Of Mbona’s Swift Rainbird, Wormwood and Mwabvi?

Swift photo from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swift

A woman just entering the premises of her home and about to unlock the front door is suddenly startled when a Swift rainbird falls flat on its back in front of her.

She can’t help but notice its huge eyes staring at her as it tries to flip its wings while lying flat on its back.  Alarmed she rushes to get her neighbours to remove the bird blocking the entrance to her home.

The term Rainbird is a colloquial name given to various birds thought to sing before rain… as well certain swifts whose movements are thought to signal the coming of rain partly reads the online unofficial Wikipedia.

Other birds thought to sing before rain, include the European Green WoodpeckerJamaican Lizard CuckooPacific KoelChannel-billed CuckooBurchell’s Coucal and Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike.

Other websites define swifts as “amazing birds providing a fantastic display during the summer…. This repetitive and monotonous song is the chaffinch ‘rain’ call.”

In Malawi this bird is called nanzeze or is it namzeze a Facebook friend says.  But in the English Chichewa-Chinyanja book on page 41, it’s called “mnanzeze” and defined as a swallow?

The swallow in myths is also known as a bird which flies low before rain comes but the Swift like the one in the photo on this blog is the bird of Mbona, the mythical rainmaking spirit of Malawi.

Swift photo from the Internet










Online Swifts are defined as being placed in the order Apodiformes, which they share with hummingbirds. The tree swifts are closely related to the true swifts, but form a separate family, the Hemiprocnidae.

“Resemblances between swifts and swallows are due to convergent evolution, reflecting similar life styles based on catching insects in flight.

“The family name, Apodidae, is derived from the Greek απους, apous, meaning “without feet”, a reference to the small, weak legs of these most aerial of birds. The tradition of depicting swifts without feet continued into the Middle Ages, as seen in the heraldic martlet.

Some species of swifts are among the fastest animals on the planet, with some of the fastest measured flight speeds of any bird,” further reads the unofficial Wikipedia source.

Some male healers of Malawi/Mozambique place swifts on their narrow necked calabash made from African Wine Kettle gourds known as nsupa.

But the actual ritual is not know only that it is believed to have a makeshift African compass of the four winds to give direction for where to send their incense (lubani) or requests to.

It is not yet known how ancient Mbona used swifts but one thing that is coming out clearly is his use of suspected Erythrophleum guineense which could be the banned bitter “Mwabvi tree or poisonous concoction” of Malawi which in ancient times was used to supposedly fish out afiti (sorcerers)?

The elders used to claim those who weren’t sorcerers survived this cruel poison administration.

If this is Mwabvi which is also known as the “red water tree” among other names or variations then there is a possibility Mbona administered mwabvi to himself before he asked Chauta, Namalenga, Mphambe (God) for rains by pointing his kandalanga two-edged sword to the north.

In the Ulendo Series Mtunda 8 Chichewa for Standard 8 book on p29 about “Ulosi wakale 1 about prophets, Mbona is said to have been chewing on some bark or root and his saliva looked red or something like that.

Is this Erythrophleum suaveolens of Zimbabwe the same as Mwabvi of Malawi?

Those familiar with the ancient history of mwabvi, this blog wants to know if it had some red elements.

“Mmenemo, Mbona anali potero chilili! Kuonerera koma anthu ena amene anali pafupi naye anamuona ali kulavula makungwa wotafuna wophatikizika ndi malovu wofiirira.

“Dzidzidzi! anthu anaona Mbona atalowa mbwalo lija nayamba kuvinanso. Kanthawi kochepaanatulutsa chake chikandalanga mmenemo ali phuli! phuli! ndipo mododometsa pamene adaloza kumpoto chikandalanga chakecho, panamveka chivomezi kuti, “Khre! Khre! – Ga! Ga! Ga!…”

“Nthawi yomweyo chimvula chimvekere kuti; “Wa-a-a! Pwata! Pwata!”- reads the book talking about how Mbona brought rain during a drought.

Or is this Erythrophleum guineense from Burkina Faso the same as ancient Malawi’s Mwabvi?

Another suspected herb of Mbona is mpungabwi which is said to be a repellent of snakes, witches (afiti) and nightmares among things.

Searching on Google the Artmisia afra also known as Sagewood or Wormwood seems to resemble this mpungabwi plant. It is also believed to be the one boiled and used to ease coughs or flues by covering one’s head to sniff the steam etc.

If so then maybe it’s the one in the Ulendo Series Mtunda 8 Chichewa for Standard 8 book which reads:

“Mmenemo Mbona ali kulimbikira kusonkhezera moto kuti mkhalakale wake aulule zonse za chinsinsi cha ulosi wonse…..

