15 The Devil – Thikoloshe

15 The Devil - Thikoloshe15 The Devil – THIKOLOSHE (uHili)

The shadow /What bedevils us /Pain and pleasure /Trickster /Oppression  /Vanity /Combine practicality with productivity /Dynamic and assertive /Accepting what is /Experiencing boundaries and limits /Domination and manipulation /Materialistic /Ego /The inability to move on /Hedonist /Lust /Energies of purification, disillusion and re-balance

When the Devil card comes up, we tend to mentally cross ourselves for protection.  Like all tarot, each card has its own positive and negative energies. The meaning of card 15 is to remind us of our shadow selves or dark sides.  Yes you do have a shadow self, without the darkness how would we know the light.

I recently read an article about how mankind suffers because of his base physical nature – which is all about the pursuit of pleasure, his lust for life rather than his passion, how when living without boundaries and limitations we self destruct.  The sentence that struck a chord with me is “of course, we all have cracks, that’s how we let the light in”.

So even when we are troubled by our demons, we need to remember to let the light in – guiding and stabilising our need for physical gratification. To help us from developing bad habits or addictions.

The Devil card or in this case Thikoloshe need not be frightening, it asks you to look at what binds and bedevils you.  To look beyond what you are doing and look deep into what your inner world is doing, because this is where the motivation and intent comes from.  Our thoughts and emotions drive our actions.  Our sense of self is what determines the quality of our actions.

Most bad habits or addictions form because we are running away from ourselves and situations we believe we cant cope with.  We don’t want to cope with the pain, so we avoid certain circumstances and we fear facing situations because we feel ‘not worthy‘.  When we feel trapped and helpless we need to remember that we hold the power and the key for release and freedom.

Keeping a positive attitude is one of the keys.  Knowing that no matter what the situation, no matter how hopeless we feel – we can find a solution, we can with a little effort overcome.  Consider the options and take positive action, don’t run away or numb yourself with chemicals, alcohol and sex.  Sure there may be a momentary relief or release but once that moment has passed, you realise nothing has changed.  Rather take that moment to work through the pain, once you have reached a new understanding that, which was hurting no longer has the same power.  Each time you face a particular demon its power is diminished and eventually will not have an effect on you.  Live triumphant!

CupLive life with focus and positive reinforcement.  Keep telling yourself ‘I am worthy‘, ‘I am fearless‘, ‘I can overcome‘.  Take note of your own inhibitions which block your growth – once managed and removed you will experience change.  Growth is not without its challenges but its rewards are well worth the effort.  When we are able to transcend fear and shame and guilt we are kinder to ourselves and to others.  We are able to forgive and most importantly we are able to view and love others without conditions and strings.  The quicker we accept that we have flaws, the more we will accept others with all their faults and failures.  If we live with the self deception that we are flawless, then we will constantly be disappointed with life.   The Devil reminds us that there will always be temptation, its part of our basic human nature that arises at times – this card cautions and reminds us …  all things in moderation.  If you cant do it yourself, seek guidance and help.

Card 15 (1+5) adds to 6.  6 The Lovers is the Card of the Year and its essence is about choice. You choose your action, you choose your result.  Keep calm and Carry on.

iTongo Legend

The Thikoloshe myth is very well known in South Africa, and each tribe has its own variation of what a Thikoloshe looks like. The Thikoloshe is a manifestation of mischievousness and evil, and he has immense power.  Today many South African people still raise their beds off the ground, by placing them on bricks or tin drums, so that the Thikoloshe (Tokoloshe) cannot reach them.

His physical appearance owes its attributes to various African creatures: large all-seeing eyes and survival cunning from the nagaap (Bushbaby); the ability to see in the dark and wisdom from the owl; the mane of a great lion that empowers him with strength and courage; and a tail like a serpent.

In Zulu mythology, Thikoloshe is also called “Hili”, and believed to be a dwarf-like water sprite. He only has one arm and one leg, and is a mischievous and evil spirit. He can become invisible by swallowing a pebble, and he then leaves his watery home to make unlawful love to women, or to fight men. If he loses the fight, he will teach his opponent magic and healing.

