Monday, October 15, 2018

Daily Practice towards Self-Mastery

St Bernadette, Handmaiden of the Holy Rood


I created the Mysteries of Mary Tarot deck and wrote the handbook as practical
and alchemical tool for spiritual growth and illumination.

The ultimate goal on the path of enlightenment is
Self-Mastery.

The premise is that we are beings with a dual nature flowing from the true
authentic self.  As a seeker I spent many years exploring and studying and
applying a myriad of teachings.  Community has always been important to me
and together with friends, students and other seekers I created various platforms
where we could explore and experience ourselves in the context of life as a metaphor
for the greatest story ever told :  the story of Love.


The Beloved by Hettienne Grobler


All my projects and creations that I share with the world and with those
who are seeking, are created to assist you and guide you to self-mastery.
In order to master the universe we need to become aware and
stay aware of ourselves.  This means that we need to look deeply into those
dark unlit shadows and meet the monsters face to face.

The most powerful way to work with the Mysteries of Mary tarot deck
is to draw a daily card.  After your morning meditation sit with the realisations
and thoughts and ask a question.

Draw a card from the deck and sit with its image for a few minutes
Then open the book and read the pages about the card in the handbook.
It is a powerful practise to read these words in a meditative way.
If any of the words jump out at you or they bring forth a certain image or feeling
or sensation, then write it down.
Keep a daily journal of the card that you draw as well as the spoken or unspoken
question that you held in your mind when you drew the card.
Make a note of your initial interpretation and understanding of the card's meaning
as well as how it answers your question.
Then at the end of the day, return to the card and the journal and contemplate
on how the meaning of the card actually unfolded and what was revealed to you.

You will notice a deepening of your intuition, a greater sense of insight into yourself
and your tendencies, gifts and challenges and a greater sense of peace and joy.

Mary-Sophia, High Priestess of Mysteries of Mary tarot deck

To complement the card deck I have also developed a Healing Oracle Amulet set.
These amulet sets work in conjunction with the tarot deck and their
primary purpose is to illuminate yourself to you and to cast light on your path.

These amulet sets are ever-expanding as I add new archetypes, icons and understanding
to them from my most recent pilgrimage. 

I will be offering in-person workshops in both the tarot deck and the amulet sets from 2019 .

Blessing Amulets of Mary
www.etsy.com/shop/thefrenchmadonna


Blessings and peace on your journey

Hettienne






Sunday, September 30, 2018

Black Madonna of Chartres


XI Seat of Wisdom
Sacred Mysteries of Mary deck
Notre Dame Sous Terre de Chartres
Our Lady Underground
The Black Madonna hidden below the Cathedral of Chartres.

I read a wonderful book by Sybil Dana Reynolds
called Honey and Ink which brings
Our Lady of Chartres vividly back to life.

Since then I have visited Chartres twice.
The background tapestry in this shrine
I drew and stitched myself.  It is a replica
of the one that hangs behind Notre Dame Sous Terre
in the underground chapel of Chartres.
The image of the hand seen here is also painted above the door
which leads to the chapel and it is called
'The Hand of God'
and it is as though you are being blessed
by merely entering the hidden chapel
of the Underground Madonna


The artist that did the original tapestry said
that it depicts the Source of all Life
and she sees the Black Madonna seated
at the centre of the chaos of creation.

The hidden Black Madonna under the earth
is seated on the throne of wisdom and justice.
One has to descend through the Chartres Cathedral
to access these underground passages and
chapels, all of which are dimly lit and often
only by candle light.  You can only visit
this chapel under the guidance of an appointed
tour leader and you are not allowed to linger in
the chapel to pray or meditate.



The Black Madonna in the upper Basilica is
no longer black, but has been repainted and
redressed in a more modern European style
as part of the renovation of the Cathedral.
This seems to be an ongoing process of 'cleaning up' 
the Black Madonnas and removing all trace of their powerful
message and history. 


Oh Lady of Justice,
Seat of Wisdom,
where will I find thee?


“There is a reason Mary is everywhere. I've seen her image all over the world, 
in cafés in Istanbul, on students' backpacks in Scotland, in a market stall in Jakarta, 
but I don't think her image is everywhere because she is a reminder to be obedient, 
and I don't think it has to do with social revolution. 
Images of  Mary remind us of  God's favor. 
Mary is what it looks like to believe that we already are who God says we are.”

