John Lockley is a shaman trained in the Xhosa tradition of South African shamanic culture. He is one of the first white men in  history to become a fully initiated sangoma in the Xhosa lineage. He is the author of the book Leopard Warrior. Find him at

Hear John discuss:


  • How he experienced the invitation to shamanism, why the path opens through invitation, not choice, and why his training was essential for the recovery of his health after years of illness. “Part of taking your power back is realizing, I am in complete control of my own healing.”
  •  How apartheid delayed his training, and what it has meant to be a white man trained in the Xhosa tradition.
  • His Xhosa shamanic name and its indication of his role as a bridge between the spirit and physical worlds, and between the Xhosa African and western worlds.
  • How he distinguishes between shamanic illness and soul sickness, why he believes soul sickness is now so common in the western world, and how he believes it can be healed.
  • Ubuntu: ‘I am who I am because of who we all are.’ And what it means now for humans and Earth, given ubuntu’s presence in world religions, not only African understanding.
  •  “We as human beings are the custodians of mother Earth—we have a responsibility to look after the plants, the soil…”
  • “We have to learn the language of the wilderness in order to save the wilderness, and the language of the wilderness is the language of the heart.”