Of ancient Malawi’s creation myth and Nyangu….the goddess (mizimu)

 

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gods of Egypt photo from http://anthropology.msu.edu/anp264-ss13/2013/02/28/the-gods-of-egypt/

Many ancient civilizations (Greek, Norse, Roman, etc.) have an extensive mythological story that has an explanation for just about everything that goes on in the world. From the reasons why the seasons change to why humans feel emotion, mythology allowed ancient people to be at peace with the way things are.

In Egyptian mythology, the world started out as a chaos of churning water, known as Nu or Nun.

“Out of Nu came Atum, the lord of Heliopolis. He stood on a single mound he created called ben-ben and this is where the temple of Heliopolis was built.

“The creation of ben-ben brought light into the world and Atum became known as Atum-Ra. Ra, the sun god that rises in the east and dies in the west. Ra then created the gods Shu (the air) and Tefnut (the moisture) through asexual reproduction. Together, Shu and Tefnut produced Geb (the earth) and Nut (the sky).

“Geb and Nut conceived Osiris, Isis, Nephthys, and Seth (or Set). After conceiving, Geb and Nut were separated by their father, Shu.

“Now the sky is high above, while the earth is way below with air in the middle. Many ancient drawings of this show Geb the earth laying down with Nut the sky arched over him with Shu the air holding her up. Ra the sun is usually traveling along Nut’s body,” reads the 2013 Great Discoveries in Archaeology website at http://anthropology.msu.edu/anp264-ss13/2013/02/28/the-gods-of-egypt/.

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Ancient 4 winds of Sapitwa symbol drawn with ufa woyera (refined maize flour) to represent North, South, West and East and the very bright Sirius star

Now  this blog is not posting to debate whether the ancient Egypt belief was right or wrong or to endorse any beliefs but just to document things posted online and some ancient Malawi oral stories never documented before.

Similar to some elements of the ancient Egypt creation myth in ancient Sapitwa mythology everything began with water and there was a spirit (mizimu) kingdom in the water led by the Dziwe la Nkhalamba elderly spirit and 7 others mainly Tomasi Bona of the North Wind, Tagoneka Mbona of the West, Chandiona Goneka of the South and Nthanda mwana wa mwezi of the East.

Another was Mbewula who has never been human but is said to have mounted from one of M’manga Mudzi anthill hill mounds somewhere in Mulanje near the mountain.

It’s not easy to get to the mound as some vines or something grab your hands and feet and trip you over so one has to be patient and untie themselves from the mess and make sure they don’t touch any buffalo bean (Chitedze) which causes extreme itching of the body.

This anthill locally known as chulu represented the triangular mountain above and all the water bodies underneath. Another spirit or should we say of ancient Malawi was a goddess named the first Nyangu who is different from the many in Malawi’s history including Mbona’s mother Nyangu.

She stands with very bright presence, her veil covering her knotted black hair as her wide eyes stare blankly at those who visit her and seek guidance.

Her name is Nyangu, the goddess of the mythical Sapitwa from the beginning of time and not any of the ones who have lived on earth including Mbona’s mother Nyangu.  Her colour is blue like the deep ocean and her origins, a sad mythical story about goddesses locally known as mizimu (spirits).

Sometimes she sits under the shade of a fig tree locally known as mkuyu to breastfed her baby.  The woman is dark-skinned with very smooth skin that makes her face look like she dipped it in a jar of cocoa-butter and milk further go oral stories.

Her black eye-lashes stand out together with her eyebrows which seem well drawn and her uncombed hair forms tidy knots but her hair is not necessarily dread-locked.

Also standing out on her beautiful face are beauty spots on her cheek. Her brown almond shaped eyes also stand out and piercing as if searching a person’s soul.

However, the strange thing with this woman is that whenever people see her she’s holding a small baby even when its months later….the baby does not seem to grow.

An elderly man suddenly calls out to her “makewana” (mother of the child) and she greets him politely but does not remove her eyes of her baby whom she sometimes carries on her back.

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Rare ancient M’manga Mudzi anthill tree

She wanders from place to place like a lost and mad person ever since she lost her husband, the elderly spirit of Dziwe la Nkhalamba. Her symbol is similar to one of the ancient Malawi female winged spirits known as Sungamwana (Keep the child).

The others are Tomasi Bona (world in one’s hands), Tagoneka Mbona (put to sleep Mbona), Chandiona Goneka (It’s seen me, put to sleep), Nthanda mwana wa mwezi (Child of the moon, Sirius), Dziwe Ntambawana (Witchcraft pool) and Ife Zonse (All of us).

In ancient teachings these 7 pulled each other to create energy viewed as light like that of lightning which today will probably be called electricity. Now in physics there are two types of electric charges…positive and negative.

“Positively charged substances are repelled from other positively charged substances, but attracted to negatively charged substances; negatively charged substances are repelled from negative and attracted to positive. An object will be negatively charged if it has an excess of electrons, and will otherwise be positively charged or uncharged.

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Positive and negative of an Electric Charge photo from tp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_charge

“The SI derived unit of electric charge is the coulomb (C), although in electrical engineering it is also common to use the ampere-hour (Ah), and in chemistry it is common to use the elementary charge (e) as a unit. The symbol Q is often used to denote charge.

“The early knowledge of how charged substances interact is now called classical electrodynamics, and is still very accurate if quantum effects do not need to be considered,” partly reads http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_charge

And another physics website states the fact that the light bulb lights and remains lit is evidence that charge is flowing through the light bulb filament and that an electric circuit has been established.

“A circuit is simply a closed loop through which charges can continuously move. To demonstrate that charges are not only moving through the light bulb filament but also through the wires connecting the battery pack and the light bulb, a variation on the above activity is made.

“A compass is placed beneath the wire at any location such that its needle is placed in alignment with the wire. Once the final connection is made to the battery pack, the light bulb lights and the compass needle deflects,” further reads http://www.physicsclassroom.com/class/circuits/Lesson-2/What-is-an-Electric-Circuit

Now the ancient elderly spirit of Dziwe la Nkhalamba whom the ancestors tried to invoke by calling out the name of a male organ chose the first Nyangu to be his wife.

He’s also associated with Thunder and Lightning and rains which had a positive and negative charge.

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The sky is filled with electric charge. In a calm sky, the positive and negative charges are evenly interspersed thoughout the atmosphere – http://www.windows2universe.org/earth/Atmosphere/tstorm/lightning_formation.html&edu=high

Online sources confirm that inside a thunderstorm, electric charge is spread out differently. A thunderstorm consists of ice crystals and hailstones.

“The ice crystals have a positive charge, while the hailstones have a negative charge. The positively charged ice crystals are pushed to the top of the thunderstorm cloud by an updraft. Meanwhile, the heavy negatively charged hailstones are pushed to the bottom of the thunderstorm by its downdraft.

“Thus, the thunderstorm’s positive and negative charges are separated into two levels: the positive charge at the top and the negative charge at the bottom,” partly reads http://www.windows2universe.org/earth/Atmosphere/tstorm/lightning_formation.html&edu=high

The ancestors of this land including Mbona somehow knew this and he would point his two-edged knife/sword locally known as kandalanga to the North to symbolize hot winds and rains from Chauta, Namalenga, Mphambe (God).

