Inspiring people to re-imagine their relationship to their world

“The child in nature is an endangered species, and the health of children and the health of the earth are inseparable.” – Richard Louv

Projects

04/05/2022
Healing the Broken Links

When I asked a bushman a few years ago to tell me about his relationship to nature he looked puzzled “I don’t understand the question”, he said, ‘I am nature’.  Making peace with Nature assumes we are at war with her. The genocide of consciousness brought about by colonialism, apartheid, and extractive practices were deliberate […]

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04/05/2022
Exhibition as Storyteller

Candles flicker and coloured wax hardens in streaks across dark soil. Earth, scattered with seeds and adorned with flowers and fruit, tells a story of offering, honouring and abundance, of relationship to nature. In words encircling this earth-mound, the beginning of a Community Manifesto takes shape at the feet of anyone present to witness it.: […]

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04/05/2022
Nature’s Mirror

“Seeing the pictures like this, they’re waking up a hunger inside. You see, there is something inside, even way inside, down there, that is hungry for ways of the olden days. And seeing these pictures, it makes you remember where you come from.” Zanele spoke to the group as we gathered for a roundtable discussion […]

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29/11/2021
Sustainable Together Exhibition

Our community curated exhibition celebrates the extraordinary grassroots work done to hold communities together during the Covid-19 lockdown and [...]

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02/11/2021
Return to Origin Newsletter: Earth Stories - October 2021

In collaboration with Ingcungcu Community Development Projects, Kenton-on-Sea, Eastern Cape, South Africa, Return to Origin [...]

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04/05/2021
Return to Origin Newsletter: Earth Stories - May 2021

Every day is Earth Day. I find myself going more and more to the Earth for solace, comfort, to invoke, make prayers, speak and, above all, listen[...]

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09/02/2021
Return to Origin Newsletter: Earth Stories - February 2021

Water then has come in a slow droplet way, with rain in certain parts of the country where we definitely needed it. The silence, the vastness of Bergplaas gave me an opportunity to really lean into the elements and to feel into water’s qualities. Its peace, our need to reconcile, surrender, love.

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21/12/2020
Return to Origin Newsletter: Earth Stories - December 2020

As we transition from an Earth year to a Water year in the Dagara tradition, I cannot help but be drawn back again and again to this image taken in the Cedarberg mountains.

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14/09/2020
Return to Origin Newsletter: Earth Stories - September 2020

I am preparing to leave my beloved Western Cape, Muizenberg after 7 years. I am a great believer in honorable closures, after a wise teacher, now passed, Dr Angeles Arrien, reminded us, Honorable closures opens up to magnificent beginnings.

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31/07/2020
Return to Origin Newsletter: Earth Stories - July 2020

My love of nature came very late in life. Having left South Africa to live in London at the age of three until my late 40s, nature was something that we only “did” on summer holidays or weekends with friends who lived outside London.

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13/07/2020
Guardians For Nature on Issuu

The earth is talking out loud so we can hear. It shut us down because it is not looked after by many people and so that it and has time to breathe. What I mean by breathe is to become healthy so that the earth can flourish, and nurture us.

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18/06/2020
Return to Origin Newsletter: Earth Stories - June 2020

Mbali Marais returned to South Africa, her birth place after 56 years, and immediately knew that the organisation she envisioned on a Vision Quest in 2003 in the USA was to be birthed on this mother land, Africa.

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01/05/2020
On Homing and Healing: A Call to the Lifeblood and Marrow of Being

Walking alongside moss-covered, granite boulders, along the lake of Mustalampi and between the pine and silver birch trees of Nuuksio National Park, we watch the sky transform as its light adorns the dark, still waters with cerulean hues and ripples of sun-dappled clouds. In these strange and uncertain times of suspended systems and activities and, with the earth’s call for […]

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02/03/2020
Earth and Nature: On Integration and the Power of Place

Angelique Michaels, Return To Origin Leader, writes from her internship in Finland.Feb 27 2020 For repatterning to occur, a certain unraveling is required, and most essentially, a period of conscious vegetation. Appropriated from the Latin vegetatus, to vegetate refers to the act of imparting energy to something. As such, it is to enliven and imbue […]

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24/02/2020
Baphumelele Fountain of Hope

