R O A D T R I P ❗️
French Villages, castles, and an amazing memory in Montsegur at La Maison Sous le Château. Manual Citroën is the best. Always secure the smallest car you can and practice accelerations. :)
‘Immerse yourself in the medieval atmosphere of Puilaurens Castle, an impregnable fortress in Cathar Country, at the top of the sheer rock face. The walls and towers have been marked by time and are filled with history and legends. Can you find the “secret” passages leading to the giddy panoramas?’ We did!
Beginning the hike up to the castle ruins…
Annie Glenn in awe and loving Languedoc.
Michael inspired on his first journey out of the United States and ready to return.
The Square Tower dates from the time of the Crusade against the Cathars. The so- called “White Lady” Tower, where Blanche de Bourbon, granddaughter of Philip IV, was reputed to have stayed on her way south to her ill-fated marriage with the cruel Peter of Castile, has a duct through the wall that acts as a speaking tube.
Aged just fourteen in 1353, after three days of marriage, Peter abandoned her in favour of Maria de Padilla, imprisoning poor Blanche in various places in France and Spain, until the age of twenty two, when he had her murdered. Legend has it that when mists surround the castle, Blanche is wandering the walls in her misty veils.
Montségur Castle is a fortress built on the ruins of a previous Roman settlement in the Occitanie region of Southern France. In 1204, Raymond de Péreille, the Lord of Montségur, decided to rebuild the Castle which had been in ruins for 40 years. The refortified Castle immediately became the epicentre of an important Cathar community. Catharism was a Gnostic movement which deviated from the teachings of the Catholic Church and which spread like wildfire in the 12th and 13th centuries. Amongst other tenets, the Cathars believed that Jesus was not the son of God but merely an upright prophet and scholar. They believed that men and women were both essentially equal and that money and physical trappings were not important in life. Even though they lived lives of poverty, it is believed that the Cathars amassed great riches, since many members, who were people of ‘substance’, donated their property on joining and many well-wishers and patrons donated money to help the cause as well. On the other hand, at the time Pope Innocent III, as well as the Kings of England and France, were struggling with financial difficulties caused by investments in the Crusades in the Holy Land. A theory states that this was one of the main reasons why the Cathars, a peaceful Order, were branded as heretics and hounded to their deaths with such cruelty, even prompting the setting up of a special Inquisition for such a purpose. At the time, all their assets and lands were seized and divided between the Pope and the King of France during what became known as the Cathar Crusade or the Albigensian Crusade. Whole cities and villages were destroyed by the Inquisition, which targeted both nobles and peasants alike. Ironically, the supposed ‘treasure’ of the Cathars was never found, or at least, no one has reported its acquisition.
The hike up…
…and reverence for the bon hommes and bonne femmes who were murdered in the pyre because of their beliefs, and the greed and evil of Pope Innocence III.
From the book, The Manuscript. ☉
The Cathars considered themselves to be the true Christians. Part of their learning rested on primitive Christian, Gnostic, Jewish and Islamic ideas, which at all decisive points different from the Roman Church.
The daily bread was for the Cathars the spiritual bread, and both women and men could become priests, perfect, in their community. The Cathar movement had wide support amon the Languedoc population and when this support tended to spread to all of France the Pope, Innocence III, sent a monk, Bernard of Clairveaux, to preach against the heretics. He saw, however, that their services and morals were far more Christian than those of his own corrupt Church. He also admitted that he could find no fault with the parfaits of the Cathars. They only practiced what they preached. This was not to the liking of the Pope and thus he implemented the crusade resulting in the massacre of Montsegur.
