Articles by Katharine Lee

Soul Retrieving Shaman:
On the Side of South Africa's Angels by www.voanews.com (Voice of America)

www.voanews.com/content/soul-retrieving-shaman-on-the-side-of-the-angels-/1922237.html

The article has been written as follows:

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA — As an 18 year old nurse, Katharine Lee, now 67, started “living it up, smoking and drinking and partying,” and the previously “naïve Christian girl who wanted to serve God with all her being,” became an atheist. 

“I had lived in a very sheltered environment. Suddenly I was ejected into this harsh world of pain and suffering. I just could not reconcile a God of love with seeing little babies dying of cancer, innocent people mutilated in car accidents, and all the atrocities,” she explained.

One night she returned to her parent’s home in Johannesburg.

“They were having a séance. The lights went off and everybody started singing hymns and praying,” she remembered. “I thought, ‘This is great!’”

But instead of being “titillated by spooks” and “tables jumping around the room,” something then occurred to transform Lee’s life.

“I felt this incredible power and love overshadow me. I had no control over my body. I felt my body get up out of the chair. Some force moved me across the room to where my mom was sitting. I did not know at the time that she had a bad migraine headache. I felt my hands being placed on her head and this strange energy pulsating through my body, this love, into my mother.

“She’d been plagued with very bad migraines all her life. And she said when my hands were laid on her head the power working through me had healed her instantly. And she never had a migraine after that (ever again).”

For decades Lee worked as a spiritual healer, healing people by placing her hands on them. She was also clairvoyant, possessing the ability to “perceive” events before they happened.  

Past life as North American Indian 

Another significant step on Lee’s path to “spiritual awakening” happened about 15 years ago. While visiting the coastal city of Port Elizabeth, an “inexplicable force” pulled her to Hogsback, a town in the mountains of the Eastern Cape region.

“A friend and I, Mary, booked into a guesthouse there. We were having supper and as I put the last spoon of food into my mouth, it was as though a bolt of lightning hit me, and the room began to spin. I was in great pain,” Lee recalled.

She retreated to her room, where she was joined by the concerned owner of the lodge – a woman named Dawn – who began to massage her sore shoulder.

“As she did that, I started to sob, and I kept telling her: ‘I am so sorry; please forgive me.’ But I’d never met her before! Then spontaneously we all regressed to a previous life, where we’d lived together in various roles in the same (ancient) Native American (Indian) settlement.

“Dawn transformed into Grey Wolf – my teacher in a Native American incarnation, and she had the pelt of a grey wolf on her head. And Mary changed into the tribe’s water gatherer. 

“I said to Dawn: ‘What did I do; what did I do?’ And she said to me: ‘The chief says you broke your vow of celibacy.’

“On that journey into the past village elders told me from the day I was born in that incarnation, I had been chosen to become the village’s medicine woman, or shaman. In my late teens I had a final initiation to go when I fell in love with someone and lost my virginity (tribal law dictated that shaman’s remain virgins). Because of that I was cast out of the village and never fulfilled my role to heal the people of the village.”

Traumatic soul loss

Lee said on her regression into her past life she “relived” all the shamanic rituals she’d experienced as a North American Indian many centuries ago.

“All my different gifts were once again revitalized and came back to life and I was reenergized and my vibrations were heightened, and I suddenly recalled all the shamanic things I had been taught how to do.”

Within a matter of minutes, Lee was a shaman.

“A shaman has the ability to leave their body at will and (their soul) journeys into the upper, the middle or the lower worlds, in search of the lost aspect of a person’s soul, to find it, to heal it, to retrieve it, to bring it back and to reintegrate it back into the person who’s suffering from soul loss,” she told VOA.

Explaining “soul loss,” Lee said some people endure experiences that are “far too traumatic to handle, and so an aspect of the soul goes into hiding. An example would be someone who’s been sexually abused as a child, or someone who’s been the victim of a terrible crime, or someone who’s made a big mistake in the past that’s haunted the person his or her whole life, someone’s parent might have committed suicide…”

Such a traumatized person, she said, typically feels loss of identity, depression, insomnia and “strange symptoms for which there’s no medical cure.”

