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Sunday, October 6, 2019

Day 30 - September

I am the Rose of Sharon and the Lily of Lebanon

Blessings to you as we reach the end of our
Thirty Days with Mary journey.

During these days we have covered so many
aspects of the Divine Feminine and who and what
Mary is to us. We have peeled away the layers
and have stared deeply into the mirror darkly.


Thank you for sharing your images, your experiences,
your insights and your own resistances.
I could relate to each and every one.



Today I offer you these thoughts to ponder :

The Mysteries of Mary and the mystical mystery of the incarnation
of the Divine into earthly matter, is the ultimate sacred marriage,
the hieros gamos, the marriage of the greatest opposites,
that of heaven and earth.
We cannot fathom how does heaven and earth unite as one
and we cannot fathom that all of earthly matter is sanctified
by the divine essence that lives in all.
But we can accept the open invitation that the Soul
does exist in this body and we can accept that all is
blessed by the Presence of the Divine.

There is no separation between holy and ordinary

The Mystery of the Incarnation of the divine into the ordinary
has been told through many aeons of time and through
many cultures and traditions.  It is not only now
in the new unfolding age that we are being reminded
that woman metaphorically and in human
consciousness, represent matter (mater) and that
matter mothers the Divine.





Who I Am

I am neither Moslem
nor Jew.
Buddha does not tie my feet.
I gave up being a Protestant long ago.

Too wild for the Taoists,
too tame for the Tantrics,
neither breathing
nor transfixed
nor saying magic words.

Yet for years I yearned,
followed formulas in ancient texts,
listened to the saints
and philosophers
seeking wisdom.

Finally I gave up searching,
stood very still
and fell
into who I am.

Dorothy Walters


Om Jai mata Mary Ma
Jai jai ma


Thank you for travelling with the caravan of Mary
for these thirty days once again.
Thank you for touching our hearts
with your wonder-filled stories
of unfolding life and its joys and shadows.
Blessings on your own journey of remembrance
 into the embrace
of the Sacred Heart

Blessings to you
Hettienne



Saturday, October 5, 2019

Day 29 - September




Mary's Nimbus of Flowers and Light

and the divine promise that never lets us down




As many of you are entering Autumn and the quiet of winter,
I am entering Spring and the revitalizing sun and summer

Marigolds are now blooming here in glowing colours
as though reflecting the promise of sun filled days and
renewed energy for projects and undertakings.

Marigolds are a sacred flower in so many cultures of the world
and she often forms an important part of ritual and offerings.

Marigold is Mary's Gold and is said to have derived that name
from earlier christianity when these glowing flowers were placed
on Mary altars instead of coins.
In India I came to know her as Astera, also the name of a devi.
The marigold is one of the most important flowers in Hindu
culture;  you will receive a marigold garland during a homa or puja
or when entering a temple or haveli (pilgrim house).
Marigolds are also offered during ceremony and placed on the altar.
Here in my home continent they are known as African asters, or in
Afrikaans as Stink Afrikaners, not a complimentary name at all
and referring to its wonderful pungent fragrance.
In Mexico, the flower is also important in altar decorations and offerings
for many religious festivals including Dia de los Muertos
and they are called Flowers of the Dead (flor de muerto) or Cempasuchitl, 


In Cheralyn Darcey's oracle The Language of Flowers,
the meaning of marigolds are
'time to begin again, stronger, better'.*

They are also linked to the sun and has healing properties for the liver.


"What you seek was seeking you."
Rumi

How is it
that when I was
looking for You,
You were seeking me also?

Silently You watched and waited.
Sometimes gave me
a brief glimpse
or taste
of who You were,
like a shy deer in the forest
that vanishes when
you turn to look.

And so I roamed,
looking here and there,
gazing at the hieroglyphs on trees
or peering into the throats of flowers for secret revelations,
listening to the waves
pounding the shore for messages,
examining books and stars,
seeking essence.

