Here is a list of common questions that John has encountered whilst travelling internationally. Please read through the questions and see if 'your' particular question has been answered.
What kind of sessions does John give?
John gives the traditional “throwing the bones” divination sessions in person and shamanic counseling sessions over phone or skype.
What is “throwing of the bones” and what can I expect from it?
John does a divination using ‘bones’ (shells, stones and other sacred objects). He goes into meditation and connects with his ancestral spirit guides, as well as the spirits of the client to search, divine or ‘see’ what is happening with the client emotionally, physically and spiritually.
At the start, John will not ask you about your reasons for wanting a consultation. The work is purer and more powerful when he does not know your personal situation or concerns, and when he simply focuses on what he discovers in the ‘bones’ themselves.
Sangoma (or shamanic) sessions differ from traditional psychotherapy in that when someone is consulting with a sangoma it is widely believed they are consulting with not only the individual in front of them, but also the shamanic lineage that they are connected to. John’s ancestral spirits or guides help to heal the person at soul level, and sometimes a person might feel the effects of a session for weeks, months or even years afterwards.
Divination Sessions can be deeply tranformative on different levels. Sometimes the information John gives can take a few days, weeks or even months to be felt and integrated.
This type of divination can be very helpful in guiding you to your life’s purpose as well as forging a path of connection to your ancestors and spirit guides.
What do I do if I start to have powerful dreams or experiences after a Divination Session with John ?
Firstly, don't worry. This is a common occurrence after seeing a traditional Sangoma like John.
Contact his Office firstname.lastname@example.org and make an appoinment to speak to John on skype or phone.
What is a shamanic counseling session and what can I expect from it?
A shamanic counseling session is an opportunity for you to discuss your specific questions, life issues, or dreams with John, a senior Xhosa Sangoma. John tends to give these sessions as follow ups over the phone and/or skype. It is possible to have one of these sessions on the phone/skype without having met John previously.
These sessions are gentle, yet transformative. John is insightful, intuitive and very thoughtful in how he relays information. He sometimes gives homework to people afterwards depending on the person and the situation. Homework might involve certain prayers or plant washes or possibly a small ceremony.
How much does a session cost?
The price of a divination session depends on your location and currency. Most sessions from the United States and Europe are £77. Shamanic counselling sessions can be paid online at:
Sessions from South Africa are R450.
There is often a discount on sessions when scheduled immediately following a workshop or retreat.
I am having a spiritual crisis. Can I speak to John right away?
As John spends much of the year on the road teaching, it is impossible to get a session with him right away. Although session bookings are in high demand, we will do everything possible to help you schedule a session in a timely manner.
WORKSHOPS / BLESSING CEREMONIES
Many of John's workshops are actually traditional blessing ceremonies. The reason for this is that whenever a Sangoma sings and drums they call the ancestors of the people present to bless and aid the living. Most of John's public performances involve drumming and singing. Thus creating a deeply sacred and transformative space.
Where can I attend a workshop or Blessing Ceremony with John?
You can find a workshop/blessing ceremony on John’s workshop schedule on his website.
What kind of medicinal plants does John use when he holds his ceremonies?
John uses a sacred mixture of medicinal plants from the Eastern Cape, South Africa. Depending on where he is teaching in the world he might also use local plants.
Does John use hallucinogenic plants with his ceremonies?
No. The plants are very gentle and are applied externally to the face and hands.
How can I get John to teach in my area?
If you are interested in hosting a workshop in your area, please contact email@example.com.
YOUR PERSONAL PATH
How do I become a Sangoma?
Many people in the west glamorize what it means to be a “shaman” or a “Sangoma” or misunderstand the training process and compare it to the many weekend training courses available in shamanism and shamanic practices. Becoming a Sangoma is not a path that a person chooses out of desire, but comes to because of a calling. Those who become sangomas are clearly called through dreams and the thwasa, a period of severe ill-health that is inherent in all ancient shamanic cultures and which can only be cured through apprenticeship to a shamanic teacher. John’s training occurred over a period of ten years while he worked closely with his teacher over which time the thwasa slowly dissipated.
If you feel that you have a true calling, then find a reputable teacher. As in all areas of life, you must be discerning to find the right person with whom to work. Trust your gut and your dreams.
I want someone to show me my life path. Can John do this?
No. No one can do this work for you, however working with John can be very helpful in guiding you to discover your own life’s purpose.
I want my spouse to stop cheating./ I want a better job./ I want a bigger penis./ I want a fatter wallet. Can John help me?
No. John does not work in this way. John helps you to forge a path of connection to your Ancestors and spirit guides. As you deepen your relationship with your Ancestors, the magic of life deepens. You may find that your wife stops cheating … or that you no longer want her in your life … or that some unforeseen possibility arises that creates a new pathway never imagined.
Where is John?
John spends 8 months of the year traveling the world and bringing his teachings about the Ancestors to the west and living with an indigenous soul in the modern world. The other 4 months of the year he spends working with his teacher in the Eastern Cape of South Africa.
Can I visit John in South Africa?
John only brings long time students to South Africa with him.
How can a white man be an authentic Sangoma?
Being a Sangoma is NOT dependent on skin colour. It depends on whether you have a calling. In John's case he was called repeatedly over a period of 7 years by Xhosa ancestors before he took up his calling with his Xhosa teacher.
John is not the only white Sangoma, nor is their only one kind of Sangoma. There are sangomas from different tribes, each with different forms of initiation and traditions. John is a senior sangoma in the Xhosa lineage. As far as John and his Xhosa elders know, he is the only white man who has reached the level of senior Xhosa sangoma in recent history. A senior Xhosa sangoma has gone through many levels of initiations in the Xhosa tradition and is able to take on apprentices him or herself.
When a person is called to become a Sangoma, they are called by their Ancestors, who may or may not be ancestors of their own bloodline. Historically, warring African tribes occasionally found that someone would receive a calling to train with the elders of the “enemy’ tribe. Perhaps the growing numbers of white sangomas speaks to the need for reconciliation between the West and traditional African Western ways.
I would like to interview John for a magazine/newspaper/radio. Who do I contact about this?
Please contact Sally Turner at firstname.lastname@example.org
I am writing a thesis/doing a school report and need information about sangomas/healers/herbs. Can you help me?
John receives many questions of this nature. Unfortunately, there is simply not enough time to answer them all. For more information, see John’s website.
I have been touched by John’s work and would like to help somehow. Is there anything that I can do?
John’s mission is to strengthen traditional Sangoma culture and practice and remember and honour the Xhosa Ancestors who have kept the ‘old ways’ alive for hundreds of years. He does this by holding traditional ceremonies every year when he returns to his original community and works alongside his teacher Mum Gwevu and fellow Sangomas in the townships of the Eastern Cape in South Africa.
Townships are poor informal settlement areas like ‘ghettos’ with high levels of disease, death and unemployment. In the last few years John has lost some of his closest Sangoma friends in his inner circle to disease, poverty and tragedy.
If you feel moved to help, you can donate money to go towards his township work. These donations have been used to rebuild his teacher’s consulting rooms and in so doing benefit his teacher, fellow Sangomas and local community.
Any amount would be gratefully received.