Friday, April 21, 2017

Your tarot year card

Working with the tarot chart
Mysteries of Mary Tarot

Working with the tarot is a long inward journey.  It takes
effort, commitment and discipline, but it can reveal subtleties that
you would not usually be able to access without great effort.

The tarot deck can be seen as a map, similar to your astrological chart.
Each major arcana is an 'ark' or 'vessel' or 'archetype' for great
transformation, rebirth and enlightenment, in the same way that
Mary is the ark of the Christos.  Each ark or archetype
is simultaneously the keeper of the hidden knowledge of the
True Self, as well as an aspect of the True Self.
As you uncover the role of these archetypes in your life,
in your personality and your soul (core), you begin
to understand the Great Mystery and That which we call
'God' and 'Goddess' from a wider perspective.
And here is the crux :  each major arcana or ark of God,
is also the key to unlocking this hidden Self.

And as we know, a key can only unlock a door when
you hold it in your hand, insert it into the lock and turn it!
So what does this mean?

You have to enter the ark in order to be reborn.

Thus the journey takes us from mere knowledge, the intellectual
understanding of the 'how' to the Sophia or Wisdom of 'becoming'.

In previous posts on this blog here :
we played with your very important birth date and its corresponding cards.
So today we are venturing further into your chart.

Your year card in tarot

To discover which number and tarot card represents your
personal year, add the month and date of your birth to the current year.

For instance :

22 April  - 22+4=26
plus the current year 2017


9 of Major Arcana is traditionally The Hermit
and in the Mysteries of Mary,
Lady with the Lamp

To work out your personal year number you have to keep
the numbers to under 22 as there are only 22 Major Arcana cards.
So you keep on adding to reduce the number too 22 or less.

The archetype of your personal year will give you an indication 
of the challenges and types of experiences you will face during the year.
A personal year is from the date of your birth day to the following birthday.
By studying this archetype you can gain insight into what is expected of you
for the upcoming year.  You can see whether it will be a good year in
which to take action, or to rest and integrate for instance.
The archetype is the one in 'charge' of your personal year and it is
wise to co-operate and to go with the flow rather than to insist
on swimming upstream.

Major Arcana 9 Lady with the Lamp
Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck

Let us look at card 9 The Lady with the Lamp.
She is standing in a forest, surrounded by shadows and thick branches.
It brings to mind the saying 'one cannot see the forest for the trees'
which advises that it is best to take some time out and to get a new and
deeper perspective.  She is holding a burning lamp, which casts light into
this thick overgrown forest.  The forest represents the body and the mind.
When our mind is filled with many ideas and inspiration or concerns,
the forest of thoughts grow.  Thoughts impact the body in a very direct
way and you will feel its effects in exhaustion, lethargy, anxiety or a yearning
for quiet.  The lamp, amongst other things, symbolises discernment and enlightenment.
In a 9 year you will find that new undertakings dont take off and that you
may run into all kinds of obstacles when you do try to start something new.
The ark or vessel of your year has the energy of withdrawing into your inner world,
discernment, sifting through ideas and beliefs and detachment.

Here is a short list of qualities for a personal year in the Major Arcana :

1 Maria Prophetissa - active, action, new ventures, new projects, new undertakings.
- a good year to start something new

11 Maria Sophia - reflection, cooperation, partnership, unfolding, revelation
- this is the year to listen to your intuition and inner knowing

III Maria Natura - creativity, giving birth to a new project or idea or undertaking, 
fecundity, fertility, abundance
- now is the time to let your project see the light of day

IV  The Good Father - stability, stabilising influences, taking root, grounded, 
establishing foundations
- a good year to expand your current undertakings

V Hierophant of the Mysteries - the inner teacher, the voice within, enlightenment,
insights, growth, change, a new path and understanding
- a year of wisdom, pay close attention to where life guides you

VI  The Tree of Choices - cross roads, changes, the three ways, choices,
having to decide, having to make up your mind
- it may be a difficult year as we do not like change nor risk;  it is time to let go

VII Dancing Sun - balance, harmony, co-operation, divine intervention,
insight, miracles, seeing the Hand of the Divine in your life, protection
- implement your new plans as they will work out

VIII Lady and the Stag - courage, strength, innocence, Christ energies, higher
energies, power, force,
- a year in which you will be expected to come to the party and to believe in yourself

