The Twelve Elders
Nowadays, people are judged and compartmentalized according to a great number of limiting categories including their diplomas and studies, their appearance, where they live, their religious beliefs etc. The Masters, presented below, have nothing to do to with any of these references.
These individuals are free thinking, free to be, free to have faith, they belong only to Nature, to the whole, to the universe. Each of them is able to connect, in their own way, to the vibrational essence of the Earth, their sole daily pursuit is to find harmony within themselves, harmony with their environment and the Earth that supports them.
Their greatest quality is that of carrying within themselves the simple values of nature and of behaving with respect for those around them, learning from everything, accepting that each thing, each being creates according to its own raison d’être. In the greatest of humility and each with his or her unique approach, they know how to preserve the purity of truth and the notion of unity.
Rita Blumenstein and Marie Meade
Rita Blumenstein is 81 years old, Marie Meade is 70 years old. They are Yup’ik Eskimo and live in Anchorage. Both are recognized keepers and instructors of native languages and traditions.
Rita’s Yup’ik names, Canirraq, Pamyuran and Tanqiar together mean “Tail End Clearing of the Pathway to the Little Light.” Rita was raised by three generations of wise women who shared their knowledge and from a very early age were able to see the light and knew that she was destined to be a healer. By the time she was nine she began receiving visions and started her lifelong work as a healer.
Marie Meade’s Yup’ik name, Arnaq, means “woman.” Her childhood was always in the company of elder women who showed her the way of being Yup’ik. This included the care and preparation of food, fish camp, spring camp, gathering berries and greens and being the heartbeat of a family.
Rita and Marie have adopted many cultures over the years, but their roots lie with the Yup’ik.
Rita learned about plants and how to use them as medicine, not only for childbearing but to heal all ailments. She continues to use and share herbs with people today.
In 1995 she became the first certified traditional practitioner at Southcentral Foundation’s Traditional Healing Clinic. Today she is the manager for the Native Ways of Knowing at the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium-Behavioral Health (BHRS).
In her own words, God said there is only abundance, and the only way through is to forgive. Holding on to negative emotions becomes cancer or other illness. Our healing is not just for ourselves, it is for the universe. We forget who we are, and that is the cause of our illness.
In time, Rita would also become an artist with work that resides in the Smithsonian, a teacher that has taught in over 150 countries, and one of 13 International Council of Grandmothers from all around world with the mission to heal our mother earth.
MarieMeade, after her studies was chosen in 1970 by her community to teach the first bilingual program in her village under the Bureau of Indian Affairs school. Marie has been an instructor at the University of Alaska Anchorage, where she teaches Central Yup’ik language, Yup’ik orthography and Alaska Native dance classes.
She dances with healing grace, trusts her intuition and has a grateful and open heart
In 2002, Marie received the Alaska Governor’s Award for Distinguished Humanities Educator and in 2014 received the Meritorious Service Award from University of Alaska Anchorage. In 2015, she was inducted into the Alaska Women’s Hall of Fame.
Marie has taught thousands of people about the culture and language of the Yup’ik people of southwest Alaska. Her teaching materials and publications are distributed internationally. She shares her knowledge, wisdom and insight with other indigenous elders from across the globe. Her work has been shaped by her experiences with family and community.
Both Elders are using today’s technology to spread their wisdom all over the world. They have been working together for more than 20 years.
Barbara Gibson–Thorpe is a Wiradjuri from the Origin People of Australia. She is 65 years old and lives in Echuca.
Disconnected from her roots like millions of origin people by the intrusion of one culture into another, her life purpose is to allow her original culture to, at the very least, have the same rights as those who took over.
She is the guardian of harmony between two worlds and two societies. One, a tradition that is rapidly evaporating; the other, a culture caught up in the turmoil of separation. In the utmost humility, she has a foot in both worlds and does her very best to bring forgiveness, meaning, a sense of purpose into a new model of society.
Barbara works in a hospital a few hours north of Melbourne as an aboriginal liaison. She works hand in hand with origin communities riddled with drug and alcohol problems which prevents knowledge and cultural heritage to be passed down to the new generations. Threatened by the prospect of a second cultural genocide, Barb is worried for humanity. What will happen to the earth if all wisdom and tradition disappear with elders dying or are globally ignored?
Kgomxoo Tixhao and Kgao Qame
Kgomxoo Tixhao and Kgao Qame are two San Bushmen from the Kalahari Desert. These elders represent the polarity Male-Female thus forming a unique spiritual entity. They work together as shamans and healers who receive messages through their dreams and trance dances where they connect with their ancestors.
They continue to live in complete accordance with Nature. Used to bringing together their resources without ego to create the best around them, they are part of a civilization based on joy, listening, observation and experimentation. Their way of seeing life, of living life and of teaching without pretense puts us face to face to the many incoherences of being a ‘modern man’. Their simplicity mirrors the errors of educated men and the ease with which our society has created difficulties in all aspects of living. Their union highlights separation between man and nature, men and women and between mankind as a whole in our cultures.
Xai Xai their home has no electricity and is a six-hour drive to the neighboring town. Though Kgao Qame & Kgomxoo Tixhao are supporting scholastic education, they advocate that it is essential for the younger generations to learn how to survive in the extreme condition of the bush.
Floriza Pinto lives in the amazon rainforest by the river Maturaka on the border between Venezuela and Brazil. She is part of the Yanomami tribes.
