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.

 

Growth through Universal Consciousness

iTongo Tarot Card21 The Universe – The visual on this card is The Southern Cross. This constellation is used in celestial navigation to find due South, and I like to think that the energy of The Universe guides us and always points us in the right direction.

We talk a lot about the universe and universal energy, this great amorphous place, Divine something or energy that is available to us, but what does it all mean? How do we connect or begin to understand the vastness of the subject?

When I look at this card I am reminded that we are all one and part of the Universal mind and force.  Every thought, action and emotion is the souls unity with others.  We are perfect in our manifestation, we just have to look around and know that our external world reflects our inner world – that in itself is validation.

Each and every one of us has unlimited potential, we are all natural explorers and adventurers and we should be visionary in what we hope to achieve in this life time.  We need to rise above our circumstances and make something of the hand we have been dealt.  Good fortune should always be shared and pay it forward, in kindness, generosity of spirit and being emotionally available to those in need.

In context with our Card of the year being  7 The Chariot, this week we are able to see the bigger picture.  To instinctively see what needs to be rebuilt or designed in new ways, whether it be environments, ideas, projects or people. We will have a natural ability to renew and regenerate ourselves and others.  Quite a creative and innovative week – be an original.

Don’t hold back.  This is also a good time to become more aware the world around you – become more ecologically minded and be active in making the universe a better place.  You may find yourself asking those questions about the origins of the universe as a whole or contributing towards theories, projects and services that assist universal understanding.  Value cultural differences as well as honour inherent similarities found within all of us.

When we are connected to the universal energy we reach a state of unity, a sense of wholeness which liberates our spirit. What we need to do is learn to understand the timing of things.  There are times when we birth and grow and there are times when we need to lie fallow and regroup, building towards a new beginning where we can realise ourselves and the Divine nature of everything.

There are times when we feel that we are drowning in life – the obstacles and hardships we experience either make us or break us.  We owe it to ourselves to not lose hope, to not give up on the dream, vision or goal.

You may experience several clear and important spiritual insights this week.  Each time we do the work required we experience a shift in consciousness.  Keep a notebook handy and record these.  Find like-minded people to discuss your point of view, even online.  We are all on a spiritual journey and your insights may be valuable to someone else.

When the self has reached a true state of unity with Universal energy we experience a wholeness.  I am that I am – a liberated Soul. The end is a new beginning. Yin and Yang merged in one whole.

This week is the opportunity to use your inherent moral compass, cut through things and get to the bottom of situations.  Build a new internal world, which in turn will be reflected externally.

Value the contribution you are making that makes the world a better place in which to live.  Explore the unknown and bring those creative ideas and projects into reality.

Value through Growth

PromiseNine of Moritsoana (pronounced Morie – Tswana)  is equal to the suit of Cups, the element is water which governs our emotions.  Time of day is Sunset and season is autumn.  Direction is west.  The symbol of Moritsoana is clay pots, the Sotho people use for water, grain and storing precious possessions.  The visual is a Blue Diamond, the most precious of all and one of our greatest gifts is to aspire to a “Diamond Mind” which is clear, translucent and unflawed.

The 9 of Moritsoana is about the promise of things to come. With the right focus and intent we are able to achieve anything we set our minds to.  This is the week we need to check our emotions, our feelings and experience the power of love.  A week to sharpen our intuition and trust our vision.  Most of all we need to live with hope.

What is your promise to yourself?  How do you plan to delight your senses and seek out pleasure?  What do you wish for?

Self-worth is key this week.  We are all precious and valuable.  Each one of us in unique and we understand that everything in life arises from what we feel, think, what we say and what we ultimately chose to do, Being fully aware of our thoughts and actions, and developing an understanding of who we are allows us to fulfil the dreams we have.

Often misunderstanding occurs when one imposes one’s expectations  onto  things and the people around us; expectations about how one hopes things will be, or about how one is afraid of how things might be.  Knowledge and understanding occurs when one sees things simply, as they are, being confident in a simple straight-forward approach to life.

But! How ?
One practices simplicity.  Life is simple!  We need to be mindful of the choices we make, we need to understand what motivates us, we need to learn to live with focus and intent.

We don’t have to struggle to survive after all. We have already survived. We don’t have to ‘sell out’ to achieve our goals.  We can learn to understand how things are and manage how we would like them to be.  The best way is to know yourself (warts and all) and to live life with focus and intent.  The right motivation brings the right results.  I use a mnemonic when I have to plan or question my intent.  The process is called If …. The Price is Right.

Planning  –  Know who you are. Know what you want.  No point in dreaming of being an Astronaut when you are afraid of flying.