IX Lady and the Lamp - discernment, solitude, solitary, quiet time, turning inward, 
contemplation, meditation, detachment
- this is the year to go it alone;  do not start any new undertakings, leave that for next year

X Spinning Wheel - fortune, change, cycles, ups and downs, this too shall pass
- a good year to cultivate the attitude of 'this too shall pass' and to remind yourself
that nothing is forever

XI Holy Wisdom - inner knowing, gnosis, embodied living, being present to the now
- this year pay attention to everything that is happening around you and be surprised!
you are bound to learn who you are and who you can become

XII The Flowering Cross -  challenges bring transformation;  the end of a cycle,
endings and beginnings, a new perspective
- be careful not to fall into the victim trap during this year; keep a higher perspective
at all times

XIII Threshold - death, rebirth, the end of a cycle leading into a new cycle, letting go
and opening up to the new
- keep an open mind;  allow the process to complete itself;  be willing to
receive the new into your life, prepare to enter the unknown, stepping over the threshold

XIV Guardian Angel - a blessed and protected year;  a year in which you may
expect many 'good' things to come your way;  follow that dream

XV The Black Madonna -  do not be fooled by appearances; the devil's advocate;
challenges which will ultimately reward you; 
- this is a year which will call for hard work but with good results and rewards

XVI The Magdalen -  a year with unexpected news or change or challenges or
- this is a year which will be filled with the unexpected, so keep that in mind when
things do or do not go your way

XVII The Star - following your North Star;  dreams coming true;  setting sail
on a new course
- this is a beneficient year in which you should follow the call of your heart

XVIII Mary of the Gael -  subconscious, dreams, illusions, fantasies, nightmares
- this is a year in which you should pay attention to your dreams and the stories
that you tell;  they will provide great guidance and insight into where to go

XIX The Holy Child - joy, celebration, basking in the Sun, success, happiness,
personal power
-a year of great success, be it in the outer or inner world.  whatever you do this year
it will end well.

XX - Mercy of the Mother - judgement, love, empathy, forgiveness, compassion
- this is a year in which you will have access to great love and compassion and you
will gain much if you apply this to yourself first, and then to others.

XXI - Heaven on Earth - dreams come true;  a great realisation;  great joy
- this is a year in which your hard work and dedication will pay off.

XXII or 0 Mara -  end of a cycle, new beginnings, new adventures
- this is a good year to start anew or to set the past behind you

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Wednesday, April 5, 2017

A mystical journey to the Three Maries and tarot retreat in UPDATE

The Magdalen card in Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck

A mystical journey to three Maries in France

Come with us on a journey filled with mystery and
awaken the Divine Feminine within yourself

Join us on a mystical journey to the sites sacred to
the three Marys in  France

23 May to 6 June 2018

Three of the most important sacred sites in the Mary story :

Saintes Maries de la Mer,
Saint Maximin le St Baume

Spend  12 days exploring the myth and ritual
of  the three sacred aspects of Mary, the Great Mother,
Sacred Woman, Virgin and Beloved
Seen through the lens of Mysteries of Mary tarot and ritual

Picture taken during procession at Lourdes
2015 pilgrimage

Shrine of Mary Magdalene in the Basilica of
Mary Magdalene in St Maximin St Baume
2013 Pilgrimage

Sainte Sara la Kali in her many robes in the procession on the way
to the beach where she is submerged into the water and everyone
enters the blessed waters

You can read about my annual pilgrimages on my blog
Cloister of the heart at

Join us for 12 nights and 11 days in France
on a life-changing pilgrimage and retreat

We will explore the three aspects of Mary in the
stories and events of  Mary Magdalene
after the Resurrection,  her journey with two other Marys
in a boat to Saintes Maries de la Mer where they were miraculously
saved by Sara la Kali, to the last days of her life in the grotto
at La Sainte Baume and then we will travel to Lourdes
where we will spend the final three days of this pilgrimage.
It will include three days at the
We will also pay a visit to the Black Madonna in Marseilles.

The focus of this pilgrimage is the Divine Feminine
in the three aspects of Mary  Time will be spent immersing
ourselves in the sacred energies as pilgrims on these
ancient paths;  a daily meditation circle and tarot work,
tarot journalling, ritual, finding your Earth gifts and
creating a mandala in the forest, visiting the reliquaries,
creating your own tarot card and collage, participating
in the nightly light rosary procession at Lourdes,
drinking of the sacred waters of the miracle spring at Lourdes,
visiting the Basilica and enough personal time to soak it all up
and to look after the sensual pleasures of life, such as market
scavenging, eating local food and time to rest and integrate.
And did I mention three days during the feast day of
Sara la Kali and the sacred gypsy festival and pilgrimage?
And a full day of scouring French brocante and flea markets?

