iTongo Tarot CardSEVEN of MAVHELE (Coins/Pentacles/Earth)
People of the North
Key word – RESPECT

Morality | Honour | Assessment | Evaluate status | Reaping rewards | Consider alternatives | Crossroads | Due diligence | Self esteem | Fair social standing | Attention to detail | Treat with consideration | Learn from mistakes

Respect is a feeling of value or reverence for someone or something – we are taught at an early age to respect our parents, authority, our home, our possessions.  We can have respect for concepts and ideals, like the law/authority, our country and achievements by others.  But when it comes to self respect we seem to fall into the ‘not worthy’ way of thinking.  This pattern is usually set up in childhood by parents and teachers not considering the impact of their words and actions.  We will then choose partners in life that behave in a similar manner – and so the cycle continues.

But what about our own self respect?  How do we assess and evaluate our status?  Where do we perceive ourselves to be in the great scheme of things?  What is our have social standing?  Are our actions worthy of respect? Where do we have authority?

We are surrounded by ‘totemic’ icons and  archetype symbols that represent a collective value – flags, coats of arms, business and product logos. Each of these symbols represents a philosophy, culture or interest group.  They say a picture is worth a thousand words, these pictures convey a symbolic language.  Within that symbolism is the cause for respect.  Be it actions or simply the message of hope, we cling to the imagery to sustain or inform us of actions or thoughts.

swooshBrands are built around a philosophy and concept.  Take Nike’s famous ‘swoosh’ which represents simple, fluid and fast.  The symbolism is drawn from the Winged Victory of Samothrace also known as The Greek Goddess of Victory – Nike.  When we see this logo we are aware of  the message and the challenge to be victorious.

What is our personal icon, what image do we present to the world?  Healthy, grounded self respect is an important part of our emotional well being.  It is the filter that we view the world through.  We cannot have self respect without caring and being true to our authentic selves.  If we don’t trust or respect ourselves, how can we expect others to do so.  This is something we have to work on consciously and continuously.  We should pay attention to our actions and with careful consideration.  We should learn from our mistakes.  How often do we take the moral high ground?

What is our value?  What is our worth?  If we don’t see it, we can’t earn it.  Respect is both given and received.  We expect people to respect us, our bodies, our thoughts, ideas and possessions according to the standards of society, but it is built over time by our actions and can be wiped out with one single action or inconsiderate phrase.

The Seven of Mavhele shows us that through perseverance, effort and determination success is inevitable.  When we live consciously, we will reap the rewards of our actions.  We will experience a sense of self worth, material security and creative inspiration.  All we have to do is be patient – no good deed goes unrewarded.

What is your logo, what is your slogan for living your best life?  What makes you victorious?

iTongo Legend

The totem group is an extension of kinship groups and exists apart from family and lineage groups. It is a fairly loose association of presumed agnatic kin and is the only other social grouping based on kinship.

The word for totem is moano or seano, derived from the verb go ana, to honour, venerate, or respect, sometimes also to swear an oath. A clan’s totem is usually an animal, and totems can be changed under certain circumstances. For example, when the Pedi, an offshoot of the Tswana-speaking Kgatla, relocated in about 1650 and settled in an area to the south of the Steelpoort River they changed their totem from a monkey to a porcupine (noku). This change can be traced back genealogically to the founders of the original lineage group.

The totem group of the Pedi is not a clan, although the totemic system probably had its origin in a clan system. The Pedi have no word for a totem group, and do not actually consider themselves as belonging to such a group. They recognise the association between people venerating the same totem, and in a formal introduction, a person’s origin can be established based on “what totem he dances”.

The significance of the totem is not of religious importance but rather of supernatural importance. There are no rituals associated with totems, although it is bad luck to kill a totem animal. Bad luck will also follow anyone who swears on the name of a totem and then breaks that promise.

Although, a large number of the Pedi still acknowledge their totem, it appears that totemic association is on the wane.


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