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Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Preparation for Walking with Mary - December 20


Nine years ago I stood in front of the sacred waters of Lourdes, in the middle of a great Catholic pilgrimage site and I felt the familiar surge of Shakty explode through my body and heart.
How did I get to be here?, I asked myself.  And to feel the incredible presence of the
Divine Mother despite all the concrete and cement covered ground, the glass
covering to protect the holy spring and other signs of the presence of institutionalised religion.

My search for the Divine Mother was initiated by my first pilgrimage to a Catholic
site, that of San Michelle at Monte Sant'Angelo in Italy.  From here I was led by
the Virgin Mary to the ancient goddesses and then Kali Ma took hold of my body, life and soul.
After seven years of immersion into the Tantric journey of Kali Ma under the tutelage
of Siddha tantric guru, I made a pilgrimage to the Black Madonna Sara la Kali in
Saintes Maries de la Mer and a one night only visit to Lourdes was included in our plans.

 I wanted to understand how feminine spirituality fitted into
Western traditions and Santa Sara the Black One seemed to form a bridge between East and West.
During my dedication to the Tantra of the Mother, I discovered, to my great disappointment I found that the spirit-body split existed in the Eastern tradition as much as it did in the Western mindset.
Standing on the sacred ground at Lourdes initiated me into a new way of
understanding and seeing and I wanted to put 'mater' back into
the material world in a way that made sense to me and this meant
that I brought two traditions together in holy unity.

I have since been back to Lourdes many times, almost as many times as to India
and these pilgrimages nurtured and brought together my love for Kali Ma, Durga and Lalitha
 with my love for Mary and Sara la Kali and the Black Virgin under the Earth.
Creating the Temple of Mary with its marriage between Eastern Tantric rites and Western
Marian ritual and alchemy followed.  

The thirty days of Yoga of the Mother online retreat became an annual event for
members of the Temple and after creating the Mysteries of Mary tarot deck and sharing my vision with the world, I wanted to share this event with you and we started
Walking with Mary online.

The Thirty Days of Walking with Mary is part of the first initiation into the Temple of Mary.  These are thirty days of celebration, weaving prayers, crafting rituals, honouring feast days and sabbats, participating in puja, receiving diksha and of initiation.
In the ancient mystery schools these initiations were conferred upon initiates by priests and priestess.  But a new mythos is being born in our consciousness and we are each and everyone to midwife this birth within ourselves.  These practices and initiations are expanded into deeper mystical practices,
meditations and teachings on Patreon.  You can enroll in the Order of the Dove online
initiations and become an initiate and a Flamekeeper in the Temple of Mary.

In these Thirty Days with Mary you will enter and re-enter into a direct and personal relationship with the Divine and the Great Mother of All, the many faces and aspects of Mary.

I will share with you the initiation mantra as well as the mantra through which you can receive the dikshas and blessings.  

An initiate is one who chooses to turn his or her focus inward, into a metaphysical reality and upward into a wider context and upward into a higher consciousness.
An initiation is a ritual which takes the initiate through a doorway and threshold from the mundane ordinary reality into the sacred life.   

You can share on Instagram with #walkingwithmary.  I invite you to become part of the
Walking with Mary community on Instagram on the page @walkingwithmary.  You can also
follow me @bhaktymayi_ma.  On Facebook I share on both the Mysteries of Mary tarot, the Black Madonna tarot and also on The Temple of Mary pages

Creating a sacred space

It is a powerful practise to have a sacred space in which to meditate and focus on your activities. 
You can prepare this space beforehand with a special chair or space on the floor to sit on.

If you already have a meditation shawl, place it in your sacred space.  I suggest that you find
a special white shawl, but the colour is your choice,  with which to cover your shoulders and/or head.  

Create your altar with candles, incense, an essential oil burner, fresh flowers and of course a statue 
or image of Mother Mary.  You will be adding to the altar and making changes over the thirty days.  

Blessing and consecration of space and items

Bring your Mysteries of Mary tarot deck or any other deck, as well as your
Mary oracle charm sets, a rosary or mala or prayer beads 
On day One I will share with you the diksha to bless and
consecrate all your items.  

