Thursday, August 17, 2017

Celebration of the Dormition and Assumption of Mary

15 August is the feast day of the Dormition and
Assumption of Mary.  These archetypal events in the life of
the triple Mary, are very important and has powerful implications
for the way in which we interpret our soul and also
the way we view the feminine.

As explained in the accompanying guide book of
the Mysteries of Mary
outer religion is not merely a set of rules and stories
imposed onto humanity.  The stories of religion
are born forth from humanity's unconscious and
mystical understanding and interpretation of the
mysteries of life.  The outer religions evolve and form
based on the ideas and needs and desires of that specific
culture and community.  It is impossible for one person or
a group of people to impose their ideas on an entire mass
without the cooperation of the group.

This means that outer religion and its beliefs and dogma and
doctrine give us a powerful and empowering vehicle and tool
for self-awareness and self-contemplation.  By studying the religion
of our culture we can become more fully aware of our own
nature and intrinsic tendencies, fears and beliefs.
Awareness leads to acceptance which in turn leads to transformation.

In this shrine we see Mary, the wise woman and Teacher of the Cosmic Mysteries.  There are various stories and traditions in the apocrypha that tell the story of the dormition or death of Mary.  Two ancient groups of work that are mostly discussed are the ‘Palm of the Tree of Life’ traditions and the ‘Book of Mary’s Repose’.  In the ‘Mystical City of God’ by St Mary Algreda, the story of Mary’s dormition is also included.  All the versions of the story agree that shortly before Mary’s death, an angel appeared to her.  She was called to go up to Mount of Olives, where a Great Being of Light appeared to her.  Some say it was the Archangel Michael and some say Archangel Gabriel that appeared to her. (There is also an ancient tradition that believes that Archangel Michael was an early Christ and that he came before Jesus)
 Stephen J Shoemaker in his translations of ‘The Book of Mary’s Repose’ speaks of the ‘Great Cherub of Light’ who is a ‘Christ-Angel’ that appears to Mary.  It is said that Mary immediately recognized the great Being of Light as the same energy and essence as that of her son, Jesus.  Here we have the second annunciation of Mary.  In Luke the Archangel Gabriel appeared to her to announce the birth of her son.  Here we have the Great Christ Angel of Light appearing to her to tell her of her impending death.  According to St Mary Algreda, Mary greeted the message with the same words of acceptance of Divine Will as in Luke: ‘I am thy handmaiden’.
 After the Being of Light had given Mary the news of her death, he gave her a book that contained all the Cosmic Mysteries.  He also gave her a palm leaf of the Tree of Life.  (In India there is a tradition of reading the palm leaf of the Tree of Life.  According to belief each and every person’s entire life, past and future is written on the palm leaf.)
Mary did not initially understand who this Being is that is appearing to her.  When she asks, she is told that she is to keep His name secret  ‘And they will know my authority and the power of my strength; not because of the book alone, but also because of my name, since it will be a source of great power.’ – Stephen J Shoemaker, Ancient Traditions of Virgin Mary’s Dormition and Assumption
This shrine shows where Mary is standing on top of Mount of Olives, carrying the palm leaf and the secret books of Mysteries given to her by the Being of Light.  At her feet lies the spindle with the red thread and a skull telling us that she is the Mistress, Hierophant and Teacher of the Cosmic Mysteries of life, death and ascension.  The dormition of Mary is followed by her assumption, with body and soul, into heaven. 
This card is the archetype of the Queen of the Distaff, the Great Teacher and Mistress of the Cosmic Mysteries.  She could be a person in your life, or someone that you may meet.  She is the Queen of Peace and teaches from the sacred heart of divine love. This archetype is within you and all of humanity and she can be activated through the secret book of Wisdom.  It is said that each one of our living cells is encoded with Divine Wisdom and that our lives and their experiences are the palm leaves of the Tree of Life, or the pages in the book of Mysteries.  When we open our eyes to see and our ears to hear, we will find that the jewel has been right under our noses all along.

