National Heritage Day – South Africa

Iminyanya20 The Earth – IMINYANYA (The Ancestors)

CONCEPT Good judgement; Rebirth; Introspection; Transformation; Evaluation; Metamorphosis

Iminyanya invites you to follow your destiny.

Reaping reward from past actions /Analysis and evaluation /Absolution /Responsibility /New view of reality /Making wise judgements /Integration /Wholeness /Ancestral and family matters /Avoidable influences

What is awakening?  How are you renewed?  Are you observing situations objectively and fairly?

The Ancestors: Iminyanya/amadlozi/badimo/vadzimo/abezimu – all these terms refer to those who have died and joined the spiritual world. In most African cultures, death is viewed not as the destruction of life but the immortality of the spirit.

24 September is a very busy day in South Africa – National Heritage Day, National Braai Day and also the day that commemorates the life of the great Zulu king Shaka. King Shaka

All South Africans are encouraged to celebrate their heritage, and that’s quite a melting pot in our Rainbow Nation. Our diversity of race, religion and creed are different, and its those differences we should celebrate and learn from.  It’s those differences that make South Africa a country with so much potential – if we could all just stop moaning about what’s wrong and do something to make it right.

Reading some of the comments online about Heritage Day, it saddens me that so few people acknowledge and respect their heritage. Heritage is something that is passed down from generation to generation … and its not just about financial gain, it’s about the preservation of our land, scenic parks, animals, sites of significance or historical importance.  It’s about preserving what we have for future generations benefit, pleasure and knowledge. This generation is failing. Our Rhino is almost extinct, global warming and toxic air is increasing, education levels are getting lower and lower. There is so much focus on the individual that the ‘whole’ is suffering.

Genetically speaking we are born into a predefined race and creed.  This is affected not only by geography but also economic status.  Throughout our lives we are able at any given point to change, alter and adjust our circumstances.  Some choose to follow the patterns of the past, some choose to do nothing and wait for others, others choose to break free and set their own path.

Spring brings us an opportunity to awaken and be renewed.  To look at our lives and carefully consider what is my heritage?  To ask what can be changed or renewed.  To take action to bring about those changes we seek. To take responsibility for those choices and actions. We need a new view on reality.  It is what it is and not moving forward within ourselves limits our possibilities and opportunities.  We should rejoice in the fact that we are able to make a difference.  That we are able to take a stand for what we believe in.

The stages of our lives follow the same pattern of birth, childhood, maturing, adult and ultimately death. We need to look at each of those phases and ask “did I do the best I could”?  As we grow up under the care of others, we inherit their views, ideals and philosophies.  When we mature into creative and reproductive adults, we begin to form our own opinions and perhaps start our own traditions.

Have we chosen to live a good and righteous life?  Are we truly doing the best we can to preserve our inheritance from our ancestors and how are we creating a better world for the future.

Death is unavoidable but one should not fear the end, rather be in a position that at any given moment when Death comes calling, we are free of attachments, regrets and that we have lived our best life.  For when we are dead we become the ancestors to the living – what is your legacy?

What is your immortality of spirit?

iTongo legend

The snake is commonly found in African mythology and is regarded as immortal because it sheds its skin and continues to live. For the Zulu, the snake is a metamorphosed amalgam of the ancestors, who visit either in dreams or in reality. A snake that enters the house is unthreatening and is viewed as ‘family’ and as such is never harmed.

Ouroboros (tail-devourer), a snake depicted with its tail in its mouth forming a continuous circle, is considered a symbol of eternity. It is present in many African artworks – cloth patterns, wall paintings, and metal works.

According to legend, the snake carried the creator in his mouth while the earth was being created. The creator feared that the earth would sink into the sea beneath the weight of the mountains. The snake coiled itself around the earth, holding firm with its tail in its mouth; this hold must never be loosened, otherwise all of creation will disintegrate.

In order for African people to live in harmony with the creator and creation, all natural laws and observances were divinely revealed to the first African generation as a community at the beginning of time. The death of that generation meant the beginning of intercession between the living and the creator, or ancestor worship, as the first generation had now joined the spiritual world thereby marking the beginning of the ancestors.

