Monday, October 31, 2011

On Wings of Prayer

Hail holy Queen, Mother of mercy, our life

I am the mother of fair love and of respect and of knowledge and of holy hope. In me is all grace of the way and of the truth; in me is all hope of life and of virtue - Ecclesiasticus 24:24

My knowledge is so weak, O blissful Queen,
To tell abroad thy mighty worthiness ...
Guide thou my song - Chaucer

Mary is a statue sculpted by God as an image of a divine archetype - St Andrew of Crete in the eighth century.

The literal view of the importance of Mary is as the mother of Jesus.  But Mary can also be viewed as the most recent personification of the great mother goddess, her predecessors beings Demeter, Tara, Isis, Astarte, Inanna, Cybele, Kali and all the goddess of light and shadow.  In this view Mary is important in her own right and the accent is not on her as a person but as an archetype, a living component of the human psyche - David Richo, Mary within Us.

The title Queen of the Rosary was added to the Litany of Loreto.  The rosary is present in all main spiritual traditions.  The rosary is referred to in the Bhagavad Gita 7:7.  The string is the Atman or the Higher Self that holds all things together.  The prayer on each bead corresponds to breaths.  This Hindu rosary is sacred to Sarasvati, Goddess of language.  The goddess hears the words of the prayers and is the Word.  The Buddhist rosary has 108 beads.  This is 12 times 9 to represent the cycles of the universe.  The Muslim rosary has 33 beads for the 99 names of God.  In all instances, the rosary is a prayer wheel and a living mandala, a symbol of wholeness.

A wooden shrine behind a pane of protective glass, celebrating Mary, divine healer of Lourdes and the power of contemplative prayer and observance of the breath as a sacred prayer.

The image of Mary of Lourdes is printed on a piece of canvas and mounted on layers of lace and velvet.  Vintage prayer cards :  one framed with a gilded frame;  another mounted on gold-leaf with a miniature Agnus Dei medal attached and the the third one in the shape of a votive locket decorated with silver german glass glitter. A small pewter with red enamel sacred heart is resting against some vintage lace and paper.

A porcelain statue of Mary of Lourdes which I brought back from the shrine in Lourdes, France.  Behind the statue is a gilded porcelain wing and a white cloth lily.  "I visited Lourdes last year as a pilgrim. There, in front of the cave, I experienced something very special. I felt a spiritual vibration, a kind of spiritual presence there." - the Dalai Lama.

The shrine is filled with roses, both paper, silk and metal.  Our Lady of Lourdes, appeared with a white rose on one foot and a gold rose on the other foot, to show her twin concern with earth and haven.  The white rose is joy, the red rose is sorrow and the gold rose is glory.

She is the Mystical Rose of our hearts that has such incredible power for love and compassion.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Shrine to the Golden Child Within

This graceful little shrine is the Shrine of the Divine Inner Child!   Your True Self beyond all masks and personas.  That part of yourself that is true to his/her feelings, express joy and sadness alike, without feeling shame, creative, spontaneous and free from the critical self!

I placed a resin, hand painted statue of the Holy Infant Jesus in the shrine.  Behind the Holy Child is lacy vintage prayer card, on layers of paper lace;  the sacred heart vintage card is embossed with gold german glass glitter and the entire box on the inside is lined with lace with glitter and velvet.

The frame of the small shadowbox has been crackled and embossed to match the lace pattern of the Holy Child's robes.

The crown is covered in gold german glass glitter!  Inside is a miniature copy of the statue holding a beautiful royal red Holy Infant Jesus chaplet.  The chaplet can be taken out and used in prayer. The Divine Infant revealed this chaplet shining with a supernatural light to His devotee and promised the granting of special graces, beyond all purity of heart and innocence, to all who carried the chaplet on their person.

The inner child is the golden, magical child of Self.  It is the perfect child of the Divine that lives within you : innocent and pure.   The intellect or ego, re-creates the inner child through its own perceptions and belief systems.  These perceptions are based on your karmic past, your genetics, your astrological map, your pre-birth experiences, your childhood experiences and various other factors.  These are all stored in your subconscious.

Therefore, traumatic childhood events serve as a healing opportunity to restore your true self, created in the image of God. This does not mean that those who perpetrated painful and cruel behaviour onto you, are not responsible for their actions.  It does mean, however, that there is gold to be found in the darkness of pain and wounding. 

The journey of wholeness entails entering the dragon’s lair, getting to know its darkness and fears; making friends with the dark feelings and pain. Eventually you will be able to seduce the dragon into becoming tame enough for you to kill it and to retrieve your treasure : your golden magical child.

(If you are interested in reading the entire discussion on the Golden Child Within and the Shadow, please go to )

Friday, October 21, 2011

What Inspires You?

