Thursday, August 8, 2019

Brigid/Brigit/Bride - Goddess of the Hearth and Forge

The year after I found Mary's Well in Glastonbury, I attended the International Goddess Conference in Glastonbury - the first of many to follow. That year the focus was on Bridie or Brigid and her swan. If you have been following the story, you will know that Hestea/Vesta led me to St Brigit and Michael's Tower in Glastonbury.

I stayed in the same bed n breakfast and this time I shared the space with two nuns devoted to St Brigit. From them I learnt that Brigit is also known as Brede or Mary of the Gael! You may remember my mention of the one book that made such an incredible impact on my life. I read 'In this House of Brede' by Rumer Godden when I was fourteen - I still own that copy. I have given many books away since, but never that one. I could not explain to you why the book was so important, other than that I always felt that there was a story behind the words that only I could 'see'.

When those nuns told me that Brede was St Brigit, the key fitted the door and the following year I travelled to Kildare, Ireland to the sanctuary of St Brigit, Mary of the Gael.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Reading with the Amulets of Mary oracle

Reading with cards, charms, tea leaves or any object
is an intuitive inner journey that takes practise.
It is a skill to hone your subtle senses and also a skill
to trust your intuition and your inner voices and prompts.

Life is a journey filled with markers and pointers for us.
Each life has a theme and certain archetypes and we can
create within those limits and parameters.  To become
really in touch with your subtle senses, demand a certain
amount of humility and your own personal shadow work
It is so easy to pretend to ourselves that 'all is as it should be'
and to shift all responsibility onto a Higher Power.
The truth is that we have been dealt a hand of cards, 
black and white and red and we are accountable
and responsible for getting to know both the positive
and negative of our own personal hand.

This is where amulets, charms and tarot becomes so valuable.
When you combine it with Jungian shadow work, you can uncover
your own projections and hidden perceptions - you can take 
the power back from unruly emotions and the pain
of dysfunctional personal relationships.

Skull of Mary Magdalene in procession at Sainte Maximin -la-Ste-Baume
France during feast day celebrations

The Amulets of Mary comes with a booklet describing the fundamental
tenets of Benedicaria, The Blessing Way, an ancient Southern Italian spiritual
path.  According to those who have made a study and practice of Benedicaria
it is the most pure form of Catholicism.  It restores many practices
which have been classified as 'occult' to its rightful place in a spirtiual
path that integrates both ancient traditions, folklore and modern
consciousness enlightenment work.

I suggest that you keep a book in which to record your readings
and also your own interpretation of the charms and their positions
on the charts.  With time you can create your own casting sheet as
you develop your own understanding of what it is that you
want to ascertain from these readings.

When you have followed the guidelines for creating your
own altar and you have asked the question, you can
take a handful of amulets from the pouch and drop
them onto the casting sheet.
The sheet has been divided into four quadrants.
These represent the four suits of the Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck
or any tarot deck.  I have allocated the four sections of mind,
body, soul and spirit and the attributes
are handwritten onto the casting sheet.
You can add your own with a sharpie onto the linen cloth.
  You can allocate the four seasons, the four elements
of earth, air, water and fire. On the new sheets I have added
Past, Present, Future and Unknown.  You can do the same.

I have also added a YES and NO section

The section of the sheet that applies, depend on your question.  If
you asked a simple yes or no question, then look to see where the
charm fell. If you randomly picked some charms and you choose the
yes and no sections, then it is important to see which charms fell
on the yes and which fell on the no - then read their meanings, look
at their meanings and story in the tarot guide book and add your
own intuitive meaning to it all.  Sometimes one needs to allow
all the information to settle down into the unconscious and reveal
its deeper meaning to you over time.
Sometimes the answers are just so obvious and right there.

In the new sheets I have added key words to the four sections.

For instance, in Body you can add
earth, embodiment, physical, manifestation

When you want to see a bigger picture than Yes or No, you can
cast the charms over the entire sheet.  This will then show you
which areas of your life is affected and what your inner guidance
is trying to draw your attention to.

Sample reading :

Chalice fell in Mind (Suit of Distaff)
Star landed on Heart (Suit of Vessels)
Mermaid landed on Body (Suit of Roses)

The Chalice
The Chalice is seen as a sacred and holy object in ancient Grail legends, Arthurian myth, Mary Magdalen myth and in a Christian hymn Mary is called the Chalice.  The Chalice is also regarded as the holy grail and there are many theories :  some believe   that it is a physical cup in which Jesus’ blood was collected after the crucifixion by Mary Magdalene;  others believe that the the Holy Grail is a women or the strength of a woman.  In the Mary Mysteries, she is the Chalice and the Holy Grail.  She is the strength and compassion that floods our soul;  she is the Waters of Consciousness that flow everlasting from the Chalice.
Tarot Card :  Queen of Vessels : Mary Magdalene anointing the feet of Jesus
Meaning :  sacred vehicle;  when you get the chalice in a reading it indicates the vehicle in which your blessing will appear;  it also points to the direction in which you have to go;  it shows in which area of your life you have to pay attention to your dreams.

