Sunday, September 4, 2016

Vintage black rosary assemblage necklace The Black Madonna


The French Madonna
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I am dark, daughters of Jerusalem and I am beautiful!

Black Virgin
Mother of us All
teach me to see the beauty in the Mystery.


The French Madonna
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Help me to relinquish my need to figure out the Holy One
with the feeble tool of my intellect
and instead encompass divine truth
with my open heart




I am tired of fighting for control.
I am ready to lay down my sword
at your gentle feet, Blessed Mother.

Give me the courage to enter the secret cave
where you hold the Redeemer nestled in your loving arms.




Your face radiates from the gaze of the angels that surround you.

Let me find my own true face reflected there.

The French Madonna
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Then I will be able to sing with the Bride

The French Madonna
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Do not see me as only dark:  the sun has started in me.

-  Mirabai Starr

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Queen of the Gypsies







Queen of the Gypsies
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Gypsy wagon in Saintes Marie de la Mer, South of France
during the Sara la Kali pilgrimage


Sante Sara la Kali in crypt of church at
Saintes Maries-de-la-Mer in South of France



Queen of the Gypsies inspired by the sacred pilgrimage to
Santa Sara la Kali, the Queen of the Gypsies
and the story of Mary Magdalene, Mary Jacobe and Mary Salome

You can read more about my first visit to Sara la Kali here :
http://pathofdivinelove.blogspot.co.za/2011/08/sara-la-kali-part-three-in-lourdes.html


The festival always takes place on Sante Sara's sacred day 25 May. The week before the caravans stream into the small sea side village.  As we travelled many motorhomes passed us.  The gypsies live in these modern motorhomes and many have enormous trailers behind. 






Outside the church of Saintes Maries de la Mer you will find flamenco playing gypsies, dancing girls, small girls handing out images of Lakshmi and older women selling the holy medals of Sante Sarah, indicating that you have arrived at the destination of your pilgrimage!  What magic!!


Lakshmi, Goddess of Wealth and Abundance


  Saintes Maries de la Mer is a quaint village known for its white horses from the Camargue, the black bulls and the three Saints : Sara, Marie Salome and Marie Jacobe.  Legend has it that they arrived here on the beach with Mary Magdalene.





Friday, July 29, 2016

Vintage Retro Nativity Rosary




Mother of God
rejoice with me.
In the midst of the petty trials
and the profound sorrows of this life,
let me catch a glimpse of your face
and dissolve into laughter




Let me remember that what matters
is not the laundry I have to fold
but the gurgling of the baby speaking his own new language
not the bank account that will not balance,
but the miracle of the dragonfly landing on my wet shoulder
as I climb out of the river on a summer day




Like the tender hand of a child
who spontaneously reaches to comfort his worried mother,
let me lightly carry the suffering of the world



a wonderfully retro kitsch rosary made from
found vintage nativity scene pieces and 
celluloid roses, rosary, crucifixes and holy medals


blessings
Hettienne

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Vessel of Spirit


Vessel of Spirit www.etsy.com/shop/thefrenchmadonna


Vessel of Spirit
from the Litany of Loreto

The theme of this title is containment.

Mary is the vessel of safekeeping and incubation.



She is the baptismal font of new life.

She is the tabernacle.
In Judaism, the tabernacle is womblike and 
contains all of God's revelation that is
nonetheless continually unfolding.

It is not a binder of old texts, but a releaser
of new and neverending revelations.



The Great Mother was seen as the container of all that
is.  A dark side of containing captivity,
in which the feminine energy ensnares us and inhibits us.

In the aspect she crushes independence - 
a feature taken over, like most of the dark side of the feminine,
by the patriarchy.

The Egyptian goddess of the sky is Nut.  Her image, with embracing arms,
was painted in a sarcophagus so she could 'hold' the dead body
and thereby prepare it for resurrection.
The Great Mother was seen in many traditions as holding us
in the container of a grave, the incubator of rebirth.



In every image of the Great Mother we see Mary.

Mary is called a Vessel of Spirit,
a Vessel of Honour and the Singular Vessel of Devotion.
These titles were added to the Litany in medieval times when
alchemy was popular.  Alchemy was not literally about
transforming lead into the gold.  


The vessel in which the leaden ego is transformed into the gold
of spiritual wholeness is the spiritual enterprise represented by the
science of alchemy. The Litany avers that the alchemical
transformation that is our spiritual destiny can happen in the body
of the divine feminine, that is, in the cosmos.



