Monday, November 16, 2015

The Grotto of Massabielle in a miniature diorama

A sacred shrine in a diorama depicting the
amazing experience of being in the powerful
and healing energies of the sacred spring
at the Grotto of Massabielle in Lourdes, France.

All the elements of the procession and devotion
to the Holy Woman, Our Lady of Lourdes,
whom appeared to Bernadette Soubirous
on many occasions, are used in this beautiful shrine.

I included one of the candles that I used during
my last pilgrimage to Lourdes during the candle lit procession

The background of the shrine is the front of the candle shield

The shrine has a replica of the image of the holy card
in tiny miniatures including Bernadette and her sheep

The shrine is dripping with Our Lady of Lourdes medals
brought back after having been dipped into the sacred
waters of the spring.
A very unusual piece of rosary with tiny images
of Our Lady and the Rose of Lourdes on each bead,
hangs down the one side.

On the back of the shrine is the Hail Mary
from the candle shield

I took this image from the internet at
It was taken from the top of the Basilica and it gives you an idea
of what the candle lit procession looks like.

This shrine forms part of my Our Lady of Lourdes Series
Catalogue number 385
The Grotto of Massabielle, Lourdes

Please read about my Art Novena to Our Lady of Lourdes

And it is flying to the USA with
a bottle of water from the sacred spring
of Massabielle

My prayers are with the world, with the cities of Paris and Beirut,
with each one of us and may we find the compassion to forgive
these painful acts of violence and destruction and take the
first step towards ending the vicious cycle of hate and retaliation.
Love is the strongest and most powerful force in the world.
May Love Prevail


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Review of Dr Matthew Fox's Autobiography 'Confessions'

In a poem that I wrote that accompanies the book
I describe the bear as 'popping marshmallows all
day and all night dipping honey'.  That is to say, this
bear knows how to enjoy life (mysticism);  on the other
hand, he is also 'getting ready to stick out his chin'
for justice's sake (prophecy). - Confessions

The revised edition of Confessions, the autobiography
of Dr Matthew Fox, was released yesterday.
I had earlier received a digital copy of the book
and even before I had read the book, I had offered
to participate in the blogtour of reviews and this book
does not disappoint my expectations.

I have read four of Matthew Fox's previous books
and each one had resonated with my heart and mind
in a profound way.  They have inspired me into action
and compassion and Confessions follow suit.

Matthew Fox writes with an inimitable wit and
often tongue in cheek and it is almost as though I can
hear the smile in his words.
Even when the subject matter is quite serious and downright
horrible and painful.
That does not mean that he does not take his subject matter
seriously, on the contrary!
Dr Matthew Fox, as an author, has that wonderful
sense of humility and presence of one
who truly knows.

And this book is about spirituality and not
theology.  It is about the courage and
commitment it takes to truly follow your
Heart and your Guidance and of the many
sacrifices that may be expected of you.
Although it is an autobiography, anyone
who is serious about his or her own spiritual journey,
will find great nourishment in the reading
of this book.

Dr Matthew Fox's works are alchemical in nature.
His vision and his words marry religion with spirituality;
spirit with body, mind with heart.  He is courageous
to break with the status quo on ALL levels
and he dissolves divisive structures and systems.

In 'Confessions'  Matthew Fox shares himself
and of himself with his readers and the world.

Although the book is a historical overview
of Dr Fox's work, he also shares the inspiration,
vision, understanding, passion and dreams
which led to his actions and creations.

He shares himself as the mystic, as the visionary,
as the prophet and as the artist. would think that compassion
would be a rather operative category in Christian
spirituality.  But it was not and has not been.
Instead, contemplation - a word that never crossed Jesus' lips,
for it is not Jewish - and perfection - a word mistranslated from
Matthew's version of the Sermon on the Mount but truly
defined by Luke as compassion - have dominated Western
spiritual theology. 
Compassion means justice, says Ekhart. 
But it also means celebration.

There are many obvious words that jumps to mind
as you read Confessions.  A
courageous man with great inner strength;
clarity of purpose and commitment to that
purpose, but above and beyond all those,
what stood out for me,
from the first word of the introduction, is
the absolute clarity and honesty and compassion
with which this book is written.

As I read the book, there
is a second reading happening, of the story behind
the story, so to speak.  As I read the typed words
and their narrative, I am aware of the stream of 
consciousness, a river of conviction and knowing,
a river of compassion flowing from his heart to mine.

