Sunday, November 23, 2008

This blog carries Her name. I have been covering some other topics, promoting some books that are important to me, and I feel it's time to get back to the main reason I started this blog in the first place.

Throughout my research for the novel about her life, "Rituals in Sacred Stone", which I'm hoping to make available next spring, I immersed myself in her time frame. To my amazement, I found myself surrounded by a profound understanding of the balance between the masculine and feminine presence in everything in creation. At her time, the mystery schools were in function, promoting knowledge that has since been erased from the surface of the earth and from the collective unconscious.

The mystery schools would make sure the regular public were reminded several times a year of the presence of the Goddess and the God and that their union was necessary for all growth in nature. They would show them that on every eighth winter solstice the star of Venus and the Sun would unite in one momentous bright light, signalling a new conception, a new era. The stories of Isis and Osiris would be enacted at the festivals, conceptualizing life, death, resurrection and rebirth, and anchoring that as truths. The Priest/King represented the relationship between the people and the gods, and the Priestess/Queen represented the people and their land. Watching them unite in holy union told the people that all was well with their world. The power of unity had been restored between the land and their Gods, all was well. The sexual act had once again honored the Gods and ensured balance in nature. Lovers would feel they were honoring the Gods as well, by repeating what they'd seen done as a ritual. Arousal was seen as a way to enhance your life force, the life force in nature and on the planet.

In our time, we're a far cry from seeing sexuality as a way of honoring the Gods. But then again, I run across something like this, and I realize there is hope. And that the Gods have a tremendous sense of humor.

There is a reason why I had to promote Kamala and Dez's book. There is a reason why I wrote "Sex on the Altar" and why I'm working on the second volume; "Sex in the Crypt". I believe Mary Magdalene was well versed in this subject. Both in the physical sense with her beloved, but also as a concept guarding nature and the balance in creation.

We are being presented with a big challenge from the Universe at Large. Earth is lagging behind, and it's time we got our act together. (Pun intended). The rest of the Galaxy is tired of watching us stumble around in our self imposed ignorance, insisting self righteously on our right to stay uninformed and refusing to take on responsibilities. The time is now, and it's urgent.

At the same time as I can scold humanity for claiming their right to stay in infancy, I also see multiple proof that we're growing up. There is work being done to balance the Earth and earn our membership in the Galaxy as mature members.

This is work done in Her name. This is work which is so basic, so hugely important and at the same so subtle, it is hard to get a grip on and even harder to implement. To bring the Earth back to balance is no small task. It takes on many forms, all expression of more love for our planet and the creation we're all part of.

The message I get from Her, from Mary Magdalene, who's voice has been guiding my work for quite some time, is a call for us to assist in the rebirth of the feminine from the center of the earth. Out of the earth herself, comes the feminine of creation, who has been hiding, and who can blame her, for thousands of years. She's looking for her husband, her bridegroom, her man, and is hoping to find a more mature and loving version of him than the one who watched with eyes of steel as she turned into stone a long time ago.

We have suffered under immature images of both archetypes. Neither have shown us their grown up side. Where could we look to find something to emulate, an ideal to look up to?

Well, since the ideals are missing, we have to try to grow up ourselves. We need to find the expressions of the more mature person, the more mature inner feminine and masculine, and then we have to marry the two.

I see Mary Magdalene nodding her head. Yes, marry the two. They've hated each other for so long, bring them to love. She's been petrified, literally become rocks and mountains, and he's wondered where she went and not understood why he's alone. Creation has been without a mother, and the father didn't think it was his job to take care of it, so the garden of creation has turned into a jungle of despair. It's time for the parents to take care of their lost children, weed the garden, mend their buildings and replant some fruit trees. But first they have to get along.

Can I suggest a time for courtship? The art of flirting needs to be reinstated. How about some romantic dinners at candle lit tables, exchanging compliments and sincere admiration? How would that be for our lost archetypes, who are starting over after a long and painful separation?

How about giving them some hints of how to go from flirting to touching each other? If our two inner heroes are going to get married, they might want to be a little more familiar with each other, don't you think? I can see them stretching out a hand and touching a soft cheek, following a round shoulder and discovering that skin speaks. It speaks volumes, when all you do is breathe and love.

I wish our two inner heroes well. I know we'll have many internal weddings this coming year. And I know She will be thrilled, and so will her chosen One. I can hear Him laugh in delight.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

I was recently told that we're in a special portal of time where we communicate easier with the higher powers. It's a portal where it's important to acknowledge our close relationship and allow them to speak to us. "Please grab a pencil and some paper and write down their message". With a twinge of scepticism, I can't deny it, I'm not of the mushy kind, I gathered what I needed and sat down.

