If during the evolution, the Earth has seen the growth of man, with the development of it, the planet has been covered by a lot of ideas that, on the one hand, have allowed man to make an enormous evolutionary leap in knowledge, but at the same time, if the human being does not consciously take possession of Nature, desecrated in its laws by a thoughtless use, is inevitably destined to succumb, as overwhelmed by the ideas of progress and infinite development of the culture of expansion dominant in the world.
It was precisely the "dominion of Nature", conducted beyond the knowledge of the subtle balance that binds man to his environment, which caused the phenomenon of overpopulation, the lack of "breathing space", the congestion of life in large cities, the depletion of natural resources, the decay of the biological environment, the abnormal emergence of "social" diseases and psychological discomfort, some of which appear difficult to remedy. Faced with this disaster, almost cosmic, it is not only a matter of justifying it as the failed result of an economic model incapable of considering the relationship between Man and Nature in circular rather than linear terms, but it is necessary to understand that there is also a particular "mysticism": when man gives up to face the heights of the spirit, he extends himself into the only "space" that still remains, that of Nature, and in the illusion of overpowering and subduing it, he ends up forgetting his own profound identity with it, to the point of annulling existence in the danger of survival. The harmony of the world and creatures depends on the balance that is established between man and his evolutionary dimension, represented by the cosmic awareness of his becoming, which is then his spirituality. In the cosmos itself, in fact, is hidden that harmonia mundi according to which the microcosm-man responds to a logic analogous to that of the macrocosm-universe, and only a consciousness that knows how to deal with the "verticality" of this dimension, can evoke that transcendence necessary to grasp the meaning of a Nature that is never exclusively "material" because it is always full of sacredness.
A "verticality" that Angaangaq Angakkorsuaq - shaman, healer, storyteller, bearer of the Qilaut (wind drum) and Elder of the Inuit Kalaallit of Greenland - has traveled reaching the summit of the "sacred mountain" and, although he had the opportunity to speak to an audience of 350 thousand people, as he himself says, «it was nothing compared to climb the mountain and talk about myself for 24 hours to the Great One. Talking about myself, about everything I had been and done. It was like giving light to the darkness of the night, which in Greenland lasts half the year».
It had been 200 years since a shaman had been trained in his country. Over the course of two centuries, Kalaallit Nunaat's original tradition of shamanism was passed down silently, never taking form or light in a man. Until his grandmother started saying, «Angaangaq has it», and he didn't understand what. And Angaangaq, which means “the one who looks like his uncle”, didn't want to hear about being “different from the others”. He struggled to embrace this responsibility. He lived until the age of 12 in a village of 17 with his grandmother, who raised him and instructed him in the shamanic art, then continued his education with his mother.
Until in the early 1970s, he received from the Elders of his people the task of bringing the message to the world that the ice was melting. In fact, it was in 1963 that two hunters first noticed a trickle of water coming down from the polar ice cap - in the middle of winter at minus 60 degrees! After dozens of years, the trickle became a huge river, causing the thickness of the polar ice cap to gradually decrease. So Angaangaq began to travel incessantly around the world, he has been in over 70 countries, he has met Pope John Paul II, Nelson Mandela, Mikhail Gorbachev, the Dalai Lama, Al Gore, he has spoken several times at the United Nations on behalf of the Arctic people and at many other conferences to make people aware that the change in progress would have dramatic consequences for the whole planet.
Although he traveled and spoke in front of many people he realized that no one really listened to him. He received applause and compliments, but no one really wanted to understand, no one was ready to implement real change. This was clearly very frustrating for him and one day he vented to his mother asking her for advice on how to reach people and she replied, «Son, you must melt the ice in men's hearts, because only by melting the ice in his heart will man have a chance to change and begin to use his great knowledge wisely».
With this mission in his heart, since 2004 Angaangaq became a shaman working directly with people in order to contribute to a spiritual change. He also conceived the idea of a project aimed at creating a therapy center in Greenland - Aanakasaap Illua Center (AIC) - where he could integrate traditional healing methods, ancient knowledge and ceremonies of the Greenlandic people with modern therapies, both to heal and restore this nation and its culture, and for the healing of all nations.
We begin this interview, which has found its space and time in the moment of the beginning of Spring, by welcoming Angaangaq's prayer: «when the sun returns and the struggle against the darkness of winter begins, its vigorous and wonderful warmth begins to melt the snow and ice, drop by drop. It is as if the frozen tears of Mother Earth are released. I pray that you will be better prepared than I am to melt the ice in the hearts of men, for - so would our great-great-grandmother say - if we don't do it now, there will be no summer…».
