Ukuthwasa has many elements to it which all need attention if the process is one that achieves the aims of ukuthwasa. The main aim, which I think is frequently lost, is for the prospective iSangoma to awaken in equal measure all their abilities by collecting all of their amaDlozi okubhula and combining them. So how do we do this?
Ukuthwasa is a layered process with each part required in order for success. We have the following components which I will discuss briefly:
- Izinkhamba - your medications over the coming months
- Ukugida nokucula
Medicines are a MUST during ukuthwasa. They serve the main purpose of opening up what I call your communication channels with amaDlozi okubhula. The mixtures that are used are an important in that they open different channels at different times leading to the ultimate joining of these channels. So when iNyanga yakho (uGobela in Jozi!) tells you to shaya izinkamba 2 to 3 times a day and uphalaze, it's for your own good.
In the beginning for new initiates, this is the primary way of getting amaDlozi to reveal themselves. This is why for untreated people, if they just hear the beating of drums, they have a very strong reaction including passing out for minutes or hours on end. As I have said, the main purpose of ukuthwasa is to strengthen these connections in the Thwasa. It is therefore obvious that ukugida has to be done consistently and often if one is to strengthen these connections effectively.
Dreams are the main communication channel during ukuthwasa especially between the Thwasa and amaDlozi akhe that are being united with her. They are also important indicators to iNyanga (Gobela) as to the progress or lack of progress in some cases, that is happening with iThwasa. These messages should not be ignored simply because amaDlozi know what we humans don't and this is how many problems will be solved and treatment changes can be identified. The role of iNyanga is of a facilitator for amaDlozi to speak for themselves. This is very important to remember!
Ceremonies and rituals
There are many ceremonies and rituals that will be performed during this process. Some are unique to ukuthwasa whilst others may be performed at different times throughout the life of an iSangoma. The important factor is that these ceremonies need to tak place at the right time and at the right place. If a ceremony is meant to take place at iNyanga's place, that's where it must happen. If the ceremony needs to be at Thwasa's home, that's where it must happen. There needs to be clarity about where Thwasa's home is especially with regards to marital home or where one's parent's are. Also where home is for those born from unmarried parents. By unmarried I mean African marriage not western marriage!
In conclusion, ukuthwasa as it is structured is meant to achieve the main goal of bringing every single ancestor who is meant to heal people to you, iThwasa. This is also important to explain that not every one of your birth ancestors is iDlozi lokubhula meant to continue the work with you. So your collection, is of those only meant to do the work of healing people and nobody else. This is why even after uthwasile, you find people having to conduct ceremonies for collecting all the other ancestors of the family. Philani. MAD-G