Working with Card of the Day/Week

It has been said that we are spirit having a human experience.  We seek meaning in our lives and we need to know that we matter, that we belong.  We look for tools and moments when we feel deeply touched within, a transcendent experience when we inhabit out humanity completely.  Our need for insight and validation is ever present; we want to know how we are doing in terms of the choices we make. We want to project ourselves into our futures to discover where we are heading and what pitfalls lie ahead. We want assurance that we are fulfilling our purpose yet more often than not, we are seeking a ‘quick fix’.

Tarot as a tool mirrors our unconscious – The Tarot is a mirror in which universal patterns and icons are reflected. Our unconscious is reflected back to us through the visuals which have the ability to transport us to other dimensions, enhance our focus and assist us to live consciously with focus and intent.

The art of tarot is rewarding; we select our card with a purpose and as we weave our way through the archetype, story or visual, we resonate with the energy that arises – it is up to us what we do with the information perceived.  Here are some tips and exercises to help you discover tarot and work with individual cards for self analysis and empowerment.

Zulu Goddess of Agriculture

Visual a collage from iTongo Tarot. 3 The Empress and 21 The Universe

Location, location, location

It is best to conduct this meditation/visualisation where you will be undisturbed.

  1. Find a quiet place where you can be alone and undisturbed.
  2. Sit comfortably with your spine straight.
  3. Close your eyes and become aware of your surroundings,
  4. Breathe deeply and uniformly. IN through the nose and OUT through the mouth.  Let stress and tension go with each out breath. Continue to do this until you feel relaxed.
  5. Feel your body connected to the earth.
  6. Listen to your heart beat and as you slowly breathe in and out – retreat to your still point.

Pick a Card, Any Card

There are a variety of ways of doing this.  See my previous blog

Begin the Journey


  1. Begin by building your inner vision of the geography of the card selected.
  2. Listen to the sounds, smell the foliage.
  3. Feel the environment around you.
  4. Establish the time of day.
  5. Become aware of the central figure.
  6. Visualise yourself moving across the terrain towards the figure. Do not be afraid to approach, these are your guides.
  7. Introduce yourself and begin your dialogue.
  8. State your purpose. “I am accepting your invitation to …” “I am ready to fulfil …”; “I am seeking guidance on …”; “How may I serve … ?” etc.
  9. Allow time for a response.
  10. Be aware of any images, thoughts or sensations that arise.
  11. Take a moment to explore these images or sensations.

Seeking answers, purpose

  1. When you are ready continue your dialogue.
  2. Again allow time and space for a response.
  3. Explore images or sensations that arise.
  4. When you are ready ask your next question.
  5. Follow this procedure until you feel you have the answers and insights to manifest the journey.
  6. You may accept an invitation to travel with the guide, to explore deeper levels of the energy arising – follow your instinct and intuition.


It is very important that once you feel you would like to return to your conscious self that you close the meditation/visualisation.  If you dont do this you may end up with a sense of disconnection or even a headache.

  1. Show gratitude for the assistance.
  2. If you would like to leave a token of appreciation or to let go of an issue, do so.
  3. Become aware of time passed,
  4. move across the terrain to your original position where you started your journey.
  5. Still your awareness of the inner realms and sit in silence before returning to the outer world.
  6. You may be aware of faint echoes of your journey, allow these to arise and dissipate.
  7. Once again feel the earth beneath your body, feel your heart beating and as you breathe deeply become aware of your surroundings.
  8. Slowly open your eyes if closed.
  9. Stand and stretch.

Keeping a record

  1. When we are on a journey it is helpful to keep a journal of your cards, the experience or matters/issues that arose.
  2. Write down anything that you feel you need to take notice of and work on.
  3. Be conscious of the inner knowledge you have gained.
  4. Manifest this information into your daily routine.

Choosing a Tarot Card of the Day/Week

The season has officially changed.  Here in the Southern Hemisphere we are in autumn and the north are moving into spring.  The astrological year begins on 21 March and in tarot the new year also begins with the Equinox.  Here is where it gets complicated.

Courtesy Pamela Phillips-Steele Steele Wizard Tarot....

In the north the Tarot card is Ace of Swords (Air) and in the south Ace of Cups (Water). Because there is no definitive tarot deck or system, researching online I found an interesting variety of tarot calendars and timings.  I believe that when one is working with the tarot it is best to follow the philosophy and principle of that particular  tarot deck.  Take note of what else is listed and certainly credit that which is more accepted by popularity.

Diversity of ideas, practice and theory is what makes working with tarot cards so rewarding.  Each day I learn something new. Trying to work out which is the definitive card for the day, seems to be rather complex … or not at all.

