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Saturday, January 15, 2022

Our Lady of the Living Fire


A new tier on the Temple of Mary on Patreon has replaced Divine Mary Speaks :
Our Lady of Living Fire
a5 $2 a month.

             My face is black with the wisdom of the Cosmos - Our Lady of Living Fire

The living liquid fire burns the 'samskaras', the patterning that has been imprinted in every cell of the body. This is an on-going process and it is experienced in the physical body, the mental and emotional bodies. Once the process has started, nothing can stop it and transformation will take place. - Our Lady of Living Fire

This is an extract from the first teaching received from Our Lady of Living Fire during samadhi.  The full post is available on Patreon.


Sunday, January 9, 2022

Creating the Mysteries of the Red Madonna and her Beloved tarot deck in 2022

The Passion of Venus and Pluto

from the Mysteries of the Red Madonna tarot deck

Immerse yourself in the radiant beauty
which is the world beyond the mind.
Surrender every thought, every attempt at creating a division between yourself and the other.
Join heart and sensation with the continuous dance of lovemaking between devi and dev, shakty and shiva, bharavi and bharava, god and goddess, Maria and Christos, Sophia and the Dove.
Join with the Madonna and Her Beloved who is making love in every particle of creation
With every breath and touch bless the life that surrounds you
A blessed year of the Lovers and the unfolding of the Mysteries of the Red Madonna and Her Beloved to you

 'Those initiated into these Inner Mysteries discovered that Christianity was not just about the dying and resurrecting Son of God. They were told another myth that few Christian today have even heard of - the story of Jesus' love, the lost and redeemed Daughter of the Goddess. ... They understood the Divine to have both a masculine and a feminine face; they worshiped the Divine Feminine as Sophia, the wise Goddess. - Jesus and the lost Goddess by Timothy Freke

Elaine Pagels in her book, the Gnostic Paul, writes that Paul says that 'Among the initiates we speak of Sophia' for it is 'the secret of Sophia' that is 'taught in our Mysteries'.  She also explains that when initiates of the Inner Mysteries of Christianity partook of Holy Communion, it was Sophia's passion and suffering they revered and remembered.  It is said that priests and priestesses offered initiates wine as a symbol of 'her blood.'  The prayer that was offered was :
'May Sophia fil your inner being and increase in her Gnosis.'
Another prayer to Sophia was :
'Come, hidden Mother; come, you who are made manifest in your works, and give joy and rest to those who are bound to you.  Come and partake in this Eucharist which we perform in  your name, and in the love feast for which we have assembled at your invitation.'
The Mysteries of the Red Madonna and Her Beloved will be a deck that will bring together the Divine Masculine and the Divine Feminine in the mythological teachings of Sophia, Her Daughter Mary Magdalene and Her Son-Beloved-Brother Yeshua or Jesus.
In the Mysteries of the Red Madonna I will once again explore the allegorical teachings encoded in the Outer Mysteries.  These Outer Mysteries included the allegorical initiation myths of the 'lost and redeemed' Goddess and the 'dying and resurrecting Godman of the various Gnostic communities and idealogies.  These mythological motifs are displayed in the Pagan Mysteries, and taught by the great Pagan Gnostics and the later Jewish mythological mysteries.  The Mysteries of the Red Madonna will firstly illuminate the stories and teachings of Sophia and her lost daughter, Mary Magdalene.  The Inner Mysteries of the Red Madonna will reveal the esoteric or hidden Inner Mysteries which lead to Gnosis and the final stage of Hieros Gamos or Sacred Marriage with her Beloved and Consort, the incarnate Godman.
I will explore the divine couple in Egypt, Isis and Osiris; in Greece as Persephone and Dionysus, in Syria as Aphrodite and Adonis; Cybele and Attis, Ishtar and Marduk, Asherah and Baal amongst others.

