The Wisdom Keeper

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Feast Day of the Nativity of Blessed Mary

Nativity of Holy Child-Daughter
II Roses
Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck

By honouring and acknowledging the birth of the holy child-daughter, Mary Herself, the masculine story is changed and the daughter and girl-child becomes sacred in the collective unconscious.

‘A hermit had on a certain night for many years heard music in the heavens. When he asked the cause an angel answered, : the Virgin was born this night, and what is ignored on earth is being celebrated by angels’ – Legends of Mary, Thirteenth Century

In this card we see the birth of the holy daughter, the female bearer of the Christ.  When one considers that the term Christ or Christed One is a title and not part of a name, then the sentence ‘female bearer of the Christ’ has a completely different meaning.  Mary is the feminine companion to Jesus or Maryam to Yeshua in the original Aramaic.  As we saw earlier three Marys always accompanied Jesus one of whom was his mother and one his companion or beloved.  Reading these words and stories with the inner mystical eye of vision and understanding, we understand that the psyche has four aspects : two masculine and two feminine and these are referred to as mother, father, daughter and son.  The picture reflected a whole psyche is incomplete without the daughter.  What would change within both men and women when the Christ appears in female form?  Or when the Christ appears as a divine couple? 

In the Lost Books of the Bible, The Gospel of the Birth of Mary, Mary’s lineage and birth is described in detail.    Mary of Agreda in her book The Mystical City of God which describes the details of the life of the Virgin, calls the child Mary, ‘the true living Ark of the covenant’.

In the Koran it is told that in the year 16 BCE, the people of Jerusalem are awaiting the birth of the son of Imran (Anna in Greek). Instead of the much-anticipated "Messiah", a girl is born to Imran and Anna. The latter names her Mary, which means "Servant of God". Did they miss the birth of the Messiah through their expectation that he has to be male?

 In the Gospel of the Birth of Mary, it is described that the angel visited both Joachim and Anna (Mary’s parents) on two separate occasions.  Mary’s conception and birth was a miraculous one.  Anna, her mother was barren until the Archangel Gabriel visited her and declared that her barren womb will be opened by God and that the Holy Spirit will descend into the body of her daughter Mary whilst still in the womb.  Mary referred to herself as The Immaculate Conception when She appeared to Bernadette at Lourdes.   The sanctuary of the nativity of the virgin Mary is in Milan and her tiny effigy wrapped in lace and swaddling clothes is known as Santa Maria Bambina.  Her nativity is on 8 September and is one of the twelve major feast days in the liturgical calendar.    In the years between 1720 and 1730 a Franciscan nun from Todi (Sister Chiara Isabella Fornari) created wax statues of Mary as a baby. One of these dolls was donated to the Capuchin Sisters of Santa Maria degli Angeli in Milan. Eventually the statue arrived at the General House of the Sisters of Charity of Lovere , in Via Santa Sofia in Milan, and these sisters are called "Maria Bambina" .
The miraculous image of Maria Bambina was made prior to 1730 by a Franciscan nun who afterwards entrusted Her to others. During the ensuing years, she came into the care of the Sisters of Charity at Lovere, Italy. In 1856, these Sisters of Charity were asked to take over the management of the Hospital of Ciceri in Milan and, in 1876, this waxen image was carried to their Mother House there at Via Santa Sofia 13, where she has remained ever since.
The beautiful image of the Maria Bambina was exposed for veneration only on the 8th of September, the Feast of Mary's Nativity. In 1884, those who were devoted to the Maria Bambina received a reward for their devotion. Due to paralysis in her arms and feet, Sister Josephine Woinovich was bedridden and in unbearable pain. On the 8th of September, she begged the Mother General to get Maria Bambina and leave the image near her overnight. The following morning the Mother General was inspired to take the image, so old, worn and grayish colored to the other sick Sisters in the infirmary so they could kiss her.

There was in the infirmary a good novice, Giulia Macario, who was unable to move because of her serious illness, but who, overcome by her ardent faith, took the image into her arms and pleaded with her in tender and loving words for the grace for her recovery. She was immediately and miraculously cured, for such Faith moves mountains. And at the same time this image itself underwent an amazing transformation from the former dull gray color to the warm flesh hues it has today, as can be seen, where she is enshrined in the Sanctuary of the Mother House in Milan.