You need to gather the following items :

Mysteries of Mary tarot deck or any oracle or tarot deck that you want to work with;
Mary healing amulet set if you own one (you can create your own - see my blogpost
on www.hergracesacredart.com); Mary blessing seeds if you have these;

meditation shawl

rosary or mala or prayer beads

a few fresh lemons - at least one or two 

one or two cups of coarse sea salt

fresh flowers

candles :  white, blue, green, red, black and gold (you can use just one colour if you prefer)

small bottles of essential oils : eucalyptus, lemon and rose
you may add frankincense

incense or myrrh and frankincense granules to burn

a couple of old magazines, calendars or picture books for cutting out images
cardboard to cut into A5 size for collaging

start collecting holy cards, or any images of Mary

a blank book that you can alter with crayons, or paints

crafting items for a shadow box - a small cardboard box or deep frame

baby pictures of yourself
any items that you may have from childhood
any favourite childhood picture books

None of these are essential.  You will have enough time to collect whatever you want to create.
You may wish to create nothing at all which is also perfect.
I add these items for those of you who like to be prepared from the get-go. 

a couple of old magazines, calendars or picture books for cutting out images

any handwork such crochet, knitting, embroidery

*diksha is a blessing or energetic transference of spiritual power and spiritual gifts (siddhi)


Thursday, November 12, 2020

Walking with Mary December 2020


When you pray to Mary, mother of Jesus, you pray, without knowing it,

to the World Mother in her many forms. -  The Mists of Avalon

Many of us have been waiting for the Thirty Days of Walking with Mary 
and the time is drawing near.

I invite you to join us, the Walking with Mary community in a 30 day practice
with the metaphor, Sacred Presence and iconography of Blessed Mary. 

This practice is based on the initiations into the Temple of Mary
for the past ten years, the archetypes of the Mysteries of Mary tarot deck and for
the first time I am including some of the Mysteries of the Black Madonna tarot deck that
will be printed in early 2021.

Each Thirty Days with Mary is slightly different, but the basic
outline stays consistent. I like to add new prayers and practices every time
but I also know that many like the comfort of consistency and the known
and then there are many who are joining in for the first time.

The Mexican Virgin of Guadalupe is not a typical artistic image in the sense of its creation and expression. In fact, it is not a painting; it is an imprint of the spiritual world upon earthly matter.
The Virgin of Guadalupe in Mexico is truly a miracle and a one of a kind representation of the Madonna - Stephanie Georgieff

This year we start on Tuesday 1 December 2020

You can participate wherever you are and you can spend as much time as you can afford to on the daily practice.  The month of Walking with Mary will include special prayers, contemplation, spiritual exercises and tools to uncover your own Sacred Heart and strengthen your relationship with 
the Blessed Mother Mary.

This is a free event and open to everyone
If you subscribe by email, you will receive the updates in your inbox.
I have an Instagram account @walkingwithmary and if you tag me I will share
some of your posts with the community and others will be able to find you
and follow along.

Over the next few days I will share here a few items that you have to collect and prepare beforehand.
If you own the Mysteries of Mary tarot deck and/or the  Amulets of Mary Healing Oracle,
you can bring them to this retreat.

We will consecrate our decks and we will set up a special Walking with Mary altar.  

Subscribe to this blog (http://bookofmarysacredheart.blogspot.com) on the right hand side under the tab 'subscribe by email' and you will receive weekly blog posts setting out the teachings of Mary and her many roles;  I will share sacred healing practices with you and you will receive instructions on how to do the Silent Heart meditation and how to receive the Sacred Heart diksha which you will practice on a daily basis.

You will experience the flowering of peace and joy and you will see the changes in your personal life unfold as you walk these thirty days with Mary.

The Hearth of Mary is on Patreon and during the month of December I will share extra exclusive content with patrons.  During these 30 days of Walking with Mary I will share a special mantra and invocation of the Black Virgin (in the Black Madonna tier and higher up) and very importantly,
I will share mystical practices and prayers specifically devoted to the Mexican Virgin of Guadalupe
on Walking with Mary tier and all higher tiers.

The outline of these thirty days are :

Week 1 Tuesday 1 December to Sunday 6 December
Mary the Immaculate Conception
The suit of Vessels


Week 2 Monday 7 December to Sunday 13 December  
The Sacred Heart of Mary 
and the archetype of Mary as the Holyrood

Celebration on 9 December - the first vision of the Virgin of Guadalupe and
12 December of Our Lady of Guadalupe feast day


Week 3 Monday 14 December to Sunday 20 December
Mary as Sophia, Our Lady of Wisdom, Shekinah


Week 4 Monday 21 December to Thursday 31 December 2020
Mary Queen of Roses, the Earth and Theotokos


Thursday, November 5, 2020

A gold version of the Mysteries of Mary tarot deck


The Mysteries of Mary deck with gilded edges!!

