Thursday, January 29, 2015

Art Novena to Our Lady of Lourdes 2/3 February 2015

Art Novena to Our Lady of Lourdes

Nine days of illuminating writing and art.
A novena is a prayer repeated for nine consecutive days.
 This is the second Art Novena
to Our Lady of Lourdes that I am hosting on Cloister of the Heart.
 In this context we are focusing and contemplating
through art, words, poetry and prose on the story of the Lady of Lourdes
and its meaning for us as a society and our life
here on Earth. And very importantly for the emerging changes in ourselves
and the way that we are experiencing and approaching life.

This year the Art Novena is a joint venture between myself
and Mary Beben of  Biodynamic Spirituality

We invite you to visit for the nine days and to join in
in any way that you would like - through sharing these thoughts
with others or in your own contemplation or maybe you
would like to put something up on your own blog.
I will add Mr Linky.

Hettienne and Mary

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Recovery of the Unique Inner Child

Icon Holy Wisdom by BR Lentz
The above icon is of Holy Wisdom as a young boy.

Luke 18 :  But Jesus called the children to him and said "Let the little
children come to me and do not hinder them, for the Kingdom of
God belong to such as these'

Have you noticed that many of the qualities
recommended by religion and spiritual and self-help gurus,
as well as creatives and artists,
 are those that we see embodied
by small, naturally happy, children?  Words such as innocence, wonder,
joy, curiosity, spontaneity, creativity, forgiveness, acceptance,
openness, honesty, sharing, the belief in miracles.
Have you witnessed the absolute ease with which a small child
lets go of feelings of injustice or betrayal?

Have you also noticed that many miraculous apparitions and
here I am thinking of the manifestations of Mother Mary,
appear only to children?  There are sometimes adults present, but
they do not see what the children see nor understand that a transparent
universe and reality is even possible.

The journey that we call the 'spiritual journey' or the
journey of awakening is the journey back to the
authentic true self.  It is the journey to the original
whole child that you were at birth. And this you is a unique
and original being with the divine spark brightly shining
in your heart.

Natural Mother
 Soulcollage(R) card made by Hettienne Grobler

The sense of wonder, innocence, freedom and joy,
were mostly lost as we were raised in a society and a culture
that does not really understand  and probably does not value 
the emotional nature of the child.  
Yet, our religions teach that the child is precious
and closest to the Creator.

Have you noticed the similarity between myths, religious
stories and FAIRY TALES?  Yes, fairy tales.
The stories of wonderment and recovery and miraculous
manifestation :  the stories of the Fairy Godmother
and the Blue Fairy?

Recovery of the inner child is a journey of pulling
the layers of suppression and adaptation back and releasing
the whole, innocent self back to life.
Children have been raised in a system of pedagogy in which
the child is systematically being taught to become someone else.
This is a system in which the parent has all the power and the 
child none.  The child does not have the power to question the
reasoning (because I say so!);  the child does not have the
power to have his or her emotional needs and often
physical needs met and the child and all of society,
has been conditioned into Thou Shalt not be Aware. (This
is a very apt title of one of Alice Miller's books - a proponent
of the belief that the healing of the inner self or soul lies
in the remembered pain of childhood.

In many instances, cruelty and subtle violence (I am not even speaking
about physical abuse) is applied to instill fear and
obedience into the young child.  Ignorant parents are not conscious
that they automatically pass on the injustices that were perpetrated
on them, onto their children.

As one releases oneself and set yourself free from the conditioning or training
received during childhood, your natural self with its inner vision, its empathy for all living
creatures and its inner knowledge is restored.
It is also the journey of releasing yourself and setting yourself
free from believing all that you were told about yourself.
It is a process of tearing the old pages out of a book and
allowing the child to fill those pages with his or her own images.
And thus you step into the mystical and magical world of soul,
alive within each and everyone of us.