Over at Inspiration Avenue we are running our fabulous 500 followers blogparty.  The theme of the party is On the Wings of Inspiration and the question is 'what inspires you?'.  Well, that is easy.  Mention 'wings' and I am inspired - from angel wings, to majestic archangel wings, to the etheric energy wings around your aura, to the wings of birds flying freely in the sky, butterfly wings and my poems winging their way to heaven!

But I did not want to create another one of my many winged creations.  I wanted to challenge my own inner voice a little bit more.  And after some contemplation, this was my conclusion :  the symbology and the metaphysical meaning of The Star inspires me.

And this is She :

She is inspiration, hope, belief, trust and faith in all things amazing and beautiful. She is acceptance, integration and embodiment (as opposed to transcendence).

She is the radiant light against the dark night sky.  She is the clarity amidst the chaos of life.

The Star holds the message that beyond the duality of  joy and sorrow;  beyond loss and gain;  beyond the duality of struggle and peace and beyond the duality of masculine and feminine principles; there Is one reality of Love.  Some call that reality God or other Holy Names.  And everything flows from that True Love, abundantly without judgement, without regard, no conditions demanded.  And all Life flows from Love and it manifests as both the sadness and the joy, the golden light of peace and clarity amidst the chaos.

And no-one knows and understand this better than us, the artists.  Those who create with word, and clay.  Those who struggle to speak that deep understanding which live in their hearts.

And in this world of form, Love exists beyond form and in form and when we can see the Love in form regardless of its appearance, then we know The Star.

And each one of you, who speak from the Silence; each one who opens her heart and reveals herself, you are the Star and my inspiration!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Archangel Michael

Over at Inspiration Avenue Street team, PritiLisa challenged us to explore our fears.  What an interesting and challenging challenge!!  Everyone has been coming up with such great fears, well, I suppose that is an odd way of putting it, but this is an art challenge after all. (grin).  I have been thinking and thinking, trying to find my one big fear.  But I could not come up with a fear of anything specific.  That does not mean that I do not know fear, but I could not point to one thing particularly.  But, whenever I contemplated on the word 'fear', one image sprang to mind :  Archangel Michael, the Great Protector!

So I decided to create a shrine to Michael, the greatest archangel of all.

The Crown of Michael
And here is Michael's prayer :

    Saint Michael the Archangel, Powerful Spirit of Truth
    Take my hand and lead me to Divine Truth.
    Protect me from all the evil in the world.
    Guard me and compensate for all my weaknesses.
    Change, bless, and restore the consequences of all my mistakes.
    Carry me on the wings of your love and might to the
    Throne of God and pray to Him with me forever.
    The shrine contains the statue of Michael, with a tiny blue rosary with the Lady whom he serves;  a golden crown;  lots and lots of gold leafing and heavenly glitter,a gold medallion of Mary of Grace AND a Michael Holy Medal which I bought in Mont Sant'Angelo, Italy during the Archangel Michael festival.  To read more about this magical event, and my personal pilgrimage to the Cave of St Michael in Monte Sant'Angelo,  read my blog at The Path of Divine Love
    Michael, in his knightly role as protector of the innocent, and his allegiance to the Holy Virgin, is reminiscent of the Knights Templar and their allegiance to the Goddess.
    Next week is going to be a real exciting week at Inspiration Avenue : it is blog party time!!  Join us in this week's challenge to win some great give-aways.

Friday, October 14, 2011

What is your Story?

What is my story?  Often and regularly  I hear  myself asking 'what is your story?'.  A deep restlessness creeps into my bones.  Nothing in my life then seems right - my cupboards seem to be in a mess and need tidying, the garden needs raking, but I have wisened up.  This is my divine discontent announcing the arrival of my Muse!  I have decided to call it the winter of my discontent, although winter is leaving us rapidly here in the Southern Hemisphere and it really has nothing to do with the seasons.  But it happens like this :

One day it was still wet and cold, and the next spring had sprung!  I cleaned beds, worked in compost and planted many beauties.

I grabbed my easel, put it amongst the flowers and started to paint up a storm.  It is as though a current of creativity and joy runs through me and I have no other focus for those few days.  In fact, to be honest, I become possessed and consumed!!

My family does not get interesting meals;  I cannot bother to leave the house and all shopping is done on-line; the poor dog is wishing for a walk, but all I can think about is dancing with the paintbrushes on that canvas.  No sooner had I finished a pansy, than my eye falls on the nasturtiums.

And then another beauty and another.  The bright yellow finch sitting in my lemon tree amongst the yellow lemons!  The sugarbird drinking from the red nectar in the glass bottle!  The giant jasmine that flowers for such a short time!!

and another ......