Patreons were given first choice of the limited number of deck being printed and there 
are still some left.  They are now on my website
Her Grace Sacred Art at special prices.

The Mysteries of Mary deck with gilded edges available without the book and I am offering a limited number of decks at specially reduced prices.  

I have wanted a gilded deck for myself since I first printed the deck but it was unaffordable. Printing in South Africa I do not have the choices for gilding or inking of edges unfortunately. Now I have been offered a small batch as part of the bigger Black Madonna order at a special price.

I am printing a very small batch of the Mysteries of Mary deck with gilded edges and to make it more affordable I am offering it without the guidebook 

The deck includes a handmade gold velvet pouch but you will also have the choice of the traditional calico pouch.

I am also offering five full sets of the gilded deck, book and small gold statues of Mother Mary

I include holy cards and a plastic rosary with all items.

I am only shipping with DHL Courier Express as international shipping from Africa to the rest of the 

world as international shipping to the rest of the world is too difficult to negotiate right now.  

I do have a special reduced rate that I negotiated with DHL  

Decks will be delivered by courier during the last week of November and the first week of December.

In time for Christmas

I share on Instagram





The Mysteries of the Black Madonna tarot deck


I am so excited to share with you some of the artwork of the

Mysteries of the Black Madonna tarot deck.

The deck will be launched for pre-orders on my website

Her Grace Sacred Art

on 12 December 2020 for patrons of my Patreon with special discounts and other offers.  These will be shared with all patrons in posts on Patreon closer to the time.  I am still waiting on pricing, delivery dates and other details.

On 19 December 2020 I will open the purchasing of the deck to everyone else.

I will also make clear the expected delivery dates and shipping methods. At this stage I am planning for delivery in February or March via DHL Express Couriers. You can read more below.

I will be offering a gilded version as well and it will be accompanied by a handmade pouch and other small details and extras.  

I share regularly on Instagram and Facebook

You will find me on Instagram @bhaktymayi_ma and @walkingwithmary

I know many of you have been following along on social media and are as excited as I am to start working with this deck.  When I created the Mysteries of Mary tarot deck I never anticipated that there would be such a demand and love for the deck.  I really created the deck for myself and for my own use as there was no deck available that included esoteric Christianity and its ancient roots.  As an artist I also wanted to capture the mystical metaphor of these stories in a visual artwork.

Shipping challenges

Just before the global lockdown earlier this year I shipped a large number of decks worldwide and many of them were caught up in the chaos that followed.  It has taken days of following up, answering enquiries from buyers and trying to track parcels and then South Africa shut its borders and closed all businesses for five months!  The parcels that were eventually shipped once our borders opened, are taking weeks and months to arrive and tracking is turned on and off as other countries are going back into lockdown.  

Limited numbers of decks to be printed

I will print a limited number of decks of the Mysteries of the Black Madonna tarot in January 2021 when the printing industry return to work after the annual Christmas break (which is three weeks).  

Shipping with DHL Express Courier

And I will not ship international airmail unless shipping conditions have completely improved at the time of shipping.  I have negotiated a lesser rate from DHL Couriers and have been using them with great success.  Delivery by DHL takes place, with the parcel being delivered into your hands, within a week and they also have a no-contact delivery option. 

Walking with the Holy Black Mother

I have been creating this deck full-time for the past four years.  Some of the sites holy to the Black Mother, I visited as a pilgrim over the past 25 years and I reflected my relationship with their Essence in poetry and paintings.  My understanding and relationship with Black Mary deepened and intensified and the past three years I was presented with deep soul work in my personal life which can only be attributed to her incisive and transformation action in my inner world and reflected in life around me.  I lived through deep and tragic loss of loved ones and other potent changes. My research into her stories, myths, miracles and history opened my eyes and removed many veils of ignorance and assumption about the true nature and meaning of the Black Madonna. 

