Everything Changes

iSilamelaYesterday the Equinox marked the official start of Spring in the Southern Hemisphere and we celebrated Wold Peace Day!

We ask ourselves what has been renewed in me – what am I growing towards. Spring always brings a sense of hope and renewal.  Everything around us seems so much brighter.  We are inspired by the circle of life – as the earth renews so too are our spirits.

For some we are motivated to get our bodies ‘beach ready’, others begin new projects – there is a sense of inspiration and innovation.  New beginnings and our eternal hope that the world will be a better place.  We rely on our self sufficiency to get going and get things done.  We share our good moods with generosity of spirit.  We believe that anything is possible. With our increased self confidence and esteem we forge ahead, keeping time with the growth cycle of renewal.

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 without fear. We are invincible!

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. Plant the seeds of hope and vision – watch your future grow.  Count your blessings and give gratitude that you are still here … persevering on and achieving success.

iTongo notes: iSilimela – The Digging Stars
Throughout time, man has observed, recorded, and interpreted the skies. He has made use of astronomy to structure his life and determine his calendar. The geographical location of different cultures has helped shape their perception of how the universe works. For rural South Africans, whose livelihood depends on properly timed planting, harvesting and hunting, the stars have been a valuable source of information.

The stars in the iSilimela cluster (the Pleiades star cluster) are called the digging stars, and this cluster’s appearance is the marker of a renewed year and the beginning of the growing season.

The iSilimela are friendly and comforting stars, who watch over the family. When the cluster appears in the east, mothers lift their children up and teach them to stretch their hands out to the stars. In this way, the mothers show the stars to their children, and their children to the stars.

 

2016 – 9 The Hermit

INDUNA9 The Hermit INDUNA
Induna (plural: izinDuna) : Advisor, ambassador, headman

CONCEPT – Completion; Introspection; Divine inspiration; Wise old man; Teacher; Advisor; Humanitarian

Induna invites you to look within through silent meditation and solitude.

The Numbers: 2016 – 2 + 1 + 6 = 9
Numbers in support – 20/2; 16/7; 0

The Hermit asks us to look inwards to find insight and to manifest that knowledge with courage. Sometimes we do need to withdraw from all the madness that surrounds us. Take time to explore within. We tend to fear ‘being alone’ this year we will need to make that journey to discover the gifts that solitude can offer. Be a seeker of knowledge and insight. As the saying goes “Seek and ye shall find”. It is helpful to know what it is that we seek, whether it’s peace, spiritual connection, joy or simply a greater understanding of self and the world. Trust in your own abilities and really tune in … your inner voice is waiting to be heard and will guide you.

The transition from 2015 to 2016 for some may be quite an emotional and spiritual time. Some may notice a change in their dreams or a pull towards their divine and spirituality. Seek out teachers and tools to assist your transition making it easier and meaningful.

The Hermit invites us to build on past experiences and work with our own personal wisdom and insights. Issues that seemed difficult may now have a clearer meaning. The path that we are meant to follow is illuminated and we need to reassess our goals – taking note of our achievements.

What to expect in a Hermit Year.
Endings and completion, The Hermit year is the best year to complete those unresolved issues you have been dragging around from your past. Time to put down the burden and make the transition into a new direction unencumbered with that baggage.

This is a year where you cannot compromise your values, everything you think and do needs to be significant and meaningful and have a valued place in your life. Toxic people and relationships need to be cleared – rather be on your own with the time to assimilate who you are and what you need than to compromise yourself and your values.

  • 2016 is a major year to complete and begin again. Do that self examination and assessment.
    What do you want?
    What do you need?
  • So get to it and make those lists –
    what unfinished business needs your attention?
    how are you managing your time between work, family, play and spirit?What are your dreams?
    Start a dream journal or do a vision board

2016 is also about light bearers and way-showers. Spirit is strong (the light is everywhere) and will show the direction. Be aware of your personal wisdom in insights. Where you have stumbled, help is at hand and light will be shed on the path to help and guide you through. When we make choices and decisions the outcome is determined, be focused and set the intention with a good heart and clear purpose. Don’t discount the wisdom you have gained from life experience. Dream but remain grounded in the reality of your life and situation. Surround yourself with love, beauty, order and harmony. We are who and where we are because of the choices we have made in the past, acknowledging this is what brings our wisdom, order and harmony into the light.

