What is a Sangoma?
A Sangoma is a traditional medicine practitioner, or shaman, of South Africa. Sangomas communicate with Ancestors, work with plant medicine (herbalism) and use the power of prayer for healing. While most practice all three, you will find others that work solely with one or any combination of these methods. Their training varies depending on lineage and land location. However, what they all have in common is a calling to serve their families, their communities and the Earth in accordance with the unconditional love of God (Goddess, Creator, Universe, Source, Great Spirit, Allah, Buddha, etc.). Being a Sangoma is not and does not replace a religious practice. It is a way of life. All are One.
Training - My Experience
The Sangoma tradition is taught orally and through direct experience with sacred ritual and ceremony. Training began with a ritual river washing and traditional initiation ceremony in to the energy of Indiki.
Simply put, Indiki is the spirit of our Grandfathers and the masculine energy of Fire. Through stories and human experience, I came to know Indiki as a great teacher, ancient Ancestor and friend. Once this relationship was established and I healed the Indiki imbalance within myself, I was ceremonially initiated in to the energy of Indawu.
From a basic perspective, Indawu is the spirit of our Grandmothers and the feminine energy of Ice. I then worked towards healing the imbalanced energy of Indawu within myself. I developed an equally intimate relationship with Indawu as I had with Indiki.
My training then became focused on balancing Indiki and Indawu, together, as one. Once a certain level of mastery was achieved, I had a traditional Indiki-Indawu Pothula. A Pothula is a ‘sealing’ ceremony that, basically, seals your training in to your being. The closest English translation of Pothula is the word ‘graduation’ – though they are not really the same thing!
After a brief window of ‘time’, I was initiated in to the frequencies of the Abalozi Ancestors – Ancient Ones. The frequencies of these Ancestors extend beyond the Earth Dimension and in to the vast array of Cosmic and Otherworldly beings.
After reaching a deeper level of self mastery, psychic awareness and Spirit communication, I was deemed ‘ready’ – by the collective Ancestral Network, my teachers and the community – to stand as a shaman. A second Pothula was performed, gifts were shared and, with great celebration, humbleness and gratitude, I was released from my teacher’s home.
When I arrived back in Canada, my training began all over again. This time between me, the Ancestors and God.