ITHUBA

2017 – The Year Ahead

ITHUBA2+0+1+7=10/1
Card of the year 10 The Wheel of Fortune
Supporting Card 1 The Magician
Round and round she goes, where she lands nobody knows – The Wheel of fortune is about chance and opportunity, the cycles of life which offer us breakthroughs, abundance, karma and prosperity. It’s a year of new beginnings, feel creative and be inspired. Where there are endings, process, accept and let go.  Which ever way you approach 2017 there is one thing you can be sure of – Change is coming!

The wheel reminds us of perpetual motion. Just like our own cycles of experience, beginnings and endings, day follows night, summer follows spring – there are periods of growth and abundance, we see the fruits of our labours and other times when we need to let go and be still – because we know that through the night its always darkest before dawn. Depending where you are in your personal Wheel, this could be a year of opportunity and good fortune if you are on the downward turn, then be prepared for a bumpy 2017.

It is believed that we create our own destiny that our past actions bring us to where we are in the present. Sometimes Karma is a B****! Have you been naughty or nice?  Change is coming – are you ready?  The Invictus Poem by William Ernest Henley echoes the essence of the Wheel of Fortune “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul”   Are you prepared to be master of your fate?

Some say that this is a lucky card, I believe we make our own luck. I prefer to be prepared for any opportunity that comes my way. We need to be alert to the answer to our wishes/prayers. We are said to create our own destiny, but without the help of others we can find the road to success a bumpy ride. As the wheel turns we experience all that is attached to that wheel. There are times when we are on top of it all, sometimes feeling we are spinning out of control, other times our world is lying fallow and no matter what we try to do, we just cant seem to get out of the doldrums. Then something unexpected happens and we are being pulled in a direction (we sometimes don’t understand) but we go with the flow, recognizing the opportunities that come our way and making new choices that are more inline with each new situation or opportunity.

The wheel may turn slowly, but it always turns. This gives us heart when we are in troubled times and inspires us when we are strong and focused. Thinking positive thoughts or saying affirmations out loud will help keep you focused and clear the mind of negative thinking.  Now would be a good time to do a vision board for 2017. Not only will it help you focus your vision for the year, but will keep you on the path you choose.

To make 2017 work for you – Be accountable. Its time to own up and take responsibility for your choices and actions, its time to stop feeling victims of circumstance. Stop sabotaging yourself. There is a whole world of possibility going on around us all the time. Its not what happens to us, its how we deal with it – do we see it as an opportunity or do we see it as a block to our hearts desires.

1 The Magician - SangomaHow does 1 The Magician card support us?
It is about focusing and making full use of your own internal power. This card indicates that we must use our inherent gifts and talents not only for our own growth but also for the good of others. The number 1 is associated with new beginnings, it is also associated with ‘self’. On the positive side it’s about growth, development and the use of creative skills, on the down side it could be about ego, sense of self importance.

The Magician is served by the four elements, air, fire, water and earth – which can translate to our own aspects of body, mind, soul and speech, so it is up to us to make sure that we are balanced and that each aspect of self is in harmony with the others.

10 The Wheel of Fortune is about timing, dawn, noon, sunset, night – Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter. The Magician helps us recognise the right time.  Be it time for expansion and the opportunity to take control and realise our potential. Timing is everything, and when we are tuned into ourselves and what’s influencing us, we will know when the time is right to move or stay. Trying to force matters ‘out of their time’ is often what causes disappointment and frustration.

We all have the ability to connect to the greater consciousness, to connect with our divine and our spirit, when we make that connection with clarity and intent we are able to create new cycles that manifest our desires. Apply your skills and make it happen. Be clear about your wishes, know what the motivation and intent is, follow through with the commitment without distractions and it will happen.

Choose your path wisely, take time to consider exactly what you want – round and round she goes … knowing where its going to land is liberating.  Happy New Year!

iTongo Myth and Legend
The Rain Bull
– In African culture, for the earth to become plentiful, the rain bull must be quietly stalked and lassoed by the horns with a leather thong which has been blessed by a Sangoma . This huge powerful creature grazes in the reeds at the sources of springs, and once caught, will be led across the lands that men wish to make fertile. Then, say the legends, the rain will fall and lightning flash.