The Hermit inspires us to look within. Hermit people are natural teachers and mediators. Get involved in community projects especially those related to education. We can choose to be anything we want to be, its education that determines the quality.

The energy of the Hermit is to radiate our inner spiritual force and bring light to others. As the light bearer he asks that we show the way by self acceptance, which translates into confidence. As long as the intention is pure, the results will speak the truth with wisdom and insight. Share your knowledge freely, offer guidance based on your own higher learning and experience. Lead by example in a quiet and gentle way.

The Hermit asks that the collective of world leaders (Political and Spiritual) act from a point of spiritual focus, make wiser choices and stand up with honesty and integrity. The Induna is the wise old man and therefore leaders need to listen to their ancestors and to history and not keep perpetuating the same mistakes.

The theme for 2016 includes community – working together for a common goal. We are a global community, but we need to look closer to home and clean up our own ‘ back yard’ before we try to solve the worlds problems.

Local policies need to be readjusted and implemented. We will see a new order arise, a new leader of the free world will be identified.

Get involved in community projects. Help create order and harmony around you. When situations become too chaotic rather withdraw to seek spiritual guidance and maintain your balance. Many will be asked to take up leadership roles and positions whether they want to or not. Trust your inner self and your experience. Identify people in transition and help them, illuminate their path – be the lantern bearer.

Our efforts are supported by

2016

(As above)20 The World/Earth/IminyanyaGood judgement; Rebirth; Introspection; Transformation; Evaluation; Metamorphosis

(As Below and our Spiritual Realm) 2 The High Priestess/MoyoIntuition; Self-resourcefulness; Dissolving barriers; The Oracle; Releasing boundaries

(Our mental attitude) 0 The Fool/UlwalukoCourage; Transition; Transformation through a rite of passage; A spiritual journey; Retreat and seclusion

(Influence from the Past) 16 The Tower/ThulamelaRestoration; Renovation; Great courage; Sexual force; Health; Truth; Danger

(Influence of the future) 7 The Chariot/IndweChange; As above so below; Impulsive momentum; Imagination; Victorious warrior

(Our Emotional Realm) 1 The Magician/SangomaThe Magic of Possibility; Communication; Timing; The Healer; Nature; Alchemy

(Our Physical Realm) 6 The Lovers/uThandoChoice and decision; Eternal triangle; The merging of opposites; Balance and wholeness

Make space for the new beginnings. Look out for those Ah-Hah moments, when light is shed on your path. Remember you hold the light within, share it.

 

 

 

 

World Tarot Day – 25 May

Today is World Tarot Day – Time to learn something new, or if you have been thinking about starting your own deck, why not today.

Iminyanya20 The World or in the iTongo Tarot The Earth.  Concept: Good judgement; Rebirth; Introspection; Transformation; Evaluation; Metamorphosis
Iminyanya (The Ancestors) invites you to follow your destiny. Be guided by your inheritance and history.

Reaping reward from past actions; Analysis and evaluation; Absolution; Responsibility; New view of reality; Making wise judgements; Integration; Wholeness; Ancestral and family matters; Avoidable influences

iTongo Legend: The snake is commonly found in African mythology and is regarded as immortal because it sheds its skin and continues to live. For the Zulu, the snake is a metamorphosed amalgam of the ancestors, who visit either in dreams or in reality. A snake that enters the house is unthreatening and is viewed as ‘family’ and as such is never harmed.

Ouroboros (tail-devourer), a snake depicted with its tail in its mouth forming a continuous circle, is considered a symbol of eternity. It is present in many African artworks – cloth patterns, wall paintings, and metal works.

According to legend, the snake carried the creator in his mouth while the earth was being created. The creator feared that the earth would sink into the sea beneath the weight of the mountains. The snake coiled itself around the earth, holding firm with its tail in its mouth; this hold must never be loosened, otherwise all of creation will disintegrate.

In order for African people to live in harmony with the creator and creation, all natural laws and observances were divinely revealed to the first African generation as a community at the beginning of time. The death of that generation meant the beginning of intercession between the living and the creator, or ancestor worship, as the first generation had now joined the spiritual world thereby marking the beginning of the ancestors.

Many African peoples regard the earth as a female deity, a mother-goddess who rules all people and is the mother of all creatures. The earth lives and gives birth to ever-new generations of beings and the ancestors live in the earth.

