Umlilo – The Fire Within

Ace of Wands from iTongo Tarot for TransformationACE of ISIBANE (Wands) People of the South (Xhosa)


Umlilo – The fire within (Inner light) | Live life with passion |

Through transformation comes healing | Creative passion | Courage | Personal power and fulfilment | Confidence | Endurance

The element of fire in tarot is related to transformation, conversion or change.  If we think about it fire changes or transforms whatever it touches – for the better or for the worse.  Fire can be healing, motivating and destructive, its how we manage this element within that makes the difference.

This week we examine the fire within, our inner light and learn to live life with passion.  Fire is a primordial energy, it brings strength and force to what we choose to be and do.  Its about the spirit of self awakening and realisation – basically the ‘force of life’.

This is a good time to discover a better way of doing things.  When we are inspired we have boundless creativity that we apply to a situation or desire.  Harnessing that energy and being focused is what brings about the result we want.  We have the energy to see it through.  Often we begin something, all inspired and ‘fired up’ and the moment we hit the first obstacle we back off or lose interest.  This week the challenge is to keep going, no matter what the obstacles, push through the hard parts, integrate your ability with your thoughts and intuition and you will see the results.  Challenges are just that, they help us grow and develop.  When we give up or turn away, we remain stagnant and will continue to be stuck in the rut without ever truly finding our purpose and place or expanding our potential.

We need to live with an open mind to greater possibilities, we are able to dream, so why not realise those dreams and express ourselves.  Stimulate the imagination and allow the natural talents to come forward.  Find solutions and tackle anything life may throw at you.

When we discover a depth to ourselves, we feel enthusiastic, have the confidence to achieve and feel sure of our success.  Maintain this focus, feel the fire within and use it to go beyond your limits.

Having self esteem is not about ego, its about knowing your capabilities, being comfortable in your self and standing your ground.  Be true to self and face your fears.  Feel yourself deserving, don’t deny success.  The more you put into life, the more reward you will receive.  Being passive and waiting for life to change can only lead to disappointment.  Be present and active in your life.

This week is a good time to make changes – its time to move on and forward, know that something new is about to begin, be ready and be bold, don’t be afraid to ask for what you want.  You will be pleasantly surprised where help comes from, usually from the most unexpected sources – be open to receiving.

In its simplest form the Ace of iSibane brings a feeling of health, energy and vitality.  We may feel that we are able to do anything … and that’s exactly how we should live.  Start that diet, go to the gym or begin a regime of exercise, dance, run, walk.  The key is to just do it. Without fear, without doubt and stick with it.

Remember that your body, mind and spirit are all interlinked, one affects the other.  How you manage and exercise each element has either a positive or negative effect. Actions speak louder than words, its what you choose to do that will bring transformation and healing.

Live life with passion, have the endurance to see it through and the courage to make the change.

iTongo Tarot People of the South – isiXhosa

South Africa’s second-largest language, isiXhosa is also known as the Southern or Cape Nguni, and is closely related to isiZulu, the most common home language in the country. It is spoken mainly in the former Transkei, Ciskei and Eastern Cape regions.

IsiXhosa is one of the country’s four Nguni languages. It too is a tonal language, governed by the noun, which dominates the sentence.

Geography of the Ace of isiBane – Valley of Desolation and Spandau Kop

The Valley of Desolation in the Eastern Cape is a geological phenomenon: a sheer cliff face, declared a national monument that lies within the Camdeboo National Park, a unique Karoo landscape and ecosystem that surrounds the town of Graaff-Reinet. Camdeboo National Park was proclaimed in 2005.

Early history of the park includes use of the area by early, middle, and later stone-age people, and evidence of their occupation can be found in the form of stone-age industry sites on the south eastern plains of the park. Artefacts found in these sites include bored stones, percussion-made hand axes, scrapers, blades, and grinding stones.


Hope Springs Eternal

iSilamela17 The Star – ISILIMELA

CONCEPT Hope; Self-sufficiency; Generosity; Inspiration; Innovation

iSilimela invites you to believe that anything is possible. Hope is eternal.

Trust /Increased self-confidence and esteem /Renew self /Calm is restored /Radiant /Magnetic charisma /Efforts produce rewards /Let your voice be heard /Generous /Open heart /Share wealth

Since time began, man has looked to the stars for meaning and comfort. On a mundane level we consult our horoscopes in the hope that we are going to be OK, blessed and fortunate.

