Saturday, July 9, 2011


This year I have attended some ceremonies carried out by Sangomas. At each one, at least one animal is killed and of course; eaten. The essential parts of the animal, for the work being done to have ascendancy, are the blood and bile. The flesh and organs of the animal help to feed those attending the ceremony. The blood feeds the ancestors. Even the hides of the animals are dried and used, in time.

The animals used by Sangomas must cry, thereby calling the ancestors. In fact the Zulu name for a goat means; the one who calls. Cows, goats and chickens are the ones used by the AmaZulu. When the animal cries, it is believed that, it is calling the ancestors.

I know that the animal is honoured and prefer to eat its flesh rather than that bought from butchers.

Now, I respect the traditions, rituals and ceremonies of Sangomas, but I am tired of killing animals.

There are other ways to deal with problems where an animal sacrifice is needed. Plant spirits are very real and are able to do the work of sacrificial animals. In fact it was a plant spirit who made me aware of my brother who was sharing my earth body for most of my life. He, my brother, was able to leave my body and find the light through a Reiki attunement, and not through the sacrifice of an animal. I know it worked as I miss his presence to this day.

I hope to learn more about plant and animal spirits and what they are able to do towards the healing and evolution of people. It may mean that I need a new teacher to guide me.

Thursday, June 9, 2011


On the 14th of March, I suddenly and quietly, did my last ceremony as a twasa (Sangoma apprentice).Having dedicated 7 years to my apprenticeship, with 3 formal Sangoma teachers, I can say I have learn't a lot.

In the meantime, I am living with a family on the next hill from where I did the last stage (3 years) of my apprenticeship. They, the Cele family, have given me a hut to live in and another for my mutis (medicines) and to through the bones in. The room I lived in when I did my apprenticeship is now my office, as it has electricity, and my fenced off garden is close by. My office houses my computer, and it is where I have started writing again.

Now I am preparing a piece of land, in this same village, as my own home. It has a run-down house, with 4 rooms, on it. There is no electricity, and water can be found across the road at a communal tap. It still needs a toilet and a hut for my ancestors.

My dream for my new home is to establish it as a healing centre for locals and foreigners alike.

Friday, May 30, 2008


As I write about my journey out of Cape Town to Zululand last summer, all the Sangomas I met come to mind. This leads me to ponder on what I have learn’t from each one. It appears as if they expect my ancestors to teach me herbal lore. This does happen. Imagine how much more we can learn if we were more willing to share our knowledge, as well?

From what I’ve seen, the twasas who are not taught the Sangoma’s medicine stays a twasa for a long time. Yes, there is a process that happens within, a personal and spiritual growth that needs to occur. There are those of us who are ready and hunger for knowledge of our indigenous herbs, knowledge that is held back by those who keep it.

Oft times, in my case, it has been exacerbated by the fact that we didn’t understand each other’s languages too well. This takes time. I now look forward to meeting people who understand my language and hold this knowledge I seek, soon. The time has come to reduce the amount of herbs I need brought in from other countries to perform the everyday miracles I’m accustomed to. This is my home country and this is where I’d like to source my herbal ingredients for my remedies.

While in Zululand, there were times people were queuing out my door, waiting to consult me and waiting for their muti. This is because each person will receive a remedy made particularly for them. This method of treatment works very well. Word spreads and with it, reputation. More people come for healing. How many more people I would have been able to help with a better and more complete knowledge of the indigenous herbs.
Come then, Sangomas, Inyangas, Herbalists of South Africa, come let us learn from each other.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007



I LOVE YOU Karen. When I look into those shiny, dark eyes of yours, I find it hard to look away. What depths, like windows, they contain. Sad eyes. Don’t be so sad my child? Don’t you know your brother is with you? Trust in where you are. Remember friends lost are really friends gained. Yes, it’s me. Do you remember the dream where we smoked pipes together. Now you have the pipe that I gave you even then. You asked for help. Karen you are getting it. When you smell the rum and maple remember that I am with you. You asked for help, Karen, you are getting it. What more do I need to say to you? You are strong, don’t give up. Yes, you are beautiful. Do not be afraid we will not harm you. All you have heard is true. It will come to pass.


I know that it’s you. Your face seems to be imprinted onto the back of my eyes. Sometimes your presence is comforting and sometimes your presence is scary. I’m getting tired. I have lost my youthful energy. It makes me sad. Where did the laughter go? I wonder what an intimate friend would do for me. Oh, how nice that sounds; to be in love with someone who is in love with me. Is it on the cards? What say you?