Malevolent people wanting to cause trouble for others sometimes call upon the Thikoloshe, and a Sangoma’s skill must be called upon to banish him.  Most of the time only children can see the Thikoloshe; he shows kindness towards them and they often become firm friends.


21 The Universe – Indalo

iTongo Tarot Card21 The Universe – INDALO
Indalo invites you to connect to the universal spirit.

Totality /Wholeness of body, mind, spirit /A state of knowing /Completion /Renewal /Regeneration /Universal spirit (iTongo) /Universal mind and force /Universal substance or matter /Balance between body, mind, and soul /Unity with others /Perfection in manifestation /External world reflects your inner world /Validation /Unlimited potential; Visionary /Natural explorer and adventurer

The visual on this card is The Southern Cross. This constellation is used in celestial navigation to find due South, and I like to think that the energy of The Universe guides us and always points us in the right direction.

Until 2004 the Honoris Crux medal was awarded for bravery in dangerous situations, its equivalent is the American Congressional Medal of Honour. Navigating life is not easy and we need all the help we can get.  Living up to our full potential is a difficult and sometimes we need to brave, courageous to face each new day with its challenges.

I lost a good friend yesterday – and it reminded me how fragile our lives are. How quickly life as we know it can change.  Those that are left behind have the struggle to come to terms with death, the reality of a ‘new normal’ without a partner or father.

Each faith system or philosophy has its own version of what happens to us after death – we take comfort in our beliefs.  The Universe is a card that indicates an ending of one path and the beginning of another.  I don’t believe when we die that is the end.  It may be the end of our physical existence, but is the beginning of our return to source – the beginning of a new way of being.  Our perfection in manifestation.

When we are connected to the universal energy we reach a state of unity, a sense of wholeness which liberates our spirit.  Not all endings are negative, take birth, there is a period of nine months in the womb and then that ends with the beginning of a new life.  All things living have a cycle.  What we need to do is learn to understand the timing of things.  There are times when we birth and grow and there are times when we need to lie fallow and regroup, building towards a new beginning where we can realise ourselves and the Divine nature of everything.

There are times when we feel that we are drowning in life – the obstacles and hardships we experience either make us or break us.  We owe it to ourselves to not lose hope, to not give up on the dream, vision or goal.  When we push forward we are rewarded for our efforts.  Its OK to take time out to consider who we are, where we are in the great scheme of things.  Its OK to ask on a regular basis “Who am I”? and its OK to ask for help.  No man is an island and we all need some input from an external source.  Whether its physical or spiritual, just ask – help is always there. Look to your physical world and you will see your internal world manifested.

One of my favourite quotes comes from Caroline Myss.

It is said that if you want to know what you were doing in the past,
look at your body now;
if you want to know what will happen to you in the future,
look at what your mind is doing now.

Now is the time to make sure your biology does not become your biography.  One Universal truth is that there is birth, change and death – everything in between is dependent on what you choose to do.  Choose wisely and live each day to your best ability.

iTongo Legend

The Southern Cross is unmistakable; without doubt the most recognizable constellation in the night sky, being one of the brightest and most distinctive.

The bright stars of the pointers and the Southern Cross were perceived to be giraffes. Among the Venda the giraffes were known as Thutlwa, ‘rising above the trees’, and in October when the giraffes are visible on the evening horizon, the people are reminded to finish planting their crops. According to Credo Mutwa, the Southern Cross is the Tree of Life, ‘our holiest constellation’.

The Southern Cross is visible every night from all over South Africa. From the northern part of our country, it sometimes disappears beneath the horizon at sunset and rises again at midnight in the southeast. However, in the Cape and southern parts the Cross is always visible on a clear night and rises with the setting sun in the south-west.