In a poem that I wrote that accompanies the book
I describe the bear as 'popping marshmallows all
day and all night dipping honey'.  That is to say, this
bear knows how to enjoy life (mysticism);  on the other
hand, he is also 'getting ready to stick out his chin'
for justice's sake (prophecy). - Confessions

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

a pink Christmas

Inspired by my beautiful pink roses in
my Mary garden,
I have been creating everything pink 
these days and now we will be
having a pink Christmas!!

I just love these vintage pictures of guardian
angels and these inspired me to make
these very pretty pink shrines

This one has a gorgeous hand embroidered
post card of the Guardian Angel in the background
The little girl is walking across an angel wing with
the Queen of Angels watching over her!

This little one is walking into a hedge of roses!

Queen of the Heart of the Rose

The treasure at the heart of the rose
Is your own heart's treasure,
Scatter it as the rose does:
Your pain becomes hers to measure.

Mary is the hidden force and secret of Christianity,
and until her force - the force of the Divine Mother -
is revealed and uncovered in the Christian story,
its whole truth cannot be present.


Thursday, July 23, 2015

XII The Magdalene

In celebration of the Feast Day of Mary Magdalene, I shared the
card from the Mysteries of Mary tarot deck,
Card XII The Magdalen, the Changemaker here :

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Maria in the history of the Motherland, Africa

Collage by Young Ju
Mother Africa

....African monarchs are defined as children of the Sun (Ra) or the Moon (Ma or Maia) or the union of the two (Mara or Maria). They worshipped the Goddess of Heaven and Earth, also known as Nomukhubulwane, Kore or Mohale.

'African female leaders were not only political and military leaders, but also priestesses who acted as intermediaries between the nation and the Queen of Heaven and Earth called Mohale,
Nwalinkulunkulu or Nomukubulwane.  The successive Mudjadji Rain Queens were regarded as the incarnation of this goddess.  The 'temporary' replacement of a female Monarch with a male regent is a serious disruption of the relationship between the Balobedu Kingdom and its spiritual and cultural roots.  Thus the restoration of female leadership in Bolobedu is critical for the spiritual and cultural wellbeing of Balobedu and related communities who recognize the Rain Queen as their spiritual and cultural leader.'
These are the words of Prof. Mathole Motshekga, Director and Founder of Kara Heritage Institute, contained in a paper read on the Restoration and Advancement of Cultural and Traditional Governance in democratic South Africa.  The complete paper is available at and various books by Prof Motshekga on African spirituality, religion, philosophy and history.
Prof Motshekga explains that the African society was a matriarchal society based on gender equality, but that through the destruction of the African past, identity, culture and religion, the spiritual philosophy and cosmology of the African people has been lost.
The following extracts are from the papers written and presented by Prof Motshekga.
'Indigenous African leaders were divine monarchs (Fura or Faro)...This land of the people is also known as the land of the Sun (Kara/Langa) perceived as the King (Fura or Faro) or God (Ntura).
....African monarchs are defined as children of the Sun (Ra) or the Moon (Ma or Maia) or the union of the two (Mara or Maria).  They worshipped the Goddess of Heaven and Earth, also known as Nomukhubulwane, Kore or Mohale.  The children of this Goddess bear the dynastic title of child (mwana/umtwana) and its variants.
For instance :
Mwana in Mwanamutapa (Zimbabwe)
Mani in Manikara (Sudan)
Mene in Meneptah (Egypt)
These monarchs also worship the Sun God Kara (Greek Krios) or Hara (Greek Horus).'
'The Queen Mother and the Monarch are reflections of the Queen of Heaven (Mara or Maria) and the Son Hara (Greek Horus) symbolised by the falcon God known as Shiri ya Mwari (or Bird of Mohale), popularly known as the Bird of Zimbabwe.  The Goddess Mwari, Mohale or Mwalinkulunkulu is worshipped by the African peoples as a whole.  This Goddess was worshipped at Maphungubwe and other spiritual centres in Southern Africa.'

African culture and religion has at its centre axis the Divine Light.  It also follows the Khemetic maxim (later known as the Hermetic maxim) of As Above, So Below. 'Everything came out of the One that we call God and the Mother thereof is the moon (Ma) and the father thereof is the Sun (Ra) or the union (Ma + ra = Mara) of the two. This Khemetic or Hermetic doctrine is the basis of African Culture and religion. More specifically, this doctrine is based on the Solar Trinity as follows :

The Sun (Ra) is the physical manifestation of the Divine Light (Kara) that we call God. Like the Mind (Atum) of God Ptah, the Sun (Ra) is a male/female principle that split into the mother (Mara) principle. The Mara principle is also a female/male principle made out of both Ma (the mother) and Ra (the Father).  The mother (Ma + Ra = Mara) is represented by the planet Venus (Nehanda).

