|Mara, the holy fool|
Card 0 Major Arcana
Sacred Mysteries of Mary tarot deck
Drink the poison and find the cure
Mara is the archetypal woman representing the self
on the inner journey of Self-Realization.
She is the holy fool who sets out on an unknown
journey towards an unknown destination, leaving
behind a limited understanding and perception
of the inner life and its manifestation into this world.
Mary had a little lamb
Its fleece was white as snow
And everywhere that Mary went
The lamb was sure to go
Here she is accompanied by the rabbit,
symbol of the goddess and the fertile nature
of the divine and nature as well as the
vulnerability and tenderness of all life
and all living beings.
Mara carries the Lamb, symbol of the Soul,
as well as the soul's purity, enduring innocence
and its incorruptibility.
She also wears the garland of the virgin
symbolizing a potent truth of
the true metaphysical meaning of the virgin :
'one unto herself'.
Behind her are the trees of the forest
that she is leaving behind as steps out on her journey.
On the tree top sits a dove, the Holy Spirit, or
messenger of the heavens, accompanying her on
The tree represents the archetypal Tree of Life and the
Tree of the knowledge of good and evil. This theme
is more fully explored in the Suit of the Holy Rood.
Here we see the fir tree for the first time and
we are reminded that this is the shape of the pineal gland, the
seat of consciousness and enlightenment in the human brain.
She is surrounded by the elements of the
Sacred Mysteries of Mary :
the white hawthorn blossoms,
the red berries, the black seeds
and the green branches.
Read here more about the symbolism of the hawthorn
in this deck.
Mara's story unfolds through the journey of Maryam,
the Jewish prophetess and the hidden Hebrew goddess;
through the wisdom of Maria-Sophia,
the three Marys, Mary Magdalene, the handless maiden
and finally, through the initiations of
The name 'Mara' forms part of the word 'amara',
a medicinal plant called bitter-ash or bitter-wood;
the most bitter plant known to us with a characteristic black
elixer which is known to aid digestion and healing
for stomach disorders. It is also known for its blood purification
properties and cleansing of the gallbladder and liver.
'Mara' from the Hebrew means 'bitter' or 'strong' in taste.
This first card introduces us to the sacred understanding
that our journey will lead us through the purification
of fire and flame. And most importantly,
Mara teaches that we have the 'cure' for our malaise
within ourselves, accessible by and through the self.
'Drink the poison and find the cure"
As she sets out on her journey she will move through
the lower and also the higher mysteries of initiation
Another important message that Mara delivers
is the unity and oneness of divine and nature,
as well as the sacred knowledge that all
paths lead to the same mountain. It does not
matter which culture you belong to and which
myths guide your story, there is the One and the Many.
One Divine Being and many different names and traditions.
The Kingdom of Grace cannot be achieved.
It arrives when the ego is surrendered.
When all desire and goals fall away
and when the fullness of life is truly experienced.
When all desire for perfection is no longer
existent and when innocence is born.