Ivory Tower of Illusion

Thulamela16 The Tower  THULAMELA

Thulamela invites you to deconstruct illusions and delusions, restructure and restore.

Difficult and challenging times /Breaking down existing forms /Finding true value /Internal restructuring /Flash of enlightenment /Military precision required /Feelings of panic or fear /Involuntary change /The way things are /Radical shift

Thulamela (25:02S,32:04E) is a South African National Heritage Site, meaning “place of birth” in TshiVenda.

The Tower card is among those that usually cause a sharp intake of breath from the client. The visual invokes a sense of doom and destruction.  This card need not be as ominous as the visual, but like the Death card it represents change. And change is certain – if we resist changing ourselves, our ways, thoughts and actions then life will bring the changes to us, without control the changes can be traumatic, with control they may still be dramatic but manageable.

We are a ‘victim’ generation.  We blame our parents, our ‘situations’, our past for everything we believe to be unpleasant in our lives.  We hold onto the hurt like a badge of office.  We foster those delusions without any attempt to heal, fix or let go. Our mantra is “its not my fault, because I was abused; neglected; unloved; sacrificed and so on.  We measure our success based on our ‘damage’, we justify our failure based on our past.  No wonder we are in such a mess – the earth has been raped and pillaged of its resources.  We can’t seem to have healthy life affirming relationships that last.  We live life like a tango – two steps forward and three steps back. We keep making the same mistakes, expecting different results.

The only way we are going to manage the change is to have a radical shift in our thinking.  We need to let go of the past, we don’t have any power to change it, what we do have is the power of the moment – we need to change the way we view the past and the degree of consequence it has on our present.  We have to deconstruct the past to restructure the present.  Only when we have done that can we begin to move forward.

What will your rebirth be?  How much is your future worth? What are the sacrifices you need to make? What is your P.R.I.C.E.?

Planning – we have to have a plan, a vision, a strategy and then we have to execute that plan with almost military precision.  We shouldn’t be distracted by the easy way out, remember great rewards come from great effort.

Revolution – sometimes we have to take a stand for who we are and what we believe in. We have to fight for our right to be “ME”, warts and all.  We have to honour our truth and follow our path. Be who you are without panic or fear of failure.

Insight – listen to your inner voice.  Connect with your Divine. Learn from your mistakes. Trust. Let go and let God – the universe, your guides, angels whatever your power point is will guide you to make the right choices.

Execute – Restructure your patterns, restore your faith in yourself.  Build your own life the way you want it to be. Rewrite your history, you don’t have to live as others expect.

There is an old saying ‘you can’t build a temple on shifting sands’.  Make sure your foundation is solid and secure before you begin to rebuild. We need to get out of our comfort zones and face the challenges – you will be surprised at the level of awakening, inspiration and freedom that comes, sometimes like a bolt of lightening to motivate and propel you into growth. This can be a difficult and often painful process but the end result will be worth it.  Step out of your ivory tower of illusion, destruct and rebuild.

iTongo Legend

Thulamela (25:02S,32:04E) is a South African National Heritage Site, meaning “place of birth” in TshiVenda. This stone walled site is situated far north of the Kruger Park and radiocarbon dating proves that a viable community lived there long before the Dutch East India Company settled in the Cape in 1652. This late Iron Age site forms part of what is called the Great Zimbabwe culture.

When Great Zimbabwe was abandoned, possibly due to political breakdown, several groups moved south across the Limpopo river into the north-eastern areas of South Africa (and northern Kruger Park) and established new, smaller chiefdoms, such as Thulamela.

Only the ruined stone walls remain of the original city. According to oral histories, the Nyai division of the Shona–speaking Lembethu occupied Thulamela and they believed in a mystical relationship between their leader and the land. During these times, trade on the Indian Ocean was dominated by Muslim traders moving goods from the Middle East, India, South East Asia, and China. Ivory and gold were often traded along the east coast for glass beads, cloth, and glazed ceramics.

It is not known why Thulamela was vacated. Many theories suggest the death of a ruler, an environmental disaster, or war over the control of land and resources. During excavations, two graves were found containing gold jewellery, Iron-age implements, ceramics, glass beads, spinning whorls, sewing needles. One female skeleton found buried in the wives area, was dated around 1600. She was aged between 45-60 years, and approximately 1.73m tall. She was dubbed ‘Queen Losha’, which refers to the foetal position she was found in. On her left forearm was a plaited, golden bracelet of exceptional beauty.