Early in the deck we discuss the vision of St. John and here he sees her, the Lady in Heaven, restored to the holy of holies and he saw her tree standing (once again) by the heavenly throne. (In the Suit of the Holy Rood it is explained that the tree of the Lady was removed from the heavenly throne and along with it an attempt was made to eradicate the Lady from our understanding, but we continued to honour her through poles and wands and holy rods and thus she lived on in our consciousness – although abandoned in our belief systems and culture.)

The woman with the crown of twelve stars on her head represents the constellation of Virgo and also the Egyptian Isis and the Great Mary. She can be interpreted to be the secret mysteries and her son the initiate born from ‘the womb of the Mysteries’. This vision can be interpreted as the story of the dragon (personifying the spirit of ignorance) and its efforts to destroy the Sacred Mother (the mysteries birthing the Truth within you) of the saviour gods who have sacrificed their lives in an attempt to redeem and enlighten the world through the sacred Mysteries. 
In this card the archetypal journey of the Holy Fool, Mara, reaches its culmination.  Here we have the sanctification of the ordinary world: the sacred marriage between spirit and flesh, nature and soul, the ordinary and the sacred; the restoration and crowning of the Feminine Divine in humanity and in our world, thus creating heaven on earth.

In the Heaven on Earth shrine of the Mysteries of Mary we see the Virgin Mary, the Immaculate Conception, as both the perfect, immaculate, divine idea of the world as well as the incarnate embodiment of the Earth and all creatures as soul-filled beings. She is the Queen of Heaven and Angels as well as the Mother of all Living Beings and nature Herself. We have Mary, the woman, the stag, the lamb and the wings of angels representing the four suits and the four paths.
The Virgin and the Stag are ancient symbols of the mysteries representing the World and the Christed Ones. Here the Virgin, the Immaculate Conception, is symbolic of the earth in heaven, immaculate from all false beliefs, born from inspiration and a perfect idea. The Stag is symbolic of the incarnate Christ and the lamb is the vulnerable and innocent Truth which makes the highest sacrifice as Love giving Itself to Love.

The horns of the stag are like the branches of the tree, the ladder of the world, ascending the various stages of life, from the physical to the spiritual.
Beyond our physical and psychic being, we have to discover our spiritual being, our eternal ground, and there the mystery of love is fulfilled.

You are the Beloved for whom this world has been created and is being created and you have the power to change what you are creating. As you let the Light of your own heart shine on yourself and on others and on the Earth, you realise the truth that you are the gift to the world. We are the ones.


Sunday, June 25, 2017

Museo dei Tarocchi, Riola, Bologna

No automatic alt text available.

If you have been following my Instagram feed, then you will know
that I have received wonderful news.

The Mysteries of Mary tarot deck is now on display in the
Museo dei Tarocchi in Riola, Bologna in Italy!

The International Tarot Museum was founded by
Morena Poltronieri and Ernesto Fazioli

The first and only of its kind in the world!

The Tarot Museum, Italy
image from

Mutus Liber 

'The Handbooks of Museo dei Tarocchi
The Tarot Decks of Museo dei Tarocchi - Limited Edition 
They are editions directly cared by the Museum of Tarots and chosen between artists’ works from all around the world to leave a trace in the contemporary history of tarots.
These handbooks are editions with precious characteristic, in which are producted the Arcana in a small series from 30 to 1000 samples.'
 - quote taken from Museo dei Tarocchi website

Experience of 5 Senses
image from

The Museum's goals are: 

Creation of a database of all artists whose works are displayed in the museum, together with their CV (Bio) as well as insightful notes shared by the artists themselves to better illustrate their works.
Research focused on old and ancient Tarot to help promote the preservation of that which throughout the centuries gave life and meaning to this creative means of expression.
Creation of a vast database to record a census of the most important and influential decks in the world.
Workshops and conferences with various guest artists and speakers.
Organization and promotion of special events and exhibitions.
Creation of a virtual tour website of the Museum.
Creation of a lending library of books, and of rare and unusual texts.

