Friday, April 13, 2018

Anna, Keeper of the Hearth

Saint Anne Keeper of the Hearth - Ten of Vessels (cups) in the Mysteries of Mary tarot deck as an amulet rosary.

You can choose to wear it as a protective and blessing rosary or you can choose to put it on your altar.

The image is set under a glass bubble in a resin frame with crystal beads - all in violet hues.  It comes with the tarot card in the pouch as shown.

This image is of the tarot card Ten of Vessels(Cups) in the Mysteries of Mary tarot deck.  In this suit the story of Mary in the archetype of Virgin-Mother, Prophet and Priestess of the Mysteries is depicted.

X Vessels - Anna, Keeper of the Hearth
Anna sits with Mary on her lap in the same way that Mary sits with Jesus on her lap. Here we have the feminine version of the Mother and Holy Child: Holy Mother and Holy Daughter. They are surrounded by the pots, pans and utensils of the kitchen.  The kitchen is the hearth of the home and the oven specifically is an alchemical container.  The process of baking and cooking is an example of an alchemical process in ordinary domestic life. Turning wheat into flour, then into dough and ultimately baking it into bread, is symbolic and representative of the powerful processes of transformation in our lives.   Making bread in different shapes as a sacramental ritual and offering to the goddess is an ancient tradition which is still prevalent today.   An oven has also been a metaphor for a woman’s womb and bread making as a metaphor for gestating and giving birth to a new life.  For instance, the saying in popular vernacular: ‘she has another bun in the oven’.  In ancient houses the hearth or kitchen was the communal living area and the central and biggest room in the house and the oven used to be a separate structure outside.

In these old civilisations the process of harvesting from the land and then turning the grain into a complete food, was honoured and revered.  In our modern society much of the preparation of food has been industrialised and domestic activities, once sacred to the Goddess, are no longer valued.
This shrine and card indicates a happy time at the end of a long journey.  It speaks of idyllic happiness and moments to be treasured and honoured.  You are reminded to honour and value the feminine qualities of nurturing, empathy and creating supportive surroundings for yourself and others.  It also speaks of alchemical transformation and positive outcomes.  As a spiritual initiate and student of the mysteries, you will be basking in the blissful glow of fulfilment of being.

The Suit of Vessels in the Mysteries of Mary tarot deck

The Ace of Vessels

Mary in the archetype of Virgin-Mother, Prophet and Priestess of the Mysteries
In the suit of Vessels we encounter Mary as the element of water.  Mary is a derivative from the Latin Maria which means waters.  In French ‘mare’ is the word for water.  Water has the power to drown us or to quench our thirst. We know Mary as the loving nurturing mother and also as the Mater Dolorosa, the grieving mourning mother, dressed in black, mourning the loss of her son. In Lourdes you will see hundreds of pilgrims carrying large containers of water from the sacred spring home every day and many fill small bottles from the waters of the healing spring.  Mary is called a Vessel of Spirit, a Vessel of Honour and in Lourdes she is the Vessel of the Sacred Waters. In the Mysteries vessels refer to the human being and its divine soul being a vessel for the will and love of the divine.

She represents the oceans of consciousness as well as the energetic flow of the soul and her powerful emotions.   Vessels also relate to the metaphor of the Cosmic womb of the soul and the dark void of the Source of all creation. We see the element of water represented in mystery of Mary’s blue robes.  In Homer’s Odyssey, the sea is referred to as being ‘wine-dark’ (obviously a reddish colour) and not blue.  Research has been done which shows that the colour blue was only referred to and used in dyes by the early Egyptians.  Scientists have also argued that the human eye could not see blue in the spectrum of light up till that time.  In the glass windows of Chartres a certain blue is used for the Virgin’s blue cloak.  This colour is called ‘chartres blue’ and modern stained glass manufacturers have not been able to recreate this colour.