 

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Illustration of Mbona as a boy pointing his kandalanga to the North for rains taken from the Ulendo series Chichewa for Standard 8 book

Their union which consisted of his the positive energy and hers the negative created what they believed was light in the same way they believed in 4 positive male “spirits” and 3 negative female ones creating the sacred number of 7 spirits which they claim pull each other to create light.

The elderly spirit of Dziwe la Nkhalamba whom this blog cannot mention by name since these days it is considered swearing or cursing deeply loved this Nyangu and did everything to make her happy.

But besides her being intimate with two other spirits mainly Mbewula and Mbona, she also aborted the babies she conceived with the elder spirit of Dziwe la Nkhalamba just like the demon known as Dziwe Ntambamwana who appears in red and publicly shows her forbidden fruit go oral stories.

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Red wine photo from
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_wine

This is why Sapitwa healers are against abortion arguing that one can kill the body but not the mizimu (spirit or soul). They also claim the elderly spirit in myths has been born again of women of the Nyangu blood by implanting itself in their wombs.

The same is said of the Sapitwa version of Mbona on how his mother conceived him just like in other stories in Africa and Asia. This blog is only repeating what healers say and not endorsing any views.

Now Nyangu’s spirit is said to be an elderly woman who walks using a cane with a serpent head but like other spirits she is also believed to appear in the form of a young woman.

She is expected to be born again but as a good person who “keeps her babies” like the Sungamwana female spirit.

You see this first Nyangu was into kukhwima (charms to make one spiritually strong) rituals and she also practiced what is online known as “sacred prostitution”.

Sacred prostitution or temple prostitution or “religious” prostitution is defined online as a “sexual ritual or activity” performed in the context of religious worship be it a fertility rite or divine marriage (hieros gamos).

Scholars have long considered such practices to be customary in the ancient world; however, more recent scholarship has cast doubts on this picture, based on doubts about the reliability of ancient sources further reads http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacred_prostitute

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Isis depicted with outstretched wings (wall painting, c. 1360 BCE) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isis

In ancient times in what is today called Pagan, some men were said to be cleansed and rise “spiritually” by intimate relations with the ‘sacred prostitute’ representing the goddess as a way of imitating the relationship between the two elder spirits of a positive and negative charge.

Elsewhere there have different goddesses dealing with fertility and sexual love in history included Inanna in Sumer whom some internet sources attribute to Ishtar in the Assyrian and Babylonian language and Astarte in Phoenicia and Ashtoreth in others.

Other sources say she was known as Aphrodite in Greece and Venus in Rome and that the name Ishtar and Astarte meant “the Star” which refers to the brightest star also known as the Morning Star and in ancient Malawi that was Nthanda mwana wa mwezi (the child of the moon) with nthanda referring to Sirius which resembled an ancient African cross when it twinkled brightly at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve.

To be continued once more information is made available.

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African waistbeads photo from the Internet

 

Removing the veil of secrecy of ancient Malawi’s Mbona…using saliva to see (-ona)

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Internet photo not related to this article but defining “snake saliva” taken from http://www.herpfamily.com/showthread.php?t=7816

Mbona’s “wives” were able to see him as a serpent which would lick them from head to toe with saliva so that their eyes open and they see (kuona as in iris as in the pupil) him hence they would say ndakuona (I see you)….sourced from ona.

This blog is still trying to investigate the use of snake saliva or venom by some healers and what exactly it’s used for.

Mbona is said to appear as an upright white python with “spirit wives” who are human beings and their role in ancient African prophecy (ulosi wakale) is well documented online.

This mythical serpent is said to lick the chosen woman everywhere from head to toe to wipe her and clean her of darkness (kupukuta)….meaning to assist open her spiritual self and see the past and future among other things by removing the ancient veil of secrecy so that her eyes see (kuona) which is the basis of Mbona’s name.

Its presence is also believed to come along with a specific scent throughout the air and symbolizes life since serpent spirits are considered to be immortal.

J.M. Schoffeleers in his book ‘River of Blood: The Genesis of a Martyr Cult in Southern Malawi’ wrote that “Mbona was routinely portrayed as someone who causes the population to become divided amongst itself.”

He also described Mbona like an overseer “a sense of seeing or being seen, and derives from the word wona “to see” or “to be true.”

The name may possibly be related also to the noun bona, the concluding ceremony of the mourning period, at which offerings of food and beer are made”.

Now in an earlier post, this blog explained how a young woman has a dream where she sees a mansion behind a wired fence and a man in a white robe ushering her to go through the small holes.  But alas, her huge body keeps bouncing back because she is too big to go through the small hole.

The bright man not giving up again tells her “come” and ushers with his hand for her to pass through the fence which starts from the ground and seems to reach up to the sky.Image

Confused, the young woman again tries and this time bounces back so hard she falls down backwards.

She then hears the man tell her not to think about the holes of the fence being small but to just imagine herself going through.

Unknown to the woman this is a sign that she’s of the spiritual realms where those born of the mountain known as mizimu (spirits) can do things that ordinary people cannot do and will never do according to some ancient Malawi oral stories.

White in ancient Malawi was also the colour of the dead….meaning mizimu (spirits) whom the ancestors believed appeared in that colour.

When ones spiritual eyes are opened they are able to see spirits and things in the astral realm and they are also able to see the energy around mountains and trees which resembles a silver-like aura surrounding natures wonders.

In ancient Malawi beliefs this was the energy of spirits (mizimu) but not the dead but the winged spirits who live forever.

These are tapped into by healers for certain powers but the difference is between the good and the bad ones as they all seem to have the same powers according to oral stories.

One of these spirits is the Mbona one who can disguise itself as an upright serpent but whitish python, a man or even a woman as the veiled Nyangu spirit/goddess but not the first elderly one this blog writes about.Image

The first Nyangu goddess is said to have white hair under a veil and walks with the aid of a walking stick which looks like a staff with a serpent head on top just like the elderly Dziwe la Nkhalamba spirit whose name remains hidden.

Now the ancient secret behind these spirits is that one only saw their faces when they passed on to the other world or when the spirits which some globally call gods and goddesses allowed their faces to be seen by a chosen few.

One such spirit is Malawi’s ancient Mbona who appears as a dark-skinned and smooth face bearded man wearing a brown or black fedora with his dreadlocks tucked underneath.

His almond shaped brown eyes stand out like Nyangu’s unlike the hidden elderly one of Dziwe la Nkhalamba who is short with white hair and has slanted eyes like the Khoisan who are on the continent divided into the San or Bushmen and the pastoral Khoi or more specifically Khoikhoi, previously known as Hottentots according to the unofficial online Wikipedia.

In Malawi, Mulanje Mountain and its forest reserve is believed to have been home to the first Malawian settlers historically, known as Amwandionerapati or Abathwa according to a http://hastingsmaloya.blogspot.com/2007/09/unveiling-beauty-mt-mulanje.html

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San man photo to explain eye shapes but not related to this article taken fromhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_people

A document posted online as “Malawi’s Cultural Policy – Unesco” states that “the Late Stone Age Period is the period that hosted the earliest inhabitants of Malawi locally called Akafula/Abatwa or Amwandionerapati, referring to their body structures.