Arnell Ando has many links to the tarot museum and the
tarot tours that she leads to Italy on her website

and here is the link to the Museo dei Tarocchi information page

The Sea Journey
Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck

Here is the link to the review that Arnell Ando, author, editor
and creator of more than one tarot deck, gave the
Mysteries of Mary tarot deck.

I am deeply honoured that the deck has been included in this valuable
resource and I will be visiting the museum and meeting
Morena in person in August.

I will keep you updated with pictures of my visit to Bologna
and the Museo dei Tarocchi


Friday, June 16, 2017

Untier of Knots

I say that we are wound with mercy round and round as if with air; the same is Mary,…..World-mother air, air wild, wound with thee, in thee isled, fold home, fast fold thy child. – Gerard Manly Hopkins
The devotion to Our Lady Untier of Knots, also known as Our Lady Undoer of Knots. 

In this card and shrine Our Lady Untier of Knots is representative of the absolute power of the divine to ‘untie the knots’ of the personal self.  In the Eastern tradition of yoga and especially Kundalini Yoga, the teaching is that knots or ‘granthis’ exist in the subtle energetic meridians of the body.  These subtle meridians carry the ‘prana’ or lifeforce through the minor chakras (energy centres and nerve plexus) and major chakras (nerve plexus in accordance with glands).  These knots restrict the flow of prana or chi or life force and emotional discomfort and disease is the end result.  

Many therapies and healing modalities have been developed to help one to release these ‘knots’.  These therapies often rely on increasing the prana or energy in the body and to bring insight and awareness to the intellectual understanding of the person.  When we accept the teachings of all spiritual traditions, then it is actually a small step of surrender to the Divine Will which is in truth also your will. When you accept that ‘we are wound with mercy round and round as if with air’ in the words of Gerard Manly Hopkins, then it is really true what the mystics say, that the Divine is as close as your next breath.    

This rosary is hanging from an old wooden rosary and underneath is small skull carved from bone from an old rosaryand an old key.  At the top is a small sterling silver heart with an image of Mary set inside.

These rosary pieces are created in the practise of the making of sacred altars and they contain the healing energies of both the image, the meaning of these cards and the spiritual energy that they were created with.  

Here is one of many testimonials : 'I received our Lady of Lourdes, mystical healer stunning wearable shrine today. The moment Hettienne shipped it, I saw a white light with a white flame in its centre. Throughout the shrine's travel I would keep visions of it. I can firmly attest that this is more than a necklace, but carries divine consciousness which is transferred powerfully through the artist's love and devotion. The package arrived fully intact, filled with frankincense and myrrh and tiny shells and pebbles, the precious necklace safely wrapped. Thank you! Arathi Ma.'

Now available at The French Madonna at

May all beings know peace


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Divine Presence

The Miraculous Medal Chapel shrine, rosary and tarot card
This is a repost from my blog
Cloister of the Heart at

The IV of Roses in the Mysteries of Mary Tarot deck is the captured image of my experience
in the Miraculous Medal chapel in Paris.  I have had the privilege to return twice to the chapel
and to attend a special mass for Mary's nativity!!

After my first visit I created a couple of shrines to represent the
incredible light and Presence which is in the Chapel, a place of
Mary's manifestation and visitation.  This shrine eventually became a card in
the Mysteries of Mary tarot deck.

Chapel of the Miraculous Medal, Paris, France

I have also made a few rosaries which can be bought with the tarot deck
or on their own.  These are powerful healing amulets and many have testified
to the healing power experienced when wearing them.

' 'I received our Lady of Lourdes, mystical healer stunning wearable shrine today. The moment Hettienne shipped it, I saw a white light with a white flame in its centre. Throughout the shrine's travel I would keep visions of it. I can firmly attest that this is more than a necklace, but carries divine consciousness which is transferred powerfully through the artist's love and devotion. The package arrived fully intact, filled with frankincense and myrrh and tiny shells and pebbles, the precious necklace safely wrapped. Thank you! Arathi Ma.'