“Pali mankhwala ena woti kuti agwire nchito mpaka ayenera kutsamiridwa ndi mkazi wako. Kodi uli kumva? Anafunsa motero Mlauli utsi wa fodya wa mkaliwo uli pa liwiro kuthamangira kudenga.

“Ndamva gogo! Anatero Mbona…..

….Mokondwerera anatero Mlauli ali kutsendeza wina fodya mkaliwo ndi chala chachikulu chimene chinachita kufwichilira ndi utsi, chili psuu!”

Is this Mpungabwi known as Artmisia afra or Sagewood or Wormwood?

Red and smoke and incense seemed to have significant meanings in ancient Malawi times including some of the amulets they put on the necks of babies to ward off evil and keep afiti (witches) away so they believed.

A certain Malawian article called the knots for the charms mphinjiri which are usually described as being sticks tied together with a sack thread or thread.

Although it’s hardly used in Malawi as much as before, many foreigners online seem to wear reddish amulets or wool to “ward off evil”.

And the Knot of Isis or tyet which sounded like it was red was the same thing….for spells and charms for ancient self-protection and to “ward off evil” or attacks.

This blog is still researching and would appreciate any information or knowledge fellow Malawians can share as part of social networking efforts.


Of ancient Malawi’s Nyangu bull horns, clay pot and virginity?

Dziwe la Nkhalamba photo taken by Menno Welling for a different story in 2010

It’s a new ancient Africa beginning as a young woman destined to be a powerful female prophetess and healer of Malawi known as Nyangu from the day she was born dreams of an elderly man in bright white tightly holding her firmly on his chest.

She’s facing the front and can clearly see his hands as he starts braiding her uncut hair into knots as she stares at an empty white throne in front of her.

The young woman in a vision then sees two prominent male figures in society kneeling before her and presenting various gifts.

Braiding with extensions and knots but using the three pieces of hair

Elders tell this healer that the dream means the ancient one of Malawi connected to Napolo has chosen a husband for her from the spiritual realm and his name is Mbona and that she will have power as a messenger of various oracles.

But she is not expected to make the same mistakes as the first Nyangu of ancient history who practiced magic (matsenga) and fell from grace because of witchcraft (ufiti) rituals.

Since then several women have been “wives” say Sapitwa healers who are happy the elderly man has appeared again in dreams after centuries of silence.

The elderly man in ancient times was associated with Dziwe la Nkhalamba (swimming pool for the elderly) in Mulanje where a white rock to the other world is believed to be hidden according to ancestors of this great land.

When a woman in general dreamed of an ancient Malawi elderly man with white hair braiding her hair in cornrows using three strands, it usually also symbolized her calling to healing and African prophecy in which the nsengwa small basket was used and her hair never cut in rituals.

Ironically the weaving pattern on the nsengwa basket resembles cornrows but this blog has yet to establish how such baskets are made.  Maybe those with funding can travel to various areas where they make these and brief this blog about the process.

Now the ancient nsengwa oracle basket was very different from the lichero winnowing one for sifting and the like which is associated with witchcraft in mythical tales of flying baskets told by many Malawians.

Nsengwa small decoration basket with cornrow pattern

These days the thought or mention of a wife for the Mbona spirit is met with insults and resistance as many Malawians these days call them evil but this is a part of this country’s ancient history which should not be deliberately erased.

Women as female priestesses and prophetesses in this ancient land of Malawi played a huge role in the nation’s long forgotten history.

This blog will try and document oral history about the first Nyangu because so far nothing shows up on Google except a small mention of Mbona’s “virgin mother” according to the book the River of Blood: The Genesis of a Martyr Cult in Southern Malawi by Father J. Matthew Schoffeleers.

It’s posted in the link: http://books.google.mw/books?id=4S4G7Lo5OZwC&pg=PA105&lpg=PA105&dq=Mbona+born+of+a+virgin+mother+River+of+Blood&source=bl&ots=m96h080MOW&sig=TGHw3eBDFM-A16QgSyOXNtJJKvg&hl=en&sa=X&ei=R2c4U7fNOcqM7AallIGIBw&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=Mbona%20born%20of%20a%20virgin%20mother%20River%20of%20Blood&f=false

Now before that there were many other Nyangus including the first one who fell from grace according to Sapitwa healers.

This ancient woman nicknamed “Nyangu” is said to have never shown her hair since such “mizimu” (spirits) have hair that appears to move like snakes, maybe an African version of the Greek myth of Medusa?

She wore a headgear consisting of bull horns to symbolize anger, aggression and power and a red clay pot to symbolize a woman’s womb and creation as in the beginning of life.