The various blues of the Suit of Vessels

In this suit we enter the alchemical process of the miraculous conception within ourselves and we prepare to birth the Sacred One in our own psyche.
In alchemy the vessel is the container in which the various ingredients are mixed and transformed by each other. It was believed that the alchemists were looking for a way to turn lead into gold, but it is also believed that it is actually a metaphorical journey of transforming darkness into light and one of finding joy and peace amidst sorrow and hardship as we live in a world of holy paradox.  Mary is the vessel for Divine Love incarnated as her Son in the physical world and within our souls.  She is also the spiritual vessel in which opposites combine.  As we are tested and challenged, like Bernadette, we have the choice to obey the instructions of the voice of the Lady that no-one else sees or to listen to the incredulous villagers and Cure.  As we follow the calling of our heart, we are led to dig where no-one else thought to look and we will uncover a spring that will feed and nourish thousands.



Tuesday, April 10, 2018

St Michael

St Michael, Servant of Distaff
Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck

‘God is in everything I see, because God is in my mind’ – A Course in Miracles

Michael is the most powerful of the angels, revered in the Christian, Jewish and Moslem traditions. His name means ‘Who is as God’. He is the chief of the archangels, head of the angelic order of Virtues and ruler of the fourth heaven. He is the Prince of Light in the Dead Sea Scroll known as The Wars of the Sons of Light against the Sons of Darkness. He is the defender of Truth, symbolised by the lamb in the shrine. Michael is seen as the Angel of the Burning Bush and the forerunner of the Shekinah. He is also the angel that told Mary of her impending death and assumption. Michael is celebrated as the Angel of Justice during the Michaelmas feast.

In Garabandal, a tiny village of Spain, Archangel Michael appeared on more than one occasion with Our Lady of Carmel to four young girls. He also acted as a messenger for the Virgin Mary’s message to those at Garabandal. Miraculous appearances by Archangel Michael have been recorded across the world and also appearances of Michael with Mary, as in Dong Lu, China. One of the first miracles manifested by the appearance of Michael along with Mary, was in 590 in Rome during a terrible plague. Saint Gregory the Great saw the Archangel Michael, as well as Mary on her throne, appear in the sky. He saw the Archangel sheathing his sword and the plague in Rome was miraculously over.

The energy ley lines that run through the Earth, are called the Michael and Mary ley lines in England. The straight Michael ley line derives its name from the churches dedicated to St Michael from the Norfolk coastline in the North East to the edge of Cornwall in the South West. The Mary line crosses all the sacred wells and holy springs with churches dedicated to Mary on many of those places.
In this shrine we see Michael with his sword of justice and righteousness. He is the Prince of Light who shines into the darkness of fear and indecision and judgement. When you receive this card, avail yourself of this empowering and swift energy. It is said that Michael’s sword is a double-edged one so be aware that when you apply swift judgement, you may be cut in the process as well.

The Suit of Peace and the Veils of Mary

‘Maybe you too had family similar: My immigrant mothers and grandmothers spun and knitted, crocheted, tatted, made lace as though they were mending up the unraveled world each day and it depended solely on them... which is to say, fast and constant motions; a whirring sound and a click of hand whittled wooden needles, a little whoosh of wrist as the metal hook was snapped to catch the next looped thread. This was the women’s music of the house.’ – Dr Clarissa Pinkola Estes
Women who were skilled in this work prepared materials for the tabernacle during the wilderness wandering. All the skilled women spun with their hands, and brought what they had spun, in blue and purple and scarlet material and in fine linen. All the women whose heart stirred with a skill spun the goats’ hair. (Exodus 35:25-26 NAU)

Before the invention of the spinning wheel, the spinning of wool or flax was done by women using a spindle and a distaff. The spindle was a long spool to hold and spin the wool and the distaff a short rod with an opening or branches at the top for holding the flax or wool. The top of the distaff had the shape V and has been called the ‘sword of peace’ in writings. According to the dictionary the word distaff took on the meaning of ‘woman’s work’ and eventually of ‘woman’. It is still used to refer to the female side of the family.

The distaff has also been called the staff of women. I don’t know if the V shape of the branching top of the distaff has anything to do with the V as a symbol for peace, but it seems rather appropriate. It has been called the sword of peace as it is mainly during times of peace that women can sit and weave or sew. Small groups of women sitting together in households and villages, create a supportive sisterhood which is important to sustain the living fabric of a close-knit family and community.

