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Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Mystical journey to the sacred sites of Mary Magdalene in France

The Magdalen card in Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck

A mystical journey to Mary Magdalene in the South of France

Come with us on a journey filled with mystery and
awaken the Divine Feminine within yourself

Join us on a mystical journey to the sites sacred to
Mary Magdalene in the South of France

23 to 31 May 2018

Spend a week exploring the myth and ritual
of Mary Magdalene, Mysteries of Mary tarot and
ritual in Provence, France

Shrine of Mary Magdalene in the Basilica of St Maximin st Baume on my blog Cloister of the Heart

Join us for 8 nights and 7 days in the
South of France following in the footsteps of Mary Magdalene
after the Resurrection, to the last days of her life in the grotto
at La Sainte Baume.
It will include three days at the

The focus of this pilgrimage is the Divine Feminine
and her story in the myth of Mary Magdalene
and Sara la Kali.   Time will be spent immersing
ourselves in the sacred energies as pilgrims on these
ancient paths;  a daily meditation circle and tarot work,
tarot journalling, ritual, finding your Earth gifts and
creating a mandala in the forest, visiting the reliquaries,
creating your own tarot card and collage, creating and
ceremoniously walking a Goddess labyrinth.
And did I mention three days during the feast day of
Sara la Kali and the sacred gypsy festival and pilgrimage?
And a full day of scouring French brocante and flea markets?

We will meet on 23 May 2018 in Marseilles France
and spend the night.
The following day, after a visit to the Black Madonna of
Marseilles, we will travel to the village of
Saintes Maries de la Mer
for the three day Gypsy pilgrimage to Sante Sara la Kali and festivities.
(You can read about my previous pilgrimage to
Sante Sara and the Gypsy pilgrimage on my blog here)
Then we will move to Saint Maximin de la Sainte Baume
for the remainder of the trip.

The basilica in St Maximin la St Baume where the remains
of Mary Magdalene was found and the basilica was
erected on the site

Here we will visit the Mary Magdalene shrine
and skull reliquary at
Basilica Saint Maximin la Saint Baume.
We will travel to the sanctuary and Grotte St Saint Baume of
Mary Magdalene and ceremoniously 
walk the pilgrimage to the sacred Grotto where Mary Magdalene's bones
 are kept and where she spent the last thirty years of her life.
We will drink water from the sacred spring in the Sanctuary
of Mary Magdalene.

Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck

A day workshop in tarot and specifically the Mysteries of Mary
tarot deck.  Each pilgrim will receive the deck and book
as part of the pilgrimage gift pack.

Each morning will start with a sacred circle of
focus and intent;  I will share with you how to work
with your personal numerology and the tarot.
Each pilgrim will receive a specially created tarot journal
and images for the pilgrimage.  You will have time to
journal and collage your entire pilgrimage and all work
done with the tarot.

A workshop in which you will create your own personal
tarot card compiled of insights and experiences
during the pilgrimage.

A leisure day to explore the old village and its
amazing architecture and sights, the many patisseries,
fruit stalls, street markets and coffee shops.

A day trip to the markets at Arles and Aix-en-Provence

Visits to cathedrals sacred to Virgin Mary and
Mary Magdalene in the region

We can only accommodate maximum 7 people.

A handcrafted Mysteries of Mary Tarot Rosary
for each pilgrim

Each pilgrim will receive :

* a Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck and Book

*  a Mary Magdalene tarot rosary which can be
worn to all sacred sites for blessing

*  a specially created pilgrim's tarot journal specifically
for the Mary Magdalene pilgrimage

*  sheets of images and small items for your own tarot
collage and tarot journalling - we will scavenge the village
brocantes for additional material and visit the shops at
the sacred sites for holy medals, etc.

*  a bottle of salts to be blessed and used in ritual

Final dates, details and prices will follow in due course.
If you are interested to receive more information or to be put
on the list, please send an email to hettienne@telkomsa.net
or subscribe on this blog www.hergracesacredart.com
in the top of the right hand column.