African black bull not connected to this story taken from http://www.2timothy42.org/Photos/SouthAfrica/SA_OldAge/IMG_3325

The predominant colour of the soil across sub-Sararan Africa including Malawi is red but this blog needs to research on what the first Nyangu’s red clay pot was made from.

Sapitwa healers say in ancient Malawi, the chizimba energizing agent or charms for the bull horns was a crocodile (ng’ona) and that is what led to the downfall of the first Nyangu who exists in the spiritual realm they claim.

Mozambique clay pot not connected to this article from http://www.ezakwantu.com/Gallery%20African%20Beer%20Pots%20-%20Clay%20Pots.htm

And it is because of the original  Nyangu that ancient priestesses of this land are believed to have not cut their hair because they saw power in it.  Of these spirits are the winged ones that have never been human and also have uncut hair.

One such spirit is a female one with red eyes and very energetic and a wild dancer.  She likes showing her private parts and is very sensual claim some Malawian healers.

Perhaps this is where the teaching of three female winged spirits of a negative charge working together with four winged male winged spirits of a positive charge to create light or lightning came from.

Ancient African priests and priestesses played with the numbers three, four and seven in ancient rain shrines and in the way they viewed cornrow braids, weaving, rivers, rainfall and lightning among other things in nature they proudly attributed to Chauta, Mphambe, Namalenga (God) as the Creator of all.

To date, Egypt unlike Malawi fully maintains its history of Osiris, Isis and Horus or Ausar, Aset and Heru regardless of religious or cultural beliefs.  Many sites online testify this.

Isis  or Aset is a goddess in Ancient Egyptian religious beliefs, whose worship spread throughout the Greco-Roman world. She was worshipped as the ideal mother and wife as well as the patroness of nature and magic.

“She was the friend of slavessinnersartisans and the downtrodden, but she also listened to the prayers of the wealthy, maidens, aristocrats and rulers.

“Isis is often depicted as the mother of Horus, the hawk-headed god of war and protection (although in some traditions Horus’s mother was Hathor). Isis is also known as protector of the dead and goddess of children.

“The name Isis means “Throne”. Her headdress is a throne. As the personification of the throne, she was an important representation of the pharaoh’s power. The pharaoh was depicted as her child, who sat on the throne she provided,” partly reads http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isis

Ancient Egypt’s with cow horns, sun disk and knot drawing taken from the Internet

According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tyet, tyet is an ancient Egyptian symbol of the goddess Isis and is also known as the “Knot of Isis because it resembles a knot used to secure the garments that the Egyptian gods wore (also tet, buckle of Isis, girdle of Isis, and the blood of Isis).”

“The meaning of “the Blood of Isis” is more obscure, but it was often used as a funerary amulet made of a red stone or of glass. It is also speculated that the Tyet represents the menstrual blood flow from Isis’ womb and its magical properties.

And in ancient Egypt the bull was a symbol of fertility, renewal, sexual virility, and brute strength or power, which is why ancient Egyptian kings were particularly associated with the virile male species of the animal.

 It is also said that the oldest known image of hair braiding was traced back to a burial site called Saqqara located on the Nile River during the first dynasty of Pharaoh Menes.

A braid (also called plait) is a complex structure or pattern formed by intertwining three or more strands of flexible material such as textile fibres, wire, or hair. Compared to the process of weaving a wide sheet of cloth from two separate, perpendicular groups of strands (warp and weft), a braid is usually long and narrow, with each component strand functionally equivalent in zigzagging forward through the overlapping mass of the others.

“The simplest possible braid is a flat, solid, three-strand structure in some countries/cases called a plait. More complex braids can be constructed from an arbitrary (but usually odd) number of strands to create a wider range of structures: wider ribbon-like bands, hollow or solid cylindrical cords, or broad mats which resemble a rudimentary perpendicular weave,” also reads the online Wikipedia.

Tyet or Knot of Isis taken from the Internet

Flat braids made of many copper wires are also sometimes used for flexible electrical connections between large components. The numerous smaller wires comprising the braid are much more resistant to breaking under repeated motion and vibration than is a cable of larger wires. A common example of this may be found connecting a car battery’s negative terminal to the metal chassis further reads the Wikipedia.

And braiding is said to happen when a river is carrying vast amounts of eroded sediment. Sediment is deposited as islands in the channel causing the river to split up into many winding channels.

“In some river and stream systems, small streams join together and redivide in many places. Such stream systems are said to be braided. These are often found in alluvial fans at the outlet of canyons.