The earth’s elements: fire, air, and water are recognised as gifts from the great mother, yet the earth is seldom worshipped. Nevertheless, the earth has a very powerful spirit that rules over life and death.

The Stages of Life (Rites of Passage)
Birth is the first rhythm of a new generation and the birth rites incorporate the newborn child into its new society.

Initiation rites continue that process and make the child a mature, responsible, and active member of society.

Marriage makes the young adult a creative and reproductive being, linked to both the departed and future generations.

Death stands between the world of humans and the world of spirits, between the visible and invisible. Burial rites make it quite clear that the bereaved feel that the dead are only making their way to their final destiny, i.e. to the new world of the living dead – their ancestors.

6 The Lovers – UTHANDO (uthando n. (-thando): Love)

iTongo Tarot Card

Key Words & Phrases:  Art of relationships /The harmony between lovers and friends /Harmonious connections with other people /Spiritual or transcendent power within /Balance between male and female /The understanding of paradox /A love affair with a trial or choice attached /Humanism /Time and space to integrate experience /Nurturing and care-giver

I usually talk refer to the Lovers as a card of choices and decisions, but it does also have romantic love connotations. They say that we cant choose who we fall in love with. So what is this magic that happens between two people? Why those specific people? Is it all part of a grand design or is there something about Soul Mates?

I have a bit of a problem with the concept that there is half of me somewhere waiting to meet up. I also have a problem with the theory that until we meet that soul mate we are not whole or complete. I prefer to subscribe to the theory that we are whole and complete and that finding that special someone ‘compliments’ our life.

Love and certainly romantic love is such an intangible, only when you are in the bloom of love does one seem to make sense of it all. Throughout time philosophers, poets, musicians have pondered and wondered about this feeling and state of being. How it works, what it is, how to explain it.

How do we love? Why do we need to love? I believe that we are born with the instinct to create, and in order for that creativity and (pro-creation) to succeed it needs positive loving energy to motivate and manifest to all that it can be.

The emotions of love can raise us up and can devastate us. That is the paradox of loving. We owe it to ourselves to nurture our own spirit, to love who we are and what we do. When we achieve that, we are so much more powerful and have greater capacity to love and nurture others.

It’s not always what we say that makes a difference, it’s the follow through of our actions that underlines the emotions we share. This week, be loving, be centred within yourself and your heart and share that well being with others. Do random acts of kindness. Smile at a stranger. Remember loved ones who have passed. Most of all show those you love that you care, that they are special and a light in your life.

zayn adamsToday’s card is for a friend who has passed into the light. A man whose voice brought chills and could move you to tears. Zayn Adams truly mastered the art of relationships. He embraced the concept of uBuntu and was warm and giving to all that he met. He was a deeply spiritual man with a keen sense of humour.

His music lives on.

Double the Abundance

Today 26 – 01 – 2015 is an 8 day which is also the number for the year.  So brace yourselves, its double everything.

iTongo Tarot CardKey words and concept for 8 Justice – Balance; Justice; Realignment; Equilibrium; Logic and reason.

StrengthFor those of you who follow Waite 8 is Strength – Strength; Passion; Creative energy; Taming of the beast within; Courage; Moral victory.

Need for clarity of mind, impartial judgment and a balanced intellect.

Justice is about The mediator, adjuster, arbitrator. — One who has a deep love for simplicity, clarity, fairness and balance. So today especially for Libra, be aware of your centre and stay grounded because balance is needed.  If you haven’t set your resolutions yet, this is a good time to start that diet, balance your cheque book, tidy up your life, let go …

8 Justice is also about Karma.  You may have noticed changes on a spiritual level, these energies are adjusting your cycles which will lead towards balance and harmony.  Expect some profound moments and clarity and better sense of equilibrium.  Embrace the laws of cause and effect.  Embrace logic and fairness – a sense of judgement will prevail.

If you are dealing with any legal issues this card is a positive sign.  Things will go well this week. Also a good week to sign contracts or enter into agreements with others. If you are hesitant seek sound advice and keep your cool. Its best not to be ruled by emotions at this time – apply your intellect and logic.

If you missed “The Year Ahead” here is the link http://wp.me/p25KRU-df

iTongo Tarot Legends
As with most of the other tribes of South Africa, the Venda (VhaVenda) came from the Great Lakes of Central Africa. The Venda people are one of the last groups to have entered the area south of the Limpopo River. They first settled in the Soutpansberg Mountains.

