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!
Live 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.
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.