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

  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rharhabe
  2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knobkierrie
  3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Kei_River
  4. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cape_cobra
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