“Everything in my life had prepared me for this moment". Do you agree with that? What is the question your work is based on? What is at the heart of your mission?
Hmmm, interesting question… about if I have been prepared. I had no idea what I was prepared for. I wasn't really told that “you’re gonna become a shaman”, but everyone else in the family knew that one day I would have to go to the mountain, like in ancient tradition. And it's really interesting as I am beginning to understand this deeper… my heritage, how far it goes back. Have you been to my grandmother's sacred land? It is really a beautiful land. Well, a couple of years ago some people of the UNESCO asked me to come to the sacred land to talk about that they were creating a heritage land; they have been talking to the government of Greenland and the Elders on the coast, and they had decided that my grandmother's land should become the heritage land for generations to come. So I took them to the sacred site and we sat down and talked and talked. The Danish scientists who were with the people of UNESCO were telling about when the Big Ice retreated after the last Ice Age, about 6,000 years ago. So the people who came to live on the beach of the big lake and later on built there the Longhouse (meeting place of the indigenous community - n.d.t.). It became evident that my family had been there for over 5,000 years. So I knew that I am old in my heritage. I just did not realize how old it was.
And now that my great aunt has passed on, my uncle has passed on, everyone else has passed on, now I am the oldest one of my family. And I have told this to those people who try to keep up with the heritage lands to be protected. I have been told that “Angaangaq’s family had been there”. It is so old that they don't have the same kind of teepee as the modern Eskimo has. And they lived in houses where they built permanent beds on the ground, so they were above the frozen ground. Towards North West everything was frozen, but because the Big Ice was still very tall then and it is facing South-West, there was no wind, so it became a sheltered valley surrounded by the Big Ice, Grandmother’s Mountain locking the West door, and the Mountain of the Black Face. Thus it became a completely peaceful land. So we don't know yet exactly how old my grandmother’s land is. But we know now at least more than 5,000 years. And I come from that lineage of these traditional people, but I was not trained to be like them. However I was trained to be slightly different from other kids. Every time I came into my grandmother’s house, she would exclaim «Angaangaq got it», but never saying what it is what I have. And to my memory I have never heard anybody say: «Ohhh grandmother», or smile at her, or smile at me, but everybody just accepted whatever it is my grandmother could see. It sounds like that there were no questions, and when they came, I have never seen anybody question her, but just accepting her and what she said.
Then, almost 58 years later, I went up to a mountain. I knew enough from the traditional beliefs that it was my turn to talk to Him, the “Man who made us”. So I went up there, and when I think back of how long I was out there, 24 hours of no-stop talk to reveal myself to Him… I had no idea what I was really going to say to Him, I had too many secrets from Him, and I wanted Him to know about me, but when I got to that reality where I had to tell my secrets... I began to cry and cry and cry as I realized that I was a man not worthy of the task, because I limited myself too much, because I often don't believe in myself, I often get down on myself, too often I listen to what others say, I often stop what I'm doing because I feel I'm not the right person. Who am I to be able to help and assist and guide people when I myself didn't have that guidance, didn't have that assistance, didn't have that help and didn't have the guidance that I could give to others. That's how I felt about myself. But then I wake up and say, «Hoho! I'm worth it». I have never been to a land with a physical war. But I've been to the world where I have been in war with myself. And so I talked with Him. I know that in many parts of the world people believe in God, but I did not believe in God because we do not have the word “God” in our language. We have the word “The Great One” or “The Man who made us”, but I think that is the same one as everyone is speaking to. So, all this goes through my mind and I ask myself: why did I be the one, or why did I become the one my grandmother wanted to see carrying the ancient tradition into the world?
I came into this world in the old traditional way. When I was a child things started to change, the occupiers of my land, the Danish people, started to make houses, wooden houses, not houses made of rocks or earth houses. The very first one, in 1956, the very first house they took down and destroyed it, was my grandfather's and my grandmother’s house. The very first one. When my grandfather, my father’s father, died, in accordance to the tradition their oldest child would inherit that house. Grandmother could stay there and so she could have their grandchildren around every day. But my uncle had a big family and she felt - and that’s what I learned later on - that she would limit her son and his family. So the very first house the Danish people tore down was the house my grandfather built when he met his wife who became my grandmother. So that is how I grew up from the old ancient tradition to a modern world where traditions where literally torn down for something new, and if you ever go to Manitsoq you will find that old wooden high-rise dilapidated in no time. Because they did not know how to build, they thought it was like in Denmark, but the climate was very different. So my family started moving to another place which is really not worth living in. So, this is the world I come from, and they want me to be able to help, assist and guide people in a shamanic tradition. Am I a good shaman? I really have no idea. But as I have grown up, I realize how much I love my work. I am such a privileged man that I have been able to help and assist people and guiding them to paths in this modern day world we are living in which I know very little about despite having worked all over the world.... with the Corona virus, there are people from all continents of the world who, after seeing me in seminars, contact me on the Internet, log on and ask for help, assistance and guidance. It's so interesting. Yes, I love my work. Am I a good shaman? History will prove it. I am not the story. This is just a man who loves his job.
