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.