Bad Politics or False Worship: Caterpillar Dreaming

14 April 2023

13.8 MINS

What on earth could a caterpillar have to do with politics or worship or – wait for it – the Voice?

My Dream

On the night of 24 March, I had a strange dream about a caterpillar-like creature. It was light blue and see-through, and maybe 2ft long. It was very light, and would occasionally somersault and move around a lot. I couldn’t see any legs. It was kind of floating just above the ground. I say caterpillar because it had a curvy body like waves up and down.

There was an old white woman on my right and somehow her head got attached (sewn on with needle and thread) to both ends of the caterpillar. I don’t know if she was decapitated as I didn’t see her after this happened, but there was no blood and her head was shrunk to fit the size of the caterpillar. It seemed to move from left to right even though it had two heads.

There was a woman on the other side of the caterpillar whom I could not see, but she said she owned it and called it a train by saying, “That’s my train.”

I don’t usually remember dreams but this image is staying with me still many days later. My husband Norman woke me up at one point because I was making a noise. I said I’m OK I’m praying against something. I went straight back to sleep and don’t remember anything about it but I don’t think it was the same dream as the caterpillar. When I woke up in the morning, I remembered the caterpillar dream and all I was getting was that it was a hybrid – part insect, part human – not good.

Norman came up with the words train wreck, miscarriage, and two-faced. Also, the caterpillar in the Bible destroys crops, finances, etc. (Psa 78:46). And also, caterpillars transform into butterflies.

The Cartoon About the Train

Train Coming

Image credit: Mark David / @MDavidCartoons/Independent Australia

I was surprised when I was researching a photo to go with my article about the Voice that I found one (and used it) about a train with Voice written on it that was coming around a corner very fast and about to run over Opposition Leader Peter Dutton who was on the rail track. Someone was calling to him to “Train coming!” So, is this caterpillar symbolic of the Voice?

Caterpillar Dreaming

Well, as you might imagine, I was reluctant to share this with anyone. However, I did share it with one trusted intercessor and her husband and she said the two women in the dream could be witches. She asked me if there was anything in Aboriginal culture about caterpillars. I immediately said yes, there is a caterpillar dreaming in the Northern Territory.

So, I searched for it on the internet and found that the story is actually around Alice Springs. Interesting considering all the problems that have made headlines recently there regarding youth crime, alcohol abuse, and family violence. See “Prayer Points for Alice Springs and All Communities Affected by Similar Issues” and “God’s Voice Shakes the Desert” prophetic word and message by Pastor Norman Miller.

But there was much more. I came across an article about the caterpillar dreaming that said it was the story of three caterpillars and one of them was greenish blue. These caterpillars turn into the hawk moth. It is a creation story where the caterpillars form the land around Alice Springs. They are decapitated and form the MacDonnell ranges.

The last sentence was very interesting because it quoted a renowned elder of the area, Wenten Rabuntja, whom I knew of when he chaired the Central Land Council, using the word train.

This seemed to be a lot of coincidences – a blue caterpillar, a decapitation and a train.

Image credit: Inner Scribe

Yipirinya means caterpillar in Arrernte and the region was created by giant caterpillars. Their creation story begins at Anthwerrke (Emily Gap), just east of Alice Springs in the East McDonnell Ranges. They then travelled west towards Alice Springs creating the topographical features along the way. The story goes:

“But after leaving Ntyarlkarle Tyaneme, they came upon the ilperenye (green beetle men) at Ntaripe (Heavitree Gap). There a great battle took place, with the caterpillars defeated and many beheaded, their bodies now forming parts of the McDonnell Ranges, joined head to tail as travelling caterpillars are seen to do, their decapitations creating the spectacular gorges that cut through the ranges.”

The writers emphasise the inclusiveness of the story:

“Indeed, the Arrernte see this inclusiveness as intrinsic to the Caterpillar Dreaming. The story emphasises that the caterpillars converged on Alice Springs from all directions – north, south, east and west. Mparntwe (Alice Springs) is ‘everybody’s four corners’ a meeting place – where people from all over (indigenous and non-indigenous alike) are ‘all mixed up together’ – a place in which everyone can belong, a melting pot in which all work together in community. As one Arrernte elder expressed it so eloquently:

‘We got to be like the two train-lines. That train, he cannot run on just one line.’” (Wenten Rubuntja)

The Caterpillar Transforms

If you have followed the journey of constitutional recognition, you will know that it has morphed (changed slowly) and then undergone a metamorphosis or transformed significantly over the years just as a caterpillar transforms radically into a butterfly or moth. However, this is seen especially since the meeting at Uluru where it changed from recognition in, and removal of racism from, the Constitution to Voice-Treaty-Truth. It was a seismic shift that all state and territories are moving to implement, not just the federal government.