In the metaphor of the alchemical vessel, we encounter
the two maternal themes of forming and transforming.
We see Mary then as the vessel of gestation of Christ
and of all of us. 
The painful process of letting go of self-centredness occurs
so that the gold of God-centred wholeness can appear.

  extract from When Mary becomes Cosmic by David Richo

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Michael

Archangel Michael Protector of the Vulnerable www.etsy.com/shop/thefrenchmadonna
 The small lead-stained glass windows made blue rainbows of light in my hand.  As I turned the icon, the silver wings glistened and the sword reflected gold sparkles.   I could sense the essence of the Archangel Michael statue and deep inside of me a part of me welled with a sense of yearning and I declared to all who cared to listen “From wherever this statue has come, that is where I am going!!!”


And this is how my  very first pilgimage started and my life long passion to discover and uncover
more about the power of myth and the our relationship with the sacred.




 A friend brought me the San Michele (Saint Michael as he is known in the Roman Catholic Church) icon from Italy.  The little statue found its way into my hands via another friend.  I had no idea where it came from other than somewhere in Italy.  I decided that the September school holidays would be a good time.  As I had to ask Granny to help with the house-sitting and taking care of my children, I moved the dates a week earlier so as to avoid taking her away from the rest of her family for her birthday!!!!  I had no idea at that time how important this shuffling of dates were!!!  As to the location of the San Michele sanctuary: that I left up to The Universe.


Three months before my departure date I discovered that the annual San Michele festival takes place on 29 September in a small town called Monte Sant’Angelo in the province of Foggia in Italy.  On the same day I discovered that this is indeed the shrine where my statue came from!!!  By having moved the dates of my trip to a week earlier, I had given myself three days to travel down to Monte Sant’Angelo to arrive in time for the festival!!  The annual festival takes place on the Saint’s day and it is dedicated to the Archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael. 


Monte Sant’Angelo forms part of the Gargano Pilgrim Way.  The Gargano being that part of the Italian continent that looks like the spur of the boot.   The landscape, soil and vegetation in this part is completely different to the rest of Italy and it is believed that this section broke off from another continent with the moving apart of the continents.

I visited the sacred grotto in Monte Sant'Angelo where Michael appeared twice to
many villagers.  We participated in the festivities of the Archangel Festival 
and we decided to change our holiday plans and to complete the Gargano Pilgrim Way
which included the Basilica of Padre Pio.

This wonderfully impulsive act of mine altered the course of my life.
I learnt about the Michael and Mary leylines and followed Michael
to England where I continued to follow the leylines for six consecutive years.
It meant many changes within myself and challenges to be overcome
and the adventure still continues.

Thus, this piece I created in celebration of
Michael,
Saint and Archangel,
Protector of the Vulnerable and Defender of the Feminine

If you would like to read more about my pilgrimages
please visit Cloister of the Heart
http://pathofdivinelove.blogspot.com

blessings
Hettienne



Monday, July 25, 2016

Triumph of the Immaculate Heart

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You who radiate peace, dear Mary,
help us to break this obsession with war
and vanquish the culture of death.



Too many people have died, Blessed Mother,
and no amount of official explanations
and strategic manipulations
can possible justify such suffering.




At this very moment, all over the planet,
dozens of battles are raging,
like bursts of flame exploding
from different zones of a forest on fire.





Whether they take the form of the 
massive bloodshed of entire communities
or single acts of domestic violence,
your Mother-Heart will not tolerate such hatred.



You break yourself open
and offer us the only true antidote
to the poison of global strife:
universal love.




The Triumph of the Immaculate Heart
from
Mother of God
Similar to Fire
by
Mirabai Starr

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Hand of Our Lady of Lourdes


The most powerful experience at the Grotto of Massabielle
at Lourdes in France is one of absolute peace.

Peace beyond words and understanding.
I personally witnessed and became immersed in the peace
and this peace never leaves.  Even when the emotions
and the mind lose focus, the peace sits underneath,
eternally watching and loving, waiting for the storm to
pass and for the mind to become aware of Its Presence again.

When one is at Lourdes and especially during the processions,
you are struck by the absolute acceptance of those who come there
looking for healing, miracles and peace.
And this acceptance is not a passive giving-up but an active
choice of surrender to a Greater Power and
an active act of forgiveness of the self, of the world,
and of God.