Other legends tell that when it starts raining the bull has to be killed and cut up into pieces, which are thrown where the rain must fall. In these places, food will grow in abundance.  To the indigenous people, even rain clouds can appear as monstrous rain beasts, gigantic monsters filled with rain. They believe that if the rain falls softly and gently it is the rain cow wetting the earth, and if the rain is accompanied by thunder and lightning, then the rain bull is in attendance. (The bull must be kept calm and appeased at all times otherwise his anger will release violent storms with thunder and lightning).

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2014 The Year Ahead

ImageThe Chariot – INDWE

CONCEPT: Change; As above so below; Impulsive momentum; Imagination; Victorious warrior

Indwe invites you to honour the way of the warrior. Be inspired, be fearless.

2013 was a 6 year The Year of the Lovers, which was all about choice and paradox.  2014 is putting those choices into action.  This is the year we find our inner warrior more specifically being victorious warriors.

How do we distinguish ourselves?  How do we stand up and be counted?

The call of 2014 is to be inspired and fearless, to honour the warrior within.  We all have one.  Inspiration comes when we are in control of our thoughts and emotions, but it needs space to manifest.  Imagination is the vehicle of destiny.  Walt Disney said, “if you can dream it you can do it”.  The challenge this year is to have the courage of your convictions.

The 7 of the Chariot is made from 2+0+1+4=16.  16 is The Tower which is all about deconstruction to be able to reconstruct.  Perhaps the challenge of the year is to break down those barriers and face your fears head on, clear all the debris and clutter from your thoughts and your life, then begin to rebuild, with solid foundations and a purpose.

The Chariot is also about being in control and facing your fears, about movement and change powered by a lot of energy.  If you don’t control and focus that energy you could find yourself caught up in a whirlwind of panic.  When its focused and directed with a clear goal in mind and you still need to have the willingness to get there, then all your dreams could be realised.

2014 is knowing what you want, having the focus and intent to achieve it and knowing what to do when you get there.  This is the speedy part of the journey.  Victory is within your sights; don’t give up at the end line. Proceed with determination and ambition.  Testing and proving your abilities – giving it your best shot.

The Chariot represents balance.  Keeping a light hand on the reins but steering with a good heart and an open mind.  Try not to let those bumps in the road throw you off course.  Little things can be blown out of all proportion if not dealt with immediately.  Don’t spend your energy and time worrying about things that you can’t do anything about.  Focus on the big picture – the road ahead.

Interestingly 2014 is the Chinese Year of the Horse.  More about that in February.

2014 is the year for journeys – not just physical travel but the journey within.  Each week if you have participated in the meditation, you should have a good idea of how to clear the mind and find your still point.  Another simple way to quiet the mind to create the space  for your unconscious selves to connect with your conscious self.  This is achieved through simply watching the breath.

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

The Chariot – Indwe represents the positive aspects of the ego.  A healthy ego is one that is strong and self assured.  It knows what it wants and how to get it.   Control self and you control your environment.

Staying with control, and control issues – romance, love, sexual attraction is going to be heightened this coming year.  Passion (with a capital P) is going to be flowing.  Enjoy!  The caution is of course that without control that same passion could end up as an obsession.  The same energy is available on the financial front.  Most will see that all the work and choices they made in 2013 brings well deserved rewards in 2014.  What  you began last year is accelerated this year.

On a mundane level in 2014 you could find yourself experiencing, moving house, extensive travel or career changes.  All these become the actions that propel you forward, closer to your goals.  No matter what you do, you will experience change.  Don’t resist, variety is the spice of life and you will have the capacity to multi-task, so its not all about what you want, its how many things you can do simultaneously.  You can stay in one single situation personally or professionally if it provides the variety and challenge that you need and want.

Remember family and home can be your sanctuary when you need to recharge. Balance activity with quiet time.  If things become too boring you will feel strong motivation to change.  Too much quiet is dull.  Activity without results can cause anxiety, change is important as long as it produces tangible results.

Be a leader and motivate other positively, take responsibility for your actions.  Let go of all that no longer serves you.  Enjoy that you are at the top of your game.  Keep moving forward in balance and harmony.

Respect

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

iTongo Legend

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

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

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

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

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

0 The Fool – The Circle of Life

Ulwaluko0 The Fool – ULWALUKO
Ulwaluko invites you to be initiated into your destiny.

