✧ * . * ✧ . * . *
. * . * . m y s t e r y . ✧ .
✧ ✧ * . * . . *. m a g i c .
✧ * .m a g d e l a . ✧ . * . * .
The last time I visited Saint-Salvayre was before times, in the fall of 2019. I’ve been contemplating this day for so long, yearning to be here, pulled to being here. And as Sir Henry Lincoln (‘Holy Blood Holy Grail’) said to me that day inside the church as he was sitting quietly next to the ancient standing stone, “This is a very special place.” I captured Henry as he was leaving the church in the small hamlet of Saint-Salvayre near Alet-les-Bains.
Sir Henry died this year on February 24th. He was 92. How I wish I could meet up with him where he lived at Rennes-les-Bains and talk all things Mariam of Magdala and her journeys with Yeshua in the Languedoc region of France. I have so many more questions and perspectives to share. More than that, just to listen to him speak of this history, where ever he chooses to take the listener. “Don’t look, see.”
When I visited this tiny, ancient church/Roman resting place on my first visit, we were in a small van. I had no recollection how vertical! the journey was. I remember reading recently about Roman garrisons lighting fires in St. Salvayre to alert chateaus in the surrounding area thinking, how could they see it, it is not very high. And when I heard people drive up to the hamlet to watch the Bastille Day fireworks being displayed in Carcassonne, I thought, but isn’t that high, so maybe the open space? Now I know. The views of the Pyrenees are spectacular; just the general splendor of the entire region is on display on the long hike up. The path is six kilometers from Alet-les-Bains and it’s all vertical. I read recently where someone had shared it was a ‘comfortable hike.’ My take? A little different. Some thought processes today in the 95 degree heat…going up.
Starting point: If I lived here, I could climb this every morning for prayers and meditations.
1/4 way up: maybe once a week.
1/2 way up: maybe twice a month.
3/4 way up: maybe just once a month.
Almost there: definitely need a Vespa.
Seeing the sign…f i n a l l y. So happy.
And then, there it is.
Pausing, reflecting, and centering before entering.
Gratitude and grace for surviving the plague and being given the gift of returning to this sacred and magical place, Saint-Salvayre. Indeed, as Sir Henry shared, a very special place, from the shrines to Mary Magdalene, to the painting of Yeshua, still living, being helped from the cross by St. Francis. The messages, the meaning, and the mystery. It’s all of it: the history, the sacred geometry, and the ancient standing stone, where it seems the structure was actually built around.
The stones, the shapes, their placement, all speak to ancient Roman times. Where this structure is placed could once have been a pagan place of worship. Then, in later centuries, a new structure built in the shape of St. Andrew’s cross. The Templars were reportedly here (Baphomet), and it was a place of refuge for Cathars.
And here, a shell. Was this left by a pilgrim on their way to the Camino de Santiago de Compostella?
A small ancient water basin outside the door of the church discovered behind thick foliage.
A marker outside of the church, just up to the left. The markings look Greek, or Egyptian. I haven’t been able to locate any information about this stone piece.
I tried to locate the twin trees and other standing stone about 1.5 kilometers away, but couldn’t find it this time. It’s been three years and there’s so much undergrowth and with COVID, very few visitors. I really tried.
I don’t remember the barrier there; climbed over.
By then, my feet were hurting so badly from the climb…blisters.
So after one more repose inside Saint-Salvayre, I started the climb down, grateful to use a different set of leg muscles, although my poor pieds, pas bon.
I stopped at one point on a hill of natural limestone to find Rennes-les-Chateau in the distance…sacred geometry.
Light. It’s everywhere. We just have to see.
I loved today.