The full itinerary will be posted here

The facilitators are Hettienne Grobler, artist,
 Creator and author of the Mysteries of Mary tarot deck,
founder of Temple of Mary,
spiritual teacher and guide and pilgrim to sites
sacred to the Divine Feminine across the globe for the past
20 years and

Terry de Vries, labyrinth facilitator, creatrix and
builder of labyrinths,  pilgrim who has walked the Camino four times,
shaman and yoga teacher
and priestess in Temple of Mary

We are both intrepid travellers, artists
and holders of energetic space with many years
of experience in working with groups.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Pilgrimage to Lady of Ngome Part 1

Five years ago I visited the grotto and sanctuary of Lourdes
in the Alps of France.  My direct personal experience of the sacred Presence
of the Lady, irrevocably changed my understanding of life and set me on a new path.
I returned and felt compelled to devote all my work and actions to Her.
I created a sacred Mary Garden   Under Her guidance I founded
the Temple of Mary and She imparted the two year initiation program to me.
I felt called to create shrines in the ancient sacred altar tradition and this led
me to creating the Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck.

Since then I have made four more pilgrimages to the grotto of Lourdes.
Last year I  did not travel to Lourdes and towards the end of the year
I had more and more dreams of Our Lady of Lourdes.  I felt a deep
calling to commune with Her in Her sacred place where She manifested.
But I could not see how I would be able to visit Lourdes till much later
the following year.  Still the dreams persisted and became more sensory.

Years ago I had heard about the apparitions of Our Lady of Ngome.  
I did add it to my bucket list and then it sorted moved to the background
of life.  At the time of the dreams I started doing research on Ngome
only to discover that it is called the Lourdes of Africa! 

Ngome is an ancient sacred site where seven streams meet to form a 
spring of which the water has healing properties. Mary as Lady of Ngome
had appeared ten times to a local Benedictine nun and the image of the Lady
 of Ngome, Tabernacle of the Most High, cured many miraculously.
The apparitions were kept secret for years after the death of Sr Reinolde -
but I will share the full story in my next post.

Our Lady of Lourdes shrine at Marianhill, Durban

Once I had read up on Ngome I decided that I am being called
to visit Our Lady of Ngome and immerse myself in Her sacred waters
and energy.  Three of us decided to go on a pilgrimage to Ngome in 
the new year.  We did not have any specific dates in mind and decided
to buy the best airfare tickets available which happened to be
9 to 14 February.  Only when I made the booking for the guesthouse
near Ngome did I realise the incredible synchronicity : we had planned
to spend the Saturday in Ngome.  As it turned out it was
Saturday 11 February, the feast day of Our Lady of Lourdes!!

We took a local flight to Durban, spend the day and two nights, then drove five
hours to Ngome - a story on its own as we dodged cows, goats
and potholes.  As part of our pilgrimage we visited the Lady of Lourdes
shrines at Marianhill Monastery near Durban.  The monastery is
outside Durban in the green rolling hills of Natal.

As we climbed the steps toward the shrine we were enveloped
in the most intense fragrance of thick sweet honey.  At first we did
not really pay attention as we were in the tropical and lush
Natal gardens and we had seen many tropical flowering trees
everywhere.  After a few minutes, as the pungent fragrance
persisted, unmoving, unlike the fragrance of flowers carried
on the wind, we all came to a standstill and exclaimed
'what is that smell?'.  We all had previously been to Lourdes
and Lisieux (the shrine of St Terese) where we had experienced
the incredible honey-rose fragrance.  However, there we were
surrounded by roses and a rose garden, although we all did agree
that we had never smelled roses with such a potent fragrance!

We lit some candles and spent some time at the shrine and as we
descended the stairs, we could not resist the temptation to look for 
the source of the fragrance.  There were no flowers nearby, only
creepers and ferns and trees. We walked up and down and the
fragrance did not move, nor become any fainter.

We realised that we were once again immersed in the
honeyed fragrance of Our Lady of Lourdes.

This is a very real phenomenon found at places where the Lady
has either appeared or where She is revered.  It also appears
during healing sessions with the healing energy and Presence
of Our Lady or during times of deep meditation and bliss.

with love and blessings

Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Miller's Daughter

The Miller's Daugher
V Holy Rood - Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck

We are shipping!  Fifty parcels are being shipped since last week
- you can expect your package to arrive soon!

A few fairytales are included in the Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck.  Some of them were chosen as they relate to a specific archetype in both the tarot and the stories of Mary.

The fairy tale of the Handless Maiden was chosen because Mary
appears in an Eastern European folktale version of the story. 
In some versions an angel or a being of light appears to help the 
Handless Maiden, but in this particular folktale, Mary herself appears
to help the maiden.

The story of the Handless Maiden and her powerful symbology is told over
three cards in the deck.  The V of Holy Rood (traditionally Wands) is the first
one.  This card is titled The Miller's Daughter and we are introduced to
the young maiden, her father, the devil and very importantly, the apple tree.

