- Film by Ann Armbrecht and Terrance Youk
Reflections on The Movie Numen
The definition of Numen from the Websters dictionary: divine or supernatural power or presence; divine power, a nod , command, divine power.(1) Wow! And that’s how the movie opens which highlights many teachers, doctors, students, herbalists, and practitioners of healing from many perspectives including from the originals peoples of Turtle Island and beyond. The short commentaries are very precious and speak to the common bond and understanding these herbalists have. The voices extrude a consciousness of great appreciation , love and respect for the plants as medicine, plants as teachers, allies and food. The movie also shows people working together for a greater good and a relationship these herbalists have with Nature.
I am reminded of a story that was told to us on the radio with Carolyn Black Hunt who is Abenaki descendant living in New Hampshire. Her and her husband (Rick Hunt) are an artist and storyteller duo that present original and traditional stories of the Wabanaki Peoples from the Northeast Woodlands. (www.laughingcouple.com) (2) In Carolyn’s interpretation of The Story Of How The People Got Maple Syrup we learn about relationship to Nature and Creator and also to community. The story is about relationship to Nature and the connection the people have to her. In this story there are many characters that also have relationship with the people and we learn like in the movie, Numen, that we need each other to complete our inner-standing (understanding) of life and living in balance . We need relationship with Earth, animals and each other.
Link to the Story Of Maple Syrup can be heard here: http://radiowithdeb.podomatic.com/entry/2016-03-25T10_20_41-07_00 (3)
To re-ember and inner-stand is how my current activities take these teachings and apply them on this life journey and music is another connector for me so with good feelings in my heart to try to appreciate and communicate to you the reader I offer this musical interlude. https://soundcloud.com/redhawk-woman.. https://soundcloud.com/redhawk-woman/rembering-true-power-ft-john (4)
What I appreciate about the movie is the balance in the presentation of recognizing the history of using herbs and the importance of today’s western medicines and how hospitals are important in caring for trauma and emergencies. No one is denying the role of science in today’s society but there is the knowledge that plants can help society thru the current climate crisis. As some of the speakers concur, science needs to be balanced with culture, judgement and common sense. Kenny Ausubel, director of Bioneers, (5) speaks to that balance as well when he mentions , “…(we) are separated from our roots of Nature”.
Using the “Precautionary Principal” (http://www.sehn.org/state.html) (6) and with knowledge we can change our behavior. This concept that it would be for a greater good to prevent harm to life gives a framework to making decisions that effect the Earth in these times. The Indigenous Environmental Network is one such organization that also adopted this concept presented in the movie, Numen. At this site there is much in common with Food Sovereignty concepts also presented. http://www.ienearth.org/category/food-sovereignty/ (7) I was also witness to The Wabanki Confederacy Declaration of 2015 that adopted the Precautionary Principals in regard to protecting water and land in the Wabanaki Territory. (8)
I learned and was reminded that wholeness is not just looking at medical tests and some times good medicine is found in the produce department of a supermarket as Chris Hobbs tells us in the movie. We are here now to choose a way forward and for many that way is already a job that you can never be fired from as Tiokasin Ghosthorse told us at the National Day Of Mourning, 2015 at Plymouth, Mass. We are here to Protect Mother Earth for all life and for the future generations. (9)
- Websters Dictionary , Random House
- link to How The People Got Maple Syrup, as told by Carolyn Black Hunt
- Music with Redhawk Woman (https://soundcloud.com/redhawk-woman)
- http://www.abenakitribe.org (link to Declaration of Wabanaki Confederacy 2015)
- http://podcast46833.podomatic.com/entry/2015-12-02T11_18_49-08_00 (13 minutes)