Thursday, November 26, 2015

Médaille Miraculeuse - sacred altar

The Chapel of the Miraculous Medal in Paris

Crowned by Grace
Stella Maris
Star of Bethlehem

Chapel of the Miraculous Medal on Holy Night in miniature

Vintage Miraculous Medals

Christmas night in miniature
under the tree

The angels sing in heaven

Holy card of Catherine Labourre on the back

Sacred Altar ready to hang

Now in my shop



Wednesday, November 25, 2015

A review of Matthew Fox's Autobiography 'Confessions'

In a poem that I wrote that accompanies the book
I describe the bear as 'popping marshmallows all
day and all night dipping honey'.  That is to say, this
bear knows how to enjoy life (mysticism);  on the other
hand, he is also 'getting ready to stick out his chin'
for justice's sake (prophecy). - Confessions

The revised edition of Confessions, the autobiography
of Dr Matthew Fox, was released yesterday.
I had earlier received a digital copy of the book
and even before I had read the book, I had offered
to participate in the blogtour of reviews and this book
does not disappoint my expectations.

I have read four of Matthew Fox's previous books
and each one had resonated with my heart and mind
in a profound way.  They have inspired me into action
and compassion and Confessions follow suit.

Matthew Fox writes with an inimitable wit and
often tongue in cheek and it is almost as though I can
hear the smile in his words.
Even when the subject matter is quite serious and downright
horrible and painful.
That does not mean that he does not take his subject matter
seriously, on the contrary!
Dr Matthew Fox, as an author, has that wonderful
sense of humility and presence of one
who truly knows.

And this book is about spirituality and not
theology.  It is about the courage and
commitment it takes to truly follow your
Heart and your Guidance and of the many
sacrifices that may be expected of you.
Although it is an autobiography, anyone
who is serious about his or her own spiritual journey,
will find great nourishment in the reading
of this book.

Dr Matthew Fox's works are alchemical in nature.
His vision and his words marry religion with spirituality;
spirit with body, mind with heart.  He is courageous
to break with the status quo on ALL levels
and he dissolves divisive structures and systems.

In 'Confessions'  Matthew Fox shares himself
and of himself with his readers and the world.

Although the book is a historical overview
of Dr Fox's work, he also shares the inspiration,
vision, understanding, passion and dreams
which led to his actions and creations.

He shares himself as the mystic, as the visionary,
as the prophet and as the artist. would think that compassion
would be a rather operative category in Christian
spirituality.  But it was not and has not been.
Instead, contemplation - a word that never crossed Jesus' lips,
for it is not Jewish - and perfection - a word mistranslated from
Matthew's version of the Sermon on the Mount but truly
defined by Luke as compassion - have dominated Western
spiritual theology. 
Compassion means justice, says Ekhart. 
But it also means celebration.

There are many obvious words that jumps to mind
as you read Confessions.  A
courageous man with great inner strength;
clarity of purpose and commitment to that
purpose, but above and beyond all those,
what stood out for me,
from the first word of the introduction, is
the absolute clarity and honesty and compassion
with which this book is written.

As I read the book, there
is a second reading happening, of the story behind
the story, so to speak.  As I read the typed words
and their narrative, I am aware of the stream of 
consciousness, a river of conviction and knowing,
a river of compassion flowing from his heart to mine.
In a poem that I wrote that accompanies the book
I describe the bear as 'popping marshmallows all
day and all night dipping honey'.  That is to say, this
bear knows how to enjoy life (mysticism);  on the other
hand, he is also 'getting ready to stick out his chin'
for justice's sake (prophecy). - Confessions 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

St Joseph, loving father to the Divine Child Within

St Joseph, symbol of our sacred labour

The Sacred Altars capture the essence of the 
prayer card and brings it to life

In the depths of winter the divine child is born.
On the darkest of days we celebrate the birth of the divine child. 
It is on the darkest nights of winter that God’s creative 
urges wells up to give birth to his child: the divine child. 
Christ is God’s child. But God is not alone.
God is always with the mother,
though she may be hidden or transparent. 

Jung says :
“How am I to be creative?
 Nature knows only one answer to that: 
Through a child (the gift of love).” 

The child is born, ‘the gift of love.’ Nature births us into world. 
The divine couple births the soul into the eternal.
 In the Christian myth,
 the divine child is born from the virgin womb of the mother Mary.
 In 431 the Council of Ephesus said that Mary is Theotokos:
 “God-bearer”, “Birth-Giver of God”, “the one who gives birth to God.” 