The mother (Mara) principle gave birth to the Divine Light (Kara) which is represented by the planet Mercury (Kara). Thus the Solar trinity consists of The Sun (the father principle), the planet Venus (the mother principle) and the planet Mercury (Child principle).

The fatherhood and motherhood of the Sun symbolised by the Solar disc or five pointed star mounted on a lunar crescent is called

Ma + ra = Mara

Maia + ra = Maria

The relationship of the Queen of Heaven and Earth (Mara/Muhale) and her son, the word of the Divine Light or Mind/Intellect of the First Cause (Ptah) is symbolised by a baboon carrying a solar disc, mounted on a Lunar Crescent, on its head. This baboon is squatting on a Cube (Kaba) representing the earth (Tamara/Kumara).
The names Tamara and Kumara consist of:

Ta meaning land

Kumara/Tamara meaning the Queen of Heaven and Earth

The Virgin of Montserrat
Thus the earth (Tamara/Kumara) means the earthly mother or land of the Queen of Heaven and Earth. The exposition of the Solar trinity fore grounded the centrality of the mother principle. The spiritual mother (Mara/maria) is known as the Queen of Heaven and Earth. The name Mara/Maria has the following variants:

• Mari (Karanga/Rozwi)
• Mwari (Karanga/Shona)
• Mwarinkurunkuru (Karanga/Shona)
• Mwali (Rozwi/Lozwi)
• Mwalinkulunkulu (Nguni)
• Muali (Lozwi/Khelobedu)
• Muhali (Lozwi/Khelobedu/Venda)
• Mohale (South Sotho)
• Mogale (North Sotho)
• Nwari (Tsonga)
• Nwali (Venda)
• Meri (Ancient Ethiopia and Egypt)
• Meru (Burundi/Rwanda)
• Meroe (Ancient Ethiopia)

The Egyptian and Ehtiopian Coptic churches applied the name Mari/Meri to Mary the mother of Yeshua (Greek Jesus) the Nazarene. Those are the various names by which southern African people call the Queen of Heaven and Earth.
The Queen of Heaven and Earth was worshipped at Great Zimbabwe, Matopo hills, Maphungubwe, Lwandali (now Tshiendeulu), Makonde, Maulwe and various other places in Southern Africa.
The Queen of Heaven and Earth (Muhale or Nwali) is the mother of the Mind or Word of the First Cause (Ptah) known as Mbekira, Mberaka or Mbire. 
Goddess Mawu by Lisa Iris
African pilgrims went to these religious heritage sites to worship Mwari (or Muhale), the Queen of Heaven and Earth who was worshipped as Kore, Mari or Sabanyadatja. Thus devotees of African Religion were also called Sabians. Uptill this day devotees of African religion, indegeneous African Christian Churches and politicians still pay homage to Mwari of Matomboni who appears in the form of an eagle (Raluvhimba/Ralebepe) or a star at Masisi, Mberengwa in Southern Zimbabwe and Makonde in the Vhembe district. The symbols of this Goddess are the python (Domba/Demba) biting its tail and a baboon (Soko Mbire) that moves from Luonde to Mashau and Nahakwe at Ha Mamaila Kolobetona.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Thirty days of Mary

Shrine of Blessed Mary in my garden
photograph by Hettienne Grobler

Since the pagan times, the month of May always 
had a special significance for the divine feminine
and goddess.  
In the North it is spring, so the Romans and Greeks
 dedicated this month to Flora
and Artemis.  

In the Southern Hemisphere it is Autumn and we
prepare for the transition of the winter months to
deeper travels into the inner worlds.

Crowning ritual of Blessed Mary at the Temple of Mary shrine
in my garden by Hettienne Grobler

Traditionally the month of May celebrates
the crowning of Mary.

The Temple of Mary and her Flamekeepers
will celebrate the crowning of Mary in a ceremony
of devotion and celebration.

I will be sharing the date of this ceremony here 
and you may join in wherever you are
by creating an altar dedicated to the
Blessed Mother. 
 So take the time, create
an altar and weave a crown of flowers for your Mary statue. 
 Remember that your devotion and attention
invoke the holy Presence into the physical image and you can
 place water, oil and food on
your altar to be blessed by her presence.

 I will also share the
prayers and rosaries that we will use on that day.

Divine Sophia, Wisdom by Hettienne Grobler

We will also be devoting the entire Month of May
to Blessed Mother Mary and her gifts of
peace, healing and enlightenment.

The thirty days of devotion will include a daily
session of surya yoga, (sun gazing), saying Rosaries
specifically for certain days of the week and
for certain decrees, as well as time spent in 
meditation and healing circles.

