Thursday, February 23, 2017

Pilgrimage to Lady of Ngome, the Lourdes of Africa, Part 1

Five years ago I visited the grotto and sanctuary of Lourdes
in the Alps of France.  My direct personal experience of the sacred Presence
of the Lady, irrevocably changed my understanding of life and set me on a new path.
I returned and felt compelled to devote all my work and actions to Her.
I created a sacred Mary Garden   Under Her guidance I founded
the Temple of Mary and She imparted the two year initiation program to me.
I felt called to create shrines in the ancient sacred altar tradition and this led
me to creating the Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck.

Since then I have made four more pilgrimages to the grotto of Lourdes.
Last year I  did not travel to Lourdes and towards the end of the year
I had more and more dreams of Our Lady of Lourdes.  I felt a deep
calling to commune with Her in Her sacred place where She manifested.
But I could not see how I would be able to visit Lourdes till much later
the following year.  Still the dreams persisted and became more sensory.

Years ago I had heard about the apparitions of Our Lady of Ngome.  
I did add it to my bucket list and then it sorted moved to the background
of life.  At the time of the dreams I started doing research on Ngome
only to discover that it is called the Lourdes of Africa! 

Ngome is an ancient sacred site where seven streams meet to form a 
spring of which the water has healing properties. Mary as Lady of Ngome
had appeared ten times to a local Benedictine nun and the image of the Lady
 of Ngome, Tabernacle of the Most High, cured many miraculously.
The apparitions were kept secret for years after the death of Sr Reinolde -
but I will share the full story in my next post.

Our Lady of Lourdes shrine at Marianhill, Durban

Once I had read up on Ngome I decided that I am being called
to visit Our Lady of Ngome and immerse myself in Her sacred waters
and energy.  Three of us decided to go on a pilgrimage to Ngome in 
the new year.  We did not have any specific dates in mind and decided
to buy the best airfare tickets available which happened to be
9 to 14 February.  Only when I made the booking for the guesthouse
near Ngome did I realise the incredible synchronicity : we had planned
to spend the Saturday in Ngome.  As it turned out it was
Saturday 11 February, the feast day of Our Lady of Lourdes!!

We took a local flight to Durban, spend the day and two nights, then drove five
hours to Ngome - a story on its own as we dodged cows, goats
and potholes.  As part of our pilgrimage we visited the Lady of Lourdes
shrines at Marianhill Monastery near Durban.  The monastery is
outside Durban in the green rolling hills of Natal.

As we climbed the steps toward the shrine we were enveloped
in the most intense fragrance of thick sweet honey.  At first we did
not really pay attention as we were in the tropical and lush
Natal gardens and we had seen many tropical flowering trees
everywhere.  After a few minutes, as the pungent fragrance
persisted, unmoving, unlike the fragrance of flowers carried
on the wind, we all came to a standstill and exclaimed
'what is that smell?'.  We all had previously been to Lourdes
and Lisieux (the shrine of St Terese) where we had experienced
the incredible honey-rose fragrance.  However, there we were
surrounded by roses and a rose garden, although we all did agree
that we had never smelled roses with such a potent fragrance!

We lit some candles and spent some time at the shrine and as we
descended the stairs, we could not resist the temptation to look for 
the source of the fragrance.  There were no flowers nearby, only
creepers and ferns and trees. We walked up and down and the
fragrance did not move, nor become any fainter.

We realised that we were once again immersed in the
honeyed fragrance of Our Lady of Lourdes.

