The foundation beliefs of an Aboriginal cosmology. The Dreaming is both a period beyond living memory when ancestral beings created the spiritual, physical and moral world and it refers to the laws and ceremonies which continue to sustain contemporary existence.
The Dreaming has different meanings for different Aboriginal groups. The Dreaming can be seen as an embodiment of Aboriginal creation which gives meaning to everything. It establishes the rules governing relationships between the people, the land and all things for Aboriginal people.
An English word commonly used by Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people alike to describe Aboriginal cosmology and the genesis of the world. The Dreaming encompasses the ancestral narratives about the supernatural and ancestral beings, and their epic deeds of creation. Each narrative is known as a 'Dreaming'. The entire Australian continent is covered in an intricate web of Dreamings or ancestral tracks. See 'Ancestral Realm'.