Song of the Stars

The Lore of a Zulu Shaman

Song of the Stars

Vusamazulu Credo Mutwa - healer, shaman, and spiritual leader for millions of Black Africans - presents lore, prophecies, dreams, tales, and a comprehensive sketch of the rich mythology of the African people. This is also his personal story.

Zulu Shaman

Dreams, Prophecies, and Mysteries

Zulu Shaman

Offers a rare view into the world of a Zulu shaman • Includes 14 Zulu myths as told by a traditional Zulu story keeper • Reveals Zulu shamanic practices, including healing techniques, dreamwork, oracles, prophecy, and interactions with star beings In this rare window into Zulu mysticism, Vusamazulu Credo Mutwa breaks the bonds of traditional silence to share his personal experiences as a sangoma—a Zulu shaman. Set against the backdrop of post-colonial South Africa, Zulu Shaman relays the first-person accounts of an African healer and reveals the cosmology of the Zulu. Mutwa begins with the compelling story of his personal journey as an English-trained Christian schoolteacher who receives a calling to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps as a shaman and keeper of folklore. He then tells the stories of his ancestors, including creation myths; how evil came to the world; the adventures of the trickster god Kintu; and Zulu relations with the “fiery visitors,” whom he likens to extraterrestrials. In an attempt to preserve the knowledge of his ancestors and encourage his vision of a world united in peace and harmony, Mutwa also shares previously guarded secrets of Zulu healing and spiritual practices: including the curing power of the sangoma and the psychic powers of his people.

Religion, Politics, and Identity in a Changing South Africa

Religion, Politics, and Identity in a Changing South Africa

What is the role of religion in society? In the wake of September 11, public intellectuals provided easy answers. According to some, religion was the problem, others commented, religion was the solution. Generally, public debate about the force of religion in society has been organized by either/or propositions. Religion is a force for either freedom or bondage, for either peace or war, for either mutual recognition or antagonistic polarization. Analysis of religion and social change has also tended to be framed in terms of oppositions that inform research agendas and public policy. In this book, authors from South Africa, the United States of America, the Netherlands, and Germany test these oppositions.

Encyclopedia of African Religion

Encyclopedia of African Religion

Collects almost five hundred entries that cover the African response to spirituality, taboos, ethics, sacred space, and objects.

Wild Religion

Tracking the Sacred in South Africa

Wild Religion

Wild Religion is a wild ride through recent South African history from the advent of democracy in 1994 to the euphoria of the football World Cup in 2010. In the context of South Africa’s political journey and religious diversity, David Chidester explores African indigenous religious heritage with a difference. As the spiritual dimension of an African Renaissance, indigenous religion has been recovered in South Africa as a national resource. Wild Religion analyzes indigenous rituals of purification on Robben Island, rituals of healing and reconciliation at the new national shrine, Freedom Park, and rituals of animal sacrifice at the World Cup. Not always in the national interest, indigenous religion also appears in the wild religious creativity of prison gangs, the global spirituality of neo-shamans, the ceremonial display of Zulu virgins, the ancient Egyptian theosophy in South Africa’s Parliament, and the new traditionalism of South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma. Arguing that the sacred is produced through the religious work of intensive interpretation, formal ritualization, and intense contestation, Chidester develops innovative insights for understanding the meaning and power of religion in a changing society. For anyone interested in religion, Wild Religion uncovers surprising dynamics of sacred space, violence, fundamentalism, heritage, media, sex, sovereignty, and the political economy of the sacred.

The Kivas of Heaven

Ancient Hopi Starlore

The Kivas of Heaven

Orion dominates the winter sky, flanked by Taurus the Bull on one side and Canis the Great Dog on the other-three key constellations for the Hopi and prehistoric Pueblo People of the American Southwest. When these stars appear in the entryway of the kiva roof, they synchronize the sacred rituals being performed below. Here we see how a complex ceremonial cycle mirrors the turning of the heavens. Stargates, UFOs, Indian Mothman, natural psychedelics, cannibal giants, psychic archaeology, earth chakra lines, and the Hopi-Egyptian connection-this book is packed with fascinating and little-known facts about one of the most mysterious and secretive tribes on the North American continent. You will come away with a deep appreciation of the way the Ancient Ones viewed the world above. Chapters include: What is a Kiva?; Stargates in Antiquity; New Mexico’s Orion Kivas; Colorado’s Orion Temple; Hopi Flying Saucers; Arizona’s Psychic Archaeology; Hopi Kachinas and Egyptian Stars; 2012 Supernova?; Book of Revelation and 2012; Indian Mothman and Sacred Datura; Tales of Giants and Cannibals; Chaco Canyon: Mirror of Sirius; Dog Stars in the Land of Enchantment; The Chaco-Chakra Meridian; Seven Spiritual Cities of Gold; Orion’s Global Legacy; more.