The second skeleton, a male, was dated c.1450, but it seems as though he never lived at Thulamela. The skeleton was broken and packed in a square shape, it was deduced that he did not die at the site. However, he was bedecked in gold jewellery and might have been royalty. They named him ‘King Ingwe’, which means “leopard”.

This archaeological dig was unique because of the involvement of the local communities, comprising the descendants of Thulamela. The opening of the site took the form of a traditional grave side ceremony at which offerings were made by Venda and Shangaan groups to the ancestral spirits. In May 1997, the royals were reburied, with solemn and moving ritual, in their original graves.

More secrets probably lie beneath the sands of the walled city, but in keeping with archaeological ethics worldwide, Thulamela will be left untouched for one hundred years. The ruins of Thulamela fall on the great Nilotic meridian (310 East longitude), which enters again on land in Africa at Cairo, Egypt, continues south through Harare, Zimbabwe, Timbavati and Limpopo region in South Africa and exits in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal.


Diligence – the mother of good fortune

8 MavheleEIGHT of MAVHELE (Coins/Pentacles/Earth)

People of the North – Key word – DILIGENCE

Working hard | Attention to detail | Careful and persistent effort | Prioritising physical resources | Craft | Apprentice | Steady and consistent | Expand expertise | Methodical | Focus

It has been said that ‘starvation is the mother of invention’ well diligence is the mother of good fortune.  We make our own luck by working towards our goals with focus and perseverance.  Or to quote another phrase “slowly, slowly, kills the monkey”.

We know that the harder we work the better and more satisfying the results.  We can’t expect to get fit by having a gym membership; we have to show up each day.  Showing up is not enough – we have to DO the exercises.  With diligence and patience our efforts are rewarded, whether is weight loss, general fitness or winning that race.  It’s all about focus and perseverance, having a clear goal, hope, wish, dream and putting in the effort to achieve it.

This week we need to put our shoulders to the wheel and push through the difficulties or what we perceive to be blockages, and work it all through to the end. How many times have we begun a project, all fired up and eager and at the first hurdle lost interest.  We let something go because it’s “too hard”.

Keeping our eye on the end result, we need to prioritise the methods.  Slow, steady and consistent is the way to achieve.

This is a great week to begin learning something new. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. Calling in other resources is fine, use the knowledge and experience that is available – this not only expands your own expertise but is a real bonus when learning new ways of doing things.  Ever considered going on a course, workshop or offering your time for an internship – do it now.  Learn from the masters.

Some of us feel we have so much to handle at any one time that we often become overwhelmed with the choices and end up doing very little.  Pick one!  Decide on a project/problem/issue.  Plan how you are going to achieve it.  Gather all the resources necessary and with careful persistent effort work it through.  Step by step.  Be methodical, don’t try and jump around and only do the easy parts.  Everything is a process – the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.

Sure you can take some short-cuts, but you cant jump a step.  In the near future all may seem good, but in the long term the short cuts will let you down and sometimes all that you have worked for comes crumbling down.  The important thing here is to find balance between learning, effort and results.

The 8th house in Astrology is the house of death and rebirth.  It’s also about how we interact with our external resources and worth to others.  It’s also the house of sex as a power.

The number 8 is the last even number of the single digits and is often misunderstood.  Yes 8 is about money and power and does affect career, business and finances but it is also a number of balance and harmony – eight is the great equaliser and as easily as it adds growth it can take it away.  8’s balance the material world with spirit, it is practical and realistic.  It is focused on results – usually in power and money, yet it is not greedy it just sees finance and power as a tool to accomplish goals.

The important message here is to stay healthy within the changes.  Remain flexible and adaptable.  Not everything goes exactly as we planned and sometimes a little blip or divergence along the way is a good thing, it teaches us to view options and alternatives.  To be open to change. The golden rule is to make sure you are not distracted.  Only follow and incorporate ‘the shiny things’ if they serve your goal.

Life is not a destination, it’s a process.  Put in the time, do the work – You are worth it!

iTongo Legend

Ndebele Art: The Ndebele people are well known for their outstanding craftsmanship, their vibrantly decorative homes and their unique style of dress and ornamentation, which has both cultural significance and aesthetic appeal. Their traditional design concepts, primarily linear and geometric-shaped, are ‘borrowed from the ancestors”.

Mural painting is passed on from generation to generation by the females – from mother to daughter. Patterns are designed and painted free hand. Natural colours are extracted from available material – black and greys from fire ash and charcoal, white from ground stone and natural coloured clays, brown/yellows from cow dung, reds and ochre’s from clay. The bright colours only came later, with the introduction of western and Indian paint pigments.