Mary, like the goddesses of old has a rich tradition of weaving similarly to Persephone, Kore and Athena and her role in weaving the temple veil is an important event in the holy story. In the Protevangelium of James the story is told as follows: Mary was dedicated to the Temple from a young age. She stayed in the Temple till the age of twelve when she was promised to Joseph. Seven young virgin maidens were asked to make a new veil for the Temple and Mary was one of them. The priests gave her the red and purple wool to spin. These two colours proved to be very significant and of a prophetic nature of events still to come. After the annunciation by Archangel Gabriel Mary takes the spun cloth to the priest and he proclaims that the she has been magnified by the Lord. This theme of spinning has been included in art in scenes in which Mary appears, especially in Medieval art where spinning wheels were also included although these did not exist in Biblical times.

This amulet rosary comes with the tarot card and the card's description packaged in a matching pouch

You can read more about the Mysteries of Mary tarot deck on my website at

All my altars are made in the tradition of Benedicaria and Sacred Altars. They are made as part of my spiritual practise and devotion to Blessed Mary. 


Friday, April 6, 2018

Miriam the Prophetess and the Miriamic tradition

VIII Vessels - Mariam, the Prophetess
Shrine created for the Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck

The prophetess Miriam, Aaron's sister, took a tambourine in her hand, while all the women went out after her with tambourines, dancing;  and she led them in the refrain : Sing to the Lord, for he is gloriously triumphant; horse and chariot he has cast into the sea - NAB, Exodus 15:20-21

The Hebrew Miriam is the first woman prophet mentioned in the Christian and Jewish Scriptures.  The Greek Miriam is translated as Mariam and in English as Mary.  Thus we see that Moses' sister has the same name as Mariam/Mary, the Holy Woman in the Mysteries of Mary.  The scholar Phyllis Trible, in her piece 'Bringing Miriam out of the Shadows' argues that the Song of the Sea is Miriam's song of liberation of the Hebrew people from Egypt.  She and other feminist scholars, make the case that the Song of the Sea attributed to Moses, should actually be attributed to Miriam.  The Song of Hannah in the VI of Roses in the deck, provided the words and themes for Holy Mary's song, the Magnificat.  However, Miriam's Song, as a song of liberation is also echoed in the song of deliverance sung by Mary as the Magnificat.  

My painting of Miriam, the prophetess

Here we see the start of the Miriamic or Mariamic tradition. The mysteries of Mary starts off with Mara, the Holy Fool, whose name is the root of Miriam/Mariam and means the 'bitter one'.   (Amara is a very bitter root used for stomach ailments). Miriam's name is also understood to mean 'Bitter Sea' (mar-yam), thus evoking both the bitterness associated with Miriam and her connections with water.

The story of Miriam's Well tells of Miriam's prophetic water divining ability.  She could lead the people through the desert because she could always find springs and riverbeds.  Wheverever Miriam led, her people were assured of having water to drink.

I interpret this story and symbolism both metaphorically and energetically on many levels.  Miriam represents the feminine part of the soul and psyche, the more watery and receptive side of our nature.  One can also relate Miriam/Mariam/Mary to the feminine face of God. Elsewhere I have shared my pilgrimages down the energy ley lines that crosses the earth and specifically the Michael and Mary ley lines of England.  The Michael (masculine energy)line runs in almost a straight line and is dotted by churches and hill tops.  The Mary line, however, runs a much more winding and weaving manner across and next to the Michael lines and it runs from well to spring to lake.  The Mary ley line is dotted with sacred wells and springs.  These are of course mainly 'sweet waters' but one can say that the sea has 'bitter' water which we are unable to drink. Miriam's name is also translated as the the 'changing sea' or 'transforming sea'.  In the Mysteries of Mary guidebook I illustrate how powerfully Mary is associated with the waters and the sea. In the same manner that Miriam and her people were enslaved, is the feminine voice and face of God marginilized or completely removed from religion and spiritual teachings and practices.  Deep social, cultural and religious conditioning in valuing and honouring certain characteristics, traits and endeavours above others, results in creating a parched desert and wasteland in our psyche.  Our inner worlds are bereft of the expression and celebration of our inner feminine.  When we awaken to this realisation and we enable ourselves to break the shackles of conditioning and fear, and set the inner feminine aspects and even the soul free, do we become aware of the eternal Miriam's Well within that bubbles up with creativity, joy, pleasure, freedom, peace, dancing and the metaphorical playing of tambourines. 