― Nadia Bolz-Weber, Accidental Saints: 
Finding God in All the Wrong People




Blessings
Hettienne

Saturday, September 29, 2018




'scarlet woman, penitent sinner, Sister-Bride,
whore, Black Madonna, High Priestess of Isis,
Mistress of the Elements,
beloved wife of Jesus, favoured disciple,
Mary of Bethany,
Miriam of Magdala, Magdal-eder, the tower-stronghold,
Daughter of Sion  .......
- extracted from Hymn to the Eternal Feminine by Teilhard de Chardin


XII The Tower
The Magdalen
Sacred Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck
The tower is often seen as a bolt of lightning
coming down from the sky, and I suppose by inference,
from God in Heaven.

Here is Mary Magdalene, the woman from
Magdal-elder, the tower-stronghold,
Daughter of Sion seen as the embodiment of
Wisdom as the Changemaker.



She holds the closed book of the Mystery in her hand.
At her feet is the skull, a symbol of Wisdom
and the ability to overcome the fear of death.
In the right hand corner she is depicted as the consort
of Jesus and her sacred oil and jar is displayed
as a reminder of her role as the woman who
anointed the King.

The tower represents the principle
of "living in one's own tower"
This symbol is often used in fairytales,
think of Rapunzel and her tower and
also in the story in the Bible of the Tower of Babel.
The tower separates one from the communion of
others;  it places you 'above' it all and it highlights the differences 
between you and others.  



The path of Wisdom is not always pleasant and comfy, but
she does promise regeneration and rebirth
and new enlivening circumstances
even if it means tumbling down from your high tower!!
(an extract from Magdalen, the changemaker
http://www.hergracesacredart.com/2015/07/xii-magdalen.html)



blessings
Hettienne

Friday, September 28, 2018

The annunciation of Anna

The Annunciation of Anna


All alone, she (Anna) went into the garden and sat down
 beneath the laurel tree. Looking toward the heavens, 
she saw a nest of sparrows in the tree. Fresh tears welled up in her eyes. 
How she longed to have a child of her own. Anna entreated the Lord, 
saying” Woe is me! To what am I likened? 
I am not likened to this earth, for even the earth brings 
forth her fruit in its season and blesses you, O Lord.” 
And behold an angel of the Lord appeared, 
saying “Anna, the Lord God heard your prayer, 
and you will conceive and give birth, 
and your offspring shall be spoken of in the whole inhabited world.” – extract from the Infancy Gospel of Mary

Anna was barren and never conceived with child. 
The Archangel Gabriel announced to her that she will miraculously conceive.  
It is told that this is a miraculous conception of the Holy child Mary 
and it is an echo of the immaculate conception of Mary still to come.  
As Anna and Joachim, Mary’s father, was too old to physically conceive a child, this was regarded as a conception by Spirit.  
‘Promise them, that by the favour of our right hand they will receive the Fruit of benediction, and that Anne shall conceive a Daughter, to whom We give the name MARY…. were revealed to St Gabriel.’ 
And Gabriel said: ‘She shall be elect, exalted, powerful and full of the Holy Ghost; 
on account of the sterility of Anne her  conception shall be miraculous;’ – Mystical City of God

Anna is Greek for the Hebrew name Hannah and it means ‘grace’. 

Anna’s story is also in the Quran and she is revered in Islam.  
In Islam Joachim is called by the name Imran 
and he dies before Mary is born. 
The priest Zacharias predicted the birth of a male Messiah to Anna, 
but she gave birth to a girl.  
She is revered as a mystic in Islam for her wisdom 
and realisation that Mary was a highly spiritual 
and special child to be dedicated to the Temple. 


In this shrine we see Anna sitting under the palm tree, working on her sewing.
Gabriel is holding the red thread of the mystical message of love and good news
which he delivered to Anna.


blessings
Hettienne

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Handmaiden of the Holy Mystery

I am Thy Handmaiden
The fiat of Mary's consent

Each one of us is called to become the handmaiden of the Holy Mystery



The Angel said to her :
Hail full of grace,
the Lord is with you;
Blessed art thou amongst women

Two of Cups in Tarot Deck


Rejoice, depth hard to contemplate even for the eyes of angels!
Rejoice, you who are the King's throne!
Rejoice, you who bear Him who bears all!

Two of Vessels in the Suit of Compassion
Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck
www.hergracesacredart.com

Rejoice, star that causes the Sun to appear!
Rejoice, womb of the Divine Incarnation!
Rejoice, you through whom the creation becomes new!
                                                 -  Romanus Melodos, Akathist Hymn to the Virgin



This is the Two of Vessels, 
from the suit of Compassion
and the mystery of Mary as Virgin
Archangel Gabriel, divine messenger,
gives her the news that she is the chosen one,
the Godbearer.  This is a pivotal moment in
Mary's life and her response changes the course
of the world.



