Interview with Jarmbi
Updated: Jul 23, 2019
Jarmbi is a Custodian of the Northern Rivers from the Githabul and Ngarakwal tribes in Australia, but his path speaks to a universal human capacity to re-establish connection to self through grounding and re-establishing connection to Mother Earth and the Creator. We spoke to him just after his arrival in a very unsummery London.
WK: I’m sorry It’s so cold and grey for you.
J: Yeah, well it’s kind of what I expected, but I definitely wouldn’t want to be here in winter.
WK: So why are you putting yourself through this? How did you come to be involved with this wisdom keeper’s initiative, Reigniting the Ancient Ways?
J: That’s a good question; I’m wondering that myself. Um... back home people ask me about a lot of different things. I kind of grew up outside of my culture, and I’ve managed to find my own personal culture you could say, but in doing so I went back and started being a representative of the tribe, and representative of the culture in the area, and some of the Elders, not all of them, seem to understand that I’ve got some wisdom coming through me; and the fact that I’ve done a lot of trauma healing work in myself, and cleared up that channel a bit is, I guess, what’s brought me that close to be recognised as a wisdom channel of some sort. But I don’t usually make a big song and dance about it, it’s just when things come up and I can sort of see and feel it’s not right I speak it. Sometimes wisdom comes through that is needed and, yeah, people sort of find that or see that in me, even though I’m only forty-three years old, and nowhere near Eldership, and I don’t know if I’ll ever get to that point. But some of the things that come to me are some obvious wisdom and, yeah, I guess it’s managed to support me to get here – not that I was planning on going anywhere, it’s just I’m interested to see what it’s like to rub shoulders with people who are more trained and supported in their culture than what I was, and to see where my understanding measures up, and what in the sharing between us brings more and more deeper understanding, especially for myself. There’s a lot of stuff, sometimes I wonder where the hell it came from!
WK: How old were you when you started feeling the need to dig deeper and start tapping into those parts of yourself?
J: It was only like ten years ago. I was married and I had 2 kids, and I knew that the ancestors had a job for me to do, had a role for me, but at that point I was not at all connected to my understanding of spirituality or my own understanding of a culture. I was kind of living more like everybody else really. I had my issues, I had my traumas, I had my addictions, and pretty much just figured that was it, you know; that was the way life was to be. Then, after a little while, after my marriage broke up and all that, I started to understand that the ancestors did have a part for me to play, and I had a role and I better get about it. So, I started to really dig deep, more so on cleaning up my connection to the Earth, and on a really basic level. Like I said, I didn’t have much of a feed to help me, as far as culture goes or to bring about any understanding in that way. I have more so now, but I had to find that clarity also within myself, and in doing so managed to come to a place where I’ve kind of got a pretty solid little, I don’t know, well I guess you could call it my own personal culture. But in that, I’ve seen where that relates to and ties into everything else. I think when you go digging at those depths you end up at the same place as everyone; it’s just a case of getting out of your own way and letting it happen. And when you do manage to tune into the right place, holding that sacred and keeping that connection strong. So, I guess in a way it’s sort of living proof that we don’t need to be tapping into other people’s cultures; we can actually find what’s our own personal truth and go with that, and then actually see how that relates to everybody else. And it’s a very strong link for all humanity. We’re just human after all, so it’s all got the same basis; it’s all grounded in the same place. And yeah, culture, of course, is the explanation of that, the explanations coming from different parts of the world that gives us the different cultures, how to live with the spirit of that land and this land and the other land, the Creator and the world around us. That’s what gives us our culture, that’s the explanation, but at the end of the day we’re all standing on the same rock; we all come from the same spirit; we’re all related in that way. So, a lot of what I do has got to do with helping people to understand that you don’t need to go out and sort of tag onto people’s cultures, you need to find who you are first and then you can go and relate.
WK: How do you encourage people to tap into that deeper level of their own humanity?
J: Well, usually they come to me.
WK: Sure, they’ll come to you and they’ll say, “Jarmbi, what do I do?” How do you set them off?
J: Just, basically, just feeling where they’re at, what’s going on. I’ve got an understanding of my own personal grounding and connecting and centring, and those basic tools that help me to remain conscious in my own being. And I’ve got a lot of story that helps me to explain that, and put that into a context everyone can understand. Everyone’s going through something, but I, for whatever reason, am able to put it into terms that the common man can understand or the doctor can understand. I can relate on a lot of different levels. I think that’s part of what makes me me, and what gives me this role is to be able to do that. Plus, I don’t carry any of the disconnect, I don’t carry any of the trauma from colonisation in my country. I don’t carry the racism or reverse racism or whatever else. I see it all as having a purpose, but we’ve got to take control and make it our purpose, instead of becoming a corporate thing, or a government thing. So yeah, I have a firm belief in understanding the energy that it takes to govern a people. It’s either gonna be used by us or used by them, and as soon as we start taking control and governing ourselves, that energy comes to us; it belongs to us; and I suppose the simple fact that we’ve let them have it for so long is what’s created all these issues. And, of course, they’ve disconnected us from the wisdom and from the grounding and those basic human principles, those basic human rights, in order to keep us as slaves, as factory workers and machines.