Many support me so I can write. Friends. All so much a part of my life now. As I sit here I am reminded of how things change, once I've made a decision to continue on the path I am called to. The moment I realise that this is what I must do, then what I need for the journey appears. Always this has involved friends, both familiar and new. When I ask for help from the angels, guides, ancestors and devas and feel my heart set on what is at hand, then only do these things materialise in my world of uncertainty. Too often it is easy to believe that I'm just mad, living in an insane fantasy. Then, with people who encourage me to finish what I have started, do what I have decided, and hope is reignited, then come the tools and opportunities. Who brings these things to me in the end, but fleshy, physical, living people. Familiar beings in a world that we are taught is real. To you, my people, who share this world with me, do I offer my gratitude. For you, I am called. For you and our earth.

Friday, October 26, 2007


I'm house sitting. That's great. Easier to write this way. As to the subject, now being related in the book I'm writing; interaction with plants in another sentience.

Beyond the consuming of bulbs, rhizomes, roots, gums, bark, boughs, twigs, leaves, flowers, fruit and seed. Past drinking of sap and nectar. Along with the healing of herbal remedies. Plant spirits. I've made them part of me.

Bobby first introduced me to them through plant spirit medicine and dream work. Big, calm, green Willow. Pretty lady, mother Dandelion. Mischievously dressed as a flower, little girl Dandelion. These are the ones I remember between then and now.

Willow, the genuis loci, and Dandelion; I met in the Willow Grove, where I often rested and gathered my strength. It was at the base of one of the Witteberge mountains on the Wonderklip Farm, between Ficksburg and Fouriesburg.

Later I met Passionflower where the bones of my first colonial ancestor lay. It was in the 1820 settlers memorial graveyard on the St. Georges Park grounds in Port Elizabeth.

These plant spirits have introduced me to other parts of the spiritual world. There are particular ancestors, I remember, who first made themselves aware to me, while I was interacting with the plant spirits.

They have increased my gnosis, took me to places I wasn't able to find on my own. I now know how to find them, though these are realms I now seldom seek.

After all these spheres could just be part of my insanity.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

My ancestors

This is the second day I work on my book. As I sat here writing earlier on I started experiencing a very empty feeling in my stomach. It can't be hunger, I thought, I'd just eaten something. Then I started to feel giddy and really spaced out. My feet started aching. An uncomfortable feeling over my navel. What was going on? Ah, it came to me that this was the doing of my ancestors. They talk to me, not in audible words or in visions. In fact I find it rather difficult to explain. It is a profound knowing, as if my ancestors are in my head and in my body. It is not a feeling of possession rather a feeling of presence. Sometimes the presence is outside of me in a particular space, as if someone is actually there. These ancestors are not just those from whom I descend. These beings are also relatives and close friends who have passed on. They always guide me when I make herbal preparations. They are the ones who have set me on my path as a healer. I never feel like I'm on my own but often feel alone. It is seldom now that I meet anyone who shares the same experiences. I still suffer with the illness of calling yet; I seem unable to finish my Sangoma training. Mostly, this is due to lack of finance. Ceremonies need large amounts of money. I was once fortunate to have someone sponsor one of my ceremonies. I sometimes wonder if I'll ever graduate. Usually the family of a twasa will assist with the costs involved. I have no such support. The illness of calling is driving me crazy.

Friday, September 14, 2007

I am writing a book about my Sangoma experiences

Today I have begun to write my story about the first time I met Sangomas. I am in my little house in Muizenberg, South Africa. The birdsong in the courtyard is for me. It is spring and a grey, blustery day. My kitchen door stands a quarter ajar. This morning a bird flew in at the door, through my kitchen and into my room. It hovered over my portal for a bit, then flew out again.

“Come, get out of bed” it said. “Come out of the winter and into the spring. You have what you need to sit down and write. Remember the crow.”

The crow has visited the pine tree next to me. Calling and calling my name until I'd come out to greet. This happened again the following day. Tidings of a friend lost and friends gained. The new life as writer begins.

As I write I hear the pigeons wroo wroo-ing, the same sounds I heard in Mautse, Place of the Ancestors. I start to remember.

The Devas guide me again. I've been given wings.