Meeting the Shadow


Yesterday morning outside my bakery and favorite breakfast place overlooking the Ocean, I was blessed by a sudden event, co created before my eyes. A young woman blindfolded, a camera rolling and a young man. Through the glass window of the Cafe a table of what seemed to be their relatives and friends sitting quietly waiting, watching. I am excited, nervous as she removed her blindfold to see her boyfriend on bended knee holding  a sparkling ring. I heard him ask her to marry him, both were weeping. I myself had to wipe away a tear, to be a witness at these strangers engagement

What was my own message that day about engagement (a promise to meet or be present at a particular place and time) I have been back 2 weeks from the Return to Origin journey I facilitate.  I am and still immersed in nature, still deep in the bush in Botswana, with my group of 14 Journeyers. It has though encouraged me to enter the ocean as often as I can to stay connected to my wildness and the beautiful happenings I witnessed on this incredible journey.

From day 1 of our journey we were reminded of the shadow and light of our lives, when a black and white dog showed up in our first meet and greet circle in Johannesburg. Over the next 4 days we worked with animal communicator, Anna Breytenbach,  learning to engage our senses.

Myself and the group,  sat in circle on the last day before we left Eden and made a prayer to bury what no longer served us. As we made prayers another small black and white dog dug a hole right in the middle of circle for us to leave what no longer served us.

We also met with Spirit the Black Leopard at Jukani, in Eden, Western Cape,  where he now lives, and I was reminded of his story. Check out the powerful film the Animal Communicator, with Anna Breytenbach. 

In the Mossell bay cave we visited at Pinnacle Point, we were met by the ancients of 100,000 years ago. They asked us to be silent in order to hear their stories.


At the waters in Cape Point, we engaged again in the element of peace and deep healing, and spent time with the ancients of us all, led by Craig Foster.

As the days went on and breakthroughs and transformations continued,  leopards  rarely seen to “come out” showed themselves in broad daylight. leopard medicine is one of secrets but also strength and courage in the darkness and ability and agility in the shadows.

One of them,  called Mamahota, sat outside of her deep brush, so we may see her. I fall asleep in the presence of Leopards, and I understood she was sending healing to us. Alwyn Myburgh skillfully guided us in our deeper connections with these beings.
After that incident I witnessed a powerful breakthrough with someone who had been hurt by others actions. The transformation was tangible, clear before our eyes. This person deepened and quietened into nature and began engaging with all there is and in particular with the animals. Animals as healers were being shown to me now in a way I had not seen before. “I gathered the lost parts of myself here” was what this person shared. Profound healing happened in the engagement of nature and her beings.

I was told recently by my guides to do nothing to force things along, in my present frustration to the barriers I have encountered and to engage only in nature, prayer and meditation. I dont meditate but I spend much of my time alone and in silence, and I see that as a gathering of the senses. Over the years this silence this aloness, but never alone, has become my practice in engagement, it has assisted me in deepening and widening, it has helped me to track myself and others and it has assisted me in engaging with the natural world and all of its beings. Mostly it has helped me in my work as a diviner to see, with the eyes behind the eyes and to listen more deeply. We dont have to physically sit on a mat to meditate.

Recently I was struck by this full letter by Rilke, In the past, I have only known a couple of lines, and I understand that to show up in a place to meet what is inside is how we become able to fully open  to what is outside.

“In the great silence of these distances, I am touched by your beautiful anxiety about life…
I feel that there is no one anywhere who can answer for you those questions and feelings which, in their depths, have a life of their own; for even the most articulate people are unable to help, since what words point to is so very delicate, is almost unsayable.
But even so, I think that you will not have to remain without a solution if you trust in Things that are like the ones my eyes are now resting upon. If you trust in Nature, in the small Things that hardly anyone sees and that can so suddenly become huge, immeasurable; if you have this love for what is humble and try very simply, as someone who serves, to win the confidence of what seems poor: then everything will become easier for you, more coherent and somehow more reconciling, not in your conscious mind perhaps, which stays behind, astonished, but in your innermost awareness, awakeness, and knowledge.
Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer. Perhaps you do carry within you the possibility of creating and forming, as an especially blessed and pure way of living; train yourself for that — but take whatever comes, with great trust, and as long as it comes out of your will, out of some need of your innermost self, then take it upon yourself.”
~ Rainer Maria Rilke, “Letters to a Young Poet”


How we become present to what touches us, opens in us, pains us, brings us joy. Its from this place, soul, heart, bone, that we long, that we remember that we write, sing, paint create and love. Its from here that we engage with other worlds. Its our free place, our place of many paths, our place of love supreme and divine mystery. This is our soul work.



This shadow work is what is present in the field and we worked I believe in our own way on this journey in the healing of not only our individual but also collective shadow work that is present in the world, without knowing what was about to happen, returning to an election where the shadow of America is being exposed.  I now understand that if we distract our selves constantly from inner engagement we miss uncovering the layers. The message here for me is that deep engagement is required individually and collectively on healing the shadow of our planet. Stay present to soul, and bone and heart, and we will remember the ancient stories that need healing and need to be told. Pay attention to what is happening in America its always been there, but we fell asleep, its time to re-engage with all the darkeness in our lives lest, we miss the otherness in all of its messyness and all of its greatness.

And finally a Zebra bone presented itself, and we made our final prayers into this bone for the black and white of our lives and we buried it in the bush, and returned it to the earth in Botswana.


A beautiful and powerful way of standing up and together and meeting the shadow is to make offerings, to the earth to the animals to nature,  deepen with them and say sorry and make a promise to enagage and care for her, that is my promise.   Offer milk to the earth for peace and reconcilaition.

“Oh to meet, however briefly, the greatness that lives under our surface. To summon enough bravery to be without armour and strategy, for the chance at meeting that irreducible power. Oh to make of our terrified hearts a prayer of surrender to the God of Love; that we remain safe in our quivering ache to be near that Otherness, even for a moment. To touch that ancient life who will never relinquish its wilderness, who lets instinct make its choices, whose knowing lives in bones and whose song is a wayfinder.” – Dreamwork with Toko-pa

Leopard Photos courtesy of Patricia Bates, Return To Origin Journey Oct. 2016.

6 thoughts on “Meeting the Shadow

  1. Thank you dear Mbali. Always wise and beauteous as you mark the shamanic centre and call us toward it. Much appreciation and many blessings upon the Journey for us all. xx

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