Finally I gave up my searching,
surrendered my deep desire
to stillness.
And then You gave me a kiss

that lasted forever.
Dorothy Walters


As we are approaching the end of these thirty days of 
Walking with Mary I would like to extend an invitation to
those who would like to deepen the journey.
I am offering a limited number of places in 
The Order of the Dove.  
I am offering the opportunity to existing patrons first
and if there are still places available I will open it to everyone else.
If you are interested, please visit
www.patreon.com/thefrenchmadonna
on 6 October for all the details.

blessings
Hettienne







*Thank you Kasia @tarotmap for sharing these cards with me.

Friday, October 4, 2019

Day 28 - September




House of Gold


'I remained in the temple, enjoying the
ineffable pleasure of contemplating
the goddess' statue, because I was bound
to her by a debt of gratitude so large
that I could never fully repay her' - Apuleius


Mary is what we are : a temple of the divine. In the title, House of Gold, we have two symbols,
the house as a container and gold as the supreme value of the Self.
The house of gold is the Self. A house grants shelter so we again
encounter the conserving and containing aspect of the female archetype.
It is comprised of the light of comforting safety and the dark of numbing contentment.
There are always graces to help us integrate those two.





The Loreto shrine, the traditional house of Mary, is like the Ark of the covenant,
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.  A custom in our past was to bronze the shoes in which a baby
first walked. Mary is the house of ego that has been gilded because she walked the path from ego to Self.

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.
This passage will have suffering in it
and joy too.

David Richo - extracts from Mary Within Us



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




Radiant Mary, shine radiantly upon me.
Bright Lady who illuminates my inner darkness
Yours is the incorruptible fire;
As it is clean, it cleanses; as it is pure, it purifies.
Hail Mary
Om jai mata Mary Ma
jai jai ma


blessings
Hettienne

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Day 27 - September



Blessings to you!

We are Hearthkeepers keeping the focus on the sacred matrix
of life in the form, sacred presence and wholeness of
Holy Mary, Sacred Heart of the World, alive.
We have been participating in a daily ritual
for  nearly thirty days! 
We have witnessed thoughts, feelings and shifts.
We have dug deep and surrendered on many levels.
We have opened up and stepped out in vulnerability.
We were witnessed and received by a supportive community.
The flame of the Sacred Heart is burning high.



Our emotions, feelings and our energetic heart
has the power to alter and transform the electromagnetic field
of our world and to move mountains.
The appearances and manifestations of Mary prove
that the idea of separation between our world and the
Otherworld is but an illusion.  Matter is made up of atoms
and those atoms can be altered by the power of belief.

At sacred sites where the veils of belief have thinned,
thousands of people feel the sacred presence  of the divine.
And this sacred presence transcends all dogma, beliefs
and laws.  It demonstrates to us that we have the power
to alter our collective reality.

The bigger the crowd of believers in the power of love and beauty,
the bigger the collective effect on the perceived and created reality.




I started the first Art Novena to Our Lady of Lourdes in 2012.
Here is an extract of my first post :

To me, the Blessed Mother is not limited to any religion, any dogma or any culture.  
The Soul has its own religion and that is where you will find Her and Her many faces.
She is present for all 
Her Grace enfolds everyone
You only have to become aware of Her.

Wherever I travel in the world, I visit Her sacred shrines.  I have visited Kwan Yin in Ayutthaya in Thailand;
Kali Ma in Her many temples in India;
I have attended the Navaratri and Durga Puja,
 the nine nights of the Goddess in Varanasi;
the holy well and holy fire of Brigit in Kildare;
the Goddess Temple in Glastonbury 
and I have participated in many Goddess Conferences in Glastonbury
hosted by the Temple of Avalon and Her priestesses
and I have facilitated the first 
International Goddess Conference in South Africa in 2008
to name some of my pilgrimages to the Holy Mother

all of these have been numinous experiences
that touched me deeply
and brought great insight and healing to my mind
for our conflicted nature as human beings
but none touched  me so profoundly
as Our Lady of Lourdes, the Immaculate Conception.

I did not have high expectations of my visit to the Grotto and the City of Lourdes.
I had seen many pictures and thought I knew what to expect.