The Corona virus is a pandemic which has its roots in a world where reductionism is typical of our economical, political and educative systems and it ignores completely the limits of the real biological capacity of our planet exploiting it in a capricious and prodigal way on the vital resources while using still insufficiently the human capacities. What is your opinion about that?
That was one of the very first questions I was asked, when this Corona virus thing came. I was in India and I was supposed to meet the Dalai Lama in a conference, in a ceremony. In 2019 I went there, but I could not get there because of the war between Pakistan and India. So in February 2020 I came back, but he did not come because the Corona virus had arrived and his people did not want him to meet people. So his secretary came, and people started to ask me questions. I hadn’t even learned to pronounce the name of Corona virus or Covid-19, when people started asking me: what is it? None of us know that energy, it came from somewhere in China, but we know from history that we all go through things like that, we would have pandemics like that. In the last century we had the Spanish flu that affected my country as well, Greenland, because of the whalers. So the world has gone through pandemic after pandemic and we all go through a lot of other things. But this one came on a very timely manner. Why? We know that the world as we know it is not really sustainable. We have never been so many on Earth as we are today, and we have lived really not honoring each other, not respecting each other, not accepting each other, not recognizing each other and most important not loving each other. We never say hello, never ask “who are you, how are you, where are you from?”. When you go to Vatican no one asks “what is your name, where are you from, how are you?”.
As human beings we need to be connected to each other, but we are so many and so overcrowded that in the central station of Rome, thousands of people do not greet each other, do not see each other, do not recognize each other. This is true all over the world, and I have traveled all over the world. It is not sustainable in the human world, it is not sustainable for the animal world because we took their land too. It is not sustainable for the plant world because we have destroyed the diversity. It is not sustainable for the waters because we have polluted them and damaged the life in them. Then we have exploited the mineral world without thinking about what will happen tomorrow. So we did this. We knew that we were living on the edge… until Corona virus came along and cornered us and we almost lost our freedom. We cannot meet each other, and this is so interesting. During the last months I have been walking a lot, and I have been walking mostly in the area near the river. As I walk the same path, I often see the same people who, also, are in “prison” because of the Corona virus. But I do what is possible: I see people, look into their eyes, greet them and connect with their faces. I am outside every day, when I walk I see the same people. No one says “hello”, no one looks, it’s like they can't see me, but I can see them, so I say “hello”. And it was so beautiful when I met this elderly man, older than me, who has recently lost his wife; his family and his children could not come to visit him because of the Corona, you cannot travel, you cannot visit… So he could not see his grandchildren and he is living alone. He had served his country as a Civil Servant, and no one knew him and no one greeted him, no one talked to him. When I first connected with him I touched my heart and looked into his eyes and gave him a little smile, the man was literally recognized as someone, and he too put his hand on his heart and greeted me and we started talking. Now I walk the same path almost every day just to meet this man. Now we have to stay apart, but one day we will have a cup of coffee together, and one day, he prays, he will hold his grandchildren in his arms again, and one day he will be able to tell them about their grandmother they did not meet. It is so interesting the need we had to connect. The Corona virus has stopped us, and that is all over the world. And this is just the beginning. Now we realize that very quickly the economic system is going to fall apart, the political system is falling apart, the social structures are falling apart, the religious systems are falling apart, and we are living in a world where we do not recognize ourselves. Look at this beautiful country of America, the United States of America, that is are struggling to accept each other.