Legend tells of Miriam's Well that appeared wherever Miriam traveled.  Similarly, the Divine Well within appears whenever we dance with the eternally changing and transformative Waters of Life

The waters pouring forth from the water jug or vessel

Miriam the Jewish prophetess' name is linked to the bitterness of slavery and she sings The Song of the Sea leading her people from Egypt to freedom.  Mariam/Mary in her song the Magnificat sings of her prophetic vision of the deliverance of humanity from spiritual slavery.

In her essay Eve and Miriam, Phyllis Trible puts the two hymns side by side, revealing the corresponding resonance between them

SS : I will sing to the Lord, most glorious deity
M :  My spirit rejoices in God my saviour

SS : Thy right hand, O Lord, glorious in power;
M : Thy right hand, O Lord, shatters the enemy

SS : God has shown strength with the divine arm, has
M  : Scattered the proud in the imaginations of their hearts

SS :  Pharaoh's chariots and his hosts God hurled into the sea
M  :  God has put down the mighty from their thrones

Miriam the Prophetess
VIII of Vessels

In the Disney version of the story entitled The Prince of Egypt, the words are taken from Exodus :

A-shir-ra I'a-do-nai ki ga-oh ga-ah
(I will sing to the Lord for He has triumphed gloriously)
A-shir-ra I'a-do-nai ki ga-oh ga-ah

(I will sing to the Lord for He has triumphed gloriously)
Mi-cha-mo-cha ba-e-lim adonai
(Who is like You, oh Lord, among the celestials)
Mi-cha-mo-cha ne-dar-ba-ko-desh
(Who is like You, majestic in holiness)
Na-chi-tah v'-chas-d'-cha am zu ga-al-ta
(In Your love, You lead the people You redeemed)
Na-chi-tah v'-chas-d'-cha am zu ga-al-ta
(In Your love, You lead the people You redeemed)
A-shi-ra, a-shi-ra, A-shi-ra
A-shir-ra I'a-do-nai ki ga-oh ga-ah

(I will sing to the Lord for He has triumphed gloriously)
A-shir-ra I'a-do-nai ki ga-oh ga-ah
(I will sing to the Lord for He has triumphed gloriously)
Mi-cha-mo-cha ba-e-lim adonai
(Who is like You, oh Lord, among the celestials)
Mi-cha-mo-cha ne-dar-ba-ko-desh
(Who is like You, majestic in holiness)
Na-chi-tah v'-chas-d'-cha am zu ga-al-ta
(In Your love, You lead the people You redeemed)
Na-chi-tah v'-chas-d'-cha am zu ga-al-ta
(In Your love, You lead the people You redeemed)

A-shi-ra, a-shi-ra, A-shi-ra

Here you can see the words 'ashira ashira' translated to mean 'I will sing', but it is also a different spelling of the name of the Hebrew Goddess Asherah.  More on this theme in another post to follow on the VII of Holyrood, Asherah.

extracted from the guidebook of Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck



Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Holy pilgrimage to the Three Marys

 all photos: Ella Rozett
Photograph by Ella Rozzett from her website Interfaith Mary
Notre Dame de Confession

I invite you to join me in a holy pilgrimage to the Three Marys as explored
in the Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck.

23 May 2019 to 3 June 2019

The intent of the tour is that of a holy pilgrimage and initiation
into the Temple of Mary priestesshood and I will only take 6 people with me

The vision of this pilgrimage is to learn about and immerse ourselves in the
energies of Blessed Mary, Mary Magdalane and the Black Virgin of the South of France

Since I have envisioned taking a slightly bigger group than usual with me, this idea
has blossomed and grown and I have now teamed up with two local experts who
will take care of all the arrangements and travel and leave me free to
spend time with you in meditation, contemplation and sharing of energy, experience and

My own spiritual path have included at least one pilgrimage once a year for the past 20 years
and I have travelled to Thailand and the temples of Quan Yin, across Europe to the many
sacred Marian shrines, six annual visits to the Goddess Conference in Glastonbury and my priestess of Avalon soul friend Koko Newport and my spiritual path as Jothi Diksha giver and Shaktipat in India and Malaysia. I have blogged some of these pilgrimages
on my blog Cloister of the Heart at  :