At the grotto I fell in line with the other pilgrims, waiting my turn to touch the walls of the cave and its dripping water.  The atmosphere was light and joyful, although many stood and knelt deep in prayer.  As I approached the statue of Our Lady where She appeared to St Bernadette, I could feel an intensification of the energy, a slight vibration and a humming sound.  The closer I came, the louder the sound became.  The sound was over and above the sound of the rushing waters.
As I put my hand out to touch the dripping water and I raised my eyes, 
a column of light was visible to me,
shimmering and dancing.
My first impression was that it is a giant candle, but then my logical mind
realised that this is not possible.
The only way I can describe it is 'a flame of living organic light' :
Her Divine Presence made manifest in this world,
visible to my eyes.

And overwhelming and immense feelings which I am at a loss to name.
A feeling of such incredible fullness and completeness 
which has stayed with me ever since.

A hundred thousand harps take you
like wings and sweep you up out of silence.
And your primitive wind is blowing
the fragrance of your marvelous power
to every being and to every creature in need.
- Rainer Maria Rilke



That which reminds you of the Sacred in the Ordinary
and opening ourselves to the healing possibilities,
both spiritually and physically, 
that comes through love and acceptance
and opening of the heart
images
collage
poetry
stories
art works
prayer
ritual
mantra
anything
that awakens your heart


and reminds you of the Sacred in everyday living


I visited Lourdes last year as a pilgrim.  There, in front of the cave, I experienced something very special.  I felt a special vibration, a kind of spiritual presence there.  And then in front of the image of the Virgin Mary, I prayed, I expressed my admiration for this holy place that has long been a source of inspiration and strength, that has provided spiritual solace, comfort and healing to millions of people.  And I prayed that this might continue for a long time to come - the Dalai Lama


Prayer for today :


Radiant Mary, shine radiantly upon me.
Bright Lady who illuminates my inner darkness
Yours is the incorruptible fire;
As it is clean, it cleanses; as it is pure, it purifies.
Hail Mary
Om jai mata Mary Ma
jai jai ma

blessings to you
Hettienne

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Day 26 - September




This week was the feast day of
St Therese of Lisieux.  She is referred to as The Little Flower or
the Woman that was born to love. She is known for 'the Little Way'
in which she advocated the ordinariness of everyday tasks
to be seen as a way of bringing the sacred to life.

Her story of the smiling Madonna is in the Mysteries of Mary deck
She is the Five of Roses



The statue that smiled at her during her illness is standing in the
Basilica in Lisieux where it was moved from her childhood home.


If a little flower could speak, it seems to me that it would tell us quite simply all that God has done for it, without hiding any of its gifts. It would not, under the pretext of humility, say that it was not pretty, or that it had not a sweet scent, that the sun had withered its petals,or the storm bruised its stem, if it knew that such were not the case. - St Therese


One of the very first shrines I made was of her. 
St Therese called me over many years
 and eventually I made the trip to Lisieux, about 90 minutes' train ride
from Paris.

Lisieux is a beautiful French city with an old world  charm.
And the bakery near the train station makes the most
wonderful French pastries, should you ever visit.
The beautiful Basilica dominates the view down the street
leading up to it.

This statue and mosaic is in the crypt of the Basilica

To my surprise I discovered the life-story of a free-spirited 
young woman who possessed
a deep insight and clarity into the Truth of faith and love.
Her life spoke of many miracles, including
the Smiling Madonna.



In the Basilica was a magnificent and unusual statue
of Jesus - a dancing Jesus on the Cross!!
I did not take any photographs as it was forbidden
in the main part of the Basilica and I have not been able
to find a copy of it anywhere on the Internet.
But I will never forget this amazing image :
it spoke clearly of St Therese's philosophy and understanding
of the true sacrifice and the intersection of heaven and time.
The Basilica was built after St Therese's death and
I did not find any real sense of her presence there.

But then we walked down to the old part of town
to where she lived and grew up as a child and also
to her convent and its rose gardens and the small chapel
of the Carmelite Sisters where the remains of the saint lies.

Statue of Saint Therese in Lisieux in her convent garden


And here we were all deeply touched by a sweet, loving
and fragrant presence.  A very sweet honey-like fragrance met
us long before we arrived at the garden.  I smelled this same
fragrance at the sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes.




We picked some of the roses and offered them to 
St Therese.




