Dual rainbows – beyond ‘official’ Anglo-Australian recognition

I was staying at the shack at Era in the Royal National Park last weekend to provide assistance with the BBQ for a heritage week event and –  as much as i was enjoying myself after the bean soup, sausage sandwich and a cool beer – the recurring thought i had was:

“And still no official recognition (by Anglo-Australian authorities) of First Peoples for this country we know as the Royal National Park.”

Sunday evening produced a great sight in the rare air which i managed to capture on the phone camera:

You may be able to make out the second rainbow – but what you make not know is that (according to anthropo-linguist C.G. von Brandenstein) there are two Rainbow Serpents in indigenous cosmology, not one. A male and a female serpent ‘dos-a-dos’.

What you may not also know is that the pink and grey shading in the evening sky is also a sign of the two moieties which (by way of a process of complementary opposition) make life complete. Neither moiety can be complete in itself.

Well-formed life, according to the wisdom which informs First Peoples Ways (such as among Warumungu people in the NT) always requires two (‘yin and yang’) complementary opposites to tango. Wurlurru and Kingili in the Warumungu case. Similar formations associated with Eaglehawk and Crow in much of South Eastern Australia.

So, while there is still  no official recognition of First Peoples in this country, there are signs from life’s higher authorities for those who have the eyes to see them.

Beyond the self-privileging European narratives of naturalists regarding the Royal National Park, a far richer indigenous cosmos awaits. The whole of life is subject to trans-signification.

By contrast, that blocked form of energy- the Anglo-Australia State as presently constituted (c 1901) –  remains wilfully officially blind.

The process of forming the next Plan of Management for the Royal National Park provides us with a crucial opportunity to help dissolve some of those blockages and help us all gain new eyes to more clearly see our true Australian surroundings.

But it will take some good and combined healing energy to bring our forms of representation into proper focus and better alignment with a truly cosmic reality.


C. G. von Brandenstein “Names and Substance of the Australian Subsection System.” 1982:62.

Also W.E.H. Stanner 1934 fireldwork report  and Kimberly Christen 2008  “Aboriginal Business”  for Warumungu moieties Wurlurru and Kingili.