From the church of Saint-Volusien in Foix, constructed in the 12th century, although the original structure was most likely constructed in the 9th. Volusien was a bishop in the regions in the late 5th century. He was persecuted by the Visigoths and placed under house arrest. He died without regaining his freedom.
‘She squatted in from of an old altar.
“Look,” she said pointing to a relief where the paint was partly peeled off. It was the scene from the Last Supper. However, in this painting there was no doubt that the person next to Yeshua was a woman. In contrast to most of the paintings, the one by Leonardo da Vinci being the most well known, in this one Mariam sat to the left of Yeshua instead of to the right which is usually the case. In this painting in the church of Foix she is looking devotedly at her partner. Everyone apart from Mariam, of course, is depicted with a beard.’
‘It may very well be that the Catholic Church in general has had its problems with Mary Magdalen. However, this does not seem to be the case here in the south of France.’
-The Manuscript, pp. 569-570
“We went under the porch supported by a few symbolically decorated pillars, which formed an impressive entrance.
“Take a look at this.”
She pointed to a star of Mariam hanging on a pillar next to us.
“And, here as well.”
“Yeshua and Magdalene!”
Sure enough and here they were one on each side of the same pillar…”
-The Manuscript, pp. 572-573
This book is beyond, truly. A trilogy bound as one book, the hardback, which I have, is only available from the author, Lars Muhl, in the book shop at Rennes-les-Chateau.
Gaining new levels of knowledge and taking so many notes; building bridges between my research from the last seven years for a new heart-based paradigm for journalists, intersecting a radical compassion for a homo spiritus species.
Marianne Williamson posted this earlier today from her essay titled, ‘Growing our Wings.’
When we were kids at school we had textbooks that showed human beings evolving from apes, then transforming over time into homo sapiens. On the left side of the page was a sort of hunched over looking ape, then on the right side of the page was a human being standing erect.
Okay, but I don’t think that’s the whole story; I think one day home sapiens standing erect will be seen as the middle of the page. We’re not done with evolution until we’ve evolved from ape to angel. One day, on the right side of the page there will be a human being having grown wings…
Now I don’t think those wings will be literal, of course. But I think we’re only at maybe the midway point in our evolutionary journey. We have physically evolved, but spiritually we are somewhere between an infant species and something just past barbarian. Evolution is spurring us on but we sure better hurry up.
We’re burning through all that insanity now. We have to or the species will not survive. […] The world is so clearly laboring now – a difficult labor indeed – as we struggle to give birth to the next version of who we are.
We’re not done yet. We’re transforming. No longer can we simply hug the ground. That is not our destiny. We are growing our wings.
Julian Lennon speaks to this in his own way, too, with a new album dropping on the 9th simply titled, ‘Jude’, in reference to the song Paul McCartney wrote for him when his dad, John, and his mum, Cynthia, were divorcing, ‘Hey Jude.’ This is a single from the album, ‘The Lucky Ones.’ #Jude @JulianLennon
Everyone is searching, trying to find a new religion
Some peace of mind,
Don’t wanna let go of all of my intuition
I need a sign ’cause love is blind
I feel a change is coming, I know
A new revolution’s knocking on my door
Everyone is hurtin’ tryin’ a find a real solution
Well, you might find that love ain’t blind
The world is burning while we’re dancing in our own pollution
Well, is there time, or did we cross the line?
We gotta find a way to get better
The only way through this is together
It’s not too late, so never say never
I know that we’re the lucky ones
Look at us, we fucked up the weather
If we unite, we’ll get through whatever
We need this world to last us forever
I know that we’re the lucky ones
✧ * . * ✧ . * . *
. * . * . . ✧ .
✧ ✧ * . * . . *. .
✧ * . . ✧ . * . * .
Today was reading, writing, researching, hanging laundry (ℒℴve ! the scent of clothes after drying on the line…the best…using only the energy from the sun.),
meditations, contemplation, and plotting the next Languedoc adventure. :)
More from Marianne:
Take a good look at your life right now. If you don’t like something about it, close your eyes and imagine the life you want. Now allow yourself to focus your inner eye on the person you would have to be in order to create your preferred life.
Notice the differences in how you behave and present yourself; allow yourself to spend several seconds breathing in the new image, expanding your energy into this new mold. Hold the image for several seconds and ask the Beloved to imprint it on your subconscious mind. Do that every day for 5 minutes or so. If you share this technique with certain people, the chances are good they’ll tell you that it’s way too simple. It’s up to you what you choose to believe.
And for September’s Power Path, a message from Lena.
The main theme for September is: “CRISIS”
The definition of crisis comes from the word “to decide”. It is an intense time or turning point where a decision is made, there is a decisive point, and a change takes place. There is always an action component to crisis and often a need to make a choice that influences a course of action. In a healing crisis, you either get better or worse sometimes depending on that choice. In a financial crisis you may need to make hard decisions that change your usual habits and patterns. In relationship crisis you may be forced to look at some truth and face choices that produce needed change. A health crisis is often a wake-up call to change something significant in your life that puts you on a different path.
