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.


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