Today is World Tarot Day – Time to learn something new, or if you have been thinking about starting your own deck, why not today.
20 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.