Saturday, September 29, 2018




'scarlet woman, penitent sinner, Sister-Bride,
whore, Black Madonna, High Priestess of Isis,
Mistress of the Elements,
beloved wife of Jesus, favoured disciple,
Mary of Bethany,
Miriam of Magdala, Magdal-eder, the tower-stronghold,
Daughter of Sion  .......
- extracted from Hymn to the Eternal Feminine by Teilhard de Chardin


XII The Tower
The Magdalen
Sacred Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck
The tower is often seen as a bolt of lightning
coming down from the sky, and I suppose by inference,
from God in Heaven.

Here is Mary Magdalene, the woman from
Magdal-elder, the tower-stronghold,
Daughter of Sion seen as the embodiment of
Wisdom as the Changemaker.



She holds the closed book of the Mystery in her hand.
At her feet is the skull, a symbol of Wisdom
and the ability to overcome the fear of death.
In the right hand corner she is depicted as the consort
of Jesus and her sacred oil and jar is displayed
as a reminder of her role as the woman who
anointed the King.

The tower represents the principle
of "living in one's own tower"
This symbol is often used in fairytales,
think of Rapunzel and her tower and
also in the story in the Bible of the Tower of Babel.
The tower separates one from the communion of
others;  it places you 'above' it all and it highlights the differences 
between you and others.  



The path of Wisdom is not always pleasant and comfy, but
she does promise regeneration and rebirth
and new enlivening circumstances
even if it means tumbling down from your high tower!!
(an extract from Magdalen, the changemaker
http://www.hergracesacredart.com/2015/07/xii-magdalen.html)



blessings
Hettienne

Friday, September 28, 2018

The annunciation of Anna

The Annunciation of Anna


All alone, she (Anna) went into the garden and sat down
 beneath the laurel tree. Looking toward the heavens, 
she saw a nest of sparrows in the tree. Fresh tears welled up in her eyes. 
How she longed to have a child of her own. Anna entreated the Lord, 
saying” Woe is me! To what am I likened? 
I am not likened to this earth, for even the earth brings 
forth her fruit in its season and blesses you, O Lord.” 
And behold an angel of the Lord appeared, 
saying “Anna, the Lord God heard your prayer, 
and you will conceive and give birth, 
and your offspring shall be spoken of in the whole inhabited world.” – extract from the Infancy Gospel of Mary

Anna was barren and never conceived with child. 
The Archangel Gabriel announced to her that she will miraculously conceive.  
It is told that this is a miraculous conception of the Holy child Mary 
and it is an echo of the immaculate conception of Mary still to come.  
As Anna and Joachim, Mary’s father, was too old to physically conceive a child, this was regarded as a conception by Spirit.  
‘Promise them, that by the favour of our right hand they will receive the Fruit of benediction, and that Anne shall conceive a Daughter, to whom We give the name MARY…. were revealed to St Gabriel.’ 
And Gabriel said: ‘She shall be elect, exalted, powerful and full of the Holy Ghost; 
on account of the sterility of Anne her  conception shall be miraculous;’ – Mystical City of God

Anna is Greek for the Hebrew name Hannah and it means ‘grace’. 

Anna’s story is also in the Quran and she is revered in Islam.  
In Islam Joachim is called by the name Imran 
and he dies before Mary is born. 
The priest Zacharias predicted the birth of a male Messiah to Anna, 
but she gave birth to a girl.  
She is revered as a mystic in Islam for her wisdom 
and realisation that Mary was a highly spiritual 
and special child to be dedicated to the Temple. 


In this shrine we see Anna sitting under the palm tree, working on her sewing.
Gabriel is holding the red thread of the mystical message of love and good news
which he delivered to Anna.


blessings
Hettienne

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Handmaiden of the Holy Mystery

I am Thy Handmaiden
The fiat of Mary's consent

Each one of us is called to become the handmaiden of the Holy Mystery



The Angel said to her :
Hail full of grace,
the Lord is with you;
Blessed art thou amongst women

Two of Cups in Tarot Deck


Rejoice, depth hard to contemplate even for the eyes of angels!
Rejoice, you who are the King's throne!
Rejoice, you who bear Him who bears all!