The only cure, Lee maintained, lies buried deep in a person’s past – or even in a person’s past life, as far back as many thousands of years ago.

The shamanic journey

To allow her or her client’s soul to transcend the present physical world and to journey spiritually into the past, she sits alongside them and links with them “mentally and physically.”

Lee emphasized: “If I pick up that they’ve suffered great trauma in the past, I journey on their behalf.”

She plays a CD of music containing highly rhythmic drumming, and instruments such as rattles and didgeridoos.   

“It helps to get you into a trance state, in order to journey for that person… or to help them achieve a different state of consciousness, an altered state of awareness…”  

During this trance, Lee experiences “sensations” and “flashes” that allow her to see into a person’s past, including into previous lives that the person’s soul might have lived.

“When I move into an altered state of consciousness and my soul leaves my body, I move along that person’s timeline in the past, searching for the person’s past soul,” she explained.  

On a shamanic journey, several “compassionate allies” guide her to retrieve the damaged parts of people’s souls.

“They can take the form of various spirit helpers, which come from God. So it could be guardian angels, it could be (deceased) loved ones in spirit who still care very much about the person you’re dealing with. It could be that person’s guardian angel who’s been with them from birth. It could be legions of angels, depending on where that soul has landed up.”

Lee continued that on particularly difficult journeys, with lots of trauma involved and with the possibility of her soul being confronted by evil forces, she invokes the “highest of the most high” and assorted “ascended masters” for protection.  

“We’re talking about Jesus, we’re talking about Buddha, we’re talking about Muhammad; we’re talking about the Virgin Mary. We’re talking about all the masters that the different religions know and serve… That’s quite a strong force to have backing you,” Lee stated, smiling.  

She added that when she does this, her clients describe feeling hands on their bodies, “hands of healing, hands of love, as though they’re just surrounded by this incredible love that holds them, that cradles them, that works on them throughout the session.”

Trapped soul  

Lee’s been on plenty of “amazing” shamanic journeys, including one with a man who was suffering severely from asthma.   

“Our souls journeyed down into a cave, and we seemed to be walking forever along underground tunnels, trying to find the lost aspect of his soul. And because the journey went on forever I realized that this must have happened a long, long time ago.

“We kept on moving back, back in time. Eventually, I heard a faint voice calling: ‘I’m here, I’m here.’ We came to an opening in the ground, like a well. And as we looked over we could see him as a young boy, lying trapped under a pile of stones.

“My guides and I really struggled to free that part of his soul, to bring him up to the surface, to encourage him to breathe…”

“Eventually we brought him up to a safe place where other shamanic healers were gathered. There we performed a healing and a reintegration of soul, where I blew the healed aspect back into his heart center and his crown (brain) center.

“It came out on that journey that in a previous life he as a child had fallen into a well and had died through drowning, and nobody had ever found him. And this person explained that in this life he always suffered from claustrophobia (and asthma), and had a terrible fear of water and would never go swimming.” 

However, said Lee, after the soul retrieval session the man never again suffered from asthma and claustrophobia, and began to swim.

“So the trauma he had suffered in a past life was trapped in his soul’s memory bank and had negative consequences on his present life,” she said.

Abortion trauma

A woman consulted Lee, severely depressed after having endured the deaths of many close relatives in her life.   

“We both thought that’s where her soul loss occurred. But it actually had nothing to do with that,” said Lee.  

“When I started to journey for her, I saw what looked like a long rope. I followed this rope, which began to look more and more like an umbilical cord. I followed it until I got to a young lady, holding a little baby and rocking it. I recognized that this baby was the part of this woman’s soul that was missing, so I reintegrated it back into her.”

Then she told her client what she’d seen on the journey.