New phase of life begins /Transformation through a rite of passage /A spiritual journey /Reproduction and regeneration of spirit /The collective unconscious /Future oriented /Involution /Independent /Pioneering /Timing

The Fool card represents beginnings and endings.  Often numbered Zero or Twenty Two.  The number Zero is a perfect circle, without beginning or end. It is limitless and nothing all at the same time. It is the number that unifies others and gives them strength, it is the Alpha and Omega.

Zero is our number before birth, our cosmic egg or our source and original consciousness, the power of the Divine that was before manifestation and as the circle turns to that source and consciousness do we return.

Eclipse

Eclipse

Zero is also the number of Pluto, which is in Retrograde so we are feeling pressure to clean up our acts.  Eliminate outdated ideas and patterns and spend time researching and reaching into our inner world for answers.  We will also notice having done the work we seem to have a greater control over our lives.

We do not want to keep repeating patterns that block our growth or our pursuit of happiness. We seek the wholeness of consciousness, body, mind and spirit.  We seek to unify all that we are and live our truth.

It has been claimed that the more Zero’s we have in our birth date or name the ‘closer to the Divine we are’ – I find that rather limiting and would prefer that we are the masters of our destiny, filled with possibility – the essence of the Divine is there to complete all that I am.  The Zero is about potential and choice.

With The Fool as 22 we draw the energy of our dreams becoming reality based on wisdom and experience.  We recognise our own evolution through time and are able to harness our personal power.  One of my favourite expressions is “collective intent and co-operation”.  We cant do it all alone, we always need guidance, assistance and the space (0) to complete our journey.

There is the age old question “did God create man, or man create God”?  No matter which path of faith we choose to follow, most of us would like to believe that mortal death does not end the essence of man.  That we transform and transcend as spirit, returning to source.  Energy that make us who we are does not simply cease to exist, it transforms.  Death may end a life but never the relationship.  As long as we have memory the departed has life.

0 The Fool asks us to be aware of our circle of life, of what we have made out of the power of possibility, what inspiration we have drawn from the collective and how do we serve – how do we co-operate with the collective intent.

Stand Tall

iTongo Tarot CardSEVEN of ISIBANE (Wands/Fire) People of the South

Key word – INTEGRITY

Quest for identity and self worth | Defend position | Take a stand | Hold your own council | Standing tall | Have conviction | Strength of character | Choose battles carefully | Moral high ground | Renewed determination and courage | Ability | Passion | Power

We need to ask ourselves “who am I” and “what do I stand for”?

The number 7 is about being a seeker, searching for truth to understand the difference between reality and illusion.  It is the number of fullness and perfection.  Its a spiritual number and reflects strongly in the Christian bible.  From the seven days of Genesis to the seven seals of Revelation.  The number seven is seen as the symbol of completion – “on the seventh day He rested (after creation) and also to mark the end of times or the end of the mystery of God.”

We talk about the 7 year itch – every seven years we become restless and want to make changes.  It takes 7 years for our bodies to renew.

In Astrology the Seventh house is the house of partnerships.  Within co-operation and unity we fulfill our sense of purpose.  We contribute to the world around us. We see ourselves in ‘context.

In our quest for self worth and identity we are often tasked to defend our position, we take a stand and hold our own council.  How do we measure strength of character, ability and power?

At the core there needs to be a consistency of values and principles.  An honesty and truth without conflicting beliefs, principles and values. Our behaviour and words reflect our value system.  A value system can be measured not by our own personal needs and whims but by the loyalty and consistency of our actions to rational principles.

We live in a world with conflicting values, mostly due to ethnic, faith and socio economic differences.  That doesn’t mean others values are less than ours, it boils down to accountability and moral responsibility – to ourselves and to our community.

Another way of looking at ‘integrity’ is the marketing phenomenon of linking a brand to a specific individual.  They do this through the belief that integrity is linked with performance, quality of life and high moral standards.  The chosen icon reflects a state of being ‘whole’, ‘complete’ and in ‘perfect condition’.  This is something to aspire to, something to become.  When these icons fail or bring disgrace on their own names the brand is withdrawn.  This equals “consequence of actions”.

We need to be mindful that we are human, that we do make mistakes but we also need to be aware of our core principles.  When we are in the moment and feeling threatened or being challenged, we have to trust that our base nature will reign supreme and that our subjective thoughts (ego) do not get the better of us.

Being competitive is not a bad thing, its what makes us push harder and go further.  But to believe we are invincible is foolish – at times we should retreat and re-evaluate, be independent and work it through for yourself.