Here is an extract of my post in 2012

A hot steamy day in Paris, a cooling breeze dancing in the tree outside my balcony. ..... This question is even more prominent when we visit the beautiful cathedrals of Paris. At each and every one of them tourists are turned away because of wearing shorts, short skirts and sleeveless shirts. The latter included cotton shirts, covering up to the neck, but lacking sleeves! Which part of the body is offensive to whom and why? I wonder whether it is offensive to the Divine that tourists, carrying their backpacks, are taking the time to integrate the spiritual with the secular? Is it not the nature of life that these two cannot be separated? 

But then, of course, the church is an institution and it has it's own backpack to contend with. It took me a while to learn to look past bureaucracy and dogma and to not let these exclude me from experiencing the Light upon which most cathedrals and other beautiful gifts are built. 

One such gift is the miraculous medal. A young nun at the Daughters of Charity Chapel received a visitation from divine Mary. In more than one visitation she received the image and instruction about the miraculous medal. Mary made it clear that this medal can be worn by anyone and everyone, regardless of religion. The only requisite was faith in 'when you ask, you will receive'. 

The chapel is tucked away in a busy street across from a large departmental store. The nuns scrutinize all visitors and the tiny gift shop is spartan and does not use electronic means of payment; each sale is written down by hand. The chapel is incredibly beautiful, and as soon as you enter you feel the incredible Presence. 

Soon the images seen by my eyes disappear and only a brilliant golden light is visible. The light has a silver rim to it and it is alive and palpable with wisdom and knowledge which cannot be translated into words. This is the Presence of Divine Mary. The light translates into my physical body and energetically there is deep movement in and through my body. 

Then my heart fills with a feeling that seems physical. Everything and everyone around me is bathed in this beautiful light and they all glow in love. The Light becomes stronger and more powerful and I see the intense Light at the centre of it all and also at the centre of each and every person. And the quality of this Light is Good and only Good - pure and beautiful and innocent! And it does not matter what happens on the exterior : nothing can corrupt or diminish that Light which is you and me. 

Blessings from Paris 


Now available at The French Madonna 

Monday, June 12, 2017

Mary, the Shepherdess rosary wrap

The Hierophant of the Mysteries
V Major Arcana traditionally the Pope or Teacher or Guru

Rose quartz,
snowflake obsidian,
 blue agate, 
baroque pearl, 
pink Indian opal, 
green quartz,
green zoisite,
green jasper,
grey pearls, 
vintage aluminium French holy medals, 
rhinestone crucifix and 
images from Hierophant of the Mysteries tarot card. 

Embodied love
Embodiment of love, compassion and custodian
of the Earth and all Her creatures

The union between the higher and lower hearts -
this is the message of the Hierophant of the Mysteries

'in the discarded, the superfluous, the seemingly unnecessary, lies
the Essence, calling forth the highest forms of Love'

Wear the energies of Mary, Shepherdess and Hierophant of the Mysteries
on your arm and in your energy field

A wonderful blend of inspiration and unconditional love
as contained in the rose quartz and the pink opals
grounded and earthed in the agate and quartz

extract from the guidebook of the Mysteries of Mary Tarot -

'In the ancient world temples and school existed where philosophy, art, mathematics, alchemy and other higher principles were studied.  These were known as the Mysteries and their teachings and rituals remained a secret.   Often these Mysteries were enactments of drama and myth but ultimately they contained the stories of life and the way in which we can interpret these stories to make sense of life and our idea of the divine. The ancient Mystery teaching in all societies and cultures have been cloaked in allegory and symbology so that each individual could receive from it that which he or she was capable of understanding.  Masters and initiates schooled in myths and tales learned to use the power of words and use tales that veiled the deeper mysteries, preventing them from being profaned and at the same time revealing the deeper meaning to those who were qualified to understand them.  Every major ceremony and sacrament had its corresponding tale which simultaneously veiled and revealed the mysteries to the community.

The veiled mysteries is said to have belonged to the Feminine although later claimed to belong to the masculine hierarchy. In the ancient mysteries, the Goddess represents the view that the source of all life begins in the feminine polarity of energy.  

