Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Please follow me to Inspiration Avenue!

Meet and Greet for Hettienne~ Welcome!

We at Inspiration Avenue Etsy Team would like to introduce you to our newest lovely team member, Hettienne. Yay! Hettienne is a gentle and warm creative soul. I asked her to tell us a little about herself, so we all could get to know her better. And here's what she shared with us:

I live in Cape Town, South Africa. I am mother of three - two of whom are already at University. My home language is Afrikaans, a language only spoken in South Africa - it is very close to Dutch and Belgian. I have a degree in languages and have always been a free lance writer, editor, copy writer and so on. Most of my life has been dedicated to my family and my contemplative spiritual community, till 13 years ago when I started to paint.
Discovering and uncovering my ability to create, opened my heart even more and now I had a wonderful tool to help me interpret myself, my feelings, my experiences. it also taught me how to extend to others, to overcome my fears and vulnerabilities and to let down my defences! To me, life is art. I still have a small group of spiritual students and art in every form is included in all my courses and retreats.
From painting I went on to mosaic, then jewellery making and beading and then to the mixed media crafts which I enjoy the most. Joining in Etsy has really opened my eyes to the incredible creativity of women! Every day I learn something new.

My first love in life is to travel and to travel to places rich in history and spirituality. And I love blogging. What an incredibly supportive and generous community is available on line. It broadens our horizons and it brings us all closer to one another. I write four blogs - in each one I share a different aspect of myself with my community. At first I was hesitant and shy to reveal myself so intimately and I had to deal with a few disappointments in blogging world, but like everything in life, it makes us stronger and expands our hearts, when we overcome our own fears.

I play the piano and I work in the garden as often as I can.
Thanks Hettienne. As you can see by the images I selected from Hettienne's blog (Her Grace by Devata) and etsy shop (Her Grace) she has a talent for mixed-media art. Please help us give Hettienne a warm welcome. We are so happy to have you join us!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Give Away!

If you are interested in the Tarot, follow this link and join in to become eligible for a free copy of Wheel of Life, Archetypal Journey (e-book).

Also visit my other and read the past few weeks' posts about some of the Major Arcana of the Tarot.


Gypsy Bag Give-Away

Have a look at the beautiful Gypsy Brocante bag giveaway!!  She also has a shop on where these beautiful bags are for sale!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

House of Gold

From the Litany of Loreto :

Spiritual vessel, pray for us
Vessel of honour, pray for us
Singular vessel of devotion, pray for us
Mystical rose, pray for us
Tower of David, pray for us
Tower of Ivory, pray for us
House of Gold, pray for us

The Loreto shrine, the traditional house of Mary, the dwelling of the feminine aspect of God.  At sunset it is bathed in gold and so it is often referred to as the golden house. 

Gold is a symbol of grace and spiritual virginity.  Gilding of images of gods and saints in India was meant to show their spiritual perfection and how they hearken from a world beyond ego.  Halos are gold auras betokening the divine light that emanates from saints who are incarnations of the divine life.

A custom was to bronze the shoes in which a baby first walked.  Mary is the house of the ego that has been gilded because she walked the path from ego to Self.  She represents the completed process of the ego/Self axis.  By the invocation, House of Gold, we commit ourselves to enter the mansion of spiritual individuation.  What happened to her, happens to us :  we make a series of choices and  surrenders that move us from cellar to attic and then down to earth and out into the world with treasures to share.

In the fire of creation, gold does not vanish:  the fire brightens.  Each creature God made must live in its own true nature;  how could I resist my nature, that lives for oneness with God? - Mechtild of Magdeburg

Mary, we enter the house of your golden radiance
We find in you the virtues that make our world a house of gold
We share with you the house of earth and join you in making it a palace of light
We offer the sunrise and the sunset to you
Help us in our beginnings and our endings
May we make the world a house of golden love.  (extract from prayer by David Richo)

Golden blessings!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Her Heart tucked among ordinary things ....

I thought of Mary's spirit, hidden everywhere. Her heart a red cup of fierceness tucked among ordinary things ...... Here, everywhere, but hidden. 
Whatever it is that keeps widening your heart, that's Mary too, not only the power inside you but the love. And when you get down to it, that's the only purpose grand enough for a human life. Not just to love - but to persist to love.
She is a muscle of love, this Mary. I feel her in unexpected moments, her Assumption into heaven in places inside me. She suddenly rises, and when she does, she does not go up into the sky, but further and further inside me .... She goes into all the holes life has gouged out of us.  - Sue Monk Kidd : The Secret Life of Bees.

Nisargadatta, the Hindu sage, says "Sin is that which binds us".  In Buddhism sin is considered ignorance.  St Thomas Aquinas, in answer to the question about whether we can ever give up on ourselves, says that grace is always available no matter what we have done.  Despair is therefore never a necessity. 

The mystic Julian of Norwich wrote : "Sin is behovely (necessary) but all will be well".  She taught that sin has no ultimate reality since it is based on ignorance and yet it does lead to knowledge and thereby it is useful.  This is a powerful way of describing the role of our shadow in our spiritual journey to Love.

Mary is the refuge of sinners because we can always rely on the feminine in the psyche to guide us to self-acceptance, forgiveness and wholeness.

Spiritual practice leads to developing the musculature to hold a wounded humanity as Mary does.  Our sorrows and losses in life are a workout to build our inner strength and our inner capacity for unlimited compassion.  Through our own trials and tribulations we learn that there is a unifying love and we become more conscious of others' pain and of the need to help them.  We become God's love in the world.

Feast after feast thus comes, and passes by
Yet, passing, points to the glad feast above.
Giving sweet foretaste of the festal joy
The Lamb's great bridal feast of bliss and joy - Horatius Bonar

Blessed Be