You know the story of the Circle which has no beginning and no end, and to which we all belong. In the East, when the sun rises, it is always yellow, and now we know that actually, physically, there are yellow people in this world. And in the South where the sun shines highest above us, the sun is white, it is no longer yellow, and now we know there are actually white people living in this world. And when the sun goes down it is always red, and now we have learned that there are actually red people in this world. Then, at night it is always black. Now we know that actually, actually, black people are on this Earth. And we all belong to the same Circle. We are all the same, but we all seem to look at the differences, not the beauty in our differences. We dwell on the negative things about each other, not on the beautiful things of each other. And in this beautiful country, the United States, they are killing themselves every single day because they don't understand the beauty of each other. Leadership seems to be pushing minds to the limit, closing the ability to be independent, to investigate your own truth. We know that this happens in Italy, in France, in Germany, in Netherlands, everywhere on Earth we know it happens, it is as if we haven't learned from yesterday, as if we haven't prepared for tomorrow. «The Big River will come», that’s what my grandmother told us. She told us that it would come every spring; every spring the Big Rivers come because the ice breaks from the lakes and the rivers, and when water comes to flow, fish come down, so we catch the fish. But that is a very dangerous game, and we have to learn to communicate with each other differently. We cannot hove the normal talk, because the sound of the river is so big. If you jump into the river to save your family, you will become the food of the river as well. I have always thought of a Big River coming. And now I realize that the Big River is the pandemic. This is what it seems to be for me right now. If I mingle myself among people - I am in that age group which is risky - I could become the food of the pandemic. And it is just growing and growing. And it worries me. We have never known so much scientifically, we have never been so educated as we are now academically, scientifically, economically, philosophically and politically, but it seems we are not able to come to an agreement. So it is just spreading. It is everywhere, until one day someone finds a solution to, just to know that the next pandemic will come. We will go out and then another pandemic will be born, because we do not know how to live with the animal world anymore. We just kill without honoring, without cleaning, without respecting and then animals which are not good for us will become part of the food chain. These are some of things I am learning. So when you ask: what is it? Are we going to have war? Not necessarily a physical war with bombs and so on, but within ourselves which is even more dangerous. Because of the "I'm right and you're wrong" and "I want to be more important than everybody else" and "my beliefs are deeper and stronger than yours" and "my stuff is better than yours" and "my economy is stronger than yours" ... that's in our nature.
Now we know. We have all always known it… first of all we have never been so many and we have not lived with the Spirit, we lived in the mind and body, not with Spirit. We have lived without balance and we have never been so many. We have raped and raped Mother Earth. We have destroyed the diversity of the plant world and we have destroyed the wildlife. None of us can live without the animal world. How do we know it? What is the evidence for this? There have never been so many dogs and cats in homes in the world today. None of us can live without the animal world. But we limit ourselves to two animals: a dog and a cat, forgetting the rest of the animal world. But we cannot live without them. We occupied their spaces and we killed them when it was useful for us. And then, of course, in the human world, we have not learned from yesterday. We still do not like the yellow race people, we do not like the white race people, we do not like the red race people, we do not like the black race people, we still have not understood that we all belong in the same world.
Then all the Elements… the fire is now burning the whole Arctic because of the way we live. We have created something uncontrollable destroying the world. Temperatures have never been so high, I have seen it in my country. And then, of course, we do not know how to use the water, but we cannot live without the water. We break laws every single moment of the day and then 24 hours a day. We catch fish that we shouldn't be catching because it sells better in China or Japan, or America, or Italy. So we do that knowing that we're depleting biodiversity. And then the fresh water, we do not know how to use it. We cannot live without water, the animal world cannot live without water, the plant world cannot live without water, the mineral world cannot live without water. And we continue do things like this knowing also that there will be mass extinctions in the animal world, and now we know that we are the cause of it. We know that the diversity of the plants will disappear. You and I we are the cause of it. We know that the Earth is suffering, it has lost its balance because we raped it and we have endangered ourselves, we have polluted everything around, so the human world will die because masses will die.
We already know this, the Corona virus is showing us that we have little control over it, but we will survive. We do not know how it came, but we know that it came from somewhere in China, we don't know if it is man-made or caused by Mother Nature, but it is making you and me alone in this world. We cannot say good morning to each other, we cannot hug each other, and the contagion has grown and grown, and the ice is growing in our hearts, and everyone who looks different to us we don't like… because this war is going on inside of us. The economy is disappearing, there has never been so much wealth on Earth, but it only helps a very few people, the rest is barely surviving without having food to eat. And it is part of the Corona virus, because we have forgotten to live in balance.
Einstein recalled how at the age of sixteen he imagined himself chasing after a beam of light, and that thought experiment has played a memorable role in his developing the theory of relativity. What is according to you the role of imagination in the creation of new scenarios of the future?
