We have found ourselves in forest and mountain, split between the two as the building of the retreat continues…
The full presence of both places has touched our hearts and made us smile so many times.
We were called by the King of the Amahlubi people to attend community rites which is an inspiring experience and also one that shows how beautifully connected a person can be which holds the history of a people and has the empowerment to share it for those still willing to listen…
Oral wisdoms and the connectedness of being in physical presence is a great tradition of Ubuntu and is incredibly touching to the deepest parts of a being.
The mountains are dry and warm in
the day at present, but a little smokey as the fire season starts here in this part of KwaZulu-Natal. Night times are star lit and clear most of the time, dropping just below freezing leaving frost for melting treasures that shine in the sunlight in the morning.
We are often asked about the importance of ‘itwasa’ (training to be a Sangoma), and why it is so important to take the time and be able to do it in South Africa.
Once a genuine calling ‘ubizo’ has been identified, it must be respected that this is coming from the ancestors and is not an intellectual decision of a person who just decides they would like to be a Sangoma. The ancestral calling must be there because being a Sangoma is all about your relationship with your ancestors and the agreement to to do the work of the Sangoma.
Itwasa is an important process, it is a healing that will reveal the parts of your being that you have previously denied. It will take you apart and put you back together again. Through this you will need your teachers, mentors, spirit family who are in agreement to walk this strong process of awakening with you.
No Sangoma working with integrity takes this on lightly;
to be present when someone is losing themselves in order to find themselves is a path of great learning in its self for the mentor. They will need to be diligent at all times, aware and ready to speak truth even when it is rejected. They will need to embrace all of what is shown them, even the reflections in themselves. They will learn patience as is required for their own hearts and is ever repeatedly taught by the ancestors.
Itwasa is basically an oral tradition. Especially in its most traditional way, which requires time and patience for the itwasa to sit and listen as a child to what the mentors have to say through the sharing of experience’s, and telling of stories. The itwasa should be diligent at all times about listening, remembering and paying attention, even when it seems no formal lesson is being given.
Itwasa is surrender and by this it means letting go; every person in itwasa reaches a point where this becomes so obvious to them and so raw that the surrender awakens the empowerment that the ancestors have called for within the person to come in to presence, conscious presence.
There are many tools that aid this process and this also is what an itwasa will learn over time, song and dance, medicine and ritual; but these things are no good if not backed up with full presence of the Sangoma with their ancestors. If the depth of self-awareness is not there, because in this path when a Sangoma works, they delve deeply in to the truths of themselves, their ancestors and the people that come to them for help or journey.
The elder and highly respected Sangoma Credo Mutwa, once said to us “the role of the Sangoma is to find the truth, behind the truth, behind the truth”, and we see this echoed in our work time and time again as people come to the mountains, to us, to the Sangomas… to find their own truth.
For anyone wanting to learn more about Rituals, Sacred Sites, African tradition, African Shamanism and their personal relationship with their ancestors and how to work with them; the mentorship correspondence course is for you… http://africashamanexperience.com/the-african-zulu-shamanism-mentorship-program
We have created a sister FaceBook page for the Retreat so that you can check in regularly with all the happenings at the retreat with lots
of photos and details. Please take a look and click the ‘like’ if inspired. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Africa-Shaman-Retreat/345088325595805
We are going to be working in Pretoria from the 15th of June to the 24th; if you would like a reading consultation with us, please email
He who does not seize opportunity today, will be unable to seize tomorrow’s opportunity. ~ Somalia/African Proverb