By facing our fears we are able to turn them to our advantage.  Each challenge we overcome becomes an asset for future situations.  A positive attitude will take you all the way to realising your dreams. You cant win them all, but you can learn.  This aids in the struggle to stay on-top.  Hold your position and don’t ever compromise your value system to suit others.  Choose your battles carefully.  Accept your limitations (be they physical, emotional and spiritual) and go forward with courage and determination.  You have the ability, the passion and the power.

iTongo Legend

King Sandile (1820 – 1878)

He was a rare man of his time, and perhaps the most loved and revered of the paramount chiefs of the amaRharhabe, because of his democratic rule. Complex and reserved, Sandile never took a decision without consultation with all his councilors and, as far as possible, representatives of his people. This democratic approach also led him into supporting the Great Cattle Killing movement of 1856/572 in which hundreds of thousands of Xhosa cattle were killed by the Xhosa themselves in the belief that this would strengthen them against the British, who were dispossessing them of their ancestral lands.

Sandile took part in the War of the Axe in 1846 and was captured in 1847. He was forced to sign an oath of allegiance to Britain and was dispossessed of his land. He and his followers were settled on land in the so-called Crown Reserve.

Sandile was also involved in the Seventh, Eighth, and Ninth Frontier Wars of Dispossession. According to historical accounts, he excelled as leader during the Ninth War. He was shot by British forces in June 1878.

In some respects a tragic figure, Sandile nonetheless displayed remarkable skill, courage, and sophistication in overcoming physical adversity, and taking on the responsibilities of a true leader.

Keep Calm and Carry On

14 Temperance - Kwena14 Temperance – KWÊNA

CONCEPT Synthesis; Integration; Mediation; Creation of harmony; Co-operation

Kwêna invites you to transform through spiritual wisdom.

The balance of masculine and feminine /Polarity of relationships /Philosophical expansive growth /Oppositions and paradoxes  /Visionary and natural alchemist /Transformation through spiritual wisdom /Versatile /Bridging worlds /Integration through the creative process /Integration of emotional forces with the physical

This is the year of choice, of discovering what you love.  As they say in the classics  “if you do what you love you will never work a day in your life” …  The card for this week is 14 Temperance.  Temperance is about patience and moderation.  We need to find balance and harmony is all that we are and all that we do.

We need to balance the masculine and feminine within us – that means we should try not to be either too emotional or analytical in our processes.  We need to understand the polarity of relationships.  When we push, we are also pulled, we tip from positive to negative, the key this week is to maintain our inner and outer equilibrium.

Understanding the opposites and paradoxes of life.  There is always the other side of the coin.  Remember this when dealing with others … often what is NOT said is the actual reason, the reality of the situation.

We need to be creative with our vision.  If the same old way has not worked for you up to this point, there’s a clue … try achieving your objectives in a different way.  Make new choices and decisions.  Life is all about what you choose in the moment, this choice impacts on your thoughts and actions.  The consciousness that you are in determines the quality of the outcome.  Bridge that consciousness between your inner world (spirit) and our material world.  We transform through spiritual wisdom.

Practice moderation and this week take the middle road, avoid extremes and great stress.

Even if we are like swans, calm on the outside and paddling like mad underneath – the calmer the thoughts and emotions, the better the choices.  Sometimes its good to pause and count to 10.  Take a couple of deep breaths, clear the mind, and then make the choice.

Keep things in perspective. Tools that help are meditation, visualization and prayer.

Breath work is also very helpful when calming the body, mind and soul.    Remember we are setting up life goals this year, and we need to be clear about where we are going.  This is all about transforming ourselves and being the best that we can be. Don’t rush into anything.  Adapt to and rather co-ordinate the influences and people in your life.  Use your inherent skills to make it happen, leverage with your abilities and experience.  You have the power.  It all about perspective.

keep calmThe objective this week is to keep calm and carry on.

Walk the Talk

King of Assegai (Swords/Air)

King of Assegai (Swords/Air)

KING of ASSEGAI People of the East Key word – INTELLECT

Intellectual | Analytical | Articulate | Logic | Transformative | Impartial and objective | Philosophical | Uses thought creatively | Encourages high standards

This week we have an interesting date, the last in the series for 89 years, the next being 2101, probably not in our lifetime.  12-12-12 the first of the two significant dates in December. Then we have the much discussed equinox 21-12-2012 but more on that nearer the time.