‘A common legend which had been retold for generations by the descendants of the Cathars, was told by a shepherd from Montsegur as late as 1929:
“When the walls of Montsegur were still intact, the Cathars, the pure ones, guarded the Holy Grail there. Montsegur was in danger. The armies of Lucifer lay in a circle around the walls. They wanted the Grail, so that they could mount it in the emperor’s tiara, from where it had fallen to the ground when the angels were banned from Heaven. When peril was at its highest a white dove descendde from Heaven and split the mountain in two with its beak. Esclarmonde, the female guardian of the Grail, threw the precious, holy treasure into the mountain. It then closed again. In this way the Grail was saved. When the devils forced their way into the fortress, they were too late. Filled with anger they burned all the pure ones at the foot of the cliffs under the fortress on the camp des cremate, on the field where where the state was built.”
More than 200 hundred Cathars, men, women and children, chose by their own free will to be burned at the stake. According to an oral tradition, they had promised to return after seven hundred years [pp. 39-40].’
In memoriam at Montsegur.
Ani Williams is world-renowned harpist and singer, and has recorded more than two-dozen albums of original sacred music based on ancient spiritual traditions.
The back side of the castle ruins where remnants of the Cathars living quarters and community gathering sites for work and living.
Folks honoring the Cathars at Montsegur with dance and song.
Then in the chill of fall and winds, it was time to head back down, imagining…trying…the 200 + Cathars holding hands and singing their hymns as the fires from the pyre burned below them and their wicked fate to a tortuous death.
R E X M U N D I
Evil forces always swirling about.
And then it was a short drive down narrow lanes to the Village de Montsegur to stay the night at La Maison Sous le Château. Sadness. The museum was closed. Next time. So wanted to visit.
J’adore the village of Montsegur, almost as much as Alet-les-Bains and Limoux.
Cathar crosses everywhere and history whispered in the winds.
Up the stairs to our private room and bath and a warm meal with local vegetables, soup, pain, and vin…
…at the foot of the Pyrenees.
You must stay with Fred and basque in his warmth and hospitality, his cooking (!), as well as his knowledge of the Occitanie region, the Cathars…and Mariam.
I wanted to linger longer in this ancient village in Southern France.
Can’t wait to return. Thanks be to Gaia.
You must read this book!
Car returned and ready for a very hot bath. Fall has landed in Languedoc.
The Satanic Verses 
Posted by Mikhail Khodorkovsky. https://khodorkovsky.com
From Dan Froomkin at Press Watch:
‘Mainstream media reporters are having a hard time fully explaining the link between the increasingly violent rhetoric acts like Thursday’s attempted attack on an FBI office in Cincinnati.
The phrase they’re looking for is “stochastic terrorism.”
It may not trip off the tongue, but it needs to become part of the media lexicon.
Stochastic terrorism means
terrorism that’s statistically predictable but individually unpredictable. In simpler language, it is not just possible that someone at some point will do something about it, it’s damn near inevitable.
Calling certain forms of violent rhetoric stochastic terrorism is essential to holding the perpetrators accountable for the tragic consequences.’
Symbol from the book, The Manuscript, depicting the marriage at Cana where both Mariam Magdalene and Yeshua were present, and as presented in the book, where the ‘first’ miracle occurred between the two of them. Their wedding day. Yeshua turns the vats of water into wine. And it was Mariam’s idea, the ‘gate of grace and compassion.’
‘I will show you that which the eye cannot see,
the ear cannot hear,
no hand can touch,
and no man understand through his own understanding.’
-The Gospel of Thomas
‘The time will come when time is meaningless, and place is nowhere. All our concepts wait, but their appointed ending. They uphold a dream with no dimension. At the gate of Heaven are they merely laid aside, before the blazing of the light within.’
Heavenly source, you who are everywhere,
hallowed be thy name.
Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, here and now and in eternity.
Fill us with the power of Thy grace.
And set us free from the chains which which we bind ourselves and each other.
Lead us out of temptation: Free us from ourselves.
And lend us the power to be one with You.
“This is my daughter, Mariam, in whom I am well please. Today she has received the name Magdalene, the Exalted Spirit of Peace. I have some back to the world in her shape. Bu her power shall humanity understand its destiny. Through her shall humanity again find peace.”