At only 45 years old, Floriza is the youngest member to take part in the Wisdom Council. She is the first woman amongst her people to have started a women’s association that supports local women-made baskets in surrounding villages.
Life in her culture is based around nature, enjoying every positive aspect of this otherwise hostile environment. Time has no say; food and land are shared amongst each other and children are free to roam.
Though she has never left the Amazon, she perceives the effects of western influences particularly during outings to ‘civilized cities’ 10 hours away: illness created by industrial foods, younger generations being disconnected from their cultural traditions and Nature by the hollow promises of western culture.
Floriza, who radiates joy and life force, holds a deep appreciation of the beauty of her home and its surrounding nature. She believes that nature has the same rights as human beings and needs to be treated with a respect that has been lost in the modern world. She has a vision of where the world is heading and is worried for humanity.
Evangelista is part of the Wiwa tribe. He lives on the bottom of the Sierra Nevada, where the Kogis, Wiwas and Ahuarquos guard the land and balance the planet through the spiritual work of the Mamos.
The Mamos are the spiritual leaders who are in charge of maintaining the natural order of the world through songs, meditations and ritual offerings. It is their responsibility to maintain the balance of the universe and nature. Balance is achieved by making offerings to the sacred sites, to give back to the earth what is taken out of it.
From darkness, Evangelista creates light. In the night, he finds knowledge.
This is a man rooted in nature, who learns from his connection to the Earth, the stars and the information they share with him- knowledge that we can’t find in books.
He can see a deadline in eight years, not for the earth, or humanity but a deadline past the point of no return if mankind does not find its roots, its balance and the respect we owe the earth, the sky, the four directions, the sun and the moon. Beyond, if change isn’t implemented, he can see the destruction of a world, the destruction of a planet by its own inhabitants.
Daily, his inner work is dedicated to creating the conditions for awareness of what humans can still avoid and what they can still create.
Master Aoki Hiroyuki is 82 years old and lives between Tokyo and Yokohama.
Through the rigorous practice of Shintaido, a martial art he developed, master Aoki is completely connected to nature in total harmony. He allows each one of his students to find inner peace and to spread it around them by feeling the interconnectivity between us all. They develop a direct connection, with nature and universe to find absolute balance in precision.
Based on embodying the best of one’s self, on joy, and on the love of giving, Master Aoki’s culture allows everyone to find their true self. Bringing the spiritual back to the physical he allows access to a place where time has no say, where body becomes a temple of life.
Regardless of his connection to nature, Master Aoki has made the conscious choice of manifesting balance and harmony within urban spaces and its inhabitants. His teaching leads to enjoying life, forgiving everything, love and appreciate everything until time comes to leave this world.
Julieta was part of the International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers. She is 81 years old and lives in Huautla De Jimenez, heart of the ancient Mazatec culture.
Huautla De Jimenez is the result of a peaceful mix of Mazatec traditions and catholic religion. This has given this community a different opening into spirituality. Julieta is the exact reflection of this spiritual collaboration. Her faith and catholic background mingles with traditional work with los Niños Santos, the sacred mushrooms.
She is a healer, a gatekeeper of the sacred within and the connection with Mother Earth.
As part of her daily rituals, she goes to mass, where she prays and sings for peace on the planet. Whenever people come to see her for a ceremony, she and one of her daughters conduct a sacred ritual. In this spiritual context los Niños Santos enable Julieta to heal, connect people to the Earth and open doors to ancient and true knowledge. Her life is dedicated to being in service to the spirit of nature.
Her practice is very sacred; thus she does not permit either the ceremonies or the mushrooms themselves to be filmed.
Aama is 80 years old, she was part of the council of thirteen indigenous grandmothers and lives and works in Kathmandu.
Her father was a revered shaman in the Nepalese Tamang tradition. He initially restricted Aama from practicing shamanism, but after he died, spirits and other deities started visiting and teaching Aama. Despite the Tamang tradition that women are not supposed to practice shamanism, Aama has defied and transcended this cultural notion.
Her patients travel from around the country, as well as from India and Tibet to her house in Boudhnath, near Kathmandu, where she treats an estimated hundred patients each day. From the very poor to the Royal Family of Nepal, she treats everyone with equal dedication and respect.
Every morning at 4am she begins the day with prayers and offering to nature, spiritually cleaning her house from the bottom to the top, ending her prayers on her roof at sunrise.
Lyudmila Khomovna is 74 years old, of Ualta descent and lives on the Island of Sakhalin, at the most extreme point of East of Siberia, in a very isolated part of the country.
Living in the most hostile climate imaginable with temperatures plummeting to minus 50 degrees Celsius in the winter months, her joy, strength and resilience, just like an indestructible seed, enable her to keep going as a guide.
Atome Ribenga, is 75 years old and lives in Gabon between Libreville and Bittam at the Cameroun border.
He studied monotheism and theology and has been a consecrated Priest in the Bwiti tradition for 50 years. Knowledge and education are an important responsibility for him.
During his path, he discovered that his purpose of life is to help people to reconnect themselves to the Spirit, and the divine within themselves.
In full humility, with strength and determination and an inexhaustible curiosity for the cosmos, he teaches in a mystic way. He allows people to learn by themselves, through direct experience to know their truth and not a written truth.