When we hear the word crisis it often brings up a negative response. In truth, crisis is often the catalyst for much needed change supporting movement towards necessary and positive evolution. Our physical nature is designed to respond to crisis with reaction and action, the instinctive response of fight or flight. Crisis often brings up fear. If we can work through the fear, there is power on the other side. This month is a good one to work proactively with the theme of crisis and use it as a catalyst for making whatever change is needed instead of being crippled by the fear it may temporarily produce.
Think of this as a month of potential breakthroughs as we are forced to go within for deep reflection and introspection regarding our values, habits, patterns, beliefs and actions. Much of the work this month will be around relationships and our perceptions of who we are, who we are with and what our work here is on this planet. Crisis that affects a community will either bring people closer together or fragment what is ready to reorganize itself differently. Crisis brings truth to the surface that can clear the decks of calcified attitudes and support new insights. Aspects of this month are conducive to clearing the mind of old beliefs and ways of thinking, opening us up to new and more inspired ideas.
As much as the crises occurring this month could be manifested outwardly, the work triggered by them is internal. Even the action component points to internal movement and change as a deep purification of the mind and our beliefs takes place. Crisis is an intense experience brought about by sudden news, a dramatic unexpected event, or some situation that has gathered enough energy to itself that you can no longer ignore it. The only way to deal effectively with crisis is to face it proactively with curiosity, confidence, trust and humor. The worst thing you can do is to withdraw into a fearful state of blame, shame or anger.
This is not an easy month but the end result of your inner process can be extremely rewarding. The key is to work with the influences instead of against them. If crisis comes into your life, watch your reactions. Get to neutral as quickly as possible, don’t take it personally, but do use it as a catalyst to do something differently. Crisis requires flexibility as your decisions may not be ones you usually make. Use curiosity as a proactive way to lean into the crisis with the intention of bringing a creative solution or decision to the process.
We do not expect every moment of this month to be full of crisis, however this is an energy that is permeating much of the common experience, and we as a collective need to move through it proactively beginning with our own inner transformation and positive change. Being in conflict can cause a crisis and the more we can resolve our own inner conflicts the more we can be a positive influence on others. This is a month of taking responsibility for our relationships, for our actions and for our personal experience of crisis.
There will also be periods of heightened awareness, increased intuition, a celebratory sense of gratitude, and rich experiences in relationship, intimacy and connection to spirit. Cherish those times of expansion and beauty, and use them as a point of reference when you find yourself in the trenches of crisis.
Balance is another necessary support this month. Practicing balance between being and doing, between the mind and the heart, and between obsessive overthinking, overcontrolling and over organizing, and the potential chaos of too loose of a container are all important. Use the natural elements as support and try and spend time between inner and outer expressions. It is good to express spiritual needs but maintain order at the same time. A good routine that handles both will be helpful during any crisis. [thepowerpath.com]
Found this on my phone, a random shot wandering the medieval streets of Arles earlier this week.
Thank goodness. :)
Back to L i m o u x on the 4-hour BlaBla Bus O’ Fun!
Barcelona bus station.
to my beloved Languedoc. Next stop, Carcassonne!
Another 37 C day in Limoux! 98 Fahrenheit. The heat is cumulative and defeating. Makes it difficult for hiking and exploring…depleting. Some days it feels as though there just isn’t enough
Bored male leaders massaging their EGO’s and need for greed contemplating annihilation for the win.
‘UN Chief Antonio Guterres has called for the end of military operation around Europe’s largest nuclear plant, hit with a series of bombardments since last Friday, with both Russian and Ukrainian forces blaming one another for the attacks. “Any attack on nuclear power plants is a suicidal thing,” the UN’s secretary-general told reporters in Tokyo. “I hope that the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] will be able to access the power plant.” Nuclear risks to humanity are only “a misunderstanindng” way from nuclear annihilation.’
History is an endless argument.
Tipping points go both ways.
From Marianne Williamson,
‘May my eyes be open, that I might see more beauty; may my ears be open, that I might hear more truth; may my spirit be open that I might feel the tender touch of [Gaia].’
There are two paths you can go by, but in the long run, there’s still time to change the road you’re on, and it makes me wonder.’
The 7th Generation Principle is based on an ancient Iroquois philosophy that the decisions we make today should result in a sustainable world seven generations into the future.
‘Oxford philosopher William MacAskill offers one such outlook, zooming out on the timeline of human civilization to put this moment into context. The story of humanity, Oxford philosopher William MacAskill argues, is just beginning. In fact, if history were a novel, we’d still be in the prologue.
This is encouraging. It means that we have both the power and the responsibility to aim the trajectory of civilization in a positive direction, the idea that positively influencing the long-term future is a key moral priority of our time.’
-Cornelia Channing, Editorial Assistant, NYTimes Sunday Opinion
“Here in Japan, paper cranes symbolize the hope for a future without nuclear weapons. There is only one solution to the nuclear threat: not to have nuclear weapons at all.”
-António Guterres, Security-General of the U.N.
Let’s make more paper cranes, and use old telephones, and refrigerate without Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), compounds released into the atmosphere since the 1930s through air-conditioning, refrigeration, blowing agents in foams, insulations and packing materials, propellants in aerosol cans, and as solvents.
