Wednesday, December 14, 2011

On Sharings of the Heart

From 1 to 12 December I journeyed A Virgin a Day with Rebecca of Recuerda mi Corazon and many others in her circle.

What a joy, grace and blessing this was.  Each day I sensed a deeper sense of joy and gratitude bubbling within.

I visited incredible websites, learnt many new things, made wonderful new friends and never did I use the word 'beautiful' so often.  As Lisa of PritiLisa said, it called for a Thesaurus to find some more ways of expressing our wonder and joy.

The power of sharing our deepest held feelings, values, traditions and truths.  The depth of devotion, to the Divine, each in our own particular and personal way, shared in a space of respect and honour and witnessing. For twelve days a circle of Light was held and the talking stick shared equally.

I am still making my rounds to each and every participant in a good bye, till next time our paths meet.

And such good news, it does not have to end!  Rebecca has extended an invitation to participate in Postcards from Paradise.  Please visit her at on a Sunday and you will find myself and many others there.

Dont hide your heart but reveal it
so that mine might be revealed,
and I might accept what I am capable of


Monday, December 12, 2011

Our Lady of Guadalupe

Her shimmering halo
radiant against the dark of night

May she protect and hold the world
and re-awaken 
all dull hearts and eyes
to behold the Light

Every person is a light... love light. We are love made visible. 
Take a moment to today to shine your love light. - Tracy from

A tribute to Our Lady of Guadalupe on today, 
her Holy day and my grandmother's birthday.  
When I put her in charge of my tiny Christmas village, 
I had not yet heard of Rebecca's Twelve Days of Mary, 
nor did I know that today is Our Lady of Guadalupe's Holy Day. 
 From here on she will always guard my Christmas village 
and carry my prayers to the Light of the world.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Day Eleven of Mary

Your heart always next to mine

I have a light in my heart
Your name on my lips
A river that flows
To the city of Light

My feet has found the path
marching to the rythm of my heart
It is true
The words that She whispered in my ears long ago
It is true
Beyond a doubt
Love does exist
In the city of Light

I have been there
I entered its gates
Love waited for me
Awakened my heart
Filled my soul
With visions of beauty
In the city of Light

A beautiful hand made Madonna from Mexico;  made entirely from cloth.
from one of the shrines dedicated to the eternal Mary in my home.

for more wonderful sharings and upliftment 
of the heart and mind, visit Twelve Days of Mary at

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Twelve Days of Mary

Words by Dr Clarissa Pinkola Estes
Art by Hettienne

So, did you think I was only demure?

I have been portrayed as only clean and sweet,
nice and neat, but you know, dont you,
I've been to war and in knife-fights?
Did you blieve those who said
I have no scars?
Look in my face: my one eye clear
and my one eye blind:
one eye for seeing the world as it is,
and the other for seeing the world
as it can and will be...
by way of your mercy,
by way of your love.

See yourself
the way I see you
dear Soul.
Then, ¡Arriba!
upward and onward:

Some have said
she looks like a blob;
they have taunted,
'What is the supposed to be?!"
A log only good for the fire!
A piece of junk.

And I'd say
those who have eyes to see
see Our Lady,
battered by hail
torn at by rain,
chipped, splintered,
nonetheless she
holds her shape...

for The Mother
is unerasable;
even were one
to grind her wood
to pulp,
the sawdust of her
would still nourish
the ground
and maketh small
roofs for ladybugs,
and nest linings
for the winged.

Even were one
to burn her down,
her ashes would be taken
by some mad artist
who would draw her
a hundred times
on the walls of caves
so the not-yet-born
would one day see her,
know her, love her.

Nothing can extinguish her,
not conquests, not vandals,
not disrespect, not ignoring
her existence.

She goes on.
She continues.

Like the ocean continues.

Like the sky continues.

She continues...

in us. As long

as we remember,

she continues.

Even when

we forget,

she continues.

We too.

Same and same.

Same and same.

Even when we remember

who we belong to,

even if we forget

even if we ignore

to whom we belong...

we still belong tight

we still belong close

we still belong cheek to cheek

to the Great Woman,

and She to us.

She cannot be erased

She cannot

be brought down

nor made small

We also, the same.
The same, the same.
We who are
Tribe of the Sacred Heart,
many of us Scar Clan...
and with love enough
to hold onto her hem--
no matter which shape
she takes,
no matter what
condition we are in.

We hold to her
and she to us.
We cannot
be brought down,
we cannot be diminished,
for our shape is hers
as hers is ours: eternal.
Siempre. Always.

Our Holy Mother
gave birth
to the God of Love,
outdoors, under
imperfect conditions.
We do not merely
celebrate this Act,
but we replicate this:
We give birth
to the God of Love
every day
in our own
human ways,
in every out of the way,
unsheltered place
under all imperfect

Let us go forth.

- Dr Clarissa Pinkola Estes

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Undying Love - Day Seven of Twelve Days of Mary

This was my very first shrine that I ever made.  I made it in honour of Mother Mary and all the mothers in my love.  As my offering for the Seventh day of Twelve days of Mary I share this with you here.


