Reflection: A Medical Anthropological Pilgrimage by Dr. Kathia


I’d like to share with you today about a spiritual learning intensive and remembrance, intensified in January of 2015, back home on my pilgrimage through the ancient Maloti Mountains. It was such a déjà-vu experience – one that I seek wherever I travel now in order to enrich my anthropological experiences.


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I was transported back in time to an era where people dwelled in caves and in fact still do. Where pilgrims and healers journey for their own healing and shamanic experiences. Where the connection with Spirit, Nature and one’s ancestral linage and wisdom is palpable and undeniable.


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These are the Fertility caves, known by locals as Motholeng on the boarder of Swaziland in Southern Africa. This is a place to be inspired, birth forth your soul’s creativity and be initiated in ancient ways as part of a medicine women’s journey.


I welcomed the sacred procession and initiation as the “Songoma,” the Shaman. Blessed by the healing waters and attuned by the ancient whispers of spirit and herbal medicine. Deep within the heart of the cave, surrounded by livestock that served as my witness and community, bushman pictures depicted these ancient practices framed by the surrounding majesty and wisdom of the red mountains. I learned that this type of knowledge is not just passed on through the lineage, ancestors, a guru, teacher, books, a course, or a master of some sort, but also through re-connection with these natural sacred elements, an inner knowing, and an open heart in order to receive from Spirit.


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I’ve always believed in the magical healing powers of water, plants, nature, and the mountains. This healers’ internship amongst respected Songomas, or “Traditional Healers,” in which I was able to observe how they receive guidance for healing their villages was truly priceless. Observing the wild harvesting of the herbs growing around the mountains and partaking in their ceremonial practices of offering, receiving and healing has forever changed my life, the way I apply my healing gifts, and how walk on this earth.


I am looking forward to sharing more such experiences with you from my travels around the world.


I am forever grateful and cherish these ancient ways.


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