“Toward the end of this period, Early Iron Age people migrated into Malawi from areas located to the northwest. The Iron Age people made and used iron tools. For several centuries, they coexisted with the Late Stone Age people but eventually they either forced the Late Stone Age people to move into remote areas or be assimilated by them…”

There are oral traditions relating to these people also known as Akafula, the diggers who are different from dwarfs as Akafula are pygmies.

Now in ancient Malawi beliefs seeing one of these could cause one to collapse in shock because they sometimes appeared as huge serpents, one-eyed monsters or would appear small then all of a sudden very tall as if on stilts.

Those possessed by such spirits especially healers would hide their faces with a veil or mask because they would glow and appear very bright and white like the mizimu (spirits).

Removing that veil or mask without permission would mean one could die so in ancient times the few who saw the faces of the mizimu (spirits) were viewed as chosen ones and lucky.

The spirit of Mbona choses whom to show it’s male face to while the rest only see its serpent form if they try and hunt for it since he conceals his face. Healers claim this serpent can be as huge as room which sounds scary!

That is the fine line between the world of the living and dead in ancient Malawi beliefs where some believed in spirits without seeing them while others especially priestesses believed and saw.

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Using my own “almond” shaped eyes to try an explain the shape of ancient Malawi’s Mbona and first Nyangu’s eyes

The idea was to mostly restrict it to the trained or initiated so that the person able to see the spiritual realm and faces of the gods and goddesses would not appear insane to others.

The face of the spirit (mizimu) was always hidden from mortal beings. In other African cultures there are beautiful dances involving sacred masks and spirits (mizimu) representing the dead.

And in the far way land of ancient Egypt just like in many other cultures globally there were also some similar beliefs about spirits, gods and goddesses but explained in a different way according to the ancient culture there.

Of particular note is the Veiled Isis.  According to online sources in the”Of Isis and Osiris” Plutarch described the veiled statue of Neith (Athena) in the temple of Sais and the inscription in which the Great Goddess spoke these words :

“ἐγώ εἰμι πᾶν τὸ γεγονὸς

καὶ ὂν
καὶ ἐσόμενον
καὶ τὸν

ἐμὸν πέπλον οὐδείς
πω θνητὸς ἀπεκάλυψεν.

– Πλούταρχος

I am all that was
all that is
and all that shall be
and no mortal
hath lifted My veil”

from Book 9 of Plutarch’s “Of Isis and Osiris”

The title is a tribute to Dion Fortune for the writings of Plutarch inspired her to write these words :

I am the veiled Isis of the shadows of the sanctuary.

I am She that moveth as a shadow
behind the tides of death and birth.

I am She that cometh forth by night
and no man seeth My face.

I am older than Time and forgotten of the Gods.

No man may look upon My face and live,
for in the hour he parteth My veil, he dieth.

~ from “The Sea Priestess”

These same lines also inspired Sir Michael Tippett to make them pivotal to his ritual opera “The Midsummer Marriage” in 1955 in order to bring the my theme of Isis Unveiled to a much wider audience,” reads http://vimeo.com/47393101

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Internet photo

Now the Wikipedia defines the Parting of the Veil, Piercing of the Veil, Rending of the Veil or Lifting of the Veil as referring, in the Western mystery tradition and contemporary witchcraft to “opening the “veil” of matter, thus gaining entry to a state of spiritual awareness in which the mysteries of nature are revealed.

“It is a reference to the mythical Veil of Isis, regarding which Plutarch records an inscription at the shrine of Neith-Isis-Minerva at Sais: “I am all that hath been, and is, and shall be; and my veil no mortal has hitherto raised”. H. P. Blavatsky‘s famous book on occultismIsis Unveiled is also a reference to this,” further reads http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parting_of_the_Veil

 This blog will later post Part II of ancient Malawi’s Mbona’s veil of secrecy…removed with permission.

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Internet photo showing “high priestess” and Isis and what in ancient Malawi was a symbol for life in the Knot of Nyangu…the goddess one.

Similarities between ancient Malawi’s Nyangu, Isis, Ra & obelisks

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What is the meaning of the Obelisk in the West and ancient Egypt?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obelisk

A young trainee Malawian healer is led by her teacher to sit in an open space on a white chair and enjoy the weather on a good warm but cloudy day.

All of a sudden the sun peaks from the clouds and hits her face so that she could feel its warm.  Closing her eyes to avoid looking directly at the sun as she fears getting blind, the young woman enjoys its warm.

Then all of a sudden she feels the heat leaving and opens her eyes to see black clouds covering part of the sun and making the place warm again.

As simple as this sounds, the vision is an important lesson for the young healer….it teaches her how positive and negative energy worked in that example of the bright sun and black clouds which also appear when it’s about to rain after heat.

This was one of the ancient teachings of Mbona when he pointed his two-edged knife locally known as kandalanga which resembled a sword to the North for hot winds to usher in rain from Chauta, Namalenga, Mphambe (God).

This belief system is similar to ancient Egyptian solar deity known as Ra. By the Fifth Dynasty (2494 to 2345 BC) he had become a major god in ancient Egyptian religion, identified primarily with the midday sun.

According to the same Wikipedia source the major cult centre of Ra was Heliopolis (called Iunu, “Place of Pillars”, in Egyptian), where he was identified with the local sun-god Atum.

“Through Atum, or as Atum-Ra, he was also seen as the first being and the originator of the Ennead, consisting of Shu and Tefnut, Geb and Nut, Osiris, Set, Isis and Nephthys.

The cult of the Mnevis bull, an embodiment of Ra, had its centre in Heliopolis and there was a formal burial ground for the sacrificed bulls north of the city.

“All forms of life were believed to have been created by Ra, who called each of them into existence by speaking their secret names. Alternatively humans were created from Ra’s tears and sweat, hence the Egyptians call themselves the “Cattle of Ra.”

“To the Egyptians, the sun represented light, warmth, and growth. This made the sun deity very important, as the sun was seen as the ruler of all that he created.

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Ancient Egypt’s Ra (god of sun and radiance) photo from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ra

“The sun disk was either seen as the body or eye of Ra. Ra was the father of Shu and Tefnut, whom he created. Shu was the god of the wind, and Tefnut was the goddess of the rain. Sekhmet was the Eye of Ra and was created by the fire in Ra’s eye.

“She was a violent lioness”, further reads the Wikipedia which also explains when Ra was in the underworld he merged with Osiris, the god of the dead, and through it became the god of the dead as well.

Ra is also mentioned online in the story of how he gave his secret name to Isis by saying, “Let Isis come with me, and let my Name pass from my breast to her breast” as quoted in the link http://www.sacred-texts.com/egy/ael/ael13.htm

Now once upon a time before “civilization” was brought to Malawi by western nations, there were several beliefs connected to ancient female priestesses of Malawi like the first Nyangu who fell from grace.

She’s a mythical water spirit and when she appeared above which is on land and at the mythical astral real of Sapitwa, it would represent the belief system that spirits appear above on hills or high mountain tops of Mulanje Mountain and below in the water like in Dziwe la Nkhalamba.

Now when she pointed her right hand up and the left one down it would symbolize her taking of energy among other things to empower herself and make her stronger by using a narrow necked calabash locally known as Nsupa which female healers have not used since or the harmless nsengwa small basket.