Blue Caterpillar Makes Its Way into the Media

The blue caterpillar or hornworm is also in the Alice in Wonderland story using a hookah to smoke tobacco. He tells her to eat the mushroom so she can magically change her size.

Norman said that he thought there was a usurping spirit behind the Voice. I said yes, I agree, and amazingly, the blue caterpillar in Alice in Wonderland is called Absolem (a similar name for the usurping spirit, Absalom).

I researched the hawk moth and found there is a cartoon where the blue caterpillar uses the strong feelings of people to magically turn them into evil humans in exchange for helping them reach their goals.

Okay, these are all stories – a dreamtime story, a movie and a cartoon. But is there anything else here? Magic is still practiced in central Australia according to Aboriginal pastors.

Trains and Songlines

Our church hosted a conference in Parliament House Canberra in 2004, the head of the nation and then in Uluru the heart of the nation in 2005. At a visit to the Institute of Aboriginal and Torrres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) in Canberra around this time, I was told there is a songline from AIATSIS to Uluru and shown the spot as it was marked. At that time, I was not used to carrying a mobile phone and so I didn’t take a photo and I can’t find a photo now. However, there are prominent projects regarding songlines and one of them is about a train. There is an Aboriginal song about it as it traverses their country as songlines do. Their website says:

“The Nyamal train song is known as a Japi song, a public song that was composed by Pilbara stockman Mangkayipirti or Larry Brown. It tells of the sights and sounds of the train’s journey through Nyamal country.”

AIATSIS explains that:

“Ancient songlines criss-cross the continent and link people, places, and practice. By singing the songlines, Elders evoke the ancient stories of Country.”

There is a big effort in Australia to reactivate the songlines which are worldwide:

“Songlines or Song line in Australia refers to the Earth’s subtle energy currents – known as ley lines in UK, snake lines in India, Dragon lines in China – also related to the Hartmann and Curries lines known well in Germany, geomancy and feng shui.”

Two Heads or Two-Faced

Occasionally we have two heads in nature, e.g. in snakes and turtles. It’s generally interpreted as a lack of responsibility and accountability because of undefined authority or boundaries and leads to confusion. I can see this in the Voice and I can see the two heads are the ALP represented by Prime Minister Albanese and the Referendum Working Group.

Interestingly, a “two-headed woman” is a traditional African American term used to describe women gifted with access to the spirit world as well as to the material world.

Wesley’s Revelation 9:19 Bible Commentary

“The power of the horses was in their mouths and in their tails; for their tails were like snakes, having heads with which they inflict injury.” (Rev 9:19 NIV)

Wesley’s commentary says:

“Their riders fight retreating as well as advancing: so that their rear is as terrible as their front. For their tails are like serpents, having heads — Not like the tails of serpents only. They may be fitly compared to the amphisbena, a kind of serpent, which has a short tail, not unlike a head from which it throws out its poison as if it had two heads.”

The amphisbena is an ant-eating serpent from Greek mythology which had two heads.

But what about two-faced? The Cambridge dictionary says:

“Someone who is two-faced is not sincere, saying unpleasant things about you to other people while seeming to be pleasant when they are with you.”

If we apply the above to the Voice, there is the potential for deceit, characteristic of the serpent, the potential to be destructive and hurt, and the potential to be insincere and mislead.

Train Wreck and Miscarriage of Justice

One news commentator has since called the proposed referendum on the Voice a train wreck. Is it justice for less than 4% of the population to override or hold to ransom over 96% of the population? As Prime Minister Albanese said, it would be a brave government that would reject the advice of the Voice (The Australian, 3.8.22).

False Worship?

Obviously, I was not going to release this without much prayer about it. After all, I have been a supporter of Indigenous rights for 50 years, often at the coalface. But it is the Lord’s Voice that must hold pre-eminence over other voices. I need to be prepared to sacrifice friendships and my good name and my pet theories if that’s what the Lord calls for. So, the rubber hits the road.

As I prayed for confirmation that my dream was from the Lord rather than one that was not relevant, I felt the scripture of Leviticus 14:12 was highlighted to me.

“Then the priest is to take one of the male lambs and offer it as a guilt offering, along with the log of oil; he shall wave them before the LORD as a wave offering.”

I then got 2 Corinthians 5:18–20:

“All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.”

Reconciliation May Go Backward Rather Than Forward

Briefly, there have been huge strides towards reconciliation in our nation. The Voice is liable to take us backwards rather than forwards as it is a divisive process.