The braided streams of the Tanana River.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Braided_Stream_FairbanksTananaR




Of ancient Malawi’s lion cub…..the dreadlocked Mbona

Lion watches over lioness photo taken from http://s302.photobucket.com/user/shamanbunny/media/lion_lioness02.jpg.html

A young woman walking down the streets of Blantyre on a hot October day arriving at her destination is suddenly blinded by a bright white light  flashing like lightning without thunder or rain which hits the iron sheet looking roof of a huge building with a roar, temporarily blinding her as she falls to the ground.

Looking down she notices red spots on the dusty ground as if blood and she blinks her eyes strongly affected by the very bright flash of light.

And just before her knee scraps the rough ground, a gentle hand suddenly lifts her up and she finds herself face to face with a bearded watchman wearing a brown fedora and with friendly looking eyes.

The woman can’t help but notice the pitch black dreadlocks peeking out of his fedora. Unknown to her this is the mythical spirit of Mbona and his hair is the source of his power so it’s never cut. Puzzled the woman asks for the owners of the place and the watchman tells her to look for them behind the “mansion.”

But alas when the woman finds the occupants and explains how a kind watchman gave her the directions, the owners of the place don’t know what she’s talking about and bluntly tell her they don’t have a watchman.

Confused the woman peeks at the entrance near the gate and sees the now mysterious watchman squatting near a rock and waiting for her to give him instructions.

Painting of dreadlocks not connected to this blog but taken from http://www.etsy.com/market/jamaica_painting

She then summons the man with her hand and he approaches her like he’s ready to serve, a smile constantly covering his smooth dark skinned face.

The woman wants to use the ladies and he tells her to use a nearby pit latrine used by some workers who were building a nearby brick wall.  Entering the pit latrine the woman is surprised to find it sparkling clean and the smell of perfume in the air.

When she exits she notices various colourful flowers nearby she never noticed before and once again she sees the watchman dressed simply in brown trousers, a pink shirt and brown fedora with a nearby hill appearing closer than usual.

This behavior is strange to the woman because although she does not know or recognize the man before her, she can sense kindness and love in his eyes by the way he looks at her as if deep into her soul.

On departure after the visit, she again finds the man still squatting near the gate and waves him good-bye after he asks her if she had a nice visit.

After narrating her experience to some elder women, they tell her point black that she has met a spiritual being called Mbona who appears with a bright flash of light with a roar of thunder.

Lightning and thunder marking the first rains photo taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Lightning_NOAA.jpg

Ancient Mbona’s symbols were lightning and thunder in connection with rain because he was an ancient rainmaker who used the power of Chauta, Namalenga, Mphambe (God) but was accused of witchcraft and demonic activities to this day.

This is why there are no songs in Malawi about Mbona unlike the songs composed by some youth in Zimbabwe about their ancient prophet Chaminuka.

Many in Malawi label Mbona as a magician (matsenga) person who was evil because he is also believed to appear as a serpent spirit in myths and tales which talk of ancient chiefs who are given new bodies in the afterlife.

Mbona was also a man who never cut his hair and grew thick dreadlocks which were covered and resembled the movement of lightning and thunder for rain.  Whenever he would show and shake his dreadlocks in visions or dreams it would mean he was very angry.

In ancient times dreadlocks were sacred and never cut anyhow just like the mane of a lion to represent power and strength.  The dreadlocks also represented serpents like Greece’s mythical Medusa.

It’s because of his pitch black dreadlocks that Mbona was also known as mwana wamkango (child of the lion, lion’s cub).

However women who grew dreads hid their locks under scarves, turbans with veils or even “wigs” so that she was “bald” like a lioness and the hunter in a relationship.

This is why in ancient times Mbona had to have a “wife” even in death because the relationship was like that of a lion and a lioness with the ancient female priestesses being very powerful and passing on messages and warnings from Mbona as his messenger and prophetess. Mbona also watched over his “wife” just like a lion watches over the lioness.

Now Mbona’s dreadlocks were easily recognized by those who saw him in the same way the male lion is recognized by its mane.

“The mane of the adult male lion, unique among cats, is one of the most distinctive characteristics of the species. It makes the lion appear larger, providing an excellent intimidation display; this aids the lion during confrontations with other lions and with the species’ chief competitor in Africa, the spotted hyena

Lion with mane photo taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Lion_waiting_in_Namibia.jpg

“Sexual selection of mates by lionesses favors males with the densest, darkest mane. Research in Tanzania also suggests mane length signals fighting success in male–male relationships.

Darker-maned individuals may have longer reproductive lives and higher offspring survival, although they suffer in the hottest months of the year. In prides including a coalition of two or three males, it is possible that lionesses solicit mating more actively with the males who are more heavily maned,” partly reads the unofficial Wikipedia.

