Ladies of iTongo – Queen of Earth

iTongo Tarot CardOur final lady of iTongo this month is Queen of Mavhele (Coins/Earth) we pay homage to our earth mother Modjadji, the Rain queens of the BaLoBedu.

In a country where rain means the difference between life and death, the ability to control it is a most valuable gift. This gift is about abundance, fertility and growth.

What do we learn from Modjadji? Through our gifts we are able to nurture, guide and support others. We act with generosity and patience. As light workers we understand that we act as the agents of transformation, we nurture, push and advise but their issues are not our issues. We do not take up the burdens of others. Each one of us needs to take responsibility for our own choices and ultimately the outcome.

In business, there are people known as rainmakers. These are people who bring in new business ‘almost like magic’, and are often key figures within their community or organization. These people are ‘connected’. To the universe of possibility, and the ability to recognize an opportunity when it presents and to have the will to see it through.

Let your imagination flow with the rhythm and timing of life. Protect the earth and all her treasure, be aware of the foot print you leave behind. Take responsibility for your choices and your position. Be prepared for growth. Immortality comes from what you leave behind.

Make it Rain!

Modjadji – The Rain Queen

The legend of the Lovedu people of South Africa includes the deity known as Modjadji, the Rain Queen, who has the power to cause rain to fall on her people and send drought to their enemies. The land of Modjadji is known as LoBedu (land of offerings) and her people as the BaLoBedu.

In a savage world of ceaseless warfare and oppression, this small tribe was left unscathed for fear that the awesome queen would take umbrage and curse offenders by withholding the precious rain. The Zulu held her in awe and called her Mabelamane.

Modjadji I lived in isolation and was beautiful, wise, and immortal. The impenetrable wall of mystique around her person and power brought her fame, and led to the weaving of many myths and legends. Immortality is achieved by the succession of the queens. The secrets are imparted to the successor just before the death of the queen. The new queen must accept the inevitable ending of any career and/or public life she may already have embarked upon, thus ensuring that Modjadji (meaning ruler of the day) continues. The second Rain Queen, Masalanabo Modjadji is said to have been the inspiration for H. Rider Haggard’s novel, She: A History of Adventure.  She also is said to have inspired the song ‘She’ written and originally recorded by Charles Aznevor was made popular in the sound track from Notting-hill sung by Elvis Costello.

The current status of the Rain Queen dynasy. After the death of her grandmother, Rain Queen Mokope Constance was crowned the sixth rain queen on 16 April 2003. This made her the youngest queen in the history of the BaLoBedu tribe. She died on 10 June 2005 at the age of 27. A son, Prince Lekukena (b. 1998) and a daughter, Princess Masalanabo (b.2005), survive her. Since Princess Masalanabo is fathered by a commoner, traditionalists are not likely to accept her as the rightful heiress to the Rain Queen crown. There is concern that the 200 year-old dynasty may come to an end.

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iTongo Ladies of Water (Cups)

“wathint’abafazi wathint’imbhokoto uzakufa” (you touch a woman you dislodge a boulder, you will be crushed) captures the essence of this feminine power. Our iTongo ladies of Water (Cups) Queen Mantatisi (Four of Water) and Queen maMohato maBela (Queen of Moritsoana) – Great wife of Moshoeshoe I epitomise feminine power in action. In a patriarchal society both women had to rise above their stations and circumstances and take control of their lives, their families and their communities.

What do we learn from them? We are the Mothers of Light. We need a strong sense of our individuality to manifest our passions in a practical way. Ego should not be about the idealisation of self, but rather a consciousness of our characteristics and powers. We need to use all that we are for the greater good.

The element of Water represents our emotions, feelings, hope, intuition, dreams and visions.

We determine the quality of our experiences. When we are warm and outgoing with a solid faith in our abilities, expressing self assurance, we find that our thoughts, ideas and wishes are positively received and responded to. When we disengage with ourselves, from our truth and our essence then we may find that life is difficult. Opportunities seem to pass us by and the people we interact with seem to be closed to our needs and desires.

Last week we celebrated Women’s Day and we need to take inspiration from the women of history who showed us that we can achieve anything when we stand together. Power in numbers and solidarity for common goals and standing up for what is right, even in the face of danger.  Our personal integrity should not allow us to stand back and do nothing when a woman is abused. We should not turn away, because we ‘don’t want to get involved’. We need to be there as support, to comfort and to protect our women.