They were so gentle. Speaking to me the way I address a small child, "Hello, little one". Most of what they said was acknowledgements of the journey I've already traveled. And some lovely encouragement of where I'm going. Where we all are going. They're telling us that the balance has shifted. Light is winning over dark. They can see it from their level, and they're thanking us for our dedicated work. It's quite colorful, especially when we create our own internal fireworks.

My first book out is about healing. We need to elevate the understanding of our bodies, evolve the language of sensuality, and bring our lovemaking to the level of sanctity. Sexuality has to return to the Temples for the global healing to take place. There is so much healing waiting to happen in this enormous field of understanding. And there are so many good people, wanting to show their love for the Divine in the Human and the Human in the Divine, working to heal the planet we live on.

I just discovered this beautiful book that is dedicated to bring this change about. Our bedrooms need to become our sanctuaries. Our holy places need to include our most universal body language. Right now it is offered with many extra bonuses, which are worth checking out. Here's the link:

My friend Lakshmi gets the credit for this one. The book is written by Kamala Devi and Baba Dez Nichols and called "Sacred Sexual Healing; The Shaman Method of Sex Magic". The balance we're working towards is coming towards us, the new expression of the masculine and feminine in their divine form is becoming tangible.

This is what the gods wanted me to continue to promote. This is my work, whether I'm writing fairytales for grownups, historical novels or plays. The God and Goddess are finding each other. They're flirting in the forest at this point. We still need to ready the garden for them.


Sunday, October 5, 2008

My book.

"Sex on the Altar" is now available on Click on the image of the book to the left to see the listing.

"Iconographic and sublime, "Sex on the Altar" by Wencke Braathen is first in the Adventures of Sam and Emily series that levels the playing field in the battle of the sexes—and sex. Wise, wicked, and witty, this debut fantasy fiction is rich in style, prose, lyrics and plot. It encourages constructive discipline and human affirmation—all we do matters. All we do is what we are, as a matter of prophecy and intention.

God has a problem. Mankind does not seem to get it and it is their fault the Queen of Heaven has been sucked into the Earth. There just hasn’t been enough devotion —not enough love. A heartsick God is willing to pull out all the stops and enlists Isis, the Egyptian goddess, a willing plotter, to bring the Queen back. In turn, Isis chooses Emily, a middle-aged woman, to work through, and becomes a smaller version of herself sitting on Emily’s shoulder. As things go haywire, Emily develops a relationship with Sam, and with a gift from the gods, they become expert lovers, which is enough fuel to wake the Queen of Heaven from her slumber in the center of the earth. Isis later calls upon Virgin Mary and Mary Magdalene to start a dandelion campaign to reinstate balance of creation. When Emily suggests Christ and Mary Magdalene jump down from a crucifix and a sculpture, the Christian icons are free to roam like teenagers in love. As they unite in Emily’s body, the Queen of Heaven is able to connect with God who reaches down and pulls her up from the underworld. Immensely serene and shocking, this debut is absolutely stunning!"


Friday, September 19, 2008

The Queen of Heaven has returned, and God has welcomed her back after their long separation.

I've been away from my blog for a while. I've been on an adventure with many chapters. It took me across the country and put 6000 extra miles on my small car. Leaving Chicago, I went west across the green plains, through the dry hot deserts and to the wet and misty Oregon coastline. From there I went south, along sacred mountains and through thick forests, before I again entered the desert as I watched in wonder how the landscape changed.

I ended up in the bed of dried lake. It's now called Black Rock Desert, since it hasn't seen water for a long time. Nevertheless, 50.000 enthusiastic souls came to this place for the Burning Man Festival. They brought their own water, along with a tireless desire to create something new. Thousands of tents and RV's came up, and they all disappered again, leaving no trace that there had once been a whole city there existing for only a week. A city with a post office, three clinics, a fire department, a central town square, bars and dancehalls, several temples and an effigy representing mankind visible for miles.

Some wanted to experience the freedom to have the biggest party in history. Bless their hearts, they got it. Some came to express their creativity in ways that would be hard to explain in the city. How do you tell your neighbors that you just have this urge to make your car look like a snail? Or that today you need to wear nylon furred boots, your best bikini and a utility belt? Well, at Burning Man, that outfit was almost common.
Some people came to show their artwork. Sculptures arrived on the flatbed of trucks and needed a crane to lift them off and place them carefully on the playa.
Some people came to create new solutions for the problems that ail our world. Burners without Borders were there, telling us where they'd been and where they were needed next. Entheon Village were making living spaces out of containers for trucks, experimenting with immediate housing for catastrophic situations. Temples were created to honor the many religions of our planet, and to welcome a New Day where we all could come to the same Temple in reverence.