Many African peoples regard the earth as a female deity, a mother-goddess who rules all people and is the mother of all creatures. The earth lives and gives birth to ever-new generations of beings and the ancestors live in the earth.

The earth’s elements: fire, air, and water are recognised as gifts from the great mother, yet the earth is seldom worshipped. Nevertheless, the earth has a very powerful spirit that rules over life and death.


To be, or not to be

uKufa13 Death – UKUFA

CONCEPT Transition; Transformation; Regeneration; Letting go; Metamorphosis; Rebirth

Ukufa invites you to heal through transformation.

The process of transformation and change /Letting go and moving forward /Inner powers of imagination /Becoming the authentic you

/Endings and new beginnings /The power of regeneration /Old cycles prevent and hinder growth /Constructive ability /Great resources /Secrets

This card almost never signifies physical death, it represents the metaphor for death and rebirth in life.

The iTongo Tarot’s visual is probably the most different to traditional tarot decks. I moved away from the skeleton as ‘death’ because in African folklore it is the chameleon and lizard that were tasked to bring the message of death to mankind.  In other tales about the moon (dying and regeneration) mother moon sent Mantis and the hare as her emissaries.

The death card is probably the most maligned and misunderstood of all the cards.  Most people take in a breath and fear what is coming next – generally 13 Death is not about physical death, rather it is a metaphor for death and rebirth in life.  The concept is about transition and transformation.  As we let go there is regeneration.  Without change there is no moving forward.  We need to use our inner powers of imagination and our ability to construct or restructure our lives. I like to see this card as one of the ‘worker’ cards that can bring positive change.

Within each of us is our greatest resource – we have the power through our thoughts, dreams and emotions to change everything, we have the power within to transform ourselves.  It all starts with YOU!  If we want to see a different world around us, WE have to make a change.  We need to clear out old patterns, habits and thoughts that prevent our growth.  We have to live openly and honestly.

Nothing in life is guaranteed except change and death.  Throughout our lives we will experience change – some easier than others.  As we grow and mature, we accept that we need to learn new things, to make adjustments to our lives and our outlooks.  We accept that our view as a nine year old is different to a teenager, then as adults.  So why when we believe we have reached maturity to we stop developing and growing.  We should never stop making those adjustments.  As we learn though experience we are changed, our view of the world is altered and we need to adjust and adapt our way of thinking and doing.  When we fail to follow through we build patterns that hinder our growth.  We get stuck in this rut, and keep cycling round without actually going anywhere or achieving anything.

The energy of 13 Death brings us an opportunity to make those changes.  It allows us to transition to the people we want to be. Like the Chameleon we need to adapt and adjust by transforming ourselves to suit the moment, the time and the emotion.  The more accepting we are of the need to change, the less dramatic or traumatic the changes will be.  The purpose of this change is not to destroy but to create space to allow regeneration or habit, soul and attitude.  As they say … when a door is closed and window is opened, the issue is do you have the courage of your convictions to follow through?

Partnerships and relationships that are not working need to be changed.  Either sever ties or consider the changes that need to be made together – take that leap of faith together, if this is not possible then let go, its for the greater good.  The same would apply to your working environment, if you are stagnant, don’t enjoy what you do or even feel undervalued, then this is the week to make the choice to move on.  Make your voice heard through honest and open discussion or simply make the change.  It serves no purpose to cling to the familiar out of fear of the unknown, just remember that the power to choose is always yours.  Know when enough is enough.

When we do our daily meditation/contemplation or prayer, we should explore what we need to let go of; how can we transform our life and explore where new growth is possible.  We need to make space for the new, if we don’t let go and clean out our mental and emotional closets we cant add new ideas, hopes and dreams.  Its too difficult to search through all the debris to find what really matters, what is true.  Examine all aspects of your psyche.  Even if some patterns are old and familiar, if they no longer help or add value they need to go.  It’s a bit like a physical closet, the rule is if you haven’t worn it or used it in 2 years, time to throw it out – the very same goes for mental attitudes, emotional stands and even physical being.  The time for change is now, the guarantee is that we will all die, rather we look back on our lives and know that we lived our best life, we met life head on and transformed ourselves as we matured, becoming the person we were destined to be.  Cultivate a positive attitude, its always darkest before the dawn, but the dawn always comes – face a new day inspired and with the strength to follow through.