Add your own connotations and meanings to the chalice and even the
stories and legends in which it appear.  Chalice fell on
the Mind section.  Mind is thinking, thoughts, ideas, conscious mind,
rational mind, logic, neural pathways

This placement could mean that you have to pay more attention
to your ideas  and thoughts:  they will take you to the Chalice and Holy Grail of
your search.  The Queen of Vessels card
is of the suit of the Heart and waters.  I interpret this as telling
you that your mind should be in service of your heart.
When you become aware of the way that your mind reacts
to the prompts of your heart and its inner whisper,
you will become aware of an important message.
 Let's see how the other charms relate to the reading.

The tale of Esther (Star) is an allegory of a feminine majesty who once stood as equal to her spouse the king and was the instrument through which her own blood relatives and all of  the nation were saved. This echoes the place of Sophia who was present to God at the creation itself and helped it all come into being through her assent to the plan. This story of Esther may be a “fossil” that remains in the Bible and allows us to see how Israel first regarded the feminine, before the patriarchal powers purged the nation of all forms of the ancient Goddess known as the Shekina, partner to the masculine manifestation of God. “Esther” is another form of the Babylonian goddess Ishtar, (Star) who was also called “Queen of Heaven” as was the Egyptian Mother Goddess, Isis and as Mary is yet called today. “Esther” is another form of the Babylonian goddess Ishtar, (Star) who was also called “Queen of Heaven” as was the Egyptian Mother Goddess, Isis and as Mary is yet called today.
Tarot Card : Stella Maris and 2 of Holy Rood

Star landed in Heart and seen in the light of the placement and meaning
of Chalice, this makes it pretty clear that this querent is not
giving her heart and desires, equal status.  The emotions and the heart
is a feminine quality and often neglected or suppressed.
This is a reality of our modern culture and religion :  the feminine
is suppressed to benefit the masculine properties of 
achievement, logic, rational thinking, goal setting and so on.
To listen to our inner guidance, we need to make time to play,
to meditate, contemplate, spend time alone and more.

Mermaids are regarded as mythical creatures.  They appear in many folk and fairytales.  In the story of Ariel, the mermaid, many parallels can be seen in her story and that of the goddess and specifically the story of Mary Magdalen.  The mermaid is also symbolic of a woman’s ‘watery’ nature and her intense emotional body.  Through the ages the emotional and feeling nature of women has been demonised and women have been institutionalised for ‘hysterics’.  Her spiritual nature has been suppressed in many ways and many have made sure that women have lost their ability to have both a mermaid tale and a pair of legs to walk on land when needed.
Tarot Card :  9 of Vessels – Our Lady of Regla
Meaning :  you need to find a strong sense of balance within yourself;  get to know your own nature and you will be able to master the world around you;  pay attention to your feelings;  unknown waters;  value your own feeling nature;  feelings speak of your intuition;  inner wisdom;  

And Mermaid in Body sums it all up.  

p.s. This was a real reading for someone and these are extracts
from the booklet and additional information sheets. 


Sacred Altars

Our Lady Untier of Knots
IX Roses

An Ancient Sacred Tradition
I follow an ancient sacred tradition that used to belong to the Great Mother and her devotees.  This tradition was incorporated into religion by the nuns and convents. I call it Sacred Altars and it is my offering on the Altar of Life. Thirteen years ago I changed my focus from being a spiritual healer to becoming a pilgrim to sacred places on the Earth and especially to where the Divine has
manifested through the veil to reach us and where Mary have appeared to others.

My Sacred Altars has various levels to the work.  I return from my pilgrimages with waters from the holy springs and rivers; oil and salts sanctified by the Presence of the energies at these sacred places.
And I bring back my own direct experiences and my own transformation.  These are some of the elements of altars and shrines which I make in devotion to the Great One appearing as the Divine Feminine Mary.

These altars and shrines have great healing ability and this has been proved through the transformation of those who meditate with them.

The wearable shrines and altars are to be worn as an altar. Each piece is unique and individual and an original creation carrying some part of the sacred site and the divine Presence.
These items carry great spiritual and healing power and many healings and even miracles have been attributed to them. Through these altered assemblages and altars,
I set out to demonstrate my vision that every loving and joyful act of living
is a sacred altar to the Divine. We are forged and fired in the crucible of the heart
and art gives life and meaning to our stories.