The four main stars of the Southern Cross are classified using the Greek alphabet. The brightest star at the end of the Southern Cross “long” leg is Alpha Crusis; moving clockwise, the second is Beta Crusis; the “top” star, Gamma Crusis; and the fourth star, Delta Crusis. These four stars are not only beautiful in their own right, but the cross they resemble also has a very practical use for mankind. Similar to the hand on a clock, the point of the long leg of the Southern Cross always points to the south pole

The other “companion” or “pointer” to the Southern Cross is Alpha Centauri. Alpha, also called Rigil Centaurus, is the third brightest star in the night sky. It is only relatively bright, compared to other stars, because it is so close to earth. Alpha Centauri is not the name of a single star, but of three stars orbiting each other. The third is so faint that it can only be seen through large telescopes. This faint star orbiting Alpha Centauri is sometimes the closest star to our sun; hence, astronomers have named it Proxima (close to) Centauri.

The Southern Cross is used in Celestial Navigation, and sailors will set their sextants to Alpha Crusis and Gamma Crusis to set due South.

RIP Andrew Barrett 23/12/1972 – 21/4/2013

AndrewGone too soon is the phrase that keeps running through my mind.  A light was extinguished today, but the light of Andrew will continue to shine in our hearts.

Andrew lived his life as a challenge. He was active, spontaneous, at times he could be rather assertive – but most of all he was an explorer of new ideas and visions. Patience and restraint were not synonymous with his passion for living. Everything he did, he did at full tilt. He gave his all – once you had met Andrew, your life was never the same again.

I once did a reading for him, and told him that he had been touched by the hand of God.  He was destined for great things and he owed it to himself to explore and quest for knowledge and understanding of the Universe and all its mysteries.  A natural charismatic, Andrew could convince you to follow him.

Highly intuitive and gentle soul. He was sensitive to the needs of others and found his balance through his relationships.  His approach to life was definitely unusual, driven with humour and passion, you knew when Andrew was in a room.  At times, a little boy in a mans body, Andrew approached life with gusto because he believed that anything was possible.  He lived his life fully.

A gifted communicator he could make you believe anything.  At times he may have felt overwhelmed, and struggled with his demons, but as a true warrior Andrew would step up and take responsibility for his choices and actions – he never shied away from confrontation.

Andrew lived with integrity – he didn’t always conform to societies rules, but he was always honest about who he was and what he expected from life.  At times his enthusiastic side would be at odds with his need for self control and order.

Deep down there was a generous heart – he loved entertaining, cooking and sharing with his friends. He would give you whatever he had to help you.   He related to people on all levels.  He didn’t judge, he was just there… for you if you needed him.

The concept of family and tradition was important to him – he loved Bronwyn and his son Aidan wholeheartedly.  Knowing they were in his life gave him the security he needed.  Will-full and headstrong, life with Andrew was never simple or easy, never boring but the moments when he was fully engaged were magical. He was charming; at times manipulative and would push the envelope as far as he could. He was an adventurer at heart. A seeker, for knowledge and truth.

Looking back on his time with us, we see his achievements, we see the many friends he accumulated, we see his struggles, but most of all we see a special soul, that I for one am thankful to have been able to call a friend.

Lala Kahle Andrew (Sleep well)

For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and melt into the sun.
And what is it to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides,
that it may rise and expand seek God unencumbered.

Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.
And when you have reached the mountain top, then shall you begin to climb.
And when the earth shall claim you limbs, then shall you truly dance.  Kahlil Gibran

What goes around, Comes around

iTongo Tarot Card8 Justice – KHATHULO

Khathulo invites you to honour truth and the law of cause and effect.

Balance /Justice/ Realignment /Equilibrium /Logic and reason /Balance by opposites /Reality and responsibility of choice /Natural law /Clarity of mind (Quality) /Impartial judgement /Balanced intellect /Judge by experience /Honour truth /Punishment and reward /Action and reaction

Justice is about truth in action.  It’s about the natural law of cause and effect. Whatever we do has an impact on something and someone.  What we put out there as a thought, desire or intent manifests in some way – often we are surprised at a result.  If we don’t like the result we tend to blame others, if we are happy with what is coming into or crossing our path we put it down to ‘good luck’.  Luck has nothing to do with it, it all begins with us, the results are dependent on us.  We are responsible for our actions and reactions.  Therefore we need to accept the punishment or reward.