The rate of sexual violence in South Africa  is among the highest in the world. An estimated of 500,000 rape cases take place in the country, every year. Children are now playing a game called “Rape, Rape”.  Only when we have truly become centred and strong within ourselves, when we have absolute faith in our abilities and live with vigour and strength – then we can ‘Run with the Wolves, and shop with the poodles.’ live our lives with grace and compassion. When we are able to nurture and create life within us and around us can we stand up and shout – I am Woman, Hear me Roar!

iTongo Tarot CardQueen Mantatisi (1781-1836) was the Commander of the Batlokoa of Southern Africa, and was perhaps one of the most well-known and feared women military leaders during the early 19th century. She was the daughter of Chief Mothaba of the Basia in the Harrismith District; the area that was later named the Orange Free State.

She married Mokotjo, the chief of the neighbouring Batlokoa. Mokotjo died while their son, Sekonyela, was still too young to take over control of the chieftaincy. As a result, Mantatisi assumed control and acted as regent. Reports claim that Mantatisi was a tall, attractive woman who bore her husband four sons.

After her husband’s death, her clan suffered a series of military encroachments by the AmaHlubi clans who were fleeing their homes in neighbouring Natal and Zululand. According to historians, Mantatisi took the Batlokoa into the Caledon Valley where, after seizing crops and cattle, they drove out the more peaceful Sotho clans living in that area. Her reign of military conquest extended as far as central modern day Botswana. At the height of her military and political power, her army numbered forty thousand warriors. However, she eventually suffered a series of defeats beginning in Bechuanaland in January 1823.  After Mantatisi’s son, Sekonyele, reached maturity, he took control of the Batlokoa social structures and military arm. Eventually, he was conquered by Moshoeshoe I, son of a chief of the Bakoteli – a branch of the Kwêna (Crocodile) clan.

 iTongo Tarot CardmaMohato maBela – Great wife of Moshoeshoe I
The oral traditions of the Basotho reflect the importance of women when forging political and military alliances through marriage. Ancestry and family connections were important to the social structure of the Basotho and are one of the reasons why arranged marriages used to be a common occurrence, especially for the children of leaders and chiefs. One chief would betroth his daughter to another chief to secure alliances. The father incurred an obligation to help the husband and his family and vice-versa. 

The value of women is indicated by the fact that they were often captured in battle and were then ransomed back. While Moshoeshoe was still at Butha-Buthe two of his wives were captured by a MoFokeng chief, it is said that Moshoeshoe recaptured them in a counter attack. Sekonyela captured MaMohata in an attack at Thaba Bosiu; she was ransomed for six head of cattle.

MaMahato was a tall and strong woman. It is recorded that her marriage was a good one with mutual respect however there is a notation that MaMohato died in childbirth as a result of a harsh beating by her husband. Apparently, she had been unfaithful. The BaSotho saying “morena ke mosali” meaning “woman is chief’. Missionary D.F. Ellenberger (1835-1919) explains this as meaning “that even a chief must respect her and may not abuse or punish her, even though she may have provoked him”.

 

Ladies of Fire – Growth through Responsible Change

This week our two ladies of iTongo come from the Xhosa, People of the South, and their lives were intertwined by destiny.

In mid-1856, Nongqawuse believed she saw her ancestors in a pool of water in the Gxarha River. She claimed that the ancestors told her they would arise and sweep the British settlers into the sea, replenish the granaries and fill the kraals with healthy cattle. As an act of good faith, she said the Xhosa people should destroy their crops, the grain stores and kill their cattle. Those who refused would be turned into frogs, mice, and ants and blown into the sea by a mighty whirlwind.

Queen Suthu was a shrewd woman of substance and ruled alongside her son King Sandile. They were influenced by Nongqawuse and gave their blessing. Had they not done this, the terrible tragedy could have been averted.

What do we learn from these two ladies? We need to take responsibility for the choices we make. There is of course the danger of over reaching our capabilities and with that comes the burden of assuming responsibility. Sometimes life adds certain restrictions to our actions, which often delays our personal growth and blocks our energy. At times like this we need to remember that for every action there is a reaction, so we need to be mindful of our expressed intent.