After painting non-stop for a week, I move into all my unfinished shadow boxes.  I add to my personal gallery

And then She spits me out.  The intense wave of having to paint everything in sight, leaves and I breath a sigh of contentment.  For a while I enjoy the vast expanse of having my mind to myself.  And then I hear myself asking again 'what is your story?'  and I know the divine discontent has returned!!! and my Muse is getting ready to turn my life upside down again!  Oh what joy!

What is your story?

Thursday, October 6, 2011


Over at Inspiration Avenue we are hosting the blog party of the year!!  The party is celebrating 500 and more fabulous followers by running a three week giveaway and freebie party!! And crowning it off with a week-long creative challenge : On the Wings of Inspiration!

I created this little beauty as a give-away :

The Muse of your Charmed Life

She is a digitally altered image, set in a shadow box on layers of vintage sheet music paper. The shadow box has been painted, crackled, distressed and finally finished off with vintage gold rubbing!

  She wears the jester's crown that says CREATE!  She and her magical dreams are holding your dreams high and inspire you daily to allow your spirit and soul to soar to new creative heights.

On the right hand side are the charms on a delicate golden chain.  At the bottom is your songbird, made from mother of pearl, in her golden cage.  Above her is Cinderella's shoe, giving you access to your own fairy tale; a pink enamelled cup and saucer with tiny little jewels set in the rim :  may you have as many cups of coffee and tea that you may wish for, accompanied with wonderful sisterhood creativity and conversation;  a tiny 'diamond' for true love and a gold agnus dei locket (that can open) to strengthen your spiritual heart.

And in the bottom is the tiniest hand made book with blank pages.  On the cover I have added a tiny golden crown.  In here you can write your wishes and put it in the hands of your loving muse!

The back comes with my catalogue label and number.

If you would like to hang this shrine to your muse in your home, grab the button on the right hand side and find your way to Inspiration Avenue and join the party.  And please share the love with your blogging creative friends!

Hettienne from Her Grace by Devata

Sunday, October 2, 2011

You are invited!

You are invited to the most fabulous Blog Party ever!  We, the team members of Inspiration Avenue is having a party for three weeks non-stop  and you are invited!  We were so excited to have 500+ followers who every week participate in our creative challenges, that we decided to throw a party and to celebrate them :  our friends and followers!!

You can grab the badge from my blog here and go over there as fast as you can!!

We are gifting FREEBIES, such as digital images, and other wonderful downloadable goodies!

AND two and sometimes three, art giveaways a week!!

These gifts will be posted on the Inspiration Avenue FREEBIES page :

During the week of 16 - 23 October we will have a special party creative challenge!  Do not miss out as 7 lucky names will be drawn from all these entrants and they will each receive a creation in the mail!!

I am one of those who is gifting a lovely give-away - so please come back soon and see what I have in store for you :  a hint :  it is called Dream your own Charmed Life! - an assemblage with lots and lots of tiny details, wings and charms!!

See you there with your party hat and wings on!!

Spanish Lady who stole my Heart

This is my entry for the Spanish challenge on Inspiration Avenue Team blogspot 

In May this year I visited the annual Gypsy Festival in Saintes Maries de la Mer in France.  (See the full story with lots of pictures on my blog at

Although the festival takes place in France, the Spanish influence was powerfully present everywhere, especially in the gypsies' festival dresses

I bought this Spanish gypsy doll from a Spanish gypsy at the week long fair.  She is made from a baked bisque with movable arms, legs and head.  Look at the beautiful detail of her shawl, the lace fan, the choker around her neck and the rose in the hair!!

surrounded by Spanish lace 

I also bought two red Spanish combs from him - one which I used on the frame.

The festival is a religious one for the gypsies who come from across Europe and the presence of the Madonna is everywhere. Wherever you go, there are gypsy women present at the festival.  They walk amongst the shops in their flamboyant clothing with the most extravagant head gear;  they dance outside the Church where the main festivities take place.  In fact, as you enter the village square you are swarmed by old gypsy women who are willing to pin the medal of Sainte Sarah onto your collar for a small fee.

The festival is dedicated to Sainte Sarah, the black saint.  

The third day of the festival is dedicated to the Black Bulls of the Camargue - a very Spanish tradition.  But unlike the bull fights of Madrid, these bull tournaments do not harm the bulls - no weapons are used - and it is a beautiful graceful dance between bull and matador.  The bulls run to the arena and the event is accompanied with more dancing ladies in flamenco dress!

On the side of the box I have put the Sainte Sara rosary carried by all gypsies when they leave the festival to return home.

The storybox contains all the bits n pieces that I brought back with me from the magical festival.  It will be added to my collection, reminding me of the Spanish gypsy at the festival of Saintes Maries de la Mer.

And just for fun, I have added some close-ups of my boxes of the Spanish dancers that I featured last week.