Justice is also about balance, realignment and finding that perfect harmony.  For most of us its quite a task juggling ‘life’.  We seem to have so many demands and commitments and somewhere in-between there is us and our needs.  We need to find the time, tools and will to be able to manage our busy lives without compromising who we essentially are.

The first step is TRUTH.  Without absolute honesty we cant move forward.  Take time this week to examine if you are living your truth.  How often do you compromise what you know for what you feel? We can’t be, and often shouldn’t be all things to all people.  We need to carefully consider the outcome and repercussions of our actions.  Sometimes we just have to say no. Taking on more than we can cope with is counterproductive and over time erodes our energy and will leaving very little to work with.  The more unfocused we become the less effective we are.

The number 8 is about control, domination and achievement.  It’s also a number of abundance – attracting financial security.  This is a good week to take control of your finances, sort out the ‘legal’ matters, whether its renewing a passport, or committing to life insurance – take note of what you need to succeed. Be self confident in your abilities and go for your goals. Push for that promotion, ask your loved one to marry you – take a chance on YOU, you know you are worth it.

An 8 is made up of two perfect circles – balance and harmony, each in equal measure.  The lemniscate or the horizontal number 8 also known as the infinity symbol represents the concept of perpetual motion, which is the supreme signature of the Universe and all cycles – as you sow, so shall you reap.

Laws of cause and effect, Karma and the return of all your energy in infinite cycles. Take a close look at your situation and work in practical ways to bring balance and harmony.  This is a good week to stabilise, use your time efficiently and be dependable.  Don’t make promises or arrangements you know you cant keep.  Work hard, but don’t be a workaholic.  Sometimes a break and some time out allows new energy to flow, making you more effective.

The main message is one of accountability for our actions.  This card reminds us that we all have a conscience – we should listen to it more often.  Pay attention to the whispering in your ear, but we should do the right thing.  We need to learn from our mistakes.  Take some time to examine the past.  What choices and actions would you have done differently?  What can you do today to bring change? What are you setting up now for the future? What do you expect the results to be.

Identify areas in your life that need change, find the solution and the way to success.  Start a diary, make a vision board, contemplate, meditate – In the circle of life we are all connected, we are all one.

iTongo Legend

Venda law and custom constituted a system designed to protect firstly family rights, then the chiefdom and finally the individual. This placed the onus on the individual and the realisation that his actions affected the greater community, especially his/her descent group.

Venda culture has a strong emphasis on male authority (patrilineal). Moral behaviour is essentially the right and good actions of the man who does not upset the balance and harmony between the clan, society, and nature. Nature and man work together in harmony as the actions of one has consequences on the other.

The good man was not only one who respected seniors and was loyal to his family, he was also a good neighbour1. He was to live with generosity of heart and possessions and be free of the suspicion of witchcraft. He needed to be meticulous in observance of custom and loyal to the chief.

The formal handling of disputes began with the local headman and ended with the chief at the capital. A panel of elders assisted the chief and would advise on points of law and provide continuity of experience.

The process of bringing a case to court was simple and logical. If one felt that his rights had been violated, he would report the matter to his immediate headman. A date was set for the hearing and all parties concerned instructed to attend with any relevant witnesses. The case was heard in the men’s meeting place, which was a prominent feature of the homestead of chief or headman. Women were not permitted to attend these proceedings, unless they were directly involved in the case. Witnesses were allowed to hear all the testimonies and were often allowed to modify their own.

In a case of civil wrong, the judgement would be restitution and compensation – the intention to ‘right a wrong’, i.e. stolen goods to be returned, the trespasser removed, or unfulfilled contracts honoured. In the case of damage or actions, which could not be undone, compensation was awarded and was usually paid for in livestock. Failing the ownership or possession of livestock, the complainant was entitled to exact satisfaction and take what he could.

