15th September – Seven Sorrows

Our Lady of Sorrows

The Virgin of Seven Sorrows by Heather Staka
The Virgin of Seven Sorrows by Heather Staka

has appeared to the mountain

dwellers, her grief  engraved

where stone softens to clay. Keep

your eyes sharp for a dagger.

In its hilt, you’ll find her face

pressed to the earth’s cheek. Kiss

this sacred spot before the rains

wash it away like her orphaned

feet. Notched heart cradles

a planet heavy with night-

mares flying into empty mouths.

Listen for their thirsty murmurs.

She’ll push her ponderous child

into the dew of  a San Felipe dawn,

name him Salvador. They’ll rest

beneath a web spun umbilical,
eclipsed from our human eyes.
Our Lady
stone             clay
seven sorrows
The Seven Sorrows that according to tradition , piece Mary’s heart are:

1.The Presentation In the Temple –  [ Luke 2.22-35 ], where she is told by Simon that her son’s fate will peice her own heart. 


2. The Flight Into Egypt  – after the slaughter of the innocents – They flee into Egypt. [Matt 2.13-15] 

‘مريم ويوسف لما توجهوا الى أرض مصر’ (Mary and Joseph When They Departed to the Land of Egypt From Coptic Manuscript The Four Gospels in Coptic and Arabic, dated to 1663 AD, and kept at the British Library, London (Or. 1316 f.5v).


 3. The Loss In The Temple [ Luke 2.39-52]

(c) Sudley House; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation


4.The Way Of The Cross 

‘Who, my Lady, seeing thee shed such tears would dare to ask thee why thou weepest? Neither the Earth, nor the sea, nor all the heavens can serve as a term of comparison to thy sorrow’


Artist unknown

5. Jesus Dies On The Cross – John 19.25.

The Cross was raised on high;
The Mother grieved beside-
But the Mother saw Him die
And took Him when he died…

Taken from “Mary’s Son”, by Rudyard Kipling , 1946 after the death of his son John, 1916


In the Arms Of His Mother – They Pieta

pieta illustration
Artist unknown


7. Jesus Is Laid In The Tomb – Mathew 27.59





Marian Calendar



tri mary johnThe Marian Calendar[1]  is a day by day month by month recollection of the feast days of the Virgin Mary; Mary the mother of Jesus as recognised by the Catholic church and others.


The Marian Calendar was first published in the early  to mid 1600’s  and contains a collection of the pilgrimage sites associated with the ‘Blessed Virgin’ throughout Europe and what was thought of as ‘Christendom.’


The Jouney of the Magi - Sassetta (Stefano di Giovanni), Italian, Siena or Cortona ca. 1400–1450 Siena

Not all of the feast are celebrated by all Christians and there are differences between the Catholic feats days, the Eastern Orthodox, the Oriental Orthodox and the Anglican days

Each day tells a story regarding the mythos that surrounds her. Though we do not have a true history of these mythos and stories there is evidence from as early as the 3rd century there that within the liturgy of the emerging Christian faith that  early practitioners were celebrating her life and aspects of her part  of their faith. [Or as some will argue they were taking and merging the stories of their local Goddesses into her

Feast of the Conception of the Most Holy Theotokos

Methodius, a bishop (died 311) from the 3rd and early 4th century, who wrote:

And what shall I conceive, what shall I speak worthy of this day? I am struggling to reach the inaccessible, for the remembrance of this holy virgin far transcends all words of mine. Wherefore, since the greatness of the panegyric required completely puts to shame our limited powers, let us betake ourselves to that hymn which is not beyond our faculties, and boasting in our own unalterable defeat, let us join the rejoicing chorus of Christ’s flock, who are keeping holy-day. … We keep festival, not according to the vain customs of the Greek mythology; we keep a feast which brings with it no ridiculous or frenzied banqueting of the gods, but which teaches us the wondrous condescension to us men of the awful glory of Him who is God over all….Do thou, therefore, O lover of this festival…[2]

The number of Feasts  and feast days grew  through out the centuries until as late as  1954 when the a new feasts was declared that of the  feast of the Queenship of Mary was declared  by Pope Pius XII.

Queen of Heaven, [c] Tim Jones , 2009
Queen of Heaven, [c] Timothy Jones , 2009
The  calendar has a story for each day , and I therefore  hope to share with you  each day an appropriate images .  However, these may not always be the classical images, some maybe more classical religious images and others may just be images that reflect the story and /or the mythos.

I hope you will take a peak at what I am doing, please feel free to comment here or on the facebook page. And if you have any other ideas or imagery you think maybe of interest to me, the blog and others please share.