I bought this vintage statue of Mary on Etsy and when I took her in my hand, 
an image and feeling arose, which I then did my best to re-create in this shrine. 
The image was that of the Divine Mother, weaving us through the aeons
 and us weaving life in return. It was a dance of giving and receiving; 
receiving and giving; all held together by love, 
whilst honouring the suffering of this world at the same time.

So I dedicated this shrine to Divine Mother, the Weaver of All.

I understand the intent of life to be loving purpose. 
This we are shown through the lives of the holy ones, the saints, 
and especially through the life story of Jesus and that of Mary. 
The intent of life is to manifest Love through our choices and decisions. 
As we live in a world of cycles, change and death, 
we often become burdened by the thoughts that joy, 
ecstasy and love is only fleeting. But by saying 'yes' to 
the givens in life, to the gifts and blessings of life, 
we can let go of our attachment to making it last 
and allow the inevitable change to transform us. 
As we weave our daily lives with the thread of Grace, 
we become part of the tapestry of the Mystery : that which 
shines with Love beyond reason, beyond logic and beyond mind.

In this shrine she stands on a piece of woven cloth and she holds threads,
 combined with gold and teardrop crystals, between her two hands - 
a garland of the web of life. To her left is a porcelain wing and 
behind her is a crown embellished with real freshwater pearls.
 In honouring Her as weaver, we are also honouring all those 
who weave and sew the stories. For them I have added a 
miniature set of knitting needles and some knitting, 
a tiny ball of wool, a sewn babe's cap; miniature skeins 
of tapestry wool, a dressing maker's mannequin, 
tape measures (one vintage made of cloth), 
and a tiny sewing machine. On the right is a 
bucket with copper wire and roses twisted around : 
reminiscent of the Passion of the Christ.
 In the bucket is a tiny tag that says 'Faith'.

On the left hand side, behind the tapestry wool, 
is a tiny safety pin, beaded with beads in the traditional African way. 
The shrine is decorated with pieces of vintage doily, trim and teardrop crystal beads.

As I worked on this shrine, I was filled with memories 
of my grandmothers; women who passed all their 
wisdom and creativity on to me. As I sat with my 
maternal grandmother and watched her sew, 
she told me about her life of suffering and the
 courage it took to re-create a life for herself. 
My paternal grandmother told me her story 
whilst knitting booties for the next grandchild. 
Both their lives spanned the war and my paternal 
grandfather died on the battlefield. In their memory
 and in holding their suffering, I collaged the frame 
with postcards and letters and ticket stubs from the war, 
as well as from some of my grandmother's sewing patterns.

Grace is Undying Love.

Rebecca of Recuerda mi Corazon is hosting Twelve Days of Mary. 
 Please click on the button below and join us.

Twelve Days of Mary

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Day Six of Twelve Days of Mary

From the Litany of Loreto :

Spiritual vessel, pray for us
Vessel of honour, pray for us
Singular vessel of devotion, pray for us
Mystical rose, pray for us
Tower of David, pray for us
Tower of Ivory, pray for us
House of Gold, pray for us

The Loreto shrine, the traditional house of Mary, the dwelling of the feminine aspect of God. At sunset it is bathed in gold and so it is often referred to as the golden house. 

Gold is a symbol of grace and spiritual virginity. 
 Gilding of images of gods and saints in India was
 meant to show their spiritual perfection and how 
they hearken from a world beyond ego. 
 Halos are gold auras betokening the divine light 
that emanates from saints who are incarnations of the divine life.

A custom was to bronze the shoes in which a baby first walked.
 Mary is the house of the ego that has been gilded because
 she walked the path from ego to Self. She represents 
the completed process of the ego/Self axis. By the invocation, 
House of Gold, we commit ourselves to enter
 the mansion of spiritual individuation. 
 What happened to her, happens to us : we make
 a series of choices and surrenders that move us 
from cellar to attic and then down to earth 
and out into the world with treasures to share.

In the fire of creation, gold does not vanish: the fire brightens. 
 Each creature God made must live in its own true nature;
 how could I resist my nature, 
that lives for oneness with God? - Mechtild of Magdeburg

Mary, we enter the house of your golden radiance
We find in you the virtues 
that make our world a house of gold
We share with you the house of earth 
and join you in making it a palace of light
We offer the sunrise and the sunset to you
Help us in our beginnings and our endings
May we make the world a house of 
golden love. (extract from prayer by David Richo)

Golden blessings!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Twelve Days of Mary

Visions of Mary in the South of France

This beautiful statue is in the Mary Magdalene Basilica in St Maxime de la St Baume in France.

The Lourdes chapel in the Basilica of Mary Magdalene
St Maximum la st Baume in France

St Anne and Mary as a child

These beautiful pictures of the Lady were taken in the
 Notre Dame de Nazareth dedicated to the 
Miracle of Fatima in the small village of Rians in France.

