The Dark Side of the Moon

The Moon - Inyanga18 The Moon – INYANGA

inyanga/izinyanga n. (-nyanga) :    Month; moon; healer; traditional doctor

CONCEPT: The Mother; The unconscious; Emotional security; Compassion; Confusion; Spiritual healing

Inyanga invites you to discover the unconscious self.

This week we are looking at the ‘dark side’ of the moon or the shadow self. According to Jung, the shadow self is prone to being instinctive and irrational and projects our own sense of inferiority into perceived moral and emotional deficiencies in someone else.  The Moon asks us to be consciously aware of our dark side (we all have one) and not project fear or anxiety around us.  Rather use the light of the moon to guide us through.

The essence of the moon is our unconscious self, the base of our emotional security and the moon brings spiritual healing.  As with most things there is an up side and a down side.  The downside of the Moon is depression and emotional confusion.

Depression is not to be confused with sadness, feeling low or general discontent with circumstances.  Depression is classified as an illness.  If you know someone who’s depressed, don’t ask them ‘what’s wrong’, rather try to understand the darkness, fatigue and hopelessness they are going through.  Be there for them … sometimes it’s hard to be a friend to someone who is depressed, but the kindest thing you can do is to just be there.

The general definition of depression is a psychological disorder with a variety of symptoms both psychological and physical.  It affects different people is different ways. As a result, treatment protocols are equally varied.

The darkest of depression is suicide.  This past week I have heard of two former colleagues who committed suicide, within days of each other.  It’s been interesting following the posts on Facebook.  The saddest thing for me is that where were all these people when they were staring into the abyss, where were all these people when they needed someone to talk to and understand their pain.

Do something while you can, be there! there are therapists, counselors, clergy and professionals who understand how to assist with depression, especially those with suicide tendencies.  Suicide is listed at the 13th highest cause of death by the WHO.  What has happened to us as people that taking life (our own) is an acceptable way of dealing with problems.

The Moon card brings illusion and deception, things are not always as it seems and we need to view our world with the reflected light of the Sun, discover what is hidden and unclear.  Be careful not to idealise a person or situation, ignoring the facts and guard against errors in judgement.

So … how does the power of the Moon help us.  The moon sheds light even on the darkest night.  The Moon also is about our intuitive selves and some people are in sync with the moon phases, waxing and waning emotionally in time.  Of course there are those that just go a little over the edge at full moon, when they feel the pull of the tides at their strongest.  It’s a highly emotional time, so we need to be vigilant to our responses, probably not the best time to be making life changing decisions. Some people are invigorated by the waxing of the moon and are at their peak during full moon, those who have substance abuse issues need to be aware that this is not the time to over-do things.

The title of this card is inyanga – and simply it means moon, month or healer.  This is an opportunity for each of us to heal.  To face our own mortality and know that one day we shall die, but that day doesn’t have to be today by our own hand. Be guided by your own inner light, your dreams and intuition will show you the way and lead you to a clear understanding.  This card asks us to look deep within.

 iTongo Legend

The Sotho, Tswana and Venda believe (say) that ‘If the new crescent’s horns point up, it holds disease away from the world; when the horns tip down, the illnesses spill out and cover the world.’ The Zulu have always been intent moon-gazers, and the dark day (Ng’olumhlope namhla) after the waning moon disappears is a quiet day of rest, when no work, business, or celebrations should take place.

The gender of the moon changes with the different cultures – for some, the moon is seen as a woman, for others, a man. Whatever the case, the moon is a constant in the vast African sky and will always be the source of timeless legends and stories.

The moon, say the San, is really an old shoe belonging to Mantis (the Praying Mantis insect), who threw it up in the air to guide himself. As it rises, it is red with the dust of Bushmanland, and cold like old leather. The sun is jealous of the full moon and sees it as a rival to its own brightness. So with its sharp rays the sun cuts bits off the moon until there is just a little backbone left for the children. Then the sun disappears, and soon the moon starts growing back to its normal size, little by little, until the process starts all over again.