“This particular lady was well into her 50s, and she said: ‘Good grief.’ (She told me that) early in her 20s she fell pregnant. She had very, very high blood pressure and in order to save her life, they had to terminate the pregnancy, and she never fell pregnant again. So she grieved for that baby all her life, without realizing that she was experiencing soul loss as a result of that.”  

Soul travels to heaven  

Sometimes, said Lee, her soul travels to what she called the “Upper World.”

“A child may have been severely abused. And during that time an aspect of soul may have decided they would far rather go and live in the Upper World. That’s the world of angels, where everything is beautiful and perfect; some people call it heaven.”      

She continued: “It’s more about feeling, than anything else. It really is a beautiful, special place where one feels this amazing peace, safety and serenity.”

When her soul is in the Upper World, said Lee, the atmosphere in her “healing room” changes dramatically.  

“It’s almost a celestial feeling and (the clients’) features change… It’s just absolutely awesome,” she commented.

Lee added that it’s usually a “huge battle” to persuade the relevant part of the soul to return to the real and present world.

“A lot of them, understandably, don’t want to come back from a place of perfection.”

Satanic danger 

Lee stressed that soul retrieval is not a game played by “crackpot pseudo spiritualists.”

“You have to know what you’re doing when you do this work. Sometimes the work can be very dangerous, depending on where that soul has gone – because souls can be stolen.”

She explained: “Unfortunately, I sometimes come across clients who have been involved in Satanism.  I can see it and know it and feel it immediately, without them saying a word about it.

“Because if you’re a clairvoyant, and a (spiritual) healer, the minute someone (who’s a Satanist) walks through the door, it’s like they’re covered by a black cloud of (evil) energy, and you can feel the energy as they approach. If they phone you, you can hear it in their voice. And you know if you want to get involved (with them) or you don’t.”

The Satanists want Lee to retrieve and heal the parts of their souls that they’ve surrendered to Satan. For her, that involves a transcendental journey of her soul into the Lower World – otherwise known as hell. 

“And you need to ask yourself if you’re strong enough spiritually to do a soul retrieval for that person, because there’s danger involved. There is physical danger in that your soul might get lost. Your soul might be taken (by Satan) in your attempt to retrieve that (corrupted aspect of) soul,” she said.  

But Lee emphasized that this is rare.

“If you know what you’re doing, and you’re an experienced soul retrieval practitioner, and you have the help of the ascended masters and the angels, you will usually overcome the darkness.”

God’s channel 

After Lee’s successfully healed and retrieved a damaged, lost part of a client’s soul, she said some client’s feel “nothing.”

“And then three months later they contact me and say: ‘Wow! My whole life has turned around.’ Other people feel an incredible sense of relief, some people feel comforted; some people feel a whole lot lighter. A lot of people tell me that all their guilt feelings are gone. I’d say 85 percent come back with a positive response, that in one way or another their lives have changed for the better,” she maintained.

Lee describes herself as a “channel for God,” and said she’ll continue waging her war as a shaman against evil and soul loss for as long as she’s able.

What is Soul Retrieval Therapy?

The Soul Retrieval Practitioner’s way of doing healing should not be considered an exclusive method of confronting psychological and/or medical problems. It should be viewed as an adjunct to orthodox medical or psychological treatments.

“You cannot find peace until you find all the pieces”

Have you ever wondered why a woman keeps on choosing an abusive husband for a marriage partner? Why a person keeps on having car accidents? Why the same individual keeps on getting hi-jacked? Why certain personalities suffer from pain, anxiety, or stress of unknown origin?  The answer could be that they are suffering from ‘soul loss’.

What is ‘soul loss’? As we move through life, many of us encounter situations that are too frightening to deal with, so we block off parts of ourselves, push aside the energy associated with the situation and continue with our lives as best we can.  The ‘wounded’ portion of self (the soul) stays trapped in the event, and like a stuck record, continues to play over and over again, resulting in repetitive behaviour patterns, events, or symptoms of ‘soul loss’.