In this card we see the birth of the holy daughter, the female bearer of the Christ.  When one considers that the term Christ or Christed One is a title and not part of a name, then the sentence ‘female bearer of the Christ’ has a completely different meaning.  Mary is the feminine companion to Jesus or Maryam to Yeshua in the original Aramaic.  As we saw earlier three Marys always accompanied Jesus one of whom was his mother and one his companion or beloved.  Reading these words and stories with the inner mystical eye of vision and understanding, we understand that the psyche has four aspects : two masculine and two feminine and these are referred to as mother, father, daughter and son.  The picture reflected a whole psyche is incomplete without the daughter.  What would change within both men and women when the Christ appears in female form?  Or when the Christ appears as a divine couple? 

Luce Irigaray in her work says that ‘there is no woman God, no female trinity: mother, daughter, spirit.  This paralyses the infinite of becoming a woman since she is fixed in the role of mother through whom the son of God is made flesh’

By honouring and acknowledging the birth of the holy child-daughter, Mary Herself, the masculine story is changed and the daughter and girl-child becomes sacred in the collective unconscious.

Santa Maria Bambina with golden wool
Handmaiden of Suit of Distaff
Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck

These stories of the divine are powerful myths which activate and animate archetypes in our consciousness.  Mary calls Herself the Immaculate Conception and as such Her birth is truly a divine birth of a divine female and feminine which has been lying fast asleep like the princess in Sleeping Beauty (Card IV of the Suit of the Distaff).  Creating art and seeing images of Mary as the holy girl-child  and images of the Sacred Mother and Daughter will change our understanding of the world and our Soul completely.

Mary serving as priestess in Temple of the Dove
Four of Vessels
Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck

I used mainly Western Christian Catholic icons, statues and symbolism, which I combined with the wider vision of the journey of the feminine divine as archetype of the Self. By juxtaposing these well-known images onto a different context and by re-connecting their symbolism to the correspondences found in myths, legend, fairy tale and stories carried down through the ages, a deeper, more meaningful picture unfolds.  I set out taking the well-known Christian images of Mary (and really mostly the only ones readily available) out of their Roman Catholic context thus giving them new meaning.  As my own personal journey evolved and I immersed myself into the Christian mysteries at the sites sacred to Mary that I visited, I discovered that the numinous emanation of Mary truly still does exist in the Christian art and symbology.  I found that She had merely been veiled by dogma and conditioned belief and that when you see with ‘new eyes’, then the true Divine Mary and Goddess is still radiating Her Presence and always has done so.  I realised that the Christian churches and copious art works has been the vessel for Her through the dark ages of the suppressed feminine.  This awakened the inspiration and resolve within myself to reveal Her to others in the same way that She revealed Herself to me.

A limited edition of the Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck and Book 
is now available on pre-order
on my website here :


Friday, October 7, 2016

The Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck pre-orders now available

Image from the Queen or Roses,
Earth Cloak of the Mother
Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck

The dream is manifesting.
The Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck are in its final stages of
graphic work being done and in a few days will be
off to the printers.  It is expected to be ready for shipping
at the end of October or  beginning November 2016 -
in good time for Christmas.

The deck has been reworked and now has a beautiful, rich
French and baroque style of colour and finish.
Many touches of gold and beautiful royal luminous colours.
The deck is accompanied by a paperback cover book
with years of research, ritual, prayers, mantra and
wisdom straight from the Mystery School of Mariam-Mary.

I am printing a limited edition for now.
Each deck will come in its own unique packaging
unique to that deck and signed by myself, the vessel
of the vision of Mysteries of Mary.

I am taking pre-orders if you want to secure your copy.
Deposits are accepted.

Extracts and discussions of the cards are available on the website
Mysteries of Mary Tarot at

Today we know the Blessed Mary as the Mother of Jesus who plays a small part in the story of Protestant Christianity and who plays an important part in the Roman Catholic tradition. She is lesser known as a goddess in the feminine traditions and very few would connect her with the great Mother goddesses of the past or the Lady Sophia in the Wisdom traditions.

But to myself, and others like me, there is a connection, a red thread that connects the dots in the eye of the heart. The ancient divine feminine had been demonised many moons ago and her stories had gone underground. One has to rely on myth, folk tale, oral traditions, fairy tales and subtle clues and especially correspondences, to uncover Her story. And today Mary is the Sacred Keeper of all Our Lady’s titles and Wisdom.

The Mysteries of Mary is a reweaving and a regathering of all these threads of Our Lady’s garment created from red wool and linen. We look in the Bible, in the Koran, the Kabbalah and many other ancient and rediscovered lost books. There are also esoteric and apocryphal books that tell the stories of Mary, the feminine counterpart of the Divine Creator in the Western religion and myth and many of these stories have been included to create The Mysteries of Mary deck. In this deck the story starts with Mara, the bitter one. Why is she called Mara? We follow Mara, the holy fool through the stories of Maria Prophetissa, the Jewess and the first woman alchemist, to Sophia, Mary of the Gael onwards till we get to the Woman who stands on the moon with twelve stars around her head.

