Saturday, May 26, 2018

Initiation and consecration through the Black Madonna tarot deck

Images from the forthcoming Black Madonna Tarot Deck

The Black Madonna deck is a deepening of the Mysteries of Mary as a spiritual path of being devoted to the Blessed Mother in Her many manifestations and aspects.  The deck will offer another layer and level of spiritual insight and clarity into the personal journey of initiation, consecration, dedication and commitment to Mary as the reflection of the One in many and many in One.

It is part of my vision that one will be able to use these two decks, the Mysteries of Mary and the Black Madonna, concurrently and together; both for readings for spiritual insight and as a guidebook and map to the journey of spiritual unfoldment and ultimately union with the divine self.

Mystery surrounds the Black Madonna and her symbolism.  There are as many theories as there are Black Madonnas.  We no longer have any writings about her and very few stories still exist.  But that is exactly where I am looking for my insight about the Wisdom of the Black Madonna :  in folk tale and the stories that have been carried over down the generations and in my own personal experiences and insights into the collective unconscious and the womb of light.

The blackness of the Black Virgin is obviously a problem for the patriarchal religious structure known as the Roman Catholic Church.  Various explanations are given for the dark colour of the statues and the past few years many Black Madonnas have been whitened in renovation projects in the cathedrals and churches.   Slowly the ancient tradition of the Black Madonna is disappearing.  I see this 'whitening' reflected in many of the New Age teachings and sentiments and short cuts are promised to the holy grail of inner peace whilst at the same time many ancient practises are denigrated and even declared illegal (as in the use of herbs and plants).

However, what a blessing that She is being kept alive in these beautiful cathedrals and basilicas and that communities are still devoting themselves to her ritually and in festival.

The dark colour of the Black Madonna reflects the inner darkness that we have to wade and find our way through if we want to find long lasting satisfaction and happiness.  This is not an easy process and without a community to support your struggles, it is even more difficult.  When you turn outwards towards mainstream thinking, you will be met with a deluge of alternative solutions offered through capitalism, designed to replace your inner connection to yourself and the Universe.

When one closes one's eyes, you see the colour of the Black Madonna.  Sitting in contemplation and meditation for long periods of time can be overwhelming and frightening to the ego-mind and the constructs of the psyche.  We spend an inordinate time to create our mental constructs and to line up our belief systems to give sense and meaning to our world.  We also all have personalities that has been shaped and created through our personal conditioning and experiences and from there we continue the personal 'training' of the mind. In other words, we are heavily invested in who we believe we are and in maintaining this illusion for ourselves and the world.  So obviously change will not come easily.

Millions of people struggle with insomnia and use exercise or drugs to subdue the mind into submitting to sleep.  A regular meditation practise may look like a peaceful and inactive pastime, but the truth be told, it takes the lid off Pandora's box and lets the 'good, the bad and the ugly' out from your subconscious mind into the awareness of the conscious mind.  And this  It is far easier to live in ignorant bliss and have no ills blight the landscape of your awareness.

All spiritual practise leads to a psychic and emotional detox and when you do not know what is happening, it can be very fearful and off-putting and retreat would seem like the most sensible thing to do.

An initiation into a spiritual practise and path can come to you in various ways.  Often one is catapulted and initiated through personal experience and a catastrophic event in your life into a deeper exploration of one's inner reality.  With the New Age explosion in the West many spiritual teachers have appeared but it also created a watered-down form of spirituality with the teachings made more meek and acceptable and palatable to the masses.  If you are serious about your spiritual unfoldment you need to dive deeply into the womb of black light that resides within you and within which you reside.

There is also a lopsided focus on 'love and light' with the result that those who understand that the shadows and the living black light is an integral part of the divine matrix, split off into their own sub-culture of new-paganism, wiccan, witchery and other labels.  Unity and union with the divine means that these two worlds have to be married and embraced as one, both within oneself and within the projected world of our divine mind.  Otherwise we are falling back into patriarchy and dual based religions of 'good' and 'bad', 'good' and 'evil' and all that grows from there.