How Death came to Mankind – from iTongo Tarot

According to Zulu legend, God (uNkulunkulu) arose from beneath (the seat of the spiritual world) and created in the beginning men, animals, and all things. He then sent for the chameleon, saying, “Go, Chameleon, and tell the nations of men that they shall not die.” The chameleon started his journey, but walked slowly, loitering on the way, eating a shrub called ubukwebezane.

After some time, when the chameleon had not returned uNkulunkulu called the lizard ordering him to make haste and tell men that they shall die. The lizard outran the chameleon with the message, and told men that they shall die. When the chameleon eventually arrived and delivered his proclamation that man shall not die, the men refused to listen as they had already heard the words of the lizard and accepted what he said.

And so it happened that through the slowness of the chameleon and the speed of the lizard death came to all men. From that day, the chameleon was cast with his peculiar halting gait, which makes it impossible for him to run.

The San share a story with the Khoikhois and several other African races about the sending of the message of death to man. The San say that the Moon sent an insect to Man with the following message: “As I die and dying live, so ye shall also die and dying live”. Off went the insect with his message but his legs were rather short and, unable to see very well, he lost his way many times.

Soon he was overtaken by an inquisitive hare, which found out the purpose of the insect’s errand and thought to himself, “I will carry this message myself and, as it is an important one, it will bring me fame and glory”.

He left the insect trailing along and bounded away. However, the hare, being naturally hare- brained, soon garbled the message as he ran. He arrived at his destination and his version of the message from the Moon proclaimed to all men on earth: “As I die and dying perish in the same manner you shall also die and come wholly to an end.”

The Moon, when she heard of this, took a stick and angrily hit the hare, striking a cleft in his nose and lip that remains to this day. In retaliation, he scratched the Moon inflicting bruises and blotches on her face.

The Khoikhois despise the hare, and will not eat its flesh. They say that it was the chameleon, however, and not the insect that first carried the message, and they mock its slow gait. The San also mistrust the chameleon and if they find a dead one in their path, they cover it with twigs to avert a misfortune.

The Power Within


Traditional healer and/or Shaman

Concept The Magic of Possibility; Communication; Timing; The Healer; Nature; Alchemy

The Sangoma invites you to use your inherent gifts and talents.

Personal power /Innovation and invention /Balance between intuition and intellect /Prophetic /Be versatile and flexible /Clarity and communication with wisdom /Respect your soul’s destiny /Willpower and determination /Realise your potential /Harness your own magic

The Magician/Sangoma card is about focusing and making full use of your own internal power. This card indicates that we must use our inherent gifts and talents for our own growth and for the good of others. This week you should feel inspired to meet the challenges in your life. To make a difference, all that knowledge that you have been gathering, the work and effort that has been put into projects pays off.  This is a time of expansion and an opportunity to realise your potential.

The key is to harness and direct your own magic, respect the journey you are on and find the balance between intuition and intellect. Be versatile and flexible.  Be innovative and find creative ways to make it happen, even be inventive and try new ways that better serve your needs.

Communication is enhanced. The Magician/Sangoma is ruled by the Planet Mercury which is all about communication, skill and logic. Be aware of the powers around you and be proactive rather than reactive.  When too much energy is building up (positive and negative) there come a tipping or breaking point. Make sure that energy is focused and directed to the outcome you desire. Communication is not always about what we say, its also about how we listen.  We need to listen more … to our bodies, to our inner voice and to truly hear what is being said by those around us.  Sometimes saying nothing says everything. If you are called on to counsel a friend, colleague or partner, you would serve them well by being present and truly listening.  The same goes for if you are needing counsel, seek out that person or group that is aligned with your beliefs and objectives. Help is available, all you have to do is ask.

There is a saying … when the student is ready, the teacher will appear.  The Magician/Sangoma indicates that there is a mentor available to help and guide.  Be on the lookout for that teacher.  Sometimes life is the teacher, but with this card it is a person or group that can take you to the next level of understanding.