As a visionary artist, I attempt to show how the sensible, material realms and the imaginal realms work together to show forth the glory of the Divine hidden in the ordinariness of everyday living.
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.
The child within me is still fascinated with miniatures and their reflection of the vastness and eternity of life and living. As an artist I regard myself as an artisan and midwife of the Divine becoming, moving between two worlds and hoping to reveal that the inner life is a sacred life and the outer ordinary life is filled with messages and confirmations of the Great Story of Divine Love within each and every human being. I focus on images and stories of The Western Christian traditions and Mysteries.
'Art to me is a Grace, a healing and transformation. It brings transformation to the artist and to all those who behold the expression through the artwork'.

blessings on your journey

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Walking with Mary 30 days

Walk with Mary for thirty days

When you pray to Mary, mother of Jesus, you pray, without knowing it,
to the World Mother in her many forms. -  The Mists of Avalon

You are invited to join me and the Temple of Mary in a 30 day practice with the metaphor, Sacred Presence and iconography of Blessed Mary.  
We will start on Friday 11 January 2019 on my birthday and continue till Monday 11 February, the feast day of Our Lady of Lourdes.

Sunday 3 February 2019 is the start of the Art Novena to Our Lady of Lourdes whose feast day we celebrate on Monday 11 February and it will be included in these thirty days.

You can participate wherever you are and you can spend as much time as you can afford to on the daily practise.  The month of Walking with Mary will include special prayers, contemplation, spiritual exercises and tools to uncover your own Sacred Heart and strengthen your relationship with 
the Blessed Mother Mary.

This is a free event and open to everyone
Over the next few days I will share here a few items that you have to collect and prepare beforehand.
If you own the Mysteries of Mary tarot deck and/or the  Amulets of Mary Healing Oracle,
you can bring them to this event.  

We will consecrate our decks and we will set up a special Walking with Mary altar.  

Go to my blog The Temple of Mary and subscribe on the right hand side under the tab 'subscribe by email' and you will receive weekly blog posts setting out the teachings of Mary and her many roles;  I will share sacred healing practises with you and you will receive instructions on how to do the Silent Heart meditation and how to receive the Sacred Heart diksha which you will practise on a daily basis.

You will experience the flowering of peace and joy and you will see the changes in your personal life unfold as you walk these thirty days with Mary.

The outline of these thirty days are :

Week 1 Friday 11 January to Thursday 17 January 2019

Mary as Virgin, Prophetess and Temple Priestess

Week 2 Friday 18 January to Thursday 24 January

The Sacred Heart of Mary 
and the archetype of Mary as Bride in the Sacred Marriage

Week 3 Friday 25 January to Thursday 31 January

Mary as Sophia, Our Lady of Wisdom, Shekinah

Week 4 Friday 1 February to Monday 11 February

Mary the Immaculate Conception 
Our lady of Lourdes

The Temple of Mary at


Sunday, December 2, 2018

Twelve days with Mary Day 1 2018

Our Lady’s day in harvest time

The blue mantle hangs useless from the peg
Dust and darkness dim the window
Stale air presses heavy on the land
Summertime - and yet we are cold

No passion in the empty house
No laughter in the shabby garden
No rapture in the frigid heart

Long gone she who used to wear the sky - 
Bright Brigid, sweet Astarte, gentle Net;
Long gone, too, bewitching teenage peasant
Who bore the world anew

Worthless the mantle and brown her garden
For whom the whole world once sang
‘Dei Mater Alma’

The generous belly, the breast soft and watm
The merry eye, the tender hand - all long, long gone

Where gone Madonna and how long?
Alive? Well, in what galaxy?
And we orphans, chilled and alone
Among the rotten roses

The wind shifts
the mantle lifts
white fingers on blue cloth
flashing brown eyes in the sudden sunlight
a smile explodes against the gloom
Laetare Alleluja!!

                  Andrew M Greeley

I amso happy to be here for another
Twelve Days of Mary Love
and to share my devotion to the
Blessed Woman in all her aspects with you

Visit Recuerda mi Corazon for more sharings


Sunday, February 11, 2018

Day Nine of Art Novena to Our Lady of Lourdes

Photograph taken by myself during procession at Lourdes

Visionary or apparitional culture is no static force, a cultural 'given' that people can join as members.
It is dynamic, responding to contemporary political, social and religious realities
and shaping those realities, and is also shaped
by the individuals who identify themselves as Marian devotees
and visionaries.
Visionary culture is a confluence of Catholic devotions, symbols,
and traditions of innovative responses to modern
contexts of negotiations among social, religious and interpersonal
forces of the interactions of apparitions believers
and apparition doubters and of the loving
and guiding influence of Our Lady, who for believers is imminently present.
Visionary culture is a worldview, a palette of practices, an understanding
of the cosmos, a palette on which individuals paint
the stories of their lives.
              Extract from Out Lady of Emmitsburg by Jill Krebs

Photographs taken by myself during procession at Lourdes

'I realized that all the powers of the Mothers, of Tara, Durga, Kali are in Mary.
She has Tara's sublime tenderness;
Durga's inaccessible silent calm force;
the grandeur and terribilta of Kali.
But Mary is also a woman,
a poor woman
and a human mother.