The Venda language, TshiVenda or LuVenda, emerged as a distinct dialect in the 16th Century. In the 20th Century, the TshiVenda vocabulary was similar to SeSotho, but the grammar shares similarities with Shona dialects, spoken in Zimbabwe.

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.

2015 – What to Expect

2015 has two influences. The Universal Experience (The year 15 which relates to The Devil) and The Personal Experience (2+0+1+5=8) Justice or in Waite system Strength (iTongo 11).

What does 2015 bring?
This will be a good year to handle legal issues. Outstanding issues will be resolved, new issues arising will be easier to reach a resolution, often resulting with out-of-court settlements.

2015 is a good year for finances – things begin to come into balance. New ventures are likely to succeed. If you heeded the energy of 7 The Chariot which was 2014’s card, took control and made the required changes, then 2015 is going to be a bumper year.

Promotions/increases are possible. If you have a dream 2015 is the year to realise it. Keep it simple, direct and clear. 2015 will not be a good year for anything covert and complex. Focus on what you want. Mind your motivation and intention. Set the course and you will reach those goals.

Body, mind and spirit. Pay close attention to health and care for your body – exercise and nutrition are key components towards good health in 2015. Part of good health is a healthy mind and spirit. Assimilate and adjust to the changes made in 2014. Watch your habits and addictions.

2015 is about abundance – make sure that what you are receiving is positive. Your balance and harmony will be reflected by those around you. If you are negative then you will receive in abundance. If you emit a positive energy and attitude then that too will be received in abundance. Its about understanding and being mindful of the laws of cause and effect. What you put out there comes back to you.

15 The Devil - Thikoloshe15 The Devil (Thikoloshe) in 2015. Universal experience.
This is the year where ‘our chickens come home to roost’. Whatever we put out there in 2014 comes back to us in 2015 – either to haunt or bedevil us or to ‘lay old ghosts to rest’. The upside is that whatever effort and hard work was done in 2014, we will reap the rewards in 2015.

2015 will ask us to look beyond what we are doing and look deep into what our 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.

This is the year to set your boundaries and limits. To combine practicality with productivity. It’s a year to be dynamic and assertive and accept ‘what is’.

Watch out for those bad habits – Vanity/ego, lust and addictions. You are the master of your destiny, be aware of what limits you and re-balance. 2015 could amplify bad habits or addictions at times making us feel trapped and helpless. We need to remember that we hold the power and the key for release and freedom. 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.

Keeping a positive attitude is one of the keys during 2015. 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 your options and take positive action, don’t run away or numb yourself with chemicals, alcohol and sex. Each time you face that particular demon its power is diminished and eventually will not have an effect on you. Live triumphant in 2015!

Live life with focus and positive reinforcement this year. 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 growth. 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 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. Its essence is about choice. You choose your action, you choose your result.

iTongo Tarot Card8 Justice (Khathulo) in 2015. Personal experience.
We have a double whammy here – 15 and 8 bring our past actions back to us in 2015. Justice is about truth in action. It’s about the natural law of cause and effect. We are responsible for our actions and reactions. Therefore we need to accept the punishment or the reward. The main theme of this year is “truth in action”

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.

2015 is about the 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 year 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.

2015 on a personal level is also about balance, realignment and finding that perfect harmony. The first step is TRUTH. Without absolute honesty we cant move forward. Make time this year to examine your truth and if you are living it. The more unfocused we are in 2015 the less effective we will be.

The number 8 is about control, domination and achievement. It’s also a number of abundance – attracting financial security. 2015 could see some relief in finances and legal matters. It could be as simple as 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.

The message for 2015 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 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.

Other lessons we will learn in 2015 are Compassion and wisdom. Natural leadership and self confidence are the keys. This is a year for taking that chance or risk on yourself. The challenge is not to pass judgement, manipulate or take decisions in anger. Be aware of becoming obsessive or addicted to the power. It’s finding the balance with logic and reason. Honour the laws of cause and effect. Understand the responsibility of choice. A clear mind will determine the quality of outcome. Experience is one of our great teachers.

2015 is a year to work for humanity. We need to take care of more than just ourselves. We need to share our talents, experience and wisdom and work towards the greater good. There are many in need – join a cause and work towards bettering humanity, the community, the nation and the planet.

For those who follow A.E. Waite tradition 8 Strength. (iTongo 11 – Amandla)
Originally named Fortitude which is the ability and willingness to face and confront our fear, pain, uncertainty. Moral courage is the ability to act truthfully in the face of opposition, shame or scandal.