Today only a few male Malawi healers who use the “magicial” Nsupa made from the African wine kettle gourd which some ancient Malawi’s “kings’ used for drinking wine made from tea like leaves and lemon mixed with sugar cane juice.

Ancient Malawi’s “So above as below” symbol also meant that sometimes what goes up must come down just like in the way the mythical Napolo serpent  leaves the mountain by travelling in a straight line to water bodies which lead to the Indian Ocean.

This Napolo serpent associated with rain, thunder, lightning, landslides and earthquakes among so many other things in ancient times had many names.

One of those names was a secret name used in ancient magic (matsenga) rituals where ancient priests and priestesses would go outside their human power and tap into the energy of spirits (mizimu) who consisted of 7 with 4 being positive male winged spirits and 3 negative female winged spirits.

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Malawian healers use a similar symbols to the Rod of Asclepius http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rod_of_Asclepius

In that spiritual realm there was also the first Nyangu and Mbewula among others and this first Nyangu whom in other cultures would be called a “goddess” was sexually intimate with three of those spirits.

These included the elderly one of Dziwe la Nkhalamba whose name is hidden, his brother Mbewula who fought with him and the ancient spirit of Mbona one of the ancient 7 who was born again as a human like ancient Malawi’s first Nyangu.

Originally she was only the “wife” of the ancient one of Dziwe la Nkhalamba but she cheated on him and had sexual relations with his brother and her brother…..Mbona… all of whom were circumcised and their symbol resembled what is globally known as an obelisk.

Today that is a disgusting crime called incest and in ancient Malawi the beginning of ufiti (witchcraft) and kukhwima rituals (charms) where some witch-doctors prescribe incest for some evil charms to work.

They argue that in the same way a black rooster can mate with its hen mother etc so should those who consult them and vice versa….very disgusting.

The idea was that there was power and energy in her forbidden fruit and that is how the first Nyangu and the elderly spirit charged themselves till she fell from grace.

Symbols involved with that include two mating serpents which many Sapitwa healers find vulgar and pornographic when displayed in public as that is the ancient Malawi myth involving such two beasts (zirombo) which was a name given to the spirits (mizimu).

However, one female Sapitwa healer insists there is only one upright serpent used for healing and the symbol of most asing’anga involved in healing and not the two mating snakes.

“The caduceus is often used incorrectly as a symbol of healthcare organisations and medical practice (especially in North America) due to confusion with the traditional medical symbol, the rod of Asclepius, which has only one snake and is never depicted with wings,” partly reads http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caduceus

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The Caduceus is clearly two serpents mating meaning female and male energy. Not related photo taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caduceus

The lone serpent is similar to ancient Greece’s Rod of Asclepius and the secret name of ancient Malawi’s elderly spirit was his member in a certain Malawian language but the ancient version.

This name was recited in rituals and songs and dance to invoke his power and energy. Its symbol was drawn as an obelisk to represent a man’s member.

Again the idea of “as above, so below” in the vernacular flowed and from the wording one can draw their obvious conclusions. Elsewhere the term “as above, so below” is circulated throughout occult and magical circles (matsenga) and recorded in Hermetic texts but unlike with ancient Africa they are attributed to men.

Much of the importance of Hermeticism arises from its connection with the development of science during the time from 1300 to 1600 A.D. The prominence that it gave to the idea of influencing or controlling nature led many scientists to look to magic and its allied arts (e.g., alchemy, astrology) which, it was thought, could put Nature to the test by means of experiments.

The same Wikipedia also claims that consequently it was the practical aspects of Hermetic writings that attracted the attention of scientists.

“Isaac Newton placed great faith in the concept of an unadulterated, pure, ancient doctrine, which he studied vigorously to aid his understanding of the physical world.

“Many of Newton’s manuscripts—most of which are still unpublished—detail his thorough study of the Corpus Hermeticum, writings said to have been transmitted from ancient times, in which the secrets and techniques of influencing the stars and the forces of nature were revealed.”

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The Makewana (Mother of child) also used the correct upright serpent to represent healing in other Malawi cultures according to http://www.suppressedhistories.net/purchase/prints2.html

Of ancient Malawi’s Thorn in the Rose like Isis and Ra…Kuponda (step on it)

A working-class Malawian woman in the ghettos of Blantyre city suddenly feels a sharp pain in the heel of her left foot but can’t figure out what is causing it.

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Is Malawi’s plant the same as Rosa rubiginosa?

She takes off her shoes to inspect her foot which is now turning red and her toes seem to have developed a mind of their own and stretch out as if she is having a spasm!

The woman can’t believe the sharp pain and wonders if something inside her shoe bit her and her foot is burning like fire.  She shakes it but alas there is nothing.

Puzzled the woman puts ice on her foot especially her heel as she can barely put it down as it feels as if she is stepping on sharp needles or something hot.

Concerned and still in pain the next morning the woman goes to the hospital but there is no diagnosis and she’s told there is nothing wrong with her foot.

Frustrated the woman visits other doctors who also fail to diagnose a disease or a bone problem with her left foot.  After telling friends one of them gets suspicious and convinces the woman to visit a Sapitwa healer to see if the cause is spiritual.

The Sapitwa healer tells the woman she can’t heal the problem because it is caused by nyanga (horns)….specifically a thing called zoponda (stepped on) charms some allegedly use to boost their business.

So the women hunt for a nyanga healer (witchdoctor) who can undo the matsenga (magic).

According to the healer, anthu okhwima (experts in charms) use these zoponda things to lame a person’s left leg so that their business does well which in Chichewa is kuyenda bwino (to walk, do well).

It is modelled after the Hamerkop locally known as Nantchengwa…a bird with a shrieking cry that usually has bad meanings in many cultures on this continent.

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Internet photo of Isis and Ra…are those the wings of a Hamerkop?

He then heats some blackened herbs whose contents remain unknown and tells the woman to put her left foot on a hot metal thing he has placed on burning charcoal.

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Internet photo of a Hamerkop

A bit reluctant the woman puts it and is surprised to find it cold…he then uses a razor he told her to buy to insert his blackened charms into her body (kutemera).

After this he proudly tells the woman the spell has been “disabled” and she can go about her business as usual without worry or fear.  When the woman asks how much it costs, he tells her to give whatever she wants.

It’s not until years later when the same woman has a dream and sees a brownish leather shoe with a rose drawn on it and thorns with a person holding that shoe.

Remembering what happened years back, she can only assume that the person is the one who cast the magical spell on her.

However, this blog has not yet seen one so for now we can assume it’s either Eglantine Rose, Rosa rubiginosa or Sweet briar.

It is given that name because it is the law of those who practice nyanga and all sorts of evil that goes with it just like in the early days of the first Nyangu and Kuponda (stepped on).

He was one of the ancient kings besides Sapitwa/Napolo, Kasipe, Namkuno, Usiyeapite, Kalinje, Kalinde, Chambe, Mwala wa Nkhalamba and Gumulanje, the Destroyer.

These are some of the royal spirits (mizimu) of Sapitwa. In ancient Egypt such kings and women were called gods and goddesses.Kuponda’s tools are under this M’manga Mudzi (build the village) anthill tree in Mulanje whose English name remains unknown and it remains untouched.