The backs of  the cards

 I do not regard myself as an academic expert on the Black Madonnas nor their historical background, but I do know her intimately.  At 17, during a deep crisis in my life, I had a life altering  kundalini awakening and for many years I struggled with deep grief and depression and chronic illness and my spiritual path led me to a great healing of the soul.  Working so intimately with the Black Mother of us all, I stared into the face of the abyss again, and I was dragged through the flames of the inferno.  This deck carries that energy and it is presented as a path of initiation to embodiment of Lady Wisdom and the other aspects of the black mother. 

The Hearth of Mary on Patreon

 Eighteen months ago I started a Walking with Mary community on Patreon and it expanded into the Order of the Dove, a path of self-initiation in the shaktypat tradition of the Mother.  From the start it was an agreement from my side to my loyal patrons that they will have first access to purchase the deck and that they will get special discounts.  Without the support of my patrons I would not have been able to complete this deck in this time.  They provided an income for myself and my assistant, to continue with the creative process and being able to spend enough time away from the world in order to integrate the path and its many twists and turns.

More decks to be printed

I will follow up with the printing of bigger numbers of decks but I may have to stagger the shipping dates as it is too difficult to currently ship such big numbers out.  South Africa is still in level 1 lockdown and the local DHL agent is a small office with one dedicated staff member.  I understand that buyers become frustrated and impatient when promised something and it takes much longer than expected. 



Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Inanna and her sister Ereshkigal


On my Patreon at www.patreon.com/thefrenchmadonna
I share the Venus Rose journey as told in the myth
of the Descent of Inanna through the seven gates of the Underworld.

In the Third Gate of the Descent of Inanna (shared this week on Patreon) I refer to the bull power of both Inanna and her sister Ereshkigal, as symbolised by Inanna's horned crown and the Bull of Heaven as husband of Ereshkigal.
"At some point in our lives we become aware of the Call; it may appear as depression, or as an illness or a terrible loss and it asks us of us to put everything down and to become quiet and to listen. When Inanna heard the call she left her position as holy priestess and she left her seven temples in seven cities and departed to enter into the Underworld. No-one had ever returned from the Underworld and similarly to Jesus though, Inanna does return to the world after three days and three nights.
 The Sumerian Underworld is ruled by Inanna’s older sister Ereshkegal whose husband, Gugalanna (aka the Bull of Heaven) has died.  
 When Inanna arrives in the Underworld, her sister Ereshkegal orders all seven gates to be bolted. She then instructs the gatekeeper to open them one by one, each one no more than a crack, to let Inanna through.
As she enters, remove her royal garments.
Let the holy priestess of heaven enter bowed low.
At the first gate Inanna loses her crown.  If you look at old images of Inanna you will see that her crown has horns and she, similarly to the Black Madonna of the Catholic tradition, is linked to the sacred bull and possible the sacred bull cult of Mithras. 
It is also pertinent to point out here that Ereshkigal's husband was a bull (the Bull of Heaven).  The bull represents personal power so when Inanna gives up her crown she gives up her power."
In the Tarot of the Divine deck by Yoshi Yoshanti the Two of Cups depict the story of Enkidu and Gilgamesh from the Sumerian myth; here we see such a parallel to the Sumerian myth of Inanna and her sister who lives in the underworld, tied down by her grief for her husband.
The Two of Cups represent the story from the Epic of Gilgamesh, a Sumerian myth about Enkidu and Gilgamesh. The gods send a wild man, Enkidu, to challenge Gilgamesh the young king of Sumeria. Gilgamesh wins the fighting challenge and he and Enkidu becomes the best of friends. In this story I see the projected shadow self as the nemesis of the personality. When we can accept the challenge and learn to embrace and love the opponent, transformation and liberation is ours.
Inanna used her personal power and choice to enter the Underworld and to find out why her sister is so grief stricken. She also makes certain choices to ensure that she will return, despite the fact that it is seemingly impossible to do so.

Jung called those aspects of ourselves that we deny in ourselves our 'shadow' and which we hide from ourselves and often project onto others and then we create a false self or enhance one aspect of ourselves to cover up the hidden parts.
By driving parts of ourselves into the underworld, we are telling those shadow parts - the selfish, angry, sad, resentful, the human parts, that we are ashamed of them. And then they come back to haunt us and repeatedly pull us back down into the underworld.
In her book The Dark Side of the Light chasers , Debbie Ford says 'There is no pattern of behaviour that can't be changed if we are willing to expose the emotional upset that caused us to reject the shadow part in the first place. The challenge is to find its value and to bring the light of compassion so you can defuse its ability to dismantle your life.'
Instead of always trying to rid yourself of negativity, how about recognizing your shadow, your nemesis, as your best ally and best friend. How about looking into that mirror of the shadow-self, owing up to those undesirable parts of yourself and embrace them as your own?
This cycle of the descent of the Morning Star is done from the lens of Gemini, the card of the Tree of Choices.