I come from the only country on Earth where there has never been a war. I want to keep it like that; if I could have the influence in my land I would do that. Physical war where bombs explode, people die, land is destroyed, animals die, plants die, mineral world dies, water dies, fire destroys everything... I want to keep all that away. But what is more dangerous is the war within us, even more destructive than physical war. Why? Because we live in a not balanced way. We live in a way where our Spirit is too strong and our physical being is too weak, or we live in a physical world where we are so strong and Spirit doesn’t matter. We do not live in balance. Every human being has a body and everyone is the same. There is the heart, and there is the body. There are hands and arms, the head and eyes, the mind and an incredible Spirit. How do we know we have a Spirit? When you smile, that is how we know that we have a beautiful Spirit. But then, because we are so limited in accepting each other, we destroy each other.
So when we think about Einstein we should talk about relativity in there. Relativity is my ability to look at the world I live in, it is - as the Elders would say – the ability to uplift the Spirit of anyone I meet. My work as a shaman is to uplift the Spirit of anyone who has been with me, so that the person will be able to look beyond what he/she was before yesterday and look at him/herself differently. This is relativity in the human, in the normal human like you and me. As Einstein told us, we are part of this incredible universe. I am not different than anyone else here. Our grandmother Aanakasaa, when the stars are born in the fall and we all sit there and look up there, often said: «How could anyone ever think we are alone?». In relativity it is not just me, Angaangaq, or you, but beyond there is also the world in which we live. When I think about what my grandmother said, my Big Sky is that Spirit of mine that is in my heart. That is my Big Sky. I can see her close eyes and say that «your Big Sky is bigger than the big sky above you». She means that the Sky within me is greater than the sky above me. And you can see how big this sky is, how big it is in Greenland. It is really big… but she said that the Sky within us is even bigger. Then she talked about how deep we are inside ourselves: «inside ourselves - every one of us - we are deeper than the deepest of oceans on Earth. And some of these oceans are very deep, but inside me personally, inside you personally, inside everyone else, we are deeper than the deepest ocean on Earth. That is the relativity. Then, of course, when we look at the Big Sky, we are not alone. No one lives alone, we all depend on each other.
By realizing that we are so big and vast inside, we can create another future. This is the fundamental idea. When we uplift our Spirit, we can go beyond the present and we can create something new and better than yesterday. In English it is called “consciousness”, in shamanic terms it means that I become aware of myself how deep I am and how vas my Sky is. But when I look into the mirror, I see myself so limited, I cannot see what shape it is, I cannot see beyond my nose. It is so big, I am, you are, all of us are so big. How do we get to the next level? When I get to the next level, I will have overcome my weaknesses inside of me, but for now I still don't believe in myself, I do not trust myself, I cannot recognize myself, I cannot accept myself, I have incredible wars within me. One day, and I look forward to that day. I will be able to raise my Spirit above the present to the next level of reality, the next level of awareness that will allow me to have the strength and the capacity to accept everyone, regardless of their color or creed or status in the world, and realize that they are no different than me. I am like them. We are all the same. That is the world of the shaman.
What is the importance of the spiritual dimension in us, and how is it possible to make this spiritual dimension concrete in our everyday life?
This is a very interesting question. My shamanic world tradition is the oldest belief system, and every group of people living around the world seems to have it. Everywhere you go. The old Italian people who were the first inhabit that incredible land had these people. In those days it was more women who were the guides. But when Christianity came along, they called them witches and killed them. But they were the guides, they were the ones who helped people, assisted people and guided them in their quest for the betterment of the Spirit. Then religion came along, and religions are really incredibly beautiful, but because we are so limited in our capacity, we do not recognize them. I received a phone call some months ago from someone from California who had listened to me in a shamanic meeting where I was talking about religions. This man found me, called me up and said: «You were wrong about religion» Oh! What did I get wrong? «Because you talked about Abraham being the first prophet. No, it is Krishna who came first». So I counted: Krishna, Abraham, Moses, Zoroaster, Buddha, Christ, Mohamed, Baab, Baha'u'llah… nine different religions, and they are not older than 3.500 years ago. My family has lived in the same village for 6.000 years, and they were shamans who helped, assisted and guided people spiritually. So it is pretty old, but we all become so confused that we did not recognize the validity of each other’s religion. We did not consider them as we grew from 1st , 2nd , 3rd , 4th grade and so on. We did not learn from each other. We did not consider what Krishna told us. Or what Abraham told us. Or what Moses told us and so on. We did not do that. This one or that one - and that’s it. And that causes countless sufferings.
Most people die because of their beliefs. Then the second reason they die is because of their appearance. They have a different color than others. Some people want to be the master of all and those who do not believe in us, we kill them, and then others do the same.
