Here is an excerpt from email correspondence between a South Africa Sangoma and myself. I am working with my mpande ancestor's known as the root on my late mother family tree. It is late in the evening . . .
"Thokoza gogo and good morning to you. I pray your slumber was peaceful and sweet as it should be for one blessed of the ancestors and the gods. I have a small shrine to the Seven African Powers in my bedroom. I lay a straw mat on the floor before it, light mphepho and candle. I ate gobongo for about twenty minutes. I have a sense of peace as I invoke my great great grandmother. A knowing. A connectedness to the root of my bloodline's spirituality. This is what African American's are missing - the reconnecting to the ancient bloodline, the root.
What I postulate is . . . here are found the ancient, native spirits bonded to your families bloodline to serve, defend, protect, heal and uplift. This knowledge was lost to African American's because the captors beat Africa out of our slave ancestors and replaced it with their religion, cosmology and icons. Without this connection we the lost tribe of our slave ancestors are doomed to extinction or to always live sub marginally on the edge of white culture. I found a connection to the ancestors in the West African Ifa Orisa. and to some extent in Palo. I have a deep love for the Orisa and they take care of me and the nkisi of Palo are dear to me too. However my spiritual DNA still felt incomplete. Now that I know my spiritual and physical DNA is Bantu / Zulu reconnects me to the spirits and medicines of my forefathers. Along the way, the knowledge of the Queen and specific muthi was lost to my bloodline. Our power to rise, defeat and conquer enemys forever cutoff without the knowledge of the ancients. No wonder life has been so difficult for me and generations before me. There were family spirits that had not been appeased nor recognized. Who knows what other offenses my mother's bloodline has committed that caused the sins of the fathers to be visited unto the 4 & 6th generation? What curses have been allowed to grow in my bloodline because no one knew the language nor incantation to call these spirits, to feed them and love them? But not no more. I told you the first time I ever burned imphepho my entire being, spiritual and physical responded to the powerful ase. I feel these spirits, like they are mine and I am theirs. And now I am bathing with and ingesting the medicines my ancestral spiritual & physical DNA requires to balance and rejuvenate my life. It is not religion nor a creed that man needs. We simply need to return to the spiritual lands & home of our forefathers, to reconnect, repent and ask for guidance so that we can be the Kings, Queens and gods that we are.
It is my belief because of these recent experiences that once we are reconnected to the mpande - the root as you call it. We reconnect to our ancient spirituality, to the place of Nature where our families origin began hundreds of years ago. We reconnect to the spirits, the land, the water, the herbs and the wildlife. We reconnect to the spiritual myths and magic of our lost culture. If we know how to reconnect with the ancient's spiritual technology and learn how to communicate with the ancestral spirits - we'll be given the power to be gods in life and build our kingdoms under the heavens as we please. This is I believe is the only way African America can save itself. We must reconnect to the ancient ones, the mpande, the root where ever our ancestors come from in Africa." I will hasten to add it is because of negative stereotypes associated with African Traditional Spirituality and being over Christianized that African Americans shun seeking their mpande ancestor's spiritual path.
Response from my Zulu counterpart in South Africa
"Thokoza well said from the pure mouth of the gods! I reckon u should write this advice on your FB timeline! Moving and wise words, am so glad I delivered one god from the foreign land to the land of his gods, in that way may be I and mine ancestors can be forgiven for which ever sin we committed. Thokoza gogo thank u for the insight about the importance of remembering one's roots. yes without the roots there is no plant, roots are foundation. When a branch is shaking with its leaves it doesn't mean the tree will fall, the tree will surely fall when there is no root. Thokoza kakhulu!"
Dr. Christos Kioni