2013 – The year ahead

iTongo Tarot CardThe year of the Lovers … on a mundane level it’s exactly what it says, a year about relationships and connections, romantic, family, work and your own relationship with self and your Divine.  As much as there is the possibility of new beginnings, commitments and marriages there is always the other side of the coin.  Separation and divorce.  Loss of opportunities. This is the year to take stock of all your relationships – its time to take a stand … set your boundaries and limitations.  Let go of situations and people who are toxic or no longer add value to you as an individual and your life choices.  Its time for major house keeping.  In your work, in your personal relationships and how you live your life.  People need to contribute to your truth and be supportive.

More importantly The Lovers is about making choices and decisions.  It’s about the being at a moral or ethical crossroads – choosing between the high road or the low road, even the road less travelled.  2013 is the year that brings many temptations – what to do?

Before we can make a decision we need perspective, we need to see and understand the bigger picture.  We need to know ourselves and understand what kind of ‘filter’ we view life – is it through rose tinted spectacles or dark glasses that shut out the light.  If you did the work in 2012 (The Hierophant, a year of learning and teaching) then 2013 should be easy.  All that acquired knowledge and experience is put to the test this year.  There will be forces at play that draw entities together, whether individuals or groups.  Its how you relate to others that will make a difference to the choices you make.  The paradox is that in accepting one course of action one often has to reject the others. This also applies to relationships – you can wish for having it all, but in reality we always have to choose one and let something/someone go. You have to determine your value system, find out what you care about and what matters, emotionally and spiritually.  You are responsible for the choices you make.  At times you may need to be self-sacrificing, sympathetic and compassionate.  The idea is to be protective of all that you hold dear.  Don’t allow others or circumstances to compromise your ethics, morality and goals.  Be fair, balanced and try not to become anxious or paranoid, this only leads to emotional instability.

During 2012, we were focused on ‘the end of the world’ and perhaps it was the end of life, as we know it.  We move into a new year with a greater understanding of who we are, what we need and what we want.  The old ways no longer support our choices, and it’s the rise of the feminine energy with a greater consciousness that we need to understand. Beauty, love and the full spectrum of emotions, truth and the wonder of life.  In a sense this is about sacred contracts and covenants.  What do you promise and what do you fulfil?  What are your vices and virtues?  2013 will task you to be clear and committed to your path.

This year will see the coming together of harmonious patterns and the repeating of ‘as above, so below’.  Simply meaning that we will have a greater consciousness of our Divine and our physical world. We will have a better knowing of how to integrate all that is ‘me’.

In astrology the 6th house is the house of service and comforts.  Mercury rules our thoughts, speech, and communications.  The 6th Chakra is the Brow, which is about our intuition, insight and wisdom. We need to constantly be mindful of what we say, how we say it.  Words have a lasting effect.  Choose them wisely. Know your ‘fail’ points.  What clouds your judgement and sets up negative patterns which continually surface in your relationships – romantic, familial and work.  Are you a self-saboteur? Are you living your truth and how well do you manage your shadow self?

Working the numbers.  2013 can also be seen as we say it – 20/13.

20 The Earth20 The Earth/World/Judgement:  The invitation of this card is to follow your destiny.  To reap the rewards for past efforts and actions.  This is the year to integrate all that is you with a new sense of wholeness.  Don’t look to others to fill the gaps or ‘complete you’.  You’re the result of your own wise choices.  By all means seek advice, pray, meditate communicate with the ancestors.  But deal with the issues be they family, partners or self.  It’s time to rebirth and transform – undergo your own special metamorphosis.  What you choose this year will impact on the rest of your life.

Twenty reduces to 2.

20=22 The High Priestess:  The concept of this card is being self-resourceful and dissolving barriers.  Set your boundaries.  A strong intuitive side will help with understanding the secrets revealed in your dreams.  Remember we have abundant potential, its finding the balance through intuition and intellect that can be the tricky part.  The High Priestess asks us to value our independence and increase self-esteem.  To live life with common sense. To connect to our higher selves and really listen to that inner voice.  What we hear we may not always like but we need to take action.

1313 is the number of Transformation/Death

This card almost never signifies physical death, it represents the metaphor for death and rebirth in life.  This card is about letting go and moving forward.  Transformation brings regeneration and rebirth.  In order to change we need to have no illusions about who we are.  We need to balance our process with our own resources.  Accept that in order to grow, we need to understand the cycles of life.  We need to make space in our hearts and minds for the new.  Just like in winter when our world appears dead and fallow, we know that in the spring all will be renewed. 2013 is your spring, time to awaken and take control of your life.

