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To some Westerners indigenous African techniques are at best puzzling and at worst smack of witchcraft. The West is replete with technological wonders. Our communication network is a veritable marvel with the likes of satellite phones, fax machines and the internet. However we seem to be lacking when it comes to the cosmic connection. Ancient African wisdom has a lot to teach us here. There is a realm of spirit but there is also a veil that must be penetrated if we wish to communicate with this potential source of guidance. Most Westerners do not have the techniques to pierce the veil, the bones do.

The divining bones are not strictly all bones but comprise shells, money, seeds, dice, domino-like objects or even dominos themselves, and other objects that have been appointed by the sangoma and the spirit to represent certain polarities (for instance a miniature car to represent a journey). Animal bones from lions, hyenas, anteaters, baboons, crocodiles, wild pigs, goats, antelopes and others form the large majority of the objects in the sangoma's bag, and there are bones for all psycho-socio-spiritual polarities. The bones represent all of the forces that affect any human being, anywhere, whatever their culture. The primal energies and attributes the animals represent hold enormous power. For example, the hyena represents the thief that comes in the night, and a hyena bone is often used to locate a stolen object. The anteater is the animal that "digs the grave" and an anteater bone may be used where death is concerned, or it may represent a deceased person or his spirit.

Before throwing the bones, the healer invokes the ancestors by giving snuff, kneeling and clapping, and rattling or chanting a song. First, a general reading is given and then specific questions are asked and answered. Each question is answered by a separate throw of all the bones.

It is the ancestor, and not the healer, who is providing the information. The sangoma is just the messenger. There is an understanding between the healer and the spirit as to the meaning of the bones and how they line up in relationship to each other. In fact when the bones are thrown, they do not fall in a random pattern but rather in a distinct arrangement which can be read by the sangoma whose training has taught him to diagnose past and present ailments and even predict future occurrences. It seems that a "mini-field" of attention, intention, and coherence is set up between the healer, the patient and the ancestors that allows the bones to lie in an intelligent pattern. The metaphor they represent can then be interpreted by the healer. The reading is usually concerned with what is happening at that moment in the patient's life. Since the healer is reading a metaphor, he may get the wrong image and have to change direction. Divining is like interpreting someone's dream, and only the owner of the dream will know if the meaning rings true. The information is given humbly and democratically. The healer will ask the patient if she agrees and, if so, will continue along the same line of exploration. If the patient disagrees, the healer will read another polarity or look at the same polarity in a different way. Correct interpretation is seldom offered dogmatically. Usually the patient is well aware of what is going on in her life. The bones will often highlight or focus on a problem that requires attention and that may have been ignored or denied.

The healer is attentive to the fact that there is always free will and that anything can be changed. Rituals can be offered to the ancestral spirits to correct almost any eventuality. Bone readings are usually concerned with helping people deal with their current dilemmas - marital discord, money trouble, and other problems. But the bones also can warn a person not to take an upcoming journey, and they can highlight a past event that has bearing on the present. The future can always change because of free will brought to bear on the present moment. Far-reaching and accurate prophesies are sometimes suspect since free will is ever-present to shift the variables and alter the future.

Since the information transmitted from the Field to the bones is not localized in space and time the readings can be done by phone or sent by e-mail. If you live abroad and the cost of long distance calls is a problem, Skype can be downloaded form the web. In this way one can call computer to computer for no charge or from a computer to a regular phone for one Euro cent a minute. You would just need to make yourself available at a set time and send your questions ahead of time in the form of "how does it look for....??"

For readings call 805 964-6771 in Santa Barbara, CA.

Inward Bound Healing Journeys is a not for profit 501C3 corporation and all payments are tax deductible in the U.S.A.

Appendix:
Experiments at Princeton University (Princeton Engineering Anomalies Laboratory, or PEAL) have shown that human thoughts can influence a machine called a Random Numbers (or Events) Generator (RNG), not only in the present but also in the past and in the future. Shifts in the random numbers can even occur if the projected thoughts are sent by individuals miles away from the machine. Robots that move along a fixed predetermined path can also be made to change their programmed route by an outside observer. Quantum physics has taught us that the observer has an affect on the way quantum particles behave. A similar Field of "coherence" may be occurring with the divining bones. The intention of the diviner, the patient, and the ancestors or some force from the Field may change the way the bones lie when they fall. This means that the throw is not random, but instead is predetermined by the spirit that presides.







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