changing experiences of my life. Being welcomed to the country through water baptism in a slow-moving river through Kakadu national park, allowed my whole being to relax and connect with this ancient land in a way I have never experienced before. I truly felt like I had come home at last. I was deeply moved by how this exquisite landscape has been preserved for travellers to be embraced in, held in its pristine potency for more than 65,000 years by the traditional owners of the land.
Owner being a modern term, as none of the Aboriginal languages have a possessive word such as ‘my’ or ‘mine’. Rather, their language reflects their relationship to the land, each other and all that is, as being ‘country to me’ or ‘brother to me’ rather than ‘my’ country, ‘my’ brother. We are seen as a part of an interconnected whole and serve the land, as the land serves us. This is wonderfully illustrated by the reservoirs of freshwater held in bark sacks in the certain trees through the land which can be accessed by thirsty travellers through the, at times, dry and arid landscape.
When in the river for the welcome to country, the Aboriginal children were playing freely amongst the water lilies, a potentially alarming sight after all the warnings we had been given of deadly crocodiles everywhere. When I asked one of the daughters of the Elder hosting the ceremony if she was not concerned, she laughed and said ‘no’ they do a special vibrational technique in the water beforehand to ensure no crocodiles come near.
There was so much I learnt through verbal communication and transmission in my time there which continues to reverberate through my being. One of the most beautiful practices is the Aboriginal meditation Dadirri, an inner, deep listening, and quiet still awareness, with the aim to come to a deeper understanding of the beauty of nature. Dadirri is beautifully described here in the words of Miriam - Rose Ungunmerr - Baumann of the Ngangikurungkurr people from Daly River in the Northern Territory,
To know me
Is to breathe with me
To know me is to listen deeply
To listen deeply is to connect
It’s the sound
The sound of the deep calling to deep
Dadirri, the deep inner spring inside us
In the stone country of Kakadu, I felt the healing presence of the rocks and semi-precious gems of this region and was inspired to find a way to bring that feeling of strength, groundedness, and stability through in a Synthesis spa treatment.
“The stone country is important. It’s where all the rivers start. It's where all the water comes from. It's where everything comes from… it's all connected.” Jeffrey Lee, Djok Clan
In meeting a master stone crafter, and receiving stones from the region with permission from the Elders, the Synthesis Dreamtime hot stone body ritual was created:
Inspired by Aboriginal stone country, this Dreamtime ritual takes you on a journey back to yourself. Unique Kakadu granite stones sourced with permission from Northern Territory Elders are warmed before being placed on your body, and used to deeply massage and melt away layers of stress and tension, soothing stiff and sore muscles. Your whole body is brought to a place of deep relaxation, calm, and strength… leaving you with a powerful sense of well-being.
We have also now incorporated these and other unique Australian stones in a Synthesis Elemental Alchemy Transformative Facial Journey.
Experience some of the magic of Kakadu in one of these treatments with our Spa partners, or through our skincare rich in Kakadu Plum and Quandong sourced from this exquisite, pristine region of Country.