Here, within our hearts, God procreates with the Mother, the divine vessel, 
giving birth to a possibility: call it the divine child, 
the potential of the soul. This divine birth within is no easy task. 
There is something within us that wants to kill it off, 
a murderous instinct within psychic life.
  The revelation of the divine child is so disastrous,
 so threatening to the old guard, 
that it must be killed. 
According to the Gospel of Matthew 2:16–18, 
Herod ordered the execution of all babies in Bethlehem,
 desiring to assure the death of the divine child.

[Herod] “gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem 
and its vicinity who were two years old or under, 
in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi.”
The divine child must outlive the murderous instincts of the superego. 
Our soul must survive the murderous rage of the envious tyrant
 who seems to rule the inner world.
 The murderous superego does not believe in the potential of our own soul. 
He does not trust in the good, in the enduring.  
He cannot see the soul’s potential: the child of the divine mother and father.
 It is our spiritual labor to protect the child. 
To be like Joseph, listening to the angels, protecting the child.

 When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream.
 “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt.
 Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”

 So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night 
and left for Egypt,where he stayed until the death of Herod. 
And so was fulfilled what the Lord 
had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.” (Matthew 2:13–15)

Joseph, the good father - Altars of the Mysteries Oracle Deck by Hettienne Grobler

Joseph sees the angel of the Lord, 
and the angel says that he must flee Egypt, symbol of tyranny. 
We must leave behind the tyranny of Herod ruled by fear,
 finding a place for the soul’s birth,
 and protecting the soul so that it may grow.

On the back of the shrine I added an old
image of a holy card which I scanned and distressed
I covered the back of the shrine with pages
from a very old Bible

I used pearls everywhere to add to the
sensual feeling of the colours and lilies

the calla lilies or arum lilies (indigenous to my
plantlife in South Africa)
is a symbol of Jesus' resurrection and is
also seen as a symbol of faith.
 This is a powerful
reminder of what still lies ahead for this loving father
and how much our faith will be tested on our own
personal journeys of doing the sacred work.
the lilies are the exact same colour
as the lilies held in St Joseph's hand

I added a tiny rosary with a connector
with St Joseph lilies on the back!

I used vintage measuring tape and yard sticks
every where to bring in the carpenter aspect.

I sell very few of these shrines as I am working
on a Mystical Mary Tarot Deck.
When I see the Saints and Holy Ones, I
also see the Great Stories of Humanity and the
archetypes as set out by Jung, Campbell
and others.

And here is one of my absolute favourites :

St Joseph the Good Father
Here you can see how I emphasizes the carpenter
and worker ethic of St Joseph.

I used many vintage wood pieces
and the shrine is standing on wooden feet.
I also used many miniature tools of the trade.

as well as a child's ABC blocks to
show how in touch this Holy Father
is with his Child and his level of devotion

PritiLisa sent me one of her old vintage
books a while ago.  This was a text book
for masonry workers.  I used the creed
of the masons as the background page in this
shrine.  The rest of the papers are from
old Bibles.

I like to layer in my shrines as I feel that
it all adds to the energy and feel of the
shrine and so increases its emotional
and spiritual value in our understanding.

I had collected these miniature tools and
tool case over the years and had been saving it
for the perfect piece of art - and here it is!

I hope these shrines inspire you almost as much
as they inspire me.  To me they just speak of
such incredible Divine Love for us and our
personal stories as they are echoed in these
Holy Stories.

love to you

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

An Angel Wing

An Angel Wing

A shrine for a special little girl.

                                                           This one of a kind shrine is specially made
for a special little girl,
 for her joy and blessings.

In the background is a vintage hand
embroided card of the guardian angel which
I brought back from Lourdes.

A tiny little Christmas tree indicates the joy
and celebration by the hosts of angels
at Millie’s birth into this world.

The little girl steps out onto an angel wing
under the loving and protecting gaze of love
of the Queen of Angels.

For you are in the care of angels wherever you go,
And you will be carried so that you will not knock your
foot on a stone

Series : Guardian Angel
Catalogue Number : 389
Name : An Angel Wing

Carried by angels

Angels relate to our capacity to love,
to accept ourselves fully,
and to embrace life.

Reigning above the heavenly host
is the spirit of the Shekinah,
the feminine face of the Divine,
through whom all creation is made manifest.

The heavenly realm interacts with the physical
world, and the two become one, in the incarnation
of the Divine in a human being.

The Higher Principles thus find expression in
flesh and spirit.