They also believe that it was the moon who sent the message of death to man. Her emissaries were Mantis and Hare. When she realised that a garbled, and therefore incorrect, message had been delivered, the moon struck Hare (splitting his lip), and in retaliation he hit her in the face with his burning Karros, thus causing her blemishes.

Some say that when the moon is hollow and young (i.e. the crescent moon), she is weighed down with the spirits of the dead which she carries; clouds that pass are really the hair of the dead, and the wind blows to sweep the footprints of the dead from the sand.

For the Tswana, her markings are those of a woman carrying a child, who was caught gathering wood when she should have been at a sacred festival. For the Khoikhoi, the Moon is the ‘Lord of Light and Life’.

Among the Xhosa, it was believed that the world ended at the sea’s horizon, which concealed a vast pit filled with ‘new moons ready for use’, and so to them each new lunar month began with a brand-new moon.


Walk the Talk

Six of iSibane TriumphSIX of ISIBANE (Wands/Fire)

People of the South

Key word – TRIUMPH

Success through effort | Victory | Sense of self worth | Self confidence | Personal creative power | Deserved acclaim and honour |Acknowledgement from others | Pride goes before a fall | Realisation of hopes and desires

The six of Wands is all about the joy of self confidence and the realisation of hopes, dreams and desires.  The energy of victory and achievement.  This week the consciousness is feeling and behaving like a winner.  Winners are noticed and it is the effort and achievement that is respected.  When we receive accolades from others we feel that our endeavours have been recognized, sometimes there are rewards that go with that acknowledgement – but the greatest reward is our sense of achievement knowing we have put our ideas, hopes and dreams to the best use and thereby the best results.  So we should hold our heads high, accept the pats on the back and strut our stuff.

In our daily lives we constantly have to face difficult choices and make the right decisions – having a good sense of self eliminates ‘hidden agendas’.  We are confident to proceed in the best interests of everyone.  We make choices for the best possible outcome.  If we are insecure we tend to make choices that are only good for us, and usually this has a poor or negative result.

When faced with options and opportunities we need to dig down and harness that natural creative energy and seek higher mental guidance.  Last week I spoke about the voice of intuition, this week you will see the results.  It’s also about accepting the compliments and acclaim.  We work hard to achieve, so why when we do, are we inclined to negate the victory.  Pride is one of the seven deadly sins … there is a difference between being content in being acknowledged and being arrogant and self centered about your achievements.  Self worth and confidence are admirable qualities to have, self-importance is ego based and excludes others and the greater good, it is solely about the individual and is often an opinion not shared by others.

Be proud of what you have achieved, accept that there is reward for effort, there is dignity in success.  Step out into the light, have your day and be vindicated and feel worthy.  Walk the talk with your head held high.

iTongo Legend

King Phalo (1702-1775)

Phalo, ruled from c.1723 to 1775. He was the last king of an independent and united Xhosa nation. When Phalo came to the throne, white people were virtually unknown and Phalo probably only ever saw one white man in his entire life, the elephant hunter, Hubner, who visited him in 1736. Three years after his death, the First Frontier War broke out and the Hundred Years War between the Xhosa and colonists began.

One of the most widely spread and best-known traditions in the Xhosa culture is attributed to Phalo. Due to a mix-up of betrothal plans by his advisors, Phalo was embarrassed by the simultaneous arrival at his great palace of two bridal parties – one from the Mpondo king and one from the Thembu king. By choosing one king’s daughter as his great wife, (head wife) he would offend the father of the other. A wise old man named Majeke solved the problem for him by saying “What is greater than the head of the chief – and what is stronger than his right hand? Let the one girl be your head and the other your right hand.” Thus the tradition of two houses, the great (head) house and the right-hand house, was created.  And so the Xhosa came to be divided between Gcaleka on the eastern side of the Kei River (Transkei) and the Rharhabe on the western side (Ciskei).