Marie Von Franz, a prominent Jungian analyst wrote, “Soul loss can be observed today as a psychological phenomenon in the everyday lives of the human beings around us. Loss of soul appears in the form of a sudden onset of apathy and listlessness; the joy has gone out of life, initiative is crippled, one feels empty, everything seems pointless”.

Unable to communicate verbally, these ‘wounded fragments of soul’ work through the subconscious mind, and the person feels unable to get on with their life’s work, is unable to focus or to concentrate, feels ‘emotionally dead’, ‘spaced out’ and ‘not really present’. Other symptoms include severe depression, grief and an all encompassing feeling of fear and different kinds of psychosomatic, emotional and physical illnesses that do not seem to respond to any kind of conventional treatment.

People suffering from ‘soul loss’ need ‘soul retrieval’. They need a soul retrieval practitioner, a person who is able to journey, in an altered state of awareness, into non-ordinary realities on their behalf to retrieve their soul fragments, still trapped in the trauma of past events. This is done with the help of their power animal, a specialised animal spirit guide that will be in charge of the journey to find and heal the origin of the problem.

The beauty of soul retrieval is that the person suffering from soul loss does not have to revisit the past, or know the origin of the problem. It is also a safer and gentler alternative to Past Life Regression in that, if the problem is linked to a previous life, the client does not need to be regressed and to re-live the trauma associated with a previous incarnation, in order to be healed. The experienced Soul Retrieval Practitioner is able to retrieve, and reintegrate that soul fragment while the client is in a deep state of relaxation.

The wounded aspects of self (soul fragments) are retrieved over a period of time, healed, re-integrated and then brought back to the present, by blowing the energy of the fragmented parts back into the heart or crown centre. It is the soul retrieval practitioner’s duty to restore wholeness.

Depending on the severity of the problem, soul retrieval may require one or more sessions, until such time as all the retrieved soul parts have been gently re-integrated. Benefits include feeling more focused and orderly, feeling more present, more alive, lighter, being able to set boundaries, increased feelings of self-worth,  people feel more in touch with their feelings, feel more powerful as individuals, people feel more energetic, things seem more ‘real’, there is a greater richness of ‘being’ and so on.

 

Power Animals as Teachers Guides and Healers

Extract from ‘Activate Your Inner Shaman’
Home Study Course by Katharine Lee (Krῢger)

Date: 02 Nov 2017

Pivotal to soul retrieval is the concept of Power Animals, Spirit Guides or Angels that will help us to explore beyond the boundaries of our ordinary world. Animals know their way around the wilderness and no matter what place we are exploring, whenever it is new territory we need the help of a guide, either in animal or human form. When it comes to looking for lost facets of ourselves, we may need to undertake several journeys to retrieve and heal those aspects of self, or alternatively to acquire knowledge and wisdom for the future.

So, whether it's the lions that roared in your bedtime stories or the cartoon elephants that flew across your childhood movie screens, lion prides, elephant herds and thousands of other animals, played out against shifting backdrops of savannah, forest, river and mountain, we have always had an intimate connection with the animal kingdom.

South Africa is home to an unparalleled diversity of wildlife. It boasts the world's largest land mammal, the African elephant, as well as the second largest, the White Rhino and the third largest, the Hippopotamus. It's also home to the tallest, Giraffe, the fastest, the Cheetah, and the smallest, the Pygmy Shrew.

The animal kingdom is second nature to South Africans and legends and stories of Africa abound with tales of animals communicating with humans. The idea, therefore, of having an animal spirit as a guide and teacher should not be that difficult to grasp.

In the Native American Tradition your power animal could represent the sum of all the hidden aspects of soul, just longing to find expression in your life. It may even be a lost aspect of soul that has taken on animal form to bring you a powerful message, using symbols and metaphors, as you journey through the inner worlds looking for answers, guidance and healing.