Sophia, Lady Wisdom and Maria-Sophia in the Mysteries of Mary, has been the Goddess of the Pagan philosophers for centuries.  'Philosophy' means 'lover of Sophia'.
The Goddess Ashera, in the Jewish tradition,  became known as God's companion and co-creator Sophia, in books such as Proverbs, the Sophia of Solomon and The Sophia of Jesus the son of Sirach.   
As in both the Mysteries of the 'White Lady' Mary and the Black Madonna, there will be an overlap between these three decks in the Red Madonna as well.  For the original Christians, Mary had always represented the Goddess Sophia, Queen of Heaven.
The Literalists, those who are exponents of the literal interpretation of the Mysteries, put an end to the Goddess and Divine nature of Mary and Sophia both.  They saw her as merely a mortal woman who gave birth to a divine son.  They also put an end to the equality of the sexes as proclaimed by the Gnostics and women no longer were spiritual partners to men.  Women were seen as the evil descendants of Eve because of whose sin the son of God had to die.
 I will explore the 'fallen goddess' theme in the many references to 'the soul as prostitute' in both the Gnostic texts as Biblical texts.  This will take us into the stories of Mary Magdalene, the priestess who anointed the Godman; Mary Magdalene as the Beloved Disciple and the ancient tradition of temple priestesses or Devi Dasi, the ancient Hindu tradition of the temple priestess who were called 'prostitute'.
I will also explore the various Red Madonna Sophia figures in these stories, such as the barren Elizabeth, Rebecca who draws water from the well of wisdom of Sophia, Martha, the prostitute Tamar, the fallen Batsheba, and more.
'Jesus does not show himself as he really is, but he shows himself as people are able to see him.  He shows himself to all.  To the great he appears great. To the small he appears small.  To the angels he appears as an angel, as to men as a man. Hence the Logos conceals itself from all.  Some indeed see him and realize that they are seeing themselves.' - The Gospel of Philip

I invite you to join me on Patreon at www.patreon.com/templeofmary and to become a part of the final deck in the Mysteries of Mary.

The Mysteries of Mary tarot deck out of print

 The Mysteries of Mary tarot deck is now out of print. 

I am working on a second edition with a few changes to the original deck.  The deck will be republished later this year with the details of the frames of the cards changed, but still keeping the essence of the original deck.  I may open it up for pre-orders once everything has been finalised and the printing has started.  If you would like to know when the deck will be ready, you can subscribe to this blog or join the Temple of Mary community on www.patreon.com/templeofmary.  I will also share updates on my Instagram feed @walkingwithmary.The pre-orders will be available in the online shop at www.hergracesacredart.com

'the light of our sister Mary's lamp fills the world and will not be extinguished until the end of days, so that those who have decided to be saved will receive assistance from her.  And if they receive the image of light, (fire), they will receive her rest and her blessing' - the Book of Mary's Repose

The creation of the Mysteries of Mary deck is the result of a truly mystical journey with Mary.

My journey with Mary started 25 years ago when I noticed the Woman with the Blue Flame, dressed in a calico type garment with an unusual headdress, appearing at my side during meditations.  My belief system did not include the possibility of the appearance of Mother Mary and definitely not appearing to me.  I could accept the angelic presence that walked with me, but not the divine mother.  I was known in our local community as the 'angel lady' and I spoke publicly at events and on radio shows to an audience that included religious people and other skeptics, about the presence of angelic beings in our lives.  Thus my journey started under the guidance of Archangel Michael and he led me to recognize that it was Mary that appeared to me and guided me. (I share this journey in more detail on my Patreon)

Mother of the great Cherub of Light from the Book of Mary's Repose makes the relationship between Mary and Michael very clear.  The ancient traditions of Mary's Dormition and Assumption is shared in the Book of Mary's Repose and it had a great following.  This is the oldest known writings of Mary's Dormition and this tradition is known as the Palm traditions.  Here in this card of the Queen of Distaff in the Mysteries of Mary deck, she is seen carrying a palm leaf under the book of wisdom held by her.  The Great Angel appeared to Mary and handed her this unknown book.  The Great Angel refuses to give her his name but when she ascends the Mount of Olives she recognizes him as her son Jesus.   The earliest dormition traditions followed the narrative known as the  Angel Christology.  This Christ Angel is believed to have been absorbed into the icon of Archangel Michael after the fourth century.

