Who Is Your Tribe?

+ Gogo CitizenshipWe gathered in Boston’s Fanueil Hall – guests, officials, and the 347 people from all over the world who were about to become citizens of the United States. I was there to support and celebrate the final step in the naturalization process for my friend Evelyne. But I quickly realized I was there in another capacity as well – I was representing my country and being a witness to all of the people who were becoming citizens. Each of us in the room were part of the ceremony – which was a kind of a ritual – and stood as members of our country, our national tribe.

I don’t think consciously about my citizenship much of the time, and probably take it for granted too often. So, it deeply touched me to realize that these candidates had gone through a great deal of effort to become citizens of our country. I considered how all of them had been uprooted from their homelands, how far away from their families many of them were. I imagined what it must have been like to move to a new country, to learn its language, history, cultural ways, to make new friends, and to create new networks. The scope of the effort that had gone into building a new life and creating a new tribe impressed and moved me.

It was an honor to stand as they spoke their oath of allegiance and to welcome them to my country.

It’s hard for me to imagine moving to another country to live. My only major relocation was on a much smaller scale, years ago, when I moved from my familiar, mid-western life in Ohio to the unknown, big-city life of Boston. Even in a move of that proportion, I had plenty of adjustments to make. Life here was faster-paced, more intellectually driven, multi-cultural. It was harder to find a place to park my car (a confounding problem for a Midwesterner used to plentiful parking). I even had trouble understanding the language, if you will, when someone’s Southie accent overtook my ears.

But most significantly, I was farther from my home, family and friends than I’d ever been. The circles and communities of my hometown – my tribe – were no longer around me. There were many moments when I missed them mightily.

Reflection on Evelyne’s citizenship event and on my own move reminded me how important it is to have a tribe, to be a part of a community – or of many communities. Our geographical communities include our country, region, state, town, and neighborhood. Interpersonal communities are formed in our families of origin, our workplace and the organizations we’re in with those who share common concerns, interests, and beliefs.

Communities are important to us. They bring a sense of belonging, of being seen and acknowledged. There is a sense of shared experience that helps us feel connected to others.

Energetically, our root chakra represents the tribal, communal aspect of our energy field. There is a different quality in a large group interaction than in a two-person dynamic. Sometimes we need the magnified energy of the big group. If we’re missing a sense of being connected to a large community in our lives, our root chakra foundation can be a little shaky. We can feel isolated and alone, as I imagine my friend Evelyne and the other new citizens probably felt when they first moved to the States, as I felt when I first moved to Massachusetts.

I notice from time to time a lack of group or tribal energy in my life. As a self-employed practitioner with a home office, I don’t have a traditional workplace with a group of colleagues. At the moment, I’m not a part of a formal spiritual community and my extended family is scattered in many states. Sometimes, I look around, wondering, “Who is my tribe?” and realize I need to find ways to feel connected with others.

One of the gifts of the Internet is its capacity to bring us into connection with community – actually, with a global community. Type in a search and you can practically find anyone, anywhere. I’m guessing that some of Facebook’s appeal comes from the feeling that our Facebook friends are a tribe. Facebook designates our contacts as “friends” and our page as “home.” They know what they’re doing…I know I enjoy scrolling down my page for pictures and notes from friends and family. It gives me a feeling of staying in touch, of being connected.

But what really helps resolve my moments of feeling tribe-less is to touch into the energy of my biggest tribe, the tribe that is always available to me – the Tribe of Oneness. Oneness is a tribe made up of Spirit, of Essence. It transcends geographical borders and personal communities – it even transcends the Internet! – and it gives me the most extensive and deep sense of connection I can find.

Everyone I know, plus everyone I don’t know is a part of this Tribe. So are the animals, trees, plants, oceans, rocks, clouds, and stars. We’re all connected through the energy of Essence, which is Love, which is the Divine.

So, none of us is ever without a tribe – even if we are in transition from one nation to another, as Evelyne was for awhile or as any of us can feel upon occasion in our daily lives. The Oneness Tribe resides within us and goes with us wherever we are. Our oath of allegiance to it is a simple one: We promise to know and honor the Essence of us all, to know our Oneness with All That Is.

What a glorious Tribe!

So, welcome to the United States, Evelyne! And, welcome, all of us, to the Tribe of Oneness!


  1. Hi Janet,
    Wonderful post as usual! I can identify with this topic of tribe as I have been working hard to identify and gather one about me here in Wilmington, NC. Most people lack the crusty New Englander façade, so it has certainly been an easier process thus far! And of course, I consider you to be part of my tribe; the rabbit votive candle on my fireplace mantel reminds me of this…

    • Spiral Energies says

      I appreciate you reading the post and commenting, Patrice. Sending love and good energy as you build your new tribe around you, and missing you in mine up here in New England! It’s good that we can stay connected in these electronic ways…!

  2. Pat Quigley says

    Thanks so much for this article !! Your words really resonate with me.
    I do have family in this area(with good and bad that goes with it) but I’ve lost my work community a few years ago due to company closing.I had felt a strong sense of being needed and “valuable” at that job and have wondered where I can find such a scenario again.I’ve wondered if there is a spirtual community “out there” which I can join but I ‘ve already belonged to and have sort of outgrown a few of them after having been a “vita and “important” part of the groups.
    So,where does all this leave me? Where is my significance and where do I get the feeling of belonging and making a contribution??
    It is in the Onesness Tribe-something that is there always,even in “insignificant” moments e.g at the grocery store.,reading on the Internet,being in a TaiChi class,etc.
    Thanks so much for your reflections,especially the ending of ypur article.It says what I have been close t ounderstanding but had not quite articulated.

    • Spiral Energies says

      Your thoughtful reply is most appreciated, Pat. I’m glad that the ending of the post helped you clarify our Oneness Tribe being present for us at all times – and I fully appreciate the desire and need for physical community around us, too.

  3. It’s true that sometimes the human aspect of who we are needs the human experience of tribe, while it is a sacred gift when we come to understand that we are one, and that all of life is our community!

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