When you call upon your power animal for assistance, you must do so with an absolute spirit of humility and heightened intuition. One cannot just ‘blunder’ into the ‘other world’. Time must be taken to prepare yourself for the journey, by creating ‘sacred space’, not only by preparing yourself mentally and spiritually, but also by preparing the room you will be working from. Your space needs to be clean, quiet, and cleared of all negative vibrations by either; burning incense, lighting candles, or smudging with herbs, the sound of drumming, or rattling, or by simply clapping your hands loudly. Playing shamanic music to prepare for your journey also invites your shamanic helpers to draw near.

Your power animal is here to teach you about yourself, about the wholeness of creation, about being human, and vulnerable. It knows everything there is to know about you, and is there to give you power.

The word ‘power’ means spiritual strength that comes from knowledge, information, wisdom, spirituality and the healing that the animal shares with you. By forging an intimate connection with your power animal, and by blending completely with its spiritual essence, you can travel into lower, middle and upper worlds, to retrieve aspects of self, and to acquire knowledge and healing for self and others.

Differences between a Power Animal and a Totem Animal

A totem animal is one that is by a family clan or group the picture of which appears on the wraps they tie around their lower body. The baboon is the totem animal of the Baklaro tribe of the Zeerust area in the North-West Province of South Africa. If a member of that tribe dreams about a baboon, it means that they will be shielded from all harm and that they will be successful. In his book “Inland Tribes of Southern Africa”, Dr Peter Becker talks about the Kwena of Moletji and says that groups of people who recognise a common totem usually have set standards to uphold. “They are expected to stand together in times of misfortune, always to be hospitable and kind to each other, and when journeying in a group to far-off places, to share their provisions. Until recent times, the killing and eating of totem animals was a taboo. Even touching totem animals could provoke the ancestral spirits to retribution”.

A second kind of totem animal is those adopted by sports teams and organisations e.g. The South African Springbok Rugby Team, The Blue Bulls Rugby Team, the Lions, which is a Charity Organisation in South Africa.

Messages from the Animal Kingdom

“When an animal or bird shows up to you in an unusual way in your daily life, it definitely has a message to communicate to you from the spirit world.

Watch its behaviour. If it is a white dove, is it bringing you a message of peace? If a crow appears regularly in your garden three times in succession, it could mean that something magical is going to happen in your life”. Animal Spirit Guides - Hay House - © Steven D Farmer Phd. 2006

Sometimes an animal may even appear to you in a dream. Therefore, it is essential that you have a copy of “Animal Spirit Guides” by Steven D. Farmer, to interpret the messages that come through in this manner.

For example: I dreamt my son, Gareth and his wife Renee were riding on the back of an elephant, which symbolises strength and invincibility. The elephant walked into a wooden shed which collapsed, and I rushed round the back to look for them, only to see my son Gareth, being carried out on a stretcher by two paramedics. He looked up at me and said, “Don’t worry mom, I am O.K.”

I phoned my son and told him about my dream. Two days later he phoned, to say that he and Renee had been involved in a car accident, the car was a write off, but neither of them had been injured.

The elephant in my dream symbolised that, even though the shed (the car) would be destroyed, because he, the elephant, was invincible, no harm would come to my son and daughter-in-law.

How your Power Animal will communicate: Animal Spirit Guides - Hay House - © Steven D Farmer Phd. 2006

  • Telepathically – When thoughts are transmitted to you mentally.
  • Clairvoyantly – When pictures are flashed across the screen of your mind
  • Dreams
  • Trance States induced by drumming or rattling or didgeridoo
  • Auditory – You hear the voice in your mind or externally
  • Kinaesthetic – When you ‘feel’ or sense your animal in otherworldly form
  • Cognitive – “Knowing” – when there is just an ‘inner knowing’ that your power animal has communicated with you.
  • Shamanic Journeys

Meeting your Power Animal

Our natural connection to the animal kingdom stems from babyhood, when our parents bought us teddy bears, pandas, rabbits, and as children we begged them to allow us to have pets. Go into any shopping centre and you will see animal ornaments, pictures, jewellery and fabric on sale. 

Having an animal spirit companion is essential if you are to enter the Shamanic Dreamtime. With an animal companion, you will not lose your way through the dreamlike realms of spirit, for animals never lose their way through the realms of nature, and even play the same role as a guide dog would do for showing a blind person the way.

