Moughenda Mikala - Bwiti Shaman

Shows Bwiti Shaman Moughenda with face paint on.

Moughenda is a 10th Generation Bwiti Shaman from the western African country, Gabon. Gabon is often called the “Tibet of Africa” and it is because of the continued use of very old spiritual traditions, like Bwiti, that are maintained by the Shamans. Moughenda’s relationship with Iboga began with his mother ingesting it while pregnant with him. His birth was prophesied, so they knew that he would be the next Shaman of the village two years before he was even born. This is how it works when determining the next Shaman and so far Moughenda’s successor has still not been prophesied or born. Moughenda took the reins from his Maternal Grandfather, one of the greatest Bwiti Shamans to ever live. The training to become Shaman is intensive, long and began when he was very young. Moughenda took his first high dose of Iboga when he was just 8 years old and went on to go through 4 more high dose initiations. After 22 years of this intensive training, Moughenda was given his final test to take an unconscious dying man into the jungle, with no idea about what was wrong with him, and heal him. He took Iboga and asked the spirits and plants to help him, eventually finding the right treatment and saving the man’s life. After that, Moughenda had proven he was ready to be Shaman. 

As Shaman, he does much more than leading Iboga Ceremonies. Having similar duties to a Priest in the west, he oversees weddings, funerals and community gatherings. The well known Rite of Passage are also led by Moughenda. Medical and spiritual ailments in the community are treated by Moughenda, utilizing his extensive knowledge of the jungle’s plants and the spiritual realm. 

One of the greatest things about Moughenda, is that he understands the western mind. The cultures of the West and of Gabon are very different, but Moughenda can communicate better than almost all westerners I know. His understanding comes from experience. One day while Moughenda was a younger Shaman, a vision of the Statue of Liberty came to him in an Iboga journey. With this he knew the Iboga was calling him to come to America. He moved to Harlem in New York with speaking any English and spent many years there. Then he moved to Detroit where he spent several years living in a very poor and disenfranchised part of the city. He treated many people in these places and learned to speak fluent English. Most importantly though is that Moughenda learned how we think in the west and the disconnecting patterns we develop that lead to our unhappiness. Eventually Moughenda moved to Costa Rica where he set up Iboga House, one of the only and certainly the best Iboga center at the time. Iboga House was open for many years and facilitated the healing for thousands of people, before Moughenda moved back to his village in Gabon, where he lives now. 

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