The Wisdom Keeper

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

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Life is an incredible work of Mosaic

Eight of Swords - Sacred Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck

Life is an incredible piece of mosaic. 

 Life is a magnificent work of mosaic art
made from broken, smashed and fragmented pieces of
porcelain, clay, ceramic or glass.   

Each piece originally an artwork on its own.  
Each piece originally an individual
and unique item of beauty and creativity and imagination.

At one stage, the master crafter rejoiced in their birth
and took great pride in the skill and beauty that
created each piece.

Then the fall of the hammer.

Every single piece of porcelain or clay, 
has to be broken into many small
At times the hammer falls randomly.
For other pieces more planning goes into
the cutting.
All contributing to a new, unknown scenario.

 As they are broken, cut and smashed, fine dust
sprays everywhere, reminding one that these are all crafted
from sand and dust.

They lose their individuality.
together they become one vast magnificent work of art
rejoicing and praising the creation together as in one
chorus of harmony and delight.

The physical and emotional reality that we call 'Life'
is an outflow of our inner reality and a manifestation
of consciousness.  There is no separation between
the inner reality and the outer outflow.
No separation between creator, creation and the
art of creating.

There is one point of entry into the vastness.
There is one lens that can see beyond
the fragmented pieces and even beyond
the new picture of fragments.

And that door is this very moment.
Only this very moment, devoid of memory,
empty of expectation, free from the fear of
the smashing hammer, can enter through that

And as you take off the Emperor's clothing and you
leave behind everything that you think you are
and your pride in your own creations
and you come into the moment completely naked,
the door opens to reveal the vista of it All.

And as you return a new mosaic is ready and waiting ...........

Monday, July 20, 2015

gateless gate

She wears the Veil as her garment
the Crown of Heaven on her head

She is the gateless gate into that which does not exist

Queen of my heart
she who is the Veil of the Mysteries

the womanly garment of love and protetion
the blue swathe of heaven folds
like a cape of eternity

I call on you my heart
to open your eyes
I beseech you to see

Dont be fooled by the pretty pictures
nor by the dream

She is the Mystery
that place which you call Home
In the middle of nowhere,
without any fences or gates
no front door beckoning

There in the midsts of her swirling
cape billowing into the borderless blue sky
there she waits for you, arms outstretched,
Heaven crowning through her
The mantle of Acceptance

Hettienne Grobler 2015