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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.

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 its power.

On its own the gourd is said to not have powers until the owner somehow magically washes it with magical blood to get its 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.

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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 in western cultures in ancient Malawi represented the hidden hyena (fisi) horn and symbolize 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.

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.

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.

Now in ancient Egypt the goddess Isis lived in the form, of a woman, who had the knowledge of words [of power].Ra_Isis_thumb

Her heart turned away in disgust from the millions of men, and she chose for herself the millions of the gods, but esteemed more highly the millions of the spirits.

According to ancient Egypt myths and tales, Isis formed a clay snake with spittle dribbled by the ageing sun-god, the creator Ra.

When the snake bites Ra, only Isis can save him, but she does this only when Ra reveals his secret name to her. He does this on condition that she reveal it only to her son Horus further reads http://www.touregypt.net/legendofraandisis.htm.

“Behold, is it fire? Behold, is it water? My heart is full of burning fire, my limbs axe shivering, and my members have darting pains in them. Let there be brought unto me my children the gods, who possess words of magic, whose mouths are cunning [in uttering them], and whose powers reach up to heaven….

“Nevertheless the poison was not driven from its course, and the great god felt no better. Then Isis said unto Ra, “Among the things which thou hast said unto me thy name hath not been mentioned. O declare thou it unto me, and the poison shall come forth; for the person who hath declared his name shall live.”

Meanwhile the poison burned with blazing fire and the heat thereof was stronger than that of a blazing flame. Then. the Majesty of Ra, said, “I will allow myself to be searched through by Isis, and my name shall come forth from my body and go into hers.”

Then the divine one hid himself from the gods, and the throne in the Boat of Millions of Years was empty. And it came to pass that when it was the time for the heart to come forth [from the god], she said unto her son Horus, “The great god shall bind himself by an oath to give his two eyes.”

“Thus was the great god made to yield up his name, and Isis, the great lady of enchantments, said, “Flow on, poison, and come forth from Ra; let the Eye of Horus come forth from the god and shine(?) outside his mouth. I have worked, and I make the poison to fall on the ground, for the venom hath been mastered.

Verily the name hath been taken away from the great god. Let Ra live, and let the poison die; and if the poison live then Ra shall die,” further reads http://www.touregypt.net/legendofraandisis.htm#ixzz35bJcDjr6

Was ancient Malawi Mbona’s scent like Shakespeare’s eglantine?

Do these bush roses exist in Malawi and if they do what is their Chichewa name?
Do these bush ‘roses’ exist in Malawi and if they do what is their Chichewa name?

 

“I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,

Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,

Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,

With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine.”

― William ShakespeareA Midsummer Night’s Dream

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Oberon, Titania and Puck with Fairies Dancing byWilliam Blake, c. 1786
http://shakespeare.mit.edu/midsummer/full.html

A young dread-locked bearded man dressed in a simple pink shirt and brown trousers with a brown fedora complimenting the odd colours he is wearing, stares in the distance at the older woman of his dreams, his eyes intense with love.

He watches her every move but does not dare disturb or ask her any question but just keeps on staring at her, his eyes piercing her soul and speaking with kindness.

The woman can sense eyes on her and when she turns around she sees the object of her curiosity.

Two almond eyes glancing at her till she asks him a question.  She’s visiting an elderly person who is in a wheel-chair and sick and he cannot explain to her where the Ladies is so that she can relief herself.

Asking the mysterious man before her outside, he points at a nearby pit latrine and specifically tells her to use the first out of the two.

The woman remembers how the elderly man told her not to use the pit latrines as they were mostly likely filthy with the number of casual workers on the premises using them.

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Source of eglantine?

Defiant the woman enters one pit latrine and is surprised to find it sparkling clean as if someone had cleaned it up all of a sudden.

She also can’t resist a sweet fragrance like an expensive French perfume filling the air as she helps herself.

When leaving she is surprised to smell the fragrance even more and to see all sorts of flowers appearing as she makes her way to the house but the scent still hitting her nose.

Unknown to the woman that is the ancient scent of the spiritual realm to be exact Mbona and Nyangu of ancient Malawi go some oral stories.

According to healers, she had met Mbona appearing as a human but not knowing that. She is believed to be the first Nyangu made “new” meaning a winged spirit born of a human being.

The first Mbona spirit has been waiting for centuries to get back this first Nyangu who fell from grace but back as a new person go other Sapitwa tales never ever told before.

This Isis ankh Internet photo resembles the Knot of Nyangu for life
This Isis ankh Internet photo resembles the Knot of Nyangu for life

It is considered to be the love story of centuries because the other version of Mbona won’t let her go despite all the wrong things she did including committing adultery among other spiritual crimes in the beginning goes another Sapitwa “oracle” told to this blog.

From that day on she would sense his presence by that fragrance which would suddenly appear in the air around her.

However this blog does not know if it’s also used as incense (lubani) bearing in mind some of the ancestors of this ancient land were like Nomads and travelling to or from some parts of the world according to information sourced from a Sapitwa healer.

In such a case the woman Mbona has chosen would become his wife and be given the name Nyangu according to some oral stories from Sapitwa.

Mbona and Nyangu in some ancient Malawi teachings were spirits (mizimu) from the beginning of time who are sometimes born again as human beings although they are from the spiritual realm of Sapitwa in such beliefs.

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Illustration of Mbona as a boy…he’s a young male spirit who always has older women as a wife

Mbona as an upright white python is said to only have “spirit wives” who are human beings and their role is in ancient African prophecy (ulosi wakale).

This mythical serpent is said to lick the chosen woman everywhere from head to toe to wipe her and clean her of darkness (kupukuta)….meaning to assist open her spiritual self and see the past and future among other things by removing the ancient veil of secrecy so that her eyes see (kuona) which is the basis of Mbona’s name.

Its presence is also believed to come along with a specific scent throughout the air and symbolizes life since serpent spirits are considered to be immortal.

Now from this belief it is said that in life sometimes the sweetest things are not easy to find and get hence the sweetness of a flower or fruit and it’s thorns.  When you try and touch, it pricks but you don’t give up till you do….which is the symbolic way to the Mbona spirit according to oral tales.

This scent might also be the one used in the ancient Knot of Nyangu which was a cloth with a small wreath from Sapitwa in the middle tied into a knot and put on the nose to give spiritual power.

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Holding a knot of Nyangu which belongs to a Sapitwa healer in Mulanje

In Malawi and among some traditional healers, scents play a major role when dealing with the spiritual realm.

For example a healer can put up a sack or cardboard ‘consultation room’ in town and have a space which smells like a pit latrine to those who have witchraft (ufiti) but sweet to those who are not witches and good.

It’s quite a spectacle to see those who don’t know explaining what scent they smelled and those who believe in such tales drawing their own conclusions.

This blog has always wondered what the scent is and can only conclude it might be Eglantine Rose.  There is the Rosa rubiginosa which is also used a food and also known as Sweet briar.

It’s a rose species native to western Africa and Europe, where the rosehips obtained from the plant are quite healthy, as they are enriched with good amount of vitamin C reads http://www.ifood.tv/network/lesotho

“It is a dense deciduous shrub 2–3 m high and across, with the stems bearing numerous hooked prickles. The foliage has a strong apple-like fragrance.