In her the full path of the sacred feminine is lived.
In her we have a complete image of the Divine Mother,
an image at once transcendent and immanent,
other-worldly and this-wordly,
at once mystical and political and practical.

In Mary the Divine Mother comes to earth and lives on earth
and lives, the passionate, strong, serious,
simple and transforming life that shows us all how to live.
 Mary is the bridge between heaven and earth,
between the human and the divine worlds,
between human and divine justice."
Andrew Harvey in The Return of the Mother

Mary statue in my garden in Durbanville South Africa

A blessed feast day of Our Lady of Lourdes to you

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Day Eight of Art Novena of Our Lady of Lourdes

Small bottles filled with water from the spring at Lourdes

'At the grotto I fell in line with the other pilgrims, waiting my turn to touch the walls of the cave and its dripping water.  The atmosphere was light and joyful, although many stood and kneeled deep in prayer.  As I approached the statue of Our Lady where She appeared to St Bernadette, I could feel an
intensification of the energy, a slight vibration and a humming sound.  The closer I came, the louder the sound became.  The sound was over and above the sound of the rushing waters.
As I put my hand out to touch the dripping water and I raised my eyes, 
a column of light was visible to me,
shimmering and dancing.
My first impression was that it is a giant candle, but then my logical mind
realised that this is not possible.
The only way I can describe it is 'a flame of living organic light' :
Her Divine Presence made manifest in this world,
visible to my eyes.

And overwhelming and immense feelings which I am at a loss to name.
A feeling of such incredible fullness and completeness which has stayed with me ever since.

A hundred thousand harps take you
like wings and sweep you up out of silence.
And your primitive wind is blowing
the fragrance of your marvelous power
to every being and to every creature in need.
- Rainer Maria Rilke

This is an extract of my very first blog post about my first visit to Lourdes.

Shrine of the Mary and Michael leylines that meet
at the White and Red Springs in Glastonbury

Water has always been the sacred energy of the feminine.

When one follows the leylines in the earth, the Mary line
curves and spirals around wells and you will find
cathedral and churches built on the power points of the Michael
lines (as they are known in the UK)
The feminine has always been worshipped at wells
and it is quite noticeable what an important role the well
plays in Judeo-Christianity and its stories and they
usually involve a woman..

From the very first days, miraculous cures have been granted at Lourdes to many who drank or bathed in the spring that Bernadette discovered at the Lady’s prompting. The Catholic Church is extremely slow and meticulous about acknowledging the validity of a cure and so most of the cures claimed there are never officially recognized. Even so, there are dozens of totally recognized cures that have happened at Lourdes that have been documented by the Church and the medical profession. The first healings happened almost immediately in 1858 and continue until the present day. 

This healing is brought to us on many, many levels.

A picture taken by myself of the Grotto and the spring
and the pyramid of candles

Water has the power to drown us or to quench our thirst.
We know Mary as the loving nurturing mother and also
as the Mater Dolorosa, the grieving mourning mother,
dressed in black, mourning the loss of her son.

In Lourdes you will see hundreds of pilgrims carrying large
containers of water from the sacred spring home every day.
We bring tiny bottles of the healing waters home with us.
Mary is called a Vessel of Spirit, a Vessel of Honour and here in
Lourdes she is the Vessel of the Sacred Waters.

Mary as Alchemical Vessel

In alchemy the vessel is the container in which the
various ingredients are mixed and transformed by each other.
It was believed that the alchemists were looking for
a way to turn lead into gold, but this is a metaphorical
journey of transforming darkness into light.  Or of
finding joy and peace amidst sorrow and hardship as we live
in a world of radical opposites and many challenges.

Mary is the vessel for the divine incarnated in herself as 
the Immaculate Conception and in
giving birth to her Son
and then as all of us.  

water containers at Lourdes

She is also the spiritual vessel in which
opposites combine.  As we are tested and challenged, like Bernadette,
we have the choice to obey the instructions of the voice of the Lady
that no-one else sees or to listen to the incredulous villagers and
Cure.  As we follow the calling of our heart, we are led to dig where
no-one else thought to look and we will uncover a spring that will
feed and nourish thousands.