The King of Assegai is about intellect and analysis – Marcus Aurelius (Roman Emperor) said “The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts … “  so this is the week to be mindful of what we think, we need to be logical and articulate.  This is also a time to use thought creatively and encourage high standards.  As I have always said, the quality of the result is dependent of the practitioner … YOU.

The visual of the card is Shaka, King of the Zulu.  I believe Shaka was a man ahead of his time.  He was innovative, an excellent strategist and fearless warrior.  From difficult beginnings he rose above his circumstances and led the Zulu to become a mighty nation.  So too should we rise above our circumstances and be the best we can be.  The Caveat is that we need to approach all that we think and do with an open heart.  Shaka’s downfall was that he was motivated by revenge and internal pain.  Don’t let your history become your future, work at cleansing your thoughts and see each day as an opportunity to do better, to achieve more, heal the old wounds and find that happiness you seek.

The King of Swords is all about reason and logic.  This is not for Sissies … emotions can have no part unless they are in accord with the same logic and reason as the mind.  This is not a time to be passionate and emotional, it will only muddy the waters and cloud your judgement.  When your gut tells you something, you need to reason it out before action.  The elemental nature of this King is Air of Air – so its being keen of mind, and by understanding human nature you can use this knowledge to your advantage.

As humans our primary tool is language, this is also a card about communication of thoughts, with your skill of words you will be able to convince others to your way of thinking.  The one thing that the King is, is honest and holds himself and others to the highest standards.  At times he shows no mercy and can be unbending, that is because he knows what is righteous and true.

Back to December 2012.  This is a time of awakening, the Universal consciousness is offering an opening – its up to you to choose to walk through.  Some may have noticed throughout the year they have had several “aha” moments.  Somehow the universe has begun to make sense – there is a new sense of knowing.  12 December is the preparation for 21 December.

Think about all the ways the number 12 is represented in our daily lives.  A day is divided into 12 hours with the pinnacles being noon and midnight, 12 months in a year, 12 Zodiac signs, 12 apostles, 12 in a dozen and so on.  Within the number 12 we have 1+2=3 (Magician + High Priestess=Empress) in short we are tasked to be our own Magician and honour “as above so below”, with our intuition, self resources we are able to dissolve and release barriers and move towards love with wisdom, abundance and growth. The number 12 in Tarot is represented by The Hanged Man – sacrifice with wisdom and is before 13 Death which is transformation.

Breaking down the numbers once again we have 3-3-3 and this adds to 9 The Hermit.  Incidentally its also the number for today 10-12-2012.  The Hermit represents completion.  He invites us to look within through silent meditation and solitude.  This wise teacher guides us with Divine inspiration.

Ask yourself what seeds are you planting for tomorrow.  As you stand at the threshold of your future and walk into a new way of being and consciousness, what do you bring with?  What do you leave behind?  Its time to ‘Walk the Talk”

iTongo Legend

Shaka (sometimes spelled Tshaka, Tchaka, or Chaka); (c. 1785/87 –1828)

The exact date of Shaka’s birth is unknown. His father, Senzangakhona, was heir to the Zulu throne, and his mother, Nandi, was daughter of Bhebhe, Chief of the Langeni clan. Shaka’s name is said to stem from an intestinal condition caused by the iShaka beetle. (isiZulu for beetle)

Shaka was a great Zulu king and conqueror and is widely credited with uniting many of the Northern Nguni people, specifically the Mthethwa and the Ndwandwe, into the Zulu kingdom. He has been called a military genius for his reforms and innovations, but also condemned for the brutality of his reign.

Shaka’s early years were difficult. Ostracized and taunted, he and his mother constantly had to seek refuge with neighbouring chieftains. At the time of the Great Famine, known as the Madlantule (c.1802), Shaka was taken to the Mthethwa people, where shelter was found in the home of Nandi’s aunt under the aegis of Dingiswayo, who welcomed the refugees.

At about the age of twenty-three, Shaka was drafted into the iziCwe (isiZwe) regiment and, rising rapidly through the ranks, became one of the foremost commanders. He developed the ‘horn’ battle formation and introduced the iKlwa, the short stabbing assegai. He was known as Nodumehlezi (the one who when seated causes the earth to rumble).