Revolution  –  Fight for your beliefs.  Everything worth believing in deserves a good fight.

Involution  –  Internalise and own it.  When you have identified the “what” you need to make it your own and be prepared to ‘own it’ take responsibility.

Choice  –  Choose wisely and Change Management.  Once we have made a choice we set into motion change.  Are you ready to manage that change?

Evolution  –  Execute – Putting it all together.  If YES is the answer to the choices then its time to execute.  Make it happen.  Move forward.  The price is right!

This Friday we usher in Chinese New year and it’s the year of the horse.  Which is in keeping with our Card of the Year of The Chariot. The spirit of the horse is recognised as making all effort to improve oneself.  It is energetic, bright and warm hearted.  Horses are considered to be intelligent.  People born under the sign of the Horse are excellent communicators, intelligent, kind and are often popular because of their sense of humour.  However Horse people do not like restraints and tend to interfere with the natural course of things, they want to go their own way.

There is a saying “if wishes were horses then beggars would ride”.  Make a wish, pony up and ride towards your destiny.

Growth and focus through work

8 Mavhele8 Mavhele – Dilligence.
Mavhele is equal to the suit of Coins or Pentacles.  Its about physical manifesting, our reality and truth.  The element is Earth, time of day is night, season is Winter.  Mavhele means mielie/maize/corn which is the most sustaining, versatile and basic food.  This week Diligence is about careful and persistent work or effort.

Earth is also about the laws of attraction and abundance.  Earth keeps us grounded.  Earth personalities tend to be calm, practical, hard-working, brave, smart, wise, stable and patient; however, they can also be stubborn, possessive, nearsighted and often very harsh.

The number 8 is the last even number of the single digits. 8 is about money and power and does affect career, business and finances but it is also a number of balance and harmony – eight is the great equaliser and as easily as it adds growth it can take it away.  8’s balance the material world with spirit, they are practical and realistic.  Being focused on results – usually in power and money, yet it is not about being greedy, they just sees finance and power as a tool to accomplish goals.

It has been said that ‘starvation is the mother of invention’ well diligence is the mother of good fortune.  We make our own luck by working towards our goals with focus and perseverance. Preparing for the opportunity and recognising it when its here.

We know that the harder we work the better and more satisfying the results.  We can’t expect to get fit by having a gym membership; we have to show up each day.  Showing up is not enough – we have to actually DO the exercises.  With diligence and patience our efforts are rewarded, whether is weight loss, general fitness or winning that race.  It’s all about focus and perseverance, having a clear goal, hope, wish, dream and putting in the effort to achieve it.  When we work hard we pay attention to the detail, with a persistent and methodical approach we constantly move forward (the aim of the Chariot) our card of the year.

I often like to assign Tarot cards to what is going on around me.  I allocate cards to number plates, add birthdays and when I am witness to a situation I often ask myself “What card represents this situation”? Its one of the ways I keep focus and it’s a lot of fun, some results are very interesting.

Whilst watching Madiba’s funeral on TV both officiating priests told the same story of about a man who leaves his wealth among his servants. He did not distribute the wealth equally.  To the first he gave 5 talents, the second 2 and the third 1.  The first two set to work and when their master returned they showed that they were able to multiply their masters wealth.  The master was impressed and elevated their status.  The third servant did nothing to increase the wealth, but played it safe and buried the talent.  The reason he did this was that he did not trust the master and because he feared repercussions if he lost the money, he played it safe and hid the money. He was not rewarded and he was cast out.

8 of Mavhele – Diligence is what this parable is about.  We are all given talents and gifts.  If we hide them, and don’t use them, then nothing changes and there is no personal growth.  With hard work, insight and focus we can bring our ‘talents’ forward, to serve our purpose and to achieve our goals.  We cannot expect a hand out, but when others see the effort we are putting into our endeavours, there will almost always be a ‘hand up’ to help us.

Role models like Madiba, reflect the end result to which we aspire.  But we should also acknowledge the road it took for him to get there.  He had his fair share of pain and suffering along the way.  He rebelled and retaliated with violence.  But at some point he found his talent, he nurtured and cultivated it, and he lived by it.  So too should we.

Discover your gift.  Nurture it and use it wisely.  Be faithful to your work ethic.  This is the week to ‘walk your talk’.  Put our shoulders to the wheel and push through the difficulties or what we perceive to be blockages, and work it all through to the end. How many times have we begun a project, all fired up and eager and at the first hurdle lost interest.  We let something go because it’s “too hard”.

