Accent tribes of Australia have a wonderful myth that I think adequately describes the overwhelming power of a mother’s love. It is the tale of twin sister goddesses called the Wawalak.
Many of Australia’s aborigines believe that the world was born when the ancient gods and goddess awoke from their deep sleep underneath the earth and decided to explore the land above. So powerful were these beings that they literally created the world as they wandered throughout the land. This was referred to as “the dream time.”
The footsteps of these great beings became the valleys with the accompanying ridges forming the soft, rolling hills. Their gentle touch formed plants and trees. Their breath caused the gentle winds to blow and further propogate the land. Their tears made the rain, which was needed to fill the lakes and ponds as well as nuture all life.
Their imaginations created the wildlife from insects to crocodiles and beyond. But not feeling that the world was quite complete, they also brought forth another race of lesser gods and goddesses who were ultimately responsible for the creation of mankind. They spent some time with them but eventually returned underground to their slumber.
One of the most renowned and respected goddesses was called the Great Rainbow Serpent. She is the one credited with creating much of the life on earth, as well as for filling the lakes and ponds with water.
Twin sister goddesses known as the Wawalak were among those created during the dream time. They traveled together with their newborn babies, exploring the beauty of the world. They were very happy with each other’s company and that of their beloved children. That is, of course, until they made a critical error.
As they traveled, they set up camp next to the watering hole of the Great Rainbow Serpent. But they didn’t understand that the water was considered sacred to the serpent and they accidentally polluted it.
The Great Rainbow Serpent was so angry that they had dared to pollute her water, that she awoke from her deep sleep and caused the rain to flood the area. It nearly swept the women away, but they clung desperately to whatever they could find. The mothers held on to their children tightly as well, covering them and protecting them with their own bodies.
The sisters prayed and sang in an attempt to appease the goddess, but nothing seemed to work. She simply got angrier and angrier until, in a fit of unbridled anger, she swallowed the sisters and their children whole.
Almost immediately, however, the serpent felt ashamed that she had taken such drastic action. So she opened her mouth and released the sisters from her stomach. As she did, she could not help but take notice of the fact that the mothers still clung tightly to their babies. Their determination to protect their young at all cost touched the goddess greatly.
After the Wawalak were reborn from the Great Rainbow Serpent, the spot of that event became sacred to the aborigines. Some of the most important religious ceremonies were held on the spot where it was believed that the Great Rainbow Serpent regurgitated the goddess twins.
The Wawalak became a powerful symbol not only of the strength of motherhood, but also of the never-ending force of life within all of womankind. They are still honored by many aboriginal tribes today.
The Wawalak, like most mothers, were willing to give their very lives in order to protect their children. It is a bond that is difficult to explain or even to communicate. It simply exists in such a strong way that it continues to fascinate and mesmerize men even today.
Some aborigines also believe that women were born with knowledge of all of the secrets of the world. But man felt it wasn’t right that women should possess both an unbreakable bond with their children as well as all the world’s secrets. So they hatched a plot to steal them away; leaving their female counterparts without the knowledge they needed to command; or so they thought. . . . Perhaps they never heard the saying that “the hand that rocks the cradle, rules the world.” Obviously, it was a lesson that the Wawalak understood well.