The offering of our rose petals in her arms and at her feet
St Therese, Lisieux, France

The energy in the chapel where her remains lie, were
intense.  One cannot describe that which we do not
have the vocabulary for.  But I received a very clear
and distinct message sitting there which resonated
deeply with my heart and on my return home
I started implementing this message into my life.


Having been in her energy or presence, has had a deep impact
on me and the way that I perceive the world.
She has and still continues to strengthen my belief in the
power and Grace of the innocent and purity of heart.
Even when the world shakes its head in disbelief and
disapproval, St Therese's child like faith and inspiration
lives on and radiates like a fragrant rose its beautiful scent
into our hearts and minds.

There is no artist who does not like his work praised, and the Divine Artist of souls is pleased when we do not stop at the exterior, but penetrating even to the inmost sanctuary which He has chosen for His dwelling, we admire its beauty. - St Therese d'Lisieux


Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Day 25 - September



When we read that the Radiant Lady at Lourdes stands over the wild rose bush
and that she has golden roses on her bare feet, we realise that she is deeply identified with roses, as was Our Lady of Guadalupe. The rose just seems to be the most easily recognizable symbol for the flowering of differentiated consciousness or the unique divine spark. 
The Lady of Guadalupe brought forth roses in cold December and wrapped them tenderly in an ordinary tilma worn by an old Indian peasant. This is an image of wrapping consciousness in the outer cover of our human body, something that a mother does when she conceives a human life. It is something that the earth does when she provides us with the material for a human body. Or, another way to look at it, is that creation itself – the material world – is a wonderful cloak that covers the radiant divinity.
Juan Diego had something in common with the Lady who came to him on the hill of Tepeyac. They each had a cloak that was made of the fabric of created reality. She gave him a visual aid in order to teach him and us about this. She imprinted her picture graphically so that Her cloak – the entire cosmos – can now be seen upon his rough one.  This Lady is not interested in dogma or ideologies; she interfaces with us to teach us about our personal rose – our inner divinity – which is trying to become incarnate here.




The woman at Lourdes refuses to give any other name but to say "I am the Immaculate Conception." She does not say, as the Church would have Jesus' mother say, "I am the virgin Mary who has been immaculate from the moment of my conception." (conceived and born without sin of any kind) She says that she IS the Immaculate Conception. The Lady of the Grotto is the embodiment of the cosmos speaking to us as an aspect of God’s own Being. She shows us the breathlessly beautiful immaculate plan – God’s conception of materiality. She is telling us that she is an image of our created, material nature, which is nothing less than a cloak that covers divinity. She uses every means available to communicate to us about who we are and what will help us.

At Guadalupe she used symbolism that the Aztecs would understand. It spoke instinctively to the Spaniards, as well. She uses symbols and language that will help her immediate hearers to understand for their own purposes. As the late mythographer Joseph Campbell has pointed out, different religious traditions are like software that helps the “computer” to function. It is usually best for people to stay within their tradition, if it is helping them to function. So this woman relates within those belief systems, but is not at all confined to them.

The Pre-Christian Apparition of Queen Isis


Painting of Isis by Hettienne

In conjunction with Lourdes, it is necessary to speak more about Queen Isis whose lore is still embedded in the Christian mythology from its ancient roots in Judaism while it lingered in Egypt. The Lady of the Lourdes grotto asked specifically for processions. Queen Isis loved grottoes and processions. Processions to the goddess are as old as recorded history. What child of the pre-Vatican Catholic Church does not recall the May processions and the joy of strewing flowers in the path of the statue that represented Mary? It was a way of showing our deep devotion to our “Queen of Heaven.” She was “Queen of the angels and Queen of the May!” Bernadette referred at times to the Lady as  “The Queen of Heaven” or “The Beautiful Lady.”

We have an account, still extant, of an apparition granted by Queen Isis in ancient times that further points to the identity of the marvelous woman still appearing today. It comes from the book “The Golden Ass” written by Apuleius, an initiate of Isis, the night before he walked in her procession in 150 A.D. Here is his testimony that records the words spoken by the apparition that stood before him then:

“I am she that is the natural mother of all things, mistress and governess of all the elements, the initial progeny of worlds, chief of the powers divine, queen of all that are in hell, the principal of all that dwell in heaven, manifested alone and under one form of all the gods and goddesses. At my will the planets of the sky, the wholesome winds of the seas, and the lamentable silences of hell are disposed; my name, my divinity is adored throughout the world, in divers manners, in variable customs, and by many names.