Personal Adornment

An Ndebele woman traditionally wears a variety of ornaments to symbolise her status in society. The copper and brass rings (idzila), worn around her arms, legs and neck represent her bond and faithfulness to her husband and can only be removed after his death. The rings are believed to have special powers and are also an indication of the husband’s wealth (the more rings, the richer the husband). Today, it is no longer common practice to wear these rings permanently.

The neck hoops made of grass (isigolwani) are twisted into a coil, soaked in sugar water and cured in the sun then covered in beads, and are worn particularly for ceremonial occasions. Isigolwani are sometimes worn as neckpieces by newlywed women whose husbands have not yet provided them with a home, or by girls of marriageable age after the completion of their initiation ceremony.

New Moon in Pisces

18 MOON18 The Moon – INYANGA

Inyanga invites you to discover the unconscious self.

Feminine mystique /Intuitive knowing /Facing self-delusions /Magnetic personality /Deception of self or others /The ability to make choices /Guided by universal self Trust /The Mother/ The unconscious/ Emotional security/ Compassion/ Confusion/ Spiritual healing /Dreams and desires /Emotional death and regeneration

The new moon tonight marks the end of the Astrological year of 2012.  So for those who have been wondering why all the challenges of 2012 are still hanging on with us, after the new moon we can begin to breathe a little easier.  This transition ends on 21 March  (the Equinox). We have not only survived the last 25 years of the Harmonic Convergence  but we have had a shift in consciousness from being ‘warlike and all about ME’ to ‘peace – co-operation and about “WE”‘.  The end of the Mayan Calendar (21December 2012) was more about this universal shift and marks the beginning of a cleansing period, separating the enlightened and unenlightened – many of us had our ‘wake up calls’. We are entering into the phase of “ascension” where we will be more in-tune  and in touch with the great unconscious and Source.  We will know that our actions affect everything around us and we need to be more inclusive and more conscious of the universe.

The Astrological symbol assigned to the Moon card is Pisces.  Pisceans tend to be highly intuitive and live in a world of imagination and the dream realm and yet are greatly influenced by external factors.  Like water, they often flow and blend with others to the point of either losing their own identity.  The River always returns to source and many Pisceans are so connected and able to give unconditionally, love, help or act as guides to merge us with Source.

The new moon in Pisces represents our emotions and needs that make up our humanity, it’s about the return to the Source.  This is the time to heal our souls, face our self delusions and be guided by the great mother.  It’s a time for emotional death and regeneration – let go and rebuild all that is you.  Examine deep within where the hurt is, it’s time to heal and to understand the lesson, let go and move on.

The Moon card can be confusing to some – she shows many faces (phases) and with each face we experience different parts of ourselves. The New Moon is a period when we are less sensitive and are feeling more secure so it’s a good time for activity to do things for ourselves.  It’s an excellent time for starting new projects or at least initiating change.  When we keep rhythm with the moon we are more likely to succeed.  As the moon waxes (grows) we build and develop, we nurture and tend to what was begun.  By the time of the full moon we should have realised our goals, everything is seen in a better light.  When the moon starts to wane (decrease) we reap the rewards of our past efforts and in the last quarter we need to consolidate our efforts, complete anything left undone.  This is a time for reflection and to face the darker side of our natures.

The Moon is the card of intuition, dreams and the unconscious.  Use the tools that are available to help you with connecting to your unconscious and the Divine.  Get a reading done, go for healing or take time each day to read/research the great books of the world.  You will experience more flashes of inspiration – follow up on these thoughts and build something – you are being guided and shown a path.  If not already doing it, start a dream diary.  Dreams is one of the ways our unconscious can talk to our conscious – take note of what is being said.  We owe it to ourselves to take up the challenge and move forward.

The Moon is also about deception so we need to be more vigilant about what is being presented.  Not all things are as they seem and we need to trust our intuition when looking for the deeper meaning of self and life.  Be patient, all will be revealed.