2015 will see the return of wonder, awe, passion, vitality and excitement. It’s a year to follow your creative instincts and follow your passion. We are multi-faceted and we can do anything we dream of. We need the courage of our convictions to realise those dreams. Handle all situations as creatively as possible. It is through the creative process that you will renew and regenerate yourself.

Again the power of 8 is about stability, perseverance and everything in moderation, which will require inner strength and discipline. Maintaining composure and serenity will see you through the difficult times in 2015.

Summary for 2015

Maintain a positive attitude – Keep telling yourself ‘I am worthy’, ‘I am fearless’, ‘I can overcome’
Set your boundaries and limits
Honour the laws of cause and effect – Karma
Accountability for our actions – You choose your action, you choose your result.
Abundance – attracting financial security
Combine practicality with productivity
Work for humanity – In the circle of life we are all connected, we are all one
Manage those bad habits – Vanity/ego, lust and addictions
Find practical ways to bring balance and harmony
The more unfocused we are in 2015 the less effective we will be

Infinity, and beyond

When was the last time you came across something truly original?  It has been said that everything tangible and intangible has already been thought of and done, all we do is add layers or nuance to something that already exists and that someone else (usually in the dark ages) has already claimed as original.

A few days ago I received this …

banner-image-head

I have never seen the infinity sign used to mark the passing of someone.  What a brilliant idea!

It got me to thinking about how many of us get ‘stuck’ on that death date.  We forget that our loved one had years and years of life before that dreaded day.  We also forget that energy doesn’t just stop – it transforms and lives on.  They live on in our memory.  They stay with us and we pass on their life and legacy to the next generation.

Nelson Mandela was a world icon.  He embodied the principles of humanity, forgiveness and hope.  We often say rest in eternal peace.  Got me to thinking again about the difference between eternity and infinity.

20earthEternity means no beginning and no end (symbol Ouroborus) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ouroboros

iTongo Tarot card 20 The Earth – IMINYANYA (The Ancestors)

CONCEPT:  Good judgement; Rebirth; Introspection; Transformation; Evaluation; Metamorphosis

Infinity means a beginning but no end. (Symbol Lemniscate)  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infinity_symbol card back

Madiba’s beginning in this life (18 July 1918) his energy and spirit lives on in infinity.

iTongo Tarot Card Back.  Embracing eternity and infinity.  There is a beginning without end.

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.

The Ladies of Air – Growth through Intellect

In South Africa, August is Womens Month  with National Womens day on 9 August.  This month I will be paying homage to the women of  iTongo Tarot.  Starting with The Ladies of Air.

Queen of SwordsQUEEN of ASSEGAI (Swords/Air) – People of the East
Nandi (the sweet one) kaBhebhe eLangeni (c.1760 – 1827) Daughter of Bhebhe, a chief of the Langeni tribe, and the mother of Shaka, King of the Zulu and the third wife of Senzangakhona, ruler of the Zulu chiefdom.

What do we learn from Nandi’s journey?
This was a woman who managed to maintain her dignity and focus, no matter what trials and tribulations she endured.  She had a single purpose, to have her son Shaka recognised as the true heir of the Zulu kingdom.  She was determined that Senzangakhona (Shaka’s father), would marry her and legitimise their son.  He offered a paltry sum for her Lobola, which she turned down (this lady knew her value) and legend has it that she settled on 50 head of cattle.

Even though she knew of the prophecy that one day her son would be murdered by his brothers, she pursued the throne, because she knew her son would be king.

“Nandi, daughter of Bhebhe, your first-born shall be king,
Giving birth to a mighty nation of blood stained spears and thundering black shields,
The conditions of the prophecy are that your son remembers
not to defy the ancestors by reaching for powers that are not of his heritage.
The heavens will destroy him from his own blood. “

Nandi was named Queen of Queens when Shaka became king of the Zulu.  She ruled alongside her son with realistic expectations, a sound philosophy and never shied away from difficulties.

iTongo Tarot CardOur next ‘Lady of Air’ is Shaka’s aunt Princess Mkabayi.  The adage “Behind every man is a woman of power” is a true reflection of the woman Princess Mkabayi was.  She had the ability to accept reality with a clear perspective.  She consolidated her resources and was not afraid to act on her thoughts.  She teaches us to follow through on our ideas, maintain harmony and balance within.  Move the focus from within and see the visible manifestation of our thoughts in our actions.