I was part of the crew creating Pantheogenesis Temple. It was dedicated to the Male and Female side of creation, and ultimately to their Unification as One Deity. It consisted of seven different structures: two yurts, a tent garage, a tall dome, a small circus tent and a geodesic dome. The interior Male of a hundred people constructed the spaces. The interior Female of the same people gave the spaces different purpose and character. I watched, as these good people evolved from an expression of our society's conflicted interpretation of male and female, and turned into a new interpretation filled with respect and cooperation that could only be divinely inspired. The temple went through its stages as it created the different spaces starting with the Earth entrance, going through the Heart space before dividing into the Male and Female yurts, all decorated as people brought donated items. My favorite was the God and Godess dome with an elaborate throne for each aspect and chacra colored fabrics cascading down along its inside walls. I had the honor of sitting on the throne for the Goddess as I did my lecture on Mary Magdalene.

But I spent most of my time in the Unity Dome. Both because I was asked to help do textile draperies there, which is my other artform, and because it became my favorite place to be.
If you try to visualize the unity between the God and the Goddess of creation, what would it look like? I don't know if I really had any preconceived ideas, I just knew that the color theme was white, with gold and silver accents, and that I would get fabrics to work with.
I had been given eight small structures to drape. They were small tents attached to square bases intended for meditation, and were circling a large sculpture in white and small mirrors resembling a lotus. I started with some white sheers and placed it over the flexible poles creating the igloo shaped domes. Soon they had white sheer with golden swirls, and golden ties resembling the head gear of Arabian royalty. I got inspired, and hung white buntings along the walls hiding the ropelights. Lovely banners were placed, hanging down from the ceiling together with a large white balloon covered in shimmering tulle. One woman came in and said, "I wondered how we would bring in the Eye of God. See, there is the eyeball." I nodded.

For two days I placed safetypins through fabric, fastening fine silks to the rough metals holding up the geodesic dome and it's white plastic cover. White parachutes covered the sandy floor, in a futile attempt to keep the playa dust out. The more I worked, the more I felt that the space resembled a wedding reception. I giggled to myself. What were we creating? This was supposed to be the most serious space of the whole temple complex!

The answer collected itself through a day, when several people came and visited the dome. The first one was a rabbi, looking older than Metusalah, or rather like Santa Claus in tie-dye, who sat down in a meditation dome and read from a small ancient leather book. He explained to me that it was psalms from the Thalmud, and I invited him to bless the space. He walked between each of the eight units and sang his psalms. I listened in awe as I continued my work.
The next one was Soma from the Krishna camp. I had talked to him before, and invited him to bless the space from his tradition. The Buddhist songs sounded interstingly similar to the Jewish. A Tibetan singing bowl was carried into the dome, and I asked the young man to make it sing and give its frequency to the dome. A woman calling herself Rainbow Jaguar offered to do a Mayan blessing, which I welcomed. She intoned deep sounds and brought rattles and incense as she circled the dome several times making sure she established the right vibration. I learned later that the young man from New York with the disarming smile, was a Sufi master, and had blessed the space several times through out the day. I was glad to know that the Muslims were also represented. A young man dressed in the white robes of a Monk looked at me with eyes of blue velvet and asked with a voice full of love if he could bless the place as well. I'll never know what faith he came from, but it didn't matter. He emanated peace, and called himself Brown Rabbit.

When the photographer from India came, and asked permission to take pictures of a young couple inside the dome for their engagement pictures, I silently welcomed another blessing. The young man was dressed like a Temple Knight, and he seemed Celtic with his pale complection and long dark hair. The lovely young woman was like a daughter of Gaia herself. Everytime I looked at her, I saw another cultural strand in her hair, in her features and graceful movements. The photographer posed them, first for charming presentable pictures. Then he wanted to create something memorable just for them. I made myself blend in with my textiles, as I watched him place them both inside my first completed meditation dome in a tantric position. With the young man sitting crosslegged and the woman on his lap clasping her legs behind his back, I could see how their energy lines would match up and create an empowering unity between them. It would also balance their own chacras and make a moment of shared fireworks for them. I admired how the Hindu photographer gently suggested this, knowing that the Lingam is a holy symbol in his culture, and how the young couple easily complied, eager to learn something new. I stood on the sidelines, hoping I was invisible enough, and understood why the Unity Dome of the God and Godess resembled a wedding reception.

With blessings from all the religious traditions I could think of, the King and Queen of Heaven have now returned to their rightful places. Their special cloud in Heaven resembles a large white balloon covered in sheers, and the mists look like tulle with the golden glow from ropelights creating halos. Their throne is made from plywood cut in intricate patterns, and their backdrop has the colors of the rainbow, draped in flowing fabrics fastened with a safetypin to a point in space.


