Niall Campbell is a sangoma, a weaver of magic and a traditional nyanga (medicine man).
Niall (pronounced Neal) has over 25 years of apprenticeship with African teachers in ancestral and nature spirits, divination and medicinal herbalism.
He facilitates rites of passage, coming into adulthood and manhood and is widely regarded as one of the foremost holders of traditional ways.
He and his brother Colin Campbell are the subject of numerous international documentaries on shamanic healers and both consult and work all over the world.
The old rainmaker shrugged when asked why he no longer made rain. “Nobody actually makes rain,” he said. “Rain simply comes when the land is right.” There is no point in doing rituals to call the rain—no point trying to engage gracefully with nature—when we no longer accord with (or even recall) the most basic of laws.
So I have to tell the story while we sit together.
Sit here with me.
I have to remember.
Limb by limb I put the pieces together.
I weave the details with the context
I set the scene and add the players.
I bring in the gods.
the winds that blow into the landscape.
I re-live the deeds of the ancient heroes and make them mine.
We sit together.
in a special kind of intimacy.
One that only the storyteller and the listener can be in.
My feelings become yours. I feel you.
I begin to have the same hopes
You cry my disappointment.
by Niall Campbell © 2021