‘How to Relive the Pleasures of a Landline’
Art work from Getty.
From The New Yorker’s Rachel Syme.
“If you call me and I am at home, chances are you are going to reach me on an actual, old-fashioned, dial-’em-up telephone. The one that currently sits on my desk is a putty-colored rotary model circa the nineteen-sixties, with a weighted handset and a long, sproingy, yellowing cord that scrunches pleasantly between the fingers like al dente fusilli. I purchased this particular phone last fall, on eBay, for $19.99. You can find far pricier vintage telephones on that site, of course—retro phones in Instagram-friendly colors such as avocado green and Barbie pink.”
“It makes me feel glamorous and put together to grab my vintage receiver, even if I am still in my pajamas.”
Most of what we encounter is driven by emotions, and our emotions are always relative. When we’re shopping for a car or an avocado, we’re buying the way it makes us feel, not how it would make someone else feel. -Seth Godin
Emotion, perhaps why grace and forgiveness, although the Universe’s natural default, or so difficult for humans to feel, and choose.
Dualism…non-dualism. Reading and researching on the tenets of the Cathar philosophy, their way of living and belief, versus, the Nicene Council Christianity begat in the 4th century anno domini by then Roman Emperor Constantine.
Fr Richard Rohr, whom I adore, gets in the weeds, I think when he promotes non-dualism in religion.
“The body is rightly reasserting its goodness and importance. Can we somehow honor both body and spirit together? When Christianity is in any way anti-body, it is not authentic (?) Christianity. The incarnation tells us that body and spirit must fully operate and be respected as one.”
He then tries to forward his argument with behavioral psychology.
“Many Christians falsely assumed that if they could “die” to their body, their spirit would for some reason miraculously arise. Often the opposite was the case. After centuries of body rejection, and the lack of any positive body theology, the West is now trapped in substance addiction, obesity, anorexia, bulimia, plastic surgery, and an obsession with appearance and preserving these bodies. Our poor bodies, which Jesus affirmed, have become the receptacles of so much negativity and obsession.”
Juxtapose this with the Cathar belief, and the reason they were massacred, often burned at the stake, by the hundreds of thousands, most likely a million murdered. The writing offered by Nick Lambert, from the book, ‘The Cathar View.’
“The eternal battle of good and evil deities is at the centre of the Cathar worldview and although this belief came in a variety of forms, they were very similar to the dualistic faiths were specifically prohibited by orthodox Christianity (Constantine): the Gnostics, the Manichaeans, the Paulicians and the Bogomils of the Balkans. It is upon the issue of dualism that much of the excitement and controversy around the Cathars rests. Absolute dualism is the position adopted in the Book of Two Principles:
‘The good God is not the creator of the base and tangible elements of this world; another creator is responsible for them. God is alright but not in the sense that He can create evil; what He does not desire He cannot do. He is omnipotent over all good things, but there must be another creator form whom all evils flow, who in no way derives from the good God. The evil one is eternal, as are his works.’
The key word being ‘works.’ Works, in humanity, through the body, choices and behaviors, are from the material world, and the material world is the ‘body.’ Pretty sure when the body dies, the body and soul are separated. Otherwise, yikes. Christians, beginning in the 4th century, start dancing around this and never stop. For the Cathars, it wasn’t that confusing. And most were absolute.
“The dualist explanation of good and evil gods was less equivocal than this compromise, and the spread of the Cathars show how compelling it for many people. It was silly more consistent, given the state of the world, to attribute equal powers to the contending gods. Another factor was the ‘jealous god’ of Moses and the Israelites, and the peaceful philosophy of Jesus and his Apostles. […] Strong echoes of this cosmology are found centuries later in William Blake’s radical interpretations of the Bible, (like the) Old Testament’s Jehovah, and Blake cast him as an implacable figure, conveying something of his antithetical and flawed creative powers as the Cathars one saw them.”
“Dualism, then, was the fulcrum about which the rest of Cathar beliefs turned, informing their eschatology (they did not, it seems, subscribe to an apocalyptic Day of Judgment because they did not believe in the resurrection of the body). This belief in reincarnation likely derived from Neo-platonism and the ancient Greek philosophy of metempsychosis. The transmigration of souls was specifically opposed in Christianity but became a central tenet of Catharsis, and the ascension that they aimed for was a liberation from the constant cycle of death and rebirth, rather similar to Buddhist beliefs. and Manichaeism.”
Dualism, the reason Bérenger Saunière included the ruler of earthly evil, Rex Mundi, in his church dedicated to Mary Magdalene after he made his parchment discoveries hidden away for centuries on the grounds of Rennes-les-Chateau.
[Rex Mundi now behind protective plexiglass because someone tried to destroy it once. If you don’t agree, then annihilate. Your thoughts, Pope (not so) Innocent III.]
When you V O T E in the U.S. midterms, remember these faces and names. These are the senators, men, who cow-tailed to their dark money lobbyists. This is who they show allegiance, not their constituents, who are in need and in diabetic health crisis.
