Membranes of Hope: Part 2
The Village Membrane
The networks and layers of community that we exist within are numerous and each layer’s membrane must be tended and nourished. (To understand better the general concept of the membrane, please see my post Membranes of Hope by clicking here.)
The community membrane exists at what we may call the “village” level—those, both human and other, who live together in a certain location. Within this overarching village membrane are nested layers of smaller interconnecting systems each held within their own membrane. Some examples of the smaller membranes held within the overarching village membrane are groups of people brought together by a common interest which may include ethnicity, religious belief, hobbies or work; family systems from the nuclear family to extended; and networks of friends and even more extended families.
Each membrane within the village membrane must be tended to and cared for. Parents or other important adults in a family system must tend to the membrane of their family, keeping the boundaries permeable yet firm. The adults must set the tone of the family system, agree on what is allowed in and what is kept out and who or what is allowed into its innermost space. Those who tend to the membrane help manage conflict, watch for illness or dysfunction and work to maintain health and balance within the system.
Concurrently, the grandparents or elders may be the ones to hold the container of care and tend to the membrane of the extended family system. By paying attention to and caring in a more indirect way for all who are held within, they attend to the tone and tenor of the system.
The same holds true for interest based groups and affiliations within the village. There must be people who are responsible for tending to and caring for the membrane of their group.
All the varying systems are interconnected in a network or interwoven web. The health of the smaller systems’ membranes affects the health of the village membrane. Likewise, the health of the village membrane affects the health of the family and other membranes. It is important to tend to the health of membranes at all levels. This is why this work is so crucial.
The Medicine People Tend to the Village Membrane
The medicine people are those who tend to the membrane at the village level, interfacing with the spirits of place and keeping the village safe inside the membrane. Medicine people listen for anything dissonant or inharmonious within the membrane that needs tending to as well as an impending situation arriving from the outside that could cause harm or disturbance to the village membrane.
The way medicine people do this is through divination and other forms of communication with the spiritual entities associated with their village. By being in touch with beings in other dimensions, the medicine people are tending to all the dimensional layers of the village and know who to call in for help and who to go to when things are out of balance.
The medicine people make offerings and “feed” the beings in the other dimensions, maintaining healthy relationships to the dimensional realms. Oil is a crucial offering for membrane work. Oil creates a barrier and helps the membrane remain permeable and supple. We must offer oil: shea butter, olive oil, or any high quality vegetable oil to the proper beings who can affix it to the membrane in an effort toward repair and maintenance.
The medicine people must have:
*a strong personal membrane, (see Knowing the Library of Your Soul: The Key to Maintaining Your Power)
*strong membranes around their relationships to their guides maintained through their personal shrines and personal practice
*a group of medicine people they work with that has its own healthy membrane held by the Earth Shrine. (For more on the Earth Shrine see my book, Notes from a Diviner in the Postmodern World: A Handbook for Spirit Workers.)
Once a group of medicine people has established all of these, they can begin to tend to the “spiritual membrane” of the community at the village level.
The Importance of a Well-Tended Village Membrane
One of the reasons why it is so important for medicine people to hold the village membrane in this way is because when “someone is listening,” the rest of the village can go about the business of living. Trusting that someone is watching for and tending to what is happening both inside and outside of the village membrane, the rest of the village can focus their energies on other endeavors: growing food, tending children, and building houses.*
When this is functioning well, the village medicine people would sense a tear in the fabric of their village’s membrane and zero in on the place, person or family in need.
Unfortunately the loss of the medicine people in western culture has allowed all these membranes to deteriorate. Dislocation, lack of intimacy with place, churches holding space for their “congregation” only and not uniting congregations through tending of shared location, loss of strong personal membranes and the breakdown of the family systems, have allowed this disintegration to flourish.
Currently many modern medicine people keep themselves outside the village they live in. There may be a medicine person working solo or disconnected from place with no awareness of the importance of tending the village membrane. We must correct this and return to becoming integrated members of our own communities.
Crucial Relationships for this Job
One main way a medicine person tends to the village membrane is by being in intimate relationship to the natural elements of their village’s ecosystem: the waterways, network of trees, and the mountains. The network of trees helps one listen to what is happening within the membrane, the waters is where we watch for the overall health of the system, make appropriate adjustments and set intention.
The mountains are especially important in the work of the tending to the membranes as they contain entities that have a greater sphere of influence who hold the larger picture and hold the medicine people themselves in their work. We cannot tend to a village membrane without being in intimate connection with our local mountains. To learn how to work with trees, water and mountains see my books: Notes From a Diviner in the Postmodern World and Teachings from the Trees.
We Cannot Have Healthy Villages Without Healthy Membranes
When medicine people are not holding the village in this way, the information is then scattered and dispersed. Too many uninitiated people receive information they don’t understand, don’t know what to do with it and have no way to integrate it.
As long as we don’t have healthy membranes at all levels of our community and villages, our communities are like those complex chemical interactions in the early sea, gathering and gaining form but continually washed away and dissolved by the sea itself. Without the membrane, there is not a held and strong center. Many of us experience this in our constant effort to foster community, again and again to have it only disperse.
This is a big job but one of crucial importance for restoring balance to our communities and the Earth. Begin this work slowly, by listening. If your intentions are in the right the place and you have dedication and persistence, your communities and their healthy membranes will grow organically.
~Theresa C. Dintino
© Theresa C. Dintino 2016
*Information received by me in a group divination on the membrane