Heathfield, L. (2019). Edgedancer: An autoethnographic study Into modern transformation: Becoming sangoma [Unpublished Master’s thesis]. Alef Trust & Middlesex University.

This study looks to examine transformation, as experienced through initiation as an African traditional healer, or sangoma, from an emic perspective. In doing so, it applies autoethnography as its methodology to extract and explicate the key elements of transformational process together with their implications for transpersonal psychology. Autoethnography as a method provides the opportunity to embed rich first-person descriptions of the transformation based upon memory data and other key data artefacts. The study also makes the use of interviews to correlate and further investigate the topic of my own transformation, drawing from key individuals present throughout the period of transformation. In tracing the arc of my own lived experience as a subject, this study focuses on the structure of the experience, ritual elements, and lived implications as well as discussing who exactly is involved in transformation, how transformation takes place, and a resulting proposal for defining transformation within transpersonal psychology.

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