Not only that, it has the potential to be very divisive for First Nations people with each other. When the National Native Title Act 1993 came in, many First Nations people saw it as a step forward but it has created huge divisions with Aboriginal groups fighting each other for many years over who has native title to various areas all around Australia.

Politics of Atonement

So, what do we have here? The place for making things right is primarily between us and God but we also need to make it right with those we’ve wronged.

“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.” (Matt 5:23–24)

For those who are trying to make things right with our First Nations or Indigenous people, this is a worthy endeavour. However, if we are not guided by God in how to do it, can we make mistakes? Yes, we can.

I prayed that if the Voice is a guilt offering to make things right and reconcile further with First Nations people, what are we offering or laying down or sacrificing and what is the altar on which we are offering it?

Is it equality of citizenship? Is it our desire to have a society free of racism and discrimination? Is it democracy? Is it our Judeo-Christian heritage? Are we opening the door of parliament and government for an Aboriginal earth religion? And is it the altar of woke or the altar of race?

Is the ancient serpent trying to further take over our government? Let’s face it, the serpent has already made plenty of inroads. Our Constitution and government are based on Judeo-Christian values and these are increasingly being challenged.

What is power-sharing like in a democracy? The doctrine of the separation of powers divides the institutions of government into three branches: legislative, executive, and judicial: the legislature makes the laws; the executive puts the laws into operation; and the judiciary interprets the laws.

If someone or something really wanted to undermine our democracy, how would they do it? Why of course, add a fourth arm just as powerful as the three existing pillars – the Voice with the power to be consulted early by the legislature (parliament) and the executive (ministers and public service) on most matters.

If the Voice is not satisfied that it has been consulted properly or heard with effect, it can challenge the matter in the high court (the judiciary). It will have the constitutional right to do so if the referendum later this year is successful. This is not a modest proposal as Albanese says, but a radical one.

Is There a Connection between Uluru and the Caterpillar Dreaming?

The recognition of First Nations people in the constitution has been a long process and I have covered it in my book Secrets and Lies. The Uluru Statement from the Heart which has led us to where we are today was made symbolically at Uluru, the heart of the nation on the 50th anniversary of the 1967 referendum which enabled First Nations people to be counted in the census and for the Federal Government to legislate regarding them.

Did the location of Uluru make a difference? Why did I see a caterpillar if the caterpillar story has no connection to Uluru? What are the dreamtime stories around Uluru?

Norman and I and our Centre for International Reconciliation and Peace hosted a conference at Uluru in 2005 at which First Nations and other Christians came from all over Australia. We were welcomed by traditional owner Bob Randall who spoke at our conference and sang his famous song for us ‘Brown Skin Baby’.

Well, we certainly stirred up the witches. Firstly, we had a call from Pastor Noel Mann that there was a group in Brisbane who put a huge advertisement in The Courier Mail maintaining that they were hosting our conference and inviting people to attend a preliminary meeting in Brisbane. We quickly flew to Brisbane and confronted them at the meeting. We also watched the registrations coming in to make sure we didn’t register them.

While we were at Uluru, we had witches stalking the rooms of our worship team. We had hired the Tent of Promise tent and at the conference itself, we had uninvited women dancing like snakes during the worship who had to be removed. It was a full-on battle. After we prayed and took authority over opposing spirits at the base of Uluru, it all stopped so they were probably drawing their power from there. Fortunately, it was an amazingly successful conference and we haven’t had that type of direct confrontation again.

Prayer at the base of Uluru at our 2005 conference: Healing the Land, Healing the People


We went to the base of the rock Uluru and had an amazing time of worship and prayer with many Aboriginal elders and non-Indigenous prayer warriors. As we went to board our buses back to where we were staying, two people took photos of the rock and both reported that night that on their cameras were photos of the rainbow serpent and its eggs leaving the rock. They had not seen it in the natural.

The Lord had been at work! Unfortunately, because of its sacred nature, new agers, the occult, and the local Aboriginal people reinvoke the ancient spirits of the land. So, while amazing ground was taken in the spirit, it is not easy to maintain it.

For more, see here.

I studied the local stories before we went to Uluru and spoke about them in a spiritual mapping session at our conference. The creation story of the Anangu people of Uluru is all about snakes.

“There lived two tribes of ancestral spirits. Invited to a grand dinner, they did not show up because they were distracted by the Sleepy Lizard Women. The hosts, in anger, sang evil into the mud sculpture, which thereupon came to life. Then began a massive battle, which resulted in deaths of leaders of both tribes. Due to the amount of bloodshed, and remorse felt by the Earth itself, it rose in grief, becoming Uluru.”