Woven into the tapestry of myth, metaphor and inspiration, are fairytales and in particular, the folktale of The Handless Maiden. And so are the Greek, Roman, Egyptian, pagan and especially the Judaic history which is the precursor to the Christian mysteries.

The deck incorporates alchemical principles and as such it is a marriage of opposites, a living hieros gamos which follows the sacred journey of the Holy Fool through the mysteries of Mary. I focus on the mystical (hidden) and inner meanings of the Mysteries of Mary. Historically and politically there are so many theories and ideas – none of them completely provable – thus it remains a Mystery. The teachings of Jesus and the Marys, are also open to various interpretations. Many wars have been fought based on differences in interpretation. I am not exploring the religion of the Mystery, but rather the message that I, personally see in this ancient story.

The four suits of the deck correspond with the four cycles of Marys life : Virgin and Priestess as the Suit of Vessels; Beloved and Bride as the Suit of the Holyrood; Mother and Sacred Woman as the Suit of Distaff and Wisdom as Suit of Roses.

It is my vision that this deck can be the start of a far greater vision : one that marries the mind and the heart; the feminine and the masculine. It is my hope that you will glimpse the revelation that all religion contains Soul and that the veils of dogma and manipulation obscure the truth. May you look in the mirror of Sophia and see yourself as Love Eternal. - extracted from the Introduction of the accompanying book.

The full price of the deck and book set is USD50 plus shipping with a tracking number.

You can choose to pay a deposit of USD25 now and the balance when the deck is ready to be shipped.

Payments can be made through PayPal below.

If you are shopping locally and want to pay in South African Rands
it is cheaper for you to pay into my bank account.  Should you choose to
do so, please send me an email to let me know that you paid
for a deck.

The price of the of deck and book set is R750.00

If you buy two or more sets, you can get the sets at R700 per set.

A pre-order deposit of R350 per set will be accepted
If you need a layaway plan please email me at

For South African banking details please go to


Choose a payment option

Shipping costs $12.00 worldwide with tracking to be paid on shipping

Monday, August 1, 2016

A labour of Love

A small portion of the 78 Tarot Cards

Two years ago I started the project of creating my own tarot deck.  I had the vision of each card being a handcrafted shrine. But I did not want to just emulate the traditional tarot decks based
on the teaching of the Order of the Golden Dawn or Rider-Waite. I wanted to share and highlight my own understanding based on my own experiences.  I saw that this could be a vehicle
for sharing my own teachings and mystical insight into the hidden secrets in religion and the new age.

I took time out from offering classes and retreats through my wisdom school, The Temple of Mary
and I closed my shop on I packed away my paints and canvases and focused solely on creating this deck.

Ace of Vessels
The New Human

And what a labour of love it was.  I loved each and every 
moment of it.  The process was to collate the
many stories of Mary, gathered from folktales,
legend, metaphor and myth, Bible stories
and apocryphal books such as the Proevangelium
of James.

Each shrine consists of a small wooden shrine which contains the miniature diorama of the part of the story that I am depicting.

Card XV Our Lady and the Stag
Through the years I had become a committed
spiritual pilgrim and travel at least once a year
to a sacred site in the world;  especially places
where the Divine had manifested into the physical.
During my travels I collected many bits and pieces
and especially vintage and wonderfully kitsch
(some of them) religious statues.  I wanted these
for my hand crafted shrines and this became a
mission in itself.  I had to make two extra trips to
Europe to source statues and I have spent hours
on the internet buying up these little figurines.

Maria Bambina, Vessel of the Suit of the Distaff

The Tarot deck has 78 cards :
22 Major Arcana cards which are the main archetypal cards followed by the Minor Arcana which are separated into the four suits.

Well, all 78 shrines have been completed!
And my studio have been taken over by them.  All my books and display areas
have been taken over by the shrines.  

This is but a small portion of the shrines and only one wall -
they cover three walls

My vision is to publish the deck with a small accompanying book.
And then to rewrite this book over time into a more expanded version.
So now the next part of this Labour of Love is starting.

If you are interested in following my journey and
learning from my mistakes,
please follow my blog
Higher Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck

I will be offering the deck for sale in my online
shop The French Madonna
and I will offer special pre-publication offers
as well.

And I am working on some unique jewellery pieces based on the cards in the deck.  I have started with Card XVIII Stella Maris, traditionally The Star.

Higher Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck

Each pendant will be accompanied by a Tarot Card and its meaning and interpretation, packaged in a special tin or presentation box.