Numerology – The number 6

While the 6 is considered the most harmonious of all single-digit numbers, it is not without its flaws and upsets. The most important influence of the 6 is its loving and caring nature. Properly nicknamed the motherhood number, it is all about sacrificing, caring, healing, protecting and teaching others. No family or community can function without the power of the 6 to keep them together and safe. She is the glue that keeps a family or community together.

There are, however, times when the 6 becomes too involved in the lives of those dear to her, to the point that she becomes intrusive and meddling. Other times, she takes her sacrificing nature too far and becomes a doormat to be abused and trampled on. Nonetheless, she is genuinely appreciated and adored in return. For this reason, the 6 is considered the only number harmonious with all other numbers. Creating an environment of peace and harmony is always her strongest impulse. In addition, she loves to teach and guide others, especially the young, old and less fortunate.

The 6 is full of sympathy, and her sense of justice is well developed — when she perceives injustice, she will sacrifice all her time and effort to set things straight. She almost always favors the underdog, and would never purposely hurt anyone, especially those she considers less fortunate. She has a strong sense of responsibility and can be counted on to do her fair share of the work. She can be demanding, but she is also able and willing to stay in the background when needed, working and caring without any expectation of reward.

Listen to Intuition

The High Priestess - Moyo2 The High Priestess


CONCEPT Intuition; Self-resourcefulness; Dissolving barriers; The Oracle; Releasing boundaries

Moyô invites you to heal through nature.

The universal mother /Seeking esoteric knowledge /Secrets revealed through dreams /Abundant potential /Finding balance through intuition & insight /Increase self-esteem /Common sense /Value your independence /Excellent negotiator /Democracy

Discovering and learning to work with our intuition is often avoided as we fear the ‘energies’ we may be attracting.  Within each of us we have that still point, that place where we have absolute truth.  We all have experienced intuition and inspiration, through working with our inner knowing we are able to access the power within.

The simplest is working with our dreams.  We all dream, it’s a question of remembering and interpreting those dreams.  I believe that our dream world is the ‘interpreter’ between our unconscious and conscious minds.  That is why we dream in symbols.  Some dreams are about us downloading the day and have no significance other than to make space for new thoughts and ideas.  Some dreams allow us the opportunity to work through our issues and situations without actually having to go through them. And some dreams are communications from our inner selves – these are the dreams we need to take note of for our growth and understanding.

The High Priestess is a spiritual card, so this week we are asked to find our balance through the connections of intuition and insight. This week its OK to rely on your ‘gut feelings’ – trust that what you believe you know, is correct.  More often than not we second guess that little voice inside, we make choices and decisions based on our intellect, and remember the brain always has an agenda, whereas our inner voice’s sole purpose is to protect us and keep us safe and on our paths of truth.

The High Priestess brings with her pleasant surprises and synchronicity.  All of a sudden, what we have been chasing/pursuing all comes together. Perhaps even new opportunities, life may just feel simpler, easier when the Priestess is in play.  There is also a sensual side to the Priestess, so those looking for love will find it in all the right places.

The lesson of this card is to begin consulting with your unconscious and learn to interpret through the subconscious so that you can live consciously each day.  Make the right choices and have the right responses.

Start a dream diary.  It doesn’t matter if you cant remember your dreams, start with just asking yourself “what am I feeling”? perhaps there is a residue of emotion, a sound or random visuals.  Over time you will begin to recognise your symbols and archetypes, you will develop a map with billboards that explain what you are thinking and feeling.

Another way is to sit quietly each day and meditate – remember meditation is a process not a destination, no need to push for some kind of ‘experience’, just allow the thoughts to arise, don’t get involved in the thoughts, take note and let them go.  Anything that has arisen make a note in your diary and look out for those thoughts in your dreams.

