Now my second trip to France was almost unexplainable. I felt a call to return to Peche Cardou, the mountain I "met" on my first pilgrimage to the Languedoc region of France. I became obsessed with going back and had to overcome any and all obstacles to me getting back there. I don't think my family still understands and maybe I don't either. I went to France on my first pilgrimage in September 2010. I returned to the same area of France in May 2011.
This pilgrimage took on a different flavor than my previous trip. I was concerned about leaving my husband and son this time. It didn't feel liberating. It felt like I was being required by spirit to go and do ceremony on the top of that mountain. I was being called to return and do major spiritual work in regards to awakening the Divine Feminine for myself and for women everywhere. I know that sounds so grandiose but it was what I was being called to do. It was so much bigger than me that I couldn't say no and I also found no words of explanation to offer my family for my return visit. I felt a lot of fear most of the time I was there but I did my best to offset it with meditation and focusing on my purpose for being there.
I had visions of what I was supposed to do, wear, and take with me to perform a ceremony. I also knew I had to begin that journey dedicated to the Divine Feminine at Chartres Cathedral just outside of Paris. I flew into Paris on my own and took the train immediately to Chartres. I arrived early afternoon and knew that I had to get to the cathedral right after checking in. The labyrinth located in the cathedral was only open on Fridays. On other days, it was covered with chairs and you were not able to walk the labyrinth. I got there soon after my arrival and slowed myself down enough to enjoy the walk that pilgrims had been taking for hundreds of years. I came back the next day and visited the black madonna on display there and left a crystal and fresh flowers for her. I needed to honor her and then follow the leyline from Chartres that continued on down to Rennes-le-Chateau and Peche Cardou.
I made my way to the airport in Paris and grabbed a short flight to Toulouse. From there I got a ride to Les Labadous, a hotel of sorts just below Rennes-le-Chateau. I would be meeting my tour guide for this trip, Ani Williams. I met her when I was there before. She played the harp and sang beautifully and she also organized spiritual pilgrimages in the area dedicated to Mary Magdalene. I had a tiny room with a view up to the village on the top of the hill and it was decorated with sunflowers. The grounds were beautiful. I had one morning before the tour officially began and I had rented a car through Ani so I drove to the mountain that had been calling my name across the ocean to return.
It was May Day, the first day of May, and as soon as I got out of the car and began ascending another path on the backside of the mountain, it was clear as day that spring had sprung. Dragonflies were mating everywhere. Bees were buzzing. Flowers were blooming. The scents of spring made me dizzy. There were giant balls of spider eggs in the trees just waiting to burst. This place was ALIVE. It was vibrant with every type of spring flower turning its face to the sun in delight. I'd never felt something like this before.
I felt like I was on the spine of the mountain and had prepared a ceremony for this location. It felt like I was activating the chakras of the mountain to open up the feminine energies on earth. I had brought tetrahedron "merkaba" stones for this ceremony. Each one was of a different colored stone that represented the chakras. I was to place each one into the soil. I opened up a circle to the four directions, sang a song of welcome and praise, and then dug a hole for each merkaba stone praying over each of the chakras for them to open with grace and ease for the highest good of all humankind. I loved my made up ceremony and felt complete. The wind brushed my hair lightly and the bees and dragonflies continued to dance. I made my way back to the car and joined Ani's tour at a restaurant in Limoux.
We spent the next few days exploring more of the nature in that area. We enjoyed the Seat of Isis (also known as the Devil's Armchair) which seemed to me to be an ancient Celtic ritual area of major importance. The energy there was magnificent. Again, I felt so alive. We meditated and I received intuitive messages for each woman in the group which I shared there. We continued on to the Lover's Pond and the Source de Madeline. Both sites were full of beauty and we honored Mother Earth and sang to her there.
We visited the Church of Mary Magdalene up at Rennes-le-Chateau and met up with Henry Lincoln, one of the authors of Holy Blood, Holy Grail. I was driving my rental car to help out Ani so Henry drove with us as we took in various sites.
We visited the Church of Isis again and I took this picture in the sanctuary there. It wasn't until I got home that I saw the purple spirit or entity so clearly marked in the photo. There was definitely deep spiritual energy here. Henry also took us to Arques which I found interesting. It was so fun to get to know him and hear his theories on the pentagram that connects energetic locations in the area. He is amazing and if you get to go on a local tour with him, jump at the chance. We had a lovely dinner with the proprietors, Toby and Gerda Dobler, of the Jardin de Marie restaurant in Rennes-le-Chateau. Everyone we met was so heart-centered and fabulous. It was a magical trip.
On Saturday, the rest of my tour was heading to St. Maries-de-la-Mer at the coast. I was not continuing. I had vowed to climb Peche Cardou on that Saturday and then head back to Paris and home. I said good-bye to my new friends and drove myself to Serres to begin my journey. With my backpack full of water and a sandwich along with a few ceremonial items, I set out on the steep path heading up. I had been training for months to be able to do the steep 2 hour arduous hike to the top. It was quite an intense experience and I ended up writing a separate story about it which I'll link to. But to cut to the chase, I made it to the top and found it glorious. I was so proud of myself for completing the leyline from Chartres Cathredal to this feminine, sacred mountain. I laid a crystal there and completed a short ceremony. I ate my lunch with a 360 degree view of the countryside and then hurried down the mountain successful at last.
I felt like my work was done. I had relieved a nagging call to this mountain and I was released from further work. I just wanted to get home. If I could have transported I would have. It ended up I needed to spend the night there, take a flight back to Paris from Toulouse, and spend one more day/night in Paris alone until I could get back home. It was Mother's Day that last day I was in Paris and I was miserable. I just wanted to be home. I missed my family terribly. All was well when I returned to San Diego the next day and there was my husband and son holding flowers. My son came running into my arms and my husband had a big hug and kiss for me. Whew. I made it. I did what spirit asked of me successfully and returned home safely. That was a pilgrimage that seemed to not be of my own choosing but I answered the call. I do felt like it made a difference as women have been on the rise ever since.
Since 2011, we had a woman nearly become President and more than that, the voice of women everywhere has been raised. In 2017, we saw the first Women's March the day after President Trump took office. In addition, we saw the rise of the #metoo movement bringing bad behavior by men out into the public eye. Awareness has been raised. When I was on that mountain in France, I was given a vision that the women would raise their voices first, followed by the children, and then the men. So it was not really a surprise that this year, after the Parkland shooting in February, the children/teens raised their voices to be heard. Three teenagers from Parkland graced the cover of Time magazine and started the #neveragain movement to bring about gun control and put kids first. They even organized the March for Our Lives that had huge participation around the country and around the world.
I see progress. I see the Divine Feminine coming forward to be heard. It's time.
Ani Williams is a beautiful person as well as a gifted harpist, singer, and amazing guide of sacred tours to the region. She splits her time between this region in France and Sedona, Arizona. Here is my favorite picture of her which seems to capture her essence perfectly as she looks up to Mount Bugarach (the male counterpart to Peche Cardou).