Candles burning in the Lourdes sanctuary

Our Lady of Lourdes card in Mysteries of Mary tarot deck

23 May to 3 June 2019

Starting in Marseilles and ending in Lourdes, France

As a group we are accompanied by a local guide from Provence who is
also a Mary Magdalene devotee.  My own personal experience with pilgrimages
to Saintes Maries de la Mer and Sante Sara, the Mary Magdalene pilgrimage and my many
personal retreats at Lourdes PLUS our French guide's mastery of the French language,
her first hand knowledge and intimate experience
with the mysteries of the Mary Magdalene, the Cathars and the other saints and
myths of the region will open doors for us that we otherwise will not have
access to plus new sites that I have not visited either, so I am also excited.

All travelling will be done in the comfort of an 8 seater minibus.

We will meet in Marseilles on Thursday 23 May.
The city was founded by the Phoenicians 2600 years ago and it is the oldest city in France.
This is also the place where Mary Magdalene preached with her brother Lazarus after
they landed at Saintes Maries de la Mer.  We will drive along the panoramic Corniche to
the Basilica of Our Lady of Gard and we will visit the Saint Victor Abbey and the ancient crypts
and one of the highlights of visiting Notre Dame de Confession.

There are those who believe that this Black Madonna is indeed Mary Magdalene.

From the website :

According to an obscure French alchemists’ website, Our Lady the Green One is an old title of Our Lady of the Confession. Normally I wouldn’t pay this much heed, but she certainly has a close relationship to the color green and she has another old title, which has fallen out of use. Ean Begg mentions it as: Our Lady of the Fennel or Our Lady of New Fire. “Our Lady of the Fennel” is actually a misunderstanding of the old Provence dialect words ‘fue nou’ or ‘fuech noou’. They mean ‘new fire’, not ‘fennel’ or ‘fenouil’ in modern French. She was long called Our Lady of the New Fire, because on her feast day, Candlemas, the new fire for the candles was blessed, just like nowadays the new Easter fire for the Easter candle is blessed during the Easter vigil. People would then bring fresh wicks and oil lamps and take some of this “new fire” home. This old rite of blessing a fire connected with Mary (as well as one connected with Jesus) probably survived longer at St. Victor’s church than anywhere else.] It still echoes to this day in the green candles, which the faithful buy at the church on Candlemas to offer there and also take home. What about the title the Green One? The easy explanation for it would be that she wears a green mantle, not so easily made out normally, because the colors are faded. However on her feast day, Candlemas, on February 2nd, her wooden green mantel is overlaid with a green cloth over coat and green candles are burnt and blessed in her honor.

The bell tower of Notre Dame de la Gare
Marseilles, France

Sara la Kali and Saintes Maries de la Mer in the Mysteries
of Mary tarot deck

Late afternoon we will drive to the seaside town of Saintes Maries de la Mer where legend has it that the small boat without sail or oars, carrying the three Marys landed.  Here Sante Sara, the black madonna of the Rom Gypsies, miraculously covered the ocean with her cloak and the women could disembark.  We will drive through the landscape of the Camargue, its salted marshes with white sands, wild horses and coral flamingoes.  Annually hundreds of pilgrims arrive in the small town and for a week there are festivities, celebrations and wonderful religious processions carrying Sante Sara and the two Marys into the ocean.
We will spend three nights at Saintes Maries de la Mer to take in the wonderful vibrant
market, the wonderful food of this specific region, the daily opening of the town with the running of the white horses of the Camargue and to participate in the two main events of the pilgrimage :  the two processions on consecutive days of carrying the two Marys and Sante Sara into the ocean.  Similar to the Hindu traditions of Durga Ma, the water is blessed by the saint's immersion into the water and many pilgrims follow her into the waves.

We will enjoy lunch at a local restaurant facing the Mediterranean sea and you will have enough personal free time to scavenge the markets and the choice of dinners.