In the Mother’s mysteries all the opposites are joined.  The duality of life are not only at opposite ends of a continuum, but are joined in a circle and both light and darkness remain in balance, in a sacred marriage.

In the Mysteries of Mary, the inner child undertakes the journey of the soul on the path of divine love and Mary in her aspect as shepherdess and protector of the vulnerable will hierophant the veils of the Mysteries.

The Hierophant is the High Priestess of the Mystery of life.  
She initiates the seeker into a new, deeper and more meaningful part of the journey towards the self. 

May all beings know Peace

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Mary as the Gate of Jerusalem

Mary, Gate of Jerusalem


Mary as the Gate of Jerusalem and Madonna of the New Dawn. Each one of the tarot cards of the Mysteries of Mary tarot deck represents an initiation, a mystery and an archetype in the story of the Great Mother, Queen and Woman of Love, starting from Isis, through Asherah, Miryam, Mari and Mary. 

The vignette of Mary entering the Eastern gate of Jerusalem is under a glass bubble in a coral baroque lightweight frame and a unique rosary which I brought back from Lourdes with a small icon of the Madonna of the New Dawn set in a sterling silver bezel. Each bead of the rosary has a miniature image of the Madonna on the one side and a coral rose on the other side. The colour of the rose is an identical match for the coral frame of the cameo. The rosary centre has a drop of sacred water from the spring at Lourdes.

This card is the VI in the suit of Holy Rood, traditionally Wands and this is the triumph or victory card. The Eastern Gate is one of Mary's many titles. The Eastern Gate in the old city wall of Jerusalem is the oldest gate and also known as the 'Golden Gate', 'the Beautiful Gate' and the 'Gate of Mercy'. It is also the only gate that was sealed five hundred years ago and is still sealed. The Hebrew Mother Goddess Asherah was known to be the consort of Yahweh. In the time of King Joshua's eradication of the goddess, the Hebrew goddess had to go 'underground'. The use of her name and images were forbidden and her devotees replaced 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.

These rosary pieces are created in the practise of the making of sacred altars and they contain the healing energies of both the image, the meaning of these cards and the spiritual energy that they were created with. Here is one of many testimonials : 'I received our Lady of Lourdes, mystical healer stunning wearable shrine today. The moment Hettienne shipped it, I saw a white light with a white flame in its centre. Throughout the shrine's travel I would keep visions of it. I can firmly attest that this is more than a necklace, but carries divine consciousness which is transferred powerfully through the artist's love and devotion. The package arrived fully intact, filled with frankincense and myrrh and tiny shells and pebbles, the precious necklace safely wrapped. Thank you! Arathi Ma.'

The tarot deck fits together the myth and metaphor as contained in Egyptian, Jewish, Greek, Christianity and the various Gnostic teachings (amongst others) of the feminine and masculine Christ and the inner Sacred Marriage. You can read more about my tarot deck and book at

With the purchase of this rosary you will receive the tarot card for your altar. If you buy it with the complete tarot deck and book set you can buy it at a discounted price. The price for the rosary is $58 (first option at checkout) and with the purchase of the tarot deck and book set (all-inclusive $89) it is offered at $40. The full set and the Miraculous Medal rosary costs $129 - Option Rosary and Tarot Deck on the checkout. 

The full set includes the following :

- 78 tarot cards printed on 350 gsm card stock with thick glossy varnish
- 160 page A5 paperback tarot book signed by myself
- Unique handprinted tarot pouch
- Extra signed tarot card
plus the Jerusalem Gate tarot card rosary necklace

I ship registered airmail with a tracking number and delivery ranges from 5 days to 15 days on average

May all beings know peace


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Oracle of the Blue Rose of Mary

Reliquary of Mary Magdalene at Magdalene Basilica
in St Maximin de la St Baume, France

Today the Oracle of the Blue Rose of Mary was born.

The Blue Rose of Mary is an ancient symbol from before the
age of Isis.

The Rose represents the Divine Feminine, as is widely known,
but it also represents the heart chakra and most importantly,
the Sacred Divine Marriage.