‘The past is past; nothing can change it. But the future depends on the present; we still have the opportunity to shape it. This is not a matter of employing technology or spending more money, it’s a question of developing a sense of concern for others’ well-being.’
As I prepare my next exploration, I found a great website in my research today written by Val Wineyard. https://marymagdalenebooks.blog4ever.com She lives in the Languedoc region and studies the history of all things Occitanie, including the Visigoths. She writes,
My previous life was of Visigothic descent. I decided to find out more about the Visigoths here in our region of Languedoc, the old Visigothic kingdom of Septimanie. I was so fascinated by this I wrote a book called ‘The Visigothic Inheritance’ and am now working on another, ‘Barbarian Gold.’ Recently I started a blog all about the Visigoths, these little known and badly judged people.
I had long been interested in Rennes-le-Château, deep in the hills to the south of Carcassonne, because it was founded by the Visigoths. As a mysterious centre it is endless – one mystery leads onto another; especially when you enter the church and see for yourself how the unusual priest loved Mary Magdalene. The whole village is devoted to her.
My conviction that the priest of Rennes-le-Chateau knew something that we didn’t about Mary Magdalene inspired me to write ‘Mary, Jesus and the Charismatic Priest’ and since then I just haven’t stopped writing about her, there is so much out there to know and learn and be fascinated and intrigued by. It has all snowballed. I do not, by the way, believe that she lived at Rennes-le-Château but at nearby Rennes-les-Bains.
Oui! These lands and villages hold particular intrigue for me, too. Deep mystery shrouded in tales of Templars, secret treasure, Roman Catholic Church popes and massacres, and the Good Christians, the Cathars. I am pulled to the places the author continuously writes about and researches. Recent inquiries have led me to a particularly harrowing historic event from 1163. More on that tomorrow.
To learn more about the sacred geometry I often reference, I’ve posted a short video from Sir Henry Lincoln, author of many books and investigations. The book you might be most familiar is The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail. It is this book that inspired Dan Brown’s The da Vinci Code. And Leonardo da Vinci lands prominently in the Cathar and Templar history. Sir Henry started his research in the ’70’s after finding an obscure little book he bought at a book shop for his French vacation.
This is a tale of the ancient treasures of the Visigoths. The late nineteenth century priest of Rennes-le-Chateau, Berenger Sauniere, supposedly uncovered this secret. According to the book he wants us to follow the clues he built into his domain as a legacy for the future. [Rennes-les-Chateau books]
It changed Sir Henry’s life. And mine.
Sir Henry Lincoln died on February 24th this year. Being back in this region, I think of him so much and wish deeply he was still with us. I have so many questions. He was made an honorary Knights Templar. I remember the day sitting around a table in Rennes-les-Bains when he reverently displayed his treasure.
I miss him. All I keep thinking is, ‘he knows.’
[You can find Sir Henry’s older BBC documentaries on his youtube channel, ‘Henry Speaks.’]
Fascinating find. Had no idea this book existed.
Crux Ansata, subtitled ‘An Indictment of the Roman Catholic Church’ by H.G. Wells, is a 96-page wartime book first published in 1943. Wells lived in London under the regular German Luftwaffe bombings from across the English Channel. He attacks Pope Pius XII and calls for the bombing of the city of Rome. And it’s also a hostile history of the Roman Catholic Church. Apparently Wells was an atheist and had a long history of anti-Catholic writings across many years.
Another spectacularly brilliant capture from the James Webb telescope.
“A dramatic blade made of red gaseous wisps comes down top-to-bottom in the center of the image as smaller green wisps feather out in horizontal directions. A bright star shrouded in blue light is near the center of the bow-like blade. Blue dots in different sizes dot the background of the image, signifying neighboring stars.”
As Alex spews his hates and lies in a U.S. courtroom, reminded today we can draw a straight line from a moment in history to his deceptions and deep ugliness. Today is the anniversary of Reagan’s repeal of the Fairness Doctrine, the corner stone of my academic writing. Thank you for the reminder, Jon Meacham. It was on August 4th 1987 a decision was made that altered the trajectory of our news and information platforms, and landed the U.S. amidst false prophets, conspiracies, lies and polarization. January 6th doesn’t happen if Reagan left it alone. It’s how we got Rush and the state propaganda known as FOX. (Not news, just FOX.) Think of it like this using the medium of radio as an example. Radio stations no longer had to show both sides of a topic and conservatives quickly outpaced liberals. Cue Newt Gingrich, too, and his ‘Contract with America.’ After that, Rupert Murdoch, Roger Ailes, and the FOX brotherhood. Devastating decision, Ronnie.
Mary Magdalene church at Rennes-le-Chateau near Couiza in the Languedoc/Occitanie region of France. Couiza is tucked in the foothills of the Pyrenees and is at the foot of the hill leading to Rennes-le-Chateau where The Church of Mary Magdalene is located. It was renovated by Father Berenger Sauniere, finished in 1897, the year of the dedication. Sauniere re-named it to honor Mary. It is believed an earlier construction was built in the 11th or 12 centuries. Above the door as you enter is a carving of Mary Magdalene and the inscription in Latin, “Terribilis est locus iste”–This is a place of awe.