Keeping our eye on the end result, we need to prioritise the methods.  Slow, steady and consistent is the way to achieve. Sure you can take some short-cuts, but you can’t jump a step.  In the near future all may seem good, but in the long term the short cuts will let you down and sometimes all that you have worked for comes crumbling down.  The important thing here is to find balance between learning, effort and results.

The important message here is to stay healthy within the changes.  Remain flexible and adaptable.  Not everything goes exactly as we planned and sometimes a little blip or divergence along the way is a good thing, teaches us to view options and alternatives.  To be open to change.

As Albert Einstein once said “The gift of fantasy has meant more to me than my talent for absorbing positive knowledge” .

Dream big and work hard. It will be worth it.

6 Assegai – Growth Through Suffering

iTongo Tarot CardAssegai is equal to the Suit of Swords and its element is Air.  The tribe represented is Zulu, which translated means ‘People of Heaven’.  The direction is East, time of day is Dawn and the season is Spring.  An assegai is a Traditional type of spear with a long slender shaft, which is thrown through the Air.  The suit of Assegai’s governs our Intellect, ideas, dreams, speech, the intangible, insight, wisdom, reason and justice.

Setting our consciousness for this week is going to take a bit of effort. We will need to manage and control our minds, our dreams, what we say out loud.  Manage our wisdom and journey within for insight, reason and justice. The best time of the day for this is at dawn.  Face East and just breathe.  Become aware of your thoughts and body.

Firstly we need to understand how our own physiology works.  How do we regulate our bodies and minds so that we can achieve our best life.  Our aim is to clear the mind, have a focal point and cleanse the body.

Breath is life, the basic and most fundamental expression of our life.  In yoga the breath or “prana” in Sanskrit is said to be the vehicle of the mind.  Because it is the prana that makes our mind move.  One of the simplest ways to manage stress is through Breath Control.  It is through breath that all those messages are carried through the blood stream to the relevant muscle, which in turn reacts.

The visual of this card is Nandi giving birth to Shaka.  As we all know, it takes nine months for a baby to grow to the point of being able to sustain life on its own.  But before that there is the process of actually giving birth.  These days many mothers choose “C” sections, but the natural way is to push, to push through the pain, breathing through the pain and when the child is born the final life connection through the umbilical cord is severed.  This is the underlying message of the Six of Assegai.  We know there will be a ‘new life’, we know we have to follow a process and then we have the trial and challenge to bring that ‘new life’ to materialize.  If we keep at it, we are successful, and the reward is worth the effort.

Birthing scenes in the movies is all about breathing and panting.  We cannot survive without breath (AIR) and we cannot survive without blood.  The ancient Greeks attributed the element of Air to blood as it was both hot and moist.

Everything we experience in our lives is about the process that is needed to achieve the end goal.  Whether we are at work, tending a garden or playing.  We follow simple golden rules.  Some of it is learnt from observing others, some life experience comes from our own trials and errors.  The harder we have had to work for something the greater the sense of achievement and reward.

In the Year of the Chariot we are asked to keep moving forward, and this week we know that its not going to be easy, but we also know that if we hang in and persevere we will achieve.  The journey will be pleasant, just don’t get yourself into situations that require legal assistance, the outcome is not favourable.

You are the centre of your universe.  If you want to change the world, first try to improve and bring about change within yourself.  Then that will help to bring change in your family.  From there it just gets bigger and bigger.

When you feel overwhelmed, breathe.  Breath is a great stress reliever.  Counting to 10 really does work.  It gives you time to clear your mind and prepares your body for the next action.  So when it gets too much … take a deep breath and count to 10.

If you are anxious or worried, focused breath will bring you back to the present.  Remember it’s only in this moment that you have the power to change, to do something.  Panting has its purpose, but when you find yourself out of breath, slow it down, take your time.

This week begin to heal and pick up the pieces of your life.  Go on holiday, travel or if you are planning to move, this is a good week.  As much as the goals promise joy, it can take the depths of despair to recognise what you actually want.  Even though it may not feel ideal at present, remember you are moving toward a positive place.

All together, breathe in 1-2-3-4, hold 1-2-3-4, exhale 1-2-3-4-5-6, hold 1-2-3-4.

May you transition through your suffering and experience a new frame of mind.

Let Your Love Shine – Ace of Water

iTongo Tarot CardACE of MORITSOANA (Cups/Water)
People of the West Key word – LOVE

The gift of love | Power of love | Open heart – attraction | Deep feelings | Intimacy | Atonement | Forgiveness | Emotional awareness | Responding sympathetically | Emotional status

Tricky concept this week.  Love!  Emotions! Feelings! At one time or another we have all been there, done that.  We accept without question that as living beings we have the ability to love and to be loved.  From a very early age we have emotional awareness.  We learn very early on about the power of love.