When we are in a situation that could have possible negative outcomes, the best is to take a moment to reflect. Take a step back and reassess the possible damage. We need to understand our own power in action. What it takes to manifest our passions in a practical way. Simply allow that ray of light within to guide us. Be vigorous and strong within your self-assurance. Feel – think – act – change!

Remember to be gracious, warm and outgoing when approaching others or a situation. Maintain your personal integrity with maturity. These two ladies represent the feminine power in action.

iTongo Tarot CardTEN of ISIBANE (Fire/Wands) – People of the South – Key word – RESPONSIBILITY
Nongqawuse (c.1840 –1898) was the 14 year-old girl whose prophecies led to the Xhosa cattle-killing crisis of 1856–1857.

She predicted that the ancestors’ promise would be fulfilled on 18 February 1857 when the sun would rise as a blood sun, stand still in the sky, and then set again in the East. Chief Sandile, on hearing the prophecy from Nongqawuse’s uncle, Mhlakazi, ordered his followers to obey it.

For ten months, the Gcaleka acted as men possessed, killing their livestock, and destroying their crops until all that was left was their faith. The cattle-killing frenzy affected the whole of the Xhosa nation, and it is estimated that between 300,000 and 400,000 head of cattle were killed. It is reported that the Xhosa population dropped from 105 000 in January 1857 to 26 000 in December 1858.

As the appointed day dawned, a breeze blew off the sea and the Gcaleka people sat waiting. The sun rose, made its passage across the hot February sky, and set in silent majesty in the west. Darkness fell on a ruined people. Those left to rebuild the nation survived only through the help of neighbouring tribes and the Europeans.

Nongqawuse, fled to King Williamstown where she sought sanctuary with the British. There are conflicting reports of what became of her. Some believe she was sent to Robben Island, but there is no record of her ever having been there; others believe that she settled on a farm in the Alexandria district in the Eastern Cape. She died in 1898. Today, the valley where Nongqawuse met the spirits is still called Intlambo kaNongqawuse (Xhosa for Valley of Nongqawuse).

Queen of iSibane (Fire)QUEEN of ISIBANE (Fire/Wands) – People of the South – Key word – RADIANCE
Queen Suthu: According to Xhosa tradition, when a chief or king dies and the heir is under age, his mother, or uncle acts as regent on his behalf until he becomes a man.

Queen Suthu was the youngest wife of Chief Ngqika. She was a great beauty in her youth and a knowledgeable politician. On Ngqika’s death in 1829, Suthu became regent of the Rharhabe Xhosa on behalf of her son, Sandile, until he came of age. Suthu’s prestigious and important position was consistent with Xhosa tradition where the mother of the chief is always held in high esteem and occupies a place as major adviser and counsellor to her son.

Queen Suthu was a shrewd woman of substance and a survivor. She overcame witchcraft accusations in 1842 and was well known to British missionaries.  Because of her experience in dealing with the British, she often served as an emissary between tribes and the British officials and missionaries.

More than once, she appeared in court on behalf of her son Sandile when he was captured by the British during the War of the Axe in 1846. Sandile was shot by the British in 1878.

Queen Suthu attended church services frequently and was respected by the British; however, she would not tolerate their demands to desist from holding traditional ceremonies on the Christian Sabbath.

THREE of ISIBANE – Growth through INSPIRATION

iTongo Tarot CardThe Three of iSibane or Wands indicates that we have learnt our lessons well and we may actually be feeling that everything is going according to plan. Our hearts and minds are open and our bodies are strong. We are experiencing success and the joy of self expression. Our intentions are clear and we have a firm grip on our emotions and are ready to explore new opportunities with out fear. We are visionary!

Give yourself credit for staying the course and now you are reaping the benefits. Appreciation and respect come your way. Acknowledge all that you bring to situations. Acknowledge all that you are and hold your head up high. Share your good fortune and leadership with others. Be the first to explore the new opportunities that present.

With this newfound energy and sense of self make your position clear. Those that cant or wont accept your ideas are not worthy. Don’t waste time on them, move on. You are on a trajectory to success and you have learnt that dwelling within the hopeless never works. Growth has matured your spiritual views and you now have a more sensible approach to most matters. Considered action brings success and rewards.