Princess Mkabayi was the elder sister of Senzangakhona, and daughter of King Jama.  She was one of a set of twins and according to Zulu custom, one twin should be sacrificed to avoid the death of one parent. Jama refused to kill one of the twins and so broke a well-established tradition. His wife, Queen Sikhombazana, died without bearing him further successors, and people believed this was a consequence of his act.

A woman of great intellect, Mkabayi presided over the reigns of four kings – King Senzangakhona, King Shaka, King Dingane, and King Mpande. They all drew on her wisdom and experience, and a famous phrase at the time was “Buzani ku Mkabayi”, which means “consult Mkabayi for any solution”.

The Four Kings
Senzangakhona kaJama (c.1762-1816), son of Jama, was chief of the Zulu clan from 1781 to 1816. During the chieftaincy of Senzangakhona, the house of Zulu was a small clan in the Mthethwa confederation, which was ruled by Dingiswayo.

Shaka kaSenzangakhona (c.1787-1828), son of Senzangakhona, ruled from 1816 to 1828. Shaka (sometimes spelled Tshaka, Tchaka or Chaka; sometimes referred to as Shaka Zulu; was the most influential leader of the Zulu empire.

Dingane kaSenzangakhona (c.1795-1840), son of Senzangakhona and half-brother of Shaka, ruled from 1828 to 1840. He came to power after assassinating his half-brother Shaka with the help of another brother, Mhlangana, and Shaka’s advisor, Mbopa.

Mpande kaSenzangakhona (1798-1872), son of Senzangakhona and half-brother of Shaka and Dingane, ruled between 1840 and 1872, making him the longest reigning Zulu king.

PAGE of ASSEGAI (Swords) – Growth through Communication

iTongo Tarot CardCommunication – a word that is bandied about so much these days. We are told to speak our minds, we are encouraged to share our thoughts and ideas. There is so much social intercourse that at times we are overwhelmed by the messages and certainly the messengers.

We communicate our truth and expose what is hidden. Every now and then we connect, we have a meeting of the minds and we are able to develop our plans or ideas with the cooperation of others. When we communicate we are learning and also teaching. We have an opportunity to put forth what we know with logic and reason.

The most important element of communication is listening. If we don’t listen to our inner voice, to our spirit, we know the consequences – we veer off our path and have to work twice as hard to get back on track.

The universe works in mysterious ways. We ask, or ‘put it out there’ what we desire and then for some reason we expect it all to happen in an instant. We want the ‘burning bush’ experience. We want instant answers. Well the good news is that the Universe does answer immediately – but in subtle ways. If you live with focus and intent you will be rewarded. Listen to the lyrics of a song, read a headline. Take note of a phone call from someone. Every moment is filled with the possibility and the answer, we just have to be mindful of the question to recognize the answer and the help we receive.

Be warned not to get into the habit of ‘knowing it all’. Be humble in your approach and don’t be afraid to ask for help. It’s always available. Share the load or the burden – talk to someone. Pray. Meditate. Listen to Spirit. Explore your spiritual beliefs and systems. Even if you don’t buy into some practices, we all need to believe that there is something greater than ourselves. Open your mind and look deeply into your faith system.

I am a great believer in lists – physically manifest what is on your mind. Write a pro’s and con’s list. Write down a scenario ‘in a perfect world’ who would you be and what would you be doing. Trying to get something off your chest regarding someone else? Then write them a letter. You don’t have to send it, but once its out you will feel so much better.

Tell someone you love them. Tell someone you are grateful for their presence in your life. Call a friend, sometimes just making that connection can change their whole world and perspective.

There are many ways we communicate – not just verbal, but eye contact, our body language and our actions. Are you sending the right message. Are you being heard and understood. Are your signals clear and focused. What is the message you send out about yourself and your state of being?

iTongo Legend

Traditional Zulu beadwork is used as a means of communication by unrelated unmarried males and females, and is colloquially referred to as “Zulu Love Letters”. Symbolism is encoded within a limited number of colours and geometric figures. Colour symbols have alternative values but the values of geometric symbols are constant.

The bead code is deceptively simple and follows one basic geometric symbol – The Triangle. The three corners of the triangle represent Father, Mother, and Child. A maximum of seven colours is used to portray a wealth of meaning and imagery.