Mary addresses him as 'the Great Cherub of Light who resided in my womb'.  The author Stephen J Shoemaker writes that he has found an amulet referred to that speaks of 'The Great Cherub of Fire'

Mary, Mother of the Great Cherub of Light and the dormition tradition is discussed in the Mysteries of Mary tarot guide book.



Sunday, January 2, 2022

Temple of Mary on Patreon 2022 - giveaway of sacred altar


The Temple of Mary on Patreon is a vibrant community of Marian devotees, tarot lovers and pilgrims who are actively engaged in the process of creating and working with the Mysteries of Mary.

There are many tiers ranging from $2 a month to $22.

I focus on the Marian Mysteries through the tarot decks of the Mysteries of Mary, the Mysteries of the Black Madonna and the current wip Mysteries of the Red Madonna.

I also bring together astro-religion with the Marian Mysteries and the journey of Venus, Goddess of Heaven and Earth.  

Venus as Inanna-Ishtar on her journey as Morning Star and Evening Star

from the Mysteries of the Black Madonna deck

On 11 January 2022, on my birthday I will give away a sacred altar to a current patron of one of the Order of the Dove tiers.  I am still to pick which altar will be gifted and I will ship it with DHL Courier Express to anywhere in the world.  The name of the patron will be picked by a name generator and all names of Order of the Dove patrons will be entered.

The Order of the Dove tiers are currently closed for the intake of new initiates but I will open it up to a few on 1 February 2022 in time for the Walking with Mary Novena (more on that in the next post)

The Order of the Dove 
in the Mariamic tradition of alchemy,  prophecy and vision
This tier includes all other tiers as well as the Grimoire of Mary, the Black Madonna, and now the Mysteries of the Red Madonna and Her Beloved tarot deck;  the project and process.

'I Am Thy Handmaiden'  This fiat of Mary is our consent to the divine plan.  Our acceptance and consent creates a new world of grace and it is our divine purpose to birth such love and grace.  - extract from The Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck . 

The Order of the Dove is a spiritual path designed for self-crafting and self-initiation into participating as a Flamekeeper of the Temple of Mary.  
The Order of the Dove is a powerful and potent spiritual path based on Marian Shaktypat.  It is a path designed for serious initiates and its focus is kundalini awakening.  I share the Immaculate Practises of the Sacred Heart of Mary, meditations, mantra and diksha, in the tradition the Mysteries of Mary and the Alchemical Black Madonna.  The Order of the Dove is the home of the Hearthkeepers of the Hearth of Mary.  I founded the Temple of Mary in 2010 in South Africa.  Locally I offered in-person retreats, initiations and shaktypat.  After the completion of the Mysteries of Mary tarot deck I felt called to offer the non-religious spiritual path of Mary to a wider audience. Patreon makes that possible. In this tier you will be guided into self-initiations and crafting your own path.  I am no longer acting as a guru; I am merely sharing my personal path crafted from  my own kundalini awakening 30 years ago and based on 25 years of training and living as a healer and visionary with you. 

Shakty is carried through the vibration of voice, the energy of the eyes and prana pratishta; all of which I share in everything that I offer on Patreon.  In 2022 there is a much deeper focus on the alchemy of tantra.  Tantra means 'the marriage of opposites' as in spirit and body and it is the oldest living tradition.  Its teachings are done directly, through systematic meditations and practises and mantra and it is so much more than the popular teachings of tantra with its focus on sexual practises.


Hettienne Bhaktyma

Friday, November 12, 2021

The Spirit of Tarot - the search for God's picture book exhibition

 The Spirit of Tarot : The Search for God's Picture book is an exhibition at the Graduate Theological Union, in Berkeley California from 28 October 2021 to January 28, 2022. At the moment is it only an in-person exhibition, but it will probably become an online one next year, according to the exhibition archivist David Stiver.

The exhibition is entitled The Spirit of Tarot : the search for God's picture book and is introduced with a quote from the book, The Tarot of Lenora Carrington.