I am Thy Handmaiden

 Archangel Gabriel is standing on 
two vessels.  The vessels are mainly used for
water or wine and here they are  symbolic of
the living waters of consciousness .
And indeed Mary is to become the vessel
of the Holy Son.
We are reminded of our own individual roles
as vessels of consciousness and our own
birthing of the new, be it art
or hope or inspiration or consciousness.

Each one of us is called to become the handmaiden of the Holy Mystery


And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; 

be it unto me according to thy word.

The fiat of Mary is Mary's consent to the divine plan.
Her acceptance and consent
has created a new world of grace and
it is within the potential of each one of us
 to birth such love and grace.


Down the side of the card are tiny forget-me-not flowers,
one of Mary's sacred flowers and the white lilies
in the background.

The flower garland on Mary's head shows
that she is a virgin. 
It is also predictive of her future
state as Theotokos and
Queen of Heaven and  Earth.

blessings
Hettienne

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Through the Eastern Gate


Triumph
Mary and her Child's return to Nazareth
Six of the Suit of the Holy Rood
in the path of Beauty
(traditionally Six of Wands)
Sacred Mysteries of Mary Deck
www.hergracesacredart.com
The return of Mary and her Son through the
gates of Jerusalem.

The traditional Six of Wands look like this :


and its meaning is victory, success or triumph.

Many people are familiar with the fact that Joseph and
Mary fled with the infant Jesus to Egypt at the threat
of the massacre of the innocents by King Herod.
This event is well covered by many artists
and it is seen as one of the seven sorrows of Mary.

However, what is not clear, is the amount of time that
was spent in Egypt and what transpired there.
The two accounts in the books of Matthew and Luke
do not correspond at all.  Luke mentions nothing about Egypt
and Matthew says nothing about a trip to Nazareth
soon after Jesus' birth whereas Luke describes in detail
how Jesus was taken to the temple in Jerusalem
'after Mary's purification according to the law of Moses.'



 And when they had performed everything
 according to the Law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, 
to their own town of Nazareth - Luke 2:39

The town of Nazareth is in the 'kingdom' of Jerusalem
and here we see Mary on the donkey riding
through the gate of Jerusalem.



In The Hebrew Goddess, a book by Jewish historian
and anthropologist Raphael Patai, we learn
that the Hebrew goddess Asherah was seen as the
mother of Yahweh.  
In the time of King Joshua the Hebrew goddess
had to go 'underground'.  The use of her name and images
were forbidden and her devotees replaced her with
the tree, a pole or rod and the branches of the menorah.
She was known as the Lady of Jerusalem;
the Gate of Jerusalem and the Eastern Gate.
The Lady of Jerusalem was also depicted as an arch.
According to the Dead Sea Scrolls and
The Mother of the Lord by Margaret Barker,
 the ancients
believed Mary to be the incarnation of
the Lady of Jerusalem.

In Christian iconography from the East
we see Our Lady of the Gate of Dawn.
Her image is above the city gates (in Lithuania
and Poland) to protect the city and its inhabitants
and many miracles have been ascribed to her.

In Ezekiel it is written that the eastern gate of
Jerusalem has been shut
and that it will only re-open for the divine One.


So here we have Mary returning victoriously
through the Eastern Gate of Jerusalem
into the light of a new dawn.

A marriage of eastern and western iconography
and cultures and more importantly,
a marriage of masculine and feminine values
for our world.
This card is a way shower of the return of Mary
and her hidden and lost meaning to our world.

The deck takes us on a journey through the 
life, the initiations and the mysteries of Mary
as the Sacred Feminine and what it means
to our natural world as well as our spiritual,
emotional and social health.

May the values of mercy, compassion, forgiveness and acceptance
of all diversity as embodied by Mary
return to a place of honour and respect in our world.

(the above is an extract from the Sacred Mysteries of Mary Deck -
a work in progress and to be published in 2016
Each tarot card is a handcrafted shrine)


Blessings
Hettienne

Mysteries of Mary tarot deck



Hierophant of the Mysteries
Mysteries of Mary Tarot 



Truth did not come into the world naked, but veiled with images
and archetypes, otherwise it cannot be received - Logion 67, The Gospel of Philip




The Path of Love is Within Oneself;
with Mary as Divine Shepherdess
of the inner flock




Each card is a shrine dedicated to an archetype,
an initiation, a Mystery in the Great Mystery and a vignette
of one of the stories woven into the tapestry of the story of Mary.
When you read them together, one after the other, laid out in a sacred
dance of meaning and insight, they become a garland of roses,
a rosary of cards, creating a Rose Garden to the Mother of Love.

Now available at The French Madonna
www.etsy.com/shop/thefrenchmadonna


Peace,
Hettienne