The Initiation Series: Gretchen Crilly McKay

Sangoma (shaman), Gretchen Crilly McKay is our guest this week in our Initiation Series: Curing our Cultural Sickness.  She joins us to discuss her traditional kuthwasa (initiation) experiences in Swaziland, Africa, under the mentorship of Zulu shaman, P.H. Mntshali.  It is our hope that in hearing the stories of a diverse range of contemporary initiation experiences—that have functioned to truly transform individuals into shamans—that we will come to remember what initiation truly means.

Gretchen’s admitted love affair with Africa, the “home” of her soul, began decades ago.  A consultation there with sangoma, P.H. Mntshali—who would become her mentor—revealed that her life had been difficult because she had not followed the path her ancestors had chosen for her. Through the traditional initiatory path of the sangoma, Gretchen became the woman she was meant to be.

Gretchen’s private shamanic practice is in Southern California where she seamlessly combines traditional African practices, like throwing the bones, with cross-cultural shamanic practices, like soul retrieval, extraction, and healing with spiritual light to serve her clients and students.  Her extensive calendar of classes, apprenticeship & mentoring, and two year advanced training can be found at 

Listen to the show (just click the Play arrow):  

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About Christina Pratt…

Shamanic teacher and author, Christina is a skilled shamanic healer who weaves her authentic shamanic experience, extensive training, and experience with shamans from Ecuador, Nepal, Tibet, and Africa into her contemporary practice. She has been in practice for 20 years, specializing in soul retrieval healings, soul part integration, and ancestral healing. She is the director of the Last Mask Center for Shamanic Healing in Portland, Oregon.

Comments (0) Original post date: Tuesday, June 29th, 2010