I am the creator of the Mysteries of Mary tarot deck and guidebook. It is a limited edition deck and I only print a few copies a year. If I have stock you will find it on my shop – click on the SHOP tab at the top of this page.
The Mysteries of the Black Madonna tarot deck is now nearing completion and pre-orders will open end of October 2020. My patrons on The French Madonna Patreon account will receive early access and discount coupons. You can read more on my blog The Hearth of Mary at http://bookofmarysacredheart.blogspot.com.
My Patreon is available at www.patreon.com/thefrenchmadonna.
Follow me on Instagram @bhaktymayi_ma and @walkingwithmary for regular updates.
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.
Sacred art is keeps the lifestyle of devotion alive. Each item is an offering on the sacred altar of life. With the creation of the sacred altars I set an intent of the feminine qualities and potential that is available to us. With each sacred altar I remind myself and others that we are capable of great acts of compassion and beauty and that the holy ones are no different from any of us.
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. Through the years I have written on many aspects of the spiritual journey. When I came into contact with the mystical side of Christianity. my journey changed in many ways. My first ritual I attended was the festival of Archangel Michael in Mont Sant’Angelo in Italy, then visiting Padre Pio and following the Gargano pilgrimage. Then followed walking the pilgrimage of Bridgid, the sacred well and labyrinth in Kildare, Ireland. And that is when my art started to show up 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 am the founder and guardian of the Temple of Mary. As part of my modern day temple life I undertake regular pilgrimages to sacred sites across the world. You can also join the temple and my pilgrimages on Patreon. You can join my online community, Walking with Mary at the Instagram account @walkingwithmary or by using the hashtag #walkingwithmary.
I have been a lover of the tarot for 40 years and created my own deck The Mysteries of Mary tarot deck and guidebook. I am currently working on the Black Madonna tarot deck. I share my journey with the creating of the Black Madonna tarot deck on Patreon. I have an on-going visual gallery of all the shrines which will be the deck of cards eventually.
I also offer initiations into the Hearth of Mary and as Flamekeepers in the Temple of Mary on my Patreon account. You can sign up from only $2 a month and receive a monthly channeling from Blessed Mary up to the highest tiers of initiations and healing practises and meditations.