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Internet Knot of Isis photo…it’s always held near the chest which symbolizes fire

“The leaves are pinnate, 5–9 cm long, with 5–9 rounded to oval leaflets with a serrated margin, and numerous glandular hairs.

The flowers are 1.8–3 cm diameter, the five petals being pink with a white base, and the numerous stamens yellow; the flowers are produced in clusters of 2–7 together, from late spring to mid-summer. The fruit is a globose to oblong red hip 1–2 cm diameter,” states the unofficial online encylopaedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosa_rubiginosa

However, it is listed as a Category 1 Declared Weed in South Africa. These plants may no longer be planted or propagated, and all trade in their seeds, cuttings or other propagative material is prohibited according to http://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?LatinName=Rosa+rubiginosa

Rosa rubiginosa, more especially Eglantine Rose is also in ‘A Midnight Dream’ comedy play by Shakespeare written between 1590 and 1596. It portrays the events surrounding the marriage of the Duke of Athens, Theseus and Hippolyta.

“These include the adventures of four young Athenian lovers and a group of six amateur actors (mechanicals), who are controlled and manipulated by the fairies who inhabit the forest in which most of the play is set. The play is one of Shakespeare’s most popular works for the stage and is widely performed across the world,” according to the unofficial online Wikpedia.

 *This blog is still investigating the Rosa rubiginosa and Eglantine Rose to confirm its ancient Malawi and if it’s Chichewa name was Kupukuta (wipe) or something like that.

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Rosa rubiginosa photo and thorns taken from http://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?LatinName=Rosa+rubiginosa

 

Mpoza (African custard apple tree) of ancient Malawi’s Mbona

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Sapitwa’s nkhata (wreath) has been awarded to a fighter but not yet given say healers.
Elsewhere “Victory, A Knight Being Crowned With A Laurel Wreath” by Frank Dicksee photo form http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laurel_wreath#mediaviewer/File:Dicksee-Victory,_A_Knight_Being_Crowned_With_A_Laurel-Wreath.jpg
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African custard apple tree (mpoza)

A middle-aged Malawian woman has a dream which appears as a vision in which she sees a fruit locally known as mpoza and the African custard apple tree in English being cut in half to show the inside.

The mpoza is the one Sapitwa healers refer to as being found in the bush and not the ones in town.

This tree is also used in making the Sapitwa nkhata (wreath) worn as a crown and used in a cloth tied like a knot to represent an ankh like figure and life.

This blog is planning to trek to the bush one day to take a photo of this ancient mpoza tree. Mapoza fruits also seem to have the symbol of a hexagon fruit just like many globally.  This blog is also trying to investigate if the said tree has flowers with a shape similar to the ancient lotus of ancient Egypt.

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African Custard Apple (mpoza) photo from the online Wikipedia

There are some Malawians who claim their ancestors were like migrants and travelled from the north to southern Africa but again this blog has to confirm such information.

However this blog does not have enough information to call it Malawi’s version of the Flower of life but has confirmed the M’manga mudzi anthill tree as one.

“The Flower of Life” is one New Age movement author Drunvalo Melchizedek gives to a geometrical figure composed of multiple evenly-spaced, overlapping circles. This figure forms a flower-like pattern with the symmetrical structure of a hexagon.

“A ‘Flower of Life’ figure consists of seven or more overlapping circles, in which the center of each circle is on the circumference of up to six surrounding circles of the same diameter. However, the surrounding circles need not be clearly or completely drawn; in fact, some ancient symbols that are claimed as examples of the Flower of Life contain only a single circle or hexagon.

“Drunvalo Melchizedek has called these figures symbols of sacred geometry, asserting that they represent ancient spiritual beliefs, and that they depict fundamental aspects of space and time,” partly reads the unofficial Wikipedia on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flower_of_Life

 In ancient Egyptian art, the Lotus was used as a symbol representing the sun, of creation, rebirth and was a symbol of Upper Egypt. As a symbol of the sun it was closely associated with Atum-Ra, the Sun god and later with Nefertum, lotus god of perfume.

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Temple of Osiris Flower of Life photo from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flower_of_Life#mediaviewer/File:Temple-of-Osiris_Flower-of-Life_02.jpg

“Lotus flowers, also called water lilies, open in the morning and close again at night symbolizing rebirth and regeneration.

“The lotus flower, water lily, was also used to symbolize the deceased upon entering the underworld and the process of rebirth, regeneration and reincarnation.

“The Lotus Symbol was a potent ancient Egyptian symbol and icon in the mythology and legends of Egypt and often depicted in ancient Egyptian art. According to ancient Egyptian mythology the Lotus symbolized the sun, of creation, rebirth and regeneration.

“Nefertem was the god of healing, medicine and beauty and strongly associated with the lotus and often depicted in Egyptian art with a large lotus blossom forming his crown,” further reads http://www.landofpyramids.org/lotus-symbol.htm.

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Lotus flower

Centuries ago, the ancestors of this land today called Malawi used to offer sacrifices (nsembe) at the Wild Custard Apple Tree locally known as Mpoza in the bush.

Among several ancient myths and tales were “Chauta, Namalenga, Mphambe (God)” coming through the mpoza tree as a spirit so believed some of the ancestors.

If this tree pictured on this blog is what is locally known as mpoza and scientifically Annona senegalensis, then a link dated 2004 and onhttp://www.siu.no/layout/set/print/content/view/full/770 says they “ripen earlier than maize, the staple food in Malawi.”

“When staple food declines between October and March, people in the rural areas collect forest fruits” further reads that above link. This gives a rough idea of what could have been happening between those months but now to figure out when mapira (sorghum) and traditional maize grew.

The African custard apple tree locally known as Mpoza is a native to Western and Southern Africa ranging from Senegal to South Africa read various internet sources.

The fruits are eaten in large quantities by the local people and its wild trees are mostly found in “semi-arid to subhumid regions occurring  along riverbanks, fallow land, swamp forests and at the coast.”

“Annona senegalensis, commonly known as African custard-apple, wild custard apple, and wild soursop, is a species of flowering plant in the custard apple family, Annonaceae. The specific epithet, senegalensis, translates to mean “of Senegal”, the country where the type specimen was collected.

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Custard apple tree flower Internet photo

A traditional food plant in Africa, the fruits of A. senegalensis have the potential to improve nutrition, boost food security, foster rural development and support sustainable land care. Well known where it grows naturally, it is largely unheard of elsewhere

A. senegalensis is generally pollinated by several species of beetle. The leaves are used to create a general health tonic, in the treatment of pneumonia, and as mattress and pillow stuffing. Specific to Sudan, leaves are boiled in the making of perfume.

Bark can be processed to produce yellow-brown dyeinsecticide, or medicine for treating a wide array of ailments, including wormsparasitic on the intestines or flesh (notabley guinea worms), diarrhea, gastroenteritis, lung infections, toothaches and even snake bites.

Natural gum in the bark is used to close open wounds. Roots are also used medicinally in treating a gamut of conditions, from dizziness and indigestion to chest colds to venereal diseases,” partly reads the Wikipedia on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annona_senegalensis.

