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Day 2 Walking with Mary 2020

Welcome to Day 2 of the thirty day online retreat
Walking with Mary as well as the
Nine Day Art Novena to Lady of Lourdes
This morning we step into our sacred space once again.
Over time you may become aware of how the energy
‘builds up’ and gather in your space.
The more often we repeat the same prayer and mantra, the more
powerful it becomes.
Yesterday we started with a mantra to invoke a blessing and sacrament from Mary on our sacred work
Should you want to, you can repeat this invocation daily.

Today, place your deck of cards on your altar for consecration.  
We will draw a card for the week.
If you own a set of Amulets of Mary, then place these onto your altar as well.

My deck of cards placed on altar

Today I also added my journal and will start writing down any insights
that flow to me.

Then repeat the  mantra of invocation to bless your deck of cards.

Mantra for blessing and sanctification of altar and cards

Ave Maria Sanctum Gloriae
Ave Maria Sanctum Gloriae
Ave Maria Sanctum Gloriae

Repeat the full mantra 3 or 6 times.  You can keep count with your rosary
or prayer beads. Then place your hands on your shawl and move to the rosary
and all items on your altar.  Place your hands on the container with water.  If you choose
to drink the water afterwards, keep a small amount for the next day.  You can
daily add to the water and by the end of the thirty days you will have water
with powerful healing properties. 

You can add this healing (holy) water to your bath or food or drink it.

As always we start with a prayer to Mary

Daily Prayer

In the Mysteries of the Mother
all the opposites are joined
Hail Mary
Ave Maria

When you have said the prayer with intent and focus, pick up your rosary
 and repeat the daily mantra.
Please complete the rosary at least twice and a 108 bead mala at least once.
As you become more comfortable, or if you are already a seasoned meditator,
then repeat this mantra up to 6 times around the rosary.
For a mantra we use the rosary in the same way as we do a mala or prayer beads :
you move the beads one by one through your fingers,
repeating the line of the mantra on each bead.

The Mantra

Om Jai Mata Mary Ma

Sit quietly for a few minutes, just allowing yourself absorb the energy you have invoked.
Enjoy it …… feel the presence of the Sacred embracing you, flowing all around you.
We rejoice in our physical nature, appreciating this time to pause and remember the holy
purpose of our lives.  We feel gratitude for those travelling with us on this path of love
and freedom.  Feel a smile forming on your face.  You are happy to be here in this
peaceful inner place.  Let there be peace.  Gently refocus on the outer world and carry this peace
with you into the world.

Now pick up your deck of cards and choose one card. Place the card on your altar and leave
it there for the remainder of the week.  Do not interpret the card as you normally would,
but let her speak to you.  You may want to keep your journal or a piece of paper at hand
and make a few notes every morning.
Every morning when you sit down for your communion with Mary, gaze on the card
for a second and when you have completed your mantra, write down any 
thoughts, feelings, sensations, without judgement and analysis.
At the end of the seven days you will have a deeper understanding of not only the
card, but of Mary and of yourself.

Close your communion with repeating the prayer again.

As you feel your heart filled with peace and gratitude to the blessings received from
Mary, the Rose of the World, you can scatter some of your fresh flower petals, or sprinkle some
of your blessed water, over her image.

thank you
thank you
thank you

And so it is.

I invite you to participate in the Nine Day Art Novena
of Our Lady of Lourdes.  For nine consecutive years,
and for these nine days of the year I have created a piece
of art dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes.
You can read about this sacred practise and my previous
sharings on my blog Cloister of the Heart.
The second day of the Art Novena to Our Lady of Lourdes.
For these nine days of devotion and inspiration, I chose
to focus on the fairy tale aspect of this miraculous event
in our world.  One may be taken aback at first glance :
how is it possible to diminish the incredible power and
miracle of the apparitions of the Lady of Lourdes
to that of a mere fairy tale?  But I am proposing that
fairy tales are not mere childhood fantasies and bedtime stories.
They are a powerful collection of mythic and archetypal tales
as well as a secret and esoteric guide book for the wisdom
and understanding of a divine feminine path.
Aerial view of candles in procession at any night of the week
at the Lourdes sanctuary – these are people from all religious and spiritual
paths, drawn here by Mary
Fairy tales have certain characteristics in common which distinguish
them from other stories.
– Fairy tales take place in an enchanted world where
natural laws do not apply.  In this world animals can speak
and invisible beings of light become visible to the pure of heart.
– The heroine of the fairy tale understands that the miraculous
and supernatural is a natural part of our world.
– A fairy tale always starts in the ordinary world and the
main characters always return to the ordinary world, with new
gifts and understanding.
– Fairy tales always take place somewhere in nature, be it a valley,
a cave, or a field outside a village or city
– In many fairy tales the protagonist or heroine is set certain
challenges which she has to overcome in order to reach some goal
– in fairy tales both the helpers, guides and antagonists
are women :  we see mainly the young girl as the protagonist and
helpers and antagonists in the guise of old women, queens,
stepmothers, grandmothers, wise old women and witches.
– and in fairy tales good magic always triumphs over the bad. 

St Bernadette, Handmaiden of Roses
Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck

Over the next six days we will explore how the story of
a young girl, Bernadette Soubirous, from the small village
outside Lourdes, fits into the frame work of the fairy tale.
And what does this mean for us?

Fairy tales can be regarded as mythical religious stories
with the focus and emphasis on the divine feminine
as a balancing contrast to the patriarchal Roman and Greek
myths which we have come to know.  In other words,
a thealogy (female deity) in contrast to an exclusive
theology (male deity).

The Handless Maiden whose hands miraculously grew back
when she reached into the well to save her child
IX Roses in Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck

“We are now, I believe, on the threshold of a third stage which I call the stage of the sacred marriage. This is the only position we could possibly take and still survive. This is a stage beyond both matriarchy and patriarchy. It involves the restoration to human respect of all of the rejected powers of the feminine. But it is absolutely essential that this restoration should be accomplished in the deep spirit of the sacred feminine. Not only should we invoke the sacred feminine, restore the sacred feminine, but this union between the matriarchal and the patriarchal, the sacred marriage, must be accomplished in the spirit of the sacred feminine for it to be real, effective, rich, and fecund. It must occur in her spirit of unconditional love, in her spirit of tolerance, forgiveness, all-embracing and all-harmonizing balance, and not, in any sense, involve a swing in the other direction.”

― Andrew Harvey, The Return of the Mother

Amulets of Mary Lady of Lourdes
The French Madonna @

Novena for Day Two :

I open myself to the spirit of the sacred feminine as embodied
and demonstrated by Blessed Mary and Bernadette Soubirous and the temenos
of Lourdes.  I invoke the sacred feminine
presence to cultivate the inner garden for the hieros gamos, 
the sacred marriage within myself and my world 
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