Two of Vessels in the Suit of Compassion
Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck
www.hergracesacredart.com

Rejoice, star that causes the Sun to appear!
Rejoice, womb of the Divine Incarnation!
Rejoice, you through whom the creation becomes new!
                                                 -  Romanus Melodos, Akathist Hymn to the Virgin



This is the Two of Vessels, 
from the suit of Compassion
and the mystery of Mary as Virgin
Archangel Gabriel, divine messenger,
gives her the news that she is the chosen one,
the Godbearer.  This is a pivotal moment in
Mary's life and her response changes the course
of the world.



I am Thy Handmaiden

 Archangel Gabriel is standing on 
two vessels.  The vessels are mainly used for
water or wine and here they are  symbolic of
the living waters of consciousness .
And indeed Mary is to become the vessel
of the Holy Son.
We are reminded of our own individual roles
as vessels of consciousness and our own
birthing of the new, be it art
or hope or inspiration or consciousness.

Each one of us is called to become the handmaiden of the Holy Mystery


And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; 

be it unto me according to thy word.

The fiat of Mary is Mary's consent to the divine plan.
Her acceptance and consent
has created a new world of grace and
it is within the potential of each one of us
 to birth such love and grace.


Down the side of the card are tiny forget-me-not flowers,
one of Mary's sacred flowers and the white lilies
in the background.

The flower garland on Mary's head shows
that she is a virgin. 
It is also predictive of her future
state as Theotokos and
Queen of Heaven and  Earth.

blessings
Hettienne

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Through the Eastern Gate


Triumph
Mary and her Child's return to Nazareth
Six of the Suit of the Holy Rood
in the path of Beauty
(traditionally Six of Wands)
Sacred Mysteries of Mary Deck
www.hergracesacredart.com
The return of Mary and her Son through the
gates of Jerusalem.

The traditional Six of Wands look like this :


and its meaning is victory, success or triumph.

Many people are familiar with the fact that Joseph and
Mary fled with the infant Jesus to Egypt at the threat
of the massacre of the innocents by King Herod.
This event is well covered by many artists
and it is seen as one of the seven sorrows of Mary.

However, what is not clear, is the amount of time that
was spent in Egypt and what transpired there.
The two accounts in the books of Matthew and Luke
do not correspond at all.  Luke mentions nothing about Egypt
and Matthew says nothing about a trip to Nazareth
soon after Jesus' birth whereas Luke describes in detail
how Jesus was taken to the temple in Jerusalem
'after Mary's purification according to the law of Moses.'



 And when they had performed everything
 according to the Law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, 
to their own town of Nazareth - Luke 2:39

The town of Nazareth is in the 'kingdom' of Jerusalem
and here we see Mary on the donkey riding
through the gate of Jerusalem.



In The Hebrew Goddess, a book by Jewish historian
and anthropologist Raphael Patai, we learn
that the Hebrew goddess Asherah was seen as the
mother of Yahweh.  
In the time of King Joshua the Hebrew goddess
had to go 'underground'.  The use of her name and images
were forbidden and her devotees replaced her with
the tree, a pole or rod and the branches of the menorah.
She was known as the Lady of Jerusalem;
the Gate of Jerusalem and the Eastern Gate.
The Lady of Jerusalem was also depicted as an arch.
According to the Dead Sea Scrolls and
The Mother of the Lord by Margaret Barker,
 the ancients
believed Mary to be the incarnation of
the Lady of Jerusalem.

In Christian iconography from the East
we see Our Lady of the Gate of Dawn.
Her image is above the city gates (in Lithuania
and Poland) to protect the city and its inhabitants
and many miracles have been ascribed to her.

In Ezekiel it is written that the eastern gate of
Jerusalem has been shut
and that it will only re-open for the divine One.


So here we have Mary returning victoriously
through the Eastern Gate of Jerusalem
into the light of a new dawn.

A marriage of eastern and western iconography
and cultures and more importantly,
a marriage of masculine and feminine values
for our world.
This card is a way shower of the return of Mary
and her hidden and lost meaning to our world.

The deck takes us on a journey through the 
life, the initiations and the mysteries of Mary
as the Sacred Feminine and what it means
to our natural world as well as our spiritual,
emotional and social health.

May the values of mercy, compassion, forgiveness and acceptance
of all diversity as embodied by Mary
return to a place of honour and respect in our world.