The Miller's daughter is standing next to the apple tree with a loaf of bread
(food produced by the miller) on her shoulder.  She, as well as the significant apple
tree represents feminine values and attributes.    Feminine qualities and attributes
live in both male and female.  The story of speaks of the 'miller' and not the maiden's father.
This demonstrates that great importance is given to his occupation in the world, 
rather than his role as father.
From the start we see the focus and emphasis on masculine goals and values.
In our culture the masculine values and attributes are greatly admired and promoted.
The emphasis on the miller, his greed for money, his disregard for both the apple tree
and his daughter, reflects and highlights the imbalance which exists and
the lack of reverence for the less visible feminine principles.

The apple blossom is a symbol of fertility and sensuality.
In Celtic lore the apple tree is the Tree of Love.

At the top of the shrine are two hands.  These will take
you to the next part of the story which is further developed
in VII of Holy Rood,, where the Handless Maiden enters the forest.

Traditionally this card means conflict and in this deck it refers to inner conflict.
The really important questions in life you have to find the answers to
yourself. Do not rely on the opinion of others.  Do not rely
on 'the done thing' or the accepted way of doing.
In other words, do not make a pact with the devil for your most
precious feminine feeling  and earthy nature.
Dig deep and feel the discomfort of the inner conflict
and may you find peace.

This is an extract from the discussion of this card in companion book
to the Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck


Monday, May 16, 2016

The Light Shall Return

The Light Shall Return

Mother of Consolation
help me to let myself be consoled.
I hold it all together, Blessed One.
I have convinced myself that it is up to me
to keep the airplane aloft with my own breath,
that I am the only one capable
of baking bread and scrubbing floors,
that it is my responsibility alone
to alleviate the sorrow
in the heart of every single person I know.
But I have forgotten how to weep, Tender One.
Teach me to reach out to the ones I comfort 
and ask for their comfort
Let me feel the tender touch of the Holy One
on my cheek when I wake in the night,
weary and frightened
Help me to be vulnerable and soft now,
broken open and free

                      - Mirabai Starr

Mary's Gold

We are midway in Thirty Days with Mary and
here in the Southern Hemisphere the light rises
later and later, leaving us in the dark for longer every day.

As the light rises, we are simultaneously drawn to turn within
and without and a subtle tension gently opens the heart,
day after day.

Mary's Halo

Can you bear the opening of the heart?

Can you stand the creaking of the bones as the
ribcage opens?

Can you be with the Light that pours from the
inner darkness?

Can you be with It All?


Hettienne Ma

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Thirty Days with Mary Surya Yoga

Mary, the Sun

Surya Yoga or Sun Yoga, also kown as Sun Gazing, is a powerful
healing and enlightening practice of devotion and worship.
Sun gazing leads to healing of mind and body.

Omraam Mikhail Aivanhov wrote :'Surya yoga includes them all :
adoration, wisdom, power as well as purity, activity
and dedication, light and the sacred fire of divine love.
By the practice of Surya yoga you establish a link between yourself
and the power that governs and gives life to the whole
Universe: the sun.'
By 'sun' Omraam is referring to the spiritual sun
which the physical sun is but a reflection.

Sun gazing is still practised as a daily rituall called
Surya Namaskar by Hindus
and it used to be a daily practice of many peoples
throughout the world.

It is important to be barefoot whilst sun gazing and to
have the feet firmly on the ground or grass.
After the thirty days practice you may continue
to do the sun gazing or and then you can extend it into
the more advanced meditation techniques of employing
a rosary or thumb movements on the palms of the hands.
More about this later.

In the beginning it is best to keep it as simple as possible
and to stay open and  receptive to the spiritual sun's, which is 'behind;
our physical sun, energies.

The sun yogi Hira Ratan Manek taught the world everything
that he discovered about sun yoga and he also created a cd
and dvd which is available to purchse on line.
It is best to follow his instructions.

When you start to do sun gazing, do not combine it with
meditiation, prayer or any other spiritual techniques.
The best times to do sun gazing is for the first hour before sunset
and the first hour after sunrise.  The energies differ during these times.
Omraam claimed that prana is most intense twenty minutes before
and twenty minutes after sunrise.  Sunset is also a time
that is charged with energy and is conducive to meditation.
This has to do with the angle of the sun's rays impinging on the
earth's magnetic field at sunrise and sunset, charging the magnetic
field and affecting the magnetite in your pineal gland.