The stories of the Blue Rose of Mary will follow
the story of the Feminine Christ, starting with the legends of the Great Goddess
as the Blue Rose and Her daughter Blessed Mary, 
the trail of the Holy Grail and the mysteries of Mary Magdalene,
the inner sacred marriage as embodied by Yeshua
and Mary Magdalene;  the Black Madonna of Montserrat
and the secret knowledge and initiations of the Essenes
and several Gnostic communities already introduced in the 
Mysteries of Mary Tarot.

In the same manner that I received the Mysteries of Mary Tarot
Deck, the Oracle of the Blue Rose of Mary has been coming
to me over a number of years.  When I have really luminous
and lucid dreams, I create a Soulcollage card, or a painting,
or at the very least, write the dream and its symbols in my
journals. During my many pilgrimages I connect with
both the physical reality as seen in the symbol and myth of
the sacred sites on our Earth, as well as the luminous stream
of infinite reality which flows behind the physical world.
At these power points of our planet the energy is so concentrated
and many have been drawn there throughout time.
Each age and era just add a layer of their understanding
to the divine energies already present.
And thus our consciousness manifest in front of our very eyes
and our DNA is awakened and we can access the knowledge.

I will be visiting sites on these time lines that I have not visited
previously and these may be intertwined with or combine
The stories of the Oracle will overlap and intertwine with the Mary tarot.
I have no idea how it will work yet, but I have seen glimpses which
show me that some of the oracle cards will be interchangeable with
some of the cards of the tarot deck and that these two decks will
be able to be used together in divination and meditation.

I will keep you updated!

Follow me on Instagram at the-french-madonna 
#thefrenchmadonna for ongoing mini-lessons
on Mysteries of Mary Tarot deck #letslearntarot


Sunday, April 30, 2017

Let's learn the Tarot

The Star from Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck

Let's learn the tarot step-by-step.

I am starting with the Minor Arcana and will end with the Majors.
The lesser cards or pips (Minor Arcana) is often more confusing
and open to personal interpretation, than the more well-known
Major Arcana cards.

These are short summaries of keywords that will help you
to read your deck with deeper interpretation.

Follow me on Instagram @thefrenchmadonna
and you can see daily tarot lessons
#learnthetarot and #sacredordinary
I also share the card from the Mysteries of Mary deck alongside
other more well-known decks which will also help you
to place it into context, both in tarot and the mysteries of Mary.

The Mysteries of Mary tarot is created specially for those who
desire spiritual growth and who are attracted to the esoteric
Judaeo-Christian mysteries but who are devoted to the
Sacred Feminine, the Goddess and the Great Mother.

So let's start with the Aces.

The four Aces from the Mysteries of Mary tarot deck

The Aces are the first cards of the four suits.
The four suits are :
Vessels (Cups)
Holyrood (Wands)
Distaff (Swords)
Roses (Pentacles)

Aces are governed by the planet Mercury.
Kether on the Tree of Life

Their keywords are :
beginning, initiation, thrust, ideas, action, positivity, birth, opening, gift,
intention, will, mindfulness, awareness, attention, threshold,
focus, opportunity, new, starting point

The Ace of Vessels
Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck

The first Ace of the deck is the Ace of Vessels.
In the suit of Vessels we encounter Mary as the element
of water and consciousness.  She is the Living Waters of our being.

The keywords for the Ace of Vessels are :

accepting love and joy into our lives and being;
becoming a channel for and opening up to the flow of
consciousness into our heart;
opening of the heart.

Affirmation : I am open to receive and express love and joy.

Questions to ask : 
 What are your dreams telling you? 
 What are you yearning for in your life at this stage? 
 What do you wish for?

Read the description of the card and its context
in the Mary tradition and apply these keywords, questions
and affirmation.  
It is also important to spend some time in contemplation
or maybe to journal in your tarot journal or do some
doodling or a Soulcollage card to really flesh out the
meaning of the card for you personally.


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 France

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 2019

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.