Sunday, November 27, 2016

Fairytale in Mary Tarot Deck

The Miller's Daugher
V Holy Rood - Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck

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A few fairytales are included in the Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck.  Some of them were chosen as they relate to a specific archetype in both the tarot and the stories of Mary.

The fairy tale of the Handless Maiden was chosen because Mary
appears in an Eastern European folktale version of the story. 
In some versions an angel or a being of light appears to help the 
Handless Maiden, but in this particular folktale, Mary herself appears
to help the maiden.

The story of the Handless Maiden and her powerful symbology is told over
three cards in the deck.  The V of Holy Rood (traditionally Wands) is the first
one.  This card is titled The Miller's Daughter and we are introduced to
the young maiden, her father, the devil and very importantly, the apple tree.

The Miller's daughter is standing next to the apple tree with a loaf of bread
(food produced by the miller) on her shoulder.  She, as well as the significant apple
tree represents feminine values and attributes.    Feminine qualities and attributes
live in both male and female.  The story of speaks of the 'miller' and not the maiden's father.
This demonstrates that great importance is given to his occupation in the world, 
rather than his role as father.
From the start we see the focus and emphasis on masculine goals and values.
In our culture the masculine values and attributes are greatly admired and promoted.
The emphasis on the miller, his greed for money, his disregard for both the apple tree
and his daughter, reflects and highlights the imbalance which exists and
the lack of reverence for the less visible feminine principles.

The apple blossom is a symbol of fertility and sensuality.
In Celtic lore the apple tree is the Tree of Love.

At the top of the shrine are two hands.  These will take
you to the next part of the story which is further developed
in VII of Holy Rood,, where the Handless Maiden enters the forest.

Traditionally this card means conflict and in this deck it refers to inner conflict.
The really important questions in life you have to find the answers to
yourself. Do not rely on the opinion of others.  Do not rely
on 'the done thing' or the accepted way of doing.
In other words, do not make a pact with the devil for your most
precious feminine feeling  and earthy nature.
Dig deep and feel the discomfort of the inner conflict
and may you find peace.

This is an extract from the discussion of this card in companion book
to the Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck


Sunday, November 13, 2016

VI of Roses - Hannah's Song

VI of Roses - Hannah's Song

VI of Roses – Hannah’s Song

‘And Hannah prayed, and said, My heart rejoices in the Lord, my horn is exalted in the Lord: my mouth is enlarged over my enemies; because I rejoice in your salvation.’ – 1 Sam 1:2.

The Hebrew name Hannah means ‘he has favoured me’ or ‘God’s given gift to the world’. The name Hannah translated into Greek, is Anna or Anne (the name of Mary’s mother). Both Hannah and Anna were women filled with the despair and bitterness of being barren. They both desperately desired to become mothers. Both said lengthy prayers to Yahweh for the gift of motherhood. Echoing in the prayer songs of Hannah and Anna is the loss of the Mother God. Echoing in both these women’s pleas is the pain of the absence of a divine mother who can understand the barren landscape of an unfertilised garden and the staleness of unchanging seasons. Both Hannah and Anna were blessed with becoming pregnant in their old age. 

Hannah’s Song resounds with the cadence of Mary’s Magnificat. There is a tradition of women prophets and visionaries which unfolds through their songs in the Biblical stories.  
In the discussion of the card of Miriam VII of Vessels, I quoted Phyllis Trible’s work on comparing the words of the Magnificat and the Sea of the Song.

Below is the first part of Hannah’s Song:

My heart rejoices in the Lord!
The Lord has made me strong.
Now I have an answer for my enemies;
I rejoice because you rescued me.
No one is holy like the Lord!
There is no one besides you;
there is no Rock like our God.

In this shrine we see an image of Hannah, surrounded by the fecundity and abundance of the Great Mother. While Hannah was without child, she had no appetite for life. She spent hours in prayer and beseeching Yahweh to gift her with a child. Mothering is the divine nature of life and providing for all her children alike is the divine purpose of the Great Mother.  Here is Hannah in the image of the Great Mother Goddess, laden with the fertility and fecundity of nature. She carries an armful of wheat, a basket of fruit and at her feet sits the water bucket. Next to Hannah is the goose, an ancient symbol of the Great Mother. Mother Goose was seen as the great goddess of abundance and fertility.

Today we know Mother Goose as the teller of fairy tales, but as we have already seen, that is an auspicious role in myth making. We also know that the goddess and her images had to go underground and hiding her in the figure of Mother Goose was a clever way of hiding her traditions in plain sight in a time of persecution and suppression.