I recently undertook the Mary Magdalene pilgrimage 
in the South of France and also attended the 
Gypsy festival of Sante Sara in Santes Maries de la Mer 
and then stayed in Lourdes and visited the grotto of 
Our Lady of Lourdes a few times a day.  
If you would like to read about this pilgrimage, 
you will find it here and here and here.  
I have not written about my stay at Lourdes yet 
as I have not been able to find the words 
that can express what I experienced there! 

Join us in Twelve Days of Mary here and you may like to 
visit my artblog's dedication to the Twelve Days of Mary here at

Thank you for visiting and commenting!

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.


Saturday, December 3, 2011

A Virgin a Day


An old legend tells that at the time of the winter solstice, 
all of those souls, who will incarnate in the coming year, 
draw close to the Earth.The Divine Mother then 
takes a single petal from the Great Rose of Life 
and places it in the heart of each of those souls who will. 
As that soul then is born and grows throughout its life 
and awakens its true self, that single petal will blossom 
in the heart of the individual, becoming a living 
Rose of Life that will bless the world.

I created this shrine as a dedication to the blessing
 of the Rose Queen and the Lady of Hearts. 
 An ode to the mystery of the angelic realms 
and the divine feminine and the resurrection 
of the feminine mysteries. On top is the 
Crown of the Immaculate and the two doors 
are covered with images of the Madonna and Christ, 
embellished with charms of the occult and esoteric, 
symbols of fortune and blessing, a key to unlock the mysteries, 
a scissors to cut the veil, 
a rose and a heart to depict the Heart of the Mysteries, 
miniature tarot cards, vintage playing cards and a crucifix, 
sprinkled with black rhinestones.

The two door knobs are each a miniature shrine in itself.
 From each one dangles a tiny red heart and inside are images of the Lady, 
decorated with stars and a rose. The doors are lined with red velvet, 
depicting the power of the Blessing and the Mystery. 
The heart opening is outlined with blue roses - symbol of the Rose Queen.

When you open the shrine, the Lady of Hearts is revealed.
 She is displayed on a handmade tarot cards, 
and each door is lined with altered tarot cards
 and a vintage Queen of Hearts, as well as miniature tarot cards. 
The left door displays the mighty Archangel Michael 
and the Angel of Judgement.

Hail Mary, full of grace,
The Lord is with thee
Blessed art thou among women
and Blessed is the fruit of thy womb
Holy Mary, Rose Queen and Lady of Hearts
Bestow your Blessing upon us
Now and Forever
Blessed Be

Join us in twelve days of Mary.  
are hosting this beautiful event!

Friday, December 2, 2011

a virgin a day, haiku my heart

It is day two of 'A virgin a day' and on 
Fridays Rebecca hosts 'Haiku my Heart'.  
What a wonderful offering.  
Today is my first time in participating in Haiku my Heart. 
 A Haiku is a Japanese form of poetry reminiscent of a Zen Koan. 
 In Japanese it has rather strict requirements
 for lines and syllables and juxtaposition.

Star of Love born
Returning beauty to my eyes
A miracle I behold

An assemblage created by myself : Hands of Compassion

To read some very proficient Haiku poets make your way to


Thursday, December 1, 2011

A Virgin a Day

From today, the first of December till Mary's Holy Day, the twelfth, I will be sharing Her with you as part of Rebecca's A Virgin a Day at Recuerda Mi Corazon. If you want to join in, the link is here on my blog and her invitation is below.

Ave Maria
Mary, Maryam, Maria, Mares
Holy Woman

So much more
Than a head bowed down
Arrow fierce and fast

Directed at the heart
No sin of error here
Cloak of power
All-embracingly blue
Heart on fire
Flowing from the sacred well
Eternally walking on the bed of coals
You seduce me into dancing in the flames

Eyes blinded
Only the heart sees
And hears
The howling winds of compassion

Screaming through my ribcage
Cracked open
Finger by finger
Pomegranate juice flowing in my veins

Persephone’s ashes
Caked with the tears of Demeter
Entangled in the hair of Medusa
I follow where you lead

The perfume of your feet
The guiding light my holy woman

Sacred Am I
Ave Maria

You can find Recuerda Mi Corazon here and here is Rebecca's beautiful invitation :

each year beginning december 1, 
i post "a virgin a day" every day until december 12,
mary's feast day.

today i am 
calling all virgins...
enchanting, traditional, contemporary, 
exotic, edgy, campy, irreverent, irresistible,
unusual, joyful, rapturous, lovely,
glorious, ordinary, astounding,
bring her on!
i hope you will join me in a pilgrimage of marys.
feel free to re-post this invitation on your blog,

and link back to
recuerda mi corazon.
as december grows busier we will
quietly greet the new day one mary at a time.
mr. linky will be here to gather all the virgin sightings.

just add your name and direct link back to your virgin 
so we can effortlessly share the divine. 


(here's the virgin a day participation button linked to this post)