Saint Mary Magdalene
‘Mary Magdalene has been a victim of mistaken identity for almost 20 centuries.’
It was a climb; five kilometers to the top.
It really felt like a pilgrimage, like being on the Camino, which I loved since it was Mary’s Feast Day. A pilgrimage to Mary. And it was H O T. Again. 99 degrees with double the humidity from last week. I hadn’t planned on trekking it, but when the bus dropped me in Couiza, I couldn’t find a taxi to the Chateau. I stopped into various shops to find some taxi numbers. I called three numbers, each did not have a driver. Tried to locate one on my phone, didn’t work. I thought I might just take the bus back in about an hour, so had a café au lait and a Perrier.
I really wanted to be there on Mary’s day, so I decided to go for it. Five kilometers is about 3 miles, so I plugged in the destination on my phone and headed up. Way up.
When the back of your hands perspire, you know it’s hot.
It was about then that my phone sent me a prompt to cool off my phone. Yikes. I had some water with me, though not enough. So rationed it. I rested in a couple of spots when I found shade, and I think it was in one of those spots where I lost my prayer amethyst. I think it fell out of my pocket. It’s loaded with prayers, so whoever finds it, I hope it has good energy for them. It’s so beautiful.
Because I chose ‘walkers’ directions, the little Map Genie took me on a path not frequently travelled and behind gates with markings that really looked like I probably should not have traversed. What the heck, Map Genie, seriously?
Lost and alone on some forgotten highway
Traveled by many, remembered by few. -John Denver
So, I kept climbing. Saw a ruin in the distance; not sure which one it is. Can’t wait to find out. Would love to explore…
More refreshments needed!
Time to visit with Mary.
I want to learn more about this piece…
Rex Mundi. Cathars were dualists, the physical and spiritual deities. Rex Mundi was the false God – the chaotic god of material things, the Demiurge, and the embodiment of evil. Sadly, someone tried to attack the Rex Mundi in the church once, did some damage, too, so the caretakers put some protection around it.
There are so many discoveries and histories…theories…with this church. The Languedoc region is thick with Cathar history, the Templars, Inquisitions, and Mary. And if you’re really into Chateau history and all things Mary, you’re a ‘Rennie.’ :)
If you’d like to learn more, check out the late Sir Henry Lincoln’s videos on YouTube, Henry Speaks. Fascinating history and Henry explains the sacred geometry studies in the region, too, i.e., how it all connects.
There are many studies and writings on Mary. One of my favorites is The Meaning of Mary Magdaline by Cynthia Bourgeault. It’s subtitled, Discovering the Woman of the Heart of Christianity. I think I flagged every page.
More from Henry with his books, too, like Holy Blood, Holy Grail, the pre-cursor to The da Vinci Code. And The Holy Place/Sauniere and the Decoding of the Mystery of Rennes-le-Chateau.
There’s a little book store on the grounds.
Found some great books for my studies, including this one which the author only sells (the hardback) at this little shop.
Started reading when I got back. So good.
“We were both familiar with the colorful story about the small town of Rennes le Chateau and the priest Sauniere who in 1886 during a major repair work on the altar of the local church, had apparently found a number of documents containing information which from one day to the next transformed him from a port minister on the fringe of society to a rich man with unlimited funds and a fashionable circle of acquaintances.
Sauniere had spent part of his fortune on the restoration of the church. He further built a new house, ‘Bethanie,’ as well as the tower, ‘Tour Mandala.’
Sauniere died in 1917 leaving the secret with his housekeeper of many years, Marie Dernaud, who promised to disclose it on her deathbed.
Unfortunately, when that day came in 1953, she was paralyzed by a stroke and thus was unable to disclose anything at all. Apparently the secret of Sauniere was buried with her.
Since then, the mystery had been made the subject of many speculations, several of which had revitalized the legend of Mary Magdalene and her alleged escape from Palestine to the South of France after the death of Yeshua” [p. 273].
Adrian, who works at the shop, helped me secure a taxi to get back to Limoux. He had to phone four different taxi services to find a driver for me. I told my daughter, when you travel, there are always angels on your path.
The Tour. Great capture during Stage 19 today. Si jolie. (So pretty.) J’adore France.
Crazy sprint finish today with a surprise winner…not so much the team. Jumbo Visma. The whole Tour has been insane and crazy fast. So fun to watch. Only two more stages going into Paris on Sunday! 🥂
This one in reference to yesterday’s Wout Route…
Clever. And so true. :)
And this which sums up not only stage 18, but the entire Tour and how Jonas and Tedej respect each other and their sport. This connection occurred after Jonas clipped is pedal and wobbled and then when Tadej slid out misreading the line on the descent. Scary fast. And Jonas waited for him. Tadej reached for his hand as he caught up almost as if to say, “It’s yours.” He had attacked so much, trying to gain time, and then he handed the baton. And he didn’t attack again. Tender, and sweet moment to witness. 💛
La Gare day!
First, it was the bus from Limoux to Carcassonne.