The trend these days is practicing universal love and becoming more ‘heart centered’.  What is it?  How do we do it?

On a physical level – the heart is in the centre of our bodies, it is protected by the rib-cage.  The heart is vital to our health and life and is the only organ we attribute our emotions to – we call it the ‘seat of emotion’, when we express our desire we say ‘with all my heart’.

I was recently introduced to the amazing research of the Institute of HeartMath.  They work with the subtle energy of the intuitive heart.  With special instruments they can measure the electro magnetic energy of the heart.  The waves generated by the heart (measured with an ECG) show that the heart is the largest wave generator and can actually be measured up to five feet away from the body.  The other astounding finding is that it’s the heart that influences the brain (measured with an EEG).  The electrical information permeates every cell in the body, including the brain whilst radiating out. We have been taught that the brain controls everything, but the heart is auto-rhythmic which means it can work  without input from the brain.  There is an intelligence and consciousness in the heart.  Research has shown that the heart communicates to the brain in four ways –

  • neurologically (through the transmission of nerve impulses)
  • biochemically (via hormones and neurotransmitters)
  • biophysically (through pressure waves)
  • and energetically (through electromagnetic field interactions).

These communications affect our perceptions, reactions, intuition and decision making ability.  The feeling and emotional perceptions of the heart trigger the chemical changes throughout the body.

The heart affects our consciousness to such an extent that in order to truly live, we need to have our hearts open, with a clear flow of energy.  Using the mind alone, leads us to a separation of feeling which leads to sterile thoughts without understanding.

The last few generations have been all about living by our intellect and materialistic focus.  We need to rationalise everything and more we do so the less connection we have with our hearts – the intangible and the unexplained.

If we are going to be ‘head-centered’ then we need to learn to be ‘whole-brain’ rather than just left or right brain oriented.  How often have you felt divided between head and heart?  Which one usually wins?  The more specialised we are the more one-dimensional we become, which leads us to be less than all we could be.

So how do we begin to live with ‘heart-consciousness’?  We begin by setting the ego free, taking care of self.  Start treating others, as you want them to treat you.  Understand the difference between kindness and compassion.  Share openly and willingly with everything in your world.  Respect your environment and respect your body.  Forgive.  Uplift.

We cant actively love everyone – that would overload our systems, but we can live with loving kindness.  A Zen teacher once said  “Take care of what’s in front of you”.  Practice the laws of cause and effect, don’t harass others and they wont harass you, be inoffensive, don’t torture, destruct or anger others and they wont do it to you.  Project the right thoughts and feelings and you will have a friendly, happy environment which creates the sense of well being.

Love leads to the freedom of the mind.

iTongo Legend

Sesotho, or Southern Sotho, is spoken in the country of Lesotho, which is entirely surrounded by South African territory, as well as in the Free State province, southern Gauteng, and in the vicinity of Pretoria and Brits. With Setswana and isiZulu, Sesotho was one of the first African languages to be rendered in written form, initiated by the missionaries Casalis and Arbousset of the Paris Evangelical Mission.

Setswana
The language of the Tswana people is spoken mostly in Botswana, a country on the northwestern border of South Africa, as well as in the Northern Cape province, the central and western Free State and in the North West.

Geography of Ace of Moritsŏana
The Golden Gate Highlands National Park (proclaimed 13 September 1963) lies in the rolling foothills of the Maluti Mountains of the north eastern Free State. The park derives its name from the brilliant shades of gold cast by the sun on the park’s sandstone cliffs. The most famous of these is the imposing Brandwag rock.

Golden Gate is situated in one of the most important water catchment areas in South Africa and more than 50% of the water supply of South Africa comes from this area.

All is One

Ten of Mavhele/EarthTEN of MAVHELE (Earth/Coins/Pentacles)
People of the North – Key word – ABUNDANCE

Family | Home | Stability | Inheritance | Wealth | Affluence | Material success | Convention | Tradition | Permanence | Lasting solutions | The establishment | Conservative

This week we should be focusing on what keeps us grounded and also what is the root of our thoughts and actions.  We live our lives with motivation and intent, these drivers or base instincts are how we view and respond to everything that we experience.

We are born with two basic instincts “Fight or Flight” (Survival of self) and “Creation” (Survival of the species).  Everything else is acquired knowledge and information and our first responses are ‘my safety’ and ‘what do I make of this’.  The same goes for our actions, self protection and creation.

We all talk about destiny and living our truth, we believe we have a plan to live up to and spend most of our lives trying to establish what that purpose is and then to live it to the fullest.  Did we make a covenant with our soul?  An agreement to do or be a particular type of person? To follow a path that benefits not only us but mankind.  To honour and respect, self, family, the earth and her bounty.

