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The African River Man

click picture for a free psychic reading at PsychicAccess.comDuring the time of my ukuthwasa (period of initiation to become a traditional healer or sangoma) some decades ago in Southern Africa, my mentor and some other village elders would join our group of ithwasa (sangoma trainees) by the campfire and discuss other spirits. That is, others in addition to those of our ancestors.

We heard many tales of other spirits who control the rivers, oceans and lakes, as well as those who live in the sky and control the rain. There were also stories told of sacred places where spirits inhabited mountains, trees and rocks. I loved hearing those stories from various individuals whom have had unique experiences and felt they had seen and communicated with those various spirits.

In one drop of water are found all the secrets of all the oceans ~ Khalil Gibran

It occurred to me all those years ago, that Africans traditionally do not draw a clear distinction between the dead and the living. The deceased, in the form of their ancestors, remain a part of their community. The ancestors continue to intercede for the living, in order to look out for the well-being of their clans and relatives. Another core African value is the reverence for water, which is seen as a life-force and an element of immense spiritual power.

Just before I left South Africa three years ago, my best friend Sally shared her story of the River Man with me. Since she knows my background, and we both work as healers, I was surprised that she hadn’t shared this tale with me sooner? I guess, just like I did with my story of seeing angels at a young age, she also chose to remain silent all these years for fear of being mocked?

Sally had a mysterious experience some 30 years ago, when she lived in a suburb of Johannesburg, South Africa. On this particular Sunday, she was walking her dogs along the Jukskei River, as she often did on weekends. She was merely a block away from her home when, thinking the river looked shallow enough, she decided to cross it. She slipped, stumbled over a rock and fell into the ice cold water.

The riverbanks were steep and she was struggling to get out, when suddenly an elderly African man carrying a cane appeared out of nowhere, and offered to help her. He said his name was Amos and she gladly accepted his help. Once she was back on her feet and had regained her composure, she turned to thank him, but he had vanished! The riverbank was completely deserted, except for Sally and her dogs.

Sally is a teacher, and at the time she was working at a school in Soweto, a well-known township in the Johannesburg area. On Monday, one of her students, Thobeka, noticed that she was hobbling around with an injured foot, and without further ado stated emphatically, “I am taking you to the sangoma.”

The meeting was set up, and two days later Thobeka took Sally deep into one of the least known areas of Soweto, where she was ushered into an esteemed local sangoma’s home. Thobeka acted as her interpreter, because the sangoma spoke no English. With just a glance at Sally, he began making a fire and boiled some muti (herbs). He then cut her foot in several places and proceeded to rub in the herbal potion.

Rivers are roads which move, and which carry us whither we desire to go ~ Blaise Pascal

The sangoma wanted to know more about Sally’s ancestors, but being an adopted child she was unable to supply him with much information. He commented that this was unfortunate, because her biological ancestors had been calling her for many years to become sangoma herself, but she had not been paying attention.

Then he told her that the man she saw on the riverbank was The River Man, a benevolent water spirit who had come to assist and protect her from harm. Her foot did heal well, but without the River man’s help she could have done herself much more harm. I often did Reflexology on Sally’s feet and wondered where those unusual scars had come from, but didn’t feel it was my place to ask, until she was ready to volunteer that information herself.

Sally didn’t take the traditional route to become a healer, in the way the man did who had treated her foot all those years ago, but she did accomplish in her own, unique way. Today, she helps friends and animals with her healing concoctions of a herbal and homeopathic nature. I have often consulted her for some input on behalf of someone else, as well as for myself and my pets.

Spirit works with Sally in her special way. She inspires others to use nature’s garden, not to mention helping them to be aware of their own spirit essence and calling. Knowledge of medicinal plants and psychic abilities are some of the gifts imparted to those chosen by the water spirits. The River Man changed the course of Sally’s life quite profoundly that day.

About The Author: Shani

Shani is a qualified practitioner in Reiki, aromatherapy, reflexology, body spin, and animal telepathy who received psychic development training at the Arthur Findlay College of Psychic Research in England. A published writer, her articles and predictions have appeared in several respected magazines and on psychic websites, and she has read for many celebrities and even heads of state in Africa. Because of her empathy, people find it easy to connect with her. Every month, she attends a psychic circle and the information that comes through from Spirit never ceases to amaze everyone present. Though she was born in London, Shani has traveled the globe and has studied the art of African Mysticism, bringing her unique flavor to those seeking her incredible talents. What she has taken away from her many travels abroad, is that there is always a sort of longing clients have to be connected to the source of their being. Get a reading with Shani at

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