It was a day of learning and confusion. 🙃
And angels on my path when I needed help the most, like Suni from Pakistan who gave me a full tutorial on train travel in France, helped me download some European train apps before he caught his train. He has lived in Germany, speaks fluent German, extremely fluid English, and is learning French. He is trying to secure a visa so he can work in France and attend school. He told me, “I can’t go back to Pakistan. There is no future for me there.” Meeting people from different cultures, speaking different languages, observing their behaviors and kindnesses truly fills and renews my spirit. Another person I spoke to along my different stops and exchanges said to me when I told him I was from the United States, “It’s very dangerous there.” The whole world is watching. A co-passenger on another train as I was making my way slowly to Grenoble explained one of the announcements over the intercom system for me that passengers were being warned about a pick-pocket on the train. I told him, “I wish we had more pick-pockets in our country, instead of guns. He paused and said, “It makes us very worried in Europe.” He’s from Italy and lives in France. His name is Claudio. He explained that we are citizens of the world and it doesn’t matter where we’re from, it effects all of us. My heart. Indeed. So beautifully expressed.
The train moving through Sète, Languedoc, France, on the Mediterranean coast. Established 1,000 years ago, it’s a UNESCO world heritage site. It’s on my list to visit.
12 hours later I made it to Grenoble. Trees line the downtown with a very hip, young vibe. Apparently it’s a university town with over 60,000 students here. The population is around 165,000. A very different feeling from my beloved Languedoc region. It’s about an hour east of Lyon. Beautiful area—mountain ranges and massive history. Can’t wait to explore. It was dark when I arrived. Photos tomorrow!
I’m reading another book on Cathar history. Can’t wait to share.
Reading on the trains today, I had to pause and reel in the reminded awareness how awful, awful…humans have treated each other over the centuries and continue still. In this instance, crusades and inquisitions, torture and burnings at the stake. This journey today on a micro level reminded me how kind and compassionate and caring the human species can be. We’re one of 8,000,000 species on the planet. And we’re destroying it…and each other. And it never stops. We just find different ways to mutilate and hate. For millennia.
Again, the question simmers: Are humans, by nature, good or evil? Or, does society corrupt? Rhetorical. Been thinking about it a lot lately, though. Perhaps it’s why the Cathar landed on duality, to help explain it, and understand.
Rex Mundi. More later on what was considered Cathar heresy.
Think Emily in Paris, but without the clothes. And youth. When an almost two decade dream becomes a reality, it kinda feels like a simulation, an alternate reality I created in my mind because I thought about it so much.
July 3rd and 4th were travel days. To celebrate the 4th of July, I left the country. And on July 4th, another senseless gun massacre at a parade. Nothing will be done because the United States values guns more than life. Too many people own too many guns in the U.S., high powered military weapons. And the killing continues. I know I don’t want to go back to the cesspool that it has become, an experiment that is dissolving because of greed, power, dark money, systemic patriarchy and leaders who should not be leaders. So many brilliant, young people and minds in the United States, and this is who we get. So, yeah, I don’t want to go back. Yet, without a residency visa, I can only stay three months. I met a woman from England at the marche [market] today who has lived here five years. She shared her visa experience was one of ease and permission. Yet her driver’s license experience? Ooh la la.
It took two months to compile the needed paperwork and requirements for the visa application. I flew to Los Angeles in March to meet with the visa consulate in person. I was in their office for 4.5 hours. A week later I was denied. Their reason is that my reason for wanting to research and write in the ancient region of Languedoc wasn’t a good enough one. I will try again. Until then, I am here. Researching ruins, studying the Cathars and connecting with Mary Magdalene.
After two years of COVID French Duolingo, I’m not ready. At all. People speak French here. A lot of French. Only French. :) Phrases and words, reading and comprehension coming along, yet speaking? Pas bon. (Not good.) But, you know, Emily didn’t speak French when she took the job at that AD AGENCY in Paris. I’ll learn. I wish I had a mind for language. I took Russian in college…and a little French. Tons of Spanish in high school, and still, to this day, my first foreign language default is Spanish, which worked nicely on the Camino in Spain. Not so much in France.
Bonus. Massive bonus. I happened to choose to be here during the Tour de France. Big Fan. Yet I had no idea the tour was actually going through Limoux. What?! Yep. I think stage 16, after the rest day, on July 19th. From Carcassonne (about 30 minutes north from Limoux) to Foix as the riders approach the Pyrenees. So passing through! I’ll be there! I brought my polka dot pin from the 2004 Tour when I was on the Champs-Elysees and watched Lance win his 6th in his gold helmet. Indelible. Thank you, Theodore.
I slept 11 hours after I arrived. From San Diego to Salt Lake City to Paris to Toulouse. Delayed in Paris, but my bags made it! Even with all the flying warnings and chaos stories. Whew. I opted to pay more for a taxi instead of trying to maneuver the train with a backpack and three large bags. A taxi service I pre-ordered through booking.com (don’t) bailed on me, so I had to search for someone to drive for me. It was an hour and 30 minute drive through fields of sunflowers and grapes for their brilliant Blanquette de Limoux. Jean-Michele, my driver, was so kind. And he played Cat Stevens the entire way. Glad Cedric decided not to stay. Yeah, pretty great. It’s a sign. :)
Nicolette, who owns the flat where I’m staying, is from Scotland, her dad lives in Spain. English! She’s helping me acclimate in a language I understand. So grateful. She has put so much thought and care into her flats at La Maison 22. Her French country decor and comfort are simply perfect. My place has a small balcony and overlooks the river Aude, where I can listen to the bells from the Church of Saint-Martin, built in the 1100’s. I’ll be back. When I get that visa!
