Tuesday, April 10, 2018

St Michael

St Michael, Servant of Distaff
Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck

‘God is in everything I see, because God is in my mind’ – A Course in Miracles

Michael is the most powerful of the angels, revered in the Christian, Jewish and Moslem traditions. His name means ‘Who is as God’. He is the chief of the archangels, head of the angelic order of Virtues and ruler of the fourth heaven. He is the Prince of Light in the Dead Sea Scroll known as The Wars of the Sons of Light against the Sons of Darkness. He is the defender of Truth, symbolised by the lamb in the shrine. Michael is seen as the Angel of the Burning Bush and the forerunner of the Shekinah. He is also the angel that told Mary of her impending death and assumption. Michael is celebrated as the Angel of Justice during the Michaelmas feast.

In Garabandal, a tiny village of Spain, Archangel Michael appeared on more than one occasion with Our Lady of Carmel to four young girls. He also acted as a messenger for the Virgin Mary’s message to those at Garabandal. Miraculous appearances by Archangel Michael have been recorded across the world and also appearances of Michael with Mary, as in Dong Lu, China. One of the first miracles manifested by the appearance of Michael along with Mary, was in 590 in Rome during a terrible plague. Saint Gregory the Great saw the Archangel Michael, as well as Mary on her throne, appear in the sky. He saw the Archangel sheathing his sword and the plague in Rome was miraculously over.

The energy ley lines that run through the Earth, are called the Michael and Mary ley lines in England. The straight Michael ley line derives its name from the churches dedicated to St Michael from the Norfolk coastline in the North East to the edge of Cornwall in the South West. The Mary line crosses all the sacred wells and holy springs with churches dedicated to Mary on many of those places.
In this shrine we see Michael with his sword of justice and righteousness. He is the Prince of Light who shines into the darkness of fear and indecision and judgement. When you receive this card, avail yourself of this empowering and swift energy. It is said that Michael’s sword is a double-edged one so be aware that when you apply swift judgement, you may be cut in the process as well.

The Suit of Peace and the Veils of Mary

‘Maybe you too had family similar: My immigrant mothers and grandmothers spun and knitted, crocheted, tatted, made lace as though they were mending up the unraveled world each day and it depended solely on them... which is to say, fast and constant motions; a whirring sound and a click of hand whittled wooden needles, a little whoosh of wrist as the metal hook was snapped to catch the next looped thread. This was the women’s music of the house.’ – Dr Clarissa Pinkola Estes
Women who were skilled in this work prepared materials for the tabernacle during the wilderness wandering. All the skilled women spun with their hands, and brought what they had spun, in blue and purple and scarlet material and in fine linen. All the women whose heart stirred with a skill spun the goats’ hair. (Exodus 35:25-26 NAU)

Before the invention of the spinning wheel, the spinning of wool or flax was done by women using a spindle and a distaff. The spindle was a long spool to hold and spin the wool and the distaff a short rod with an opening or branches at the top for holding the flax or wool. The top of the distaff had the shape V and has been called the ‘sword of peace’ in writings. According to the dictionary the word distaff took on the meaning of ‘woman’s work’ and eventually of ‘woman’. It is still used to refer to the female side of the family.

The distaff has also been called the staff of women. I don’t know if the V shape of the branching top of the distaff has anything to do with the V as a symbol for peace, but it seems rather appropriate. It has been called the sword of peace as it is mainly during times of peace that women can sit and weave or sew. Small groups of women sitting together in households and villages, create a supportive sisterhood which is important to sustain the living fabric of a close-knit family and community.

Mary, like the goddesses of old has a rich tradition of weaving similarly to Persephone, Kore and Athena and her role in weaving the temple veil is an important event in the holy story. In the Protevangelium of James the story is told as follows: Mary was dedicated to the Temple from a young age. She stayed in the Temple till the age of twelve when she was promised to Joseph. Seven young virgin maidens were asked to make a new veil for the Temple and Mary was one of them. The priests gave her the red and purple wool to spin. These two colours proved to be very significant and of a prophetic nature of events still to come. After the annunciation by Archangel Gabriel Mary takes the spun cloth to the priest and he proclaims that the she has been magnified by the Lord. This theme of spinning has been included in art in scenes in which Mary appears, especially in Medieval art where spinning wheels were also included although these did not exist in Biblical times.

This amulet rosary comes with the tarot card and the card's description packaged in a matching pouch

You can read more about the Mysteries of Mary tarot deck on my website at www.hergracesacredart.com.

All my altars are made in the tradition of Benedicaria and Sacred Altars. They are made as part of my spiritual practise and devotion to Blessed Mary. 


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