Picture taken by myself of Mary Magdalene crypt in Basilica in
St Maximin la Ste Baume

One of the Mary Magdalene shrines in the Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck

The following three nights are spent in Saint Maximin le St Baume.  The town is situated around the magnificent Mary Magdalene Basilica and convent which is now a hotel in which we will stay, right next door to the Basilica.  The Basilica contains the skull relic of Mary Magdalene which is on display once a year on her feast day in June.  You will be able to visit the Basilica and Mary Magdalene crypt more than once and also to spend time there in prayer and meditation.
From here we will undertake a day visit to the grotto where Mary Magdalene spent the last thirty years of her life.  We will hike to the grotto where a daily mass is held. It is a bit of a steep walk up the side of the mountain, but it has carved steps and the walk is done as a ritual and a sacred pilgrimage, so no rushing!  We will drink water from the sacred spring in the Sanctuary of Mary Magdalene.
We will have lunch at the Monastery.

Another day visit will be to Our Lady of Graces and the three apparitions of Mary
and Joseph and the Holy Family at Cotignac.  We will enjoy lunch at the sanctuary.
In the afternoon we will visit the Abbey of Le Thoronet, established as a Cistercian
monastery by Bernard of Clairvaux in the 12th century.
St Bernard had a special devotion to the Virgin Mary, and he would later write several works about the Queen of Heaven.
We will marvel at the beauty of the extraordinary architecture based on sacred
geometry and hear the stories of how the mystical devotion to the sacred feminine
emerged in the 12th and 13th centuries.

From here we will enter the landscape of the history of the Cathars and the many
stories of Mary Magdalene!  This region is known as Our Lady of the Blue Apples.
We will overnight for two nights in the region and will visit the many Black Madonnas,
some which are only known to the locals.

Our Lady of the Blue Apples shrine in the
Mysteries of Mary tarot deck

From there we travel to Lourdes where we will spend two days and nights
filled with visits to the Rosary Basilica, the sacred spring, the miraculous grotto
and participate in the Rosary procession dedicated to Mary, Our Lady of Lourdes.

The final day of the pilgrimage is 2 June 2019 and this night we will walk
the procession together as pilgrims and priestesses.

 From here you can fly to Paris or take a TGV or travel
back to Marseilles by transfer with our guide and driver, depending on your own travel arrangements.  Should you wish to stay longer in Lourdes, I can arrange for your room to be available for a few more days.

The final itinerary with all details, accommodation, meals included, etc
will be up on this website on 1 June 2108 when bookings will open.

Join us for 10 nights and 11 days in France
on a life-changing pilgrimage and retreat
seen through the lens of Mysteries of Mary tarot and ritual

The focus of this pilgrimage is the Cosmic Mother  in the three aspects of Mary, Mary Magdalene and the Black Madonna and an immersion in the mysteries of the Great Mother.
  Time will be spent immersing ourselves in the sacred energies as pilgrims on these ancient paths;  a daily meditation circle and tarot work, tarot journalling, ritual,  visiting the reliquaries, creating your own tarot card and collage, participating in the nightly light rosary procession at Lourdes, drinking of the sacred waters of the miracle spring at Lourdes, visiting the Basilica and enough personal time to soak it all up and to look after the sensual pleasures of life, such as market scavenging, eating local food and time to rest and integrate. 
The basilica in St Maximin la St Baume where the remains
of Mary Magdalene was found and the basilica was
erected on the site

Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck

Picture taken in crypt of Church of Saintes Maries de les Mer 2012

You can read about my previous pilgrimage to the festival
and pilgrimage of the Romani Gypsies to
Sante Sara la Kali here

Ave Maria!
An  unforgettable experience.
Read more about my many pilgrimages to Lourdes

Each morning will start with a sacred circle of focus and intent;  We will work with the Mysteries of Mary tarot deck in a deep and healing way - discussions will be personalised for you and for your own focus for the pilgrimage and spiritual journey.  Each pilgrim will receive a specially created tarot journal and images for the pilgrimage.  You will have time to journal and collage your entire pilgrimage and all work done with the tarot.  A workshop in which you will create your own personal tarot card compiled of insights and experiences during the pilgrimage.

Since planning these pilgrimages I have been creating the Amulets of Mary Blessing and healing sets based on the story of Lourdes, Santa Sara and Mary Magdalene.  I will include these into the daily sessions and I will share my insights and teachings on these ancient systems with you. 