Last evening I took a stroll around the village, many establishments are closed on Mondays. It was a quiet. A young man walked close by to me and said, “Stone. Stone.” I must have looked as perplexed as I felt. And then he made the universal gesture for getting stoned. Although a lovely idea after two days of travel, weed is highly illegal in France. So, thanks, really, but no. And a smile.
Today was organizing and unpacking, streaming the Tour, French Press coffee on the balcony, happy birds, frantic ducks, and a happy heart being so far removed from the United States both physically and mentally.
Nicolette emailed me about the marche, the first of the season, every Tuesday evening through July and August in the village. Happy people, music, and dining al fresco on the historic centre around the Place de la Republique.
Tomorrow, more exploring and picking up train schedules.
Deep sorrow for what is happening in, to, the United States. So much promise. So much devastation and harm. For now, my focus is on possibility, potential, and purpose as I ease into life’s chapter 4. It took a lot to get here. To be here. It isn’t a simulation, its providence, and grace.
Thanks be to Gaia. And my ancestors, particularly, my great-grandma, Alma Evalo Latta (who gave me a mother’s love), my brother, Darrell Lee Ohlau, and my dad, Robert Dale Ohlau. Mitakuye Oyasin.
Languedoc is a centre of the distinctive civilization of the south of France. Its name is derived from the traditional language of southern France, in which the word oc means “yes,” in contrast to oïl, or oui, in northern French. From the 13th century the name applied to the entire area in which the Languedoc, or Occitan, language was spoken and came to apply specifically to the territory of the feudal county of Toulouse.
From 121 BC the territory that constituted Languedoc was part of the Roman province of Gallia Narbonensis, which connected Italy to Spain, and was strongly influenced by Roman culture. With the breakdown of the Roman Empire, the region was controlled by the Visigoths in the 5th century and was partially conquered by the Franks in the 6th century.
From the mid-12th century, the Cathari, a Manichaean sect, won wide support from the people and the nobles of Languedoc; the Cathari were sometimes called Albigensesbecause of their strength around the town of Albi. They were branded as heretics by the Roman Catholic church, and Pope Innocent III preached a crusade against them, precipitating an invasion of Languedoc by a northern French army in 1209. The ensuing wars, which lasted until the mid-13th century, ended the political independence of Languedoc. [britannica.com]
‘During our conversation, I commented how so many had discovered the marvellous area of the Languedoc and its people, thanks to him and his writings. This, I believe, is the true treasure and Henry Lincoln’s lasting legacy.’
Henry Lincoln: Co-author of book that inspired The Da Vinci Code
The controversial ‘The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail’ pioneered an area of research that spawned countless other works in the alternative history genre
by Marcus Williamson
Henry Lincoln in 2001. Prior to his literary career, he wrote scripts for ‘Z Cars’ and for ‘Doctor Who’ (Alamy)
Sir Henry, has died at the age of 92. [1930-2022]
I will miss you, Henry. Our Templar. Thank you for Languedoc, and Saint-Salvayre. For Mary. J’adore.
Henry said to me in this sacred space, “This is a special place, I hope you realize that.” Indeed. Transformative and indelible experience, being within the Sacred Geometry.
‘Mary (Magdalene), it is your own heart that will be the adjudicator of this, in our present are we stand at a crossroads in our history.
From the Gospel of Mary Magdalene:
‘Be of good heart; and if you are discouraged, be encouraged in the presence of the diversity of the forms of nature. Those with ears let them hear. The child of humanity is within you.’
I had so hoped, and longed, to see you again and share in your wisdom, in our beloved Languedoc. Gentle travels, Sir Henry. My heart soars knowing you know. -dayle
“Oh bloody hum.” “Yay.” -Sir Henry ღ
St. Salvayre, France
Wendell Berry’s poem, “The Peace of Wild Things”
“When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things …”
Practice: Forest Bathing
Center for Action & Contemplation:
“The art of healing comes from nature, not from the physician.” –Paracelsus
Recently, in reference to concerns about COVID-19, I said, “Love always means going beyond yourself to otherness.” African American mystic Howard Thurman understood this deeply through a connection with nature which provided him with “a certain overriding immunity against the pains in life.”  In his youth he found solace in a relationship with a tree near his home. He writes:
Eventually I discovered that the oak tree and I had a unique relationship. I could sit, my back against its trunk, and feel the same peace that would come to me in my bed at night. I could reach down into the quiet places of my spirit, take out my bruises and joys, unfold them and talk about them. I could talk aloud to the oak tree and know that I was understood. It too, was part of my reality, like the woods . . . giving me space.
