In Australian Aboriginal cultural and spiritual belief, there was a time when sacred totemic and ancestral spirits formed the land and all creation. This time is sometimes referred to as "The Dreaming" but this word is not a clear translation (there are many different names for this time in Aboriginal languages eg. Alcheringa, Tjukurpa, Ngurampaa…. And over 200 more).
It describes the arrival of the natives in the world, in the beggining of time, when Earth was plain and dark. There was no life or death, Sun, Moon or stars. All was asleep underneath the Earth, along with the eternal ancestors. One day, the Sun rose and all the others woke from their eternity to travel throughout the territory, creating rivers and lowlands, walking as men, animals, plants or hibrid beings, spreading Guruwari, the seed of life.
Two of those Ungambikulas (who created themselves from nothing) started to see people who were partially created by the ancestors. Those people laid shapeless, unfinished, semitransformed, hibrids of animals or plants. So, with their stone knives, the duo started to sculpt head, body and members, finishing the work. For that reason, it is believed that every human being has an animal or plant totem of which he/she was sculpted from.
When all was done, the ancestors returned to "The Dreaming". Some transformed into rocks and trees to mark the sacred path they once walked. "The Dreaming" isn't just a period of the past, though. It is still present, manifesting itself in sacred rituals, in which priests become the ancestors to tell these travels along the Australian territory. It is also said that spirits who live in "The Dreaming" come to Earth through children, incarnating when the baby is five months old and begins to move inside the mother for the first time. After birth, children are considered special guardians of their tribes or regions, and are taught the stories and songs of their birthplaces.