So how do we grow out of that dilemma? I remember my father - he was a radio man - telling us that those big wars he was reporting us, who never had a war, had to end and then we could go there and meet the people. That's why he was telling his children to travel, because he could not travel anymore after his operation - he only had one lung left. He wanted us to come home and tell him who we met, what we saw, what we experienced and what we heard. My older brother did that. He traveled around the world on a ship fifteen times, and came home to tell us who he met, what he saw, what he experienced and what he heard.
So, our spiritual dimension… we have to let it live and learn to accept ourselves. When I look at the world I have traveled in... I have just come from India, a beautiful country with incredible differences between them, of a richness you cannot imagine, and a poverty you cannot imagine. And when you go to the United States of America, you can see the wealth that no one can imagine, and poverty that no one can imagine. We live in these two worlds that are so out of balance. This is true for all over the world. The day will come when the extremes in which we live will be balanced. When and how? When you and I will begin to understand each other better, to know each other deeper. When we do that, we will be able to cause that balance, we will say “enough”, we will be able to educate each other and understand that there is enough richness on Mother Earth for each of us. Mother Earth is an enormous beautiful and rich land, but we do not understand it. We think it belongs to us - no, we belong to “her”! This is what will cause the balance. But to create that balance, we must become aware that we consist of our body, our mind and our Spirit. When we weave them together, we can bring the change and we will become unbreakable.
Do you know the history of sweetgrass? Our grandmother Aanakasaa was a master at weaving the baskets she used to carry water, berries and more. The grass she used to make them is very special and is called fragrant oats. You can recognize it because its surface is smooth and shiny so that it gratefully reflects the light of the sky. Therefore we say that fragrant oats speak the language of the Creator, and because, once dried, they give off a sweet and very pleasant scent. Our grandmother Aanakasaa said, «You and I - we - are fragile. Fragile like a blade of grass», and as she said this, she crumbled a dried blade of grass between her old fingers. «We are fragile like this», he said, «Your body is fragile like this. It doesn't take much to destroy it. One little fall can break your neck. One little accident, and your body is broken» and then he continued «just as fragile is your Spirit. You can convince yourself that nothing can break you. But in reality your Spirit is fragile, as fragile as a blade of grass». It's true, sometimes all it takes is a stern look, and you collapse. Or someone tells you, «I see him in a different way», and all your confidence disappears. You defend yourself, you want to be right - and yet, inside, you have already collapsed. So our grandmother used to say, «When you find yourself and are in harmony with yourself, when you intertwine your body, your mind and your Spirit like fragrant oats, your mind becomes flexible. So you can accept the opinions of others, you can respect and esteem others. In the same way, your Spirit will also be flexible, and you will say: yes, now I understand what Mohammed taught; now I recognize the beauty of the teachings of Moses; I feel the sense of the customs of the Hindus, Buddhists, Christians... Because your Spirit is strong enough to recognize the essence in the different. When your mind and your Spirit have become flexible, your body is also strong and fluid, flexible and agile». What he said is true, I have experienced it many times: when your mind and your Spirit are mobile, and when they are well intertwined with your body, you can climb any mountain. But when your mind is worried and your Spirit is depressed, your body is too tired to climb. Smelly Oats teaches us this: be intertwined with yourself! Be in balance with yourself! Alone every blade of grass is fragile, but intertwined they are unbreakable, flexible, mobile and agile. If you are not in harmony with yourself, you get sick. Sickness means: being out of balance. But if you weave your body, mind and Spirit well and bring them into balance, you become a whole and healthy being. Your mind becomes so flexible that you can recognize and accept the knowledge and wisdom of others; your body becomes agile and mobile, because you are in harmony with yourself. When my grandmother would tell us about fragrant oats, she would eventually pick up a braid, place it next to her nose, and smell it from all sides. «This is the best medicine to calm you down», she would say. «When your heart is in turmoil, it will bring you back down to earth. When your nerves are raw, it will calm you down. When your mind doesn't want to be still, it will quiet it». This is the teaching of a very simple herb - of the only herb that speaks the language of the Creator by reflecting the sunlight with gratitude. That's how I see the world, but I have no idea if it makes sense to people.
But I do not want just to talk about it anymore. I want to live it! I was raised to do things and I know that I can talk to you until you’re blue, I know how to do that, but I want to live what I am talking about. I want all of us to realize those words in our lives, because for me... I come from a small village, there were only three houses. At the time, when I left there were 17 people. In that world things make sense. Well, now I have worked and travelled in more than 70 countries around the world. I have realized that we can do things differently. We can become balanced and stop pointing out the negative things and start seeing the beauty in things. And people will look at the beauty that you are bringing and not «Oh, we don't believe in what you say, and we put you down». Instead they will say «we welcome you knowing that you are going to bring diversity and beauty to our limited world. You come from a different world, but we are the same and we all live on Earth». That’s my shamanic belief. With the awareness, really with the awareness to accept and see the “other”, we will change our system of our living together. In reality it is very simple, but it is difficult to do because we are in the habit of judging.