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The pioneer spirit.

I'm on a journey that will culminate in the Burning Man Festival in Nevada. Right now I'm in the fresh air of Wyoming looking forward to admire the Grand Tetons tomorrow. I have many reasons for coming here. Old masters inhabit the mountains. I need to visit mine.

On my way from Illinois, I came across a museum dedicated to the first frontiers, the ones traveling in covered prairie wagons, ready to put a plow down in their own land and finally feed their families. The museum was in Nebraska. The building stretches like a covered bridge across the highway. Inside the classy log cabin, an escalator leads to the exhibits inside the bridge. On the way up, you meet the life sized figure of the pregnant prairie woman in her bonnet. Her eager son is scrambling up the hillside towards the father beckoning the visitors to come and see. Their daughter is sitting on a rock nibbling on an apple, reading a book with her cat in her elbow. Below, an explorer next to an Indian are watching, also wondering what story the father wants to share. All the figures are depicted with unusual sensitivity to detail and authenticity. I arrive at the top and feel I have met old friends.

Inside, we first see the struggling families behind their wagons. My headphones are speaking the words of the many women who wrote diaries from their experience. They buried their husbands and children and went on. They gave birth to new generations in a new country. The young girls talked about the prairie library; all the books that were left behind by the travelers who needed to lighten their load and reluctantly left precious volumes in neat stacks, hoping that somebody else would have strength and room to take them further. Young boys wrote about how family members died around them and suddenly they had to take on responsibilities way beyond their years. But they did, and they endured and they survived. And they built this country from the prairie grass up.

The railroad came. The pony express only lasted for eighteen months. Then a new form of information distribution took form; the telegraph. Not long after came the automobile and the chuck wagon got translated into round cornered diners in red and silver.

At first I was offended that these newfangled inventions were displayed right after the sensitive and beautiful description of the pioneers. Then I realized that all these things appeared right after each other in history. And each period lasted for a very short time. This young country was eager to expand, to learn, to bring in the new.

I took in the spirit of the pioneers, of the inventors and promoters of the train which changed the country with the same explosive speed as the impact of the Internet in our time. I felt the openness to new things, the hunger for the latest invention that could improve daily life.

Then I asked, where is this spirit now? What happened to the spirit of embracing the new, looking eagerly for the latest in new thought?

I'm traveling. In the cafeteria I see overweight, over TV stimulated people, who look kind and friendly, but I don't see the spark of new ideas in them. The "sparky" people might not be the ones coming to this museum, but I'm nevertheless looking for them. I need to know that they exist.

I've heard of new inventions that have been hindered from coming to the market or even to consumers attention. Inventions that would challenge us to understand the value of living with free energy, cars that run on compost, or refined metals that can cure anything.

I guess I'm still looking for material goods to prove that we're pioneers. If it can't be planted, or take you somewhere, what good is it?

As I went outside and walked among the prairie plants, it occurred to me that I was looking in the wrong arenas. Yes, these new inventions are important, and sooner or later most of them will come to our attention.

I suddenly understood that we're pioneers of a different kind. We are pioneers of spirit. Give it to America to come up with a new idea and implement it quickly, they've done it before, they'll do it again. The Goddess found a place to speak.
How heavy is your covered wagon? What odd combination of people travel with you? What are you bringing to share where you arrive? Are you the new blacksmith in town, or the schoolteacher? Or are you the one who knows how to heal the afflictions of modern life, the yoga teacher, the nutritionist? Or maybe you know how to hold more light, making it expand beyond your body, and watch the darkness disappear. There are many ways to contribute.

The goddess is returning, and she's speaking through all of us. A new band of pioneers are pulling wagons across the country. The weight of the wagons consists of old ideas, old grudges held for too long, narrow mindedness and family ghosts overdue to be exposed. Along the way to the land of plenty, the wagons get emptied of unnecessary baggage. The lighter wagons find their way first. Do you recognize yourself? Are we the A team returned?

I looked at the figure of the pregnant woman struggling with her skirts, and knew I had been her. I looked at the young boy, and knew I had been his mother. I looked at the girl with the book and knew I had been her. And I looked at the handsome explorer and knew I had invited him into my hut, and shared a meal and my bed with him.

I also know that I'm helping people in this complicated society we live in, people with a new attitude, with a new vision, embracing a new day. I'm also releasing a child of my creativity, which I hope will inspire new hope as we watch the first sun rays arrive over the mountain and we can one more time say Yes!

Yes. To a new time, to new thoughts, to a new era.
Hello A-team, I recognize you.


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

July 22nd, Feast day of Mary Magdalene.