During this time of social distancing from other humans, it is still possible for some of us to practice “ecotherapy” or in Japanese, Shinrin-yoku—refreshment and healing by walking or resting where there are trees or forests. For those who don’t have access to nature currently, I hope you will have an opportunity soon. I also have a feeling we will all have a newfound appreciation for the outdoors when this time of “sheltering in” is over. From M. Amos Clifford’s book Your Guide to Forest Bathing:
The invitation is simple: Walk slowly [or sit still], while silently noticing what is in motion in the forest. There is always movement, even when things seem perfectly still. Strands of a web drift in the air, trees move in the breezes, birds fly by, and squirrels scramble in the branches, grasses bend, insects crawl. . . .
Until you become accustomed to it, walking slowly for more than a few minutes is, paradoxically, stressful. . . . Because the mind and body are a single entity, slowing our body will also calm our mind. . . .
The eternal movement of the forest gives our minds something to engage with. Just as with sitting meditation the breath is always there and available for watching, in the forest there are always things in motion. Your mind will drift, and many other thoughts will arise. When they do, gently bring your attention back to noticing what’s in motion.
When you find you have automatically sped up, come to a complete halt for a moment. It’s an opportunity to fully give your attention to one thing, noticing how that thing is in motion. After a brief pause you’ll be ready to continue your slow walk.
I recommend that you walk like this for at least 15 minutes. That’s enough time for your mind to go through several cycles of distraction and calming. 
M. Amos Clifford, Your Guide to Forest Bathing: Experience the Healing Power of Nature (Conari Press: 2018), 34–35.
Ecological philosopher Joanna Macy understands: “Our difficulty in looking at what we’re doing to our world stems not from callous indifference or ignorance so much as it stems from fear of pain,” she says.
It is largely after the fact that faith is formed—and gloriously transmuted into hope for the future. Only after the fact can you see that you were being held and led during the fact.
You say one love, one life (One life)
It’s one need in the night
One love (one love), get to share it
Leaves you darling, if you don’t care for it. U2
Living the Questions
On Being host Krista Tippett reflects on this moment as one of collective transition and ponders what we might integrate into the people we become on the other side of it.
To a question from listener Colorado Springs, Krista reflects on seeing this as a collective moment of transition (which is always stressful in human life) and ponders what we might integrate into the people we become on the other side of it. “To really, actively, accompany each other in holding that question — that might be a spiritual calling but also a civilizational calling for this very extraordinary transition,” she says.
Ever again, though we've learned the landscape of love and the lament in the churchyard's names and the terrible, silent abyss where the others have fallen; ever again we walk out, two together, under the ancient trees, ever again find a place among wildflowers, under heaven's gaze. -Rilke, Uncollected Poems
‘The journey to becoming the hero of your own story isn’t easy … but it is a well-marked path.
There are certain signposts, trials, and tribulations every hero must undergo in the process of becoming. While Your Path will certainly be your own, there is a crucial first step to embarking on any quest.
ASK TO BE SHOWN THE WAY.
This might look like a prayer, a wish, a hope, a whisper, a willingness, a plea … It is a conscious pulling on one of the strings of the quantum web, so that the music of the Quest may begin.
“…it’s all part of the process. The Initiate has to set out on the quest without knowin’ where she’s goin’. It’s in all the stories … Along the way, there are clues and tests. The Initiate has to gain new awareness and use all her skills to survive and complete the quest.” ~THE HERETIC
The key to questing is that you don’t know where you’re going. It is all ways a journey into the UNKNOWN. That is how I know that we’re all on a Quest right now.
I may not know what the terrain ahead looks like, but I do have some experience with the process. No matter where we go, or what we may become, the spirit of the Quest is the same.
The possibility of initiation is being offered to each of us.
Will you ask to be shown the way?
It will take courage. You’ll have to choose in every moment. And you do not get to know the way. It is a step of trust … of courage … into the Unknown.
It may not be for the faint of heart …
But some of you are ready.
I can feel it.’
‘…remember, it just means to CHOOSE.’
“Wonder and amazement are as old as the Earth. Magic, myth, and merriment are our deep inheritance. As the world changes – we change – yet the beauty of this birthright shines ever-bright within and around us.
I’VE GOTTEN SPECIAL PERMISSION TO RELEASE ONE OF MY FAVORITE CHAPTERS of THE HERETIC to YOU!”
“Don’t worry — no spoilers! I just want to let you in on where the story begins … with a village priest in a hilltop hamlet called RENNES-LE-CHATEAU, and the CODED PARCHMENTS that would change Everything.
Whether you’re already a Heretic (remember it just means ABLE TO CHOOSE) who’s been waiting not-so-patiently for this book to be released
… or a Heretic-in-training who’s just learning about the limitless possibilities in store for you ~
I HOPE YOU’LL LOVE DIVING INTO THE ADVENTURE.”
“P.S. If you have any friends who are into ancient mysteries, spiritual transformation, codes & ciphers, or math & magic … make sure they get on our mailing list right away! www.AllyshaLavino.com/Join-the-Heretics
The Kickstarter Campaign launches January 14, 2020 with the first opportunity to pre-order THE HERETIC and other amazing offers, but the EARLY BIRD SPECIALS WON’T LAST LONG!”