  1. http://www.roman-catholic-saints.com/marian-calendar.html
  2. Methodius, “Oration Concerning Simeon and Anna On the Day that They Met in the Temple”


Lucifer in Starlight*

Lucifer in Starlight

The Bringer of Light by William Blake

On a starr’d night Prince Lucifer uprose.
Tired of his dark dominion swung the fiend
Above the rolling ball in cloud part screen’d,
Where sinners hugg’d their spectre of repose.
Poor prey to his hot fit of pride were those.
And now upon his western wing he lean’d,
Now his huge bulk o’er Afric’s sands careen’d,
Now the black planet shadow’d Arctic snows.
Soaring through wider zones that prick’d his scars
With memory of the old revolt from Awe,
He reach’d a middle height, and at the stars,
Which are the brain of heaven, he look’d, and sank.
Around the ancient track march’d, rank on rank,
The army of unalterable law.

*by George Meredith 1883


Fall of Day, by William Rimmer 1869-70


Saccharine Madonnas – Sugar and Spice, is that what the Images of the Madonna is made off ?

Hi, Many Moons ago, in a Galaxy Far Far away- oppss that one has been done before…

A few years ago- well last decade, I started to write my PhD, my thesis was titled The Characterisation of Mary the Mother of Jesus, in Contemporary Film,[c. 2000].*     I was/am fascinated by the image of the Virgin Mary, and at that time particularly of her in contemporary and religious films.

The fascination of the image of the Virgin Mary and other religious female  icons still interests me.

So I have all this ‘stuff’ stored on my hard drive, which I keep adding to and nowhere to talk about it, or to share it with.

So I decided I would jump on the bandwagon and blog – initially I started with Blogger and started putting up the images that I had collected, but I want to do more.

I want to ‘talk’ about it.  I want to write about it.  I want to see it out there!

Now it’s been a while since I did any academic /serious writing, and this is not likely to be that either – I just want a place where I can put my thoughts, ideas down.  I may be a little rusty, and you may not agree with my arguments but that’s half the fun…. hey it maybe it will be just me and the ‘tinternet’.

My initial thesis looked specifically at contemporary film, but I realise that unless you are able to watch the films or are a religious film buff[nut] *whistles innocently* then much of what I would have to say would have little relevance for you, so I am going to widen the project to look at many different kinds of images of not only Mary, but also other Goddess and how they can be seen to correspond with her and visa versa.

I’m going to look at images of Mary and other Goddess,**from Art, classical and contemporary; from film and popular culture.

I want to talk about how I believe that the image of this iconic 1st CE Woman were used initially to replace the female aspect of the Divine, of pre-Christian Goddess[ess] , and how the images were used , in my opinion to attempt to wipe her face from the map,  so to speak, particularly in Western Culture.

I also want to discuss how those images of an untouchable and unobtainable idealised woman were used to keep women in a subservient place in what was and still is to some extent, an Andocentric society,  but also I want to try and show how they were and can be subverted and somewhat reclaimed, to show how they were used to veil, conceal and keep secret what has continued to be the worship of a hidden Matriarchal within a Patriarchal society.

I am really interested in how the representation of the Goddess of the pre-Christian era can be seen to be traceable in these images and what I believe that says about the need within ‘our’ Western psyche to attribute to a Divine a female aspect and personality.**

I want to look at how the image of The Virgin Mary in popular and contemporary culture, as well as within sub cultures, is used to hold fast and to challenge popular concepts

I am a Feminist, and therefore shall be looking through a feminist lens at these images, and while I can understand and at times appreciate the initial/historical idea behind them, it will of course be filtered by my own experiences and life choices.

I don’t want to make it too wordy- I can talk believe you me… and so to spare you to many words… an what could be my incessant waffle – I shall use lots of images, and hopefully video to make my point.

I don’t expect people to agree with me, and would be great if people that don’t tell me why [as long as it’s not abusive], as that’s how we learn.  Well that’s how I learn… I love to discuss!

I know that some of the images I have may be somewhat disturbing to some… but again I value and welcome discussion.

There are as always a few logistics to sort out – i.e. how I footnote/reference etc., I find Harvard way of referencing really annoying and it interrupts my flow, so I shall use numbers in brackets [1], and then pop the info on the bottom of the blog if that is ok. –

That’s enough of this for now….

Triple faced Ekate

** I have a particular infinity to Hekate/Ekate and have been recently working with her in my own personal devotions- so please expect quite a lot of images and maybe, if your lucky, some words around her.  As mentioned above, I believe that many pre Christian Goddess and their Aspects were ‘hidden’ within the image, character and epitaphs of the Christian Mary- and so I may pick and poke at a few of these to see if I can get down to the bones.

*Oh and I have to add – sadly that all work here is under copyright  [c] to myself – Shullie H Porter.  Please don’t borrow/ steal etc.  Where I have used other people’s work, ideas and images I will always note and give references etc. If I do miss some information and you do know who the work belongs to, please let me know as soon as possible and I will make sure that it is amended and the proper copyright given

If you want to use my work, please let me know, you can always link to me… *

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