What I enjoy on The Taxi is the segment ‘Song in your Head’ this could also be an indication of messages from your unconscious.  Keep a note of the song, the lyric or even the tune.  Nothing is by accident, we are constantly being guided to acknowledge and act on our intuition.

The High Priestess is about serenity, knowledge and understanding.  She is the guardian to our inner world and lifts the veil of awareness to show us our true selves.  She guides us to enlightenment and divine knowledge.  This week listen to and trust your inner voice.

iTongo Legend

The majestic Baobab tree is revered in African culture and is the undisputed monarch of the savannah trees of Africa. In ancient times, kings, elders, and leaders from the Limpopo region would meet under giant Baobabs to discuss matters of great importance. Not only did these trees provide shelter and sustenance, but tribal leaders also believed that the spirit of the Baobab (oracle*) would always guide them to make wise decisions.

Many myths and folklore are associated with the Baobab. The San believed that the Baobab had offended God and, in revenge, God planted the tree upside down. The San believed that any person who plucked the flowers would be torn apart by lions, as punishment for disturbing the spirits in the flowers. It is also believed that after soaking the pips in water, the drinker will be mighty and protected from crocodiles.

Almost every part of the tree is useful to man. A single Baobab may hold as much as four- and-a-half thousand litres of water. Their white flowers are large and sweet smelling, often likened to the stars of the evening sky as they only bloom at night. The pollen of the flowers yields an excellent glue, and the seeds are pleasant to suck (rich in protein, calcium, oil and phosphates), or they can be ground and roasted to make a coffee.

The fruit pod contains tartaric acid (which is used in sherbet) and is often called the ‘cream of tartar’ tree. Elephants, monkeys, and baboons depend on its fruit (the vitamin C content of one fruit is equivalent to four oranges). A white pulp, inside the seed pods, when mixed with water, is used to treat malaria. Young leaves have high calcium content and can be used as a kind of spinach. The spongy wood is used to make ropes or paper.

Order of the Baobab

The Order of the Baobab represents exceptional contribution, and is awarded to South African citizens for distinguished service that goes beyond the call of duty in the following categories: struggle for democracy; building democracy and human rights; nation-building; peace and security; journalism, literature, arts, culture, sports and music; business and the economy; science, medicine and technological innovation; and community service. The Order of the Baobab is awarded in three classes: gold, silver, and bronze.

The Intellectual Mother

Queen of SwordsQUEEN of ASSEGAI/Swords/Air

People of the East – Key word – INTUITION

Intellectual maturity | Knowledge by perception | Expressing a Philosophy| Witty; Laughter | Insight | Prophetic | Honest direct communication | Getting to the heart of the matter | Realistic expectations

This week we pay homage to the women of South Africa.  Its national Breast Cancer Awareness month and 10 October marks the death of King Shaka’s mother Nandi whom he called the Queen of Queens.

Our focus this week is to bring our emotional self in line with our intellect.  To learn to trust our intuition and get down to the heart of the matter with realistic expectations.

We need to Tell it like it is.  You will find the Queen guides you in being highly perceptive and quick thinking, helping you to cut through all the internal noise and confusion.  She is a straight talker with no hidden agendas.  Become impartial and present your thoughts and ideas openly, concisely and with honesty.

The astrological correspondence to the Queen of Air is Libra, which simply means ‘to teach’ and the lesson is learning through consequences of our thoughts, words and actions.  The symbolism of the scales is about balance.  The planet in play is Mercury which is all about the mind and communication. In Greek mythology Mercury is Hermes, who was the messenger of the gods, with one half of self in the physical world and the other in the realm of the gods.  So in the fertile landscape of the mind, its mercury that gathers and interprets your experience and life potential .

caduceusMercury is also known as a great healer, the caduceus or Mercury’s staff is the recognized logo of medicine and health institutions. The entwining snakes represent the life force (also the symbol for iTongo) the rod, represents change through fire (Kundalini energy), the wings divine grace.