Meeting your Power Animal
There are different ways of doing this.

  • A vision quest in a remote wilderness setting
  • Rattling or drumming for a power animal while sitting round an open fire
  • Trance Dancing for a power animal
  • Journeying to meet your power animal

To be able to meet your Power Animal the first step is to find an entry point to the Lower World, because the distinctive feature of Shamanism is the ‘journey of the soul’. The shaman has the ability to ‘pass through invisible doorways’, and to visit other dimensions of consciousness with the greatest of ease.

For further information contact Katharine@mweb.co.za or visit www.katharinelee.co.za and click on the ‘Courses’ link.

 

Crossing over with Katharine Lee

Date: 27 Sept 2016
I think I died last night. I remember doctors in the spirit world fighting to put me back into my body, which lacked all sensation. I remember the feeling slowly coming back into my arms and legs, suddenly becoming aware of my body again, and then, waking up in bed. I was furious. For months I had been dreaming, that I was lost, and could not find my way home. That my mobile was broken. That I had lost all the phone numbers of my loved ones in spirit. That there was an important hierarchy of people, that I reported to, who did not mind if I took a couple of days off work, and did not tell them why I had been absent.

Last night, everything became so clear. I was riding a bicycle, going uphill. Suddenly I found myself on a sandy road, leading up to a bridge. On the other side of the river, was the most beautiful forest, filled with translucent white flowers. Words cannot describe the wondrous scenes of nature that suddenly started unfolding around me. I was free of the physical, totally submerged in the beauty of my surroundings. There simply are no pictures to describe what I saw.

Feeling that I had to go back to work, I turned and started cycling back on along the sandy road. As I did so, different stunning scenes of glimpses of other worlds unfolded on either side of the road. Each one filled with glorious colours and nature so pure and abundant that it was beyond all human comprehension. All the beauty of earth cannot compare with what was revealed to me. If this was heaven, how could I deny people the gift of dying?

My bike started going faster and faster downhill. Everything around changed into a kaleidoscope of different shades of iridescent blue. Like breaking through the sound barrier, the colours changed from pale to deeper blue, flashing past me, as I neared the bottom of the hill.

Then, I was in a kind of hospital, where spirit doctors were discussing me, and fighting to save my life physically. I can still hear their voices, congratulating each other when this was done.

I woke up. My room felt like a prison. Lying quietly trying to integrate the whole experience, I realised that this planet is still very young in terms of evolution. Our technology is antiquated in terms of other dimensions. It is as though we are encapsulated in an oxygen tank, swimming blindly underwater, each of us with a life line of oxygen to sustain us. When our time comes, the life support is terminated, and we float to the surface to another dimension. A dimension so glorious, so infinite. Where we are one with all that is beautiful, good, loving and uncomplicated.
I realise now, that our entire life, is not even a day, in the vaster scheme of things. What we be-ride ourselves for, just does not matter on the other side. That there is a God working through a group of advanced souls (angels) watching this planet evolve. When necessary, they gently correct the times and tides of every single life and even the planet.

Confined by our bodies, highly sentient, sensitive beings, in dullness of earth’s vibrations, we look for relief. This can take the form of food, sex, drugs, alcohol, power, through acquiring money, and the eternal quest to find love. But all of these only give temporary relief. Before long, we are on to the next thing – in fact – anything to relieve the monotony of a magnificent soul, being trapped in a limiting, physical body.

We place so much emphasis on how the physical should look, how it should behave. It causes endless suffering when it gets sick. Money and relationships come and go, and the soul remains forever restless until finally, it is released from purgatory and allowed to go home.

I still don’t know why we are here. I know that I need to ‘lighten up’. That anything I put in my mouth can change my vibration; too many possessions tie me down; money is a bartering system on this planet and that nothing, absolutely nothing, can compare with the beauty, infinite love and peace that awaits us.

