This is a pre-order listing for the Mysteries of the Black Madonna tarot deck and guidebook. Decks are currently being printed and delivery will be during December/January.
The price includes worldwide shipping from South Africa with DHL Courier Express. (DHL express courier delivery costs between $60 and $80 depending on the country) I ship as printed matter to the USA and no custom duties are payable. However, in Europe under the new custom tax laws this is no longer allowed and the contents have to be declared.
Shipping will start in December if delivery takes place before the annual year-end break in South Africa, otherwise in January 2023
The listing includes :
- The Mysteries of Black Madonna tarot deck of 80 cards (79 tarot cards plus title card)
- A paperback guidebook of 160 pages
- A black velvet tarot pouch handmade
- A miniature 3d printed Black Madonna statue
- Shipping with DHL Courier Express and delivery within 10 days
– the listing includes the shipping costs – combined shipping is not any cheaper as DHL charges per weight
It has been a long and difficult journey to find an eco-green printing company that could deliver on the printing of this deck. The dark colours and many gold elements make printing in any method extremely difficult and expensive. After two years I have found a company that can deliver.
The cards are printed on 380 gsm with a silky soft touch matt laminate layer. Corners cut by digital laser making for conformity.
This is a unique deck based on the mystical path of the Black Madonna and it is designed to be used as a tool on the spiritual journey. It has been five years dedicated to research, pilgrimage, ritual, ceremony, and the creation of 79 shrines. This deck is a book of altars, opening the door to a deeply sensual experience of the mystery of She Who wears the Black Cloak of the Night Sky. Here you will discover little known names, long forgotten rituals, and a fragrance once known. My vision is that this book of sacred altars will become a flowering and fragrant offering on many altars dedicated to Her, and that you will experience her direct gaze of wholeness.
It is also obvious that the art and iconography of the shrines, sanctuaries and statues imbue a certain sensitivity which connects with that most authentic, unveiled part of oneself. It is not the merit of the art that is most evocative to the pilgrim, but rather the pure devotion and worship of the believers who created the iconography and iconosphere of the shrines, which evoke a deep sense of being ‘at one’ with the sacred in the beholder.
When you enter the iconosphere or sacral space of the sanctuary, you enter into a profound ritual relationship which changes you. Your visual interaction with the sacred icon transforms you from tourist into pilgrim; your visit becomes a ritual pilgrimage and you enter into a sacred relationship with those who have worshiped here before you and you become a devotee, even if it is only for the duration of your visit. You are alchemically transformed from a passive visitor, who came to see the shrine, into an active participant in something far greater than ordinary life and its struggles.
Shrines and sanctuaries in their representation of the miraculous event, apparition or sacred story that took place there, are an intrinsic part of the ritual and relationship with the sacred. The statues and other iconic works of art that are created to embody the apparition or miracle of the sacred being, are believed to be and has proved to be full of power. Copies of these icons and shrines are also believed to carry some of the same power as they represent the sacred event and physical embodiment through the iconography. The small souvenirs which include holy medals, ex-votos and especially the smaller replicas of the holy icon, are also an important part of the sacred relationship and serves an important ritual function in the personal devotion to the Mysteries.
Part of the power and worship of an icon and shrine of a holy being, is the aspect of distance, or being removed from us who are behind the veil. We see this in the ritual coverings that are put over the statue; at times there are curtains that are only opened during Mass. During festivals of worship, the statue is brought out into the streets and into among the people and everyone feels blessed and it is an important part of worship to touch the statue. Often it is part of the ritual to knock on the door of the sanctuary or to sing to the deity to be allowed into the sanctuary or chapel. This perceived distance in time and space adds to the power of the icon. Seldom are really powerful icons found in the middle of a bustling city; they are usually tucked away in distant places and they require from one to undertake a physical and psychic journey. Different shrines have different attributes and you will visit the one that you are most in need of.
The smaller reproductions that we take home and use on our daily altar and for daily rites do not diminish its power.
With this understanding in mind, I created the Mysteries of Mary tarot deck and now the Mysteries of the Black Madonna deck.
The fact that the Black Madonna exists in the Catholic church is an amazing mystery and mystical occurrence. Her existence and appearance defy interpretation and I believe it is only through direct connection and experience with her, that we realize her message and meaning.
Many of the Black Madonna statues and shrines can be traced back to pre Christian mother goddess figures and virgin goddesses and have become even more than conventional Marian figures, associated with healing miracles, pilgrimages and even magical powers. Probably for this reason they are often kept hidden away in museums or less prominent areas of churches. In many cases they have been removed from churches altogether or they have been ‘renovated’ into a white Mary.
Many of the Black Madonna icons are truly ancient statues. Often Catholic churches and cathedrals were built on top of former goddess shrines and in the case of at least some Black Madonnas, for example at Chartres Cathedral near Paris the original statues now worshipped as Black Madonnas may in fact have been originally pagan goddesses who were renamed to transfer worship of the Earth Mother to the Virgin Mary.
The cult of Isis was the dominant religion of the Mediterranean during late Roman times. Many Isis statues cradling her infant son Horus on her lap passed straight into Christianity as churches were created over the temples.
As late as 550 CE, Isis still had a temple in Soissons, just north of Paris.
The Goddess Cybele, with her frame drum and dark skin and Artemis/ Black Diana of Ephesus, were still worshipped in France and the Mediterranean coast from Antibes to Barcelona during the later centuries of the Roman Empire. Cybele was during the 3rd century the supreme goddess of the town of Lyon. Marseilles was devoted to Artemis.
During the Middle Ages, the Crusaders returned from the Middle East, bringing goddess statues and new teachings and philosophies such as the mystical Knights Templar, many of whom who were persecuted and killed by the church. The Knights Templar promoted the cult of the Black Madonna and her association with Mary Magdalene and we see evidence of this in Spain.
Mary Magdalene was the alter ego of the Mary virgin birth. The Merovingians identified the Black Madonna as Mary Magdalene. Through the bloodline of Mary Magdalene, the Merovingians claimed to be the rightful Kings of France, with descent from Christ’s son by Mary Magdalene, the infant depicted in her arms in the Black Madonna statues. Some legends say she married Christ at the wedding at Cana where he turned water into wine.
I am printing only small batches at a time and the deck, like the Mysteries of Mary will never exceed 1000 decks in total. In that way I can keep the sacred energy of this powerful work of art intact. Each deck is blessed in a special ceremony before they are packaged and sent to you. Each part of the set is hand made by myself or at least found and discovered by myself as part of the process of birthing a sacred altar. I create my decks as part of my own spiritual journey and my devotive practise. This deck is a work of art, dedicated to the Holy Black Mother in all aspects, manifestations and our own philosophies, culture, traditions and understanding. As with the Mysteries of Mary, the guidebook is not only a tarot guide, but also a definitive guidebook to the mystical path of the Black Madonna (with in-depth historic, political and religious research over the past 20 years).
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with a community of Marian lovers. Membership of the Temple of Mary as an initiated Flamekeeper is offered on the tiers of Order of the Dove on Patreon.