13 becomes 4 and is also made up of 1 and 3.

4The energy of 4 The Emperor is about leadership and the responsibility of power.  Work hard in a practical way to create stability in your life.  Leadership is about wisdom.  Be visionary but above all be trustworthy.  Say what you mean and mean what you say.  Consider your alternatives carefully – pick a path and stick with it.  That doesn’t mean that you cant change your mind and HOW you are going to achieve your goals, adjust and adapt but never lose sight of the purpose.  Walk you path with authority and wisdom.

11 The Magician invites you to use your inherent gifts and talents.  Be innovative and inventive.  We all have something we are good at.  We all have an inherent gift.  What we need to know is that it is up to us to use those talents to their best advantage.  Its up to us to be the alchemist and mix up that winning formula that brings about the happiness and peace we seek.  In your quest respect your souls destiny, have the willpower and determination to harness your own magic.  Understand that everything has its place and time.

33 The Empress invites you to show gratitude for nature’s bounty.  Be thankful and grateful for what you do have.  The Empress shows us that growth is possible; she guides us to our abundance through creativity.  Sometimes we need to add a little magic to our lives. Luxuriate in all that is good.  The archetype is of the great mother, who is gracious and beautiful – aim to live with hope and optimism. Give love freely with wisdom, generosity and patience.  This is an excellent year to heal within.

I wish you a year filled with love, laughter and light.  New opportunities and true love.  A year of joy, transformation and the power to endure.

iTongo Legend

6 THE LOVERS:  Tsitsikamma is a Khoisan word meaning, “place of much water”. The Khoisan people were the earliest inhabitants of this area. The Tsitsikamma National Park incorporates various cultural heritage sites ranging from Khoisan sites such as caves, shell middens and rock art to more recent cultural historic sites such as the ruins of small fisher folk settlements, remnants of the past forestry industries and grave sites.

The African Fish Eagle (Haliaeetus vocifer)  This beautiful bird, which is related to the North American Bald Eagle. Widespread in Southern Africa (south of 160N), its habitat is usually limited to larger rivers, lakes, pans and dams, with large trees for it to nest in. African Fish Eagles occur in pairs, irrespective of their breeding season.

1 THE MAGICIAN:  The word “Sangoma” refers to a person skilled in herbal medicine, divination and counselling, and is known as a seer or prophet or shaman. A Sangoma is the traditional healer in the Zulu, Swazi, Xhosa, and Ndebele cultures in South Africa.  Sangomas perform many different roles in their communities; they are diviners, healers, spiritual counsellors, and protectors against evil spirits. They direct rituals and narrate the history, cosmology, and myths of their people. The Sangoma is highly revered and respected.

2 THE HIGH PRIESTESS:  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.

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.  The Order of the Baobab is awarded in three classes: gold, silver, and bronze.

3 THE EMPRESS:  Inkosazana is a popular and much-loved goddess of the Zulu people of South Africa. As the deity of agriculture and fertility and she is particularly venerated in springtime.  Inkosazana is not considered an iTongo (spirit) for she was born of heaven and does not live as a human. She is described as beautiful and one who brings good luck and success to those who obey her rules. The Zulu people emphasise that she is generous and benevolent, but can be extremely dangerous to people with impure hearts.

Inkosazana has also been described as a small polecat marked with little black and white stripes (Rev. Henry Callaway from The Religious System of the amaZulu); and as having a fair skinned torso with blonde hair and a fish tail (Samuelson – 1930), hence the form of a mermaid. Despite her blonde hair, the distinction is made that she is not Caucasian but believed to be Albino.

4 THE EMPEROR:  Elephants symbolise wisdom, strength, moderation, and eternity. In African fables, the elephant is always the wise chief who impartially settles disputes among the animals. The elephant is described as kind and noble, who feels pity even for a wicked character and so is usually deceived.  The elephant was regarded as the supreme animal from whom, when in trance state, San shamans could draw their power.

13 DEATH:  How Death came to Mankind  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.

20 THE EARTH:  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.  It is believed that when man dies he often turns into a snake – the snake is named iTongo (amaTongo).  The snake is commonly found in African mythology and is regarded as immortal because it sheds its skin and continues to live.

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.

One comment on “2013 – The year ahead

  1. Pingback: 6 The Lovers – UTHANDO | africantarot

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