We will meet on 23 May 2018 in Marseilles France
and spend the night.
The following day, after a visit to the Black Madonna of
Marseilles, we will travel to the village of
Saintes Maries de la Mer
for the three day Gypsy pilgrimage to Sante Sara la Kali and festivities.
(You can read about my previous pilgrimage to
Sante Sara and the Gypsy pilgrimage on my blog here)
Then we will move to Saint Maximin de la Sainte Baume
for three nights and three night at Lourdes
and then back to Marseilles.

The basilica in St Maximin la St Baume where the remains
of Mary Magdalene was found and the basilica was
erected on the site

Here we will visit the Mary Magdalene shrine
and skull reliquary at
Basilica Saint Maximin la Saint Baume.
We will travel to the sanctuary and Grotte St Saint Baume of
Mary Magdalene and ceremoniously 
walk the pilgrimage to the sacred Grotto where Mary Magdalene's bones
 are kept and where she spent the last thirty years of her life.
We will drink water from the sacred spring in the Sanctuary
of Mary Magdalene.

Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck
Picture taken in crypt of Church of Saintes Maries de les Mer 2012

You can read about my previous pilgrimage to the festival
and pilgrimage of the Romani Gypsies to
Sante Sara la Kali here

We will travel by TVG to Lourdes from Aix-en-Provence
where we will stay in an appart-hotel in the
sanctuary of Lourdes.  Everything is within walking distance
and we will visit the grotto many times for prayers, meditations,
lighting candles, washing in the miraculous waters,
and participating in the various Rosary processions

Ave Maria!
An  unforgettable experience.
Read more about my many pilgrimages to Lourdes
on my blog Cloister of the Heart.

The pilgrimage will include :
A day workshop in tarot and specifically the Mysteries of Mary
tarot deck.  Each pilgrim will receive the deck and book
as part of the pilgrimage gift pack.

Each morning will start with a sacred circle of
focus and intent;  I will share with you how to work
with your personal numerology and the tarot.
Each pilgrim will receive a specially created tarot journal
and images for the pilgrimage.  You will have time to
journal and collage your entire pilgrimage and all work
done with the tarot.

A workshop in which you will create your own personal
tarot card compiled of insights and experiences
during the pilgrimage.

A leisure day to explore the old village and its
amazing architecture and sights, the many patisseries,
fruit stalls, street markets and coffee shops.

A day trip to the markets at Arles and Aix-en-Provence

Visits to cathedrals sacred to Virgin Mary and
Mary Magdalene in the region

We can only accommodate maximum 7 people.

A handcrafted Mysteries of Mary Tarot Rosary
for each pilgrim

Each pilgrim will receive :

* a Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck and Book

*  a Mary Magdalene tarot rosary which can be
worn to all sacred sites for blessing

*  a specially created pilgrim's tarot journal specifically
for the Mary Magdalene pilgrimage

*  sheets of images and small items for your own tarot
collage and tarot journalling - we will scavenge the village
brocantes for additional material and visit the shops at
the sacred sites for holy medals, etc.

*  a bottle of salts to be blessed and used in ritual

Final dates, details and prices will follow in due course.
If you are interested to receive more information or to be put
on the list, please send an email to
or subscribe on this blog
in the top of the right hand column.

The full itinerary will be posted here

The facilitators are HettienneGrobler, artist,
 Creator and author of the Mysteries of Mary tarot deck,
founder of Temple of Mary,
spiritual teacher and guide and pilgrim to sites
sacred to the Divine Feminine across the globe for the past
20 years and

Terry de Vries, labyrinth facilitator, creatrix and
builder of labyrinths,  pilgrim who has walked the Camino four times,
shaman and yoga teacher
and priestess in Temple of Mary

We are both intrepid travellers, artists
and holders of energetic space with many years
of experience in working with groups.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Part 2 of your tarot chart

III Maria Naturans, the Empress
Part 2

Numerology works with the numbers 0 to 10 whereas
tarot has 22 major arcana, so this is not strictly numerology,
but rather an adaptation.

We will still stick to the birth numbers and the destiny number
of your path.  I will use another example this time.