In Judaism, the manifestation of the Divine Presence
in human life takes the form of a created being of
light called the Shekhinah.  
Meaning literally the 'indwelling' this is the feminine
aspect of God that brings peace and blessing
to the home.  In biblical times it referred to the glory
emanating from the Source.
Then Shekinah was then seen as a heavenly messenger,
and later as the Holy Ghost.  In the Kabbalah,
she is the mystical Bride of the Lord, who channels
grace to the lower worlds.

Because we contain the Divine Spark within us,
our actions resonate throughout creation. - The
Angelic Year, Ambika Wauters

In this shrine the blessings and healing energies
and powers of the birth of the Christ within the personal
self and and within humanity, the Guardian Angel and
the Queen of Angels all come together in a beautiful

The Blessed Virgin Mary, mother of Christ,
is our link with the eternal feminine principle within us.
She is the embodiment of truth, love, surrender and
miraculous healings and manifestations.

Her litany describes her as
Queen of Angels,
Mother of God,
Mother Inviolate,
Tower of Ivory,
House of Gold
 Mystical Rose
Gate of Heaven

This shrine captures the colours and names
of the Holy Litany
and here Mary is seen as the Queen of Angels
protecting the child within us against
the pitfalls, physical, mental, emotional and spiritual,
on the personal journey in this world.

The trees and fir garlands and small berries
are all symbols of the regenerative energy and the power
of renewal and Grace
of the Christmas tide and of the good news that
Love can and will be born within the heart
of humanity.  The traditional Christmas tree
has the shape of the pineal gland, known to be
the seat of consciousness and enlightenment
in the human brain.

In the centre of the shrine is the Stag,
an ancient symbol of the Christ.

The small child is stepping onto the angel
wing stretching out in front of her.
They will carry you lest you should knock
your feet on a stone or rock

The shrine forms part of my special Christmas
Guardian angel series.

Here are links to some of the other stories :

Feel your heart expand and contract with each breath that you take.
Let it soften and ease as you affirm life.
As you do t his, be conscious that you are opening up to your
life force with each breath.
This is how you experience renewal at all levels.
As you feel this happen, ask yourself
where you need to renew your commitment to life,
to be the best that you can be.
Renewal comes when you affirm your desire to
accept life on its terms.

Blessed and Beloved Mother of us all,
you surrendered to the will of God
to bear the fruit of our salvation.
You accepted a higher will than
your own so that all humanity can be raised up.
We open our hearts and minds to
receive your grace, love and courage


Sunday, November 15, 2015

I Am the Immaculate Conception

I Am the Immaculate Conception
wearable shrine on

For the past four years I have visited the Lourdes sanctuary
once a year.  I have written about my many pilgrimages
to Lourdes on my blog Cloister of the Heart.

I have also dedicated nine days a year on my blog to
where I create and share art inspired by Lourdes
for nine days in a row culminating on the feast day
of Our Lady of Lourdes.

My visits to Lourdes have inspired my work as an artist.

The miracle of Lourdes is not limited to specific religion
or church.  It is an on-going event which inspires hundreds
of thousands of people from all walks of life and
from all philosophies to visit Lourdes and to see for
themselves what it is that draws so many to visit 
a spring the grotto of Massabielle.

This wearable shrine or rosary is called
I Am the Immaculate Conception, the words
that the 'lady in white' spoke to young Bernadette
in her own mother tongue, a French dialect
spoken in that part of France.

The image is baked onto a porcelain cabochon
set in brass filled rhinestones
and the beads match the colours on the
image perfectly.

The beads and chain and tiny rhinestone cross
are all vintage pieces.

You can read about my pilgrimages on
Cloister of the Heart

and see my other pieces of sacred art that
are for sale at 


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The treasure at the heart of the rose

Queen of the Heart

 am still in the pink

Maybe it is the glorious pink roses in my Mary garden
that inspires me so

and so I created this pink shrine, filled with roses
Queen of the Heart

The treasure at the heart of the rose
is your own heart's treasure,
Scatter it as the rose does:
Your pain becomes hers to measure

                               - Gabriela Mistral

if you look carefully you will see that this
heart has been liberated and the rose has been set


Saturday, November 7, 2015

It is a pink Christmas!

It is a pink Christmas
filled with roses and crowns

angel wings
and guardian angels to protect 

little voices
filled with happiness and joy

one wandering off into a hedge of roses
but not to fear
the Queen of Angels is close by

It is a pink Christmas
filled with roses and shimmering Christmas trees
angel wings and pink feathers