Move forward with intention and control. Take a simple idea and allow it the time to gestate and develop. The three of iSibane marks the first stage of new possibilities and that you are almost at your goal. I say almost because living is a dynamic that has a way of surprising us. When we achieve what we set out to achieve we realise that there is so much more. Don’t be disheartened – more is good. We need to constantly be growing and moving forward. When we stop dreaming and imagining a better life we stop living. Everything is cyclical. We sow, we grow and we reap.

Three’s are all about fertility and growth, abundance and partnerships. This is an opportunity for a fresh start with long-term success. If you are considering business ideas, this is the perfect time to get those ideas out there. Pitch your project. Tell your boss what you are thinking. Share your insights and ideas.

You are in a position where your perspective is great. You are able to see the bigger picture and plan your way ahead with clarity. You can see the rewards on the horizon. You understand that it will take time and you are prepared to wait with confidence and commitment to see your dream and ideas come to fruition.

Invest with optimism and inspiration. Don’t plant onions and expect roses.

Be inspired by the world and people around you. Be inspired by yourself. Look back at all that you have achieved. Life is a process and when we work at it each moment, we are rewarded. Count your blessings and give gratitude that you are still here … persevering on and achieving success.

iTongo Legend

Ulibo is the First Fruits Ceremony (Umkhosi wokweshwama)

The Xhosa observe a ceremony called ukuShwama. The term ukuShwama (to proclaim) is from the same root as ukuShwamela (to preach) and is given to the proclamation made to the general public to gather at the chiefs great place (Kraal) for the inauguration of the ceremony.

Before the authorisation from the supreme chief, none may eat the ripening grain and vegetables. Notice is sent to the whole tribe that on a certain day the chief will shwama. All are expected to go to the great place and each individual must bring a portion of the first fruits of the field, pumpkins, beans, sugar cane, and grains.

Feasting on these first fruits then takes place at the chief’s kraal, after which all members of the tribe retire to their homes. On the following day, early in the morning, the women in each family throughout the tribe prepare and cook a portion of the early fruits. Meanwhile, the men assemble in the cattle kraal and the food, when ready, is taken out to them.

A small piece of the food is placed on the back of the hand of each one present. Each individual then consumes this piece, at the same time spitting out a little towards the east and a little towards the west, exclaiming as he does so, “zila ngolozayo” (abstain, when next year comes round). This is a declaration that the custom will be continued in the following year.

16 The Tower – Growth through Deconstruction

ThulamelaThe past two weeks have been about change and transformation, we have identified that which is not working for us and now this week we need to deconstruct those illusions and delusions and begin to restructure and restore our power and passion.

Its always difficult and challenging to say the least when we are faced with change. We must never forget our true value. When we allow others to take control of our lives we find ourselves in positions and situations we did not choose. Often we are less than satisfied with the results. So this week we need to take back that control, put ego aside and jump into our desired future.

This card need not be as ominous as the Death card as it too 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 inner control the changes can be traumatic, with control they may still be dramatic but manageable.

You may feel that you are being poked at from many different directions and the energy around you is argumentative, keep control. Don’t lose your temper or remain in a state of irritation. Not everything is or should be personal, what ever you do this is not a time to panic. When we panic we lose our focus and understanding and tend to make bad judgement calls. When we carefully consider the outcome and think things through and we are not in a state of crisis then we are rewarded with the results that we want.

As much as you are ‘doing it for yourself’ remember that others are also doing it for themselves. In the situations that present, you need to ask, is this going to work for me, if not then you need to make the required adjustments and carry on with your own plan.

This is particularly true in the workplace. We don’t have much choice on how the business is run, the expectations, basic rules and regulations. However we do have the choice to co-operate, give our best to that end. If we are unhappy, then we need to make changes. Nothing thrives in negative conditions. We need to decide if the environment we are in supports our inner being, adds something to our lives, helps us to be our true selves. If not then we need to move on. We always pay the price for our decisions. So whatever comes your way this week – “Keep calm and Carry On”

The most important aspect of the Tower is that from destruction comes the opportunity to rebuild. It can be a time of awakening and is about what inspires you to create. Destruction is also a release from the bondage and all that constricts you. This is a time for truth and honesty, be prepared for that lightning bolt from out of nowhere. Be shocked out of your comfort zone. The choice is yours, to stay in the self defeating way or to reach for the transformation and inspiration that is within.

