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Blog

Susan Marek's blog about angels, chakras, spiritual living, and more.

Filtering by Category: "Mary"

Mas Cabardes' Weaver's Cross

Susan Marek

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.
Lastours

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.
Cabaret (left)

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.  :)

Rennes-le-Chateau

Susan Marek

Rennes-le-Chateau is at the center of all things mystical and magical in the Languedoc region.  Rumors of Egyptian rites, time slips, and portals to other worlds abound here.  What I do know for sure is that it is full of more mysteries than answers, and beauty abounds.  The view was breathtaking from atop the mountain on which it sits.

  The streets were quiet as we approached the infamous church, which holds most of the town's secrets.  Dedicated to Mary Magdalene, this place of worship has a gorgeous statue of Mary Magdalene above the door with an interesting inscription.  At first, it seems as though it proclaims the place as "terribilis," but translated properly in this context, it means 'awesome'.  Awesome it is, indeed! 
Mary Magdalene at Rennes-le-Chateau




As I entered the church, Rex Mundi was waiting to greet me.  One would not expect to find a devil at the entrance to a church. Rex Mundi means 'king of the world,' and to me, represents the ego and our attachment to earthly things that block us from our true path. 
Rex Mundi

But on top of the statue sits four lovely angels, each making a portion of the sign of the cross, assuring you that all is well.  A fascinating statue to be sure!
Angels triumph over Rex Mundi
For me, the energy in the church was a little "swirly" (it's a technical term...). It was noticeable once I was inside the main part of the church.  There was so much to see within the church itself, like gorgeous statues of many saints, an ornate altar with a lovely relief of Mary Magdalene in it, painted by the priest, Berenger Sauniere, who brought this church back to life with a mysterious fortune at the turn of the 20th century.
altar with Mary Magdalene relief
The source of Sauniere's fortune is unknown, but the money started pouring into this small parish after he discovered something in a pillar of the old altar during a remodel.  The papers found in a hole in the top of the pillar were said to contains secrets that were never revealed by Berenger or any of the people he entrusted with them. 
altar pillar - no, it isn't upside down.  Sauniere had 'Mission 1891' carved upside down.  The hole is at the top.
Symbolism is all over the church.  There is layer upon layer of messages and secrets here.  Next to the church are the presbytery, Villa Bethania ( the home Sauniere built but never lived in) and his gardens.  The gardens contain two magnificent towers, the Magdalene Tower, which served as Sauniere's library, and the Conservatory Tower, which was a green house.  The Magdalene Tower is spectacular.  Inside, walnut bookshelves line the walls, and the spiral staircase leads to the top of the tower.  I could feel the energy swirling in the tower before I reached the door.  I had to catch myself a few times inside to keep from falling because the energy was so strong.  I didn't stay long because of it, but proceeded to the conservatory where the energy was a little calmer. 
Magdalene Tower

Conservatory Tower
After visiting the towers, the group headed to another part of the Sauniere's original garden called Jardin du Marie for lunch.  There, we ate under the sprawling branches of trees and were treated to a short talk about local lore by the restaurant owner.  A harp concert followed, and then we did some shopping at the fabulous bookstore located at the foot of the garden.  The shop items reflected the mysteries of Rennes-le-Chateau: Books, Magdalene medals, Templar crosses, Egyptian statues and shiny crystal jewelry. 


Rennes-le-Chateau brought up mixed emotions in me.  The church itself was so multi-layered in terms of energy and emotions.  A LOT has happened there, and for me that day, it was quite jumbled when picking up on energies of the past and present.  There is a definite air of mystery around the church and grounds, much more than you can see.  I came away quite melacholy because I was on energy overload and processing quite a bit.  I would love to go back after reading and learning more about the history and symbolism so I could focus on a specific area of the church or gardens.  You could spend years here and not uncover or decipher the town's secrets.  The next place we visited was quite the opposite of Rennes-le-Chateau...