 So take the time, create
an altar and weave a crown of flowers for your Mary statue. 
 Remember that your devotion and attention
invoke the holy Presence into the physical image and you can place water, oil and food on
your altar to be blessed by her presence.

I invite you to practise the 30-day dedication and devotion to Mary
during the month of Mary.  
This is a very ancient tradition and you will receive
the blessings if you do so.
Each day will be dedicated to an aspect of Divine Mary
and if you sign up for this practise, you will
receive daily mails with the details of the spiritual practise,
the focus of the dedication,
daily meditations, focus of the day
and the rosary for the day.

If you want to participate, send me an email and I will
send you the instructions. 
My email address is

blessings to you

Friday, April 17, 2015

Lady Abundantia

III The Creatrix

I am the One behind the Veil.  From me pours forth abundance and creativity. 
I am the sensual, nurturing and supportive Divine Mother within and without.
I am of the Earth and am Her Beauty, Truth and Wisdom.
When you allow my golden graces to flow to you without fear, then your bowl will never be
empty and time will no longer exist.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

“The light of truth 
burns without a flicker
 in the depths of a house 
that is shaken with storms of passion and fear.” 

― Thomas Merton (Maria Lodewicus)

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Feast Day of the Annunciation to the Blessed Mary

All art by Her Grace by Devata

Today is the blessed feast day of the Annunciation.

The archangel Gabriel appeared to Mary
and delivered to her the
famous news that has become immortalized in the
Christmas liturgy :

Fear not, Mary, for thou has found favour with God.
And behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, 
and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus.
He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest:
and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father
David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever;
and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

The Beloved Rose by Hettienne

and her response :

Behold the handmaid of the Lord;
be it unto my according to thy word.

The realisation that belongs to Mary is that of abida -
absolute servitude.  Absolute servitude is not a
'relation';  it is far higher than than;  it is an
unveiling and a state in itself.  It corresponds,
in fact, to the supreme descent of the Most High who
takes the colours of His support in order become
manifest, and this essential descent is the supreme
secret of love.  -  Charles-Andre Gilis

And thus Self, clothed in the radiance of Blessed Mary,
calls on us to enter on our personal journey as
Handmaid to the Divine Bride and Bridegroom within;
through absolute servitude to the Beloved Self the gates
to the Garden will open.

Love is the Divine Mother's arms, and when those arms
are outstretched, every soul falls into them.
                          -  Challas

Behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
-  the Magnificat

Blessed Mary is appearing to many in  these times and her message
is so much bigger than the limited patriarchal and religious view of
her.   Andrew Harvey says that 'the extraordinary story of the
elevation of Mary to the stature of Divine Mother shows the
immense need of people to have the feminine principle at the
heart of their religions'.  


Saturday, March 14, 2015

Mary as Cosmic Soul, Divine Feminine, Goddess and the Self

Our Lady of Fatima, the Dancing Sun - 9 of Swords
Tarot Deck of the Mysteries of Mary

The entire ancient world, from Asia Minor to the Nile
and from Greece to the Indus Valley, abounds in figurines
of the naked female form, in various attitudes of the 
all-supporting, all-including Goddess ......

and so it came to pass that, in the end and to our day,
Mary, Queen of Martyrs, became the sole inheritor
of all the names and forms, sorrows, joys and
consolations, of the Goddess-Mother
in the Western world;  

Seat of Wisdom Vessel of Honour, Mystical Rose,
House of Gold, Gate of Heaven, Morning Star,
Refuge of Sinners, Queen of Angels,
Queen of Peace

                      - Joseph Campbell

Friday, March 13, 2015

Rosa Mystica

Rosa Mystica - 3 of Swords
Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck

The true city of the Immaculate is in your hearts
                         - Saint Maximilian Kolbe (1894 - 1941)

Sacred altar shrines of the Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Feast Day of Our Lady of Lourdes

Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes

A blessed feast day of Our Lady of Lourdes to you.

For the past nine days we had been walking a novena
together, sharing our thoughts, prayers, art and messages from
Blessed Mary with you.

Early this morning I created a special altar for Our Lady of Lourdes.
I lit the candles and Ave Maria candle shades
 that I brought back from my pilgrimage
to one of the most sacred sites in the world. 
I sprinkled the healing waters that
She gave to us in the springs of Lourdes,
 and I waited on Her voice.

'My Beloved children
You can make a difference.  
You have heard this often and most probably
just block it out as it usually means more pressure to perform,
and more demands to be met. 
 Bu,t my dear beloveds, you can make a difference
by truly being who you are.  
You are the divine spark of God and without you,
specifically you, there can be no living breathing world which is the
Beloved of God.  
This calls for Courage and Faith, both of which
are available in your own inner wellspring.  
You have everything that you need
to access your deepest and greatest power.  
You are a power house
of genius and potential and this does
not always look like it sounds.
All you have to do is open the tap through
intent and willingness.

