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African Spirits Speak

A White Woman's Journey into the Healing Tradition of the Sangoma

Published by Destiny Books
Distributed by Simon & Schuster

About The Book

The moving story of an expatriate coming to terms with her country's history, and her joyous spiritual and emotional rebirth as an African healer.

• One of the first accounts of the mysterious sangomas, the healers of South Africa's black population.

• A mystical journey that will appeal to those wishing to reunite with their roots and a more spiritual life.

Set against the stirring backdrop of a crumbling apartheid regime, African Spirits Speak is the lyrical account of white South African Nicky Arden's journey into the world of the sangomas, the diviners, doctors, psychologists, and priests of South Africa's black population.

While in her early twenties Nicky fled South Africa with her husband as the stranglehold of apartheid tightened on her native land. For twenty-two years they lived in California as expatriates--never once returning to their homeland--until a deep depression, followed by a spiritual awakening in the California desert, compelled Nicky to return to South Africa. During her visit, while exploring deep in the bush, she unexpectedly met an old black medicine woman--a sangoma. This meeting would change her life. Few white South Africans are even aware of the world of the sangomas, but this prophetic old woman saw in Nicky the spirit of a fellow healer and set the author on a mystical journey that would reunite her soul with its African roots. Thus began her astonishing and complex initiation into a nearly unknown world and her quest to discover the truth about herself and her heritage.

About The Author

Nicky Arden is the former director of San Diego Youth and Community Services, a social service agency. She and her husband divide their time between San Diego, California, and Johannesburg, South Africa.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Destiny Books (February 1, 1999)
  • Length: 272 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781620553497

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Raves and Reviews

"A fascinating account of [the author's] search for acceptance by a tribal community. . . . Highly recommended for collections on social sciences, women's studies, and spirituality."

– Library Journal

"A strong and unusually concrete spiritual memoir."

– Kirkus Reviews

"African Spirits Speak is a poignant initiatory dive into the self.. . .Nicky Arden brings courage and wisdom back from her journeys to share with us all. The clear bell that she rings is truly a gift."

– Malidoma Some, author of The Healing Wisdom of Africa

"A rich earthy, heart-wrenching account, this is a difficult book to put down once the journey has begun; the reader is advised to set aside plenty of time to absorb it. "

– Napra ReView, May/June 1999

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