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Observations placeholder

Mutwa, Vusamazulu Credo - And the jackal story



Type of Spiritual Experience


The following is an extract from a myth, the Tales of the Trickster , but it is about a shaman who could shape shift or at least perceive himself as a jackal and the spiritual experiences he had


A description of the experience

Vusamazulu Credo Mutwa – Zulu Shaman [Dreams, Prophecies and Mysteries]

The jackal did not immediately go upon the great journey that was to lead him to the Village of the Gods.  He went first to his cave far away, a cave which he had shared with his mate who now lay dead.  From the interior of the cave, jackal retrieved his few possessions.  He took his brown skin blanket and wrapped himself around in it and then from under a rock he dug out his clay pipe, for this jackal had discovered the secret of the hemp plant, the plant known as marijuana in the Americas and as kif or ganga or hashish in other places.  Mpungushe always smoked it whenever he was feeling tense and apprehensive and restless.  So, tying the marijuana pipe to his back he set out on his epic journey to the Land of the Gods.

He went down a hill into a very deep and menacing valley, a valley haunted by nameless terrors, 'The Valley of Nameless Evil' it was called.  If you made your way through this valley, you could sense hideous shapes watching you out of the darkness.  Every rock and every shadow of this valley was filled with menace and a stench of fear and corruption lay everywhere.  Jackal went through this valley at great speed among the many apparitions that gibbered and screamed at him......

jackal went up a tall mountain whose slopes were of wind blown crystal.  …......... He climbed and climbed for what seemed like hundreds of years; and then, when he reached the slippery, razor edged summit …...... he saw far away across a very deep and dark valley a sight that very few have ever seen.

It was the home wherein dwell the everlasting gods, the kings and the emperors of the stars – they whose word is unquestioned, and at whose feet a million worlds bow like cringing slaves.  There it was, a huge village with a dark wall of obsidian stone encircling it and thousands of dwellings made, not of perishable grass but of imperishable gold and studded with precious stones of all colours.  A great bright nimbus of light hung over the village and all around it.  It was huge, even at that distance ................

..............'the jackal tricks a dragon into carrying him across the valley of great danger towards his destination...For a few moment jackal was captivated by his surroundings – and that very nearly proved his undoing, because all of a sudden he heard the sound of massive steps behind him.......

Jackal spun round and saw a sight that froze the very marrow in his bones.  Towering over him was a huge giant made completely of metal.  Far up in the air above massive gleaming, bluish metal shoulders was a face with burning red eyes and grinning yellow teeth as sharp as newly whetted spears.........

The giant stooped and a huge hand of metal reached down and seized the jackal firmly by the tail.  He was swept into the air head downward and for a few blood chilling moments he stared into the eye of his terrible captor.

'Have mercy upon me, great lord, have mercy, Guardian of the Gods, I will do anything that you require of me, but please do not kill me' said the jackal

'I will not kill you until you have answered all my questions' said the giant 'I am Ngozi, the dangerous one and I am the guardian of the southern gate of the Village of the Gods.'

Unlike the barren snow bound earth that the jackal had left far behind, the Land of the Gods was fertile, green brightly lit and fragrant.  There were flowers and trees everywhere; there was soft bluish green grass at the foot of the great wall that surrounded the Village of the Gods.  Butterflies flitted this way and that across the face of fantastic greenery.  The sky was a dark purple, it was a land of breathtaking beauty, a land that had mothered the eternal lords and ladies of creation.


….......jackal went up a tall mountain whose slopes were of wind blown crystal.  ….........  he saw far away across a very deep and dark valley a sight that very few have ever seen...the home wherein dwell the everlasting gods..............'Yonder lies my destination' said the jackal 'and between my destination and this mountain is the Valley of Eternal Night.  How shall I cross that fearsome valley ….........  I must think, but what am I to do?'

The answer came to the jackal out of the skies.  It came huge, fiery eyed, dagger fanged and bloody clawed, with huge wings like those of a bat, beating slowly at the airless air.  It was a dragon returning to the Village of the Gods, and it drew near to him.

'Greetings great dragon' said the jackal 'Greetings mighty messenger of the gods.  How majestic you are, as you fly towards your destination....how beautiful is the red blaze of your eyes and how bright are your scales like green and living gold in the light of the distant village of the gods.  Great dragon, there is no one more beautiful in the air than you'.

The dragon turned and looked at the little jackal on the summit of the mountain.

'Do you really find me beautiful?' he asked.

'Yes, great dragon' said the jackal 'I find you beautiful and majestic, I find you strong beyond all strength and I find you powerful beyond all power'

'What is your name little creature?' asked the dragon, pausing in its flight.

'I am known as a jackal, great one' said the jackal in reply.  'I am by profession a poet and a singer of songs.  Do you want to hear one of my songs?'

'Yes' said the dragon 'but let it not delay my flight more than is necessary'......

From underneath his blanket the jackal took a reed flute and he began to play a beautiful tune upon it and such was his skill that the dragon was hypnotised by the unearthly sound.  It filled the heart of the great dragon with a nameless longing and an indescribable joy.

'Little beast what can I do for you in return for what you have done for me' asked the dragon.

'Oh dragon' said the jackal let me but know what it feels like to fly upon your mighty shoulders, to ride upon you as you fly through the air towards the Village of the Gods'

In this way did the jackal trick the dragon into carrying him across the valley of great danger towards his destination.

The source of the experience

Mutwa, Vusamazulu Credo

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