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sangoma trance states

Exploring Indigenous Consciousness
Disciplines in South Africa

Author Ingo Lambrecht PhD

Non-fiction based on a PhD thesis; colour illustrated

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Also available as ebook
ISBN 978-0-9922628-7-7

What does happen in the mind of a trancing sangoma, the traditional healer of South Africa?

Dr Ingo Lambrecht PhD, a renowned clinical psychologist and a sangoma himself, explores this question, not only through his own personal experiences, but also through the words of powerful sangomas. It skilfully interweaves his personal experiences with his scholarly research, into an unusual tapestry that carefully maps the specific trance states of sangomas.

The powerful sangomas not only share with Dr Lambrecht their own maddening pain experienced during their spiritual emergencies, but also speak of their effective techniques, practices and psi effects of the different trance states.

In his unique illustrated book, Lambrecht explores not only the psychological and cultural-political dimensions, but the parapsychological and transpersonal elements of the sangoma’s indigenous consciousness disciplines.

The specific mapping of sangoma trance states is compared to other indigenous shamanic practices around the world. From this meticulous integrative work, a model of sangoma trance states emerges that has been endorsed by sangomas as being close to their own experiences of mastering their altered states of consciousness.

Full Table of Contents, 25-page Bibliography, 60 pages of Endnotes

ISBN 978-1496145536
GENRE Biographical non-fiction
FORMAT Paperback
No. PAGES 434
DIMENSIONS 152.4 x 228.6 x 26 mm
WEIGHT 600 g


Dr Lambrecht shares his own experiences and the place of trance in his own journey in a comfortable and free flowing narrative style that brings life and perspective to the subject matter. He makes the subject accessible and adds a down-to-earth and rational element, thereby bringing trance and shamanic spiritual practice closer to normal than we, as a modern consumer society, have mostly been conditioned not to believe.

This work demonstrates that there can be a mutually inclusive and integrated model incorporating the psychobiological and spiritual aspects of trance, seeing them as occurring in tandem and not an either or dichotomy of magic or science still so prolific in many academic disciplines and indeed in the modern societal psyche. Such integration can further our understanding of the integral nature of matter and energy in operation in consciousness and how trance states and the many aids to access them such as song, dance and plants can heal consciousness.

Jean-Francois Sobiecki. B.Sc. Bot. (Wits), B.Sc. Hons. Ethnobot. (UJ),
Dipl.Clin.Nutr. (Aus), Research Associate, Centre for Anthropological Research (CfAR)
, Faculty of Humanities, University of Johannesburg, South Africa