We are told that:

“Wherever you walk around Mutitjulu Waterhole, you are surrounded by the presence of two ancestral beings – Kuniya, the woman python and Liru, the venomous snake.”

The rainbow serpent is seen as the main creator spirit in Aboriginal Australia, its creative stories belonging to many tribes. Wanampi is the Anangu Pitjantjatjara word meaning rainbow serpent and they are believed to be dangerous creatures guarding waterholes. Anne Axelby, Flinders University, says in Wanampi: Rainbow Serpent of the Desert that:

“It is said that Wanampi assumes the form of a rainbow when offended. In its rainbow state, the Wanampi is revered by Anangu, but the Wanampi can kill intruders by taking their spirit.”


There does not appear to be any significant relationship between the caterpillar dreaming and the dreamtime stories of Uluru. It is likely to be a coincidence that there are three caterpillars at Alice Springs and three snakes at Uluru – python, Liru the venomous snake, and Wanampi, the rainbow serpent. However, I think we need to keep in mind the role of the snake in Genesis and the role of the serpent in Revelation. We may think these are just stories, but there are spiritual realities behind them.

The Lord has been putting on my heart the words ‘enchantment’ and ‘bewitched’. The Church and other faith leaders have come out publicly in support of the Voice:

“The Catholic, Uniting and Anglican churches, the Australian National Council of Imams and the Executive Council of Australian Jewry on Friday will join Australian Sikhs, Buddhists, Hindus and the National Council of Churches at Barangaroo in Sydney to endorse the Uluru Statement from the Heart.”

Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne Peter Comensoli told The Oz:

“I am personally moved by the deep yearning expressed in the Statement from the Heart, and I am so encouraged that faith leaders have offered a response from the heart of their own spiritual traditions.”

I was led to the verse:

“You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified.” (Galations 3:1 NIV)

I think it’s important that I note that I respect Aboriginal culture and I think that other Australians should also. Nevertheless, we need to discern the difference between respecting it and making an idol of it.

I am reminded that many years ago, an Aboriginal priest from Yarrabah said to me, tapping his chest, “I’m a culture man but the Church expects me to give up Aboriginal culture.”

This was a dilemma for him, feeling torn between the two. I said, “It doesn’t matter whether you are black or white, you need to give up those parts of your culture that don’t line up with the word of God and keep those parts that do.”

I gave some examples – loving money more than God, making an idol of sport, or of achieving fame or anything that we give higher allegiance to than God or would offend God. He gave a sigh of relief, saying that he didn’t realise that white people had to examine and give up parts of their culture too.

I do want to also call out syncretism within the Church, a matter I will come back to.

If this article does give us any lessons on the Voice, I think it is that we need to be very wary and we need to hear God’s Voice above all the voices around us. For more information, see another article on the Voice.

You can also find the history of the process of constitutional recognition in an excerpt from my book Secrets and LiesHow We Got to Voice Treaty Truth”.


Photo by Pixabay.

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  1. Kaylene Emery 14 April 2023 at 4:49 pm - Reply

    Clearly you have prayed and thought a great deal, not to mention the work of writing this significant article Barbara.
    If the Australian Churches are all in agreement that the voice is a good thing – all the more reason to vote No.
    The conduct of these bodies, now made visible over the past three years, speaks to the evil which has infiltrated them. By them , I refer to Catholic, Anglican and Jewish. Others yet remain to be seen.
    There was a time when many might have said, the Church will never allow the government to orchestrate the evil currently being unleashed. So it has been a great shock to realise that it is the Church’s who walk lock step with the destruction of Christianity in our Nation.
    To be clear, I say No to the voice. No to the trans activists. No to safe schools Re education. No to forced medical interventions. I could go on but suffice it to say – I say Yes to Jesus Christ the only begotten son of God. May He have mercy on us all.
    Thank you again.

  2. Anna Soh 14 April 2023 at 9:33 pm - Reply

    A very enlightening read that more people should read and pray about for our nation and our First Nations people to come together in a way that does not place one over the other but to love one another as Jesus has loved us.
    I don’t believe in coincidences and now that the cross is up on Memory Mountain I wonder what impact that will have on the spiritual realm.

  3. Stephen 15 April 2023 at 5:07 pm - Reply

    every evil spirit is connected as part of the kingdom of darkness and living and praying in Central Australia for years respect the things raised in this article…looking forward to 24 7 prayer worship and reading Gods word during Shift the Nation may 12 to 22 this year . Along with raising the worship and maintaining this worship of the Lord in Australia we are believing that the greater outpouring of Holy Spirit will come to here and South Pacific this year as we journey together as the people of God ..even though only a remnant are following Christ ..we stand in the Gap before the Lord….thank you Barbara for posting this article

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