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Leopard Warrior

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Leopard Warrior shares the remarkable story of how John Lockley became one of the first modern white men in recent history to become a fully initiated sangoma—traditional priest and healer—in the Xhosa lineage of South Africa, the tribe of Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu. In this teaching memoir, John explores Xhosa wisdom on dreams, ceremony, spirit guides, ancestors, and our intrinsic humanity (Ubuntu).
Full Description

A Teaching Memoir That Crosses the Barriers Between Worlds

A shaman is one who has learned to move between two worlds: our physical reality and the realm of spirits. For John Lockley, shamanic training also meant learning to cross the immense divide of race and culture in South Africa.

As a medic drafted into the South African military in 1990, John Lockley had a powerful dream. “Even though I am a white man of Irish and English descent, I knew in my bones that I had received my calling to become a sangoma, a traditional South African shaman,” John writes. “I felt blessed by the ancient spirit of Africa, and I knew that I had started on a journey filled with magic and danger.” His path took him from the hills of South Korea, where he trained as a student under Zen Master Su Bong, to the rural African landscape of the Eastern Cape and the world of the sangoma mystic healers, where he found his teacher in the medicine woman called MaMngwevu.

In Leopard Warrior, John shares a gripping account of his experiences and the wisdom he learned over years of training. Here he invites you to discover:

  • Powerful insights into the spiritual tradition of the Xhosa lineage of South Africa—the tribe of Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu
  • Ubuntu—a core concept for recognizing and embracing our deep interconnection with all living things
  • Ancestor medicine—how we can learn to honor the blood in our veins, the heritage of our soul, and our shared humanity
  • Recovering our forgotten knowledge about the wisdom of our dreams, the spirits of plants and animals, and the power of the unseen world


In traditional African healing circles, the leopard represents intuition, instinct, and harmony with nature and the spirit world. As John Lockley writes, “A leopard warrior is a spiritual soldier who mirrors the natural world and directs their gaze inward to answer the call of their spirit.” With Leopard Warrior, he brings us an inspiring call to action—showing how we can bridge the barriers that divide us, embrace the gifts of our ancestors, and reclaim our rightful place as compassionate caretakers of our world.

Format Details
Paperback Book eBook
Contents Paperback Book (256 pages) eBook (256 pages)
Filetypes PDF, EPUB
Dimensions 6 x 9 inches
Product Code BK05051 BK05051W
ISBN Number 978-1-62203-903-6 978-1-62203-904-3
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John Lockley

About John Lockley

JOHN LOCKLEY began his journey as a young medic drafted into the South African military. He then trained under Zen master Su Bong from South Korea, and returned to post-Apartheid South Africa to spend 10 years in apprenticeship with MaMngwevu, a medicine woman from the Xhosa tribe. John now splits his time teaching in South Africa, Ireland, Europe, and the US. For more, visit johnlockley.com.

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Reviewed by Laura F.
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Rated 5 out of 5
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Am taking my time with this book.

I read a lot, but I read slow. And with "Leopard Warrior," I am taking extra time and, so far, am thoroughly enjoying it, along with the other book in my order. Thank you, Sounds True . . . Glad you are here.

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