(the above is an extract from the Sacred Mysteries of Mary Deck -
a work in progress and to be published in 2016
Each tarot card is a handcrafted shrine)


Blessings
Hettienne

Mysteries of Mary tarot deck



Hierophant of the Mysteries
Mysteries of Mary Tarot 



Truth did not come into the world naked, but veiled with images
and archetypes, otherwise it cannot be received - Logion 67, The Gospel of Philip




The Path of Love is Within Oneself;
with Mary as Divine Shepherdess
of the inner flock




Each card is a shrine dedicated to an archetype,
an initiation, a Mystery in the Great Mystery and a vignette
of one of the stories woven into the tapestry of the story of Mary.
When you read them together, one after the other, laid out in a sacred
dance of meaning and insight, they become a garland of roses,
a rosary of cards, creating a Rose Garden to the Mother of Love.

Now available at The French Madonna
www.etsy.com/shop/thefrenchmadonna


Peace,
Hettienne

The Bee Goddess is the Cure

Virgo Maria Potens
III The Empress
Sacred Mysteries of Mary Tarot deck


Working on the Black Madonna tarot deck I have once again uncovered
many golden threads.  One of them being the Presence of the Bee Goddess and
her Bee Priestesses.  In the Mysteries of Mary deck there are many
references to the Sacred Bee.

Mary as The Empress Virgo Maria Potens
in the Sacred Mysteries of Mary Tarot deck is 
connected to the Sacred Bee
Here Mary is the strong,  powerful and positive Feminine, 
Empress and Mother of the World.
She is pregnant with Life and the absolute abundance of creativity
and beauty and she is the womb of potential 
for ever-returning life;  the possibility of birthing 
sustaining and fertile life both within the psyche,
the spiritual and the physical.

The Empress
The Mysteries of Mary tarot deck  www.hergracesacredart.com

Mary as the Empress embodies the powerful feminine force which is within
both the masculine and the feminine.  This strength is not limited to the masculine
action of this world. The receptivity of the feminine does not make
her only submissive and dependent and the activity
of the masculine does not make it only divisive and cutting.

The strong positive feminine power within the Soul and
within the person, is often regarded as wild and chaotic
and it is also mostly deeply feared and our culture
believes that she should be controlled and harnessed
for our own use and benefit.
In a simplistic fashion, mother nature is seen
as the pure expression of the powerful feminine.
But mother nature, and our instinctual nature, is only a
part of the feminine power.  The soul is, and in earlier times,
the Holy Spirit was as well, most often depicted as a woman
and if the soul is only seen as a wild force of nature which
should be dominated and controlled, where does that leave us
as human beings?  And where does that put women
in this world of organisation and structure?  And
what happens to traditionally womanly values
and enterprises and to whom is the mothering of
the world relegated?   We end up with a world in
which the ideal and image of a
 positive nurturing mother and the powerful empress 
is completely absent.

She is surrounded by the symbols of the Mother of Nature
and the Mother as Earth as known to mankind
through the ages and throughout many cultures.
  She is standing in the stream of living waters, 
as they are eternally birthing through her.
She has the bee, the Queen bee, the sheafs of wheat, bunches
of grapes and is standing on a mountain covered in roses.

She is the Queen Bee surrounded by bees.
In the ancient world those who worshipped Demeter and Artemis 
were referred to as 'bees' or 'melissas'.
The bee was also a symbol of Potnia, also referred to as the
pure Mother Bee in the Minoan mysteries.
The priestess at the sacred site of Delphi was known as
the 'honey bee' and honey has many sacred and profound metaphysical
and physical properties and metaphoric meaning.

In Samuel 1 "Jonathan... put forth the end of the rod 
that was in his hand, and dipped it in a honey comb, 
and put his hand to his mouth; and his eyes were enlightened."


The Empress
The Mysteries of Mary tarot deck http://www.hergracesacredart.com

Mary as The Empress embodies the great positive
Mother of the World.  Through her courageous
acts of meekness and mercy she manifests
the positive feminine force in this world.
She is the icon and symbol of our own
positive feminine strength and courage
and of the great mothering power that we possess.
We are capable of great acts of kindness,
we are capable of staying present in life with an open
heart and being present to our own vulnerability
and allowing the infinite waters of compassion
to flow through us to all of creation and to all living creatures,
including ourselves.


blessings
Hettienne