Thursday, October 29, 2015

Some of the themes of the Sacred Mysteries of Mary Deck

Three of Holy Rood - The Three Marys at the Cross

The Mysteries of Mary deck
 is a reweaving and remembering of many stories and
themes.  It is inspired by the Lesser and the Higher Mysteries
of Mary.  Some of these are told in the Christian Bible, 
some in the Koran and many are retold through myth and
folklore.  There are also esoteric and apocryphal books
that tell the stories of Mary, the feminine counterpart
of the Divine Creator in the Western religion and myth
and many of these stories have been included to
create The Mysteries of Mary deck.

Woven into the tapestry of myth, metaphor and
inspiration, are fairytales and in particular, the
folktale of The Handless Maiden.  And so are
the Greek, Roman, Egyptian, 
pagan and especially the Judaic
history which is the precursor to the Christian mysteries.

The deck is a marriage of opposites, a living
hieros gamos which follows the sacred journey
of the Holy Fool through the nine lesser mysteries
and through the five higher mysteries.

 The four suits are based on the cycle of life
as embodied by the life of the hawthorn tree and by 
the four mysteries of the Rosary sacred to Mary.

The hawthorn tree has long been held as sacred
to the goddess in various cultures and history.
The tree was revered as the sacred tree of
the celtic Goddesses Olwen and Brigid.  The Hawthorn was 
also held sacred to the Greek Maia and the Roman Flora
and the list continues.

Today the Hawthorn tree is one of the trees and plants
that are sacred to the
Blessed Virgin Mary.
There was a time when the
tree was called the 'May'.  The month of May is
regarded as the month sacred to Mary and there
are special Marian devotions held in the Roman
Catholic Church during the month of May.
These include the symbolic crowning of Mary
with a head garland of flowers.

A large part of Mary's story takes place in Glastonbury
and here we find the magical Hawthorn tree on
Wearyall hill  (This tree has recently been cut down
by vandals and thus eradicated a part of history)
The Hawthorn carries the symbolism of the three stages of
life, also seen as the Three Fates, or the Divine Trinity
or the Triple Goddess
 in its natural stages
of white blossom, red fruit and black seed.
During Spring the tree is covered in fine white blossoms
and appears like a bride in her white gown.  Maybe
this is why the Hawthorn tree also represents
The White Goddess in pagan belief.
The white blossom of the tree has five distinct
petals.  The shape of five petals are linked to the
divine feminine and specifically to Venus as it
imitates the planet's course through the heavens.
We also find the five petals in the rose,
a flower seen as a living embodiment and
metaphor of the feminine and the
divine feminine.

When you cut open an apple, you find
the same configuration of five in the
centre housing of seeds.

Both the rose and apple are very
important themes in the Mysteries.

The juicy red berries of the Hawthorn follow
after the white blossoms and the tree
is a mass of the red fruit, shimmering in the
summer sun.  This represents the summer of one's life
and the manifestation of one's creativity and the fulfillment
of the potential of the white bridal blossom and 
ultimately the fruit that your life bear.
While the last of the red berries are still on the tree,
they become the black withering berry which contains
the seed but also is the death of the berry - life and death
deeply entwined.
Seeing the red fruit and the black seed together on the tree,
reminds one of the bitter-sweet nature of life.
In these three seasons and cycles we have the
red, white and black threads of life :
attributes of the Great Goddess and the three
cycles of VirginBride, Mother and Wisdom.

The sacred tree and its Holy Rood (rod or branch)
became the Suit of Wands in the
Sacred Mysteries of Mary.

The symbolism of the sacred tree is seen in
the holy wood of the cross,
the Tree of Life,
the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil,
the second tree in Paradise,
the Holy Rood planted by Joseph of Arimathea
in Glastonbury and which flowered every Christmas
and more.  All of these form part of the weave
of the tapestry of insight and knowledge
into the guideposts on our journey as
depicted in the
Sacred Mysteries of Mary tarot deck.



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