Mysteries, Marys

A few days ago we took the TGV from Paris to Carcassonne, a fast and comfortable trip through the bucolic French countryside. Wendy met us with open arms and huge grin, and we have been on a whirlwind adventure ever since! The first evening we visited Rennes le Chateaux, a small village on the site of an ancient Visigoth city. Here the village priest found something valuable, and suddenly became rich enough to build a church to Mary Magdalene, huge gardens, home and a tower.  The church is quirky, it seems to be full of puzzles, or secret messages. Many treasure hunters come here, and it is now forbidden to dig in the surrounding area. Not surprisingly there are many theories about about what it all means. A wonderful sculpture of the Devil greets visitors to the church …. supporting the baptismal font!

Devil in Church of Mary Magdalene

Altar painting of Mary Magdalene in a grotto

Wendy and I standing on the hill top at the Magdalene Tower

There was a cold wind blowing and thunderclouds overhead, all very dramatic! From this high place Wendy showed us sacred places in the landscape, places we will visit in the next ten days.

Yesterday we went first to Notre Dame de Marceille church in Limoux. I stood in the sacred well, with a sweet strong energy rising up in smooth undulating waves. The sign claims healing of a thousand maladies.

Healing Well at Notre Dame de Marceille, Limoux

Inside the church we could not see the original “Black Madonna” sculpture, since it was attacked recently, and now lies in the basement. Here is a photo of the original:

The beautiful energy of this piece remains in the Mary Chapel, despite the ugliness and pallor of the replica that is safely locked behind a metal grille. Perhaps it is the devotion of thousands of people over hundreds of years that we can feel, a portal into the Divine Feminine, a part of ourselves that lies hidden in daily life?

The church contains all the important symbols of the Knights Templar, and many feminine images and icons. Here is the rear wall:

Symbols of Knights Templar on rear wall

and here is gorgeous little balcony with a delicate rose window

Outside we gazed out over Limoux, a 360 degree view, and felt the presence of others from long ago … a perfect place for ceremony. Here is the church, looking back from the formal gardens:

Tomorrow I will talk about the Church of St Martin, Limoux, and perhaps about our visit to Rennes les Bains and the Seat of Isis. Now I must sit in the balcony and watch the river as evening descends reluctantly over the town.

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