Beautiful white lions photo taken from http://www.dailyworldfacts.com/lion-facts/

A lion’s mane is also used to mark a more powerful and dominant one with full dark ones meaning stronger lions. According to 10 Facts about Lions posted on http://www.dailyworldfacts.com/lion-facts/, lions also hate hyenas because they view a hyena as a “thief of lion food.”

“Everywhere Lions go,  hyena follows them. Not infrequently, they can take over the lions. Lions communicate in different ways and one of them is roaring. Lions have strong sonic waves and once they cast it, it will spread in all directions as far as 5 miles.

“In lions, lioness hunt more but unfortunately, the lion eats more meat. The male lion consumes 15 pounds of meat a day, while the female one only eat 11 pounds a day,” further reads the website.

This blog will continue revealing some of ancient Malawi Mbona’s secrets once information is given and permission granted. This blog will also continue documenting some parts of ancient Malawi’s oral history as a hobby and not as an endorsement.


Lion’s mane photo taken from http://www.dailyworldfacts.com/lion-facts/

Of ancient Malawi’s black holes, spirals and gravity pulls?

Spiral Sea snails from http://www.ebay.com.au/bhp/sea-shells

A mysterious but strong force in the middle of a spiral black hole pulls a young female Malawian healer down into unknown depths of the earth faster than time and before she realizes it she spins to the bottom of a dark black pit with two ways to unknown worlds and kingdoms.

Turning to her right and looking up the black tunnel, she can’t help but seem to see a faint but fuzzy bright light far ahead in the distance while at the left all she can see is red and fire.

In front of her she sees a spiral like figure resembling a coiled snake as if the symbol of healing.

But before she can make sense of all that she’s seeing, another mysterious force pushes her back up through the dark and spiral black tunnel where all she can do is keep her eyes focused on the distant bright light as a ringing sound hits her ears.

Black spiral tunnel sample borrowed from the Internet

The dark tunnel and the so-called underworld of Sapitwa is an ancient Africa concept that might be a version of what some scientists today call the black hole?

If so could there be one somewhere on Mulanje Mountain or waterfalls or nearby oceans in the area where things are said to disappear and don’t appear to hit the ground with a thud or any other sound?

For now let’s rewind the clock. Before humans existed, before Earth formed, before the sun ignited, before galaxies arose, before light could even shine, some scientists say there was the Big Bang some 13.8 billion years ago.

But what about before that asks an article titled ‘Are We Living in a Black Hole?’ posted on the National Geographic website on http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/02/140218-black-hole-blast-explains-big-bang/

“Many  physicists say there is no before that.  Time began ticking, they insist, at the instant of the Big Bang, and pondering anything earlier isn’t in the realm of science.

But a few unconventional scientists disagree. These physicists theorize that, a moment before the Big Bang, all the mass and energy of the nascent universe was compacted into an incredibly dense—yet finite—speck. Let’s call it the seed of a new universe.

“This seed is thought to have been almost unimaginably tiny, possibly trillions of times smaller than any particle humans have been able to observe.

And yet it’s a particle that can spark the production of every other particle, not to mention every galaxy, solar system, planet, and person. If you really want to call something the God particle, this seed seems an ideal fit,” further reads the website.

Black holes are regions of space so dense that nothing, not even light, can escape from them. Most are thought to form at the end of a big star’s life, when its internal pressure is insufficient to resist its own gravity and the star collapses under its own weight.

Since the laws of physics no longer apply in a region of infinite density, no one knows what could possibly happen inside a black hole.

Nasa photo taken from http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/02/140218-black-hole-blast-explains-big-bang/

“Stephen Hawking suggested in the early 1970s that black holes can slowly evaporate and disappear. But in this case, what happens to the information that describes an object that falls into a black hole?

“According to general relativity, information cannot simply disappear; inside a black hole, however, information apparently does. This “information paradox” has puzzled researchers for decades.

And it’s not only researchers puzzled with the wonders of the universe.  Trainee female Sapitwa healers also have to go through many trials and struggles to make sense of their Malawian version of black holes and never-ending spiral dark pits which they claim takes them to another universe.

They claim the whole Mulanje Mountain was known as Sapitwa thousands of years ago and belonged to Napolo among other ancient kings. Image

Though access to it is now more limited, they claim the mystical Sapitwa with its gods and goddesses still exists there hence their use of the term “Ndilipo” which in English is summarized as “I am here.”

“Ukapilira uona maso ankhono” is another phrase some female Sapitwa healers like using to mean if one is patient they’ll see the eyes of a snail which in turn means that if one is patient they will see the sacred eye in the storm like a whirlwind, cyclone or other winds which they attribute to Napolo of ancient Malawi.

