Credo Mutwa, Cultural Appropriation and a Road Trip Through Time.

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Art Work by Credo Mutwa

I’m that woman, the one that moved to South Africa and had it on her tick list that she wanted to spend some time with a serious Sangoma. Seven years later after a few serendipitous meetings, the power of intention caught up with me. With the reminder that things of this nature should unfold naturally.

I had been permitted to go on a journey to Credo Mutwa see. A man who seemed to live somewhere within myth, legend and the astral. I remember when I first learned about the ideas of The Shaman, that in ancient and indigenous cultures that there had been seers and dream walkers who had been able to collapse time and the multiverse and communicate in other realms and dimensions. That here in the earthly realm they could sing to whales, call the buffalo and tame all the wild things. They could read the wind, decipher the sky and made magic with their words and healed with their potions. The Shaman in these terms seemed too magical to be human. Too other to be real. Too astral to be earthly and yet here I was on a journey to meet a man who for all of the above was true.

The power to be able to manifest such a meeting was not lost on me. Yet at the same time laid awkwardly within my consciousness. After all, it had only been eight years earlier that I had arrived for the first time in Southern Africa. That I had been told by a white man with a gun that “You wait and see you’ll be racist within a year. You don’t understand what it’s like” I still don’t understand what it’s like and I’m still trying to figure out where my own biases leave me in the realms of racism a concept I don’t even believe in. Why can’t we just call it what it is skin shaming? My knowledge of sub-Saharan culture was nil to zero and for years any “educated” person I bumped into endlessly seemed to proclaim that there was nobody here before the Europeans arrived. It seemed grossly naive at best, and convenient fairytale at worst. All the time while being asked about Scotland and how one might love to go there one day because it was “So ancient”. It seemed a perverse conversation on a continent that possessed all of human history. I was waiting to be invited to find out more, yet the conversations never came and it never seemed to be my place to cross the lines and take that which had not ben given to me.

You see coming from the west it has always fascinated me the lengths that one might go to, to find themselves. For decades now I have witnessed the hippy trail take people on an enlightenment trip East or into the depths of Peruvian jungles to commune with the plant medicine there. In the ever-increasing illusion that there might be somewhere better than here. Denial apparently is not a river in Africa and even though it is not my place, I often beg to differ. For years now I’ve been trying to find out the names of indigenous festivals, to be endlessly told there aren’t any. I’ll admit there is a high probability that I am asking the wrong people. However, it seems more than puzzling combined with quizzical that there are no commonly known seasonal markers. That festivals appear to traverse human life spans rather than earthly movements and that is absolutely all I know about that. That the books I have been afforded seemed woefully inadequate to inform me beyond the writers own misinformation. How do I know these things? I intuit them I suppose. That I am looking to unravel a far greater mystery a much bigger origin story.

Yet here I was on my own ego trip to commune with a master of consciousness knowing that there would be no time. That maybe I would catch a glimmer of a frequency or a shard of insight. That the most that I might be able to hope for was to bathe in his energy field for a while. After all, he was ninety-eight and we had been warned that he may not be as coherent as in previous years. This warning posed deeper questions… Yet we’d been permitted to impose ourselves. Only time would tell us what it meant and it seemed to big a question to not be answered in person.

I’d seen him on a documentary once at a place that had been re-named Adam’s Calendar the world oldest stone calendar that marked the movement of the sun. A structure so old that it’s placement could account for the continental shift. The documentary has been deleted from YouTube now for reasons that are only known to its maker. That is how I came to know of Credo. He had been initiated there a long time ago. Yet still, the name of that place eludes me. As it should. There are secrets that are supposed to be kept, so as to not give their power away. If there is one thing I know through my indigent whiteness is that there are some secrets that need to be earned. That don’t come out of nowhere that a wisdom keeper has to bestow on you. You can’t get there unless you fall through a rabbit hole or two and only they will know when you do.

In South Africa, a Shaman is known as a Sangoma. Credo is not just a Sangoma he is a Sanusi. In fact the last Sanusi. A Sanusi is the highest-ranking of the Sangoma. A Sangoma that has been called nine-times to the path. I’m still not one hundred percent sure exactly what that means. Though I think it’s got a lot to do with leaving, breaking and surrendering all at the same time. It made me considered the lost Shamans of Scotland and if there was still full knowledge of such things? If the second sight, that I had been brought up on might take us somewhere beyond tarot card readings in the kitchen, ghostly sensations, the time jumping qualities of visioning and insense laden rooms with crystals.

