Friday, November 23, 2018

Looking at my tradition of a pink Christmas

The Chapel of the Miraculous Medal in Paris

I am re-posting these Christmas posts from my blog The French Madonna

Crowned by Grace
Stella Maris
Star of Bethlehem

Chapel of the Miraculous Medal on Holy Night in miniature

Vintage Miraculous Medals

Christmas night in miniature
under the tree

The angels sing in heaven

Holy card of Catherine Labourre on the back

Sacred Altar ready to hang



A Christmas past

Angels relate to our capacity to love,
to accept ourselves fully,
and to embrace life.

Reigning above the heavenly host
is the spirit of the Shekinah,
the feminine face of the Divine,
through whom all creation is made manifest.

The heavenly realm interacts with the physical
world, and the two become one, in the incarnation
of the Divine in a human being.

The Higher Principles thus find expression in
flesh and spirit.

In Judaism, the manifestation of the Divine Presence
in human life takes the form of a created being of
light called the Shekhinah.  
Meaning literally the 'indwelling' this is the feminine
aspect of God that brings peace and blessing
to the home.  In biblical times it referred to the glory
emanating from the Source.
Then Shekinah was then seen as a heavenly messenger,
and later as the Holy Ghost.  In the Kabbalah,
she is the mystical Bride of the Lord, who channels
grace to the lower worlds.

Because we contain the Divine Spark within us,
our actions resonate throughout creation. - The
Angelic Year, Ambika Wauters

In this shrine the blessings and healing energies
and powers of the birth of the Christ within the personal
self and and within humanity, the Guardian Angel and
the Queen of Angels all come together in a beautiful

The Blessed Virgin Mary, mother of Christ,
is our link with the eternal feminine principle within us.
She is the embodiment of truth, love, surrender and
miraculous healings and manifestations.

Her litany describes her as
Queen of Angels,
Mother of God,
Mother Inviolate,
Tower of Ivory,
House of Gold
 Mystical Rose
Gate of Heaven

This shrine captures the colours and names
of the Holy Litany
and here Mary is seen as the Queen of Angels
protecting the child within us against
the pitfalls, physical, mental, emotional and spiritual,
on the personal journey in this world.

The trees and fir garlands and small berries
are all symbols of the regenerative energy and the power
of renewal and Grace
of the Christmas tide and of the good news that
Love can and will be born within the heart
of humanity.  The traditional Christmas tree
has the shape of the pineal gland, known to be
the seat of consciousness and enlightenment
in the human brain.

In the centre of the shrine is the Stag,
an ancient symbol of the Christ.

The small child is stepping onto the angel
wing stretching out in front of her.
They will carry you lest you should knock
your feet on a stone or rock

The shrine forms part of my special Christmas
Guardian angel series.

Here are links to some of the other stories :

Feel your heart expand and contract with each breath that you take.
Let it soften and ease as you affirm life.
As you do t his, be conscious that you are opening up to your
life force with each breath.
This is how you experience renewal at all levels.
As you feel this happen, ask yourself
where you need to renew your commitment to life,
to be the best that you can be.
Renewal comes when you affirm your desire to
accept life on its terms.

Blessed and Beloved Mother of us all,
you surrendered to the will of God
to bear the fruit of our salvation.
You accepted a higher will than
your own so that all humanity can be raised up.
We open our hearts and minds to
receive your grace, love and courage


- repost from - The French Madonna

Looking at Christmas past

It is a pink Christmas
filled with roses and crowns

angel wings
and guardian angels to protect 

little voices
filled with happiness and joy

one wandering off into a hedge of roses
but not to fear
the Queen of Angels is close by

It is a pink Christmas
filled with roses and shimmering Christmas trees
angel wings and pink feathers


Sunday, November 18, 2018

The Witch, the fairy godmother, the princess and goddess

Fairy tales evoke images of childhood, magic, miracles, supernatural events and dreams coming true. 

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.


In most fairy tales the main character is a young girl or princess.  Think of Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Ariel and Snow White.  Sometimes she is a princess and at times she is reduced to a cleaning girl or servant. The focus in the fairy tale is always on the young girl, the mother and step mother and the fairy godmother or thirteenth fairy or some interaction with a supernatural Blessing Lady.  Where is your inner princess?  Pay attention to which part of the casting cloth she appears on and see what she needs from you by looking at the nearby amulets.  The amulets tell a story and by paying attention to the pattern that they form, you can read the story for yourself

For many of us the journey towards wholeness starts with the impulse and desire to heal the Inner Child.  The inner child carries the openness and vulnerability of the soul and during our growing up years, these qualities become suppressed and hidden away. And the feminine qualities of the inner child gets conditioned away from an early age, as we grow up in a patriarchal culture with masculine values of goal setting, achievement, physical beauty, material gain and advancement. These are all positive and essential qualities,  but without their counterpart feminine attributes, such as inner appreciation, imperfection, chaos, individuality, compassion and nurturing, the inner world can become one of deprivation, depression and burn-out.