For some shuffling the deck and selecting a card to guide and represent the energy and focus is all it takes.  They accept that this is the answer or the energy that needs to be addressed for that particular day.

Another system is to simply add the date to select the tarot card for the day.  For example 26 March 2012 is (2+6+3+2+1+2 = 16 and or 1+6 = 7) The choice is 16 The Tower or 7 The Chariot.   The double digit could reflect your physical or ‘outer world’ what the collective is doing, or actions you need to take and the reduction to 7 reflects your inner landscape and what you need to attend to emotionally, intellectually or spiritually.  Work with both cards to find your guidance.

There is a system that is used where the tarot deck is assigned to weeks of the year beginning with the week of the Northern Hemisphere Spring Equinox 21 March.  The Majors have their own numbers and are not assigned weeks.  The minors then run from Ace through to King, excluding the Pages/Princess.  The exception is 29 February, which is assigned to Page of Wands.  I also found systems that begin with the Kings and descends to the Aces, this of course changes all the cards and their weeks.

Courtesy of Pamela Phillips-Steele - Steele Wizard Tarot....

It is generally accepted that seasons are assigned to the minors. The Southern Hemisphere would have the difference of the seasons being

  • Spring – Air / Swords
  • Summer – Fire / Wands
  • Autumn – Water / Cups
  • Winter – Earth / Pentacles

Check with the reference book for the seasons relevant to your deck.

In numerology the date would be worked out as 26+3=29 + the year (2012) which is 5. This calculated to 34, which is The Knight/Warrior of Swords.  You  need to discover and decide which system works the best for you and your tarot deck.  Research online, or buy books to find the system that best suits your hemisphere and philosophy.

My interpretation (iTongo Tarot) of the Card of the Day for 26 March 2012 is16 The Tower and 7 The Chariot.


16 The Tower : Thulamela

CONCEPT Restoration; Renovation; Great courage; Sexual force; Health; Truth; Danger Thulamela invites you to deconstruct illusions and delusions, restructure and restore.

Often we find challenging times difficult to deal with.  We have to break down old existing patterns to find the true value of life, situations and events.  In order to regenerate we need to clear out the debris and silence the internal chatter to create a solid foundation which to build upon. Be open to those ‘Aha’ moments.  As we dismantle structures, we create space for a radical shift and in doing so we let in birth, growth and rejuvenation. We need to transcend our ego and material needs to discover and release the purity of self.

Questions to ask:

  • Am I causing disruption in other lives?
  • Do I keep making the same mistakes?
  • Am I prepared to pay the price for my decisions?

This card is asking you to take action – 7 The Chariot is showing you HOW

IndweAllow the free flow of thoughts and ideas, use your imagination.  Try doing things differently and be courageous in the application of your wisdom.  Be inspired and fearless, have the courage of your convictions.  Face your demons.  One of the great ways of doing this is through meditation.  If you don’t meditate, then pray or simply sit quietly and contemplate the way forward.  Know that you are part of a greater whole, as above so below see that reflection and connection.  Managing change needs control – someone has to drive the momentum, rather its you than chance and circumstance.

  •  Consider what inspires you – do it!
  • What changes do you need to make in your life – do it!
  • Explore your inner world – do it!

Indwe invites you to honour the way of the warrior. Be inspired, be fearless.

Courage in the Face of Adversity

“He is a man of courage who does not run away, but remains at his post and fights against the enemy”  Socrates

More often than we would like to admit to, when we are faced with a problem (especially emotional ones) we tend to just let go and give in.  We believe that we don’t have the energy or the resource to continue the good fight.  We forget that we have a never-ending depth of stamina to persevere.  We need to hold fast to our beliefs, do a risk assessment and proceed with caution.  That way we are able to bring about the result we desire, rather than become a ‘victim’ of circumstance.

Trusting in our own abilities is probably one of the most difficult lessons we need to learn in our lifetime.  We are conditioned from birth to believe that others know more than us, are better than us, that we need to defer to their judgement.  This may be true for the first ten years or so of our lives, when we are dependent on others to take care, mould and guide us.  But slowly we begin to make our own judgements; we stop reflecting the personas of our parents, siblings or teachers and begin to make our own choices that ultimately impact on our persona.

The success of these early choices becomes the foundation for our adult choices.  We have learnt to protect ourselves from attack, emotional, physical and spiritual. If we have grown up believing that we are not ‘strong’ we set ourselves up to become victims – in fact some continue to seek out situations that qualify that belief.  They don’t stop and realise that they can write their own script, they can re-write or edit as they go along. Our humanity is not carved in stone, and even if it was we could still make changes and alterations as needed.