The Columbia Guide to South African Literature in English Since 1945

The Columbia Guide to South African Literature in English Since 1945

From the outset, South Africa's history has been marked by division and conflict along racial and ethnic lines. From 1948 until 1994, this division was formalized in the National Party's policy of apartheid. Because apartheid intruded on every aspect of private and public life, South African literature was preoccupied with the politics of race and social engineering. Since the release from prison of Nelson Mandela in 1990, South Africa has been a new nation-in-the-making, inspired by a nonracial idealism yet beset by poverty and violence. South African writers have responded in various ways to Njabulo Ndebele's call to "rediscover the ordinary." The result has been a kaleidoscope of texts in which evolving cultural forms and modes of identity are rearticulated and explored. An invaluable guide for general readers as well as scholars of African literary history, this comprehensive text celebrates the multiple traditions and exciting future of the South African voice. Although the South African Constitution of 1994 recognizes no fewer than eleven official languages, English has remained the country's literary lingua franca. This book offers a narrative overview of South African literary production in English from 1945 to the postapartheid present. An introduction identifies the most interesting and noteworthy writing from the period. Alphabetical entries provide accurate and objective information on genres and writers. An appendix lists essential authors published before 1945.

An Encyclopedia of Shamanism Volume 2

An Encyclopedia of Shamanism Volume 2

Shamanism can be defined as the practice of initiated shamans who are distinguished by their mastery of a range of altered states of consciousness. Shamanism arises from the actions the shaman takes in non-ordinary reality and the results of those actions in ordinary reality. It is not a religion, yet it demands spiritual discipline and personal sacrifice from the mature shaman who seeks the highest stages of mystical development.

Walk Out Walk On

A Learning Journey into Communities Daring to Live the Future Now

Walk Out Walk On

At a time when most communities’ resources are stretched past the breaking point, how is it possible to deal with the enormous challenges that families, neighborhoods, cities, regions, and nations face today? This inspiring book takes readers to seven communities around the world where the people have walked out of limiting beliefs and practices that precluded solutions to major social problems, and walked on to discover bold new ways to meet their needs. This book is a true learning journey, filled with intimate stories and portraits of the people and places the authors came to know through years of working together to transform their communities. The journey begins in Mexico, then moves to Brazil, South Africa, Zimbabwe, India, Greece and the U.S. The authors’ lives and ways of thinking have been transformed by these experiences and relationships – an experience they hope to recreate for the reader through vivid prose and photos. The reader will experience first hand how a change of beliefs about people results in new capacities and the possibility of a more healthy future.

Blood Rites

Blood Rites

Lima, Peru, 2004: The body of a decapitated baby boy is found on a hilltop, surrounded by flowers, a liquor bottle and a container of blood, apparently the victim of a ritual sacrifice to appease a pre-Columbian earth god. New Jersey, USA, 2002: A Palo Mayombe sect temple basement is raided by police, who find human body parts and the remains of several animals seemingly sacrificed by worshippers. London, England, 2001: The dismembered torso of a five-year-old boy is found floating in the Thames, the victim of a Ju Ju ritual sacrifice... Around the world, humans are being trafficked, kidnapped, sold and enslaved, for the specific purpose of sacrifice. Mass-scale migration has seen these gruesome techniques exported from the land of the Aztecs -- and finding their way into Britain and the US. Voodoo priests in London have been linked with ritual murders. And a recent leaked police commissioned report found that witchcraft, voodoo-related abuse and murder, are rife in the UK. Jimmy Lee Shreeve takes us on a journey into the darkest corners of the world, following the initial investigations of Scotland Yard into the Thames murder, travelling to South Africa and then Nigeria, where the full horror of a wide 'export trade' in humans to Britain for sacrifice is unveiled. In the US, Palo Mayombe, a Cuban religious cult, is linked with a score of sacrifices and murders. In Mexico, a devotee of Palo Mayombe, Adolof de Jesus Constanzo, was responsible for torturing and boiling in a cauldron more than a dozen victims. Across South America, sacrifices are commonplace. Most are done on behalf of drug barons and millionaires, who want to atone for their sins by offering the Gods a 'gift'. And across Asia, similar stories are found. In Africa, and Britain, HIV-positive African males sacrifice young boys to 'cleanse' themselves of the disease. Along the way, Jimmy will bring his own brand of detective skills to the fore. Besides throwing up fresh research into the 'Adam' killing and providing startling conclusions to some of the world's most horrific murders, Jimmy will, variously, escape near arrest at Scotland Yard's HQ, perform a ritual ceremony with a Native American shaman on Hampstead Heath, and swap whiskey and guitar blues with a voodoo practioner. Written in Jimmy's unique, free-form, post-gonzo style, this is an investigative work with a trippy twist. By turns gruesome, disturbing and intriguing, BLOOD RITES reveals the true, untold story of a violent tradition taking place terrifyingly close to home.