Three of Mavhele (Coins) Growth through Unity

iTongo Tarot CardOur card this week the three of Mavhele/Coins/Earth reminds us of unity, body, mind and spirit. Past, present and future. Its about being one with all that we are. Recognising that there is an interconnection and coherence between all things. We are where we are because of our past. We make choices in the present that determine our future.

Planning and preparation brings the competence needed to meet our goals and finding harmony within and then between others. Working together as a team creates powerful results. This is a good week to focus on group actions. Whether it’s at work being an integral part of a team, on the sports field or within your family unit. Together, you can do it!

This 3 is a positive card and works well with career questions. This is the time to evaluate your position, are you happy, fulfilled, successful? What more can you do to make your career work for you? You know that your colleagues appreciate the effort you put in. You are a team player, but sometimes you feel that you need to fast track that promotion. You don’t need to stop what you are doing and start again, what you need to do now is finesse.

The same would apply to those that are seeking work. Think laterally, what skills do you have and how can you apply them to the positions being offered. Take an accountant, its not just crunching the numbers, its also about projections, futures and management.

If you need to brush up on your talents or skills, then this is the week to book that course, read more or practice. You may even be called upon to assist or work on a new project – whatever happens be prepared to shine. What you are putting into process now has long term rewards. Your efforts are recognised and there is a sense of satisfaction of ‘a job well done’.

Business opportunities or profitable ventures seem to be around in abundance this week. Grab those opportunities with both hands. Your financial affairs will blossom. Just remember that you can’t do this alone, so ask for help or help someone else. You are all working towards a common goal. Success! Bliss!

On a spiritual level we work with the Trinity, the father, the son and the holy spirit. All are distinct yet all are one – substance, essence and nature. The Triad of heaven-human-earth.

Ask yourself what is your Divine within. Are you taking care of your body? Eating healthy, exercising? How are you stimulating your mind? Learning growing, being curious? How are you taking care of spirit? Prayer, meditation? We have to treat each of the aspects of self as a whole. No point working out and developing physical muscles, we have to work our brain and our soul. It all fits together, as a team, in unity. One without the other and you could find yourself going around in circles – the objective is to keep moving forward. The three principles of growth are 1. The initiation (of thought/inspiration) 2. The Germination/Gestation (the process of development and growth) and 3. The fruitfulness (the result, the prize, the achievement) its about imagination meeting opportunity to create a result.

Thinking about getting married or renewing vows? This is a good week to focus on your personal relationships. Pop the question, your loved one is likely to say yes. Three is also the energy of the ‘creative’ and one surprise could be pregnancy. Just experience the joy of being alive and the people in your life. This is a period of increase and expansion, don’t hold yourself back, go for the brass ring. In fact go for GOLD!

Create or attend celebrations and gatherings. Accept every invitation. Nothing happening … then make something happen. Invite friends over, share your bounty. Take cake to the office. Have fun, share the goodwill and excel.

iTongo Legend

Marriages are only concluded between members of different clans that are between individuals who do not have the same clan name. However, a man may marry a woman from the same family as his paternal grandmother.

The prospective bride is kept secluded for two weeks before the wedding in a specially made structure in her parents’ house, to shield her from men’s eyes. When she emerges from her seclusion, she is wrapped in a blanket and covered by an umbrella that is held for her by a younger girl who also attends to her other needs.

Ndebele women traditionally adorn themselves with a variety of ornaments, each symbolising their status in society.

On her wedding day, the bride is given a marriage blanket (nguba), which she will adorn with beadwork to record significant events throughout her lifetime. After marriage, a wife’s dress becomes increasingly elaborate and spectacular, and she covers her head out of respect for her husband. The head coverings range from simple beaded bands to elaborate headdresses (amacubi).

After the wedding, the couple live in the area belonging to the husband’s clan. Women retain the clan name of their fathers but children born of the marriage take their father’s clan name.

To mark the birth of the first child, a married woman may wear a five-fingered apron (an ijogolo).

5 of Moritsoana (Cups) Growth through Loss

iTongo Tarot CardOur card this week is a subject most of us know and dread. Sorrow and loss has a way of changing us, and how we see the world around us. For some it has been such an integral part of their lives for so long, that often they feel lonely and empty when its not there.