Change is always difficult – we fear the unknown and we are not sure of our resources and reserves.  Its easier to just go with the flow, even when the flow is not supporting our hopes, dreams and ideals.   We need to remember that as long as we have the courage of our convictions, we will overcome.  We need to stand steadfast and firm in what we believe in. Life is about our stamina to persevere – all too often we throw our hands up and say “I cant anymore” and it’s just then that we have a breakthrough.  We have the knowledge tools and skills to hold fast – we just have to persist.

However, we should not be rigid and dogmatic about our position.  This will generally keep us stuck in the same rut as before.  We need to be fluid and accommodating to changes and challenges.  This is how we learn.  There is always more than one route or option to a resolution.  Be cautiously optimistic, assess the situation and dig deep – then make the choice.

NINE of ISIBANE – People of the South (Fire) –  Key word – FORTITUDE

Display courage in adversity | Proceed carefully | Protect self | Take extra precautions | Hidden reserves | Stamina to persevere | Hold fast | Risk assessment and caution | Resourcefulness and conviction | Endurance

FortitudeiTongo Tarot :  The visual shows someone in control.  Assessing the situation and prepared to hold fast and endure. Standing with one foot on a Cape Cobra4 he has his knobkierrie2 at the ready to take action should he need to.  His physical body is covered by animal skins he has hunted and tanned himself.  He feels safe and protected from the ‘enemy’ as well as the situation. He trusts in his own ability and resources.

The River in the background is the Great Kei River 3.  This is where he made his home and built his mighty nation.

Chief Rharhabe1 (1722-1787) was the Right hand son of King Phalo.  He was known as a great warrior and strategist.

Further Reading about the elements in the card visual


Beware the Ides of March

“The word Ides comes from the Latin word “Idus” and means “half division” especially in relation to a month. It is a word that was used widely in the Roman calendar indicating the approximate day that was the middle of the month”.

Today the term is better known and used for the quote from the play Julius Caesar by Shakespeare.  “Beware the Ides of March” has come to mean that there may be harm, danger or difficult times ahead.  Another famous quote from the same play  “et tu Brutus” has found its way into popular language to mean that those closest to you can often surprise you and do the most harm.

As we navigate through the Ides of March, we need to notice those relationships that are toxic in our lives.  We find we are subconsciously attracted to or attached to people that do not add any value, yet we feel powerless to disengage from those relationships.

If you can see a connection to any of the following, this would be a good indicator that the relationship/situation is toxic.

Does ……… add value to my life?

Does ……… make me feel less than a whole person.

Does ……… exhaust me emotionally?

Does ……… push me to do things that make me uncomfortable?

Does ……… take advantage of my time/energy/good will?

Does ……… criticize me, my life, my success?

Does ……… blame everyone else but themselves for their situation?

Does ……… make you question yourself before others?

Does ……… disclose and make light of your confidences?

Does ……… play mind games and manipulation?

Ultimately those nearest and dearest challenge us, in most instances we grow and develop through their guidance, however we should never have to sacrifice our integrity for another.  Once our values have been compromised we feel disgraced thereby creating a hostile environment.  Nothing good can come of this.  We can’t prosper and grow without constantly adjusting our thoughts, emotions and state of well being.

We often give people way too much power over us, and are surprised when we believe we have been stabbed in the back.  The issue is not what they do, but rather what we allow them to do to us.  We allow them by not addressing the issue, the relationship or situation.  We fear loss – yet how can something that is harmful continue to have value.

Staying attached to people that do not promote our growth and sense of well being is asking for trouble.  In time they will disappoint and hurt – it’s a bit like the story of the Scorpion and the Frog, our base nature will always come out when pressed or pressured.

Greed and fear are often the motivation.  Others want what you have.  Sometimes they want to be you, to live the life you do, and will stop at nothing until their goals have been achieved, irrespective of the cost (emotional, mental or physical) to you.  They fear and envy your position and believe that if they can weaken or take it away, this will give them an advantage in their lives.

The challenge is to truly listen to that voice inside, we know when we should withdraw, yet we persist because of our own fears.  This in itself becomes damaging and a self-fulfilling prophesy.  Trust in yourself and do no harm to others.  Be open, honest and up front.  Set clear boundaries and don’t compromise your ethics for another.

The legend I chose to reflect this in the iTongo Tarot is the assassination of Shaka (1785-1828), King of the Zulu (1816-1828). Just like Julius Caesar, Shaka was betrayed and murdered by those he trusted.

DishonourNine of Assegai – Dishonour

During his rise to power Shaka had made enough enemies particularly within the house of Zulu and neighbouring clans.  Two unsuccessful attempts were made on his life.  Shortly after the death of his beloved mother Nandi, it is believed his Aunt Princess Mkabayi along with a neighbouring chief Zwide of the Mthethwa plotted the assassination.

