John is one of the first white men in recent history to become a fully initiated sangoma in the Xhosa lineage of South Africa. He was born in 1971, into a divided Apartheid South Africa, with the mark of the sangoma on his face – a band of white birth skin around the eyes. At 18, John was serving in the South African army as a medic when he had a strong, prophetic dream calling him to train as a Xhosa sangoma. He immediately began to suffer from the thwasa, a severe period of ill-health that is inherent in all ancient shamanic cultures which can only be cured through apprenticeship to a shamanic teacher. Because of the restrictions of Apartheid (which ended in 1994) it would take John seven years to find a Xhosa teacher. During the early days of his calling he trained as a Zen student under renowned Zen Master, Su Bong. But the strength of his sangoma calling drew him back to South Africa.
Eventually, post-Apartheid, John met Mum Ngwevu, a well-known Xhosa Sangoma medicine woman, in one of the poorest townships in South Africa. She had foreseen his arrival in a dream and began his 10-year apprenticeship, giving him the initiated name Ucingolwendaba
, meaning messenger or connector between people and cultures.
John now splits his time between South Africa, Europe and the U.S.
For more info visit http://www.johnlockley.com