A handcrafted Mysteries of Mary Tarot Rosary
for each pilgrim

Each pilgrim will receive :

*  a Mary Magdalene/Mary tarot rosary which can be worn to all sacred sites for blessing

*  a specially created pilgrim's tarot journal specifically for the Three Marys pilgrimage

*  sheets of images and small items for your own tarot collage and tarot journalling - we will scavenge the village brocantes for additional material and visit the shops at the sacred sites for holy medals, etc.

*  a bottle of salts to be blessed and used in ritual

*a link bracelet for attaching amulets and holy medals along your pilgrimage

I will provide final details, a full itinerary and costs in June and bookings will open in June 2018
Only 6 persons can be accommodated
Final dates, details and prices will follow in due course.

The full itinerary will be posted here

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I am on Instagram as @thefrenchmadonna


Sunday, March 4, 2018

Amulets of Our Lady of Lourdes

The Amulets of Mary is a healing and blessing oracle based on the Mysteries of Mary tarot deck iconography as well as The Blessing Way, also known as Benedicaria.  They marry the ancient craft of charm casting with the use of holy cards, tarot cards, candle ritual and novena prayers. 

The Amulets of Mary Oracle is a two-fold oracle, blessing and healing set incorporating various ancient traditions including the Benedicaria, the sacred path of the pilgrim and priestesshood in the Temple of Mary and the sanctification of the ordinary through the blessing way.  The Amulets of Mary Oracle and the Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck are both a culmination of my own conscious spiritual journey of the past 25 years. It incorporates the practise of Sacred Altarmaking, the devotion of the pilgrim to sacred places, the use of holy waters and relics, the creation of sacred oils and elixers and my work as Diksha giver (Blessing giver) in Sakta Tantra tradition. The Amulets can be used with and alongside the Mysteries of Mary Tarot cards. You can read more about the Blessing Way and the Amulets of Mary on my blog here :

One of the casting sheets of the Amulets of Mary Sets

The past seven years I have offered an Art Novena to Our Lady of Lourdes on my blog Cloister of the Heart.  

Amulets of the Lady of Lourdes set

This year the theme was the feminine and sacred nature of fairy tales and in particular the correspondences between the fairy tale and the story of Bernadette Soubirous and the radiant Lady of Lourdes. You can find the nine days of the Art Novena of Our Lady of Lourdes 2018 here.

Fairytales are a font of wisdom, a secret book of Wisdom and Divine Feminine tales.  Fairy tales have certain basic structures, and in a nut shell one can describe them as stories in which the hero is always a woman guided by the supernatural, surrounded by magic and miracles and a wondrous healing tale for all!     The story of the Bright Lady in  shining white Light that appeared to the starving little girl of Massabielles,  has all the elements of a fairy tale.  At Lourdes you step into the Otherworld; into a Land of Enchantment where miracles are possible.Fairy tales can be regarded as mythical religious stories with the focus and emphasis on the divine feminine as a balancing contrast to the patriarchal Roman and Greek myths which we have come to know.  In other words, a thealogy (female deity) in contrast to an exclusive theology (male deity). In this year's Art Novena to Our Lady of Lourdes  I explored the feminine wisdom and guidance of fairytales and specifically as it pertains to the miraculous story of Our Lady of Lourdes.

So it was only fitting that I created a special Amulets of Mary Blessing Oracle Set based on the fairytale and miracle of Bernadette and Our Lady of Lourdes.  I have visited Lourdes annually for the past five years and have brought back holy medals, relics and some of the healing spring water. These limited sets contain amulets specifically pertaining to the story of Bernadette and the Grotto of Massabielles outside Lourdes, as told in the Art Novenas to Our Lady of Lourdes.  Some of these sets will include items that I collected during my Lourdes pilgrimages, hand made resin and clay holy medals, charms, holy cards, a miniature Lady of Lourdes resin statue, a tiny vial of the healing waters of the Lourdes spring, as well a set of 46 charms of the Amulets of Mary set and a beautiful Our Lady of Lourdes casting linen cloth(All sprinkled with waters from the Lourdes spring and touched to the relic of the Chemise of Our Lady.)

Mother Goose

 The first two amulets in the special Lady of Lourdes set is the Flying Goose and Mother Goose on her broomstick.