Criminal offences were homicide, grievous assault, rape, incest, crimes against the chiefdom’s authorities and witchcraft/sorcery.


iTongo Tarot CardFIVE of MAVHELE (Coins/Pentacles/Earth)

People of the North

Key word – REJECTION

Rebuffed and snubbed | Physical adjustments | Change not yet manifested | Anxiety | Conflict | Dissention | Neglecting the body | Economic setbacks | Insecure | Feeling excluded | Medical matters

The Five of Mavhele is another of the misunderstood tarot cards.  Traditionally the card is about loss of faith, value and material possessions, I prefer to view its message as one of “self-esteem” and loss of faith and value in oneself. The key word rejection opens a whole can of worms, its about disengaging with ourselves, our Divine and sometimes from life itself.  For so many life seems pass them by – my question is ‘when did you reject life’, turning your back on your potential.  And by life I mean situations, circumstances and the people around us.

Rejection is sometimes a good thing – why should we accept our situation and circumstances.  Why should we accept someone elses version of truth.  We need to reject all that is harmful and that which blocks our growth as people and our path to fulfillment and happiness.

Here is South Africa one of the popular phrases is ‘the disenfranchised’ – youth, elderly, poor, but what exactly does that mean?  All are able to vote, all have the power to be all that they can be, all have equal rights.  Do we exercise those rights.  Do we take life by the horns and push through to achieve our goals.  Most dont and are prepared to sit back and let life run their lives.  In our beautiful country we have extreme poverty and the value of life seems to have become meaningless.  People are murdered, raped and beaten for possessions, sometimes for no apparent reason at all.

I think about the perpetrators and wonder what is in their hearts.  What is the cause for mostly ‘good’ people to do ‘bad’ things, and the only conclusion I can come up with is the absence of self-esteem and feelings of insecurity.  Feeling rebuffed and snubbed by society creates an anxiety and rage that manifests in violent actions.  If we cant feel love and respect for ourselves, then we cant see the value of life in others.  When we don’t respect ourselves then we cant respect others.  If we have no value for our own lives then we cant value another’s.  When we live without faith and hope, we do despicable things. Does this make them feel better? I doubt it.  What it does do is give them a measure of power.  A sense of being omniscient, of being in control.  This is all ego based and their actions are a reflection of their inner world – debased and empty.

The poor seem to get poorer and the middle class, which is what keeps a country afloat are descending at a rapid rate into poverty and destitution – with all of this comes the loss of spirit and faith in ‘a new tomorrow’.  Suicide, general poverty, unemployment, illness and solitude is at its highest.  What can we do to change?  The change starts within. This brings me to the more spiritual side of the Five of Mavhele.  This card represents ‘the dark night of the soul’ and we can no longer see the light shining within.

What we don’t see is that salvation is never far away.  Its a prayer, its about being open to comfort and most importantly its about ‘seeing’ the unseen – faith. We are all capable of extraordinary things – how often do we push through the barriers, fight for our right to be happy, healthy and at peace.

We need to remind ourselves that nothing lasts forever.  Don’t disconnect from your emotions and spirit.  Live in the present, reach for that connection with self and the Divine.  Purify your thoughts that in turn will purify your emotions and your actions.  It’s when we begin to think and feel positively that our lives follow suit.  We need to remain mindful of the present, the moment because that is the only time we have power to change, to make a choice in the now that will affect change in the future.

We need to take control of our body, mind and spirit and rather be motivated by hope than fear.

We need to find within us that little glimmer of hope, that light that never goes out.  We can’t do this alone, so this week, help someone find their light. Help someone see that all things can and will change.  Have faith that things will get better, and they will.  Bless someone with your knowledge, experience and insight, they in turn will bless you.  For those in pain and suffering – take the hand that is guiding you to step out of your darkness and celebrate the light.

iTongo Legend

Mzilikazi (c.1795-1868) “The Path of blood or the Great Road” King of the Matebele. Mzilikazi was a Zulu chief who founded the Matebele kingdom (Mthwakazi), Matabeleland, in what became Rhodesia and is now Zimbabwe. His father was Mashobane, chief of the Khumalo clan, and his mother, Nompethu, the daughter of the powerful Zwide of the Ndwande clan. The territory of the Northern Khumalo was located near the Black Umfolozi River, in KwaZulu- Natal. Mzilikazi spent his boyhood in the household of his grandfather Zwide.