Shrine of the lost child within by Hettienne

A child is seen as someone who, in the very least,
has to be  moulded to the hand of the parent, that is,
to the parent's will.  This obviously is based on the belief
that the child is at its deepest level sinful, or that it does not have
a deep and direct knowing of the love of the Creator.
The child, absolutely dependent
on the parent or caregiver, has no choice but to surrender
and hand over all control to the one who wields the power.
Even more painful is, in order for the child to survive,
he or she has to deny the neglect or abuse and never
hold the parents guilty of inflicting pain, intended or not.
In this way, one learns from a very young age, to abandon
and betray yourself and your soul.

To stay away from spiritual or religious or even mystical
terminology, one can regard the 'soul' as the deeply
sensitive, poetic, creative and emotional child-like self.
Soul is where you truly feel the injustices of being in this world
and soul is also where you can heal and become whole again.
Once you have seen the light of the truth of your own childhood
you can start the journey of finding your true self.

Alice Miller in her book Banished Knowledge writes :
On the basis of the pedagogy that was practised on us,
the exerting of unlimited power by the adult over the
child is still taken for granted.  Most people know nothing else.
It is only from a child who was never injured that we can learn
that entirely new, honest, and truly humane behaviour.  
Here I would like to add that this is demonstrated by the
power of witnessing or parenting your own inner child.*

Deep within that child's mind and inner eye,
is the image of the face that you knew before you were born
After years of conditioning and being told who and
what the divine face is and how it actually looks,
you have forgotten what you once knew.

You have also forgotten who you truly are.
And this may be seen as a mystical statement,
or it may not.
Religion, the authority of the spiritual leader
and mysticism are all big players in the power game.
It creates a hierarchy of social status and power.
Throw in even a smattering of knowledge of psychology
and you have a power house for influence and control over others.

The journey of awakening to the true self, is a journey home.
But home is not some far off distant heaven or land.
Home is where you live in your heart or soul.
Home is where you re-discover the face of God :
the face that you knew before you were born.

Namaste, Hettienne

*In her book Banished Knowledge, Alice Miller explains the Stettbacher
therapy which she herself for recovery and awakening.  It contains four steps :
(1) describing the situation and one's sensations;  (2) experiencing and 
expressing emotions;  (3) querying the situation;  and (4) articulating needs.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Welcome to the Grow your Blog party!

2 Bags Full

Welcome to Cloister of the Heart and thank you
for visiting my home in blogland.

I write to you from Cape Town in South Africa
where we are in the middle of a very hot summer.

When I joined the world of blogging five years ago
I was surprised to find a world of support, encouragement,
friendship and a connection with kindred spirits.
Women through the ages have always gathered and formed
circles of community.  A place to honour the life cycles,
the changes that we witness and go through,
a place to lament, a place to celebrate,
a community of witnesses and participants.
And now we do it online.
Here I have found sisters of the brush, of the pen,
and sisters of the soul.
And what a powerful community it is.

Through the support of my blogging circles
I started to share my ideas and creations.
I could share my thoughts on creativity, spirituality
and other things of the heart and I always found
acceptance and delight somewhere.

Maybe you would like to join in?

Here I share with you my love of many things.
My art is an eclectic mix of 'everything and
many things' - I think it is called assemblage.

Art is a vehicle of expression for all of us
and I attempt to catch hold of a beautiful
bubble of what I see and experience in
the world, and translate it into art, which I regard as the
language of the soul.
Images speak for themselves.  You do not
someone to interpret for you.

I enjoy using Soulcollage to make the unconscious

I collect dolls and it is an on-going fascination 
to create a story house for each one in the form of a
shadow box.  Most of them I collect on my travels
and then the box becomes a keepsake of my adventures.

Bride of Arles that I brought back from my trip to the South of France

I have a shop on Etsy and create jewellery and other
small items

And as you have no doubt by now realised, I am devoted
to the Feminine Divine and in particular Blessed Mary.
This devotion is not bound to any religion or creed, but
it is an inner journey of making the unconscious conscious
and making sense of the other realms and the impact of
Divine Love in our lives and the world.

Here you will find paper dolls :

shrines of all shapes and sizes

I also host the annual Art Novena for Our Lady of Lourdes

and I enjoy featuring other artists' and bloggers'
work here

Then there is my love of gardening,
my paintings

and of course my pilgrimages to sacred
sites around the world.