The number 1 is associated with new beginnings, it is also associated with ‘self’.  On the positive side its about growth, development and the use of creative skills, on the down side it could be about ego, sense of self importance.  The Magician/Sangoma is served by the four elements, air, fire, water and earth – which can translate to our own aspects of body, mind, soul and speech, so it is up to us to make sure that we are balanced and that each aspect of self is in harmony with the others.

We all have the ability to connect to the greater consciousness, to connect with our divine and our spirit, when we make that connection with clarity and intent we are able to create new cycles that manifest our desires.  Apply your skills and make it happen.  Be clear about your wishes, know what the motivation and intent is, follow through with the commitment without distractions and it will happen.

iTongo Tarot Legend

Just … Breathe

Ace of Assegai (Swords)ACE of ASSEGAI (Swords) People of the East


Gift of intellect | Surpassing human experience | Not subject to physical limitations | Detach oneself from anxiety | New directions |Manifest philosophy | Using mental force | Facing decisions | Reason, justice, truth | Insight and wisdom

Air is often considered as the universal power of pure substance. This is why the ability to watch and manage HOW we breathe is so important. The more oxygen our brains get the clearer our thoughts, the more oxygen in our blood the better our organs and bodies function. To be able to reach a transcendent state the simplest way is to sit quietly and just watch our breath. Breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth, as we exhale visualise all your pain and suffering leaving your body and disappearing.

In ancient Greek medicine they had what they called the four humours, states of being, Air was associated with blood and was linked to the season of spring and the northern point of the compass, in modern tarot the direction is East. iTongo tarot the direction is East which is kwaZulu Natal and the people of the East are Zulu.

The Aces indicate a new beginning. The Ace of Air/Assegai asks us to not fear what could be ahead, but to rather take a leaf of faith. We usually know exactly what needs to be done to bring the changes we desire, the tricky part is how to do it, and the hard part is to follow through to the end result. The beginning of the tarot year is traditionally 21 March, but as most decks are designed in the Northern Hemisphere their spring is our autumn, iTongo Tarot’s spring is September, so we are beginning a whole new year, and have the opportunity to begin fresh and new.

As the world around us awakes and blossoms, so too should we awaken without physical limitations. We need to detach ourselves from anxiety and follow new directions. By using our mental force and gift of intellect we can face decisions with reason, justice and truth – this is true insight with wisdom. The Ace of Assegai is about invoked force, the Assegai cuts cleanly through all the issues and gets to the point, to the heart of the matter. Practice your faith and uphold your divine authority.

This month is Heritage Month throughout South Africa. Ask yourself how do you honour your heritage, what traditions do you uphold. We all have a base, where we come from and what we believe in, this is the week to consider who you are, what you honour and how you practice it. Give thought to what you want, what you would like to change, if necessary make lists of goals and achievements you want to set for the next year. Take the road less travelled – you never know what you will discover along the way.

Try new policies and procedures, change tactics if necessary but keep going. Allow the energy of Air to lift you up and carry you along. Take a deep breath each time and proceed. Speak your mind be descriptive of your dreams, share your insight and wisdom. Its time to cut through all the deceptions, to yourself and others. Go for what is real, tangible and attainable. Live and breathe the reality your create.

Geography of the Ace of Assegai

The uKhahlamba or Drakensberg National Park is located in KwaZulu-Natal, bordering the eastern coast of South Africa.

The Zulu people named the range ‘Ukhahlamba’ and the Dutch Voortrekkers1 called it The Drakensberg (The Dragon Mountain). The Drakensberg Mountains, with their awe-inspiring basalt cliffs, snow-capped in winter, tower over riverside bush, lush yellow wood forests, and cascading waterfalls.

This majestic mountain range runs for some one thousand kilometres (620 miles) from south- west to northeast. The mountains drain on the western slopes into the Orange and Vaal rivers, and on the east and south into the Tugela.

The Drakensberg forms a massive barrier separating KwaZulu-Natal from the Kingdom of Lesotho. The only road access through the Drakensberg is via Sani Pass, which boasts the highest pub in Africa at its top, 3 000 metres above sea level.