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  • Writer's pictureChanel Rion


o-REN-dah -- (n.) The spiritual energy flowing from all things animate and inanimate.

Standing in a cathedral to the opening chorus of Bach's St. Matthew Passion -- we FEEL something divine. The Iroquois' concept of "Orenda" was the belief that all things in the universe possessed an energy that in turn affected all things.

Purists will leave this word in the thick volumes of theology and anthropology. But those more open minded may honor this word by applying it to that indescribable, moving energy we sometimes feel from certain people. Or to describe that gentle spiritual push we might feel leading and guiding us in our decisions. An inspirational speaker may have an orenda that rouses us to act; a glance from a stranger may have an orenda that arrests us to our core; the orendic beauty of a Monarch butterfly migration... Anything that reminds us that the world is flowing with an energy greater than ourselves, to be harnessed by us at any time... that, is Orenda.

~Wordeby's by Chanel Rion

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