Mas Cabardes is a tiny town nestled in the mountains north of Carcassonne. This sleepy hamlet is home to one of my favorite pieces of heretical art. Unassuming on the corner of two narrow streets sits a lovely cross. At first glance, it looks like a normal cross, with Jesus, angels, and Mother Mary. The addition of John the Baptist and Father God are different, but not unusual. It takes the name 'Weaver's Cross' from the carving of the shuttle under Jesus' feet. Cathars were shepherds, so this is said to be a nod to one of their professions.
|Weaver's Cross, front|
Where it gets really interesting is when you view the back of it. The back tells the heretical side of the story. Mary Magdalene, holding a baby (who is now decapitated) is crowned Queen of Heaven by the angels while God looks on. On her left is Archangel Michael, protector of the Divine Feminine, and the other is unidentified, but has pen and book in hand, ready to tell her story.
|Weaver's Cross, back|
The church in this town is small, but mighty, having special symbolism of its own and some fabulous energy as well. Again, we saw symbols of the divine masculine and feminine, as well as dedication to Mary Magdalene.
Nearby, on some small mountian peaks, sits the site of Lastours. It is the site of three separate Cathar chateaux and a fourth castle built as a prize to the victors after the Cathar chateauxs were conquered.
The view was breathtaking and the hike up to one of the towers was worth the effort on that particularly warm day. Most of the group chose to hike to Cabaret, the chateau originally owned by Etiennette du Pennautier, patroness of the troubadours and defender of the Cathars.
There is one remaining tower that you can climb up from which to enjoy the spectacular vistas. Many of us spent about an hour up there, singing and dancing, a fitting tribute to the woman who celebrated the arts, music and courtly love!
|Me in the Cabaret Tower|
Another busy day full of beauty, mystery, and the Divine. Oh...and wine. :)