The Five of Moritsoana helps us come to terms with endings. To understand the pain of loss, whether it is a loved one, a job or simply parts of ourselves that gets lost in the chaos of living.

We are living in violent times, many of us have lost loved ones unexpectedly. We are in shock and feel numb, mostly confused. We experience a physical reaction to the loss, we feel nausea, muscle weakness, dry mouth, our whole body trembles. We are disbelieving, feel angry sometimes even guilty because we think “I should have; I could have; why didn’t I just ….”

When we feel emotional distress physically in our bodies at times the pain is unbearable but through the pain comes insight and when we remember we are able to make adjustments with hope. No matter how dark it all seems there is always the possibility for personal growth. We need to adapt to a new normal. We need to adjust our foundation.

As long as we have memory, our departed has life. Remember all the times spent together. We should focus on these times rather than our own loss. We should celebrate their life not get stuck on the time of death or the manner of death.

We have to go on with our lives, we have to make the best of our circumstances. To live in the past is a dangerous thing, to not go on is destructive to ones life. We can retain a connection with our loved one for a period after death, and then we have to let them go, they too have other things to do. We should mourn, we should go through the process, its healthy, but to hang on to something that was – is not healthy.

By releasing the loved one you release yourself. Grief is not an event it’s a process. Allow for numbness. This serves a valuable purpose; it gives your emotions time to catch up with what your mind already knows. Grief is something to be experienced rather than to be overcome.

Grief is the normal response of sorrow, emotion and confusion that comes from losing someone or something important to you. It is a natural part of life. Grief is a typical reaction to death, divorce, job loss, a move away from family and friends, or loss of good health due to illness.

We all mourn at different rates. Some people are able to put death into life’s perspective and move on, but often the family will make them feel guilty that they have moved on, by either remarrying or selling a home – we deal with death in our own way, and we need to allow the individual their process.

Again it has to be in perspective. You had the gift of that life for a period, it was special and sacred, now the loved one has passed, you owe it to yourself and to them to rebuild your life. Never forget but move on.

Develop a support system. Find those people who encourage you to be yourself and acknowledge your feelings, both happy and sad. Embrace your spirituality. Talk with those who won’t be critical of your feelings of hurt and abandonment. Allow a search for meaning. Healing occurs in the opportunity to pose the questions, not necessarily in answering them.

The experience of grief is powerful. So, too, is your ability to help yourself heal. In doing the work of grieving, you are moving toward a renewed sense of meaning and purpose in your life.

8 of iSibane (Wands) – Growth through Passion & Power

iTongo Tarot CardThe Eight of iSibane is about virility.  It’s the power and the passion that we all possess.  This is the week to let your passion fly, state your intentions clearly, awaken you personality and declare – I am who I am! With pride and strength.

With all this energy going on inside you may feel that a lot of things are still ‘up in the air’ and you are waiting on others to get the ball rolling, that’s  OK, it will happen when it happens.  What you can do in the meantime is work on focusing your own energy and power.

For most of us patience is a difficult lesson, especially when the world around us is about instant gratification.  The eight of iSibane is about balance.  With stillness comes peace.

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, 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.

The Fire of iSibane brings the acceleration of affairs.  Things may begin to happen at a rapid pace.  What the cosmos teaches us that within everything there is order – and so too should be your growth.  Any blockage or obstacle can be overcome through the transformative power of Fire energy.

Your goals are within reach and new ideas will bring satisfactory conclusions.  At times you may feel swept off your feet, all you have to do is hit the ground running.  Keep up and keep going.

Another sense of urgency that may arise is your commitment to spirit.  Major breakthroughs are possible.  If you have plotted your course well all you have to do is implement it.  Spiritual activities increase and assume greater significance the more you practice. The stronger your sense of purpose the greater the result.

This power is especially in the 8 of Wands/Fire.  Part of you is the foundation (below) and part of you is spirit (above) both reflect equally and as you transmit, so you receive.

When opportunity knocks, you need to be ready.  Pay attention to everything that comes your way.  Strike while the iron is hot, and when all is said and done you will be satisfied with the results.

 

iTongo Legend
Mpondo and Mpondomise

Between the escarpment of the Drakensberg and the sea, lives a number of tribes, and between the uMtata and umTamvuna Rivers live the Mpondo and Mpondomise peoples. Tradition tells that the Mpondo have lived in the same part of the country for twelve generations, spanning nearly three centuries, and that Chief Cabe was the first to be buried in what is now KwaZulu-Natal.