Hannah or Anna as the Great Mother Goddess
also known as Mother Goose and her sacred goose
VI of Roses in Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck
We are all familiar with Mother Goose and her nursery rhymes and fairytales. What better place to hide the Divine Mother Goddess in the guise of an old crone with a goose for a vehicle? The goose has many mythical connections in both Eastern and Western mythology. In Egyptian lore the sky was associated with the Mother Goddess. The goose is one of the most sacred animals in the ancient stories of goddess, along with the swan. Just like Mother Goose, the Greek goddess Aphrodite  rode through the air on the back of a goose. 

There are also artwork depicting Aphrodite with geese at her feet. In the Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck, I include the hidden code and meaning in fairy tales and specifically Mother Goose.  Mother Goose is present in the card Hannah's Song.  Here is an extract from Mysteries of Mary tarot deck :

We also know the fairy tale of the goose that lays the golden egg. The egg has always carried the meaning of life and rebirth in ancient traditions. It also symbolises new life and transformation.  The shape of the egg also has connotations as it is similar to the vesica pisces. Goose is a partial anagram of goddess and Mother Goose hides the word mother goddess The mother aspect of the goddess is still present today in Mother Mary. Mother Goose is seen as the magical author of all the fairy tales, reminiscent of our understanding of the Shekinah or Sophia.

The heroine or young girl in the fairy tale

Iconography and amulets of the story of Cinderella is included in the Lourdes story as it corresponds with the story of Bernadette.  In many a fairy tale the protagonist is a young girl. Think of Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Rumpelstilskin and Snow White.  Sometimes she is a princess and at other times she is a poor servant girl.  But the focus in the fairy tale is always on the young girl, the mother and step mother and the fairy godmother or the thirteenth fairy or some interaction with a supernatural Blessing Lady.

The miraculous story of Lourdes is as much about Bernadette Soubirous as it is about the Lady and the gift of the healing waters. The young Bernadette is the daughter of a poor family. 

The Holy Servant and Handmaiden shrine from the
Mysteries of Mary tarot deck
VIII of Roses (pentacles)
The fairy tale of Cinderella

The servant girl

The young girl Bernadette grew up poor and almost destitute.  She lived in an old broken down room of what used to be a prison, in squalor. She had to scavenge for food on the rubbish heap of the village.  In ordinary time Bernadette was poor, she had no status and she was a girl in the ashes, scavenging to help keep her family alive and warm. In the Mysteries of Mary it is explained that Holy servant and handmaiden are ancient titles for holy ones or Light Bringers.  In the esoteric Christian Bride chamber mysteries, the holy servant is the bride of the Christ.  

As in the Handless Maiden, Bernadette is the daughter of a miller

The Miller's daughter

The sacred tasks of the heroine

Today Bernadette and her story is famous and she is regaled for her vision, her faith, her commitment and the wondrous gifts that she brought back to our world from her meetings with Mary of Lourdes. But this was not the case in her lifetime. She was the only one who saw the visions of the Radiant Lady. No-one else believed her. She was ridiculed and thought to be insane. Her mother forbade her to go back to the grotto after being told about the visions. But Bernadette persisted. and she obeyed the Radiant Lady and took her messages back to the village and the local priest. She was taken in for psychiatric evaluation; she was arrested by the police and she was vilified by the villagers. In many fairy tales and myths as well, the young heroine has to overcome certain tasks until the ultimate challenge has been completed. The ultimate challenge for Bernadette was when Magnificent Mary of Lourdes told her to dig for water in a bone dry patch of land where there had never been water before. And Bernadette started to dig with her hands and nothing appeared.  The villagers

shook their heads at her and walked away. But she persisted and kept on digging away with her hands in the dirt. As in fairy tales Bernadette surrendered her fear, her free will and herself to the visions and the presence of the supernatural. As the innocent heroine of the story she acted in hope and belief in the impossible.

The Radiant Lady in White - fairy godmother, The magical element of fire and light, The miracles, The gifts of the sleeping woman and The gifts from the Otherworld are some of the amulets that are included in this set.

Each set comes with an explanatory sheet and all information regarding the Lady of Lourdes fairytale correspondences and the meaning and interpretation of the amulets.