Today is the dedicated day of Mary Magdalene. She is revered on this day by the Catholic, the Greek Orthodox, the Anglican and the Lutheran churches. Many churches will have a festival in her honor.

Up until 1969, Mary Magdalene was presented as a prostitute and portrayed as the perpetual penitent. There are numerous artwork made of her, more than many other prominent biblical figures, and for hundreds of years they all depicted her in deep repentance for her sins. To identify her, she is still accompanied by the skull, the alabaster jar or the book. Her image was used repeatedly to remind people to repent, or to prove that the priests, bishops and popes regretted their human frailties. In 1969 it was quietly announced by the Pope that she was not a prostitute, and should not be considered the same as the fallen woman described in a couple of sentences in the New Testament.

In Provence, every other church has her as their patron saint. She is revered as a wise teacher who knew the gospel of Christ and taught it to their people. The Cathars in the Languedoc area claimed that they were taught by Mary Magdalene and Jesus Christ, teaching as a team. They also claimed that they had been taught an esoteric secret, a powerful alchemical process perhaps?, something that would question the validity of the dogmas of the Catholic Church. For this knowledge they were killed in the most brutal genocide in modern history, next to the Holocaust. We still haven't found any proofs of the wisdom of the Cathars. There are numerous hints and suggestions, but people are still searching the ruins of their long gone opulent castles once filled with art, literature and music, profound religious practices and equally profound scientific investigations.

So we can honor her with candles, songs and flowers for our hair. We can read all we can find of new excellent research revealing more of her time frame, her culture and the legends she left behind. We can sit by a body of water and contemplate her mysteries.

Why is she called the mistress of water in Aquitania? Why does she hold up a red egg in many depictions? Why are the churches dedicated to her placed on top of older holy sites dedicated to ancient goddesses, always with a well close by? Why is the water considered healing in certain places, and not in others? Is there a way to change the quality of water so that it causes a change in frequencies in the bodies that it touches?

The mystery schools are gone. So much knowledge is lost. So much knowledge has been systematically eliminated from the collective human mind.

My body is made of water. Water flows, runs, mixes, evaporates, rains, has been consumed and eliminated by people through millennium. Somewhere in the annals of time, the water that composes me, must have touched her world.
I need to go inwards. I need to find that molecule that holds the wisdom contained in a hydrogen and oxygen combination. Through my intuition, I should be able to unlock the code.

The water molecule opened up to a different world. The minute sphere of a molecule, became the size of a planet. I stepped into a glass bubble of new possiblities, where different laws of physics rule. In a frequency of a higher caliber, everything vibrates differently and takes on a different meaning. A multicolored light is bathing this world, love in its purest expression. The dimensions are open here. You can easily walk between the world of the angels and the world of humans. Enjoy the forests and waterfalls as a human, and enjoy timeless travel and instant information coded in light, as an angel. Enjoy the loving union possible between humans, combined with the energy flows created by an angel, and experience the sublime multicolored light inside your own body. Let it ignite the three points inside your head, and sense the waterfall of soma, the libation of the gods, flowing to every cell of your divine humanity.

Wishing you love and light on this auspicious day,

Please check out the blog of my fellow researcher Joan Norton, author of "The Mary Magdalene Within".
There is a link there to an incredible crop circle which appeared today.
Heaven and Earth are truly celebrating.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Temple in the Mountain.

I just listened to an interview with Henry Lincoln from Rennes-le-Chateau on Andrew Gough's Arcadia website. Good to hear his voice again, I learned so much from him last summer.
On the same website, there are references to all sorts of interesting things with a ring of mystery to them, and clips from the movie "Bloodline". I have yet to see the movie, it hasn't made it to Chicago yet, but I seem to be stumbling into it quite often. On the snippets of the movie I got to watch, there is a reference to a temple hidden in the mountain of Rennes-le-Chateau. It probably predated Jesus by many hundreds of years, and was maybe created by the Jews of the first diaspora. This is said by people interviewed in the film.

While I was in France, visiting the Rennes-le-Chateu area, I had already researched LIncoln's material claiming there is a geomatric pattern in the landscape. There are five mountain tops surrounding a plateau with a tall hill in the center. The lines between the mountains make a pentagram, following the lines of Venus as she draws her beautiful patterns across the sky. I walked a lot, crisscrossing the land, eventually finding the hill and climbing it. The top of the hill is a meeting point for many lines in the landscape and seemed to have a strong, almost magnetic pull. I kept looking for signs of an entrance leading into the insides of the hill, which to me seemed hollow.
Was there ever a temple here? All trace of such a structure was gone. but I could sense something.