“Be the change” can be on one side an exciting concept rich of potential, but on the other an extremely touching one dealing with profound fears. If the transformation of the totality implies an inner change on a scale many have not yet experimented, are we really ready for such a change? Which are the capacities and the knowledge that at individual and collective level, are necessary to develop and strengthen to contribute to a more authentic comprehension of life and to discover who we really are and what we wish to become as a society? What do we need inside to be that change?
We have a long way to go. Why? Because we have not yet deeply comprehend… «I cannot look outside of myself. I am so struggling inside, there is a big war inside of me. I am so limited and I do not like new ideas because they do not belong to me», that is what I feel when I travel in the world. People are locked in those ideas and they cannot expand themselves. When they start expanding they say: «I am better than you, I am better educated, I have a better economy, I have a better political system, I have a better religious system, I have a better welfare system than you do». And it gets really confusing, everyone seems to think that they are better than the other, not realizing that we all live in the same world. Italy is not different from South Africa or Korea or China or America. Europe is no different from the Australian continent or South America or African continent. We are all the same. Yes, we speak different languages, that’s the beauty of us; we have different cultures, that’s the beauty of us; we have a different way of doing things, that’s the beauty of us, that is the beautiful flower in each of us. How can we live together and start to look at the beauty in each other? How can we do that?
By believing in myself. That is the most difficult part of my life. Do you have any idea how often I beat myself down? I know you do not that, but I do. I put myself so down that sometimes I cannot even get out of bed. I do not believe in myself, in anything worthy doing, and then I look at people, they seem so incredible. How can I reach them? It is totally impossible for me to catch up with them, because they are so advanced and more spiritual and more beautiful, and... they are no different from me. I look at them and look at myself at the bottom, while they see themselves at the top without realizing that I cannot do that. I need to wake up and realize that I am no different. I have so much to learn from you. You have so much to learn from the people in your world. We all have so much to learn from each other. So we can learn to recognize the beauty of each other in our difference. Not everyone will become a shaman. No, they cannot. Not everyone can become a truck driver, not everyone can become a pilot, not everyone can become a bee-keeper… but we can learn how beautiful each one is. And when you look at them, they are so beautiful and wonderful. In my next life I am going to go to a make-up school where I could learn how to be more beautiful. That is how often I think about it. Someday I can go to China and have my extension… an operation to have long legs, because it so beautiful when I see those people of the big mountains of Switzerland who have long legs. Now we know why they have them. They have to look over the mountains. When you have long legs you can look over the mountains, and I want to be like them too.
In this way we limit ourselves so much.
The change able to make the difference occurs in the depth of our hearts and as you remember to all of us “by melting the Ice in the Heart, Man has the opportunity to change and use his great knowledge wisely”. How is this process possible?
A few days ago, I had individual sessions; there was a person from a small island off the East Coast of Australia, another one from the big city of Los Angeles, another from a small village in the North of Germany, another from the big city of Miami,… really interesting. In the last years I have been working with people from all over the world, it is so interesting…
I love my job, I really love my job. It gives me a chance to understand myself better, because I open my heart and I see. Yesterday I was getting ready to go out for a walk and I listened to my music on my headphones, got dressed and opened the door. Outside my apartment, on the other side of the door was a cop who was there for a neighbor. I had my headphones on, so I could not hear what was going on, and then I realized that my neighbor, who I don't know very much – I have met him a couple of times - but I know he cannot get out because of the Corona virus, so we just said hello. Then I realized that I have so much to do to become a better human being. I have so much to learn to see people's energy and read it correctly. I realized that the ice in my heart has grown again because I have been in isolation, I am alone, I cannot hug my wife, I cannot hug my children, I cannot hug my grandchildren, and I cannot talk to my neighbors, and then I start living in such of dark, frozen world. This experience made me realize that I need to melt the ice in my heart, «only by melting the ice in man's heart does man have the opportunity to change and begin to use his knowledge wisely». We have so much to learn from each other, but that means we will have to melt the ice in our own hearts. Not for others, but for ourselves, so that we can open up and be willing to accept what comes to us. So that we can become aware that we are no different from others. And together we can help each other, and that incredible knowledge that we all have in us, we might actually use it wisely, and the world we live in will literally change, physically, psychologically, emotionally and spiritually. You know what I mean? And this is the thinking of the shaman. This is the world of the shaman.