The main focus this week is on regaining hope, being inspired, generous and at peace with what is.  We are working on the subconscious level and need to let our energy flow freely, know that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

This is the week for renewed hope, in ourselves as well as trusting in the universe, expect a breakthrough and new opportunities, at the very least we may resolve issues with greater clarity and understandings.  We will see the rewards for our efforts, discover solutions and gain insight through meditation.  Be secure in the knowledge that we are approaching our goals all it takes is a little hope and trust.

The Star follows the Tower which is about destruction and regeneration, it is the energy of the star that allows us to rebuild and heal which brings about our transformation.  The star is made up of 1 (the magician) and 7 (the chariot) this tells us that we have the power within to move forward with focused direction. Added together we have 8 which is the number of Justice which indicates balance and fairness.

Forgive and forget and embrace your insights and understanding. Sometimes we just need to release, whether that is through action and activity or on a more personal level, have a good cry, allow those emotions to surface and release.  When we cry we are washing away the pain and suffering, we are taking in big gulps of air, that moves through our blood and revitalises our bodies.

Make significant changes and adjust to the next stage on your journey with a fresh perspective on life.  Honour the authentic you and fulfil your purpose.  This is your call for destiny, open your heart, count your blessings and share what you have received.  Have faith in the future, think positive thoughts, experience peace of mind and don’t hold back.  We deserve all that we wish for, all it takes is the believing we have the power within to be and do whatever we hope for.  Have faith, keep calm and carry on!

iTongo Tarot legend

iSilimela – The Digging Stars Throughout time, man has observed, recorded, and interpreted the skies. He has made use of astronomy to structure his life and determine his calendar. The geographical location of different cultures has helped shape their perception of how the universe works. For rural South Africans, whose livelihood depends on properly timed planting, harvesting and hunting, the stars have been a valuable source of information.

The stars in the iSilimela cluster (the Pleiades star cluster) are called the digging stars, and this cluster’s appearance is the marker of a renewed year and the beginning of the growing season.

The iSilimela are friendly and comforting stars, who watch over the family. When the cluster appears in the east, mothers lift their children up and teach them to stretch their hands out to the stars. In this way, the mothers show the stars to their children, and their children to the stars.

In Xhosa tradition, it is customary for males to count their years of adulthood since their initiation by iSilimela.

The Art of Living in Harmony

14 Temperance - Kwena14 Temperance – KWÊNA

CONCEPT Synthesis; Integration; Mediation; Creation of harmony; Co-operation

Kwêna invites you to transform through spiritual wisdom.

The balance of masculine and feminine /Polarity of relationships /Philosophical expansive growth /Oppositions and paradoxes / Visionary and natural alchemist /Transformation through spiritual wisdom /Versatile /Bridging worlds /Integration through the creative process /Integration of emotional forces with the physical

Temperance is all about finding balance and transformation through spiritual wisdom.  This week we need to take stock of all our situations and relationships and understand the deeper issues that are in play.  We need to find the point of balance and cooperation to deal with oppositions and paradoxes. The key is balance and moderation.

Its time to change the script of our lives, rewrite our future by integrating emotional forces with our material or physical world. How we feel dictates what we do, so it is important to have emotional balance and harmony. Ask what you are letting in to your life and what do you need to let go of. What needs to be healed or balanced? Bridge the gap between mind (thoughts), body (actions) and soul (spiritual wisdom).  We are all alchemists, we constantly mix and blend our inner world with our external world, what we need to do is make sure that we are balanced, that these forces that drive us are in harmony with our life path.

If there are past actions that need to be forgiven, this is the week to do so.  It is not helpful to anyone when we harbour guilt, shame or anxiety about what we have done, we need to be mindful of what we need to do now.  Forgive yourself, then others and let go the emotions and thoughts that are holding you back.  Ask the universe for guidance and listen to your inner voice, have the courage to follow it through.

Mediation is about seeing both sides of an argument, this week step up and help others recover their balance.  Show the value of sharing without causing pain and suffering, without having to ‘give up’ what you believe in. Sometimes its better to say nothing than something that is going to hurt or destroy.  Choose your words wisely; words can never be taken back.  Physical wounds heal, but what we say can wound for a lifetime. Remember peace is within, take control.

Temperance serves between Death and the Devil.  She brings transformation and peace and is a point of preparation, a place to rest before taking on the struggles of our material world. We need to set boundaries and limitation to maintain balance and harmony.  Move forward with confidence, don’t cling to the past out of fear, relax and let the flow of life bring an acceptance of what you believe in.  Feel the stamina of your will, even life is not going your way, know that your are fighting the good fight, Temperance brings peace and rest from a crisis.