WK: How do you think that process started Jarmbi? I mean, how far back do you see this separation, this need to control people, this need to subjugate people start coming in?
J: Ah way back, I don’t know. It started way back when people started running other people’s countries, but I think when it really started to kick off was when the churches got involved in that sort of thing. For me, without going down all those roads of demonising religion and all that, it’s obviously a big control measure, and it’s very much out of balance. It’s definitely not in balance with the masculine and the feminine; it’s definitely very masculine. There’s a lot of stories in culture about how the power between the masculine and the feminine was fought over, then there’d be a Golden Age, and then there’d be another fight, and then there’d be a Golden Age where they’d be sharing the power. The balance would be there for a while, but then one would get more power than the other, and then they’d have to fight it out, and then they have to relinquish it; and so on and so forth, all the way through time. But this whole religion is just one sided; the government, it’s just one sided, not taking into account the Earth; just give your power up; and they put all these people in between… Does the power actually get to God? I don’t think so; there’s a lot steps on the way to there. Whereas human beings, we all have that straight-shot connection to our higher self and, thus, straight to the Creator. So, you can get back as far as you like you know. It’s been one of those things; empires grow, fall, come and go. But at the end of the day, if we have that understanding, if we’re allowed to have the truth of who we are and what we are and what the hell we’re doing here, then we’re gonna make decisions based on that, of course. But we’re mushrooms, fed on shit and kept in the dark, and that’s the sad case of it. There’s a lot of protesting for things like that now with Extinction Rebellion and that, but we need to be asking the government what did they do to us; explain it to us; give us the truth; stop lying to us, you know? The game’s up; give it up now. The wisdom’s coming through on all sorts of different channels, even through me. (Laughs) I absolutely don’t take any ownership of it, because I just see it as part of my role to actually carry it and speak it. I take responsibility, but not ownership. So, it’s having just the simple facts of what I’ve done, in order to get to where I am, and experience life in the way I have. And I’ve been through some heavy stuff, losing my eighteen-year-old son just two years ago; and understanding how this understanding of the culture that I’m carrying helped me through that process, which is one of the biggest ones we can face as people. It works, and it’s definitely made me a better person over the time that I’ve been walking with this understanding. I’ve talked to a lot of people that I’ve shared it with, and it’s definitely made it stronger for things like ceremony, when people can actually drop into a grounded, connected place; very solid, very present; no judgement or expectation, and just full-on human; presence and strength. So, all I can do is share what I know to the best that I can. It doesn’t work for everybody. Most people who end up in front of me hearing it, it works for them. I just say, “If what I’m talking about doesn’t suit you, then that’s good. I’m glad you’ve got the knowledge and the awareness to be able to hear things and know that it’s not for you. That’s good.” That’s a big step for a lot of people, but for those who are getting something out of it, yeah…
WK: How important is a connection with Nature for you, in terms of your sense of humanity?
J: Well, my journey first started in understanding: who is my boss? Who am I here working for? And for me it was the Earth, it was Mother Earth herself. The basic steps of how I got to it was… so I understood I’m here working for the Earth, now who else is supposed to be working for the Earth? Where are the custodians, the other custodians? The traditional custodians are disconnected from that role by Christianity, by trauma, by, of course, addiction and all that plays into it. The ability, then, to see what was needed to bring those custodians back to the job. So, I went into understanding, that first I needed to have that big connection with the Earth to be able to be guided along the way. So, for myself it was a very simple process, of walking the dog round the block and picking up rubbish. That was it, just picking up the rubbish. Paying very close attention to the energy and where it was coming from and where it was going to, in me, as I picked up the rubbish. So it wasn’t that mental thing that says, “We know the rubbish is bad to leave on the ground. We want to put it in the bin. We’ve got to process it in a better way. Don’t let it go down the drain.” That’s a mental process. So, being very aware that’s not where I wanted to be guided from. I needed to be guided from a connection to the Earth itself. I needed to feel a reciprocity between me and the Earth. So allowing myself to feel and filter through all the little, small increments of energy, and that they came from me picking up the rubbish, and knowing that, “Okay, that’s coming from a deeper place. I can feel the reciprocity between me and the Earth now, and I can feel a good feeling from it. I can feel a light feeling from it.” So, I walk around the block and pick up the rubbish, and then I started to leave one behind, and then I started feeling, “Ahh, alright, go back and pick up the rubbish. Is that coming from the mental? No, that’s coming from that deeper place. Okay, so that’s the Earth going, “Get back there son, go and get it.” So, then I had the polarisation to be guided. Very simple, easy: yes/no; good/bad. So, that gave me the ability to have that clear channel direction to be able to be guided from, and be trusted, one hundred percent. So, on that deeper level, that connection to Nature and everything, it all derives from that: becoming more of the custodian. Now I’m an environmental activist. I understand everything about gas mining on the political, on the legal, on the social, on the spiritual level. I understand what my role is in activism for the Earth, and that all stems from being guided from that deeper place.
WK: What do you think is the biggest obstacle for people making that sort of connection?