Say your birthday is the 16th of a month.
Then you have the 16-7 (16 and 1+6=7 thus 16-7) birth day number which can be read as one of your
core numbers on your path.  The number of your birth day can reveal to you gifts and challenges that
will accompany you on the journey.

You will then have both major arcana cards in your tarot chart

In a later post I will share with you on how to draw up your
tarot chart.  For now, take the relevant cards from the deck
and pack them out.  Also write them down as these cards
are the foundation of your tarot chart.

XVI  The Magdalene (traditionally the Tower)

XVI The Magdalen

and VII The Dancing Sun (traditionally the Chariot)

and the next step is to pack out the Sevens of the four minor suits.

All six of these cards are part of your tarot chart and it is important to study them,
make notes and work with them over a period of time.  Whenever you are faced
with a challenge, these are the first cards that you take out and study for insight
into your reactions and habitual reaction.

So all of this you already know from the previous post.

When you look at the Seven cards of the deck, you will immediately
see a pattern emerging.  Each one of the seven cards have certain
characteristics in common.  Each one reflects a certain rigidity and
perfectionism.  Each one shows a certain amount of control and 
non-receptivity, as well as suffering.  

Each one reflects one corner of reality, or a certain perception and perspective
which is repeated in all four suits.  It is obvious that this will lead to an imbalance
in yourself and your habitual responses and you will end up feeling stuck,
or overwhelmed at times of challenging experiences.

What you need is the 'antidote' or the 'cure' as told in Mara, the holy fool
and the rogue card of the Tarot, the zero.
(To get the most out of these posts, you obviously have to own
the Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck.  You can apply these principles to
any tarot deck, but the Mary tarot has a very specific philosophy and

Ten is the number of fulfillment or the completion of the cycle before the
wheel turns and the next cycle starts again.  So in order to find the cards which will balance 
your natural tendencies, you need to add the number that will bring you to a ten.

In this case it will be the numbers Three.

In the major arcana, it will be III Maria Naturans, the Empress to balance
VI The Dancing Sun

And the threes of the four suits

Here we have the VII of Vessels, the Vision of Lourdes,
VII Holy Rood, Asherah, VII of Distaff, the Sorrowful Mother
and VII of Roses, the Immaculate Virgin.

Then place the seven and three of each suit next to each other
and you will see how they balance each other out.

"Opposite' the Sorrowful Mother is the Rosa Mystica
and 'opposite' the Immaculate Virgin is the Priestesshood of Maryam.

In both these pairs you can see the progression from stasis to unfoldment.
In both these seven cards there is a 'frozen' state of imprisonment.
The grip of the archetype of the Sorrowful Mother is transformed
and through the act miraculous act of forgiveness as displayed by the apparition
of Mary at the Rosa Mystica in which the three swords were transformed 
into three roses.

The Immaculate Virgin, an idealised image of Perfection is transformed
into a lifestyle of priestessing the sacred into the ordinary by the Priestesshood
of music, beauty, nurturing, meditation and knowledge.

The Seven of Vessels, the Vision of Lourdes is complemented by the
Three of Vessels, the three daughters of Anna

The Seven of Vessels speak of daydreams and visions, choices and ideas,
without any action being taken.  By studying the image you can see the cups
and vessels filled with wonderful apparitions of the Madonna, as well
as fairy tale animals and creatures as though from a children's storybook.
The Three Daughters of Anna shows a dancing young woman with a basket full
of produce, a harvest wreath at the top of the shrine as well as a fruit
garland running down the side of the frame.  All these images speak
of fruitfulness, harvest, abundance of the Great Mother and creativity
and fertility.  Here the daydreams and visions of the Seven of Vessels
becomes manifest through the fertility of the creative spirit applied in
a joyful and happy attitude. 

Similarly the Seven of Holy Rood and Three Holy Rood complements each other.
The Menorah depicts and represents the suppressed and hidden goddess Asherah, whereas the
the Three of Holy Rood is witness by the three aspects of the divine feminine
present as the crucifixion.  Here is the progression from hidden to visible participation.

The following quote from the Gnostic book of the Apostle Thomas sums it up :

Jesus replies: "When you make the two into one, and when you make the inner as the outer, and the upper as the lower, and when you make male and female into a single one, so that the male shall not be male, and the female shall not be female: . . . then you will enter [the kingdom]."