You merely gaze into the sun whilst sitting or standing barefoot,
with feet touching the earth.  You can use a UV meter to measure
the UV - it is best to do sungazing when the UV is very low.
You can also time your sungazing with a digital timer - it is best
to start off with twenty minutes per day.
Drink a glass of water before and after sun gazing because sun gazing
can be very cleansing and the water helps remove toxins.
If you wear glasses, remove them. It is okay to leave contact lenses in.
Gaze at the sun in a relaxed manner; dont strain.  It's okay to blink the eyes.
If your eyes tear, dont rub them.  Sessions start at ten-second lengths, increase by ten seconds
a day.  If you find that too difficult at first, then gaze only five seconds
and increase by five.  If cloudy, then sun gaze but dont increase the time.
When cold, gaze indoors through a window or glass door.
It is important in the time of sun gazing to be passive and receptive
and to allow the sun to heal your mind.
Just be.

When you reach fifteen minutes a day you can sun gaze with
your arms outstretched to the sun, hands spread out
and facing the sun.
As you breathe in deeply, visualise healing rays of light coming
from the sun and entering your left palm and travelling to
areas of your body that require healing or
Visualise the light going to your heart.  Mentally affirm
that the light is healing or strengthening you on a cellular level.
Then as you breathe out, visualise the light returning to the sun
through your right hand.  Express love and gratitude
for your healing.  Establish a continuous flow of energy.
If arms get tired, lower them with elbows at sides and hands still
facing out.

Dont aspire or push or results will be delayed.
Be as a little child and just enjoy the beauty of the sun
without expectations or demands only with
love and gratitude.

If you wish to continue with this practise after the
thirty days, you can read up about the practise
in the works of yogi Hira Ratan Manek as well as
in the book The Splendour of Tiphareth by
Omraam Mikael Aivanhov for more information
on the power, the mudras and the advanced spiritual
practice of surya yoga.

- Extracted from a blog post by Wayne Purdin, with gratitude

Thirty Days with Mary - Week 2

Mary as the Tree of Life

During the first seven days of Thirty Days with Mary, we focused on the imagery of Mary as the Tree, the grove of trees or the Tree of Life. 

During the Thirty Days with Mary we immerse ourselves in the spiritual practise and discipline of meditation, chanting, visualisation and sun gazing. All these practises are designed to help clear the mind, sooth the nervous sytem and create new neural pathways in the brain. As spiritual initiates our subtle senses are awakened through spiritual practise and we become aware of our etheric body and very importantly, we become more and more aware of consciousness. 

 The brain has neural pathways which developed through the span of your life.  Your brain was shaped and formed by those around you, your parents, your caretakers, your society and culture.  And of course certain experiences, both positive and negative, shaped your brain and created patterns.  Patterns which to a large extent, create your belief systems and mental constructs and according to which you live your life.  Becoming a spiritual initiate means that you have decided to become open to inspiration and new ways of seeing and sensing life and letting go of fearful belief systems.  

The etheric body carries the nadi, or spiritual veins and then very importantly the ida and pingala energies and the kundalini which flows through the shushumna. 

During the first seven days we focused on the image of Mary as the Tree.  There are many myths which include the story of the Tree and many which appertain to Mary specifically.

When we hold the image of the Divine or a deity or any object or idea in our mind's eye, we are entraining the brain to the energy of that image.  An image is more than just an idea or a picture.  An image is filled with consciousness and also specifically with the consciousness of the deity or divine archetype.  We have come to understand that there are forces which act which in ourselves, our religion, our culture and our family, which is beyond our personal control.  At times they act in accordance with our conscious desire, but at other times we are subject to ill health and difficult experiences which seem to indicate that we heartily participated in events which brought us to the painful place.  Or we seem to live the same cycle of victimhood over and over.  

The more we clear our minds of our repetitive conscious thinking through meditation and visualisation, the easier it is for inspiration to reach us.  Inspiration means inspired thinking which implies that we receive thoughts and ideas from the place of spirit, beyond our own limited mind.

Mary The Cosmic Tree of Life

For the next three weeks we will enter into a deep relationship with Mary the Great Mother, through our daily practise and especially through our contemplation.

If possible, do one of your daily meditations outside or near a window where you have a view of the outside world and especially a tree.  You can take a daily meditative walk in a field or forest near you.

We start the day at dawn, your time.  We do sun gazing - you can find the full post and instructions here :
This is followed by chanting the AUM for ten to fifteen minutes and then our daily prayer.
You may use the prayers from last year's Thirty Days with Mary - the link is here :

Then we enter into contemplation and meditation and we focus on the imagery of the tree, the holy rood, the forest and the sacred grove of trees and what these images and symbols are trying to tell us.

