If the living world is made up of lifesystems contained within nested and layered membranes, the importance of the spirit worker attending to the village membrane cannot be underestimated. 

What do I mean by spirit worker, village and membrane?

By spirit worker, I mean any human who is called to work on the energetic and spiritual level, with the unseen realms and mostly unseen guides for the purpose of healing, spreading light or affecting change.

Very simply the membrane is the bioenergetic container, boundary, barrier, skin, that protects what is inside from that which is outside. The membrane is permeable, with an intelligence and discernment to decide what gets in and what stays out. The membrane acts as a filter, shield and gatekeeper for what is within the membrane. All lifesystems have membranes from the simple cell to the multicellular, to the complex lifesystems we humans are embedded within. Without a healthy membrane the interior cannot thrive.

Even more simple, the village is the geographic place where you live and call home and the people and other other lifeforms that you share this space with. This space has a membrane that holds you all in a gentle embrace. 

And that membrane needs support and care, tending to, watching over.


I like to think of my village as my ecosystem. I love this definition of ecosystem I found recently from National Geographic: I liken the “bubble of life” to the membrane and what is held within it.

“An ecosystem is a geographic area where plants, animals, and other organisms, as well as weather and landscape, work together to form a bubble of life. Ecosystems contain biotic or living, parts, as well as abiotic factors, or non living parts. Biotic factors include plants, animals, and other organisms. Abiotic factors include rocks, temperature, and humidity…Every factor in an ecosystem depends on every other factor, either directly or indirectly…The whole surface of Earth is a series of connected ecosystems” (https://www.nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/ecosystem/)

These “bubbles” or membranes are nested and layered. We could think them as “widening circles.”   image by Seed

I live my life in widening circles by Rainer Maria Rilke

I live my life in widening circles

that reach out across the world.

I may not complete this last one

but I will give myself to it.

I circle around God, around the primordial tower.

I’ve been circling for thousands of years

and I still don’t know: am I a falcon,

a storm, or a great song?


Within this village membrane (bubble) are many other membranes: humans, animals, family systems, groups of common interest, all existing in what Rilke refers to in the above poem as “widening circles.” 

Attending to the village membranes is of primary importance, for it falls into the domain of what we call “communities.” And our communities are in need of critical care. 

What I mean by this is that many people in the Western, postmodern world feel alone, lonely, and experience an intense lack of belonging—a lack of community. A feeling of belonging  and community, a “village,” makes us feel safe, protected and free. If we belong, we are accepted, we have a place and know what that is, we have others to call on if we need help, and we also are willing to offer help or lend a hand when asked. We feel part of something bigger, beyond ourselves. We feel connected and plugged in. If we feel connected and a sense of belonging, no matter how loose or tight we want these connections to be, we have a sense of reassurance and calm, our nervous systems relax.

What if one of the reasons many people feel this lack of community and belonging is not one that we constantly hear—social media, tv, technology, the modern way of life, big corporations, break down of family—but rather, because no one is tending to the village/community membrane. And in that lack of support and care, the interior of the membrane is exposed, at risk, not thriving. 

If this were the truth, would you want to take up the work of caring for the membrane of your village?

The good news is you don’t have to create your village’s membrane. It has already been created organically by the village itself, just as an ecosystem creates its own membrane. The membrane arises from within, from all of the component parts interacting with one another as a dynamic system. If you take up the work of attending to the village membrane, you are protecting and supporting something that has already been created by the self-organizing properties of the system itself. By taking care of your village’s membrane, you take care of its interiority, its soul. By attending to the village membrane you are attending to the soul of your village. A vey important job indeed. 

If we take this membrane work seriously and begin to each attend to the membrane of our village from and within our own place, then link up to each other to strengthen the network of village membranes, we could live in a profoundly different world. We would have stronger villages. People would start to feel community again. They would feel held and taken care of.

And, oh, how to do this? Well for that you need to read my book: paperback Membranes of Hope: A Guide to Attending to the Spiritual Boundaries that keep Lifesystems Healthy from the Personal to the Cosmic.

or ebook.

I hope you do and then let me know how it’s going. 

Thank you for your much needed care and work.

©Theresa C. Dintino 2021

Theresa C. Dintino sketch by Mia Szarvas

Theresa C. Dintino is the author of eight books and serves as a guide and spiritual mentor to many. While attempting to reclaim and restore her ancestral medicine lineage, the Italian Strega tradition, Dintino was surprised to be “claimed” by the West African Dagara tradition of stick divination. Honored by this invitation, Dintino pursued it, and in 2011 was initiated into this potent form of divination. Besides her family and daughter, this turned out to be the greatest gift of her life.

Stick divination helped Dintino find her way back to her own lineage and enables her to help others find and restore theirs. This beautiful practice of Dagara stick divination continues to offer countless gifts. In multiple divination sessions, Dintino was taught about the spiritual membranes that protect, nurture, and inform lifesystems.


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