If you find something here that speak to your heart
and makes you smile, then please kick off your shoes,
sit back and walk with me 
through the Cloister of the Heart.

blessings on your journey


Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Rose Woman who walked the Rough Road

The Rose Woman who walked the Rough Road
Soulcollage card made by Hettienne using magazine images

Dear Brave Souls; about taking care of the Child Spirit within.

To Grow Roses

This heritage rose plant
left to me
by the old missus
next door
when she moved away.

Now it is
transplanted down the road
and had been neglected
by those who fancied
its beauty
but did not know 
nor follow its ways,

cutting it back 
at wrong times,
not feeding it 
in the parts that
do not show,

leaving it naked
to sunburn,
erratic rainfall
was enough.

I bring the medicine bag.
It is filled with nutrients
to feed the bones
with meals 
at root level.

I am not a rose
but I study what is wise.

I measure how much and when
and under what conditions 
to nourish,
to water

I cover with soft blanket 
of plum leaves
this precious rose plant
to pat her to sleep, 
to regenerate underground
through the cold
and through the heat seasons
of her life

I ask the old men
and the old women
who have grown roses
for thousands of years
how and why and when;
I ask for their help.

I look slow, act slow,
Hard Life Rose Woman
not asking her
to be anything
but what she is;
not disappointed
in blooms,
saying no to taking
more on
to try to force her
to whatever
someone else
thinks wow.

gently nurturing and
praising for what she is,
green and growing.

I compare her
to no one,
no ambition for her
what 'she could have been.' 
Just love her as she is
Rose Woman
who walked the 
Rough Road.

I touch her,
show children
wandering down 
the road, how to 
touch her leaves,
like a gentle massage,
softly saying, You are Lovely,
yes you are.

I dont bring a laptop
nor a phone to
the venerable Rose.
I can see clearly
she has no use 
for digital anything
nor lists,
no need to put
as we used to say 
back to home:
ten pounds of mud
in a five pound sack.

Neither does she say
"I have to take care of me"
as though 'me' ought be
ever Capitalized to 
make a point.

She just is. 
and if you get
real close
after a rain
and if she has
her petals open
you can see 
the blue of our sky
reflected in the 
diamond droplet
on her cheek.

May you be tended thus, too,
in these ways and more, 
for what we would do for the rose 
who has lived the rough road, 
would we not also do for ourselves 
and for those we love?

This comes with love,

from Dr Clarissa Pinkola Estes' Facebook page

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Featured Artist and Blogger featured here

Featured here

One of my favourite shops on Etsy is having a magical
Christmas giveaway!

A miniature painter's box!!

Is it not adorable!!  I would love to own
this beauty.  Can you imagine the time
that went into creating all those details?

The giveaway ends 25 January 2015 -
so you still have time.

Visit her at her Etsy shop
or at her blog here :
and leave a comment
and maybe you will be the lucky one!!

Here is another one of her exquisite miniatures

Good luck to you and me :D

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Art Novena to Our Lady of Lourdes

Divine Mother the Rose
SoulCollage (R) Card by Hettienne

“She is the Queen of spiritual flowers; 
and therefore, is called the Rose,
 for the rose is called of all flowers the most beautiful.
 But, moreover, she is the Mystical or Hidden Rose,
 for mystical means hidden.”

- Cardinal Newman 1808-1890

A blessed 2015 to you. 
May your North Star shine brightly
on every step of your way!

A reminder of the novena for
Our Lady of Lourdes
that will be running from
Monday 2 February to Wednesday 11 February 2015.
I will put up Mr Linky and you are welcome
to join in even if it is only for one day.

So the novena will be starting on
Candlemas AND Bridgid's Feast Day!!!

AND .....

And this year it is going to be a very special
Art Novena. 
Mary Beben of the website
Biodynamic Spirituality
and the author of the book
The Pleidian House of Initiation
and myself
are doing a joint Novena!!
So you are promised a feast for Our Lady.