Sunday, February 4, 2018

Day Two of Art Novena of Lourdes

Welcome to day two 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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