The same mpoza in ancient times was also used as traditional medicine for problems that arose when a pregnant woman had a difficult labour.

These things are history now but one Sapitwa healer explained graphically how it was used to ease women in prolonged labour and this blog will investigate to found out if there is a scientific term for this or modern medicine.

Now in so-called matsenga (magic) stories the same mpoza was in ancient times used by nyanga people specializing in magical charms for kusilika house rituals or fields which in English would be magically protecting a house or field from thieves or ‘witchcraft’ attacks?

Such asing’anga in ancient times claimed to drop so-called lichero (winnowing baskets) using the mpoza and other roots and barks.

Some female Sapitwa healers also claim that in ancient times the tail of the hyena (fisi) mixed with mpoza and other roots and barks was used to somehow make a person unseen or unheard like thieves or something bizarre like that.

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Are South America’s soursop fruits also found in Malawi? They resemble the African Custard Apple but with ‘thorns.’

This blog is also investigating whether or not there are rose that were native to Africa including this ancient land called Malawi.

There are about 100 to 150 species of rose natively mainly to Asia but also Europe, North America and North Africa. One species and one hybrid have become naturalized in southern Africa and an additional 23 species and at least four hybrids are cultivated in the region according to Internet sources.

Meanwhile (Sweet briar, Eglantine rose) native to Europe, Asia and North Africa is said to have been naturalised in “the Eastern Cape, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West and Western Cape” but “declared Catergory 1 invader plant in South Africa,” say the same internet sources.

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Rosa rubiginosa Internet photo

Ancient Malawi’s ‘rose’ of thorns wreath (nkhata) like ancient Greece’s Apollo?

She sits down near a suspected fig tree which is probably locally known as mkuyu to breastfed her baby in its shade.  The woman is dark-skinned with very smooth skin that makes her face look like she dipped it in a jar of cocoa-butter.

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My selfie to show ancient Nyangu’s hair by washing my natural hair and not combing it lol..it shrinks and has knots

But the secret to her good looks is unknown but locals talk of brown sugar and lemons being used as face scrubs to brighten and smoothen one’s skin.  But this woman, centuries ago probably used something else or maybe she was just born that way…with milky skin.

Her black eye-lashes stand out together with her eyebrows which seem well drawn and her uncombed hair forms tidy knots but her hair is not necessarily dread-locked.

Also standing out on her beautiful face are beauty spots on her cheek. It’s not known if she wears nose earrings or earrings but her appearance is unique as she stands out in a crowd.

When she’s in public elsewhere she prepares to tie a cloth on her hair like a turban and have the other part covering it like a veil.  Her brown almond shaped eyes also stand out and piercing as if searching a person’s soul.

However, the strange thing with this woman is that whenever people see her she’s holding a small baby even when its months later….the baby does not seem to grow.

An elderly man suddenly calls out to her “makewana” (mother of the child) and she greets him politely but does not remove her eyes of her baby.

Kotinos, the prize for the winner at the Ancient Olympic Game photo from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olive_wreath
Kotinos, the prize for the winner at the Ancient Olympic Game photo from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olive_wreath

This is the oral story about ancient Malawi’s first Nyangu who is said to haunt the spiritual realm of Sapitwa, the highest peak of Malawi’s beautiful Mulanje Mountain.

It is not known if this spiritual being whom this blog will call a goddess just like Isis of ancient Egypt among others, is similar to one of the negative three of seven winged spirits of ancient Malawi known as Sungamwana (keep the child).

Christmas wreath photo taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wreath#mediaviewer/File:Christmas_Wreath_-_geograph.org.uk_-_639554.jpg
Christmas wreath photo taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wreath#mediaviewer/File:Christmas_Wreath_-_geograph.org.uk_-_639554.jpg

This spirit was believed to be good and only a part of a feminine negative force to charge four male winged spirits to create Light which some ancestors of this land believed was symbolic of Chauta, Namalenga, Mphambe (God) hence His symbol being Thunder and Lightning.

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Another way is to braid one’s hair for the knots which some healers of today disguise with extensions. Mine here are the normal ones lol

This was the whole basis of the 4 winds of Sapitwa (mphepo zinayi) and the ancient Africa cross of North, South, West and East used as a compass and used by ancient Malawi’s Mbona when sending signals through the winds for Chauta, Namalenga, Mphambe to bless them with rains go other oral stories.

Now with the winds there were also sacred trees and herbs used for several Sapitwa rituals.

One of them involved ancient Malawi’s nkhata (wreath) from Sapitwa which was basically shaped like a wreath worn like a crown on the head but a small size to be hidden in the knot of a cloth shaped like ancient Egypt’s ankh.

This knot hid the tiny nkhata like a chithumwa (small pillow) prepared by Mbona in the spiritual realm and was used by a chosen owner for luck and giving them the power of words say Sapitwa healers.

Is this a fig (mkuyu) tree in Malawi?
Is this a fig (mkuyu) tree in Malawi?

The bigger nkhata is the one that was worn over the head but exactly on the spot where a newborn baby’s head pulses to symbolize life and being of the spiritual realm (mizimu) which in English would probably be the soul.

What was ancient Malawi's version of the Rose with Thorns?
What was ancient Malawi’s version of the Rose with Thorns?

This pulsating place symbolized the lost umbilical cord a new baby is born with which connects the fetus to the mother and once it dries and drops of after birth it was buried in an anthill to symbolize the ancient M’manga Mudzi tree meaning the foundation and belonging to that village.

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Ancient Egypt’s Isis statue Internet photo which resembles Nyangu with ‘dreadlocks’

It was also a way of ensuring that no harm touches the newborn baby and belonging so go some oral stories kept in the heart and passed down generations but only written now for the first time.

One of the future great healers of current day Malawi is said to have been born with a symbolic nkhata on her head from the spirits (mizimu).

A Sapitwa healer also claims a new nkhata is somehow being prepared  in the astral realm of Sapitwa by the Mbona spirit, the hidden one and the 7 mythical  spirits of ancient Malawi for the new Nyangu whom the modern society rejects and ill-treats like a slave and worse than a common dog but she’s won the race for Sapitwa is their oracle.

A wreath is an assortment of flowers, leaves, fruits, twigs or various materials that is constructed to resemble a ring.

In English-speaking countries, wreaths are used typically as household ornaments, mainly as Christmas decorations to celebrate the birth of Christ.

They are also used in ceremonial events in many cultures around the globe and the word wreath comes from Middle English wrethe and from Old English writha,band.

Now the suspected fig leaves used for the ancient Sapitwa nkhata were dried out by Mbona and mixed with some other roots of Sapitwa this blog does not yet know since the author was not yet born centuries ago when he did that.

However, some healers today claim to get it from another version of Mbona in the spirit world together with some Sapitwa herbs among others but most Malawians are against Sapitwa healers who are locally called asing’anga (traditional healers) and label them as “witch-doctors” in the same way Mbona was labelled a mfiti (witch) when he lived.

The official Mbona story is not this Sapitwa one but the one posted on the Unesco website about Khulubvi And Associated Mbona Sacred Rain Shrines among other things at http://whc.unesco.org/en/tentativelists/5602/

Sapitwa stories and claims have never been researched or documented and this blog sources its information from a few Sapitwa healers.

