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.

 

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2016 – 9 The Hermit

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Our efforts are supported by

2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

World Tarot Day – 25 May

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

iTongo Tarot Card

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

His music lives on.

Double the Abundance

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.