Taking the most opportune moment when Shaka was at his most vulnerable, having deployed most of his troops, his two half brothers Dingane and Mhlangana along with his trusted advisor Mbopha, attacked and killed Shaka near his military barracks at Dukuza.

Legend has it that Shaka’s corpse was unceremoniously dumped into an empty grain pit. To this day, the exact site is unknown.

iTongo Tarot meanings: Being challenged | Sacrificing integrity | Evaluating ethics | State of shame and disgrace | Deceitful communication | Achieving at the cost of others | Hostile environment | Choosing conflict | Adjusting moral compass.

10 The Wheel of Fortune – ITHUBA

This week I have chosen a card that is personal and iconic to iTongo Tarot.  The Wheel of Fortune – Ithuba is the signature card of iTongo Tarot and one of the personal cards of my friend, saviour and supporter Mark Marais.  His tarot cards are 19, 10, 1 a unique combination to suit such a unique person.

iTongo Tarot owes its existence to him, without his faith in the project I don’t think it would ever have come to market.  He believed in the project but more importantly he believed in me.

We are said to create our own destiny, but without the help of others we can find the road to success a bumpy ride.  Mark paved the road ahead, he has steadfastly guided me with his insight, knowledge and unconditional help.  As The Sun UBUNTUhe shines his light when the darkness threatens.  He continues to collaborate to bring about the personal SANGOMApotential of all he encounters.   As The Magician he weaves his special kind of magic to keep all in balance and harmony.  He respects determination and the soul’s destiny.

The spirit of uBuntu lives within him.  I am, we are, because of who he is.  Happy Birthday Marki.


10 The Wheel of Fortune – ITHUBAITHUBA

Round and round she goes, where she lands, no one knows … Chance, opportunity or Karma. It is believed that we create our own destiny,  that our past actions bring us to exactly where we need to be in the present.

But what about our fortune and abundance – when abundance is in the negative – how do we deal with this and how do we change the current situation.  Simply understanding the principle of cause and effect, for every action there is a reaction, the cycles of time and life, everything has its moment and its season.

As the wheel turns we experience all that is attached to that wheel.  Times when we are on top of it all, sometimes feeling we are spinning out of control, other times our world is lying fallow and no matter what we try to do, we just cant seem to get out of the doldrums.  Then something unexpected happens and we are being pulled in a direction (we sometimes don’t understand) but we go with the flow, recognizing the opportunities that come our way and making new choices more inline with each new situation or opportunity.

Another way to make sure that the results of your desire/wishes are closer to the plan or path you choose is to create a vision board.  A visual representation of what, how, when and where is the simplest of tools to keep you focused and in the moment.  Be optimistic about outcomes.  Be realistic about outcomes. What we think impacts directly on what we do. Take control and manifest your internal abundance into your physical world.

Wealth is not just about money.  Wealth in health, friends and family (both biological and chosen) is as important as having the means to live the life you choose.  Support from those around you often aids in the breakthrough needed to set you on the right course of actions. Its like the mighty oak tree, the tree stands through out the seasons, its appearance changes as the leaves wither and fall, to be renewed in the spring.  The outer changes are visible but the essence of the tree stays the same.  So too should your life be – rooted and grounded but prepared to show different aspects at different times.

Choose your path wisely, take time to consider exactly what you want  – round and round she goes … knowing where its going to land is liberating.

iTongo Tarot interpretation and mythology

10 The Wheel of Fortune – ITHUBA  (ithuba/amathuba n. (-thuba) : Chance; Opportunity0

CONCEPT Breakthrough; Prosperity; Karma; Abundance; Opportunity; Cycles

Ithuba invites you to manifest internal abundance externally.

Increase of wealth /Optimism, order and generosity /Sudden events /New beginnings /Creative and inspired /Change /The cycles of life /Occasion and timeliness /Principle of cause and effect /Association with law, religion and education

The Rain Bull

In African culture, for the earth to become plentiful, the rain bull must be quietly stalked and lassoed by the horns with a leather thong which has been blessed by a Sangoma. This huge powerful creature grazes in the reeds at the sources of springs, and once caught, will be led across the lands that men wish to make fertile. Then, say the legends, the rain will fall and lightning flash.

Other legends tell that when it starts raining the bull has to be killed and cut up into pieces, which are thrown where the rain must fall. In these places, food will grow in abundance.

To the indigenous people, even rain clouds can appear as monstrous rain beasts, gigantic monsters filled with rain. They believe that if the rain falls softly and gently it is the rain cow wetting the earth, and if the rain is accompanied by thunder and lightning, then the rain bull is in attendance. (The bull must be kept calm and appeased at all times otherwise his anger will release violent storms with thunder and lightning).