Illustration of Mbona and his kandalanga (two-edged knife) as if pointing to the North for winds to bring in rains from Chauta, Namalenga, Mphambe (God)
Illustration of Mbona and his kandalanga (two-edged knife) as if pointing to the North for winds to bring in rains from Chauta, Namalenga, Mphambe (God). Photo from Ulosi wakale 1 [fortellers in history] in the Ulendo Series Mtunda Chichewa for Standard 8 book
This blog is not endorsing any belief but only documenting oral stories and information sourced from a Sapitwa healer who claims to believe in the power of Chauta, Namalenga, Mphambe (God) and claims to send requests through the Almighty Power.

J.M. Schoffeleers in his book ‘River of Blood: The Genesis of a Martyr Cult in Southern Malawi’ wrote that “Mbona was routinely portrayed as someone who causes the population to become divided amongst itself.

He also described Mbona like an overseer “a sense of seeing or being seen, and derives from the word wona “to see” or “to be true.” The name may possibly be related also to the noun bona, the concluding ceremony of the mourning period, at which offerings of food and beer are made”.

Schoffeleers in his book also wrote that in one version of the Mbona tales, he was against the administrating of the mwabvi poisonous concoction where those without “witchcraft” were believed to not die from the ordeal.

In the tales Mbona is quoted as telling people he had the power of “Mlungu” to tell when people were guilty. Other tales talk of Mbona being labelled a mfiti (wizard) and him responding he used powers of (Chauta) God.

Now back to the ancient Mbona’s nkhata,  minga (thorns) were also used but this blog also does not yet know its source and which plant indigenous to Malawi could be sweet and also sting with thorns at the same time, which basically describes ancient Malawi’s first Nyangu.

It is said one would regret to face the wrath of the woman who appeared sweet and kind hence a flower and thorn.

Internet photo of Ankh of Life resembling ancient Mbona's and Nyangu
Is this internet photo the Ankh of Life?  It  resembles ancient Mbona’s and Nyangu’s

The name Nyangu was also connected to manthongo which is the the crust around the eyes or thin mucus that dries up around the eye when one wakes up or has an eye infection…maybe it’s scientific name is Rheum.

Our ancestors believed the ones  appearing within the eyes meant spiritual headaches (mutu waukulu) or problems with the eyes or normal headaches and the one on the outer eyes meaning good luck. This manthango is like the ones dogs (agalu) amongst other animals.

Sapitwa healers have confirmed that the incense is locally known Mpungabwi and is also used to treat those who amadwala mutu waukulu and scare away “real” snakes and witches (afiti) who harm innocent people among other uses.

If Mpungabwi is “Wormwood” then online “Wormwood” is known as Herb Artemisia.

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Internet photo of ancient Greece’s Apollo with Laurel wreath

Elsewhere the rose which is sweet and has thorns was the flower of the Greek Goddess Aphrodite, and in Rome the rose was dedicated to the Goddess Venus.

When the worship of Isis spread into Greece and Rome, the rose was considered the most sacred of floral offerings to her.

A late Hellenistic Hymn from Andros describes “the flower laden locks of Isis”. The women in these reliefs are shown wearing a kind of knotted mantle, whose knot in some depictions closely resembles the open flower of a rose,” partly read internet sources.

In mythology, the sycamore was closely associated with Isis and with Hathor, who was called Lady of the Sycamore.

The common fig (ficus carica) seems to have originated in western Asia, and was grown in Egypt since early times. Its fruit often served as offerings, its wood on the other hand was rarely used for timber,” reads  http://www.reshafim.org.il/ad/egypt/botany/figtrees.htm

Internet photo
Internet photo

The olive wreath also known as kotinios was the prize for the winner at the ancient Olympic Games.  It was an olive branch of the wild-olive tree that grew at Olympia intertwined to form a circle or a horse-shoe.

“According to Pausanias it was introduced by Heracles as a prize for the running race winner to honour his father Zeus. In the ancient Olympic Games there were no gold, silver, or bronze medals. There was only one winner per event, crowned with an olive wreath made of wild-olive leaves from a sacred tree near the temple of Zeus at Olympia.

“Olive wreaths were given out during the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens in honor of the ancient tradition, because the games were being held in Greece reads http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olive_wreath

Mbona's ancient Malawi cross of North, South, West and East drawn with ufa woyera (white refined maize flour)...4 winds of Sapitwa (mphepo zinayi) and a compass
Mbona’s ancient Malawi cross of North, South, West and East drawn with ufa woyera (white refined maize flour)…4 winds of Sapitwa (mphepo zinayi) and a compass

And a laurel wreath is a circular wreath made of interlocking branches and leaves of the bay laurel (Laurus nobilis), an aromatic broadleaf evergreen, or later from spineless butcher’s broom (Ruscus hypoglossum) or cherry laurel (Prunus laurocerasus).

In Greek mythologyApollo is represented wearing a laurel wreath on his head. In Rome they were symbols of martial victory, crowning a successful commander during his triumph.

In some countries the laurel wreath is used as a symbol of the master’s degree and is given to young masters in the graduation ceremony of the university.

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Olympic crown wreath

The word “Laureate” in ‘poet laureate‘ refers to being signified by the laurel wreath. The medieval Florentine poet and philosopher Dante Alighieri, a graduate of the Sicilian School, is often represented in paintings and sculpture wearing a laurel wreath.

Laureato is the term used in Italy to refer to any graduated student futher reads http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laurel_wreath#mediaviewer/File:Dicksee-Victory,_A_Knight_Being_Crowned_With_A_Laurel-Wreath.jpg

And in ancient Egyptian religion, the crown of justification was a wreath or fillet worn by the deceased to represent victory over death in the afterlife.

Its symbolism is based on Chapter 19 of the Book of the Dead, in which the wearer is said to be “justified” by a triumph over death just as the god Osiris eventually rose above his enemies. A ritual text was recited as the dead person was crowned.

According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crown_of_justification the practice of providing the mummy of the deceased with a fresh garland of flowers developed at the beginning of the New Kingdom. Unfortunately, the floral collar found on the mummy of Tutankhamun is the only extant example of these.

“However, from that collar, we can surmise that the method of manufacture and the plant material incorporated within the collar is very similar to those used at banquets. It rested on the chest area of the innermost of his three coffins.

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Knot of Nyangu worn and hidden in the chest

“Otherwise, the Egyptians also used special mummy garlands, which were made in flat strips and attached to the mummy’s body in concentric semicircles. These were manufactured very simply. Green leaves were folded over strips of a palm leaf and then sewn together with thin strips of palm leaf. Colorful flower petals, or the entire flower itself on long stems were then inserted in with the leaves.

“A very few mummies have been found with wreath-shaped arrangements on their heads. For example the remains of a few leafs were found in the hair of Amenhotep II, and a small floral garland once hung around the royal insignia on the brows of the first and second coffins of Tutankhamun. In fact, some of the later Books of the Dead (Books of Going Fourth by Day) present, for the first time, a round floral wreath as the symbol of successfully withstanding the Tribunal of the Dead before Osiris” reads http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/flowers.htm

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Knot of Isis internet photo is on the chest