Saturday, March 18, 2017

Self-knowledge through tarot

Tarot is a powerful tool for gaining access and insight into the Soul and its chosen path.  The key to finding peace and wholeness is by 'knowing thyself'.  But obviously this has to be followed by action.
Knowledge for the sake of knowledge only weighs down the heart and soul
and burdens the mind.  Self-knowledge needs to be turned into self-mastery in order for your Spirit to enter the stream of your life.

A simple and direct path to allow Spirit into your life and to take control, is the Eastern approach to having a guru who guides you from his or her wider vantage point into subduing your personality traits.  This, however, is not an easy path for most Western minds.  In the West we are conditioned to 'become the hero of our own story';   to have goals;  to overcome obstacles and to use the mind actively. Tarot offers a tool and practise that marries both those approaches and can reveal to you Wisdom that is embedded
in your body and Soul.  Of course, it is your responsibility and work to implement the results of self-analysis and to transform your thinking and behaviour.

A powerful way of working with your birth date and destiny numbers and tarot cards I gained from working with various tarot decks and teachers through the years..

First simple step of working with self-analysis is to keep a tarot journal   Make notes of important readings and most importantly of essential information such as your destiny numbers (following below). 
Leave some blank space next to each page so that you can return often and add to your compendium of Self.

*Step one - write down your full birth date and add up all the numbers.
The sequence in which you do so does not matter.  I will use my own as
an example.

11.01.1960  =  11+1+1+9+6+0=28 reduces to 10 and reduces to 1

*Step 2 -  This adding up sequence of all the numbers of the birth date gives me a destiny number  of #1
which is the Major Arcana Card I Maria Prophetissa ( traditionally in other decks the Magician card)

Maria Prophitessa, the magi
Mysteries of Mary Tarot deck

*Step 3 -  the reduction sequence also included #10 (see above) 
The number ten card in the Major Arcana of the deck is
 X The Spinning Wheel (the Wheel of Fortune)

X The Spinning Wheel
Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck

So I have two Major Arcana cards pointing the way of destiny for me on my life path.
You may have one or two cards depending on how the numbers reduce.

As explained in the hand book of this deck, each card is an archetype.
Each archetype corresponds to astrological planets, signs, houses and
it also corresponds to fairy tales, myths, Biblical stories, folk tales and so forth.

*Step 4 - Study these two cards of your life reading. Try to understand their
character and their core messages.  Read their stories.  Read other
tarot cards' versions and stories of these two archetypes. Find as many correspondences
as you can that relates to these two.  Keep
your eyes and ears open for breadcrumbs calling you to a deeper
understanding of these two archetypes and how they play out in
myth and fairytale.  *If your destiny or life path number only adds
up to one digit without a double digit preceding it, then that is the number
and archetype that you work with.  Not to worry, many other numbers
will be added to your mix of archetypes.  

*Step 5 - find the minor arcana cards that relate to these two majors.
For instance, all Aces relate to the I Maria Prophetissa or The Magician.
So now unpack the Ace of Vessels, the Ace of Holyrood, the Ace of Distaff
and the Ace of Roses.  Each suit applies to an element in your make-up
and to an aspect of your life.   By reading the stories and the qualities
of these four Aces, you will uncover clear guidance on the nature
of your own matrix of perception, experience and response to life's duality.

The four Aces of the minor Suits
Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck

*Step 6 - find the Tens of all four suits as they relate to the Ten in the Major Arcana.
Unpack all four Tens and you have another layer which will assist you in understanding
the tapestry which is your personality and the lens through which your
True Self manifests and expresses into this world and in this lifetime.

The Tens of the minor suits
Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck

*Step 7 - another powerful and important number is the actual birth day.
Mine is Eleven which is the card XI Holy Wisdom (traditionally known as Justice)
and all Servants of the four suits in the deck are related to this card.
This tells me that the archetypes of Justice and Holy Wisdom is of great importance
to my personality and the way that i approach the world.  And that it is
expressed through the stories of the Servants of the deck.