This is a very real phenomenon found at places where the Lady
has either appeared or where She is revered.  It also appears
during healing sessions with the healing energy and Presence
of Our Lady or during times of deep meditation and bliss.

with love and blessings

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Wonderful Review by Arnell Ando

King of Vessels : The Marriage of Canaan

Arnell Ando wrote a wonderful review on The Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck
on her website 
Arnell Ando' Art at

In previous posts I have written about the role that Arnell's work
has played in my life (we have never met, but who knows, that may change!)
Here is the link to my previous posts :

The Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck & Book 
Inner Mysteries of the Journey of the Soul as Portrayed by Mary
Created by: Hettienne Grobler
A Limited, Signed Edition
78 Card Deck & Book Set
Cards: Semi-Gloss, Sturdy 350 Gsm Stock, with Gold Edges & Rounded Corners
Each Image Created as an Individual Shrine
Card Dimensions: 5" L by 3.75" W, 12.7 by 9.5 Cm
Card Backs: Non-reversible Image, (Shown Below)
Accompanying Book: Soft-Cover, 160 Pages, Written by the Artist
Price: $75. + P&H
Self-Published in Cape Town, South Africa, 2016
Review by: Arnell Ando

1 MagicianI recently received a simply divine 78-card Tarot deck and book set from this gifted artist in Cape Town, South Africa. I was immediately struck by the intricate, symbolic altars in the imagery, which she painstakingly created for each card with great purpose and attention to detail. Even a heathen like me could feel the artist's sincere devotion to the subject matter and her deep reverence for Mary. Every card depicts a small, hand-crafted, wooden shrine with a miniature diorama dedicated to an archetype or an initiation into theGreat Mystery, 1 Magicianwhile revealing a vignette woven into this rich, meaningful tapestry dedicated to the sainted mother of Jesus.

The four suits of this deck correspond with the four elements and four cycles of Mary's life: Virgin and Priestess is denoted by the suit of Vessels (Water, Cups); Beloved and Bride, is the suit of Holyrood (Fire, Wands); Mother and Sacred Woman is represented by the suit of Distaff (Air, Swords) and Wisdom is attributed to the suit of Roses (Earth, Pentacles). The cards were professionally photographed and printed in a large format (5"L by 3.75"; W, 12.7 cm by 9.5 cm) on sturdy cardstock and would work nicely for readings or as one's daily card meditation (also serving to study her personal associations and interpretations). 1 Magician

The 160 page, soft-cover book goes into great detail about each card, while sharing stories with historical and mythological context and analogies. Each limited edition set is signed by the artist and comes beautifully packaged, including a unique cloth pouch in the style of the deck, adorned with a St. Mary amulet and a rosary, for a distinctive and enticing presentation. Alternatively a version with a handcrafted box relating to the iconography of this deck may also be available upon request from the creator. And an expanded version of the guidebook became available in early 2017.

Hettienne Grobler believes Mary's long legacy is connected to the ancient Goddess culture and lore. She envisions Mary as the archetypal Divine Woman of our time as well as the bridge between the mortal and immortal feminine and the sacred heart of humanity, (in dire need of myths which can usher in an era of intuitive awareness, visionary creativity imagination, social justice and the healing of humanity, the earth and all her creatures!)

1 MagicianMs. Grobler surmises that we currently recognize Mary as the Mother of Jesus, playing a small part in the story as told by Protestant Christianity or having a more significant role in the Roman Catholic tradition. However Mary is less known as a goddess in the feminine traditions and few would connect her with the great Mother Goddesses of distant past or as the Lady Sophia in the Wisdom traditions. But to the creator of this deck and others like her, there is an underlying red thread of connection. Since the ancient divine feminine became demonized many moons ago and her stories went underground, one must rely on myth, fairy and folk tales, oral traditions and subtle clues to uncover Her story. Grobler adds that if we dig deeper, we can discover that many of the titles belonging to Mary used to also be attributed to ancient goddesses in various cultures and traditions and that even the name 'Mary' has been known to signify a title, such as 'Priestess', beyond being used as a personal name. Ms. Grobler goes on to state that the history of both the power and eradication of the Divine Feminine as an ideology have been suppressed and hidden by each subsequent ruling power throughout time, until she was at last removed from any meaningful role in religion and thereby relegated to only a minor part in the story. 1 Magician

I'm reminded of another sacred Tarot offering to Mary in the form of a Major Arcana deck, created by Morena Poltronieri of the Tarot Museum, (in Italy). In 2013 Ms. Poltronieri made a spiritual journey to Montserrat, (near Barcelona, Spain). During that mystical pilgrimage she came upon 22 shines and alters dedicated to Mary and realized a correlation to the 22 Trump cards and thus created the deck,Maria - 22 Madonnas of Montserrat. And like a kindred spirit, Morena also relates Mary to the divine, eternal Goddess (as she has shared in various texts including theTarot Travel Guide of Italy). 