The challenge is to find the courage to turn within.
To look in your deepest heart and to hear the voice that
is calling on you and asking you to actively engage in life
and to participate in bringing to birth the compassion
and empathy from which all humans are created. 
The challenge is to find the inner strength to stand up
for what you believe in, despite the logic and reasoning 
and rationale of others; despite statistics and scientific evidence
that tries to persuade you to believe differently.

Your heart is your inner compass and it is always focused
on True North.  You and I are the only Ones who know what your
heart truly says and calls for.  When you actively participate in 
your own life and your own healing, it is like a flag
being tethered to a flag post.  Without commitment and without
discipline and boundaries there can be no unfurling of the flag.
Often you fear taking responsibility and often you fear being
held accountable.  It is so much easier to fly freely in daydreams
and ideology of a better world that will come to pass.
However, the mirror of Divine Sophia only reflects back to you that which
is within yourself.
Heal the wasteland of your heart and the world out there will heal. 

You may be looking around you and see the dire plight
of other living beings.  
You may be looking in the mirror and see someone who
is caught up in suffering and fear.  
And you may be feeling powerless and
haunted by past memories of feeling and being
deeply disempowered.
But all of that can change.  
If you build your house on Faith, 
your own faith on the implicit divinity and
goodness of the Creator,
 by any name that you may choose to call Him and Her,
then you will be led to the door of the Sacred Heart 
which houses your own heart.
There is no boundary between you and the Divine 
nor between you and the Beloved other
than the boundaries created by your own mind.

You are the Beloved for whom this world has been created 
and you have the power
to make a difference.
The smallest act of loving yourself; 
 the smallest act of being kind to yourself;
the smallest act of reaching out to another in pain or distress or hunger;
these all have the power to change the image that the world is reflecting to you.

As you let the Light of your own heart shine on yourself
and on others and on the Earth, you become
the Gift that Life has gifted to this world.

Ave Maria

When I went back into the house I found a small
robin bird inside my bedroom which opens on to
the Mary garden in which set the altar
to Our Lady of Lourdes

This is what Animalspeak by Ted Andrews says about the
appearance of the Robin Redbreast :

The Robin Redbreast 

The robin redbreast is a bird of Spring, a time of new growth and new beginnings. It flies into our lives on the winds of change asking us to weed our personal gardens and plant new seeds for our future. Rebirth and renewal require changes in all areas of life that have become stagnant and outdated. The robin redbreast teaches us to how to make these changes with joy in our hearts. Its song is a happy one reminding us to let go of our personal drama and learn to laugh with life. If this medicine is underdeveloped those with this totem are continually challenged by the prospects of change. Difficulties arise and emotional discord can surface. Learning how to release our attachments to the old is one of the life lessons the redbreast helps us master. 

This bird packs a powerful punch. It holds strong significance in ancient myth and lore. One legend had its origins in European mythology, in which the bird of Spring was associated with the New Year and represented divine sacrifice and the rebirth of the spirit. 

In Medieval Europe the robin redbreast was often depicted attending the Christ child, an emblem of the Passion to come. It was told how, at that fateful hour, it was the tiny robin who flew to Jesus' Crown of Thorns, striving valiantly to pluck the spines away with his beak. Unfortunately the bird succeeded only in tearing his own breast on the thorns. Ever since then it was thought that all robins wore red feathers on their bosoms as a badge of honor. The robin redbreast is a bird of divine service. Those with this totem often have past life ties to the Christ energy. They make excellent priests and missionaries. 

The red coloring of the robins chest is linked to the kundalini in man. This life force lives coiled up within the base of the spine. When sufficient spiritual growth has been attained it uncoils, rising up the spine to create heightened awareness. This process enhances psychic vision which leads us into enlightenment. Those with this medicine are dedicated spiritual seekers. Growth can be slow and arduous. With patience, compassion and proper focus spiritual ideals are achieved. 

Robins lay powder blue eggs. This is the color associated with the throat chakra in man. It is also linked to heavenly inspiration. Because the throat chakra's main function is to express the will of God and the egg is symbolic of new life, this helpful little totem teaches us how to assert the creative will of God in all we do. It leads us into new beginnings without fear by restoring faith within our hearts.

Myself and Mary Beben thank you for travelling these nine days with us and
invite you to share on your own blog, should you feel called to do so, and to link back here.

Hettienne and Mary