Sunday, August 25, 2019

Marrying East and West

Sleeping Beauty
IV Distaff (traditionally Swords)
Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck

The Mysteries of Mary Tarot deck is a marriage between
East and West. or more aptly,
between esoteric Shakty Tantra tradition that I was initiated into and
Christian mystical tradition that I have been studying.

In the spiritual journey which takes you back towards the
soul and unity consciousness, it is vital to make the 'two into one'.
In fact, this is the crux of both the Western and Eastern spiritual
traditions.  And in this deck, and on this path of wholeness,
the myth of the Western religious traditions are married to the
spiritual practices and understanding of Sacred Embodiment of
the Eastern religious traditions.  The Mysteries of Mary is the Divine Path of Love
and it takes you step by step through the three aspects of embodied soul,
the physical, mental and emotional and then culminates in the fourth suit
of Roses, in the marriage of heart and mind, Soul and Spirit,
and ultimately awakened embodied kundalini with Divine Source or God/All That Is.

The name of the deck tells you everything that is important to know about the cards.
The word 'mysteries' has more than one meaning and interpretation, all of which
describe the purpose of these 78 shrines and the stories that they tell.

Mysteries refer to myth, initiation, esoteric (inner), secret and hidden, and knowledge to be
revealed.  The Mysteries of Mary is a spiritual path to our highest spiritual potential,
to your own unique being
and its unfoldment in the details of your life.
It is a step by step path which unfolded to me and as my
own journey, over 40 years.  Obviously, in hindsight, it unfolded from the day I 
was born, but I consciously started working with it when I was older.
 This path I set out to share with others
as The Path of Love and then later as the Temple of Mary and then
eventually it called for a work of art, each shrine depicting a story,
your story.

If you work with the cards regularly and you immerse yourself in these
mysteries, you will find that the meaning of your own unique path is revealed and made obvious
 around these universal secrets.  Mysteries, amongst other meanings,  
refer to myths and myths are universal stories
of great importance and potency in our collective subconscious.  Fundamentalist
religious persons (and conversely those against religion as well) read the myths 
of religion as literal.  This is not the case on this spiritual path.  
There is much confusion about the religious stories and
the historic events and the facts around them.   You can lose yourself and the true
purpose of these stories and myths when you get involved in that way of thinking and
thus lose the profound Mystery of esoteric (hidden inner) religion or spirituality.

Joseph Campbell, and others, have done extensive research on worldwide myths 
and have shown how these are all connected despite culture and tradition.  All myths
have a universal thread and message.  It is obvious that our subconscious self knows and
understand what it is that we are living, and it births stories which reflect back to us
what is hidden in our inner depths.  We cannot make sense of ourselves, our reactions, our feelings
and their consequences, without a mirror reflecting Life (God) back at us.

The shrine of Sophia holding the mirror of existence
II Mary Sophia
The Mysteries of Mary Tarot

 When I started to work with my own dissatisfaction and resentment of life, 
I discovered a deep aversion
to any Christian story and especially to patriarchy and the way that all spiritual teaching
had been removed from religion.  I tried to eradicate the idea of the Christian-Judaeo
God from my mind and especially the story of Jesus.  I found wonderful revelations
in the works of Marion Woodman, Barbara Walker, Marina Warner and many other
powerful feminist authors and slowly but surely I started to see that there is a different
way of interpreting the world and that I do have the power to make my own choices.

I immersed myself in mystical Catholicism of contemplation and self-knowledge
and Thomas Merton and other great Catholic saints and mystics became my guides.
However, my search was still not over as I yearned for a deeper knowing and 
understanding of a Divine Woman and I continued to search for that mirror
of my own feminine nature.  Thus I discovered the new Goddess movement 
where I really came to understand the power of myth and how our myths have been
sanitized and changed and distorted in order to cut out the feminine and all things
'un-masculine'.  But once again I found the tendency to make things literal present here as well..
Feminine does not only refer to gender, but also to a way of being, an inner principle
that is alive in every human being.  It is a complex area which does not always
fit into a box of rational logical thinking and one which is often denied or avoided
for that very reason.  However, we need both principles, that of feminine and
masculine, to truly make inner and outer progress on the spiritual journey.

From coming to know the Goddess tradition, it was but a short step to
the esoteric Hindu path of Shakty Tantra. The Eastern path of spirituality
has the most powerful practices essential to a path of truly waking up to
the True Self.  Nowhere in the Western world did I come across such depth
of understanding and embodiment of Spirit and such fearless pursuit of the depths
of thought and energy, as in India.  Here I came to know Kundalini Ma,
the divine feminine in her three aspects of Being, and the three aspects of
Being that is available to and present in us.  This was the final step for me as I could
completely surrender to the Eastern path of submitting to a guru combined
with my contemplative path of self-knowledge from the West.
But eventually I found that I do not have the deep seated understanding
and emotional connection to the Hindu stories and myths.  When I used
the word 'God' it still harped back to the figure in my children's Bible
and I still had a mental block against all the Bible Stories.  I could not
access a large part of my inner self and my subconscious because I could
not enter into the sacred heart of the christian myths.  And so I had to go back to
my roots and unpick the lies and distortions of the mind and enter
the heart of the myth of Mary and Mary Magdalene and Jesus and all
the other great characters of these stories.

The stories that Mary and Joseph and Jesus and Mary Magdalene
live are the stories that we live.  When we read these powerful
mysteries as myth, then we can enter the heart of God and understand
how God is our very Being and that our lives are the very unfolding
of Being.  When these mysteries are read as only literal, then all that power
which is available to us, is lost. Then it becomes a rigid, empty doctrine
filled with ritual which has to be repeated continuously to simulate real Power and
the word God becomes a stagnant idea and concept of a Being outside of ourselves.

Shrine of St Sara la Kali
V Vessels
Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck

Let's take for instance the myth of Sara la Kali.  There are many different 
versions of the story of Sara la Kali.  Each story has different implications
and different outcomes.  When we accept that it is a myth, it opens up
a new world of possibilities for oneself.  It demonstrates that there are many
options and possible outcomes in life and that we are not limited to
one story and a perfect outcome.  When we can let go of the fearful and
limiting mind and rather 'keep an open mind' and a willingness to see
things differently, then we create the inner space to be with and
to hold the ultimate mystery of life.  When we do not hold on so tightly to
our own version of events and the meaning of events, then our life
stays fresh and alive, each moment alit with the potential and possibility of
new experiences and the amazing creativity of life and being alive.
When we try to throttle life and its many changes and cycles, into a
neat and tidy story with a specific message or lesson, then soon
everything stagnates and there is nothing new to be gained.  Powerful symbols
of deeper and ever-birthing realities become jaded and ignored and the
mind does not even register the true in-the-moment message any more.

Every symbol and every story has a new message for you, centred  in your being,
in this moment.  Thus you can use these cards over and over and everytime hear
a new message and receive new guidance and see in the mirror clearly.


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