No-one knows for certain how old fairy tales are but the experts who have written on the history and meaning of fairy tales agree that fairy tales started to appear at more or less the same time that Christianity started to oppress pre-Christian beliefs and religions which developed into the horrific Inquisition and eventually the witch hunts. Unfortunately fairy tales have been mangled and their
original stories changed to fit in with patriarchy - many of the magical and supernatural women characters have obviously also been demonized, as has the meaning of fairy and witch. But there are still some amazing resources and research available for those who are interested in exploring this fount of wisdom Many, myself included, regard fairy tales as secret bibles of feminine wisdom and divinity. 

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.

The fairytale has certain predictable elements, the heroine or young girl or princess;  the witch that tries to stop her; the queen mother or fairy godmother and magical animals and elements.

Amulets from the Fairytale Amulet Sets

I created the Fairytale Amulet sets which contain elements of the fairytales that are in the Mysteries of Mary tarot deck and specifically the story of Our Lady of Lourdes.  It contains a printed casting cloth

Casting cloth for Fairytale sets

The casting cloth has the image of my painting entitled "Sophia" and the Witch, Goddess, Fairy Godmother and Holy Child layout.  It also includes 30 amulets with ones coloured lilac, pink and blue.  Each set comes in pink, lilac or blue.  It includes a Virgin mary statue with matching Christmas tree, matching tin, rosary, a set of mini tarot cards from the Mysteries of Mary deck and a full booklet, explaining the art of casting, the practise of Benedicaria and explanations for each charms.



Thursday, November 1, 2018

The Seven Seals in Tarot

 “A prisoner devoid of books, had he only a Tarot of which he knew how to make use, could in a few years acquire a universal science, and converse with an unequalled doctrine and inexhaustible eloquence.  The oracles of the Tarot give answers as exact as mathematics, and measured as the harmonies of nature.  By the aid of these signs and their infinite combinations, it is possible to arrive at the natural and mathematical revelation of all secrets of nature.“  - Eliphas Levi

Tarot is a path of spiritual enlightenment and self-knowledge.
Through its regular (even daily) practise one can gain in-depth
knowledge into the nature of the self and the personality.
I find tarot  very powerful for shadow work and highlighting the hidden
unconscious behaviour of the personality.
It is also useful to use different types of decks and even to use them
together as each one has a different approach and focus.

Each one of the cards of the Major Arcana is an archetype and also an alchemical process.
The minor arcana of the Mysteries of Mary tarot show the alchemical processes
at work in the many stories of Mary and how they apply to our daily lives.
They elaborate and expand on the archetypes of the Major Arcana and how they play out
in the emotional, mental, physical and spiritual aspects of our lives as witnessed
and seen in the powerful religious stories and folklore.  (Of course, this is dependent
on our understanding of religion as a representation of human consciousness and
not as a literal event only.  It is also important to understand that these two concepts
do not cancel each other out.  In other words, you can understand religion
as a literal event as well as a divine reflection of the consciousness of humanity; 
to me the marriage of both these two ways of understanding are the most powerful)

Each one of the tarot cards can be related to a chakra, musical tone, a colour, an archetype, an element, a season, a sacred geometrical shape on the flower of life, 
a myth, a fairy tale, a path on the Tree of Life and more.

Working with the tarot as a path or yoga, one can marry the Eastern path of yoga with the Western path of alchemy in a true tantric practise.

*yoga means yoke or bridging the two opposites;
*tantric means a marriage of the opposites.
The focus of any spiritual path is unity.  
Unity on different levels of our being and consciousness.

The greatest challenge of the spiritual path (or the path of living with conscious awareness)
 is to live with the tension of the opposites.
This means that we have to live with the acceptance of what we are experiencing 
and what is the perceived reality in the present moment as opposed
to what we desire and would like to have in our lives.
The journey to make these two meet is probably one of the first initiations
and steps on the path.