The peace of accepting that one is held in the embrace
of loving powerful hands even when nothing makes sense.


The peace of accepting that Love has a plan that will bring you
peace because your own plans has not been able to do.


And the greatest acceptance that our belief systems are only
that : belief systems.  And often and mostly, we have to be
willing to change our minds and to let go of our way thinking
and believing and our need to feel secure and allow
Life to show us a different and better way of being with ourselves
and with life.



The peace of knowing that the Divine is not defined and created
by concepts and words and dogma, but our relationship
with the Divine is crafted from our pain and joy;  from our
personal experiences and our direct knowledge and insights
and that it is a highly personal, individual and unique relationship
which does not depend on the interpretation of it by others.



The peace of knowing that you can never be lost.  That the Hand
of Love has you tightly in her grip.


When visiting the Grotto of Massabielles at Lourdes in France, and especially during the processions,
one is struck by the incredible peace that is present here and by the peace that you experience within yourself.  This peace can be attributed to many things, but the most noticeable is that the absolute dynamic acceptance of the Divine Order of this world and its hardships, by the thousands of pilgrims who visit daily.  Peace that comes from within and peace which is present within each one of us, it just takes some steps on our side to welcome peace into our hearts and minds.

This experience inspires most of my work and especially my
Lourdes pieces such as the Hand of Our Lady of Lourdes




Handmade Mother Mary Our Lady of Lourdes French blue and Sterling Silver Assemblage Rosary Necklace made with Vintage Rosaries and Virgin Mary blue Glass Beads. Includes Vintage Catholic Holy Medals (Our Lady of Lourdes and Vintage Miraculous Medal), a Sterling Silver Heart and a silver hand.  This Unique Handmade Vintage Assemblage Rosary is Blessed with Our Lady of Lourdes, Holy Water. 


A blend of very old Lourdes medals, handcrafted sterling silver charms, fire beads in the most beautiful subtle colours and a double strand of a very old mother of pearl rosary.  All of these together create the sacred wearable altar called the Peace of Lourdes.  The necklace symbolizes that if your heart is safely held by the Blessed Mother you know true peace.



This necklace contains fire beads, a Lourdes grotto centrepiece, two beautiful hands holding the centrepiece, with a very old rosary connector with an image of Our Lady, two sterling silver hearts and a hand hanging from it.  Halfway through the necklace is a beautiful reversible Lourdes grotto rosary centrepiece from which the double strand of mother of pearl rosary follows.  it all comes together with a sterling silver handcrafted hook.

With this necklace you will receive a small bottle of Lourdes water from one of my pilgrimages to Lourdes. added many more pictures here.




As part of my spiritual practise I travel at least once a year to places sacred to the Divine Feminine and especially where she is known and worshiped as Mary. I bring items back with which i create pieces of art to be used and enjoyed as items to remind us of the Divine power of healing, Grace and peace available to us and within reach. The beauty of Her images and sacred symbols soften our hearts and open our minds and Divine Inspiration reminds us that She is as close as our own breath. All it takes is hope and faith and Grace will flow.


All my pieces are shipped with a small amount of sacred salts or holy water, gathered and collected from the sacred places. I carry them in the healing processions and touch them to the Earth which holds these high vibrations where She has appeared in form and is still appearing. 

You can read http://www.hergracesacredart.com/p/sacred.html about the process of infusing my art with sacred oils.

Her Grace Sacred Art and Altars are all sacred items. The wearable shrines and altars
are hand made shadowboxes to be worn as an altar. Each piece is unique and individual and an original. Every wearable altar, shrine and pendant carries the signature of the 
artisan (me) engraved on a sterling silver leaf, or on the back of a sterling silver hand cast icon,
or on a brass dangle, hanging on the necklace.

Each one of my pendants, shrines, paintings and other sacred art  are first infused with holy water from Lourdes (which I brought back),  and then infused with holy relic oil of more than 53 Saints & pure essential oils.  A mixture of one hundred oils are used, including frankincense, 
myrrh, spikenard, agarwood and rose.

It is also immersed in blessed pink dead sea salts,  infused with rose petals steeped in holy oil of a third relic of St Therese of Lisieux  and it is packaged with blessed salts, frankincense and
sprinkled with holy water collected form many sacred places in the world.

So it becomes a holy object to be handled with reverence and care.


blessings

Hettienne