The cult of Maria Lionza
A man with his own blood dripping over his torso makes guttural noises, before placing his hands on a pilgrim to cleanse him.
The bloodied entity embodies the spirit of a Viking, and is believed to have healing powers.
In a trance, he pushes the pilgrim to the ground, who appears shocked and dulled.
Thousands of followers of the cult of Maria Lionza enter into such purifications, spiritual acts and rituals every October.
Night was falling when I parked, as instructed, at an intersection on a canyon road north of Los Angeles. Carrying a foam pad, water bottle, and blanket, I cautiously approached the house. “Are you here for the ceremony?” asked a woman seated in shadow on the porch. “The shaman’s running late,” she added. After a few minutes of small talk on topics ranging from root chakras to Reiki, she asked me bluntly, “Have you drunk before?The Way We Are
Tattoos had been used in ancient Greece and Rome to mark ownership of slaves and as punishment for criminals. Rather than being ornamental, the tattooing practices signified degradation, punishment, and permanent ownership.The Elder -Caring and listening can hasten healing.
I've been around the ceremonial life and the teaching lodges of my people for more than thirty years now. It doesn't seem that long. The very fact of being part of a spiritual community lends time a different quality, one where time passing becomes more like time inhabited, each day, month, year joined in a stream of vital energy.He's a sick man-Selebi's sangoma speaks
Ntshingila, who is known as Zinyo Lebhubesi (Lion's Tooth) last consulted the former Interpol president in October.
He says he wasn't surprised when Selebi collapsed at his Pretoria home on Friday after he learnt that he must serve his 15-year jail term for corruption.