So in this thoroughly researched project, the artist set out to collect ancient legends, myths, fairy tales and stories from a wide range of sources and cultures and arrange together the pieces of the puzzle which contribute to a fuller revelation of the archetype of Mary.

This visionary deck is a heartfelt offering from the artist and a powerful source of inspiration and imagination. It therefore becomes another healing way to reconnect with the inner Goddess and see oneself in her divine light with compassion and insight.

1 MagicianThe edges of these cards are a muted gold and the variety of colorful borders make for a visually stunning presentation, while highlighting the intricate shrines. Traditional symbolism associated with the Tarot can be found in the cards, albeit in often mysterious, symbolic ways, that are explained in the accompanying guidebook.

The Major Arcana have traditional Roman numerals but the card titles are unique to this deck's theme (although most are recognizable to the seasoned Tarot student). The more familiar titles are included in the guidebook for easy reference. Strength is represented by card VIII in this deck and Justice as XI (following the Waite-Smith model). The court cards are: Servant, Handmaiden, King and Queen, (described in detail as to why).

1 MagicianThis precious set is available directly from the artist's Blog or her Etsy shop along with other mystical treasures and meaningful works she creates. The deck set is reasonably priced, given the time, the elaborate materials and extensive research put into its creation and all the personal touches which make for a uniquely lovely presentation for each order. It would make a potent reading deck for anyone drawn to this spiritual theme or those entranced by the iconography of religious shrines and alters. It would also be a lovely addition to any collection of those seeking a feminine vision of Goddess power and insight related to Tarot.

A few more favorite cards from the Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck

VI Tree of Choices (Lovers), VIII Lady and Stag (Strength), X Spinning Wheel (of Fortune)
XVII Stella Mars (Star), 4 of Vessels (Water/Cups), Queen of Distaff (Air/Swords)

About Hettienne Grobler: A spiritual healer for years, she has also created the Freedom through Love three year spiritual wisdom course and founded the Shekinah Healing Foundation; formed the Path of Love Wisdom and Mastery School as well as organizing the first international Goddess Conference on the Artemis Farm in Franschhoek. She was initiated as a Shaktypat Guru into the Siddha Yoga lineage in 2008 and founded the Temple of Mary at Sancta Maria, Durbanville in 2012. She is the Vision keeper Hettienne Bhakty Ma Maria at the Temple where East meets West. After years of dedication and study she completed this inspiring Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck in 2016. Aside from her Blog journal, Ms Grobler also has an Etsy page with a unique selection of sacred and handmade offerings.
Arnell Ando 

Images courtesy of The Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck & Website © 2016,Cape Town, South Africa

Friday, January 6, 2017

New stock to arrive soon!

Companion Book

Purchase the Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck and Book Set

The special edition includes :
the 78 card deck of Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck presented
in a handcrafted tarot pouch and
the 160 page companion book,
and an extra signed tarot card

Read reviews here on this website
and here on my shop The French Madonna

The back of the tarot cards

The Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck is a unique deck of cards and companion book published by myself in Cape Town, South Africa. The Mysteries of Mary Tarot is a mystical vision of the sacred mysteries of the Soul and its unsung feminine path. The Mysteries tells of a sacred marriage of the Bride and the Beloved : a new mythos of the Story of the Child Within and the Gospel of Love. A mystical vision of the religion of the Soul as reflected in the archetypal images of the story of Divine Mary in the Mariamic tradition. 