If you would like to stay up to date with my journey and the Higher Mysteries
of Mary tarot deck, you can subscribe to this blog in the side margins
where it says "Follow by email' or you can become
a follower on Google Plus.

I am also on Instagram where I update regularly.


Friday, July 22, 2016

A blessed feast day of Mary Magdalene

Queen of Vessels :  The Mystery of the Bridechamber
A tantric ritual, the anointing of the Bridegroom

'The Coptic Gospel of Mary, found in the fifth-century papyrus codex,
is the only known gospel to have been written under a woman's name, that
of Mary'.*  There are those that interpret this Gospel to have been
written by Mary Magdalene, others say it is Mary, the mother of Jesus.

'As a controversial saint now emerging for the first time from the
shadows of Church history, the Magdalene has become today even
more important as one of Jesus' closest disciples and arguably
the most magnetic and yet problematic character in the whole of the
Christian story.  It is becoming apparent that her importance
to the development of early Christianity's mysterious bridechamber
sacrament has been greatly underrated.'

Mary Magdalene, as priestess of the Mysteries of the
Bridechamber,  re-enacting the tantric ritual of the Bridalchamber
Anointing the King -
'Mary's gospel is an exercise in first-century equality....
Clearly, Mary was a woman of wisdom possessed of many
such occult secrets, and in a time of terrible crisis after the master's
death she showed herself well able to lead the group.  Yet,
as a leader, Mary is handicapped by her gender and must
plead for understanding and acceptance of her fellow male
disciples. Yet, this undeniable female imprisonment has not
always existed, a fact of which spiritual leaders like Jesus, versed
in the doctrines of the Old Religion, must have been well aware.
For almost four thousand years - from about 7000 BCE to 3500 BCE, 
in the depths of the Neolithic age - an advanced culture
complex existed in which women were truly free and responsible
equally with men for the building and creative organisation of their society.'

'With the fall of Jerusalemn, both the Pharisees and the Judaeo-Christians were
freed from political constraints to pursue their own course.  In the same period
Christians launched into the production of both the New Testament gospels
and a large corpus of Gnostic gospels, such as the Gospel of Mary,
the Pistis Sophia, the Gospel of Truth, the Dialogue of the Saviour, and others.
All these apocryphal documents betray Qabalistic themes centred on 
the rite of the sacred marriage and the new role of the feminine
principle as an essential subtext in Christian discourse.
Yet apart from Jesus' occasional references to himself as bridegroom
the sacred marriage theme is noticeably absent from the
Christian scriptures, and the disappearance of the Gnostic texts
themselves for nearly two thousand years has reinforced the 
common assumption that Jesus' embrace of the messianic function
meant that women and tantra had no place in his life.'

The symbols of Mary Magdalene as priestess of the
Mysteries of the Sacred Bridechamber

In the Queen of Vessels (traditionally Cups)
Mary Magdalene is seen dressed in the colours gold
and purple depicting alchemical transformation and
wisdom.  She is surrounded by symbols of alchemy
and the trantic principles of death and rebirth.
In the background is the jar of sacred spikenard oil.
A very rare and precious oil traditionally linked to the ancient
mysteries of anointing the sacrificial King and the tantric ritual
to take place between the King and his Lover in the Sacred Bridal
Mary Magdalene holds a chalice or the Holy Grail which contains
a living fish.  The symbol of the fish was a symbol of the Goddess
which was appropriated by the Christians.  The old religion explains
that we come from the waters and it can be linked to the ancient myths
of when fish grew legs.  This myth is also linked to the story of
Quetzlcoatl and the plumed serpent.  The name Mary can be linked
to Mares, the Ocean or Sea of Consciousness and Existence and
Isis (whom preceded Mary in the Egyptian myths) were depicted to
travel in her boat across the sky.

'The apocryphal texts give full support to Mary Magdalene's role
as Jesus' spiritual partner.  They frequently refer to Mary as
Sophia, Spirit of Wisdom, and claim that Jesus gave her the
title 'Apostle of Apostles' and called her Mary-Lucifer,
the Light-Bringer.'

De Voragine, the Dominican archbishop of Genoa,
called her Illuminant and Illuminatrix, both enlightened and
empowered to bestow enlightenment on others.

Of course there are many discussions, views and paths based on the
interpretation of the Mysteries of the Bridechamber.
The Gnostic gospels with their talk of images, metaphorical
garments, and symbols in general, seem to struggle continually
to make their multileveled and spiritualized worldview comprehensible
to their readers.  In a spiritualised view and understanding the
Hieros Gamos, the sacred mystery of the Bridechamber, takes
place in the inner Bridechamber, in the spiritual self.  It is a coming together
of the masculine and feminine inner self, the ultimate tantra, beyond
physical sexual intercourse.