The trees we planted here at Fountain of Hope are part of a holistic approach to healing our youth and the trauma that some of them have gone through. It’s also something that gives them a sense of responsibility, caring and taking care of this plant that started so fragile, and nurturing it to be […]

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01/10/2019
Intlanganiso Secondary School on Heritage Day

Trees for Tomorrow @ Intlanganiso Secondary School on Heritage Day On a day devoted to honouring and celebrating shared legacies of cultural, material and symbolic attributes inherited from past generations, and as part of Return to Origin’s Trees For Tomorrow Campaign, we facilitated a day of tree planting at Intlanganiso Secondary School in Khayelitsha. Thanks […]

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23/08/2019
Cave work - with Jethro Boetman Louw

Return to Origin offered myself and my fellow leader Arnoldt Michaels, the opportunity to do cave work with khoi artist- Markus and bowmagician, medicine man and story-teller-Jethro Boetman Louw. Above the milkwood trees, with Oudekraal Beach and the great ocean waves swelling, slapping and lapping at boulders below, we made our way into the hollow of […]

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22/08/2019
Baphumele Fountain of Hope

The ‘Trees for Tomorrow’ campaign forms part of a series of projects inspired by Return to Origin’s awareness of the great value and power in reconnecting Youth with Nature. In sowing seeds of promise and purpose today, we aspire towards leaving a legacy of healing and abundance for the generations who are to inherit the world tomorrow. Thanks […]

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25/07/2019
Desert Tracking with the Khomani Bushmen

Through watching and tracking some small creature going about its life, you begin to see the way that Nature provides for its every need, and you can begin to feel the Love of the Divine that is inherent in everything in Nature. This is how Nature connects you to the Divine. Oum Gert Khomani San Bushmen […]

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24/07/2019
The Rock Wizard

"How can we own the land when we belong to the earth? Each of us, whether we are aware of it or not, has a unique, sacred Earth calling via which we discover, assimilate and express aspects of Earth’s legacy that we have come to explore, both individually and collectively. Life is offering each of […]

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23/07/2019
Umfolozi Trail and Tales

‘Where the Spirit resides’ Angelique Michaels In the clacking world of unabating activities and tireless pursuits, a creature, though fashioned from its troubled soil, suddenly found herself a stranger to the familiar faces and places she had for so long known and called her own. Bewildered by the scampering haste and scrambling words, something in […]

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23/07/2019
Ocean and Devotion

  "Children are born with a sense of wonder and an affinity for Nature.  Properly cultivated, these values can mature into ecological literacy, and eventually into sustainable patterns of living.” Ernest Becker Return To Origin’s Guardians For Nature, (theme: Ocean as Home) took us to our beautiful False Bay, neighborhood to many of the children […]

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23/07/2019
Monsters, Heros and Liberation

  The group that I facilitated during my Guardians For Nature was comprised of youth from the Baphumelele Fountain of Hope program, which provides orphaned youth of the Cape between the ages of 18-21 with a safe and nurturing environment to transition positively towards adulthood. I could not have had a more perfect group for […]

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23/07/2019
Earth Home and Belonging

  Baphumele Youth Nature Connection Day On Saturday January 26, 2019 Return To Origin, https://returntoorigin.org.zatrainee leaders in the Indigenous Knowledge Leadership Program, were delighted to return to the young men and women of Baphumele, Fountain of Hope. Last year we planted 10 trees there on their farm and the trees are thriving, we are pleased […]

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05/08/2018
Trees for Tomorrow, Mandela Day, Leave a Legacy, Vryground

"For in the true nature of things, if we rightly consider, every green tree is far more glorious than if it were made of gold and silver." Martin Luther King Trees for Tomorrow is Return to Origins signature campaign. A significant symbol of our origins that represents our work. Youth and nature connection,  homecoming, healing, […]

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04/08/2018
Community, Nature and Culture

Sowing The Gifts We Reap- Angelique Michaels, Trainee Leader This month has been one of planting and of sowing seeds, and for me personally, one of remembering the value of community and connection. On July 15, Return to Origin hosted its annual fundraiser and we, trainee leaders of the organisation’s Indigenous Knowledge Leadership Program, being […]