African Spirituality by Katharine Lee

Date: 11 April 2016
In the black culture of Africa
you cannot become a traditional healer, until you have experienced a “call to priesthood”. This is recognized as an illness, the symptoms of which are caused by Ancestral Spirits who wish to possess the future Traditional Healer.  It is regarded as a holy calling that comes from God via the Ancestors.  In African Culture the ancestors could be the spirits of deceased family members who now wish to continue their healing work through the medium ship of the initiate. The sickness may come at any age, but is most common during adolescence and menopause. When an ancestral spirit possesses someone, the individual becomes ill with a sickness that does not respond to any form of treatment. The onset of the illness is sudden and the person, who has been called, may be present with mental disturbance, emotional turmoil, physical pains in various parts of their body; or the person may become moody, restless, brooding, and nervous, suffer from palpitations, hallucinations, and depression and even have vivid dreams. The ill health may be accompanied with feelings of fatigue and does not respond to any form of treatment.

African Spirituality

The initiate (thwasa in the Zulu Culture) may even hear the “voices” of her ancestors calling her and be able to see them clairvoyantly. In the Western culture, this is called a “Spiritual Emergency”. Once the Call to Priesthood is diagnosed, the person may sacrifice a goat, appealing to their ancestors, to release them from the calling.  If she does not recover, her only option is to obey the calling by moving into the home of a “isangoma” (traditional healer) to begin her studies as an initiate.  She then withdraws from society and undergoes her training, which could be from a minimum of six months to six years or more.  Zulu training is rigid and includes abstentions, taboos, rigid observances, daily cleansing rituals and impressive ceremonies. The Initiate is required to work in the home of her teacher, without remuneration, until her schooling is complete.  This is to teach her humility first and foremost.

Prior to being exposed to traditional healing she will need a thorough knowledge of herbs, their habitat, preparation and dosage. During this period she will also be taught how to “throw the bones”, an excellent method of diagnosis which was developed long before x-rays and medical tests came into being. This is a bag, containing carefully selected bones of animals and shells from the ocean.  Few in number, they accurately represent all aspects of life and are used for diagnostic purposes. To be able to read them, the apprentice is given powerful herbs to sharpen her psychic ability and through drumming and dancing, she learns to connect with her ancestors, who then work through her.  Any patient who consults her will test her diagnostic abilities, before she is allowed to treat them. Consultation involves placing a mat on the floor for the patient to sit on, with their legs straight out on the mat facing the healer.

The patient then meditates asking their emotions to guide them.  The initiate proceeds by asking the patient to blow into the bag and after that, the bones are thrown onto the mat.  By observing the position of the bones and shells and the way they fall, the healer must be able tell the patient all his/her ailments, pausing every now and then to allow the patient to respond.  If the patient has some questions regarding his/her life they have the right to ask the healer to explain further until they are satisfied. No money exchanges hands until the patient is satisfied with the diagnosis.

The apprentice will have to undergo several initiations before qualifying as a Traditional Healer.  The final graduation is very difficult with tests of physical fitness, endurance and the length of time it takes her to find hidden objects.  This will determine the strength of her links with her ancestors.  Like medical doctors, the initiate who qualifies as an “isangoma”, will need to develop a reputation in the community.  Those who are perceived to have strong powers and influential connections to their ancestors may become enormously influential.  Not many initiates succeed however; these people are considered “phupha’d” which means they ‘can only dream and can no longer talk reality’.

Once qualified, the Traditional Healer, normally has a multifaceted role which includes training, knowledge, power and ability to serve in a number of medico religious functions, such as herbalist, seer, ceremonial leader, physician, spiritual leader and psychologist, priest and mystic all rolled up into one.

© Katharine Lee Kruger
1 - Zulu . Roger and Pat de La Harpe. Barry Leitch, Sue Derwent.  Pub. Struik Publishers 1998.
2 - T/Dr H.B. Zungu. President. Traditional Healers Organisation of South Africa.

Tel: Mobile: 084 800 1947
E-mail: katharine@mweb.co.za

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