Mzilikazi grew up in an era of unprecedented change. Clans were joining together to present a united front. Great kingdoms rose and fell within single generations; entire societies moved hundreds, even thousands of miles; and many wars were fought to bring about this change.

After the death of his father (murdered by Zwide) Mzilikazi was installed as chief, but instead of siding with his grandfather Zwide, Mzilikazi swore allegiance to Shaka. Proving himself a fearless warrior, he soon became an inDuna (advisor) to Shaka. However, Mzilikazi did not take well to a position of subservience and had his own ideas for rulership. In June 1822, Shaka sent Mzilikazi’s regiments to attack the Sotho chief Ranisi (Somnisi). After the battle, Mzilikazi refused to give the spoils to Shaka and fled with his followers.

He was forced out of his homeland by the Zulu but with remarkable resilience and tenacity managed to rebuild his authority in a series of alien environments. Moving north and northwest, he recruited strong men and women, increasing his possessions, power, and prestige. Mzilikazi was an able and ruthless general who carved out his own nation by conquering and incorporating those around him. He also built several fortresses.

The Ndebele nation in its final form was the wealthiest and most powerful of these migratory clans, incorporating a wide variety of people from different cultural backgrounds and infusing them with a sense of common identity.

Mzilikazi outlived most of his contemporaries and his kingdom survived his death in 1868 as well as the succession crisis that followed it. It was only broken thirty years’ later in two brutal wars against Europeans.

Three Virtues – Faith, Hope, Charity

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

This card seems to be popping up on a regular basis and it reminds me about the three virtues. The primary essence of this card is Hope which is one of the three moral virtues (Faith, Hope, Charity) and it got me thinking about why do we have hope, and what do we do while we are hoping for something.

The expression “Hope is eternal” resonates with me and reminds me that no matter what is going on in our lives, as long as we have hope, all is not lost – we are naturally inclined to believe in a positive outcome.

We know that we have to keep changing in order to keep in harmony with our world around us.  Understanding that everything changes teaches us to live in the present moment, with focus and intent.  The more we are able to embrace the present moment, the more we will get out of life.  Hope is the understanding that no matter how bad of difficult the situation, anything is possible.  We can be, create and live whatever life we want.

The Star

The Mythic Tarot: by Juliet Sharman-Burke, Liz Greene

The story of Pandora affirms that no matter what disaster, disease, trauma is released at the end of it we will find hope.  Many years ago I did a workshop with Dr. Elisabeth Kubler Ross on death and dying and she told us that no matter what the prognosis, no matter how ill the person the one thing we never take away is hope.  This is not being closed to the outcome, its about hoping for the best possible way of achieving that outcome.

For centuries philosophers have debated the difference between ‘hope’ and ‘expectation’.  Hope is there to inspire us – to keep us pushing through, it is what sustains us when we are at our lowest, darkest moment.  When we have hope we are open hearted to solutions and opportunities.

Hope is the belief in the outcome, that what we dream about can become a reality.  We hope for with confidence.  Alfred Adler said: “We cannot think, feel, will or act without the perception of a goal”.

three virtuesFaith is believing that a Divine source will deliver on a promise – eternal life, happiness, salvation.  The gift of faith reminds us that what we hope for will be delivered, but we cannot sit back and just expect it all to happen, we need to participate and be active and live our truth. The best way to work with faith is to “pay it forward”.

Charity is love – love for yourself and all others.   Easter is that message. Charity is about kindness and compassion – an expression of our own love.  When we work from our heart centres and not from ego and self importance the rewards are so much more satisfying. Love and charity is what binds us to our sacred contracts, its what purifies our thoughts and deeds.  When we do good deeds we are rewarded with joy and peace.  What we put out there returns to us.

This week think about your goals – are you hoping or expecting? Do you have faith in yourself and your abilities?  Are you living life with a good and open heart?