Helico Dreamer

May 18, 2011
“Mer” by Sami Edelstein

The late Burnum Burnum, Australian Aboriginal Elder, gave this prayer to Helen Summers on January 26, 1995 (Australia Day) in New York.
Posted here with kind permission of Marelle and Umbarra Burnum Burnum.


An ancient Prayer… 40,000 years old…
Handed down through the Aboriginal culture and translated into the English language.

May the fire be in our thoughts
Making them true, good and just,
May it protect us from the evil one.

May the fire be in our eyes;
May it open our eyes to share what is good in life.
We ask that the fire may protect us from what
Is not rightfully ours.

May the fire be on our lips, so that we may
Speak the truth in kindness; that we may serve
And encourage others.
May it protect us from speaking evil.

May the fire be in our ears.
We pray that we may hear with a deep, deep listening
So that we may hear the flow of water, and of all
And the dreaming.
May we be protected from gossip and from things
That harm and break down our family.

May the fire be in our arms and hands
So that we may be of service and build up love.
May the fire protect us from all violence.

May the fire be in our whole being –
In our legs and in our feet,
Enable us to walk the earth
With reverence and care;
So that we may walk in the ways of goodness and truth
And be protected from walking away from what is truth.

A gift from Burnum Burnum


Burnum Burnum is probably most famous for planting the Aboriginal flag beneath the white cliffs of Dover on January 26, 1988 – the year of white Australia’s Bicentenary. The declaration began:


    I, Burnum Burnum of the Wurundjeri Tribe, do hereby take possession of England on behalf of the Aboriginal Crown of Australia.


 Although comical to many, the statement commented strongly and clearly (for those who didn’t already ‘get it’) on the way in which Aboriginal land had been claimed under the doctrine of terra nullius and how it’s First Peoples continued to be colonised.



One comment

  1. Love that story!

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