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29/06/2018
There is Power in Presence and Healing in Listening

Blog Angelique Michaels, Return To Origin Trainee Leader, Indigenous Knowledge Leadership Program On June 16, Return to Origin facilitated another Guardians For Nature in Muizenberg with a group of kids from Capricorn Park, located on the Falsebay coast and referred to as the oldest informal settlement of the Cape. On the important day marked in […]

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25/06/2018
Finding Elders and Friends in Nature

The elements provided Return To Origin trainee Leaders, in the Indigenous Knowledge Leadership Program, and 13 young people aged between 7 and 13 a beautiful day at the Vlei in Muizenberg. Part of the sandvlei nature reserve, calm waters, grassy verges dotted with mantatoka trees, perfect for climbing and hiding.

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19/06/2018
Storytelling, Memory and Food

“But there is nothing that can be hidden from the mind. Nothing that memory cannot reach or touch or call back” Don Mattera, quote from District Six Huis Kombuis: food and memory cookbook Return to Origin www.returntoorigin.org.za was honored to have Zayaan Khan, working with us. Zayaan is a  food activist, who works with food […]

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27/05/2018
Nature's Mirror -Vision Quest

Life, death and rebirth… During this month past, I have had one of the most intense and profoundly defining experiences of my life.

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08/05/2018
Nature Meets Culture -Art and Craft Market- July 15th.

"When children and nature are re-united the natural world is more deeply valued and protected." - Richard Louv

You are cordially invited to join us for our annual Nature meets Culture Arts and Craft Market to celebrate and honour the work with youth, nature and community that lies at the heart of Return to Origin.

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07/03/2018
Inspiring people to re-imagine their relationship to their world

Blog Post: Arnoldt Michaels Return To Origin Trainee Leader, Indigenous Knowledge Leadership Program. Our Guardians For Nature Day kicked off to a great start.  As the school holidays take place during  December, it afforded Return to Origin the perfect opportunity to use the funds that we raised during our Origins art exhibition in October to give […]

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07/03/2018
WHAT YOU LOVE YOU PROTECT!

Thank you to all artists and buyers who sponsored our 1st Guardians For Nature  project,  by donating to our fundraiser “Origins” in October. Return To Origin Trainee Leaders,  spent the day with 13 youth aged 10-13 years old at Silvermine Nature Reserve from the Vryground communities in Cape Town.  After a breakfast of warm milk, bananas […]

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07/03/2018
What the Heart Loves is the Cure. African Proverb

Blog Post: Angelique Michaels, Trainee Leader, Indigenous Knowledge Leadership Program. This month we, the leaders in training for Return to Origin’s signature program, had the opportunity to facilitate our own youth-nature connection day at Silvermine Nature Reserve, Western Cape,  with children from the Vryground underserved community in Cape Town.  The day consolidated, in me, the […]

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07/03/2018
Supernatural in our mother city

We were fortunate enough to spend time at Lions Head, Table Mountain, with Jethro Boetman Louw, from Khoi Konnexion. Jethro has a wealth of knowledge about our deep heritage from the plants that grow on table mountain and many rocks and stones with which he appears to know each one intimately, like a family member […]

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03/03/2018
Origins - A community venture.

Blog Post: Lindsay Burch Trainee Leader, Indigenous Knowledge Leadership Program. In Service Training This month is the half way point in our second year as part of the Indigenous Knowledge Leadership Program (IKLP). It also represented our first opportunity for Return to Origin (RTO) to begin interacting with community. All the effort from many individuals […]

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03/03/2018
When we share our gifts the community thrives

The Art of Bow Making Workshop with Khoi Khonnexion. Angelique Michaels, Trainee Leaders in the Indigenous Knowledge Leadership Program. "With quiet bearing, they ignited in me a renewed sense of appreciation for the marvels of music and the intimately healing chords struck in their heart of the one through whom it finds expression. Giving utterance […]

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15/02/2016
Craig Foster's video

Scientists are now calling South Africa's Cape Coast the "cradle of the human mind". This is where humans with intelligence like ours today first emerged. So for "The Great Human Odyssey", we brought the world of the first coastal cultures to life in dramatic recreations. But was it worth the effort? Watch this "behind-the-scenes" and […]

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