The deck consists of 78 handcrafted shrines, professionally designed and printed in a large card format on a 350 gsm good quality card stock. The style and colours used create a rich tapestry of imagery, symbol and colour. The accompanying 160 page guide book has a glossy paperback cover.
Currently the cards are presented in a unique hand printed storage bag but
the next 100 decks will be presented in a printed tuck in box.
You will receive a signed book and an extra collectors card signed by myself.

VI of Holy Rood
Mary and the Eastern Gate 

Today we know the Blessed Mary as the Mother of Jesus who plays a small part in the story of Protestant Christianity and who plays an important part in the Roman Catholic tradition. She is lesser known as a goddess in the feminine traditions and very few would connect her with the great Mother goddesses of the past or the Lady Sophia in the Wisdom traditions.

But to myself, and others like me, there is a connection, a red thread that connects the dots in the eye of the heart. The ancient divine feminine had been demonised many moons ago and her stories had gone underground. One has to rely on myth, folk tale, oral traditions, fairy tales and subtle clues and especially correspondences, to uncover Her story. And today Mary is the Sacred Keeper of all Our Lady’s titles and Wisdom.

The Mysteries of Mary is a reweaving and a regathering of all these threads of Our Lady’s garment created from red wool and linen. We look in the Bible, in the Koran, the Kabbalah and many other ancient and rediscovered lost books. There are also esoteric and apocryphal books that tell the stories of Mary, the feminine counterpart of the Divine Creator in the Western religion and myth and many of these stories have been included to create The Mysteries of Mary deck. In this deck the story starts with Mara, the bitter one. Why is she called Mara? We follow Mara, the holy fool through the stories of Maria Prophetissa, the Jewess and the first woman alchemist, to Sophia, Mary of the Gael onwards till we get to the Woman who stands on the moon with twelve stars around her head.

Woven into the tapestry of myth, metaphor and inspiration, are fairytales and in particular, the folktale of The Handless Maiden. And so are the Greek, Roman, Egyptian, pagan and especially the Judaic history which is the precursor to the Christian mysteries.

The deck incorporates alchemical principles and as such it is a marriage of opposites, a living hieros gamos which follows the sacred journey of the Holy Fool through the mysteries of Mary. I focus on the mystical (hidden) and inner meanings of the Mysteries of Mary. Historically and politically there are so many theories and ideas – none of them completely provable – thus it remains a Mystery. The teachings of Jesus and the Marys, are also open to various interpretations. Many wars have been fought based on differences in interpretation. I am not exploring the religion of the Mystery, but rather the message that I, personally see in this ancient story.

The four suits of the deck correspond with the four cycles of Marys life : Virgin and Priestess as the Suit of Vessels; Beloved and Bride as the Suit of the Holyrood; Mother and Sacred Woman as the Suit of Distaff and Wisdom as Suit of Roses.

It is my vision that this deck can be the start of a far greater vision : one that marries the mind and the heart; the feminine and the masculine. It is my hope that you will glimpse the revelation that all religion contains Soul and that the veils of dogma and manipulation obscure the truth. May you look in the mirror of Sophia and see yourself as Love Eternal. - extracted from the Introduction of the accompanying book.

The full price of the deck and book set is USD75.00 plus $20.00 shipping with a tracking number
shipped worldwide. This is for international airmail, registered mail with a tracking number.

Payments can be made through PayPal
by choosing a button and and add to cart

shipping and registration

If you are shopping locally and want to pay in South African Rands
it is cheaper for you to pay into my bank account.  Should you choose to
do so, please send me an email to let me know that you paid
for a deck.

The price of the of deck and book set is R850.00

If you need a layaway plan please send me a mail

Shipping in South Africa is R150,00 or R100 via PostNet


The Full Deck and Book Set costs R850,00

kindly send an email to to let me know that you paid

            Please use the account details below for payment.

             Account Details:

        Account number:   276532481
             Account holder: Hettienne Grobler
Account : Savings
Bank Name:  Standard Bank, South Africa 
Branch Name & Code:  Tyger Manor Branch 050410
International Swift Code : SBZAZAJJXXX

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Welcome 2017

Heaven on Earth

We entered  the year 2017 in our calendar system.
The past year, 2016, in numerology was a 9 and on both a personal 
and collective level, we experienced many endings and losses.
Nine as a number represents loss, endings, sacrifice and surrender.
It is the last number of a cycle before the new cycle starts
with 1 again.