J: Well, for one: we’ve been told very little, we’re very limited in what we understand of what’s going on, because everything’s filtered.
WK: So do you think the powers that be, or rather, the powers that shouldn’t be, have a very clear idea of what they’re doing and are just hoping that enough of us don’t realise what’s happening?
J: Yeah, well, I’ve seen it first hand in activism, where we’ve gotten to a point as a group, as a movement, where we’ve pushed it to the point where the government has had to make the call, “Do we go in and kill people in doing a raid on this camp, or do we back off now, and save ourselves from looking really bad right now, and then come back at a later stage?” And that’s exactly what they did. So, for them to make that decision shows a whole lot of foresight, and it’s something that we can see repeated time and time again in history. So they know not to push it too far, they know that they’ve got all the time in the world, because they’re holding all the information, and everything that’s needed in order to put us back to sleep, in a way; roll us back into a false sense of security, and then come back and do it in a smarter way later. And we see it through activism, and it’s like a lot of things in society, same with indigenous issues and everything. When we’re not fed the whole truth, we can’t make decisions or support things from a complete place. We’ve got a lot of good, respectful people living in Australia, same as all around the world, but these good respectful people just don’t understand, or don’t know anything, about a lot of things. They put their head down, they go to work, they pay their taxes, stay out of trouble. As people they’re good, respectful people, but they just don’t know. They’re kept in the dark, and that’s the majority of the people in the country. So when it comes to indigenous issues, they think that native title is some sort of land rights, or they think that Captain Cook came, and it was all a good thing, you know, it was all sweet. A lot of them don’t know that there were massacres in the outback or, probably, right on the land they’re standing on; or the fact that their house might be built on a bora ring, on a sacred site. A lot of them don’t know this stuff, so they just do what the government wants, and that’s to whitewash and support the land fraud that is Australia. This is what we’re going through, and it’s been that way from the get-go.
WK: Why do you think that they’re still holding onto this, controlling this narrative, when the game is so obviously up. What is the advantage of perpetuating this false narrative do you think?
J: Trying to keep face; trying to keep control
WK: It’s just a question of white man’s national pride somehow?
J: Um, there’s a hell of a lot of responsibility there, a lot of responsibility, and I think the people in general can handle that responsibility, but the government can’t. I mean, the whole reason we have native title is to fast-track and get mining, to make it legit. It legitimises mining. The whole world knows that Australia is still owned by the aboriginal people. There’s two ways to overrun a country, and that’s through treaty or war. The Australian government didn’t do either. They deemed us as sub-human, so that they didn’t need to say there was anyone living here. So, they don’t have a treaty with anyone; didn’t need to go to war with anyone to make it legit, and, anyway, there’s nobody here. Of course, they covered up our farming practises, they covered up our hunting practises, our way of life, all our spirituality, everything. They covered all that up, and deemed us at the same level as dingoes. So, to turn that all around, well, what that means in the current day, when it comes to native title, is if companies want to deal with digging up land legitimately in Australia, they can’t go to the government, they have to go to the people, and they know this. So, in order to make that transaction smoother, the Australian government brought in what is currently the native title, so it legitimises, on the business level, that land being sold for mining purposes, the water rights, all that kind of stuff. Now the world can come in and buy whatever it wants. And Australia is, around the world, known as the place where they dig things up. And that’s a sad fact. A lot of my people don’t understand that that’s what’s going on. There’s a lot of people still claiming for their native title, thinking it’s going to get them somewhere, but in actual fact, well just in order to sign off on a native title, to become what’s called a traditional owner, you have to sign as a traditional owner. The native title process is written in a dictionary called the Black’s Law Dictionary and in that ‘traditional owner’ means that you’re the one who traded it, so as soon as you sign as a traditional owner you’re giving your rights away.
WK: So, that’s a complete con.
J: Yup. Some of us understand this. The sovereignty movement understand this. These are the levels through which we’ve dug to figure out what’s going on. And, of course, if the average Aussie person understood all this they could make the choice to either be respectful or not, but at least they’d have the truth and knowledge around it. And I believe most people are respectful, they just don’t know the truth.
WK: Thank you Jarmbi. We’re thrilled that you’re going to be joining the other wisdom keepers and coming down the line to Glastonbury to help hold that very special space there during the festival. One last question: what would be your one piece of advice that you’d give to a young person today?
J: Ground. That’s it, just ground. Everything to do with being a human being starts with being grounded, here, on this Earth. And that is the major point that they attack, in order to disconnect us. And that’s what keeps everybody in their spin; what keeps everyone running around is that ungroundedness. Everything. Your healing processes. Everything is all about grounding, first and foremost. It’s the same with people that go into more esoteric healing understandings, or higher religious and spiritual understandings. You can do all that, absolutely, but that’s one side to it. It doesn’t mean much if you’re not grounded where you’re standing. So, for everybody, it’s know how to ground; know what that actually feels like to be held here by the Earth. And we all have a right to it, and we all have that connection already. It’s a human right. It’s just a case of realizing that, recognizing that, and making that part of your understanding of yourself on a day-to-day every level.
WK: Amen. Jarmbi, thank you so much.