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).

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.

 

Double the Abundance

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Venda law and custom constituted a system designed to protect firstly family rights, then the chiefdom and finally the individual. This placed the onus on the individual and the realisation that his actions affected the greater community, especially his/her descent group.

Venda culture has a strong emphasis on male authority (patrilineal). Moral behaviour is essentially the right and good actions of the man who does not upset the balance and harmony between the clan, society, and nature. Nature and man work together in harmony as the actions of one has consequences on the other.

The good man was not only one who respected seniors and was loyal to his family, he was also a good neighbour1. He was to live with generosity of heart and possessions and be free of the suspicion of witchcraft. He needed to be meticulous in observance of custom and loyal to the chief.

The formal handling of disputes began with the local headman and ended with the chief at the capital. A panel of elders assisted the chief and would advise on points of law and provide continuity of experience.

The process of bringing a case to court was simple and logical. If one felt that his rights had been violated, he would report the matter to his immediate headman. A date was set for the hearing and all parties concerned instructed to attend with any relevant witnesses. The case was heard in the men’s meeting place, which was a prominent feature of the homestead of chief or headman. Women were not permitted to attend these proceedings, unless they were directly involved in the case. Witnesses were allowed to hear all the testimonies and were often allowed to modify their own. In a case of civil wrong, the judgement would be restitution and compensation – the intention to ‘right a wrong’, i.e. stolen goods to be returned, the trespasser removed, or unfulfilled contracts honoured. In the case of damage or actions, which could not be undone, compensation was awarded and was usually paid for in livestock. Failing the ownership or possession of livestock, the complainant was entitled to exact satisfaction and take what he could.

Criminal offences were homicide, grievous assault, rape, incest, crimes against the chiefdom’s authorities and witchcraft/sorcery.

Ladies of iTongo – Queen of Earth

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

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

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

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

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

Make it Rain!

Modjadji – The Rain Queen

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

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

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

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

Ladies of Fire – Growth through Responsible Change

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Ladies of Air – Growth through Intellect

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PAGE of ASSEGAI (Swords) – Growth through Communication

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

iTongo Legend

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

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

THREE of ISIBANE – Growth through INSPIRATION

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

iTongo Legend

Ulibo is the First Fruits Ceremony (Umkhosi wokweshwama)

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

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

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

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

16 The Tower – Growth through Deconstruction

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

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

This card need not be as ominous as the Death card as it too represents change. And change is certain – if we resist changing ourselves, our ways, thoughts and actions then life will bring the changes to us, without inner control the changes can be traumatic, with control they may still be dramatic but manageable.

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

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

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

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

13 Death – Growth through Transformation

uKufaThrough out our lives we experience Death, in some form or another. We have little deaths that barely touch us and some of us have lost loved ones. Ultimately we will all face our own death.

When card 13 Death comes up in a reading, it does not signify physical death but rather a process of transformation and change. It indicates to us that there is something in our lives that we have to let go of in order to move forward. So the big questions this week, are; What do you need to let go of? How do you need to transform your life?

Each time we invite change and are prepared to let go and move forward we create space for new growth, for regeneration. We cannot wait for the world to decide our next step. We need to have a focus and a goal that we are working towards. Making decisions in a vacuum creates ‘iffy’ results at best, which we are never happy with.

When we have a clear desired outcome, everything we think, do and experience can be viewed in that context. We have a yard stick to measure our progress. We are able to ask “how does this help me”? and if it doesn’t then we should let it go. Most of us have an ideal that we try to live up to. Sometimes we need to make adjustments along the way. Be open to new ideas. Be inspired by the people around you. Do more! Do it better!

Moving on is not a sign of forgetting; it’s a sign of healing. We are not meant to live life in grief and regret. We are meant to face each day with its challenges with an open heart and clear mind. We need to be kinder to ourselves and forgive ourselves for our failings. Having said that we also need to be mindful of our truth. Most of the personal drama we experience is because we have made choices and decisions without thinking them through. Without feeling and with the wrong motivation and intention. When we make mistakes its wiser to learn from them than ignoring the outcome and hoping that next time it will be different. If we don’t change how we do things, how can we possibly expect different outcomes.

Within each of us is our greatest resource – Our Spirit. We have the power through our thoughts, dreams and emotions to change everything, we have the power within to transform ourselves. It all starts with YOU! If we want to see a different world around us, WE have to make a change. We need to clear out old patterns, habits and thoughts that prevent our growth. We have to live openly and honestly.

Transformation comes through healing. Heal your inner self, let go of pain, hurt, betrayal and secrets. Change how you do things. Redirect your thinking into positive possible outcomes.

You can transform your life – you just have to do it!