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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)


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