In the bridechamber, death is annulled.  The true marriage, the living
marriage, is not to be found in this material world where death dwells.
This is the Gnostic teaching of the Sacred Bridechamber Mystery.
It also describes the interior union that is possible between compatible souls
who have been adequately purified. 

In the Gospel of Mary, she points out several times that the Master
has 'proclaimed the child of humanity' - that is, the divine
self-goverining principle - to be the Inner Guide
within each of them.  Here Mary indicates that the disciples
have achieved mastery of the higher cerebrospinal energy
centers critical to the birth of spiritual love.  That is the criterion
of a full individuated human being - that she be one who has
mastered the energic secrets of the higher chakras and no longer
needs the physical sexual act to establish a blissful
psychospiritual union with another human being.
Such a one meets the bridechamber of the heart,
where the true psychic marriage takes place.

blessings on this the feast day of Mary Magdalene, Beloved and Bride


*Extracts from Victoria LePage, Mysteries of the Bridechamber as well as

Tuesday, May 17, 2016



"She hastens to make herself known to all those who desire her
The one who rises early to seek her will not grow weary

but find her already seated at the gates their house."

Book of Wisdom

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Feast Day of Our Lady of Lourdes

Feast Day of Our Lady of Lourdes

Maria Bambina
Sacred Mysteries of Mary Deck

Today is the final day of the
Art Novena for Our Lady of Lourdes

Today I am reminded of the universality of Mary
and the mystery of who she really is.
To some she is the literal figure in a Bible story;
to others she is a Western goddess;
some know her as Queen of Heaven and the Angels
and still others know as her Mama, Gaia,
Mother Earth and our nature.

Coronation of Mary
Sacred Mysteries of Mary Deck
Who is she to you?
What are the whispers in your ear? 
What are the winds stirring up in your heart?
It takes great courage to answer that call
and to step out of the comfort and security
of the unexamined room in which we live.
Has she been calling  you?
Then today is the day to answer.

Sacred Mysteries of Mary

Then today is the day to accept the call to step out
into the unknown

Lady with the Lamp
Sacred Mysteries of Mary Deck

To do that which you have been avoiding,
to see and hear that part of yourself that has
been tugging on the hem of your coat,
begging for attention

Maria Bambina - spinning gold
Sacred Mysteries of Mary Deck

'I realized that all the powers of the Mothers, of Tara, Durga, Kali are in Mary.
She has Tara's sublime tenderness;
Durga's inaccessible silent calm force;
the grandeur and terribilta of Kali.
But Mary is also a woman,
a poor woman
and a human mother.

Sacred Mysteries of Mary Deck

In her the full path of the sacred feminine is lived.
In her we have a complete image of the Divine Mother,
an image at once transcendent and immanent,
other-worldly and this-wordly,
at once mystical and political and practical.

In Mary the Divine Mother comes to earth and lives on earth
and lives, the passionate, strong, serious,
simple and transforming life that shows us all how to live.

Sacred Mysteries of Mary Deck

Mary is the bridge between heaven and earth,
between the human and the divine worlds,
between human and divine justice."
                                                                             Andrew Harvey in The Return of the Mother


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The Blessing of the Rose Queen and the Lady of Hearts

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. 
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.

The blessing of the Rose Queen and the Lady of Hearts : a shrine to the mystery of the angelic realms and the divine feminine and the resurrection of the feminine mysteries. On top is the Crown of the Immaculate and the two doors are covered with images of the Madonna and Christ, embellished with charms of the occult and esoteric, symbols of fortune and blessing, a key to unlock the mysteries, a scissors to cut the veil, a rose and a heart to depict the Heart of the Mysteries, miniature tarot cards, vintage playing cards and a crucifix, sprinkled with black rhinestones.

The two door knobs are each a miniature shrine in itself. From each one dangles a tiny red heart and inside are images of the Lady, decorated with stars and a rose. The doors are lined with red velvet, depicting the power of the Blessing and the Mystery. The heart opening is outlined with blue roses - symbol of the Rose Queen.

When you open the shrine, the Lady of Hearts is revealed. She is displayed on a handmade tarot cards, and each door is lined with altered tarot cards and a vintage Queen of Hearts, as well as miniature tarot cards. The left door displays the mighty Archangel Michael and the Angel of Judgement.

Hail Mary, full of grace,
The Lord is with thee
Blessed art thou among women
and Blessed is the fruit of thy womb

Holy Mary, Rose Queen and Lady of Hearts
Bestow your Blessing upon us
Now and Forever
Blessed Be