When Senzangakhona died, Dingiswayo aided Shaka to defeat his half brother, Sigujana, and claim the Zulu throne (c.1816). By the time the first white traders arrived at Port Natal in 1824, Shaka was in control of a centralised monarchy. Shaka ceded land to the British, and permitted them to build a settlement at Port Natal. Henry F Fynn wrote in his diary that he found Shaka to be intelligent and on occasion to be capable of real generosity. During his reign, there was no conflict between the Europeans and the Zulu.

Shaka was assassinated by his half-brothers, Dingane and Mhlangana, and an inDuna called Mbopa. History commonly cites September 1828 as the date of his death. At the time of his death, Shaka’s subjects numbered 250,000 and he could easily muster 50,000 warriors. Despite difficult beginnings, Shaka rose to become one of the most influential leaders of the Zulu empire.

The Magic of Possibility

1 The Magician - SangomaThe Magician – SANGOMA (Traditional healer and/or Shaman)

The Magic of Possibility; Communication; Timing; The Healer; Nature; Alchemy

The Sangoma invites you to use your inherent gifts and talents.

This card is all about the magic of possibility and the power of one. We are invited to use our inherent gifts and talents.  Now I hear some thinking … I’m not creative, I cant paint, play an instrument, but this is about our ability to take in information, process it and then find a way through logic and intellect.

This is also a card about new beginnings and the Magician acts as the bridge or conduit between the seen and the unseen. Which is our physical world and our inner world, the home of spirit.

One often hears the phrase “as above, so below” and it’s the Magician that draws in the universal power, through us and brings it to a reality.  This card shows us that all things are infinite and eternal and we can find power and energy by honouring and working with the four elements – Earth, Fire, Water and Air.  Think about how you use each of these elements.  Traditionally in tarot Earth symbolises our physical and material world, Fire is our energy and passion and manifests as change and transformation, Water represents our emotional selves, how we feel about our world and Air is our intellect and how we think.

The Magician helps us reach higher and be better – all we have to do is try. Use our personal power and respect our soul’s destiny.  We all have a part to play and with willpower and determination we will realise our potential.  Most of us start new projects with enthusiasm and passion, as time goes on we lose interest because we cant see the results.  Today, we are an instant gratification generation.  We see it and we want it NOW.  Everything has its time, life is a process and we have to allow that process to work.  We also need to be versatile and flexible – as things change, so do we have to change, adapt and adjust.  We cant expect things to be different if we are not different.  Think about how we bake a cake – we have to take certain elements, mix them together in exact proportions, allow the baking time, remove the cake and again we have to allow the cooling time, only then can we ice it, and then can we slice it.  So should any spirit work be done – its what you do with the elements and the time it takes that manifests a result.

We know we have the power to make a difference in our own lives and in others – we just have to put our minds to it and ‘just do it’!  As we work with our elements body, mind and soul we will notice subtle changes in our psyche.  The more aware we are of what we want, the more we will see it manifest.

This week the consciousness is about bringing all that you desire into a workable solution, listen to your heart, hear what your intuition is telling you, have faith in your ability and talents and be the alchemist – make a difference. Step into the light. Do the right thing, at the right moment, for the right reasons.

iTongo Legend

The word “Sangoma” refers to a person skilled in herbal medicine, divination and counselling, and is known as a seer or prophet or shaman. A Sangoma is the traditional healer in the Zulu, Swazi, Xhosa, and Ndebele cultures in South Africa.

Sangomas perform many different roles in their communities; they are diviners, healers, spiritual counsellors, and protectors against evil spirits. They direct rituals and narrate the history, cosmology, and myths of their people. The Sangoma is highly revered and respected.

The tools they use are traditional medicines (muti); dream interpretations; bone throwing (which consists of a collection of animal bones, shells, and feathers); channelling and possession. They have a comprehensive knowledge of herbal and natural medicines and use a variety of roots, bark, herbs, flowers, and a wide range of animal products when making muti.

Sangomas are steeped in ritual. They work in a sacred healing hut (or Ndumba), where the spirits of their ancestors reside. Each ritual has a specific dress code and a very necessary part of their attire is the “switch” made from the hair of an animal’s tail.

A trainee Sangoma (or twaza) studies under the guidance of the clan elder or a respected Sangoma. The education process can span a period of ten to twenty-five years depending on the abilities and gifts of the trainee. This intensive education includes community interaction, natural therapy, herbal healing, divining procedures, channelling, spiritual expansion and psychiatry.