As we enter another phase of our understanding and consciousness, we are waking up to the reality that the Guru is within and that She reflects her guidance and wisdom onto the world around us.   With knowledge comes awareness and insight which leads to clarity beyond the created veils. Join me in this journey of allowing the Black Madonna show us where the veils are and how to transform them into Wisdom.


Tuesday, May 22, 2018

The Black Madonna tarot deck

In my research and pilgrimages to the Black Madonna, I found that one of Her most important messages can be summed up by these words of Albert Einstein :

A human being is part of the whole called by us 'universe', a part limited in time and space.  We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings, as something separate from the rest.  A kind of optical delusion of consciousness.  This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us.  Our task must be to free ourselves from the prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.  The true value of a human being is determined by the measure and sense in which they have obtained liberation from the self.  We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if humanity is to survive.

The stories of the Black Madonnas are some of the oldest that we have.  Many of these statues were hidden for hundreds of years to escape destruction by the many rulers and patriarchs that passed through the lands.  But she has a consistent story and message to tell.

If you are interested in following the development of the deck, please subscribe to this blog.  There is a tag (Black Madonna tarot deck) at the top of the blog where you will find the posts on the Black Madonna tarot deck as they are posted.



Saturday, May 5, 2018


To be human is to be born into a dance in which every animate or inanimate, visible or invisible being is also dancing. Every step of this dance is printed in light; its energy is adoration, its rhythm is praise. Pain, desolution, and destruction in this full and unified sacred vision are not separate from the dance, but are instead essential energies of its transformative unfolding. Death itself cannot shatter the dance, because death is the lifespring of its fertility, the mother of all its changing splendor. If we could bring ourselves to open to this vision, we would undergo a revolution of the heart.⠀

~ from THE RETURN OF THE MOTHER by Andrew Harvey



Tuesday, May 1, 2018

The Month of Ma(r)y

Shrines of Blessed Mary in my garden
photograph by Hettienne Grobler

Since the ancient times the month of May always
had a special significance for the divine feminine
and goddess.  
In the North it is spring, so the Romans and Greeks
 dedicated this month to Flora and she had her own
feast called the Floralia.
The month of May was also holy to Artemis 
and in Rome the great Titaness Rhea was venerated as the 
Queen of Heaven and the Spring Goddess.  She later became
known as the goddess Cybele and these ritual spring festivities
celebrated the union of the god Attis and Cybele after the long
winter months.

In the Southern Hemisphere it is Autumn and we
prepare for the transition of the winter months to
deeper travels into the inner worlds so we do not have the 
same fertility rituals and celebrations in the month of May.
Crowning ritual of Blessed Mary at the Temple of Mary shrine
in my garden by Hettienne Grobler

With every season there used to be a transition of goddess.
May Day, or the first day of May was seen as the official day of spring
in the Northern Hemisphere and this spring transition of the reigning
goddess forms the background 
 to the tradition of the May Queen. On May Day the May Queen and the Queen of Winter,  would participate in a ritual contest
 After the May Queen won, she would be crowned.
 In this crowning ritual the May Queen would be married to the May King in a ceremony 
of the annual marriage or union between the God and Goddess.

On Flora's holy day the celebration included the picking of flowers and
making them into garlands and crowns and handing the flowers out throughout
the village.  It also included a special procession with a statue of the spring goddess
covered in flowers.

And so it has become that May is the month of the Madonna
and the crowning of Mary on May Day

Showers of blessings
descend upon
the heart in the lovely month -
blessings that
blossom in Roses,
 the beloved flower of the Madonna
and a reflection
 of the Mystic Rose which
blooms eternally in her heart

In this month I take the time to create
an altar and weave a crown of flowers for my  Mary statues and altars. 
 place water, oil and food on
your altar to be blessed by her presence.


Mary blessings to you