Napolo is a mythical upright serpent spirit that moves with heavy winds, landslides and earthquakes in a straight path so in ancient times priests and priestesses would forewarn kingdoms when it was about to erupt so go some of the oral stories.

Such healers claim that snails (nkhono) are secretive and hide their shells (nkungwa) and the only way one can see it is by smashing or removing the shell in the same way when the Napolo winds controlled by secretive mizimu (spirits) pass by they are unseen unless one is patient and removes the veil to see the hidden face.

These healers live in the village in Mulanje and cannot read and write but talk of different types of birds, animals trees, stars, asteroids, eyes in storms and black holes in the Indian ocean among many other things.

In their words, the places have a black tunnel and at the end is a bright light which they claim one must follow to somehow reach another world.

These women of Sapitwa also believe that Chauta, Namalenga, Mphambe (God) began creation from water because in their views a “water kingdom” of spirits existed trillions of years before.

It’s on this point where science and ancient African beliefs and the learned and educated differ bitterly.

Scientists and many atheists estimate the creation of the universe from the Big Bang Theory and when human beings and their world came into being while the uneducated healers estimate the creation of universes from when spirits and winged spirits began to exist.

Ancient Africa believed in spirits and that a human body was like a temporary vehicle for the spirit unlike today when many mostly believe in the body and talk of creation from the time mankind was created.

Sapitwa healers claim that as the spirits moved in water Chauta, Namalenga, Mphambe (God) brought light and then the process of making other things including mankind continued.

They define the movement in the water as that of a spiral with its gravity pull in the centre.

Napolo winds can be as powerful as a cyclone in this Internet photo

Sapitwa healers of Malawi hold the Indian Ocean close to their hearts and their symbol is the spiral sea snail shell (nkungwa) because they believe it resembles the Napolo winds and the creation of the universe from the sea where they claim spirits “lived” and are still found besides the mountain.

They also claim that Chauta, Namalenga, Mphambe has 7 spirits of which 4 are males of positive charges and 3 female of negative charges and other winged spirits that have never been human but lived in a water kingdom before.

In an article titled “Discovering the Power of Sacred Spirals” the spiral is described as one of the building blocks of creation. The universe and bodies are filled with spirals.

“Spirals exist in the form of galaxies; our own galaxy is, in fact, a spiral. Sea animals and land snails are protected by spiral shells. Some animals grow spiral horns and spiral-shaped tails. The plant world is ripe with spirals. Flower petals and leaves are distributed in spiral patterns. And in the very nucleus of our cells, we find DNA that occurs in spiraling helixes,” partly reads an All can Heal PDF posted online.

For tens of thousands of years, spirals have also been used in conjunction with healing. Spirals have been found in the form of pictographs or petroglyphs in most countries and cultures throughout the world. It is believed that these cave paintings and drawings were created by shamans.

“They used the spirals for journeying, entering the spirit world through a tunnel or spiral vortex portal, using the stone surface at rock art sites as a point of entry to other realms”.

Besides the common sea snail shells and mathematics there is also the Sacred Geometry of the Nautilus Shell.  The Chambered Nautilus is a living fossil that has survived in earth’s oceans for the last 500 million years.

Nautilus hemishell from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nautilus
Nautilus hemishell from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nautilus

The spiral is a common element of Sacred Geometry as well as to all natural development. Spirals in nature tend to follow the Golden Ratio (Phi) or Fibonacci Sequence in their rates of expansion. The key to Sacred Geometry is the relationship between the progression of growth and proportion.

Scientists a few years back found ‘black holes’ at sea.  Though scientists do not talk of spirits, they described the ocean whirlpools as those from “which nothing can ever escape – not even water” since “eddies are so tightly surrounded by water paths that nothing can escape”.

The scientists also found they are mathematically equivalent to black holes and believe they have found features of these black holes here on Earth, in the southern Atlantic Ocean.  A Daily Mail article online also explains how these huge ocean whirlpools are so tightly surrounded by circular water paths that nothing caught up in them escapes.


Their numbers are reportedly on the rise in the Southern Ocean, increasing the northward transport of warm and salty water. The researchers also identified seven Agulhas Rings of the black-hole type, which transported the same body of water without leaking for almost a year.

A black hole is a tear in the fabric of space-time that pulls in everything that comes too close to it. Nothing that gets sucked in can escape, not even light. A giant whirlpool was also reported in 2012 as churning up the ocean south of Africa.