Magic is not for sissies and when I think about the idea of this although it might seem trivial I often think of Gandalf. How amazing that is and yet at the same time how incredibly inappropriate. Yes, I was heading out into the wild as culture vulture ticking off the box on the to-do list. While rolling dice with the deeply profound and hoping to get away with it. What was wrong with me? I’d spent most, if not all of the last seven years ducking the idea of ‘social responsibility’ refusing to impose my privilege on the unsuspecting masses. An active observer and unwilling participant. Yet now here I was ready to grab the cherry all for my very myself, in a deeply hypocritical style that would smooth and serve my ego in ways the devil would be proud of. Yet still, I was here on this journey?

What if something deeply profound happened? What if Credo really had something to say? How might it change my life? It was not my first journey into the unknown and I’m old enough now to know little changes about me except my mind as it expands.

It made me think about my mate Christian, who had been the last person that I had known to have an intimate understanding of alien consciousness. He had never fully shared the full extent of his knowledge and I often regretted that the opportunity for that conversation had been lost, when he accidentally drowned in 2012.  What had always struck me was he died very shortly after he had re-named his boat, New Moon. Now it seemed more pertinent than ever.

We were meeting Credo on the day of New Moon in Leo the day that the divine feminine supposedly officially took control. There were strange circumstances (of course there would be).  He was delighted to see us when we actually arrived and was as you might expect a ninety-eight-year-old to be. He talked in rhymes and riddles connected to fact. You had to listen hard to get it. I followed as best I could. It was the frequency that was the main thing. The light beaming through his soul and the portal his brain created to other worlds that seemed energetically tangible. The conversation ended and my questions continued.

What a strange feeling it was to be Kuruman and just like that time looped back on itself and the deeper connection became clear. The next day we visited The Kuruman Moffat Station and it all seemed to make a little more sense. I had ended up exactly where I had intended to be for a massive chunk of my life on the trail of David Livingstone. The village that I grew up in had a connection with the man due to one of its past residents Jame ‘Paraffin’ Young who had funded much of David Livingstone’s journey to Africa. I had learned of this great adventure at school and here I was standing somewhere I had seemed to be destined for most of my life wondering if I might be the only person to have come all the way here from there? Time collapsed and I wondered exactly what I was supposed to do with this strange predicament. It felt deeply symbolic as I considered my relationship between Scotland and South Africa and most specifically these two places Kuruman and Wemyss Bay.

We then drove to Kimberley. A place for obvious reasons very close to my soul. Where I was able to buy myself a Kimberley diamond.

I had fulfilled two life long dreams in one accidental journey. This is how the magic presents itself in the fulfilment of dreams and intentions set long ago. Both of these things came in pure flow to the point where it was mindblowing.  Was this the power of coming to meet Credo?

You probably considering why I might dare mention David Livingstone and the extraction economy in an article about Credo? Or how Scottish woman might be audacious enough to presume that any or all of these things are connected? And yet they are. I don’t know exactly how yet! All the information is there. I have to follow the breadcrumbs to find the magic. As my rapid response to flow, state is teaching me.

You see it is ancient culture and it is ancient wisdom. There are no clocks to set magic by. “A wizard arrives exactly when he means to” Did I mention that JRR Tolkein was born in Bloemfontein.  There are always clues. You must follow those breadcrumbs. So you can imagine my amazement that David Livingstone ended up in the town where Credo Mutwa would live 100 years later. That the poster boy of colonial adventure and religious imposition might be completely outshone by a great holder of ancient South African wisdom. After all, in South Africa Credo is a living icon.  A revolutionary figure that whispers magic into the hearts of all of South Africa’s children and way far beyond.

Kuruman too was home to one of the most powerful freshwater springs in the world. The spring is known as The Eye of Kuruman. Which is far less menacing than it sounds if you discount the bad landscape architecture that has been imposed on this natural power source. You see the land has stories to tell us. Wants of its own. The land is sacred. It calls us. It pulls us close. We have to be able to listen to it and see what grows there. To eke out what information is necessary among the profundity.

Then just like that, it would appear my trajectory might have radically altered. It’s taken me over two months to write this it might be an indicator of the rapid-fire of manifestations that have taken place in my life since then. Significance and meaning connecting dots faster than my neuro synapses can process them.

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