In northern hemisphere myths and legends the Hare signifies fertility and the coming of Spring.  Yesterday all the clocks were set back an hour.  In Pagan traditions the moon gazing hare is said to bring good fortune because it represents Spring which is about rebirth, growth and abundance.  Later in popular culture The Hare became the Easter Bunny.  In the San tradition the Moon is the ‘Lord of Light and Life’.  For us in the Southern Hemisphere we are going into Autumn, when the world around us seems to be changing and dying. So too should we be preparing by letting go, ending things that no longer serve and rather work with what we have than trying to start something new.  BE guided by your own Divine inspiration and remember – In the words of one of my favourite songs – The Rose

… When the night has been too lonely
And the road has been too long
And you think that love is only
For the lucky and the strong
Just remember in the winter far beneath the bitter snows
Lies the seed
That with the sun’s love
In the spring
Becomes the rose

 iTongo Legend

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

There are many tales told of the sun, moon, and stars.  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 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 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.

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.

Stand Tall

iTongo Tarot CardSEVEN of ISIBANE (Wands/Fire) People of the South

Key word – INTEGRITY

Quest for identity and self worth | Defend position | Take a stand | Hold your own council | Standing tall | Have conviction | Strength of character | Choose battles carefully | Moral high ground | Renewed determination and courage | Ability | Passion | Power

We need to ask ourselves “who am I” and “what do I stand for”?

The number 7 is about being a seeker, searching for truth to understand the difference between reality and illusion.  It is the number of fullness and perfection.  Its a spiritual number and reflects strongly in the Christian bible.  From the seven days of Genesis to the seven seals of Revelation.  The number seven is seen as the symbol of completion – “on the seventh day He rested (after creation) and also to mark the end of times or the end of the mystery of God.”

We talk about the 7 year itch – every seven years we become restless and want to make changes.  It takes 7 years for our bodies to renew.

In Astrology the Seventh house is the house of partnerships.  Within co-operation and unity we fulfill our sense of purpose.  We contribute to the world around us. We see ourselves in ‘context.

In our quest for self worth and identity we are often tasked to defend our position, we take a stand and hold our own council.  How do we measure strength of character, ability and power?

At the core there needs to be a consistency of values and principles.  An honesty and truth without conflicting beliefs, principles and values. Our behaviour and words reflect our value system.  A value system can be measured not by our own personal needs and whims but by the loyalty and consistency of our actions to rational principles.

We live in a world with conflicting values, mostly due to ethnic, faith and socio economic differences.  That doesn’t mean others values are less than ours, it boils down to accountability and moral responsibility – to ourselves and to our community.

Another way of looking at ‘integrity’ is the marketing phenomenon of linking a brand to a specific individual.  They do this through the belief that integrity is linked with performance, quality of life and high moral standards.  The chosen icon reflects a state of being ‘whole’, ‘complete’ and in ‘perfect condition’.  This is something to aspire to, something to become.  When these icons fail or bring disgrace on their own names the brand is withdrawn.  This equals “consequence of actions”.

We need to be mindful that we are human, that we do make mistakes but we also need to be aware of our core principles.  When we are in the moment and feeling threatened or being challenged, we have to trust that our base nature will reign supreme and that our subjective thoughts (ego) do not get the better of us.

Being competitive is not a bad thing, its what makes us push harder and go further.  But to believe we are invincible is foolish – at times we should retreat and re-evaluate, be independent and work it through for yourself.

By facing our fears we are able to turn them to our advantage.  Each challenge we overcome becomes an asset for future situations.  A positive attitude will take you all the way to realising your dreams. You cant win them all, but you can learn.  This aids in the struggle to stay on-top.  Hold your position and don’t ever compromise your value system to suit others.  Choose your battles carefully.  Accept your limitations (be they physical, emotional and spiritual) and go forward with courage and determination.  You have the ability, the passion and the power.

iTongo Legend

King Sandile (1820 – 1878)

He was a rare man of his time, and perhaps the most loved and revered of the paramount chiefs of the amaRharhabe, because of his democratic rule. Complex and reserved, Sandile never took a decision without consultation with all his councilors and, as far as possible, representatives of his people. This democratic approach also led him into supporting the Great Cattle Killing movement of 1856/572 in which hundreds of thousands of Xhosa cattle were killed by the Xhosa themselves in the belief that this would strengthen them against the British, who were dispossessing them of their ancestral lands.

Sandile took part in the War of the Axe in 1846 and was captured in 1847. He was forced to sign an oath of allegiance to Britain and was dispossessed of his land. He and his followers were settled on land in the so-called Crown Reserve.

Sandile was also involved in the Seventh, Eighth, and Ninth Frontier Wars of Dispossession. According to historical accounts, he excelled as leader during the Ninth War. He was shot by British forces in June 1878.

In some respects a tragic figure, Sandile nonetheless displayed remarkable skill, courage, and sophistication in overcoming physical adversity, and taking on the responsibilities of a true leader.