For the Phrygians that are the first of all men call me the Mother of the gods of Pessinus; the Athenians, which are sprung from their own soil, Cecropian Minerva; the Cyprians, which are girt about by the sea, Paphian Venus; the Cretans, which bear arrows, Dictynian Diana; the Sicilians, which speak three tongues, infernal Proserpine; the Eleusinians, their ancient goddess Ceres; some Juno, others Belonna, others Hecate, others Ramnusie, and principally both sort of the Ethiopians, which dwell in the Orient and are enlightened by the morning rays of the sun; and the Egyptians, which are excellent in all kind of ancient doctrine, and by their proper ceremonies accustomed to worship me, do call me by my true name, Queen Isis." (Occidental Mythology, p. 42-43 - from The Masks of God series).

 When she appeared to Apuleius she was crowned with the headdress of the moon and two vipers, with corn stalks woven in her hair. Her multi-colored robe was woven with flowers and fruit, and her black mantle embroidered with stars and the moon. There is much similarity between the vision of Apuleius and that of Juan Diego, the visionary of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The mantle of Isis is covered on the outside by the night sky – by stars. Like Our Lady of Guadalupe, she is dressed in the cosmos itself as if it is her robe. 

 Spirit "wears" materiality like a garment. 
This garment is Earth's physical nature –  her Body. 
She/we are the Immaculate Conception!


Prayer for today :



I enter the Underworld as you pull me into your embrace, 
in every waking moment of living.
Contemplating on your Presence in the world,
opens me up to the poignant beauty and suffering
of all life in order and my  heart breaks open
over and over, over flowing with compassion.  
As my rigid mind dissolves in your
presence, all boundaries between myself and all living creatures
and the earth disappears and we are all one.
Ave Maria

Om Jai mata Mary Ma
jai jai ma

blessings
Hettienne

Monday, September 30, 2019

Day 24 - September

Week 4 Saturday 28 September to Friday 4 October



THE BLESSING OF THE ROSE QUEEN



The blessing of the Rose Queen : 
a devotion
to the power and Grace of the Blessed Mother;
to the mystery of the angelic realms
and the resurrection of the feminine mysteries.





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 be born. 
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.


You can do the Blessing of the Rose Queen prayers as a way
of calling upon Mary of the Divine Feminine to assist with
a special request.  It is not something to be used for ordinary
things, but for those special times in our life when what we are
doing just doesn't seem to be enough - when we really
need assistance.




Perform these prayers for thirty days in a row.  
Visualize what it is that you wish in as much clear detail
as possible.  Write it down, so that the words are clear
and distinct, with as little room for misinterpretation as possible.





Perform it during a quiet and special time in your day :

Oh most beautiful and gracious Rose Queen,
who came down to Earth to do good and who never
left a request unanswered, grant me the rose
of _____________________

Hail Mary, Goddess full of Grace
God is with you
Blessed are you among women
and blessed is the fruit of the creativity
that spirals forth from your womb.
Through your art and rituals of beauty,
we find our forgiveness and healing.
Holy Goddess, Mother of Earth,
work the mystery for your children  


Holy Mary,  Mother of God,
oh Rose Queen 
Bestow your Blessing upon us
Now and Forever




This final week has a dual focus : that of the Rose Queen
and the Immaculate Conception.
The colour is gold and the element is Earth.
We focus on two main aspects of the Suit of Roses which is
embodiment and manifestation.
Tomorrow is the beginning of my annual Art Novena to Our Lady
of Lourdes, Immaculate Conception which I have been doing
since 2012.  
We continue with our Immaculate Practise which is a combination
of creating a sacred altar, saying the mantra and prayers.
We complement these with any of the sacred working tools
such as journalling, collage making, embroidery, knitting
and tarot work.
This work is not intended only for one's own benefit
but to share the power of one's own healing.
The altar forms a powerful focal and envisioning centre for our
sacred work.

May this practise inspire you to incorporate it into your practise of devotion
and awakening to the divine feminine mysteries of Mary.

blessings


Hettienne