The Chariot – INDWE


Indwe

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

CONCEPT: Change; As above so below; Impulsive momentum; Imagination; Victorious warrior

Geography The uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park has outstanding natural beauty. As Africa’s highest mountain range south of Kilimanjaro, it has a fascinating and ancient geology, animals and the most concentrated series of rock art in Africa.

In 2000, it became the fourth site in South Africa to be granted World Heritage status by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). In describing the park’s natural heritage, UNESCO notes its “exceptional natural beauty in its soaring basaltic buttresses, incisive dramatic cutbacks, and golden sandstone ramparts. Rolling high altitude grasslands, the pristine steep-sided river valleys and rocky gorges also contribute to the beauty of the site.”

Warriors When a man distinguished himself by deeds of valour or any form of meritorious conduct, he was presented with the feather of the Blue Crane, which the amaXhosa call Indwe. (The Blue Crane (Anthropoides paradisea) – also known as the Stanley Crane and the Paradise Crane, is the national bird of South Africa.)

These feathers were presented at a ceremony for heroes called “ukundzabela”.  Men, so honoured, wore the feathers sticking out of their hair, and were known as “men of ugaba” (trouble) – the implication being that if trouble arose, these men would reinstate peace and order.

War-shields (isiHlangu) are always made of oxhide, two shields normally being cut from one hide. They are oval in shape and are decorated by two rows of slits cut lengthwise into the shield intertwined with strips of hide of a contrasting colour. The projection at the lower end is sharpened, and is used as a rest on which the shield can stand, or as an additional weapon for stabbing. The top projection, covered with fur, is decorative.

With his introduction of a regimental organisation Shaka used shields in such a way that they became part of a soldier’s uniform. Junior regiments had all black shields or shields in which black predominated; married men and mixed regiments bore predominantly red shields; seniority and battle experience was indicated by an increasing whiteness, all white shields reflecting the greatest honour.

iTongo Interpretation of The Chariot

The victory of self-discipline /Free flow of thought /Imagination is the vehicle of destiny /Conviction /Hard control /Great motivator /Maintaining impetus /Meditation as a tool /Egocentric /The application of wisdom

The call is to be inspired and fearless, to honour the warrior within, we all have one.  Inspiration comes when we are in control of our thoughts and emotions, but it needs space to manifest.  Imagination is the vehicle of destiny.  Walt Disney said, “if you can dream it, you can do it”.  Have the courage of your convictions.

What inspires you? Is it a person, an action or a community?  Once we are inspired how do we maintain the impetus?  Following through is the key. The problem is maintaining focus and the drive to accomplish the goal or win the internal battle. Looking at your life from a different angle often sheds light on what needs to be done.  Its about focus and intent.  Its about knowing what you want, how to get it and what to do with it once you have it.  Victory is available, just begin the journey within.

How does one journey within?  Prayer, meditation, contemplation. A simple way to quiet the mind to allow the unconscious to become conscious is through breath. Breath is life, the basic and most fundamental expression of our life.  In yoga the breath or in Sanskrit “prana” is said to be the vehicle of the mind.  Because it is the prana that makes our mind move. It is through breath that all those messages are carried through the blood stream to the relevant muscle, which in turn reacts.

Our body parts are neutral, they have no emotion or thought – it is up to us to make sure that the right message is getting to the right centre, so we can enjoy the right response.

So when we calm the mind by working with the breath we are simultaneously and automatically taming and training the mind.  We take a deep breath when life becomes stressful – let out a deep breath when the moment of anxiety has passed – breath regulates our temperature and mood.  It is through breath that we can bring about physiological change within our bodies.  We express ourselves through breath.  Laugher, groaning, panting etc.

Find the tool that best supports your inner landscape. Our inner world is reflected in our outer world.  Look around and see what is right and what is wrong.  Take ownership of your thoughts and actions and make the changes that will bring about your best life.  Breathe.

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