Missing home and more bone stories

Today is Monday.  Well, I am still here in Africa, less than two weeks to go, and I must admit, that I am ready to go. I would really like a shower, and to be able to cook in a real kitchen! This weekend, there has been a gentleman visiting the homestead, by the name of Mamba. He is one of the most kind hearted men I have ever met. The ancestors came to him, just as he retired from a life in the Swazi state department. He was a diplomat his whole career, and a stanch Christian. The ancestors turned his life upside down. I spent most of the weekend beading some of his sacred objects for him, and talking. One  night, PH, Mamba and I had a very lively discussion about the nature of ilness. When a client comes to be diagnosed, the very first bone throw reveals to the healer any secrets the client has tried to keep from the rest of humanity. The bones will reveal any places of intense guilt or shame. I have seen this with my own two eyes. So, the client has come in with a complaint of a body ailment, and the bones say: “this person stole from his neighbor ten years ago.”  Before you can go any further, you have to confirm this with your client.  Clients are not very thrilled when you ask “Did you steal something from your neighbor, about ten years ago?”  They want to hear about the lump on their leg. But the bones won’t say anything other than about the theft until the client confirms it.  This tends to agitate clients.  Once the client says “yes I did this”, and shows remorse, then the bones with begin to tell about the treatment.  (And remember, the ancestors are talking through the bones.)  So, it has begun to occur to me, on a very visceral level, that spiritual imbalance is truly the root of all ilness.  The reason the lump in the client’s leg would not be healed by traditional medicine, was because he had internal guilt that had to be alieviated.  The ancestors perscribe a purifying ceremony, and once the client has been cleansed, then the client is given muhti. And the muhti will clear up, in two days,  a lump that has been there for many years.  The problem comes about if the client will not owne that he stole from his neighbor.  Then you have to say, “that is what the ancestors are saying, and I can not help you any further. I have thrown the bones six times, and each time they say the same thing. You must go.” So, this process is also exactly what happens to all clients, even foreigners.  I have also seen that one with my two eyes. PH has a very wide reputation, and people come to see him from all over the world. The way the ancestors work, they work for all clients. So, PH has had to become a master at giving the message from the bones in such a way as that the client can own their guilt or shame, so it can be cleansed. This is an incredibly powerful process.  People have no idea what they are getting into, when they come to see a traditional healer. And both PH and Mamba made it very clear that not all traditional healers go to the root of the problem. There are many, just like the Western doctors that only heal the current ailment.  Some do it because that is the level of their skill, others out of greed: to keep the client coming back. I am amazed watching the bones work. My bones are very lively, and give good information, and I will be so very grateful when the day comes when I read them without hesitation. The second part of our dicussion involved payment. Both PH and Mamba said that the ancestors are the directing us to live our legacy as healers or artists, or whatever, and in so doing, they are giving you your inhereitance. t is not OK for you to give your inheritance away!  If you do, the ancestors may walk away, because you do not value their gift.  At one point PH’s ancestor did not bring him a client for three years, because he had too many clients that were not paying him  or that owed him money, and he didn’t go looking for them to collect.  At this point in his life, healing was all he did.  So the three years were very, very hard on him and his family.  But he learned his lesson.  PH does not see that you are asking your clients to pay for a miracle.  You are asking them to honor your ancestors, and to do this in a way that impacts the client.  It has to have value. This is all for now, good night,  Shilo

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