Working with the imagery of the tarot cards our subconscious knowledge and
understanding is invoked and awakened.  So much of what we know and experience
is non-verbal and imagery is not limited by language and its interpretation.
There is that well-known saying 'a picture is worth a thousand words'.
By contemplating a picture and what it evokes in us, is a key
turning in a closed door and letting the light of vision in.

Our Lady the Tree of Life
from the Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck


Each Major Arcana card is an archetypal picture and it has a corresponding
planet, chakra, house ets.   Each one is a key that opens the inner chamber of hidden meaning of each energy centre.  

There are many different interpretations and metaphors for the different systems and at different times we need different approaches. Various schools of thought apply different correspondences
and it is up to you to find one that works for you and that you can relate to.
This is not meant to be dogma and to be blindly accepted because 'teacher said so'.
I have found that my perception and understanding changes along with my own
evolution and what made sense a year ago no longer applies.  It is in one's
highest interest to allow these changes to take place and to follow the whispers
of the Inner Beloved rather than someone else's teachings. 
But we still respect all systems because they are valid and as true as one's own
personal reality.  All paths lead home.
In the Mysteries of Mary tarot deck I used the metaphor of Mary.  My own journey
of learning to understand the deep and spiritual attraction within myself to Mary whom I had
only known in a Christian context, and uncovering her bigger story, combined with my
life long practise of tarot as yoga, led to this deck.  Since its creation I have come to
understand and am learning more each day, of its powerful alchemical properties.
The path of Mary is a complex one.
She has been called by the Time magazine in 1991 as the world's 'first feminist'.
National Geographic have had her on its front cover twice the past two years.
Her name evokes horror and awe and devotion in various groups.

The Mary tarot deck is a path which marries devotion (bhakty) and wisdom (jnana).  The more you work with it as a spiritual practice, with contemplation, meditation, journaling,
visioning and visualisation, the more doors are unlocked.

The system of correlation below is one of many.  This is the one that corresponds to the 
Kabbalah Tree of Life as well as the Flower of Life.
I also work with a 12 house colour system which I put together many years ago
as a healing tool.  For now I will focus on this alchemical correlation and its 
correspondences and how it can be of help to you.

In this layout we are looking at the alchemical properties of the planets
and their relationship to the chakra.
These seven keys are akin to seven tones.

Put these seven cards in sequence next to each other and see the


The crown chakra (sahasrara)
Planet : Mercury

The third eye chakra (ajna)
Binah and Hokhmah
Planet : Moon
II MARIA SOPHIA (The High Priestess)

The throat chakra (visuddhi)
Gevurah and Hesed
Planet : Venus

The heart chakra (anahata)
Planet : Sun

The solar plexus (Manipura)
 Planet Jupier

The sacral chakra ( Svadisthana)
Planet Mars

Root chakra(Muladhara)
Planet Saturn

The root chakra governs our lower body, extends down into the legs and
feet. It seems a bit upside down that the highest tarot arcana corresponds
to the root chakra (the seemingly 'lowest' chakra).  This is part of the hidden key.

In Shakti tantra yoga it is understood that the kundalini lies coiled up in the 
root chakra.  The kundalini is symbolised by a snake because of its serpentine
movements up the shushumna or the spinal cord.  This is an energy that
moves in the meridians (nadi).  The shushumna has two vertical columns, the ida
and pingala, seen as masculine and feminine and through a process of 
energetic transformations and unfoldment, the shakty and shiva energies
move up and down, through locks and granthis, and finally unite
in the crown chakra and merge with unity consciousness.
Have you noticed how Mary is often depicted with her foot on the serpent?
The explanation given is usually that she crushes the head of the serpent (evil)
but I read it as she is master of the serpentine energy and 'rides' its energy
in the same way that Quan Yin rides the dragon.  This potent energy inherent
in all beings, can be applied for good or harm - it is like a sword of light in our hands.

Related image

I found this image on Pinterest.
Quan Yin riding the dragon on the waters of consciousness

One can use this knowledge in various ways.  It is of value to understand
the idea of chakras and how they relate to the energetic body
as well as the emotional and mental bodies.
The habitual thoughts that we hold onto, as well as those
unconscious ones, directly affect our emotional state, our mental health
as well as the health of the physical body.
There are many teachers of metaphysical healing that write
extensively on this topic.  

Working with a tarot deck on a regular basis is a powerful
path to self-knowledge and healing. It is one way of putting the
power firmly back into your own hands.
As with any field of expertise, it takes time and hours of practise.
It also takes commitment and dedication to learn to understand
a path properly and not to just skim over the surface.

Next I will continue with the other chakras.


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

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

Blessings and peace on your journey