I welcome you to the Hearth of Mary

A small number of both the Mysteries of Mary and the Mysteries of the Black Madonna deck sets will be available for sale towards the end of October 2021.

I print very small batches as these are both limited edition indie decks, created for those who are interested in the Via Maria, the Way of Mary, the Path of Love; the sacred feminine path and its confluence in both the esoteric, artistic, pagan and Biblical tradition of Virgin Mary in Her many aspects. I share in-depth the context in which I place these art pieces based on my own personal spiritual journey, the development of the Temple of Mary and years of research, on Patreon at www.patreon.com.templeofmary

We are forged and fired in the crucible of the heart and art gives life and meaning to our stories.

My prayer is that I share the right medicine for you and that my words will create a sacred altar reflecting the beauty, truth, wisdom and justice which is potent and potential in our world.

The ancient tradition of creating sacred altars used to belong to the Great Mother and her devotees and it was incorporated into religion by the nuns and convents. I call it Sacred Altars and it is my offering on the Altar of Life. Twenty years ago I became a pilgrim to sacred places on the Earth and especially to where the Divine has stepped through the veil to reach us and where Mary had appeared to others. I bring waters from the holy springs and rivers; I bring back oil and salts sanctified by the Presence of the energies at these sacred places.

Pilgrimage and sacred ritual is my foremost spiritual practise. Raised Dutch Reformed Protestant, the rich lustre of sacred and holy places offered a well of inspiration for my parched soul. My travels have taken me to many different religions, cultures and traditions. Until I came into contact with the mystical side of Christianity. My first ritual I attended was the festival of Archangel Michael in Mont Sant’Angelo in Italy, then visiting Padre Pio. Then followed walking the pilgrimage of Bridgid, the sacred well and labyrinth in Kildare, Ireland. And that is when my art appeared in the form of paintings. Ritual grounded in the knowing of the unconscious, awakens us from the dream of habitual seeing and thinking. The conscious mind lacks the ability or maybe the neural pathway to communicate the new-found wisdom intellectually, and thus the expression through art steps in. Well, that is only my experience and understanding, of course. But I had not been an artist till I participated in sacred ritual. My stay at Lourdes and participating in the rituals daily, turned me into a full time artist. When one participates in a ritual (probably any ritual, but when you regard it as sacred, you add a certain ‘light’ to it) you are transported into a different time and space : colors are different; the light is different; everything has meaning and the ordinary become extra-ordinary. My art novena for Lourdes in particular, highlights my statement that our lives are the altar to the Divine and I strive to capture that numinosity of the sacred ritual in my photographs and altars. I only started creating sacred altars on my return from Lourdes. These small shadowboxes are vignettes, a moment in time in the life of ordinary human beings, lifted out of the mundane into the numinous, merely by seeing life as sacred.

I create from the eye of the heart, rather than the eye of the mind and hope to illuminate and show the underlying image and Divine Presence in the vignette of our personal stories.
blessings, Sri Hettienne Bhaktymayi Maria Ma