Sunday, December 4, 2011

Twelve Days of Mary

Mary outside my bedroom

Today I invite you to take a walk through my garden of Mary.

Mary watching over my tomatoes
Thanks to the vision that Rebecca had three years ago, 
we can now participate in twelve days of honouring and
 devoting to Mary in all Her many Robes and Ways of Being. 
 I quote Rebecca's comment here :  three years ago i was struck
 with the idea of walking towards december honoring mary every
 new day until arriving at her feast day. it was a sacred journey,
 so much so that the next year i welcomed any and all to join me
. each day grew with intensity and love. i found that i woke thinking mary,
 filled my intention all through the day with mary
 and she found me in my dreams. the stories and images
 that we all shared astounded everyone. and now...the path has begun
 again and the love only grows! 

As we each share our understanding and experience of Mary 
with one another and with others, the Love in ourselves
 and in our relationship with ourselves, 
with the world and all her creatures, grows.

I was raised in a Reformed Calvinistic Protestant religion 
and my roots in both language (Afrikaans) and culture, 
are surrounded by austerity and severity.  
There is a deep-seated mistrust of Roman Catholicism and especially 
Mary in my culture of birth.  Children are taught 
from a young age that the devotion to Mary is 'paganism' 
and not Christian. I no longer follow any organised religion. 
 Thomas Moore so beautifully describes religion as a part of
 the Soul which is expressed in unique and individual ways 
of being in love with the Divine and the Divine being in 
Love with us - a mystery so profound that no words can ever capture it.

It has become such an important part of my story to inspire
 others to open their hearts and their minds to see that we are all the same, 
regardless of culture, language, creed or religion. 
And that Mary, our eternal Mother, carries us
 through sorrow, change, birth and death and that
 She is indeed everywhere - we just have to 
open our eyes to see, our ears to hear and our hearts to feel.

At first I used to only have my Mary statues in my bedroom, 
away from the eyes of others.  Some of my young daughter's friends 
were forbidden by their parents to come to our house (this is a mere three years ago).
 But as they came to understand the deeper meaning of Mary's presence in our lives, 
acceptance dawned.

Statues are few and far between here and I bring many back from my travels.
  So I started to create art that focuses on Mary, 
to fill that need to have her image everywhere.

But when I returned from my pilgrimage to Lourdes, 
I felt inspired and guided to create my Mary garden in all earnest. 
 I added this beautiful statue to my Mary garden.  
My art studio and my rooms where 
I have small satsang (those who come together to share spiritual truth) open on to Her.

I have seen that where Her image appears, Her energy remains.  Where we say Her prayers, She plants some of Her infinite energy.  So I surround myself and my home and my family with Mary's presence.

For these very reasons I created Mary's Blessing Seeds :

Take my hand and join us in Twelve Days of Mary. 
 The link to Rebecca's hosting site is here in my sidebar.



  1. i cannot begin to tell you how your post has touched me so deeply. i am of the thomas moore variety...seeking divine and holy everywhere, in everyone and each moment. i want to walk this life opening doors to the house of belonging. i am so moved by mary. just seeing her floods my heart. i imagine that her divine love is so all encompassing because it includes everyone. so quite simply i place my attention on that wholeness, that entire offering of support and compassion where no one is forgotten or lost,

    thank you for this walk in your mary garden..and especially for opening your heart and singing out so true!!!

  2. Hetienne,
    I loved taking this journey with you today and having the opportunity to see all of your wonderful images and statues of Mary. I was also glad to know about your own life and culture. I was not aware of the deep restrictions placed on South Africans regarding Mary and Catholicism. What deep courage you have had to transform your life and move toward a deeper spirituality that includes her in every way. thank you for sharing it with us.
    Peace, Light and Love,

  3. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and beliefs with us, your readers. I have many similar views on organized religion., yet I don't impose my thoughts or will on anyone else. We all must have whet we need. I love your collection of the image of Mary around your home and garden. I see she wears many crowns. They are all very beautiful. Reminds me of my sisters yard. (Her yard will be featured in one of the upcoming "Days" at my place).


  4. Thank you so much for the walk through your wonderful garden and for sharing your heart.

  5. What a beautiful tour of your garden. I am glad Mary can be outside now for you. I also need to have Her image everywhere. It seems so for many.

  6. gorgeous!! i looked at these 3 times! i share many of your thoughts...good morning, hettienne

  7. Absolutely wonderful, magical, mystical post ~ I agree with you on so much ~ so enjoyed your garden tour ~ I have one statue in my yard of Our Lady and it is very special to me ~ I also have a Buddha in another section ~ along with St Francis ~ My spirituality is spilling over every where ` Latest is african drumming ~ ~ thanks, namaste, Carol (A Creative Harbor)

  8. I've decided after viewing your sensational post that I need a lot more Marys in my yard. Your garden is truly inspiring.

  9. So very moving-bringing tears to my eyes at your connection, your devotion. True, it is not paganism no more than loving and remembering your mother is. You have done what I have dreamed of doing to my yard and my garden. And, your images and writings so personal and profound. I find a renewal of hope and strength through them.

  10. I am here with you. Walking hand in hand following Mary. Your first and final photo is stunning....her halo of stars seem to glow with sacred illumination.

  11. have outdone even yourself...this was so perfectly written...and it feels so true and right. Especially this line. "So I started to create art that focuses on Mary, to fill that need to have her image everywhere."
    And that crystal halo! Incredible.

  12. Thanks so much for sharing your Mary garden with us all. I love how you change her hair decorations and I will start doing that tomorrow. I have lots of extra silk poinsettias from decorating this house today. Your story about having an affinity for Mary, in spite of being raised in restrictive religion (my parents were raised Dutch Reformed), was unique, too, and I am glad your friends have come around. I just love your blessing seeds, too. I'll check out your Etsy site as well.

  13. You are blessed with a beautiful garden and so loveinly filled with images of Our Lady.
    Thank you for sharing your garden with us.
    Have a great day.
    Always, Queenie


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