To take an oath to become a Priest in any culture is a very serious step. There are many people throughout the Diaspora and in the U.S. who are being called by their Ancestors to return to traditional customs and become a Traditional African Healer/ Priest. Due to the lack of knowledge and information available, many continue to search outside of their culture for answers, only to find that they are temporarily satisfied and ultimately left with a feeling of voidness. Some go on to have spiritual experiences that they keep to themselves for fear of being mocked by family members and friends who view them as being strange and having some sort of evil and distorted spiritual experience. Whatever the reason your experience may be we are here to help you walk through it and into your destiny.
As we have established, to become an African Traditional Healer (ATR) is a calling. In our institute, when someone comes who feels they have a calling, you are taken through a process to determine if this path is for you or if there is other work that must be done. There are specific signs and symbols that are revealed to the person being called. They signs and symbols are consistent as when initiating in Africa. These signs and symbols may also reveal themselves through divination or directly through your dreaming state or in daily life activities. Whatever the case, sometimes it may take several sessions and spiritual cleansing to bring you to a point where you are able to open up so that things can be revealed with accuracy and clarity. Since we have 3 traditions in which people can initiate, we will make certain which path you are being called for before initiation takes place. Sometimes one path is utilized as a stepping stone to help you to heal and move forward into your true or primary calling.
From Training to Graduation:
Most people want to know how soon can they can graduate and start their practice as soon as they are initiated. In all of the traditions the training takes as long as you and your spirits decide it will take. There are many levels of cleansing, letting go of ego, humbling yourself and learning becoming an infant all over again so that you can be reborn. In the Sangoma tradition training the time is unknown and is determined by your ancestors. It is our goal and responsibility follow the protocols of the process so that you are in alignment with the process. During your initiation and as graduation approaches, and where possible, initiates are taken to South Africa for graduation. When you return you will have a home going ceremony at your home where your family and loved ones can witness and celebrate with you. You are called to ukuthwasa because you have someone in your ancestral lineage that was a Sangoma/Inyanga when they were alive. They have chosen you to carry on/ pick up the bones so to speak and keep the culture alive for the benefit of your life, the life of our traditional culture and healing of our community.
What do Thwazas learn doing their training?
In the Sangoma training initiates are called thwasas. Thwasas learn everything that will equip them to see and help clients navigate through their healing process once they graduate.
The Sangoma Priesthood initiation and coursework includes:
- Spiritual Counseling
- Ceremonial work
- Bone Divinations.
- Traditional Healing Herbs
- Communicating with the Ancestors
- Receive a Naming Ceremony
- Dream Interpretation
- Cleansing with Muthi
- Zulu Language
- Art of Beadwork
- Traditional Ceremonial Dance
- Traditional Ceremonial Drumming
- Art of Finding Missing Objects
- Spiritual Diagnosis of Patient
- Spiritual Prescription/ Treatment
- Creating Traditional Sangoma Wear
- What items are sacred to your ancestor
- Prayers in Zulu
- Traditional Songs of Power
- Sangoma Cosmology
- Receiving Ancestral Shrine
- Ceremony for Returning Home
- How to perform Gida Ceremony
- Working with the elements earth, air, fire, water.
- Discovering things that can only be shown by your Idolozi. ( Ancestors)
- Anything else that is revealed that must be shown to you during your process.