During the month of October I will share with patrons a tarot and altar layout for the seven gates of Inanna. With the help of archetypes as found in tarot and oracle cards, fairytales and myths, you can ascertain which choice you are confronted with at each gate; the opponent and nemesis at each chakra, and more. I am sharing the Rose of Venus posts on the Walking with Mary tier as well as all the tiers higher than Walking with Mary.

You will find the link to my Patreon account on the right hand side tab.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Mysteries of the Black Madonna Tarot Deck


I have been working on the Mysteries of the Black Madonna tarot deck

for the past four years - well actually the past 20 years without realising it.

The deck is now nearing completion and all 78 sacred altars have been completed.

As with the Mysteries of Mary tarot deck, a substantial guidebook will be printed.

Pre-orders are set to open at the end of October and shipping will start in

2021 - date to be announced.  I will print a limited number of decks

only and patrons on my Patreon account will get early access to orders.

I will also issue discount coupons to patreons based on the length of time that

they have been supporting my on-going work.

Without the support of my patrons I would not have been able to complete this

deck and book.

I have been creating small travel altars with miniature Black Madonna statues

that I brought back from pilgrimages - obviously there are only a limited number

of these and they will be offered for sale with early access to my patrons.

The first 50 decks will be accompanied by a miniature Black Madonna statue.

Exciting news!

I will be adding a new tier on the French Madonna community on Patreon

where you will receive a miniature statue of Mary, Mary Magdalene, the Black Madonna,

Mater Dolorosa and others every month.  These statues are limited editions and the same designs will

not be repeated.

I will post an update soon on this new tier.

Follow on Instagram @walkingwithmary and @bhaktymayi_ma

Patreon you will find here


blessings to you


Wednesday, August 26, 2020

The holy month of the Rose Queen


September is the month of the Rose Queen, Holy Mary.
The last few years I have been offering Walking with Mary on my blog and Instagram, but because of the pandemic lockdown I have not been able to get the new Mysteries of Mary tarot decks out to everyone in time.  I know that many of you were looking forward to participating with your new decks. 
I am moving Walking with Mary on to December and it will incorporate the Winter rites and the Winter Mysteries, the Twelve Days of Mary and the Twelve Days of Christmas.  I am also looking forward to this magical journey as I have not combined these before and it is always also a time of inspiration and insight for me.
In the Temple of Mary September is the month of the Rose Queen and I will share with you the magic of this month and the many blessings available to us.  I am sharing these with patrons only with various aspects over the different tiers.
Across all tiers I will share with you the thirty day practise of the Blessing of the Rose Queen.  This thirty day practise is similar to a novena but it is done over thirty days.  You  will have the opportunity to create sacred art, create a dedicated journal and I will share a number of prayers over the thirty days that you can add to your Rose Queen Journal or diary.

It is also the feast of the Nativity of Mary on 7 September and we will celebrate with a special post on Mary's link to the lunar rites of this month; on the Black Madonna tier I will share one of the very powerful and important Black Madonna's story and card from the deck in progress, whose feast day is on this day; and on the Virtual Pilgrimages I will share my special devotion and pilgrimage to Maria Bambina.
Then there are the Autumn rites and the Autumn Mysteries of Mary to be shared (I will focus on the astrology as in the Southern Hemisphere it is Spring)
AND we are entering the third gate of the Rose of Venus.
On Order of the Dove we are now moving into the Masculine Mysteries, the deeper meaning of the Cosmic Christ and a series of kundalini awakening recorded practises which I call The Immaculate Practises of the Sacred Heart of the Mary. 
All tiers will have access to the Thirty Day practise of the Blessing of the Rose Queen.  This will include altar creating, a daily ritual and a thirty day practise.  The Blessing of the Rose Queen is a form of novena, except we do it for 30 days.  Many miracles have manifested with this practise.
On the tiers that include a meditation I will share the beautiful Meditation of the Seven Roses.