If you have any questions or anything you would like to discuss or share, you can email me
at hettiennema@gmail.com.

Blessings on your thirty days

Hettienne BhaktyMaria Ma

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Thirty days with Mary - annual May devotion

Rose of the World - shrine at Temple of Mary

Since the ancient times, the month of May always
had a special significance for the celebration of the divine feminine
and the goddess.
In the Northern hemisphere May is the month of 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 and to
deeper travels into the inner worlds.

Traditionally the month of May celebrates
the crowning of Mary and for the next thirty days
The Temple of Mary, Flamekeepers and
Initiates of the Order of the Dove
will celebrate the crowning of Mary in
devotion and celebration.
During these thirty days we will immerse
ourselves in daily ritual and meditation
and thus deepen our personal connection
with Her

We will be devoting the entire Month of May
to Blessed Mother Mary and her gifts of
peace, healing and enlightenment.
During these thirty days we celebrate, question, contemplate
and listen with awareness as we spend time in devotion
to the Blessed Mary and our own stories.

This is the second annual Thirty Days with Mary.
You can find the 2015 posts and daily
instructions on this blog by searching ‘thirtydays’
or by clicking on the page tab
Thirty Days with Mary - annual May devotion.
I will be posting the prayers and rituals for
2016 here as from today.  In the circular
and catholic nature of the feminine, you are
invited to weave and stitch together your
thirty days in a combination of the previous
thirty days' devotion and this year's thirty days of May.

You are invited to join in wherever you are,
at your own timezone,
by following these posts and instructions.

Today you can start
by creating an altar dedicated
specifically to these thirty days
of immersing yourself in the arms
and healing embrace of
Blessed Mary.
 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.

"Who is she that rises forth like the dawn,
fair as the moon,
pure and bright as the sun,
and as terrible as a many-bannered army?"
- Song of Songs 6:10

On Day Two you can start by rising for dawn
say the prayer and chant AUM.

The first seven days are dedicated to
Mary, the Tree of Life.
For these seven days, starting tomorrow,
we start the morning with Lauds
or Morning Prayer at dawn your time
followed by saying a rosary or japa mala
and chanting the AMEN or Aum.
Aum is a name of God.

In the Egyptian tradition Amen was considered
a divinity.  It was the word that allows anything
to be realized.
There is a parallel between the Aum of India,
the Amon and Aton of the Egyptians and
the Amen of the Essenes and the Christians.
The sound AU, pronounced as EU, means eye
or the Being, the Supreme Godhead.
Pronounce EU in your head and whilst exhaling
and sounding the M, the primordial ocean which is Mary.
The M is also the Tree of Life which is Mary and
the N is the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

The divine used to be understood and worshiped
as both male and female :  a hieros gamos
between Creator and Beloved.
These sacred roles were also not limited
to rigid masculine and feminine, but
rather  more like the yin and yang
the one contained in the other;
inseparable and indivisible.

Asherah the beloved of Yahweh
became a holy rod, a holy tree and
a pillar.  She became a sacred grove
of trees where Her devotees worshipped
both the natural and cosmic
nature of Goddess.
She both gave birth to this world
and became this world.
As the holy rod she brought order
to the chaos.  As the sacred tree
she became the matter of this world,
the seed that contains all life and which
gives food and shelter.

As we contemplate the rays of the sun
we contemplate the unique nature of
each creature;  we contemplate that all are
born from one Godhead, one Source.
We contemplate that each one indispensable
to the whole and that it is our sacred duty
to become fully what we truly are.
In order to become your truest self you have
to work at dissolving the ego structures which
keep you locked into valueing and judging
your every action and feeling.
When the central organising principle of the ego
has broken up, you become free to act
freely, from Love, and not from conditioning
and fear.

Start and end the day with the following prayer :

On this day, O Beautiful Mother
On this day we give thee our love.
Near thee, Madonna, fondly we hover,
Trusting thy gentle care to prove.
On this day we ask to share
Dearest Mother, thy sweet care.
Aid us ere our feet astray
Wander from thy guiding way.
On this day, O Beautiful Mother
On this day we give thee our love.
Near thee, Madonna, fondly we hover,
Trusting thy gentle care to prove.
In the name of the Father,
and of the Mother, and of the Son,
and of the Daughter and of the Holy Spirit.

As we walk these thirty days in
contemplation and celebration we allow
Divine Wisdom to show us where to become
more of our True Selves and together we will open up our spirit
to the healing Grace of the Virgin.

I invite you to spread the word, the inspiration and the Love.


Hettienne BhaktyMaria Ma