Pilgrimage to sacred sites across the globe has been an integral part of my spiritual journey. For the past twenty plus years I have travelled to where I felt called. The first pilgrimage that I took with the intent of uncovering and making sense of this calling, was the visit to the Feast Day of Archangel Michael in the tiny village of Monte Sant' Angelo in Italy. This experience led to the next one and the next one and it led me directly to the Goddess Conferences in Glastonbury which I attended for many years. In 2008 I hosted the first International Goddess Celebration in South Africa. You can read about some of these stories here or on my blog Cloister of the Heart : http://pathofdivinelove.blogspot.co.za/p/sacred-journeys-pilgrimages-from-2000.html
|Light rosary procession nightly at Lourdes|
My visit to Lourdes in 2011 changed the entire direction of my spiritual journey and interpretation of my teachings and I started the Temple of Mary in South Africa. My website is www.templeofmary.com.
In 2014 I took time off from teaching the Mysteries of the Temple of Mary and spent the next three years creating and publishing the Mysteries of Mary tarot deck and guide book. The deck includes many of the places that I visited and the personal insights that I gained during these pilgrimages.
Now I am inviting you to accompany me on a small pilgrimage to the Three Marys in France.
The pilgrimage is still in the planning stage and the intended dates are
23 May to 2 June 2019
Starting in Marseilles and ending in Lourdes, France
We will meet in Marseilles and visit the Black Madonna of Marseillies, the Notre-dame de la Garde.
The bell tower of Notre Dame de la Gare
Sara la Kali and Saintes Maries de la Mer in the Mysteries
of Mary tarot deck
From Marseille we will drive to the seaside town of Saintes Maries de la Mer where legend has it that the small boat without sail or oars and carrying the three Marys landed. Here Sante Sara, the black madonna of the Rom Gypsies, miraculously covered the ocean with her cloak and the women could disembark. Annually hundreds of pilgrims arrive in the small town and for a week there is festivities, celebrations and wonderful processions carrying Sante Sara into the ocean.
We will spend three nights at Saintes Maries de la Mer to take in the wonderful vibrant
market, the wonderful food of this specific region, the daily opening of the town with the running of the white horses of the Camargue and to participate in the two main events of the pilgrimage : the two processions on consecutive days of carrying the two Marys and Sante Sara into the ocean. Similar to the Hindu traditions of Durga Ma, the water is blessed by the saint's immersion into the water and many pilgrims follow her into the waves.
Picture taken by myself of Mary Magdalene crypt in Basilica in
St Maximin la Ste Baume
This southern region of France is known for The Lady of the Blue Apples.
Here is the shrine from the Mysteries of Mary tarot deck which depicts the Lady
of the Blue Apples.
The Lady of the Blue Apples
One of the Mary Magdalene shrines in the Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck
The following three nights are spent in Saint Maximin le St Baume. The town is situated around the magnificent Mary Magdalene Basilica and convent which is now a hotel in which we will stay, right next door to the Basilica. The Basilica contains the skull relic of Mary Magdalene which is on display once a year on her feast day in June. You will be able to visit the Basilica and Mary Magdalene crypt more than once and also to spend time there in prayer and meditation.
From here we will undertake a day visit to the grotto where Mary Magdalene spent the last thirty years of her life. It is a bit of a steep walk up the side of the mountain, but it has carved steps and the walk is done as a ritual and a sacred pilgrimage, so no rushing! We will drink water from the sacred spring in the Sanctuary
of Mary Magdalene.
St Maximin is known for its lovely markets and there will be personal time for shopping and exploring as well as a day trip to Arles and Aix en Provence known for quaint shops and restaurants
St Bernadette in the Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck
Travelling from the south of France to Lourdes still to be finalised.
Four nights will be spent in an appart-hotel on the river, within walking distance of the main sanctuary and grotto of Lourdes. These three days will be absolutely packed with magic and beauty. We will attend the rosary of light procession every night; visit the grotto every day; dip rosaries and amulets in the healing waters; take a bath in the healing baths, visit the incredible rosary basilica and immerse ourselves in the incredible energies of Our Lady of Lourdes. There are also and explore the life of St Bernadette in the many chapels and museums in the town. And of course there are many shops for souvenirs, statues and more.
Depending on your own travel arrangements, you can travel back to Marseilles or Paris or stay longer in Lourdes.
Sainte Sara la Kali in her many robes in the procession on the way
to the beach where she is submerged into the water and everyone
enters the blessed waters
You can read about my annual pilgrimages on my blog
Cloister of the heart at http://pathofdivinelove.blogspot.com
Join us for 11 nights and 12 days in France
on a life-changing pilgrimage and retreat
seen through the lens of Mysteries of Mary tarot and ritual
We will explore the three aspects of Mary in the stories and events of Mary Magdalene after the Resurrection, her journey with two other Marys in a boat to Saintes Maries de la Mer where they were miraculously saved by Sara la Kali, to the last days of her life in the grotto at La Sainte Baume and then we will travel to Lourdes where we will spend the final four nights of this pilgrimage. It will include three days at the Sara la Kali pilgrimage and gypsy festival at Saintes Maries de la Mer We will also pay a visit to the Black Madonna in Marseilles.
The focus of this pilgrimage is the Divine Feminine in the three aspects of Mary Time will be spent immersing
ourselves in the sacred energies as pilgrims on these ancient paths; a daily meditation circle and tarot work,
tarot journalling, ritual, visiting the reliquaries, creating your own tarot card and collage, participating in the nightly light rosary procession at Lourdes, drinking of the sacred waters of the miracle spring at Lourdes, visiting the Basilica and enough personal time to soak it all up and to look after the sensual pleasures of life, such as market scavenging, eating local food and time to rest and integrate. And did I mention three days during the feast day of Sara la Kali and the sacred gypsy festival and pilgrimage?
The basilica in St Maximin la St Baume where the remains
of Mary Magdalene was found and the basilica was
erected on the site
Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck
Picture taken in crypt of Church of Saintes Maries de les Mer 2012
You can read about my previous pilgrimage to the festival
and pilgrimage of the Romani Gypsies to
Sante Sara la Kali here
An unforgettable experience.
Read more about my many pilgrimages to Lourdes
on my blog Cloister of the Heart.
Each morning will start with a sacred circle of focus and intent; We will work with the Mysteries of Mary tarot deck in a deep and healing way - discussions will be personalised for you and for your own focus for the pilgrimage and spiritual journey. Each pilgrim will receive a specially created tarot journal and images for the pilgrimage. You will have time to journal and collage your entire pilgrimage and all work done with the tarot. A workshop in which you will create your own personal tarot card compiled of insights and experiences during the pilgrimage.
Since planning these pilgrimages I have been creating the Amulets of Mary Blessing and healing sets based on the story of Lourdes, Santa Sara and Mary Magdalene. I will include these into the daily sessions and I will share my insights and teachings on these ancient systems with you.
Each pilgrim will receive :
* a Mary Magdalene/Mary tarot rosary which can be worn to all sacred sites for blessing
* a specially created pilgrim's tarot journal specifically for the Mary Magdalene pilgrimage
* sheets of images and small items for your own tarot collage and tarot journalling - we will scavenge the village brocantes for additional material and visit the shops at the sacred sites for holy medals, etc.
* a bottle of salts to be blessed and used in ritual
*a link bracelet for attaching amulets and holy medals along your pilgrimage
I will provide final details, a full itinerary and costs in June and bookings will open in June 2018
Only 6 persons can be accommodated
Final dates, details and prices will follow in due course.
The full itinerary will be posted here
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