Let there be Peace.

iTongo Legends

The Crocodile is respected in most traditions for its strength and the ability to live both on land and in water. Crocodiles swallow rocks to aid the digestion of their food, and legend tells that one of the VhaVenda chiefs swallowed small rocks, believing that this gave him the strength of the crocodile.

The re-burial of the Chiefs connects to the custom of swallowing these small rocks. The body of a deceased chief is laid out on a wooden elevation, and left until it has completely decomposed. Once the white rock originally swallowed by the dead chief falls out of the body, that rock is then swallowed by the new chief.

It is believed that swallowing this rock will give him strength and ensure the immortality of tribal lineage. Women guard the body and the small rock to ensure that the rightful chief swallows the rock and not a pretender to the throne.

Totem Animals

The Crocodile is the totem animal of the Sotho-Tswana people and of the Royal Bafokeng nation in the North West region of South Africa.  The posture of the crocodile is important and the Bafokeng crocodile is always depicted with its mouth closed. A common expression used in greetings: a e wele mo metsing (“let there be peace”). The lesson is that at times we need to keep our mouths shut. The closed mouth also denotes movement towards water, which the Bafokeng people believe to be a sign of contentment.

Other tribes depict the crocodile with its mouth open. Another well known icon is the crocodile with the sun in an open mouth.

Feel the Burn

London 2012

London 2012 Olympic Cauldron

A couple of weeks ago we had the Page of Wands   and the message was to trust in self, have confidence and inspire hope. Like the Olympic flame which represents purity and the pursuit of perfection, the struggle for victory bearing in mind the energy of peace and friendship.

This week the Knight or Warrior of iSibane continues the theme. Warriors bring new experiences and Wands bring change.  This is about the excitement of risk and adventure.  Its time to take that leap of faith and transition into the unknown – be optimistic and ready to fight for what you believe in and what you want. A week filled with passion and renewed energy. The suit of wands represents fire and fire is about the speed of light, everything happens at warp speed.  Feeling ‘all fired up’? Those creative juices will be flowing, so its time to get creative, create that masterpiece, make a bold move in relationships or at work, embrace the solutions to moving forward. The caveat here is don’t allow your passion to consume you, that leads to obsession and obsession blinds you to options and opportunities.  Be clear, focused and energized in your endeavours. Or as the saying goes “onward and upward”.

A perfect example of the Warrior in action is The Curiosity rover landing on Mars early Monday  and us being able to view never before seen images.  Mars is the planet of war and its element is fire.

The warrior or knight cards are often seen as the messengers – look out for information coming your way, that are positive and work related.  Perhaps an acknowledgement of your past efforts, a note of thanks or an opportunity for you to step out of your comfort zone and try something new.  This is a week that invites you to achieve success.  Feel satisfied and even a touch of pride in a job well done.

Knights also indicate travel.  We have a long weekend coming up, if you have been thinking about taking a trip, this is the week to plan and execute. You never know who you’ll meet … perhaps the love of your life.

This week is more about what we do, rather than what we have, so its important to make sure that your finances are being taken care of and you are not overspending.

On a spiritual level, the Warrior of iSibane asks you to try something new.  Experiment with alternative methods in ‘how’ you connect to your Divine. Explore a new way of devotion with respect and intent.  Feel the connection and enlighten your soul.

For fire to burn brightly it needs air – the Warrior of iSibane is Air of Fire so be alert to the sheer animal energy in discovering your true strength and have the confidence to hold steady.  Take a deep breath and surge forward with passion.  

Warrior of iSibane (Wands)WARRIOR of ISIBANE – People of the South

Key word – PASSION

Optimistic | Loyal and ready to fight | Transition into the unknown | | Stimulated by new experience | Novelty and change | Excitement and risk | Delight | Perceptive | Adventure | Being aroused

iTongo Tarot Legend 

Maqoma (1798-1873) The eldest son of Ngqika of the Right Hand house (c. 1775-1829) and his wife, Notonta of the amaNgqosini. Maqoma was the greatest Xhosa warrior, guerrilla general and one of the notable leaders in the 19th century Frontier Wars. His name and feats live on through oral tradition; and colonial and missionary documents reveal a man of considerable intellect and eloquence. Maqoma is remembered for his extraordinary tenacity, flexibility, and political and martial skills. He eventually fell victim to an advancing colonial juggernaut.

Inevitably, Maqoma became embroiled in colonial politics. Having been convicted as “a party to a murder”, he was exiled to Robben Island in 1857, where he remained for twenty-one years. He was paroled in 1869. After being convicted for ’incitement to violence’, he was sent back to Robben Island in November 1871, where he died two years later. His remains were disinterred in 1978 and reburied on Ntaba ka Ndoda Mountain in the Eastern Cape.