Watch L.A. News Anchors Freak Out When an Earthquake Strikes


We all revel in Los Angeles-based reporters’ apocalyptic on-air reactions whenever it rains or the weather drops below 70 degrees, but that’s nothing when compared to what happened when actual natural disasters strike. KTLA reporter Chris Schauble had the absolute best facial reaction to a mild 4.4 earthquake that hit LA Monday morning.

In case you need to see it again:

los ángeles earthquake face

KTLA is already embracing the meme:

And Schauble, who has won Emmys for his reporting, already made it his Twitter profile picture:

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Of ancient Malawi’s milling stones (mwala wamphero) and ritual baths

Metate and mano from Custer County under Milling Stones from http://www.ou.edu/cas/archsur/OKArtifacts/milling.htm

During ancient Malawi ritual baths when healers would gently hold people behind or near their head and hand to dip them under water and out again as if cleansing them of evil and wrong doings, the act was seen as resembling the grinding process of a milling stone when the hand stone is rubbed back and forth in a washboard motion to grind the grain.

This movement results in a trough-shaped grinding surface which is best utilized with a long two-handed grinding stone that can be moved back and forth.

The term metate is appropriate for a milling stone (mwala wamphero) of this type read various online sources and the ancient Malawian ritual baths of submerging people in water followed the same two hand movement say Sapitwa healers.

Indian ocean map taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Indian_Ocean-CIA_WFB_Map.png

The ritual bath was to cleanse a person of evil spirits and for them to repent and stop doing wrong from an ancient Malawi point of view.

Powerful healers were also believed to be re-born pure and clean from the ocean water which symbolized the womb of Mother Earth so go ancient myths and tales.

They believed the specific stone used resembled a rock for ancient chiefs which they claim falls out of the sky like a star (nyenyezi).

This blog suspects such a rock might be an asteroid but more research and investigation needs to be done to establish what exactly they mean and scientific evidence.

However, milling stones are not the only common artifacts in ancient Malawi as online sources show many Oklahoma archaeological sites in the United States and other countries having them.

Sapitwa healers belief milling stones resemble asteroid like rocks like this one taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:243_ida.jpg

The milling stone or milling basin, frequently called a metate and known as mwala wamphero in Malawi, was used for grinding local maize or corn and sorghum (mapira) into a flour for food and rituals.

Sapitwa healers and others still use millstones when grinding sorghum into flour and other things for their nsembe (sacrifice) offerings on Mulanje Mountain they claim.

This blog has information that one such millstone is on display at the Chichiri museum but a trip is needed to the place to confirm this and take a photo.

Online sources define milling stones as normally being “large flattened rocks of considerable weight which have a shallow or deep basin-shaped depression in one or both sides.”

“They were used in conjunction with a hand stone or mano to grind seeds or grain. Whole specimens are less frequently found than broken fragments on archaeological sites.

“The classification of milling stones or grinding basins is not standardized among writers, but some general suggestions can be made regarding variations in these artifacts. The term “metate” is derived from the Southwest and Mexico to refer to the corn grinding stone still available today in Mexican markets.

“This term has been commonly applied to all kinds of grinding basins found elsewhere even though obvious differences exist,” partly reads http://www.ou.edu/cas/archsur/OKArtifacts/milling.htm.

And according to the unofficial Wikipedia, the Neolithic and Upper Paleolithic people also used millstones to grind grains, nuts, rhizomes and other vegetable food products for consumption.

These implements are often called grinding stones and they used either  “saddlestones or rotary querns turned by hand. Such devices were also used to grind pigments and metal ores prior to smelting.”

In India, grinding stones (Chakki) were used to grind grains and spices. These consist of a stationary stone cylinder upon which a smaller stone cylinder rotates.

“Smaller ones, for household use, were operated by two people. Larger ones, for community or commercial use, used livestock to rotate the upper cylinder,” further reads Wikipedia.

Now millstones or mill stones are stones used in grist mills, for grinding wheat or other grains and come in pairs.

“The base or bedstone is stationary. Above the bedstone is the turningrunner stone which actually does the grinding. The runner stone spins above the stationary bedstone creating the “scissoring” or grinding action of the stones.

“A runner stone is generally slightly concave, while the bedstone is slightly convex. This helps to channel the ground flour to the outer edges of the stones where it can be gathered up.

“The runner stone is supported by a cross-shaped metal piece (rind or rynd) fixed to a “mace head” topping the main shaft or spindle leading to the driving mechanism of the mill (windwater (including tide) or other means).”

Of ancient Malawi’s 10 horns (nyanga) and beasts (zirombo)

In ancient Malawi 10 fingers represented 10 horns of nyanga rituals

Thousands of years ago in this ancient land today known as Malawi some no-nonsense kings ruled with an iron fist according to some Sapitwa healers.