The Ancestors never advocate killing, as killing would unbalance harmony, which is the primary concern of the spiritual world. Whilst there are charlatans who use their gifts solely for personal gain, trained Sangomas have a strict code of conduct and their truism is to heal and do no harm.

The Intellectual Mother

Queen of SwordsQUEEN of ASSEGAI/Swords/Air

People of the East – Key word – INTUITION

Intellectual maturity | Knowledge by perception | Expressing a Philosophy| Witty; Laughter | Insight | Prophetic | Honest direct communication | Getting to the heart of the matter | Realistic expectations

This week we pay homage to the women of South Africa.  Its national Breast Cancer Awareness month and 10 October marks the death of King Shaka’s mother Nandi whom he called the Queen of Queens.

Our focus this week is to bring our emotional self in line with our intellect.  To learn to trust our intuition and get down to the heart of the matter with realistic expectations.

We need to Tell it like it is.  You will find the Queen guides you in being highly perceptive and quick thinking, helping you to cut through all the internal noise and confusion.  She is a straight talker with no hidden agendas.  Become impartial and present your thoughts and ideas openly, concisely and with honesty.

The astrological correspondence to the Queen of Air is Libra, which simply means ‘to teach’ and the lesson is learning through consequences of our thoughts, words and actions.  The symbolism of the scales is about balance.  The planet in play is Mercury which is all about the mind and communication. In Greek mythology Mercury is Hermes, who was the messenger of the gods, with one half of self in the physical world and the other in the realm of the gods.  So in the fertile landscape of the mind, its mercury that gathers and interprets your experience and life potential .

caduceusMercury is also known as a great healer, the caduceus or Mercury’s staff is the recognized logo of medicine and health institutions. The entwining snakes represent the life force (also the symbol for iTongo) the rod, represents change through fire (Kundalini energy), the wings divine grace.

This week we need to consider what fascinates and puzzles us, about ourselves as well as others.  How we think determines where we land up. This is also a warning, because the speed of Mercury is well known and you don’t want to catapult off in a direction that is only partly formed.  Be careful what you are wishing for.  The messenger of the gods can be charming and shrewd.  For you at the Taxi Mercury is the planet you want to take special note of, as he rules communication which includes media, when he is crossed his shadow self of trickster comes out.  Mis-communication even deceptions can come into play.

This is also a great week for travelers – whether going on holiday or travelling for business the journey should be hassle free.  Its also a week where one should make the internal journey, find your still point, sit in contemplation – discover and nurture self.

The Queen of Swords is also about wealth – not necessarily about money, but about bringing wealth and ‘richness’ into your consciousness – sometimes its called abundance.  Brainstorm ideas with colleagues, take the sword and cut deep into the heart of the matter, face the truth, even if it is unpleasant, pure honesty is the way.  Abide by the rules of engagement, size up the situation quickly, look for hidden agendas and motives and don’t ‘try one on’ this week, it will come back and bite you…

However this is also a time to bring out that natural wit and humour.  You will find yourself quick on the uptake and delight others with your point of view, don’t harm with your words just be as candid as possible. No need to be self righteous or abrasive in your judgements.

The power and energy of the Queen is not to be taken lightly, rather let her serve you well, you already know what you want and need just trust your instincts and go after it. Pick your battles wisely and reduce your stress levels by staying in truth and the moment.  Judge impartially without emotional or sentimental influences.

Give a thought to those who are fighting Breast Cancer, participate in local fund raisers, offer your assistance to anyone you know with cancer, its time to stand up and be counted.  This is the week to ‘walk the talk’.

 iTongo Legend

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.

As a traditional marriage ceremony had not been conducted, Nandi was not recognised as queen nor was her son, Shaka, acknowledged as an heir. Even in her own home she was ridiculed and shunned. The relationship of Senzangakhona and Nandi seems to have been difficult and ended in the chieftain driving Nandi from his court. Fearing for their lives, she left the esiKlebeni homestead of Shaka’s father and sought sanctuary in the Mhlathuze Valley of the Langeni people. Nandi spent many years being shunted back and forth between the Zulu and her own tribe. After the death of her father, she and her son once again had to leave their home seeking refuge.

At the time of the Great Famine, known as the Madlantule (c.1802) Shaka and Nandi went to the Mthethwa people to the home of Nandi’s aunt under the aegis of Dingiswayo, who welcomed them.