2017 adds up to 10 and then to 1.
10 includes both binary numbers of 1 and 0.  It is a dual number
which includes the 1 of new beginnings and the 0 of potential.

In the Mysteries of Mary deck the 10 in the Major Arcana
is The Spinning Wheel.  This links with the idea that life is an ever-turning
wheel and in particular to the theme of spinning and weaving as
told in the Suit of the Distaff.  The old woman is spinning the red
thread of life and this reminds us of the ancient stories of the Three Fates
and the Spinners of the Thread of Life. 

Mara, the bitter one and holy fool

The number 0 is the Holy Mara, the bitter one and the first
card of the major arcana.  She is the one who sets out on a journey
of discovery and revelation and ultimately discovers her true
self in the final card of the Major Arcana, Heaven on Earth.

*We have entered the period of Capricorn a few days ago
on the Winter Solstice and the card Heaven on Earth, is the
card of Capricorn.  The ruler of Capricorn is the planet Saturn which
is represented by the card XV The Black Madonna.  I will discuss
these two in the next post.

Mara sets off with her Innocence and Soul Identity in tact.
She carries the Lamb, symbol of the Innocence of the Soul
and is accompanied by the rabbit, sacred to the Great Mother.  In the
background we see the Inner Child, the one who carries the
Soul Identity for this lifetime, following her footsteps.

Maria Prophitessa
Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck

The next very important card for this cycle is the 1 in the Major Arcana, Maria Prophetissa.
She is the first female alchemist in history and she initiates Mara
into her role as Alchemist and Magi.  The 1 represents individuality,
independence, walking by oneself , new beginnings and initiation.
We are being initiated into a new cycle, a year 1.
Maria Prophetissa is the messenger of alchemy and transformation.
This promises a year of new beginning and also of change.
In order to enter into a new cycle, one has to truly let go of the
past.  As we begin something new, we have to create space for the
new.  It also means that we have to gather our courage and inner
strength to embrace the change and the unknown.  None of these
come naturally or easily to the personal self.
So even if you are happy to see the back of 2017, be prepared
for some rocky days, but ultimately the river of life will carry you into
a new horizon and vistas.  

To further understand the impact and meaning of the 1, you can
also look at the Ace cards in each suit.  Also pertinent will be the ten of each suit.
In order to get a full picture of the impact of the new year on your
life and context, you can work with the cards discussed above
as well as the Ace and Ten of each suit.  Each suit represents one of the four
elements of the mental, emotional, physical and spiritual aspects of your being.


Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Wonderful reviews for Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck

The mysteries of Mary tarot deck is pure union between spirit and soul.
 The energy contained in the sacred images and their 
direct line to the wisdom that lies within gives new depth and textures to the "religion of my soul" and my personal inner path as it unfolds. 

The insights it contains makes living the mysteries of this life rich -
the energy they radiate is palpable, giving a direct experience for strengthening and 
 cultivating faith and seeing beyond the veils to what is ...and it is pure devotion personified.

 Thank you for this work of art and the Mother's love xxx

Taryn Harris

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Full Moon in Gemini 2016

The Tree of Choices - Full Moon in Gemini

The Gemini Full Moon in the second week of December 2016
is represented by a number of cards in the deck.
The most important card for this full moon is
The Tree of Choices (traditionally The Lovers card).

When you look at the image you see that there are three main elements present.
Mother Mary, the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil and the Black Madonna
or Mary Magdalene.  This card implies choices are to be made.
It evokes choices and discernment.

According to the Judaic stories of the Old Testament, there were two trees:
the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil and the Tree of Life.
And Adam and Eve had to make a choice whether to listen to the snake
or God.  But the story has many layers of meaning and implication.
The snake has become demonised, probably because of the importance
of the snake in the Goddess worshipping tribes which the Jewish
Kings eradicated.  The snake represents the energetic force of life,
the power of transformation, the power of shape shifting and
the energies of the kundalini, referred to as the Holy Spirit in esoteric
Christian teachings.  Here we also see the split between Mary, the virgin
mother and the Black Holy Woman.  