This week we need to consider what fascinates and puzzles us, about ourselves as well as others.  How we think determines where we land up. This is also a warning, because the speed of Mercury is well known and you don’t want to catapult off in a direction that is only partly formed.  Be careful what you are wishing for.  The messenger of the gods can be charming and shrewd.  For you at the Taxi Mercury is the planet you want to take special note of, as he rules communication which includes media, when he is crossed his shadow self of trickster comes out.  Mis-communication even deceptions can come into play.

This is also a great week for travelers – whether going on holiday or travelling for business the journey should be hassle free.  Its also a week where one should make the internal journey, find your still point, sit in contemplation – discover and nurture self.

The Queen of Swords is also about wealth – not necessarily about money, but about bringing wealth and ‘richness’ into your consciousness – sometimes its called abundance.  Brainstorm ideas with colleagues, take the sword and cut deep into the heart of the matter, face the truth, even if it is unpleasant, pure honesty is the way.  Abide by the rules of engagement, size up the situation quickly, look for hidden agendas and motives and don’t ‘try one on’ this week, it will come back and bite you…

However this is also a time to bring out that natural wit and humour.  You will find yourself quick on the uptake and delight others with your point of view, don’t harm with your words just be as candid as possible. No need to be self righteous or abrasive in your judgements.

The power and energy of the Queen is not to be taken lightly, rather let her serve you well, you already know what you want and need just trust your instincts and go after it. Pick your battles wisely and reduce your stress levels by staying in truth and the moment.  Judge impartially without emotional or sentimental influences.

Give a thought to those who are fighting Breast Cancer, participate in local fund raisers, offer your assistance to anyone you know with cancer, its time to stand up and be counted.  This is the week to ‘walk the talk’.

 iTongo Legend

Nandi (the sweet one) kaBhebhe eLangeni (c.1760 – 1827) Daughter of Bhebhe, a chief of the Langeni tribe, and the mother of Shaka, King of the Zulu.

As a traditional marriage ceremony had not been conducted, Nandi was not recognised as queen nor was her son, Shaka, acknowledged as an heir. Even in her own home she was ridiculed and shunned. The relationship of Senzangakhona and Nandi seems to have been difficult and ended in the chieftain driving Nandi from his court. Fearing for their lives, she left the esiKlebeni homestead of Shaka’s father and sought sanctuary in the Mhlathuze Valley of the Langeni people. Nandi spent many years being shunted back and forth between the Zulu and her own tribe. After the death of her father, she and her son once again had to leave their home seeking refuge.

At the time of the Great Famine, known as the Madlantule (c.1802) Shaka and Nandi went to the Mthethwa people to the home of Nandi’s aunt under the aegis of Dingiswayo, who welcomed them.

Growing up Shaka was taunted by those who resented his claims to chiefly descent. On the death of Senzangakhona (Shaka’s father), Dingiswayo lent his young protégé the military support necessary to oust and assassinate his senior half-brother, Sigujana, and make himself chieftain of the Zulu.

Once he was in a position of power, Shaka exacted revenge on all who had belittled or betrayed them. As his kingdom grew, he built KwaBulawayo, a royal household of about 1,400 huts in the Mhlathuze valley (some 27km from the present town of Eshowe) and here Shaka declared Nandi, “Queen of Queens”.

Nandi died of dysentery on 10 October 1827. Shaka put on his war regalia and proceeded to wail in anguish. The entire tribe erupted into attendant mourning. Tradition held that upon the death of someone of Nandi’s stature, several servants and attendants should be wounded or killed. On Shaka’s orders, several people were executed on the spot, and a general massacre broke out. In this case, the event became a cover for many people to settle old scores, and it is reported, up to seven thousand people died in the massacre.  Nandi’s grave is outside Eshowe, and is marked Nindi.