Growing up Shaka was taunted by those who resented his claims to chiefly descent. On the death of Senzangakhona (Shaka’s father), Dingiswayo lent his young protégé the military support necessary to oust and assassinate his senior half-brother, Sigujana, and make himself chieftain of the Zulu.

Once he was in a position of power, Shaka exacted revenge on all who had belittled or betrayed them. As his kingdom grew, he built KwaBulawayo, a royal household of about 1,400 huts in the Mhlathuze valley (some 27km from the present town of Eshowe) and here Shaka declared Nandi, “Queen of Queens”.

Nandi died of dysentery on 10 October 1827. Shaka put on his war regalia and proceeded to wail in anguish. The entire tribe erupted into attendant mourning. Tradition held that upon the death of someone of Nandi’s stature, several servants and attendants should be wounded or killed. On Shaka’s orders, several people were executed on the spot, and a general massacre broke out. In this case, the event became a cover for many people to settle old scores, and it is reported, up to seven thousand people died in the massacre.  Nandi’s grave is outside Eshowe, and is marked Nindi.

Just … Breathe

Ace of Assegai (Swords)ACE of ASSEGAI (Swords) People of the East

Key word – TRANSCENDENCE

Gift of intellect | Surpassing human experience | Not subject to physical limitations | Detach oneself from anxiety | New directions |Manifest philosophy | Using mental force | Facing decisions | Reason, justice, truth | Insight and wisdom

Air is often considered as the universal power of pure substance. This is why the ability to watch and manage HOW we breathe is so important. The more oxygen our brains get the clearer our thoughts, the more oxygen in our blood the better our organs and bodies function. To be able to reach a transcendent state the simplest way is to sit quietly and just watch our breath. Breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth, as we exhale visualise all your pain and suffering leaving your body and disappearing.

In ancient Greek medicine they had what they called the four humours, states of being, Air was associated with blood and was linked to the season of spring and the northern point of the compass, in modern tarot the direction is East. iTongo tarot the direction is East which is kwaZulu Natal and the people of the East are Zulu.

The Aces indicate a new beginning. The Ace of Air/Assegai asks us to not fear what could be ahead, but to rather take a leaf of faith. We usually know exactly what needs to be done to bring the changes we desire, the tricky part is how to do it, and the hard part is to follow through to the end result. The beginning of the tarot year is traditionally 21 March, but as most decks are designed in the Northern Hemisphere their spring is our autumn, iTongo Tarot’s spring is September, so we are beginning a whole new year, and have the opportunity to begin fresh and new.

As the world around us awakes and blossoms, so too should we awaken without physical limitations. We need to detach ourselves from anxiety and follow new directions. By using our mental force and gift of intellect we can face decisions with reason, justice and truth – this is true insight with wisdom. The Ace of Assegai is about invoked force, the Assegai cuts cleanly through all the issues and gets to the point, to the heart of the matter. Practice your faith and uphold your divine authority.

This month is Heritage Month throughout South Africa. Ask yourself how do you honour your heritage, what traditions do you uphold. We all have a base, where we come from and what we believe in, this is the week to consider who you are, what you honour and how you practice it. Give thought to what you want, what you would like to change, if necessary make lists of goals and achievements you want to set for the next year. Take the road less travelled – you never know what you will discover along the way.

Try new policies and procedures, change tactics if necessary but keep going. Allow the energy of Air to lift you up and carry you along. Take a deep breath each time and proceed. Speak your mind be descriptive of your dreams, share your insight and wisdom. Its time to cut through all the deceptions, to yourself and others. Go for what is real, tangible and attainable. Live and breathe the reality your create.

Geography of the Ace of Assegai

The uKhahlamba or Drakensberg National Park is located in KwaZulu-Natal, bordering the eastern coast of South Africa.

The Zulu people named the range ‘Ukhahlamba’ and the Dutch Voortrekkers1 called it The Drakensberg (The Dragon Mountain). The Drakensberg Mountains, with their awe-inspiring basalt cliffs, snow-capped in winter, tower over riverside bush, lush yellow wood forests, and cascading waterfalls.

This majestic mountain range runs for some one thousand kilometres (620 miles) from south- west to northeast. The mountains drain on the western slopes into the Orange and Vaal rivers, and on the east and south into the Tugela.

The Drakensberg forms a massive barrier separating KwaZulu-Natal from the Kingdom of Lesotho. The only road access through the Drakensberg is via Sani Pass, which boasts the highest pub in Africa at its top, 3 000 metres above sea level.