Although it was only 8 o’clock in the morning, the temperature was already rising over 30 degrees, clouds of red Kalahari sand swirling around us, as we were driving through the dusty African township. During apartheid, these villages were strictly controlled enclaves enclosed by a fence, with miles of long lines of miserable slums, shanty wooden and metal shacks reserved exclusively for the impoverished black population. After apartheid government built new houses with water, electricity and sewage, but they still resemble a ghetto with high unemployment, disease and violence, in which white people rarely venture.
Rick (my partner) and I are walking the shaman’s path for a while and earlier this year, one of my dreams came through. I finally had a chance to meet a remarkable person. We could not believe that in spite of all the obstacles, a series of weird circumstances and strange synchronicities we managed to get to the heart of Africa, to visit the best known African shaman. Vasazulu Credo Mutwa, born in 1921 in Zulu tribe, is the wisdom keeper of the ancient African knowledge, writer, artist, sculptor, painter, historian, a prophet, a fortune-teller, a traditional healer of the highest degree with the title Sanusi sangoma, High priest/shaman.
We were relieved when we finally arrived, and were welcomed by Virginia Mutwa, his wife, who took us into a very clean and modest house. As she went to get Credo, we were hoping that he feels well enough to join us. We didn’t know in what condition we’ll find him as he is quite old and we heard that a few years ago he suffered a heart attack.
When he finally appeared Credo looked very old, weak, tired and frail. Although we did not have any expectations of how the meeting will go, we were excited to have finally arrived. Our excitement was short lived when, after his polite but very official and stand offish introduction we realized that he is extremely suspicious of our motives. Things started badly and Credo, probably the tenth time by now, sullenly asked what we want from him. Once again, we both replied that we do not want anything from him, we long ago heard about him and wanted to meet him, and now we got the chance. Not knowing how to reassure him and what else to say, we asked him about the divination bones, and if it would be appropriate to throw them. He coldly replied that the bones can only be thrown if the spirits of ancestors approved. After that the whole room appeared to descend in even tenser atmosphere and uncomfortable silence. During the silence that seemed to last for an eternity, Rick reminded me to tell him about my dream. To my relief, as soon as I started talking, I noticed that his ears pricked up.
I had a dream four days earlier, the first night we arrived in South Africa. It was a very long dream and I told him only the essential parts. As I started talking I noticed that the vibe started to change. When I finished, seriousness and suspiciousness disappeared from his face and they started glancing at each other, smiling. To our relief all the tension suddenly disappeared. Credo is a little hard of hearing so Virginia recounted my dream, word for word and to our surprise, she even told him parts of the dream which I left out! “So why didn’t you immediately mention the dream?” Credo asked with a smile. He explained that for Sangoma (African shaman) dreams are extremely important. The Sangoma, works intensively with dreams, he is a master of the dream interpretation. He went silent for a few minutes and it seemed that he is consulting with someone, then suddenly declared that the spirits of the ancestors are approving of us and would be happy to talk to us.
Throwing of the Bones Divination
After considering the position of the bones, Credo, which until then spoke very softly and quietly, suddenly announced in an authoritative, loud voice and kept repeating over and over: “You have to share your knowledge and Light with the world! You must tell the world your Truth! The world needs to hear from you and about you, it is time! “
His whole demeanour changed as he suddenly became very strong and powerful, he turned to me and asked, why did I not tell him that I am a woman of great knowledge and wisdom, a great healer. He has himself seen this and the ancestors have confirmed it. They want me to know that many people need my help, the world needs me. I must reach many people and share my Light with the world. I must intensify my work as a healer and a teacher, this is extremely important, especially in the challenging times to come. He can see that I’m also a shaman and that until now I have been working quietly and patiently. But now is the time to really step up, for people to hear about me, for the world to know about me, to use my gifts of writing and working with sound to achieve this. I am a storyteller like him, and I must tell world my story. At the end of the divination he advised me to begin immediately telling my story and to start with writing about my meeting with him. And this is (a part of) that story.