Finally, I am also asking you to describe “GAIA AS IS & TO BE” using words and images to symbolize it. In other words, according to your personal view, which images could describe our Planet in present and future time that you hope for it?
The only being on this Earth that can make changes is the human world. The animal world cannot make changes, the plant world cannot, the mineral world cannot. And the elements of fire, water and air cannot do it. Only human beings can do that. So when we talk about Gaia, this incredible earth we live on...
In the indigenous world where I come from, we have ancient traditions where we do our ceremonies celebrating the things in life. Because «life is a ceremony, worthy to be celebrated with a ceremony – every single day». Last night I was walking, and the two-day new moon was shining on me. I went to the Big Tree which is my mother's tree, the "lazy tree", the willow tree. It consists of four trees from the same root which are my mother and father, and then my wife Sinikka, and in the distance myself. So I looked at the tree, and I connected with my mother and father, and I celebrated it as I do every time I go to that tree. I remember their lives, my mother and father and my ancestors, and how my Sinikka came into their world and created a branch of another world. We have the same root. And then me struggling with myself often feeling distant from everyone else, not realizing that I come from the same root. Every time I go to that tree, I have to remind myself that I am from the same root. And so I celebrated the new moon. I had my ceremony. It was past midnight, the moon was just setting, a beautiful, beautiful night. Because I am often so busy in my mind that I forget to do my ceremonies, to celebrate my life. And after I did that, and after I walked away from the Big Tree, I felt really high and mighty, and the only thing I could say was «Hoho! I walked as tall and powerful as I am meant to be». Well, the idea is that I should do that for times and times to come. So we all have so much to learn. Our belief systems are no different from the ancient shamanic world to the most modern religion because they belong to each other. We think we are divided because we come from different colors, or a different continent, or a different language, but we are all the same. And then we forget to celebrate this incredible natural world that we are surrounded by. Last night as I was walking I saw a young fox jumping off a rock. I waved to her and she stopped and looked at me. I thought «Hoho! This fox means something to me!» that I have the ability to be curious, but I often do not hear it. The other day I was walking and I saw an eagle in a tree. I touched my heart and said «Hoho! I want to be like her someday». I want to learn from her, to realize how immense I am inside. And then of course the plant world, all the flowers, every beautiful flower, even in the dark of night you can see the colors. We say thank you to those who bring joy to our eyes, so I did, I do not know their names, but I look at them and they make me feel beautiful. I touch the Great River, which flows so gently. When I live I feel like rushing, uncontrollable water, flowing through the world. This is our beauty.
Bibliography and reference links
Angaangaq A., website: https://icewisdom.com/
Angaangaq A., Quarch C., (2010). Schmelzt das Eis in euren Herzen!: Aufruf zu einem geistigen Klimawandel. München: Dr. Christoph Quarch Kösel-Verlag
Angaangaq A., Babel A., (2012). Schamanische Weisheiten für ein glückliches Leben. München: Gräfe und Unzer Verlag
Angaangaq A., (2012). The Eskimo's sense of water. Making one's life a ceremony in Water for Unity. Working with Water Memory to Heal the World. Giaveno: Amrita
Angaangaq A., (2015). Der Alltagsschamane. München: Gräfe und Unzer Verlag
Lüpke G., (2008). Altes Wissen für eine neue Zeit. München: Kösel-Verlag
Angaangaq A. and other indigenous leaders. Bridgewalkers. Documentary winner of the Cosmic Angel Awards 2014 - Audience Choice. Kara Rhodes - One River Productions, USA, 2014 – link
Angaangaq A. project mentor of Stella Polaris* Ulloriarsuaq – link
Müller A., (2016). Angaangaq Angakkorsuaq published in Il Polo journal
Tesolin M.S., (2016). Angaangaq, the shaman who melts the ice in people’s hearts published in Il Polo journal
Photo by Sven Nieder - www.sven-nieder.de
*Dr.ssa Alessandra Bracci - Manager at an automotive multinational company and winner of national and international prizes in the marketing field. Editor-in-chief of the ANEB magazine MATERIA PRIMA - Magazine of Ecobiopsychological Psychosomatics. Author of scientific publications.
Translated by Adelgunde Müller - Soul Voice® Teacher and Practitioner, free-lance in alternative therapies, interpreter, collaborator Icewisdom organizing events in Italy and translating books of Angaangaq.