In the olden days some of these kings were believed to protect themselves with various charms to fight wars and prevent others from harming them through kukhwima rituals.

Internet African wine kettle gourd photo

Besides that some of the ancient kings were also believed to have  unique cups (chikho) and containers locally known as nsupa and made from the African Wine Kettle gourd. It required a secret process of 10 to get it’s power.

On its own the gourd is said to not have powers until the owner somehow magically washes it with magical blood to get it’s so-called feminine energy hence it having the hour-glass shape of a woman with beads on its “waist” so go some ancient myths and tales.

These men are believed to have always tapped into feminine energy in their earlier days as they believed in opposites attracting in their spirituality to create light.

This was the gist of their saying that Chauta, Namalenga, Mphambe (God) has 7 spirits and of these 4 are male representing the positive force and 3 female representing the negative force to create Light or what is also known today as electricity.

Now Kuponda was one of the most feared chiefs and myths and tales talk of him lifting his little finger like a goat horn to deal with his enemies or those who tried to harm him. The movement of the fingers would imitate the horns of his nyanga kit which were usually 10.

Goat horns from the Internet

Now the little finger would represent the goat horn with less hair on it while the finger next to it would represent the ram horn which are curved and the shape of that one when trying to lift it up.

They call it nkhosa which is also translated into English as sheep but with horns (nyanga).

The middle finger which is usually swearing or cursing in western cultures in ancient Malawi represented the hidden hyena (fisi) horn and symbolized bad luck while the index and pointing finger represented the other goat horn and symbolized the male organ and throwing a curse to dry up things among others.

Big horn sheep in New Mexico photo from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:New_Mexico_Bighorn_Sheep.JPG
Big horn sheep in New Mexico photo from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:New_Mexico_Bighorn_Sheep.JPG
African Buffalo Bull from http://www.wildlife-pictures-online.com/buffalo_ep-1852.html

Sapitwa healers also say the thumb represented the horns of a cow (ng’ombe) which is most likely a bull or African Buffalo Bull and meant all is well.

It’s bent shape in the eyes of the ancestors represented the bent horns of a bull and they apparently played with these signs and associated them with beasts (chirombo).

Some of these mythical beasts are said to guard Sapitwa and other mountains in the Sub-Saharan region including the one local healers nicknamed “Kuba.”

Sapitwa which basically means “don’t go there” in the vernacular and also known as the mountain where “no man goes” is a place which myths claim is home to spirits.

It’s the highest peak of Mulanje Mountain some 100 kilometres south-east of Blantyre.

Mulanje Massif is said to measure approximately 22×26 kilometres with a maximum elevation of 3,002 m at its highest point, Sapitwa Peak.

Sapitwa is the original name of the whole Mulanje Mountain says a female Sapitwa healer when asked the name the ancestors of the land gave the mountain.

She says with time and many centuries later this has changed and the only place for the “where no man goes” legend is the Peak.

Of these is Sapitwa a chief also referred to as Napolo whom healers describe as the ancient owner of the mountain.

M’manga mudzi…tree grows out of an anthill

Another one is Kuponda whom myths connect to this M’manga Mudzi (build the village) anthill tree in Mulanje whose English name remains unknown.

Other ancient chiefs Sapitwa healers have revealed include Kasipe, Namakuno, Usiyeapite, Kalinje, Kalinde, Chambe and Mwala wa Nkhalamba.

Internet photo of little finger or pinky finger meaning trouble

Another chief is Gumulanje whose name ironically sounds like Mulanje but this blog hopes some experts can confirm because so far there is no information online about the names of chiefs who existed on this land centuries ago.

They talk of a chief called Gumulanje whom they say had specific hand symbols which he used to try or condemn people. In Myths and Tales he is the one who “owned” that mountain in oral stories just like myths and tales connected to other hills and mountains.

Now of the ancient chiefs, Gumulanje also known as the destroyer was also a feared chief believed to have used magical powers during conflict where people would somehow disappear when fighting.

When Gumulanje passed on, the people of the area in their belief system viewed him as a god who had passed on to the mythical astral realm of Sapitwa because for them kings with their royal blood were believed to be near Chauta, Namalenga, Mphambe (God) so they went through them to sent requests in their beliefs add the healers.

Those who have more information about ancient Malawi please feel free to expand and enrich this blog because in the end it’s looks like globally many ancient cultures had a few similar beliefs proving we still are all human beings made in the image of God so no need for hatred, thanks.

*Fellow Malawians also feel free to correct any misspellings are add information as part of an effort to document online ancient oral history, this blog will appreciate, cheers.