Innocence lost … Regained

Six of Moritsoana - InnocenceSIX of MORITSOANA (Cups)

People of the West  – Key word – INNOCENCE

Joy | Virtue | Simple goodness | Without sin | Moral excellence | Child-like enjoyment | Playful | Carefree | Goodwill | Feeling blessed | Secure and loved | To be treasured

This card is all about our emotional well being.  Sometimes life changes us, and we never seem to regain that innocence or simple goodness from childhood.  We have a tendency to think that the best years of our lives has come and gone – not so … each day we are given the opportunity to make it the best day of our life, how many of us actually take that opportunity and run with it.

It is vital that we own and honour the child within in order to love who we are now.  We need to own our own experience, honour the child’s feelings and release the emotional grief and energy that we still carry.  As we were growing up we were influenced by the world around us, the emotional trauma we may have suffered and the role models of the adults in our lives.  This week we need to refocus on what is important, what we want out of life and not keep wishing for what was – but rather to make good with what is.  Awaken to the truth.

Recall when you were a child, the wonder and awe of the world around you.  Experiencing something or achieving something for the first time.  How afraid you were to take the chance, but you did it anyway.  This is the consciousness that we need to adopt for the coming week.  That doesn’t mean that we have to rush headlong into a situation, but we need to know that we can do this, we can make a difference and achieve success.  Update your thinking patterns or emotional behaviours, bring back old traditions, the ones that made you feel secure and loved.  Even baking some cookies or reading a story to another, all these actions say to your self and to others – you are cherished and treasured.

Recovering your authentic self is not about right and wrong its about integration and balance.  You need to ask the questions – Is this working for me? Is how I live my life working for me? Does what I do bring me happiness?

Live life with joy and aspire to moral excellence.  Be child-like, be playful and carefree.  This will build goodwill around you from others and within.  Life is about the simple things.  Goodness is a virtue, and when we interact with others, rather than be suspicious and trying to figure out “why are they being so nice”? we should simply accept, I am good, I am valued, I am blessed, and that’s why good things happen.  Our childhood is the foundation on which we build our home.  Protect yourself from the cynical and jaded, we don’t have to buy into their philosophy or respect their actions, we can choose for ourselves.

If innocence was lost we need to heal the child within and work with the pain to bring back and rebuild what was lost or destroyed.  Living with hope and trust is a task in itself.  It’s a good thing to look back and evaluate, its not helpful to your current circumstances to want the past back, or let it govern your present, rather take the lesson and build new potential.  Childhood is a right of passage, we learn and we grow – you have the opportunity to change the outcome.  Bring all the positive forward and let go of the negative.  Sometimes we need professional help with this.  Consult a therapist, priest or elder – they will show you the way and enlighten your path.

If you need to lay ‘old ghosts’ to rest, revisit your home town, high school or any other place that brings up negative feelings.  Address that issue as the vibrant, valuable adult you are and let go the pain and suffering so that you can bring about the release and happiness you deserve.  Nostalgia is not destructive it’s our attitude that makes the difference.

Addictions, depression, perpetual anger, a string of failed relationships all point to the wounded child – inner child work will help heal the child, when this is done you will find that the reactions and responses we have are age appropriate.

The Six of Cups is about joy – it represents the past with all its memories and traditions, the feelings of hope and wonder, the gift of the ‘moment’ when we have the power in the now to make a choice which makes a difference and brings the opportunity of the future.  Own your power and change the relationships within.  We can change the way we think, we can change the way we respond, we just need to allow our spirit to guide us and know that we are loved. Unconditionally.

 iTongo Tarot Legend

Rites of Passage: In the Sotho tradition, there are elaborate rites of initiation into adulthood for boys and girls. During seclusion, the boys are taught appropriate male conduct in marriage, special initiation traditions, code words and signs, and praise songs. The boys are circumcised.

Initiation for girls (bale) also involves seclusion. The girls have their bodies smeared with white clay, and they make patterns by rubbing off bits of the white clay and letting the skin show through, resulting in a decorative black and white effect. Initiation for girls does not involve any surgical procedures.