I welcome you to the Hearth of Mary
An update on the progress on the Mysteries of the Black Madonna deck. I was hoping that I will be able to ship the Black Madonna decks at the end of March, but we are in lockdown level 3 in South Africa and everything is taking much longer than anticipated. Right now the expected shipping out date for the first batch of pre-orders are set at end April/middle May 2021. Thank you for your support and patience. I will add the second payment listing for those who have made one payment and you can pay the balance when the decks are ready to ship. The pre-orders for the Mysteries of the Black Madonna is currently sold out but I will print another batch in May and make it available here. Patrons (see below) always gets first option. I only print in small batches as every single deck and parcel is consecrated and carefully prepared for shipping. Each item is handmade by myself : the beautiful tarot pouches are sewn by hand, the small statues I print on a 3D printer and paint by hand; our paper is eco friendly and hand stamped, etc etc. When the deck arrives with you, you will feel the sacred and healing energy that it carries.
The Temple of Mary on Patreon – www.patreon.com/templeofmary
When I first started the Patreon community it was under the banner of The French Madonna, the name of my shop on Etsy.com and my blog. I started the community to share my creative process and journey with Sacred Art and Sacred Altars and the Walking with Mary online annual retreat.
In the past 18 months the community has expanded so much and many have chosen the path of the Temple of Mary and self-initiated as Flamekeepers and received spiritual names in the tradition.
In February I took a pause to for a month to focus on the Mysteries of the Black Madonna tarot deck and during this time, through a series of dreams, I am guided to expand the Temple of Mary this year and to add to the initiations and more.
I have opened the highest tier of the Order of the Dove for a limited number of initiates.
I keep these numbers restricted as the initiations calls for energetic and spiritual support from my side and I can only work with a limited number of people at a time.
In March we are resuming our journey into the Mysteries of Mary, White Mary, Red Mary and Black Mary. On 25 March is the feast day of the Annunciation of the Great Virgin and I will share the special link between this event and the oldest Temple of Mary on Earth, Notre Dame de Chartres, The Temple of the Queen of Heaven.
I have new and exciting surprises : such as two monthly draws – one for the higher tiers, for a beautiful set of Mary treasures, such as relics, holy cards and special art work created by myself, miniature Marian statuettes and a second monthly draw for the lower cost tiers of various items, such as handmade tarot pouches, postcard prints from the upcoming Mysteries of the Black Madonna tarot, blessing seeds and so on.
I will share all these details during the month of March on Patreon
I am looking forward to the month of March and sharing the beauty, compassion, justice and peace of the Queen of Heaven with you.
I also invite you to visit my blog – you will find the link in the top right hand corner
I am currently completing the Mysteries of the Black Madonna tarot deck: a project that I started in all earnest in 2016 after the completion of the Mysteries of Mary tarot deck. I am accepting a small number of pre-orders. All my decks are printed in small batches at a time only and they are all limited edition decks; I will not surpass the 1000 mark on either of these decks. Both these decks have been created as a practical tool to ground and practise an ancient tradition of Mary, in her many names and aspects. The Christian Mary has a long history and hidden tradition and the Black Madonna has an even older lineage.
For a woman without a positive mother, this ‘dark’ side of the Virgin can bring freedom, the security of freedom, because she is a natural home for the rejected child.. The child born from the rejected side of the mother can bring her own rebel to rest in the outcast state of Mary. The fact is the domestic world alienates her. She is an outcast, a gypsy. There is no room for her in the inn. Saving the abandoned child within her is the woman’s own version of the Virgin and Divine Child. Her virgin is the other side of Mary, ‘the ultimate of fertility symbols.’ In loving the abandoned child within herself, a woman becomes pregnant with herself. The child her mother did not nourish, she will now nourish, not as the pure biblical Virgin who knew no Joseph, but as the dark Montserrat Virgin who presides over marriage and sex, pregnancy and childbirth. – extract from The Pregnant Virgin by Marion Woodman
International shipping has been extremely slow and erratic with Covid19 pandemic. Please read the listings carefully. The Mysteries of Mary tarot deck includes courier shipping by DHL Courier Express which has proved the most reliable although very expensive. I can combine shipping between the decks and before the Black Madonna deck is shipped, I will contact you by email with options and prices for shipping the deck set.
I invite you to join my community on Patreon where I share all aspects of my personal spiritual and creative journey.
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.
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.
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.
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.