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Once upon a time in a far away land, an American heiress named Mary Wallace Shillito lost her beloved sister. In her grief she wandered the world until she came to the Salève mountains of France where she fell in love with the exquisite view. She vowed to build a sanctuary there and dedicate it to her sister. Several years later she met Assan Faride Dina, a part-Hindu part-French native of the then-British island of Mauritius (which lies off the southeast coast of Africa). He was an astronomer and engineer with an interest in Assyriology and occult metaphysics. They married and together built Le Château des Avenières, which they decorated with sphinxes, mythological figures, grottos and underground pools with the symbol of Mercury.

But, the most magnificent and mysterious room of all was the chapel, in which the walls were covered with mosaic tarot cards in the tradition of the Tarot de Marseille while blending in the occult mysteries of the Oswald Wirth Tarot.

Take a journey through this magnificent occult chapel where you can view all 22 Major Arcana and read the stories of Mary Shillito and Assan Dina here. You may also want to visit the website of the Hotel Le Château des Avenières where you can schedule a stay and visit the chapel. Personally, I’m dreaming of the day when a tarot conference will take place there. Is anyone willing to off-set some of the costs of such a fabulous event? Let me know. I also found some mentions of the the Chapel here Schwaller de Lubicz by H. Dossier and Emmanuel Dufour-Kowalski.


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Mary K. Greer has made tarot her life work. Check here for reports of goings-on in the world of tarot and cartomancy, articles on the history and practice of tarot, and materials on other cartomancy decks. Sorry, I no longer write reviews. Contact me HERE.

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