15 The Devil – Thikoloshe

CONCEPT The shadow; What bedevils us; Pain and pleasure; Trickster; Oppression; Vanity

Thikoloshe invites you to set your boundaries and limitations.

Combine practicality with productivity /Dynamic and assertive /Accepting what is /Experiencing boundaries and limits /Domination and manipulation /Materialistic /Ego /The inability to move on /Hedonist; Lust /Energies of purification, disillusion and re-balance

This card pretty much covers the seven deadly sins, being wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy and gluttony. It’s also about setting boundaries and limitations, learning and understanding the principle of cause and effect. For every action there is a reaction.

The Thikoloshe myth is very well known in South Africa, and each tribe has its own variation of what a Thikoloshe looks like. The Thikoloshe is a manifestation of mischievousness and evil, and he has immense power.

His physical appearance owes its attributes to various African creatures: large all-seeing eyes and survival cunning from the nagaap (Bushbaby); the ability to see in the dark and wisdom from the owl; the mane of a great lion that empowers him with strength and courage; and a tail like a serpent.

In Zulu mythology, Thikoloshe is also called “Hili”, and believed to be a dwarf-like water sprite. He only has one arm and one leg, and is a mischievous and evil spirit. He can become invisible by swallowing a pebble, and he then leaves his watery home to make unlawful love to women, or to fight men. If he loses the fight, he will teach his opponent magic and healing.

Malevolent people wanting to cause trouble for others sometimes call upon the Thikoloshe, and a Sangoma’s skill must be called upon to banish him.  Most of the time only children can see the Thikoloshe; he shows kindness towards them and they often become firm friends.

Today many South African people still raise their beds off the ground, by placing them on bricks or tin drums, so that the Thikoloshe (Tokoloshe) cannot reach them.  No one answers a knock at the door at night, in case it is the Thikoloshe. They truly fear this creature and most will have an interesting story to tell about their encounters with the Thikoloshe.  So great are the myths surrounding him, that many are afraid to even mention his name.

Consider superstitions … we all have little rituals that we perform for good luck, safety or sometimes simply hedging our bets.  We trust that there is something out there that protects us from harm but equally, we believe that there is evil and mischief lurking.

Mythology, archetypes and old wives tales have survived into modern thinking.  These anecdotes and stories were a way to impart knowledge to the uneducated masses.  to set boundaries and limitations on human behaviour to show that there are consequences to actions.

Superstitions come from the collective consciousness. The inherited experience of the entire human race. It’s a belief that certain actions bring certain results, however this is subjective and what may be perceived as bad luck to one person, may manifest as good luck to another.  The same applies to rites and rituals.

BoticelliWe are born with Inherent knowledge – soul knowledge, Collective body of divine wisdom.  As we mature we Acquire knowledge from Ancient History and mythology or “old wives tales”. Patterns of influence come from – social, economic, religion, culture, ethnicity, geography and life lessons – all this is Genetically encoded onto our psyche and makes us who we are and functioning within a certain belief system.

Our thoughts create our reality – its what we believe that makes the difference.  Get to know your shadow self.  Take a walk on the dark side, explore your hidden persona.  What motivates you to indulge, express and participate in actions that do not serve you or the people around you.

Take sloth for instance, don’t just lie around waiting for the world to change, get up, get active and make the changes you want.  Lust is probably one of the most damaging impulses man can have … the results are devastating, rape, abuse, incest.  Its about control and learning to manage your dark side.

Putting your bed on bricks, not walking under a ladder or knocking on wood is not going to keep the Thikoloshe away … changing how you think and feel is what brings ‘fortunate’ results.  You are the power, you have the power … use it wisely.


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