John Lockley

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John Lockley: Sangoma

John Lockley is a traditional healer, or sangoma, from the Xhosa lineage in South Africa, the same tribe that gave us Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. He runs “Ubuntu” (humanity) workshops worldwide, helping people connect to their ancestors, the earth, and one another. His mission in the Western world could be summed up in the Xhosa word “Masiyembo”—involving a profound remembering of the human spirit. As John says, “When people can remember their dreams and connect to their life purpose, then their true vocation surfaces; namely being in service and acting as guardians to our planet.” With Sounds True, John has published Leopard Warrior: A Journey into the African Teachings of Ancestry, Instinct, and Dreams. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, John speaks with Tami Simon about his startling journey to becoming a sangoma and what he learned while caught between two cultures in apartheid-era South Africa. They speak on what it means to honor one’s ancestors and how life takes on a new richness with that practice. Finally, John sings a blessing song called “The Great Spirit,” inviting listeners to share in its calling. (69 minutes)

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