In my book, "Rituals in Sacred Stone", I write that Mary Magdalene and Jesus, Mariam and Yeshua, visited this temple and did a ritual according to ancient traditions with the priests and priestesses there. I must have written this while the movie was being filmed, but I certainly did not know of the interviews.
Henry Lincoln hinted at the many secrets this landscape held. I apparently stumbled upon a few of them.

My book comes out on this fall. I'll keep you posted. But my smaller religious/fantasy/mythological/imaginative book, is available in September. Check out my other blog for more.

Make note of the opening of the Lions Gate between July 22nd and August 12th.


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Sauniere's Magdala Tower.

I visited Rennes-le-Chateau last summer and walked the steep three mile path up the hill from Couiza several times. I had studied the area in detail, and planned a ten day stay at a B&B in a house from 16oo. But when I left I felt that I'd barely gotten my feet wet in an ocean of mysteries. The charming tower Magdala, which Sauniere built at his humble rectory turned estate, symbolizes something I felt as a breathing pulse in the Languedoc landscape.

The first floor room of the tower is furnished like a library. It is small, only about ten by ten feet along the floor, but the room is charming. It's easy to picture the studious priest seeing his favorite book through the glass, before opening the cabinet door of the tall book shelf. He is taking out a leather bound volume and sitting down in an armchair by the fireplace. Or maybe Marie, his housekeeper, friend and companion, would join him during the day, and sit down in the window seat, near the draperies, and look out over the landscape, before opening her text to discuss it with him. To me the little library symbolizes a collection of knowledge, and a desire for learning.

But wait, there is something missing here. The space is too small for the vast volumes the good priest devoured in his time. The cute library is almost too obvious as a focal point proving his engagement in proper religious studies. I walked around the garden with the green house and the tower. They make the ends of the wall he built at the steep mountain side where he could get the best view of the breath taking countryside. I can see him as he walked his morning walks and sat down in the sunshine with another script to study.
Or is this, like so many other things in this area, a carrot, a red herring, a visual effect concealing something else. If so, I fell for it, for a while.
I look underneath the elaborate staircase going from the top of the stone wall down to the orchard and flowers. It looks like there are plenty of opportunities to hide an entrance you would want to conceal. Maybe a hidden tunnel to the crypt underneath the church which is now sealed off with concrete? Someone has apparently thought of this before and dug there without results.

Maybe I'm just a tourist looking at the most obvious solutions, which other people have checked a hundred years earlier. Maybe I'm the country mouse going everything I see.
Is this the way the Languedoc is hiding it's secrets? There are lovely things to explore on the surface, that will keep you from looking deeper, asking better questions, milling over the stories in your mind and allow new solutions to appear?
The secrets of the Cathars, of the Templars were so intangible, so etheric. We still seem to be looking for treasure, for the magical object that solves it all. What if their wisdom was of a different kind? What do we know about the elaborate teachings of martial arts masters? There is no ancient object to dig for, even though the teachings has been concidered a hidden cultural treasure for centuries. But there sure is a treasure trove of knowledge, techniques and inner wisdom to learn. And luckily, there are still masters in this art form that has the old wisdom and are willing to teach.
Is everything lost from the Cathars? Or is it so well hidden we have to recognize the carrots and dig deeper?


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The symbol of the snake.

Are we still scared of snakes? Are we still afraid of acknowledging this power symbol of the Goddess from ancient times? Did St.Patrick effectively drive out the snakes from our consciousness? We know Ireland didn't have any problem with snakes, but had an impressive culture honoring the Goddess and nature. They're gone, and so is apparently our connection to a time when men, women and nature worked in harmony.

If you go back to prechristian times, the feminine was honored in various cultures around the Mediterranean and in Ireland. The image of the priestess holding a snake in each hand was well known, and revered. People of our time are dreaming of snakes. The Goddess is returning, and it is about time that we welcome her.

The symbol of the snake calls for your own inner power to be expressed. If we want to get in touch with the Goddess within, we have to be willing to deal with our own incredible power surging through our body. This does not express itself in gentle, sweet, velvet interactions. This power functions more like a snowplow in front of a fast moving train. It will clear your system of wimpy indecisive thoughts. It will clear your life of situations and people who do not support the purpose you were born to serve.

This is powerful stuff. It is love at its most impressive. Love for the cause, love for life. Love that protects with a flaming sword. Love that cuts through a lot of mush to get to the essence of its purpose.

The snake is a flaming sword. The sword that can also become the snake slithering on the floor scaring Pharaoh enough to let the Israeli people go. It is the twin snakes of the caduceus, showing us how the Ida and Pingala forces twine around our spine, meeting at each chacra power point, creating places for us to balance, to clean, to clear. To eventually let the power of the snake flow unhindered.

Maybe this is a power to be scared of. Maybe it is too much for our cushy selves to deal with. It is demanding. It is not pretty. It does not come across as gentle and sweet and everything nice.