Both the Mpondo and Mpondomise, like all the Nguni people, are divided into patrilineal clans (iziduko), where descent is based on the male line. Members of each clan are regarded as related for they can trace their descent from a common ancestor, but not all of them can trace their exact genealogical connection. Nevertheless, fellow members of a clan are forbidden to marry for they are regarded in this respect as brothers and sisters. Most clans have several thousand members, so the choice of marriage partners is severely limited.

The Mpondo number forty-six clans that can trace descent from their far distant ancestor, Mpondo.

4 The Emperor – Growth through Masculine Energy

iTongo Tarot CardPreviously we explored our mother energy, this week we take on our Father energy.  The Emperor is all about personal power and leadership. Working with our masculine energy (animus) and to walk our path with wisdom.

The interesting energy of the Emperor is the deep love of the creative process. Confused? We often attribute creativity and growth with our feminine (anima) sides.  The Emperor brings creative solutions to situations.  It’s about the practical implementation powered by hard work and stability.  This is an opportunity to manifest your leadership skills.  Like the element of fire, be warm, nurturing, vital and energetic.

It’s a week to be independent and pioneering.  Go boldly forward and establish structure in your life.  Within each of us is masculine and feminine aspects, the Emperor guides us through wisdom, order and authority.  He represents our physical world and reminds us of our duty as leaders.

Rely on your own intellect when making decisions don’t be influenced by others.  The wise way is to listen to all opinions and then with that knowledge make your own choice and execute in your own unique way.  Having the upper hand does not mean that we can run over others’ hopes and dreams, rather we should support and encourage whenever possible.  Guiding and pushing their ambition to succeed. Reflect your essence of masculine energy, be definitive and create structure.

Our card of the year The Chariot supports our ability to control and proceed forward.  To take up the leadership mantle and lead with wisdom.  To manage change and to know when we need to change course.  To be innovative and creative when seeking solutions to problems.

Business is good this week.  Be open to suggestions from co-workers and give credit where it is due.  Natural Emperors are kind and fair in all their dealings with others.  Integrity is key.

When the going gets tough – dig down and find that tenacity to face adversity.  Focus and willpower will get you through.  We carry within us all that we have experienced, this is the time to bring that knowledge to good use.  It’s a time to expand your horizons and improve yourself through all experiences life has to offer.

Ultimately what the Emperor teaches us is the sometimes we have to go with mind over heart, so its important to maintain focus and self control.  Assertiveness and confidence sharpens the focus.  Forge ahead doing what you know best and become the master of your destiny.

Your career may become an issue this week.  Are you following your passion and doing what you love?  Pay particular attention to organization, logic and follow through.  Don’t leave things undone, or hope that in time it will sort itself out – it wont.  You need to make the effort.  Keep a clear mind on your end result and work hard toward it.  If you are unhappy where you are, its time to start making a move.  Apply for that promotion.  Share your vision with those in power to make a change.  If you need to move to another company, now is the time to do it.  Don’t get stuck in a rut, because you fear the unknown.  Take the reins and steer your way to success.

Be sure to take time out to meditate, contemplate and regroup.  Even in our analytical state we need to hear spirit when it communicates.  Meditation requires discipline and will become easier when you make the time and effort.

Know your self worth and value all that you are.  The Emperor and the number 4 represent the four seasons, the four walls, the four corners.  It takes missive amounts of energy to move them.  The strength is in the stability they bring, the weakness is being trapped and stagnating.

The Emperor is connected to 13 Death (1+3=4) and therefore has the power of transformation.  You can change whatever you want, you just have to have the will to change.  Be warned about having a sense of entitlement beyond your actual rights, this could lead to corrupting your material and spiritual world.

Go forth and conquer.  Be kind and lead with compassion and wisdom.  Be fearless and focused.

iTongo Legend

Elephants symbolise wisdom, strength, moderation, and eternity. Numerous myths abound in Africa about this animal whose very size makes it invincible in nature, its only enemy being man.

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 San people, the original human inhabitants of the Southern Cape, were the very first recorders of the existence of elephants and often depicted them in their rock art. Elephants were important in San mythology and religion. The elephant was regarded as the supreme animal from whom, when in trance state, San shamans could draw their power.