We may have all those instincts but the ‘knowing’ of what to do comes from our childhood, family and home connections.  When we are little we use our elders as our role models.  We learn to think and do, as they do.  We inherit their wealth of experience and we feel the bonds of blood, we begin to position ourselves in the world.  We create an identity based on what is around us and our experiences.  This pattern then becomes the filter that we measure all our own experiences against.

So what happens to those that are less fortunate, those that have negative grounding in their formative years. (Birth to ages 5-7).  Some through their own soul contract feel the need to change what they have learnt to living a life that is more aligned to their own inner voice.  Others live out the negative influence and manifest through their actions – anger, aggression, addictions, obsessions, depression, sadness and pain from abandonment issues…  the list goes on.

We can change – we have a need to change to be in accordance with our authentic selves … but it takes a fair amount of effort and conscious living to bring about those changes.  We don’t have to follow a traditional path – we can find our own solutions and conventions.  People see us and treat us exactly as we allow them!

Starting with the basics –  Ask yourself the following

  1. What patterns did you inherit from your family?
  2. Do you have a personal code of honour/ laws or rules you live by?  What are they?
  3. What are your fears?  Where in your body do you feel them?
  4. What do you believe your rights to be?  How/what do you project?
  5. How connected do you feel to ….humanity, your family, the divine?

If you didn’t have good role models in your development years, you may want to look at other people that have had a positive impact on your life.  These are people who have left an indelible impression on your concept of self.  They could be distant family members, friends or colleagues.  These people can determine whether you live consistently with your authentic self or live a counteractive life which is controlled by your ‘manufactured’ self and limits or destroys who you really are.

The lesson is that we are all one, that we are part of all that is, and that is happening, to us and around us.  We should live our lives with harmony and balance and discover that which brings us the greatest peace and fulfills our Covenant.

Don’t just Survive, be Creative in how you live your life.

iTongo Legend

Ngoma Lungundu (The Drum of the Dead)
Oral history has it that during the late 17th century, a powerful Karanga-Rodzvi clan called Singo migrated south from central Zimbabwe, crossed the Vhembe River (Limpopo) and settled in the land of Vhangona. According to some written accounts, the Singo were Karangas who broke away from the Changamire Rodzvi.

In VhaVenda oral tradition, the Singo Kings had a sacred drum so great in size that it required six men to carry it. This drum was known as Ngoma Lungundu, the “drum of the dead” or Mwari (the Great God of the Singo).

Since it was believed that the Lemba were beyond reproach, they were tasked by Mwari to carry the drum south. They were also given strict instruction that that the drum was never to touch the ground. At night the drum had to be suspended from a tree. Sometimes when it appeared the drum was beating by itself, it was said that the ancestor-god Mwari is playing it.

Ngoma Lungundu was believed to be the spear and shield of the Singo that would protect them on their journeys. The king worked miracles with this drum because it had magical powers. When beaten by the king in times of threat, the drum would protect the people against attack and allow them to defeat their enemies. The drum struck such fear into enemies’ hearts that they fainted, fled in terror, or died. Through conquest the Vhangona came to revere and fear this sacred instrument. When beaten in times of drought, the drum would bring rain.

The Lemba
This group is believed to have descended from Semitic (Arab) traders who entered Africa around 696AD. The Lemba believe themselves to be Black Jews, descendants of the lost tribe of Israel.

Professor Tudor Parfitt (Modern Jewish Studies – University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) analysed the DNA of the Lemba, and showed that many Lemba males have a Y chromosome that is also found among the male descendants of the Jewish priesthood (part of the Levite tribe) in Israel. He also concluded in his book (The Lost Ark of the Covenant: Solving the 2,500 Year Old Mystery of the Fabled Biblical Ark ) that the Ark of the Covenant was among other things a drum which had been led out of Jerusalem by Israelites in about 586 BC before the Babylonian invasion.

15 The Devil – Thikoloshe

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

iTongo Legend

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

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

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

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

Rejection

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

People of the North

Key word – REJECTION

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

iTongo Legend

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

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

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

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

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

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

Three Virtues – Faith, Hope, Charity

iSilamela17 The Star ISILIMELA

CONCEPT Hope; Self-sufficiency; Generosity; Inspiration; Innovation

iSilimela invites you to believe that anything is possible. Hope is eternal.

Trust /Increased self-confidence and esteem /Renew self /Calm is restored /Radiant /Magnetic charisma /Efforts produce rewards /Let your voice be heard /Generous; Open heart /Share wealth

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

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

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

The Star

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

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

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

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

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

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

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