The ancient stories condition us into divisive beliefs and automatic choices.

It is vital that you make use of these current full moon energies to make
your own choices and to let go of those that are no longer true to your understanding
and the future which you would like to step into.  

You are being called upon to make a choice, to use your discernment
to see what it is that you want in your life, and to let go of that which you no longer
want or need or that which no longer serve you.

XIX The Holy Child - Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck

Everything in our universe has a mirror image.
When you are confronted with a situation that you find challenging
or it is not what you desire, then find its mirror image and
coax that into your life.

The mirror image for the VI Tree of Choices is XIX The Holy Child.
Here we again have three elements, the boy child, the stag and the
girl child.

To balance the full moon energies of the Gemini moon, work with
the Holy Child.  This is traditionally The Sun card and represents
the highest representation of your ego or personality self.
Spend time focusing on that which you want to radiate into the world.

I Maria Prophitessa

In order to work with these energies, you need to invoke the properties
of Maria Prophitessa.  This is traditionally the Magician and the
energy of Mercury, the planet of communication and alchemy.

Here we have the Tree of Life bearing the twelve fruits as described
in Revelations 22:2  in the New Testament :

It flowed down the center of the main street. On each side of the river grew a tree of life, 
bearing twelve crops of fruit, with a fresh crop each month. 
The leaves were used for medicine to heal the nations.

Healing can be achieved in yourself and in your life, when you
step into acceptance and surrender.  The moment we accept a situation fully,
our resistance ceases and the tension can be released.  We often fear to surrender
as we then feel so helpless and vulnerable.  But how often are you really in control?
It is never in our own hands and acceptance and surrender opens the flood gates
of Grace into lives.  I interpret 'it flowed down the center of the main street'
as the holy kundalini flowing down the shushumna, the central column of the spine
and nervous system of the body.  This column joins the head to the heart and to the
entire nervous system and all organs and glands.  Enlightening insights and inspiration
flows from above the head, down the to rest of the body and being.

When the river flows down the main street of the body, you will harvest twelve crops
of fruit, similar to the image of the Holy Woman with the crown of twelve stars.


That which crowns me spread

That which crowns me layout - Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck -

This is my favourite layout.

In five swift moves you gain insight into the subconscious self.

Shuffle your deck well and take the time to choose a cloth,
and a space big enough to do the spread on.

Start off with the centre card which you put down in the middle.
This card indicates the significator.

Then follow with four cards.
One to the left, one to the right, one above and below
the significator card.
Finally, you put a card across the significator card.

'Here I Am
This is what is behind me
This is what is ahead of me
This is what crowns me
This is what grounds me
This is what crosses me
Here I Am'

The sequence in which you turn the cards over, does not matter.

The center card is the question or the situation as it is.
It can also indicate the person or the relationship.
This card indicates you, and the situation in which you find yourself,
'here I am'.

The card to the left is 'that which is behind me'.
This refers to the past, to that which has been and that which
has led to the situation as it currently is.

The card to the right is 'that which is ahead of me'.
This indicates the future, or that which is to follow.

The card above the center card is
'that which Crowns me' and is the most important card
in the layout.  This shows you the view point from Spirit
or Source or your Higher Self or from Mary herself.
This is the energy that flows in through your crown chakra
and this is the highest guidance coming to you, supporting
you and steering you.

 The bottom card is 'that which grounds me'.
You can look at this card as the way you are walking in your life,
as the way that you are dealing with the situation and how
you are experiencing the situation in your ordinary life.

Finally, the card that lies across the significator
is 'that which crosses me'.
This card indicates the challenges and obstacles that you
are facing.  It may refer to a situation, an attitude,
a belief system or a fear.

It is of course important to put the entire reading
into the context that you are referring to.