Mother Goose is referred to as Frau Gode in German stories. Goose translates as ‘gans’ in German; so the question is where does the name Frau Gode fit in? A direct translation would be ‘Mrs God’. 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 symbolizes new life and transformation. The shape of the egg also has connotations as it is similar to the vesica piscis. (See in King of Distaff.) 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 old Germanic goddess Holde has always been connected to Mother Goose. There are many similarities between, for instance, both flew through the air on birds, or in wagons or sleighs pulled by birds. After the fall of Rome, Holda merged with the goddess Aphrodite, riding on the back of a goose through the sky.

This card speaks about abundance and generosity. You are reminded of the fertile nature of Life and her ability to take care of all your needs. You may be at the receiving end of someone else’s generosity or you may be the generous one. Either way, this card follows on the dark days of illness and loss of the previous card and you are assured that a change in fortune and heart is taking place.

- extract from The Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck



Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck

Purchase the Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck and Book Set

The special edition includes :
the 78 card deck of Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck presented
in a handcrafted tarot pouch and
the 160 page companion book,
and an extra signed tarot card

The back of the tarot cards

Unique Mysteries of Mary Tarot Pouch

The Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck is a unique deck of cards and companion book published by myself in Cape Town, South Africa. The Mysteries of Mary Tarot is a mystical vision of the sacred mysteries of the Soul and its unsung feminine path. The Mysteries tells of a sacred marriage of the Bride and the Beloved : a new mythos of the Story of the Child Within and the Gospel of Love. A mystical vision of the religion of the Soul as reflected in the archetypal images of the story of Divine Mary in the Mariamic tradition. 

The deck consists of 78 handcrafted shrines, professionally designed and printed in a large card format on a 350 gsm good quality card stock. The style and colours used create a rich tapestry of imagery, symbol and colour. The accompanying 145 page guide book has a glossy paperback cover. The first run of 30 decks has been sold out, but a second print is being done now deck and shipping will happen at the end of November of all goes as planned. Each limited edition deck will be signed by myself and each deck will come in its own unique tarot pouch.

VI of Holy Rood
Mary and the Eastern Gate 

Today we know the Blessed Mary as the Mother of Jesus who plays a small part in the story of Protestant Christianity and who plays an important part in the Roman Catholic tradition. She is lesser known as a goddess in the feminine traditions and very few would connect her with the great Mother goddesses of the past or the Lady Sophia in the Wisdom traditions.

But to myself, and others like me, there is a connection, a red thread that connects the dots in the eye of the heart. The ancient divine feminine had been demonised many moons ago and her stories had gone underground. One has to rely on myth, folk tale, oral traditions, fairy tales and subtle clues and especially correspondences, to uncover Her story. And today Mary is the Sacred Keeper of all Our Lady’s titles and Wisdom.

The Mysteries of Mary is a reweaving and a regathering of all these threads of Our Lady’s garment created from red wool and linen. We look in the Bible, in the Koran, the Kabbalah and many other ancient and rediscovered lost books. 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. In this deck the story starts with Mara, the bitter one. Why is she called Mara? We follow Mara, the holy fool through the stories of Maria Prophetissa, the Jewess and the first woman alchemist, to Sophia, Mary of the Gael onwards till we get to the Woman who stands on the moon with twelve stars around her head.

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.

Backs of cards

The deck incorporates alchemical principles and as such it is a marriage of opposites, a living hieros gamos which follows the sacred journey of the Holy Fool through the mysteries of Mary. I focus on the mystical (hidden) and inner meanings of the Mysteries of Mary. Historically and politically there are so many theories and ideas – none of them completely provable – thus it remains a Mystery. The teachings of Jesus and the Marys, are also open to various interpretations. Many wars have been fought based on differences in interpretation. I am not exploring the religion of the Mystery, but rather the message that I, personally see in this ancient story.

The four suits of the deck correspond with the four cycles of Marys life : Virgin and Priestess as the Suit of Vessels; Beloved and Bride as the Suit of the Holyrood; Mother and Sacred Woman as the Suit of Distaff and Wisdom as Suit of Roses.

It is my vision that this deck can be the start of a far greater vision : one that marries the mind and the heart; the feminine and the masculine. It is my hope that you will glimpse the revelation that all religion contains Soul and that the veils of dogma and manipulation obscure the truth. May you look in the mirror of Sophia and see yourself as Love Eternal. - extracted from the Introduction of the accompanying book.

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