The tarot is not meant solely for divination purposes. Each suggest navigation devices where a poetics of the unconscious is available for immediate exploration. These cards may be consulted as subliminal objects, separate from rationality; they give access to magical environments. Because the subliminal body might be conceived as an out-of-the-body experience, it also entails a liberation from the rational corporeal form. The body is able to travel through subconscious doorways. - Susan Aberth and Tere Arcq (Fulgur Press, 2021)
The Graduate Theological Union is a private college founded to support graduate theological education and promote ecumenical and interreligious dialogue, the GTU’s location enabled access to the resources of the University of California, Berkeley, as well as with Stanford University according to the website www.gtu.edu
My work was submitted for consideration to be included in the exhibition by Prof Kate Barush, author of Imaging Pilgrimage. See my previous post.


A selection of 12 tarot decks were chosen for the exhibition, reflecting an inter-spiritual, intercultural spectrum and both the Mysteries of Mary and the Mysteries of the Black Madonna have been included. According to David Stiver, the exhibition is done in a circle with each display facing the centre. My decks are flanked by Vicky Noble's Motherpeace and Paul Foster Case's Bota tarot deck.
Other decks included are The Cards of U'Ut by Ellis Nadler, The Tarot by Lenore Carrington, The new tarot for the Aquarian Age by John Starr Cooke and Rosalind Sharpe, The Jungian Tarot by Robert Wang, The Native American Tarot by Magda Weck Gonzalez, The Bay Area Tarot by Melina Alexa Ramirex, The Hoodoo Tarot by Tayanna Quillar and the Rider-Waite tarot.
What an incredible honour for the Mysteries of Mary and the Mysteries of the Black Madonna to be included in this selection!

Sunday, October 3, 2021

Imaging Pilgrimage: Art as Embodied Experience by Kathryn Barush


Imaging Pilgrimage: Representations of Sacred Space in Contemporary Art

by Kathryn Barush published by Bloomsbury Visual Arts 2021

In her book Imaging Pilgrimage, Kathryn Barush brings together the study of medieval representations of pilgrimage to a number of contemporary art that is created after a pilgrimage and intended to act as a catalyst for others to experience, grace, healing and contemplation.  I am so honoured that she included my work with sacred altars and pilgrimage into this beautiful and enlightening book.

Images from Kathryn Barush's Instagram posts

One of the chapters in the book is dedicated to 'South African artist Hettienne Grobler (Sri BhaktymayiMa), who creates shadowboxes of assemblages of souvenirs collected
from Lourdes, in dialogue with medieval art which is rooted in the same impulses
of memory, imagination, and devotion.  

In addition to Marian imagery, Grobler also draws from Bhakti theology, and widening the aperture, her work forms an important case study to show that art that
engages two or more traditions can be used as a window into a dialogical
approach to comparative religion.'

The chapter is sub-divided into

'How and why an apparition was first 'made material''

'Mary, materiality, and message: a pilgrimage through art'

'Water, water everywhere! The Lourdes replica tradition

'Bhakti the essence of this love relationship that one experiences with the Divine.
I think one can describe bhakti as 'being absolutely madly in love.'
At first one is in love with God and the realizations that God is 'in love'
with you; then this expands and you start to see love in everything
and eventually you see the 'face of God' in everyone and everything.'

'For Grobler, 'love' is the foundation of her personal beliefs and the visual
expression it finds, and she acknowledges that this means that she can relate
to many religions and paths.  

As with her other Marian art, Grobler's Black Madonna deck has been a deep dive
into this imagery and a prayerful experience.  It has also been a way to explore
'how far back racism has been forcefully applied and internalised. One cannot really separate the Black Lives Matter ideology and the Black Madonna and I have at times felt such
awe that this deck is being created in these times'
Her social media posts with images of these works-in-progress have been interspersed
with essays on the Black Madonna as a way to celebrate Black Lives.
Although less overtly political, Grobler's project has every
potention to be a powerful tool for reflecting on, and advocating the
abolishment of, anti-Black racism through the Hindu and Catholic
theologies that her work engenders, via both her artistic process
and the iconological content.

Kathryn first approached me a few years ago and we have had 'conversations' online
and through email.  This is an incredible book;  Katryn has a wonderful way of using
language and she has opened my eyes to the incredible wealth of medieval texts and
research and her own incredible understanding and sensitivity to art as a vehicle of religion across all traditions.  This in-depth work has underscored all that I experienced within myself.  I regard
myself as 'one who walks between two worlds' and Kathryn is a kindred soul.

