Bilawara Lee is an elder of Australia’s Larrakia Nation of Darwin Northern territory, the eldest of 11 siblings, and a respected teacher of the ancient wisdoms of Aboriginal spirituality and healing. Several years ago, while visiting the U.S. for the first International Gathering of Indigenous Grandmothers, she woke suddenly in the middle of the night, wrote feverishly, and then went back to sleep. In the morning, Bilawara read what she had put to paper, understood it was channeled by other worldly guides identified as “Ancestors,” and was determined to share their message with receptive mortals.
Thus, within this slim, earnest volume, the author aims to guide readers to discover their spirit’s true purpose. Unfortunately, the target is often missed.
It could be that Bilawara’s Ancestors cover too vast a spiritual territory. They offer wide-ranging advice, from what to wear during rituals (white garments, rainbow-colored garlands, etc.) to advocating respect for children born after 1985 because they have “extra DNA and see things more five dimensional.” They also promote choosing “modesty in clothing (no bums, boobs, midriffs, knees or see-through)” among many other ideas.
Along the wildly meandering way, the Ancients also propose that life’s major milestones, including marriage, childbirth, becoming an elder, and death, should be celebrated with specific step-by-step rituals. Readers may find some of these rituals — such as the absolute necessity to use tobacco to cleanse the spirit, or the planting of the placenta under a plant or flower — too far-flung and impossible to incorporate into their lives. By contrast, the Ancestors’ advice can also be mundane and clichéd, such as the inclusion of such affirmations as: “Love knows no boundaries” and “Love yourself and the planet will be healed.”
Star Dreaming could be read as a trip into another universe of possibility. But this depends on the reader’s level of skepticism. Most are likely to find this journey, and its attendant life prescriptions, difficult to believe in and follow wholeheartedly.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.