Nevertheless, whether we like it or not, the Goddess is returning. And she's challenging us to not be afraid. To pick up our snake. And to wield it's incredible power.


Saturday, May 31, 2008

The medical students at Montrose Beach.

I live in Chicago, and I walk along the lake nearly every day. Tonight, I met a flock of medical students who were grilling at Montrose Beach. They invited me to a piece of chicken, and we started talking. It quickly came out that I'm a writer.
When the cook heard what I was writing about, he called for his friend who studies theology and introduced me. These young people are eager to hear a new viewpoint. They have open ears for different information than what they have been fed. First they asked if I thought everything in "The Da Vinci Code" was true.

I admire Dan Brown for having started the discussions. The actual facts about Mary Magdalene and Jesus are few and far between. Very little passes our tough criteria for being given the approval stamp of "truth". (Curiously, many things in our history books are quite questionable, but have passed as true for years.) When it comes to what is "true" of the Biblical stories, there isn't really a whole lot to build a case on, for or against. There are many possibilities of what might be the truth. It depends on where you look for facts. It depends on what credence you give to stories told by different authors, who all claim their portion of truth. It depends of what depth you are looking for. There are many ways to build a story.

When I started writing "Rituals in Sacred Stone", I researched the time frame of Jesus and Mary Magdalene. What was happening politically? What religious beliefs and what mythology were in people's consciousness? What education were these two powerful people likely to have? From what schools? What background did they have that made them so respected?

What I found astonished me. The more I read, the more I researched and traveled, the bigger my peephole became, looking into their culture. I found a society brimming with life, with interactions with cultures from all over the known world, which was quite vast at their time. In year zero, the Roman Empire had been in function for several hundred years. Alexander the Great, before the Romans, had discovered India. Alexandria was the biggest city, the New York of their time, with commerce connecting them to the rest of the world. The only thing not included was America. They were aware of different religions, languages, philosophical ideas, and had studied architecture styles in detail. Food staples were shared across cultural lines, musical instruments influenced each other and people intermarried.
What surprised me the most, was their level of education and scholarship and how willingly they shared information between the different universities. There was a respect for knowledge as something valuable, as a body of knowing owned by a person.
The mystery schools were widespread. We know some of them now as archaeological sites of ancient times. Ephesus, the library of Alexandria and the pyramids are the first to come to mind. But there were many more, less famous sites, who were influential as great seats of learning.
The Druids had universities in Britain which were as influential as the library and temple complex in Alexandria. There was a city called Leontopolis north of Heliopolis with a temple dedicated to the cat goddess Bast. They had a festival every year, where all the other temple schools were invited. There was a Jewish temple near Heliopolis that taught the same things as the temple of Jerusalem. Great controversies arose between the two. An Egyptian Temple called Oppidum Priscum Ra existed on an island outside of Marseilles. The commercial routes made it easy for people to travel and exchange information. The Serapium in Alexandria focused on healing. Ephesus focused on oracles. Baia in southern Italy had a whole complex inside a mountain focused on advanced initiations. The temple to Isis in Languedoc, France, was studying the planet Venus and her movements. The Druids were expert astrologers. There was a flourishing of information and available education, to anyone who so desired and according to their ability and interest.

So why wouldn't Jesus and Mary Magdalene have been highly educated, widely respected scholars in their fields? There is no reason to believe otherwise.

I may not have "proof" of their level of education, but their stories certainly tell me that they knew far more than their peers. It would be disrespectful to believe that they hadn't been properly prepared for the momentous task they took on.

I shared this with the medical students, and their faces lit up. The holes in the stories of the Bible aren't empty. They are filled with knowledge and education that didn't fit the mold established in 425AD. I think young people want to know what the holes contain. And they're asking without judgement of the past, but with eager open hearts, sensing that there is a new body of knowledge condensing in front of them.


Monday, May 26, 2008

She was a master gardener.

When I traveled in France last year, I'd researched my trip thoroughly before I left. I'd found the different stories I wanted to follow, I'd read up on the local legends pertending to her.
Still, hiking the hills she walked, visiting the holy places named after her and taking in the powerful scent of the landscape, is like walking in a dream that transcends time and allows you to pick a timeframe to relate through.
Trees are trees and plants are plants. The cedars are timeless. The broom plant with the honey smelling small yellow orchids on top probably were the same in her time. The lavender haven't changed, and they showed me the old way it was harvested at the Lavender Museum in Provence. The hills roll in pleasing curves, down right feminine in their expression. I've never thought a landscape can be romantic, but I found myself smiling for no reason and writing sweet entries in my journal, which surprised me later in their sincerity.
She was known for her perfumes. The cathedral in St.Maxime-de-la-baume is dedicated to her, and specifically for the holy balm she made. I read that the scent of the tuberose was her favorite. And when I investigated further I found that the ancient French word for tuberose was Maryam.
I found that there was a Roman Villa in the area, whith a famous herb farm run by priestesses from Egypt. The story practically wrote itself. So I wrote it down, the way it came to me.