XI Holy Wisdom
Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck

One would think, oh wow, that sounds wonderful, but remember that each
archetype has a dual nature.  Therefore it is very important to study the shadow side of these archetypes.  And it will be of great help to you personally to do so as it is oftern very
difficult to see the way that we trick ourselves into not seeing the real rationale
behind our feelings and reactions.  Do not be
afraid of looking at the unpleasant and uncomfortable parts of these
beings.  See how they act out in stories and you may find that some
of your most frustrating personality traits are revealed!!
In order for wholeness to be manifested, a sacred marriage has to
take place.  A marriage calls for compromise and give and take
and acceptance of both as equal.  The same applies to your inner world.
When you only pay attention to the one aspect of the archetype, be it
the masculine or feminine, dark or light, 'good' or 'bad' side,
then you will end up with an imbalance.  Imagine a small boat on the river
steering with only one oar.  That boat will go round and round (a bit
like a dog chasing its own tail) and will not be able to travel down
the river.  Does this sound familiar?  Do you ever experience this
feeling seeing the same scenery flashing by?  Do you feel as though you
are stuck in the same horror movie of powerlessness in your own head?
That is the secret weapon of the ego : POWERLESSNESS.

It will tell you and make you feel that it is not in your hands to
change your circumstances nor your feelings of pain and betrayal
and shame.  But of course, this is the BIG Lie.
(Read the four cards from the Mysteries of Mary Deck that tell the stages
of the story of The Handless Maiden)

Yes, you will be asked to do that which is seemingly impossible as
the Handless Maiden had to when she grew back her hands by rescueing
her drowning child.  But you have access to that guidance!
One could say that you will have to do things differently in order to bring
a change.  In order to do things differently you first have to understand
what it is that you are repeating blindly.  Once you are no longer blind
and you can see the pattern of the archetype ruling you, you can come
to accept this truth, then surrender to this power that Is in your life
and finally, you can make a new decision. 
 (You can read more about these spiritual practices on my 
Temple of Mary blog at

So to return to the numbers of my destiny.  I can reduce the Eleven to the
Ten and the One once again.  So you can see from this repetition that
these numbers are crucial on my path.

You can then add the number of your birth month and its corresponding

Let us look at the Wheel for example.  One will find lots of information
on the positive effects and blessings of the Wheel of Fortune.  But an
important fact about a wheel is that it turns and that which is up
will be down, and that which is down, will be up.  In other words,
there will be many ups and downs on the path and many changes.
The path may never ever look like perfection to the observer or
outsider as things are continuously changing and in flux and often
great times of chaos will be experienced.  Should one be concerned
with the good opinion and approval of others, or should you be a perfectionist,
 then you will suffer greatly with the Wheel in your tarot chart.  Our minds do not like
change and we resist change and chaos to the point of absolute death!
The mind is much happier with the image of perfection than being alive.
So if you have the Wheel as a strong archetype, then you will often
be confronted with criticism from others about 'always changing'.
Change evokes fear in the mind.  You may be confronted with deep seated
fear yourself as you are faced with change.  The mind is very wily
and a true trickster and will convince you that your resistance
to change is not resistance, but in fact good common sense or the
best choice for you right now.  But now that you are armed with this
knowledge of CHANGE in your tool kit, you can be more aware
of the way that you deal with change and you can focus on allowing
change into your life, understanding that it is the ebb and flow
and new blessings can only flow in, once the old has left.

When you take this core aspect of change and apply it to the Tens
of the minor arcana, then you will  see how these four cards reflect
this balance of dark and light, up and down, desirable and undesirable.
In the Ten of Vessels we see Anne and her daughter Mary at the hearth
of the home surrounded by the vessels of contentment and family love.
The Ten of the Holy Rood is the Lady of Glastonbury and the sorrowful
story of the aftermath of the crucifixion of Jesus and how his family
and followers were dispersed around the world.
The Ten of Distaff is Our Lady of Untier of Knots where you are
encouraged to surrender your pain and suffering and trust in the process of un-doing
once more.
And finally in the Ten of Roses we see Mary as Queen of Heaven,
where the transcendent nature of the feminine is celebrated alongside its
immanent nature and where duality exists in a delicate balance of a wheel
continuously turning.

Every person has a Golden Council of Twelve.  Twelve main archetypes manifesting in a relationship between masculine and feminine.  These twelve archetypes can be likened to the twelve disciples of Jesus, or the twelve knights of the Round Table of King Arthur.  However, they are not all male, but each archetype has a male and a female counterpart.  And then there is the thirteenth one, the authentic you, that is destined to become the Guru of your own inner council in order to guide them to the Spirit Self.  Next time we will have a look at the various ways of accessing this inner council and uncover the gifts that they bring to the table.


Monday, March 13, 2017

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.  In the spiritual journey which takes you back towards the
True Self and Oneness, 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 your Source.

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 True Self, 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 e very 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 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.