Ntlhantle – In the Direction of Beauty
How to Restore A Fractured Cosmology
Three sessions with Colin Campbell
“In an animistic cosmology such as that of the Kalahari San, absolutely everything is alive”
How do we find meaningful ways to bring back systems of belief that have been excluded from our modern industrialised cosmology? How can our preindustrial ancestry inform us about the potential for reclaiming those parts of ourselves that have been lost during the course of industrial Globalization? These important questions of our time, crucial for our evolution as humans striving to regain our balance and place within the natural world, will be explored in these three very rare LIVE Online Sessions with Colin Campbell.
Colin, who is the holder of traditional African medicine traditions, diviner and co-leader of our Contemporary Animism programme, will be mixing spoken teaching/oral transmission with practical suggestions, ritual and embodied work. Not to be missed!
Talk 1: Building Kia and finding Nxum
9th February 2022 – 6 – 7:30 pm London
The path of Regeneration Among Hunter Gather Traditions of North Western Botswana
According to the traditions of San people in the Western Kalahari region of Botswana, there is a particular quality present in all of creation referred to in their traditions as “Nxum”.
Nxum may be received through the cultivation and generation of “Kia”, something akin to what we might understand as an ecstatic state of consciousness in the modern industrialised world. It is almost impossible to define in any clear sense what Nxum actually is. When asked, a traditional San healer might answer vaguely that Nxum is at once Life force, ecstatic energy, the ferocious pulse and drive of living interaction, the movement of creation itself, or the power to heal and regenerate transmitted to certain individuals from the Gods. Nxum is said to be both an inherent life generating quality that pervades absolutely everything in the universe, and also a quality that can be transmitted and received among all participants in the living universe––and, in an animistic cosmology such as that of the Kalahari San, absolutely everything is alive.
San people believe that Healing results when states of imbalance are once again restored to balance. The primary functions of the San healer, therefore, involves the tracking of imbalance and the practicing of specific methods designed to help restore balance through the receiving, generation, amplifying and transmission of Nxum.
Talk 2: Singing the Sun into the Sky
16th February 2022 – 6 – 7:30pm London
Alluring the Gods through the Cultivation of Ecstatic Experience
Among the most important expressions of the condition of relative balance or imbalance in creation is, according to the San people of North Western Botswana, to be divined from bird song. For San people, the utterances of birds is said to be the voice of creation. Through bird song, the healer is able to track the relative forces of chaos and order, heat and cool, dispersion and cohesion. Through such tracking, it becomes possible to identify the sources of sickness within an individual, a community or the rest of nature with whom San people have an intimate and deeply symbiotic relationship. Further, it is through the emulation of birds, animals and the movements and utterances of nature that humans have learned the art of building Kia and availing themselves to the possibility of receiving Nxum.
Why do some birds passionately chant specific and endlessly repeated simple utterances often continuously for hours on end day after day?
Often the melodies in bird song are exquisitely complex and have subtly varied inflections through repeated melodic variations? Why do birds sing, and how does their song hold importance not just for themselves but also for the rest of the living world?
Talk 3: Tending the Sacred Muse
2 March 2022 – 6 – 7:30pm London
An Animistic Approach to Growing Creative Eros
If [Eros] is not form-giving but form-fulfilling; it is the wine that will be poured into the vessel; it is not the bed and direction of the stream but the impetus water flowing in it.
~ Carl Jung, Liber Novus, P365
Where logos is ordering and insistence, Eros is dissolution and movement
~Carl Jung, Liber Novus, P365
From an animistic point of view, let us consider a notion that the sacred muse is a spirit, a spirit of profound and even existential importance, a spirit who lives within a commune of spirits that constellate to form the collective that we have come to know and refer to as the self. A spirit who in most western industrialized people is suffering greatly amid the industrialized inferno of what would seem to be an increasingly inanimate world.
How can our preindustrial ancestry inform us about the potential for reclaiming those parts of ourselves that have been lost during the course of industrial Globalization?
Want to learn more about our residential Contemporary Animism course, an apprenticeship into animistic magical practice beginning in July?
With Colin Campbell, Angharad Wynne and special guests
Read more about the apprenticeship starting from July 2022 – February 2023 here.
9 February: Building Kia and finding Nxum
16 February: Singing the Sun into the Sky
2 March: Tending the Sacred Muse
6pm – 7.30 pm London
Times are for London UK. Find times in your local time zone here.
Online via Zoom. This event will be broadcast live and recorded for those in different time zones around the world.
£25 for 3 sessions or £10 each session
Colin Campbell grew up in rural southeastern Botswana, the son of a renowned anthropologist and a creative healing mother. He is currently a practitioner of traditional African medicine, based in Cape Town, South Africa and the UK. He receives clients from all over the world, and facilitates international group processes relating to natural law, transformation, healing & personal power, sacred sites, and cross-cultural cosmology. His work bridges major world cities with ancestral homelands and forgotten wilderness, taking him from the Amazon Basin to Los Angeles, the sacred sites of Venda to the urban grit of Johannesburg, and remote Ethiopia to the City of London. Colin co-founded and co-runs a training school in Botswana for traditional doctors and sangomas with his brother Niall Campbell. He is also a lifelong artist and musician, his style once again bridging the traditional with the contemporary, the timeless with the timely, and the sounds of the sacred with the lyricism of electric rocking funk.
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