“Now, in this 21st century, a creative face which is still effective and which manifests itself in the ethereal plane, a new feminine form of energy through Rucha d’koodsha…Holy Spirit.”
The old patriarchal energy has had its day.
An Earthly flame now dying.
The new power, the Feminine Power:
“Everything you want to become you already are.”
“Mariam Magdalene was the true founder of esoteric Christianity.”
What we need, truly need, to heal and re-set is for all social media to go dark for awhile. I think at least six months. Or, bring back the Fairness Doctrine. Or, re-write the dreadful Communications Act of 1996. All probably not going to happen. Maybe what we need, then, is a moment…a day…of reflection and re-prioritizing, knowing and agreeing to the perilous moment the United States of America is facing. Jon Meacham on Friday focused his ‘Reflections of History’ on Lincoln’s Proclamation of Prayer and Fasting. On August 12, 1861, President Lincoln calls for a national day of prayer and fasting.
Nations like individuals are subjected to punishments and chastisements in this world, may we not justly fear that the awful calamity of civil war, which now desolates the land, may be but a punishment, inflicted upon us, for our presumptuous sins, to the needful end of our national reformation as a whole People? We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!
It behooves us then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.
Now, therefore, in compliance with the request, and fully concurring in the views of the Senate, I do, by this my proclamation, designate and set apart Thursday, the 30th. day of April, 1863, as a day of national humiliation, fasting and prayer. And I do hereby request all the People to abstain, on that day, from their ordinary secular pursuits, and to unite, at their several places of public worship and their respective homes, in keeping the day holy to the Lord, and devoted to the humble discharge of the religious duties proper to that solemn occasion.
All this being done, in sincerity and truth, let us then rest humbly in the hope authorized by the Divine teachings, that the united cry of the Nation will be heard on high, and answered with blessings, no less than the pardon of our national sins, and the restoration of our now divided and suffering Country, to its former happy condition of unity and peace.
By the President: Abraham Lincoln
William H. Seward, Secretary of State.
‘Speedy restoration of peace was the key element. So the Union turned to prayer. Not a conventional religious believer, Abraham Lincoln was, however, a man of conscious. A student of the Bible, and an inherent to the school of thought that held that human events were in fact under the care of a providential force. […] Whether prayer made any difference, is a matter of interpretation. But this much is clear, the nation that emerged from what Lincoln once called ‘the fiery trial of the war,’ lived in closer accord with the dictates of the all mighty. And the America that had begun that war.’
The country shuts down for O N E day for reflection and contemplation. No bar-b-q’s and no mattress sales, only prayer and contemplation.
Here’s the link to listen to this episode of Jon Meacham’s ‘Reflections of History.’
Thunderstorms tonight; continuously rolling thunder and lightening. Only sprinkles, though, no rain, and with the drought, so desperately needed.
From The Independent:
“In places, the Loire can now be crossed on foot; France’s longest river has never flowed so slowly. The Rhine is fast becoming impassable to barge traffic. In Italy, the Po is 2 metres lower than normal, crippling crops. Serbia is dredging the Danube.”
Across Europe, drought is reducing once-mighty rivers to trickles, with potentially dramatic consequences for industry, freight, energy and food production – just as supply shortages and price rises due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine bite.
Driven by climate breakdown, an unusually dry winter and spring followed by record-breaking summer temperatures and repeated heatwaves have left Europe’s essential waterways under-replenished and, increasingly, overheated.
With no significant rainfall recorded for almost two months across western, central and southern Europe and none forecast in the near future, meteorologists say the drought could become the continent’s worst in more than 500 years.”
- Climate breakdown.
- We need that day of collective prayer and contemplation. Jon, talk to Joe.
In the meantime, I’m on baby lizard watch. Apparently there’s been a ‘hatch’ (?) and baby lizards are everywhere. And they’re spastic. And very fast. 😳
Lizards in Limoux.
Please just don’t fall or crawl on me. You’ll freak me out.
Time for yoga. On the floor.