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Susan's Blog

Sacred France - wine, churches, and cassoulet - Oh my!

Susan Marek

I just got back from France a few days ago and thought I had better make an attempt to put words to the amazing experiences I have had over the past two weeks.  Please be patient with me as I tell you all about my adventures. There is so much to say (and not say) about what happened that I will have have to give it to you in bits and pieces. To say that I had a great time is an understatement.  It doesn't do the experience justice to even state that it was life changing.  I am altered in a way that cannot be adequately described.  My adventure started in Toulouse, France, where I was introduced to an incredible group of people, who would become my close friends by the end of the trip.  We were whisked away to a beautiful retreat center in the Languedoc region, which is marked by fields of sunflowers and miles of grape vines.  After being welcomed with a wine tasting of a stunning array of local wines, we had a delicious dinner and went to bed.

We woke up to fresh croissants, gluten-free bread, meats, eggs, and fruit.  Ah, to be this spoiled every day...  The first stop for the day was the walled city of Carcassonne.  You may have seen it in Kevin Costner's Robin Hood movie. 





Carcassonne was energetically very interesting.  When I first walk through the gates and along the city wall, I felt nauseous.  It shifted energetically as we walked into the city to the cathedral.  As you walk into the church, you are greeted with this sign:



I love the "Roman Catholic Cult" part!  Ha! The church itself is energetically interesting.  There were both "good" and "bad" pockets of energy throughout the church.  One area in particular affected me tremendously.  It was a small chapel with a lovely statue of St. Anne teaching Mary, and there is a red book under her foot.


On the floor in front of her was the burial site of a cardinal who was sympathetic to the plight of the Cathars.  I had a very strong emotional reaction when I approached the chapel and had a vision of a young woman sprawled out over the tomb, wailing with grief.  I was overcome with the desire to shoo people off his grave marker on the floor.  The woman's relationship with this man is unknown, but she was definitely distraught over his passing.  I didn't take any pictures of the marker because it felt disrespectful and wrong to do so.  She wanted his resting place to remain sacred, I think. 

There was also excellent shopping in Carcassonne, as well as delicious duck cassoulet for lunch.  After lunch, we headed to Minerve, the site of one of the Cathar massacres in 1210 during the Albegensian Crusades.  More about Minerve tomorrow...