Friday, December 7, 2012

Day Eight of Pilgrimage of Marys

Hail holy Queen, Mother of mercy, our life
This shrine and post I posted a little bit more than a year ago and I share it here for A Virgin A Day with Rebecca
and others on this pilgrimage which has become
a wonderful sharing space of many interpretations,
thoughts, ideas and mostly acceptance and love
for the universal imago and the divine nature
of the Blessed Mother, Mary, in her many
forms and faces in different traditions and cultures.

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.

I printed the image of Mary of Lourdes on a piece of canvas and then mounted it on layers of lace and velvet.  I used a few vintage prayer cards;  one which I 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 heaven.  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 potential power for love and compassion.
May every person who yearns for succour and motherly love,
become aware of the infinite Presence of the Divine Mother.
Please visit Rebecca and others in this powerful
life-affirming journey.


  1. This is beautiful and I love how the frame suits so well.
    Sweet dreams!

  2. Truly outstanding. Love it all. You've put your soul into this. Mary is proud. Happy day to you. Thank you.

  3. "May every person who yearns for succour and motherly love,
    become aware of the infinite Presence of the Divine Mother."
    It's easy for me to believe that, with every gesture of creation, you held this intent as you brought this shrine into being. This is beautiful, Hettienne.

  4. Wow! Another incredible altar to Mary ~ really beautiful ~ blessings to you ~ (A Creative Harbor) aka ArtMuseDog and Carol ^_^

  5. I loved your beautiful shrine last year and I am delighted to visit with her again this year. Thank you, Hettienne!

  6. What a beautiful altar you have created! A loving and lovely tribute to the mother of us all. Thank you for the story of the Muslim and Buddhist rosaries!

  7. "the rosary is a prayer wheel and a living mandala, a symbol of wholeness."
    i love this greatly!

  8. I think this is my favorite of your shrines that I've seen, Hettienne. It's so beautiful.

    Your quotes about the rosary made me recall a contemporary song by Michael Franks called String of Pearls. This is the refrain:

    All our hearts held together
    Like a string of pearls

    I think I'll post the song and lyrics on my blog today....


Thank you for your comments - I read each and every one! I have taken the word verification off - hope it makes it easier