2 The High Priestess – Growth through Spirit

The High Priestess - MoyoThe High Priestess is about serenity, knowledge and understanding.  She is the guardian to our inner world and lifts the veil of awareness to show us our true selves.  She guides us to enlightenment and divine knowledge.  This week listen to and trust your inner voice.

The High Priestess is a spiritual card, so this week we are asked to find our balance through the connections of intuition and insight. This week its OK to rely on your ‘gut feelings’ – trust that what you believe you know, is correct.

Discovering and learning to work with our intuition is often avoided, as we fear the ‘energies’ we may be attracting.  We all have experienced intuition and inspiration; sometimes it’s simply a ‘bright idea’ or something more profound in a ‘knowing’ of things to come.  When we work with our inner knowing we are able to access the power within.  Within each of us we have that still point, that place where we have absolute truth. How do we do that?

The simplest is working with our dreams.  We all dream, it’s a question of remembering and decoding those dreams.  I believe that our dream world is the ‘interpreter’ between our unconscious and conscious minds.  That is why we dream in symbols.  Some dreams are about us downloading the day and have no significance other than to make space for new thoughts and ideas.  Some dreams allow us the opportunity to work through our issues, fears and situations without actually having to physically go through them. And some dreams are communications from our inner selves – these are the dreams we need to take note of for our growth and understanding.

More often than not we second guess that little voice inside, we make choices and decisions based on our intellect, and remember the brain always has an agenda, its information is all acquired, whereas our inner voice’s sole purpose is to protect us and keep us safe and on our paths of truth.

The High Priestess brings with her pleasant surprises and synchronicity.  All of a sudden, what we have been chasing/pursuing all comes together. Perhaps even new opportunities, life may just feel simpler, easier when the Priestess is in play.  There is also a sensual side to the Priestess, so those looking for love will find it in all the right places.

The lesson of this card is to begin working with your unconscious and learn to interpret through the subconscious so that you can live consciously each day.  Make the right choices and have the right responses.

The Challenge of the High Priestess is to go beyond the obvious, surface information and discover what is hidden.  She also asks you to remember the unlimited potential you hold within yourself.  Sometimes goals can be achieved by simply being in stillness, by reading the signs and allowing the chance to develop within the fullness of time.

Start a dream diary.  It doesn’t matter if you don’t remember your dreams, start with just asking yourself “what am I feeling”? Perhaps there is a residue of emotion, a smell, a sound or random visuals.  Over time you will begin to recognise your symbols and archetypes, you will develop a map with billboards that explain what you are thinking and feeling.

An alternative is to sit quietly each day and meditate – remember meditation is a process not a destination, no need to push for some kind of ‘experience’, just allow the thoughts to arise, don’t get involved in the thoughts, take note and let them go.  Anything that has arisen, make a note in your diary and look out for those thoughts in your dreams.

What I enjoy about The Taxi ‘Song in your Head’ segment is that this could also be an indication of messages from your unconscious.  Keep a note of the song, the lyric or even the tune.  Nothing is by accident, we are constantly being guided to acknowledge and act on our intuition.

iTongo Myth/Legend
Baobabs occur across the continent of Africa, and a line of Baobabs, spaced at approximately 96 kilometres from each other runs across the Kalahari Desert, North West of South Africa extending into Namibia and Botswana.

The Sunland ‘Big Baobab’ in Modjadjiskloof, Limpopo Province, South Africa, is famous for being the widest of its species in the world and is carbon dated to be around 6000 years old.

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.

Almost every part of the tree is useful to man. A single Baobab may hold as much as fourand-a-half thousand litres of water. Their white flowers are large and sweet smelling, often likened to the stars of the evening sky as they only bloom at night. The pollen of the flowers yields an excellent glue, and the seeds are pleasant to suck (rich in protein, calcium, oil and phosphates), or they can be ground and roasted to make a coffee.

The fruit pod contains tartaric acid (which is used in sherbet) and is often called the ‘cream of tartar’ tree. Elephants, monkeys, and baboons depend on its fruit (the vitamin C content of one fruit is equivalent to four oranges). A white pulp, inside the seed pods, when mixed with water, is used to treat malaria. Young leaves have high calcium content and can be used as a kind of spinach. The spongy wood is used to make ropes or paper.