The name of this blog, Rainbow Juice, is intentional.
The rainbow signifies unity from diversity. It is holistic. The arch suggests the idea of looking at the over-arching concepts: the big picture. To create a rainbow requires air, fire (the sun) and water (raindrops) and us to see it from the earth.
Juice suggests an extract; hence rainbow juice is extracting the elements from the rainbow, translating them and making them accessible to us. Juice also refreshes us and here it symbolises our nutritional quest for understanding, compassion and enlightenment.

Tuesday 7 March 2023

Landawariar Rituals

Last week I had the pleasure and the privilege of attending a performance by the Nordic band Heilung. Heilung speak of their music as amplified history. This is not modern history, it is history of the Viking era, and even earlier. Their music predates the Modern Era (M.E.) and gains inspiration from a number of Nordic and other European cultures, especially those of pagan origins.

Attending an Heilung performance is more akin to participating in a ritual: a ritual that acknowledges our roots in the Earth and our shared humanity.

Oftentimes those of us from a European background and heritage can feel lost and disconnected from nature, especially in comparison to the connections we see and hear within indigenous and nature-based cultures.

Heilung remind us that we too, do in fact encompass a spiritual connection with Mother Earth. We may have forgotten this. Through their music, performance, and ritual, Heilung wish to remind us of our historical and cultural roots.

One of Heilung’s songs – Anoana – lyrically and symbolically reminds us of this connection with the earth and our responsibility to the land. Anoana can be translated as ancestral grandmother, and the band’s promo video of the song personifies and illustrates that translation.

One of the lines of the song - ‘Athilr Rikithir Ai Landawariar Anoana.’ - mentions the word landawariar. Maria Franz (the band’s lead female vocalist) admits to not knowing the meanings of the other words in this line. However, she is clear that the meaning of landawariar is protector, or guardian, of the land. (Listen to Maria talk about the meaning of Anoana in this interview.)

As I listened to this song being sung last Thursday night in Sydney, I was struck yet again by the possibility of, yet the lack of, ritual around our human responsibility to act as guardians of the earth. That is, at least for those of us from a European heritage.

Perhaps one of the reasons that westernised (largely Christian) cultures have failed to recognise the responsibility to protect, care for, and act as earth guardians is a mis-reading of Genesis in the Bible.  

Genesis 1: 26-28 speaks of humans having dominion over the fish, birds, cattle, and all the earth. Western culture has mostly interpreted dominion to mean domination, subjugation, and exploitation.

Yet, the Hebrew word radah (translated as dominion), ‘…is not what we think of as forceful, but the kind of authority that enables the ruled things to develop and open as they should rather than that which uses them as resources for our own sakes.’1

If westernised peoples are to renew our roles as guardians, protectors, and sustainers of life and the earth, then we must also re-acquaint ourselves with this understanding of dominion and our earth connection. It also suggests that we discover (and invent) rituals that remind us of this responsibility and obligation.

The music of Heilung is a start on that journey of renewal and invention.


1. Andrew Basden, Writings on Christian Topics, accessed 6 March 2023.

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