Dr Barush is Thomas E. Bertelsen Jr. Associate Professor of Art History and Religion

Dr. Barush received a D.Phil. from Wadham College, University of Oxford in 2012 and has held positions as Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. and as curatorial assistant at the Yale University Center for British Art.  She is the author of the monograph Art and the Sacred Journey in Britain, 1790-1850 (London: Routledge). Shifting the focus to the present day, Dr. Barush's current book project (Imaging Pilgrimage: Art as Embodied Experience, Bloomsbury Visual Culture) explores the transfer of 'spirit' from sites to representations through a critical examination of contemporary art (including assemblages of souvenirs, built environments, and reconstructions of sacred sites) created after or during pilgrimages with the intent to engender the experience for others. 

Dr. Barush takes an interdisciplinary approach to art history and is especially interested in expressions of belief across a number of religious traditions. She values a contextual and hands-on approach to learning - her students closely study ritual objects and sacred artworks up-close and in person wherever possible. Such objects, especially in places of prayer and worship but also as re-contextualized in the secular space of public museums, offer crucial insights into the study of historic and contemporary lived religion, devotional practice, and popular piety.

In addition to her research and writing, Dr. Barush is an advisor to the British Pilgrimage Trust and a member of the advisory network of the Yale Center for Material and Visual Cultures of Religion. She is also an avid walker and has led a group of graduate student pilgrims along the Camino Ignaciano in Spain.  

Follow Dr. Barush' adventures and research on Twitter @pilgrim_travels

From the website of the Graduate Theological Union -  https://www.gtu.edu/faculty/kathryn-barush

Crucible of the Heart


We are forged and fired in the crucible of the heart and art gives life and meaning to our stories.

My prayer is that I share the right medicine for you and that my words will create a sacred altar reflecting the beauty, truth, wisdom and justice which is potent and potential in our world.

The ancient tradition of creating sacred altars used to belong to the Great Mother and her devotees and it was incorporated into religion by the nuns and convents. I call it Sacred Altars and it is my offering on the Altar of Life. Twenty years ago I became a pilgrim to sacred places on the Earth and especially to where the Divine has stepped through the veil to reach us and where Mary had appeared to others. I bring waters from the holy springs and rivers; I bring back oil and salts sanctified by the Presence of the energies at these sacred places.

Pilgrimage and sacred ritual is my foremost spiritual practise. Raised Dutch Reformed Protestant, the rich lustre of sacred and holy places offered a well of inspiration for my parched soul. My travels have taken me to many different religions, cultures and traditions. Until I came into contact with the mystical side of Christianity. 

My first ritual I attended was the festival of Archangel Michael in Mont Sant'Angelo in Italy, then visiting Padre Pio. Then followed walking the pilgrimage of Bridgid, the sacred well and labyrinth in Kildare, Ireland. And that is when my art appeared in the form of paintings. 

Ritual grounded in the knowing of the unconscious, awakens us from the dream of habitual seeing and thinking. The conscious mind lacks the ability or maybe the neural pathway to communicate the new-found wisdom intellectually, and thus the expression through art steps in. Well, that is only my experience and understanding, of course. But I had not been an artist till I participated in sacred ritual. My stay at Lourdes and participating in the rituals daily, turned me into a full time artist. When one participates in a ritual (probably any ritual, but when you regard it as sacred, you add a certain 'light' to it) you are transported into a different time and space : colors are different; the light is different; everything has meaning and the ordinary become extra-ordinary. My art novena for Lourdes in particular, highlights my statement that our lives are the altar to the Divine and I strive to capture that numinosity of the sacred ritual in my photographs and altars. I only started creating sacred altars on my return from Lourdes. These small shadowboxes are vignettes, a moment in time in the life of ordinary human beings, lifted out of the mundane into the numinous, merely by seeing life as sacred.

I create from the eye of the heart, rather than the eye of the mind and hope to illuminate and show the underlying image and Divine Presence in the vignette of our personal stories.
blessings, Sri Hettienne Bhaktymayi Maria Ma