My novel, "Rituals in Sacred Stone" will be out on Amazon this fall. I'll keep you posted.


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Emma Calve, the opera singer.

I just looked through the pictures I have from France last summer, and once again the beauty of the small church dedicated to Mary Magdalene in Rennes-le-Chateau overwhelmed me. Sauniere had some interesting ideas for church decorating when he renovated his church, to an astonishing sum of money. The colors inside this small space match with a Beatrice Potter children's book. The clear light blue, the color of a sweet summer day, go well with the soft peach and the lavish use of gold. There is a soft turquoise there as well. Where did he get his ideas? The colors would look lovely in a Parisian woman's boudoir. Did Emma Calve, the opera singer he knew, help him out?

Sauniere is always pictured in a black cassock, appearing very much the image of a devout priest. Still, he visited Emma in Paris frequently, and she and a flock of fine people came from Paris to his remote little mountain top in the Languedoc, more than a days train ride away, to enjoy fine dining and entertainment. The stories here are just begging to be written.

I recently visited Nashville, Tennessee, and learned that Emma Calve had been there performing an opera on the stage later known to us all as The Grand Old Opry. The area around Nashville was called the Mero district, after an early mayor of New Orleans who was related to the Merovingian kings of fifth century France. The same Merovingian family had their stronghold close to Rennes-le-Chateau. They claimed to be descendents of Christ and Mary Magdalene, and have divine rights to the throne. Was it their geneology Sauniere found inside a pillar? Another story that needs to be told.

I'm a story teller and a novel writer. This is where I play.


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

What skull, or whose skull?

There was a time when skulls were popular. There was a time when the wisdom was thought to reside in the head, even after a persons death. There was a time when some people knew how to retrieve that information.

There are some severed heads which have made their mark in history. We know the story of the head of John the Baptist. What if he wasn't simply executed, but his head was thought of as a powerful political tool? What if the wife, Herodias, knew exactly what she was asking her daughter to request, and that it's revelation would ruin Herod's career?

What if the Knights Templar really had a head in their possession? What if they knew how to make it speak? What if the rituals reserved for their highest initiates contained knowledge inconceivable to us now?

The skull of Mary Magdalene is claimed to exist and is on display at her cathedral in St.Maxime-de-la-Baume, in the town dedicated to the holy balm in the alabaster jar. I have been there. It feels remarkably authentic.

I can't imagine anybody separating her head from the body, out of a grave. Maybe at the time of the relics, her body parts got distributed between the churches that claim to have a bone of her? It's just that, very few of them do. Except for this one in Provence, where her brother was bishop.
Was her head prepared to hold her wisdom for future generations to tap into? What did they do in Ephesus, where they worked with oracles? What is an oracle anyway?

As you can tell, I have more question than answers. But, at least, I'm willing to ask the questions.


Saturday, May 10, 2008

The skull and the book.

Why are they always at her side? In all the churches dedicated to her in southern France, and their are many, we see these symbols. The more familiar alabaster jar is often present, and we also see her carrying a cross.
Why are there so many churches dedicated to her in this secluded part of the world? We don't find this in other countries. The local legends claim she was there. The boat that rescued her from the dangers of Jerusalem took her to her exile in beautiful Provence, and her travels took her through rustic Languedoc.
In my historical novel "Rituals in Sacred Stone", which will be available on Amazon this fall, I follow the legends of her life. The stories from her time and from these areas are rich. I don't claim truth, but I do claim a new interpretation.
What could her symbols mean? Did she share carrying the cross with him? Did she write a book? There are fragments of a gospel after her, which have just been researched and given an inspiring interpretation by Karen King. Or did he write a gospel, which was left in her care? The Cathars were known to have a sacred text from the Saviour himself. The church wanted to get hold of it, and the documents went underground. Did it find it's way to a grotto near Rennes-le-Chateau? Maybe the new movie will give some answers.
The skull, well, that's another story. I'll explore that in the next blog.


Friday, May 9, 2008

Bloodline, the movie. Hidden treasure in southern France.

I just read Joan Norton's review of the movie on her blog, Mary Magdalene Within. The movie is a documentary following a man's journey through the mysteries surrounding Rennes-le-Chateau, a tiny village on a mountaintop in southern France. He claims to have found a hidden underground chamber containing a corpse and several historic items.

This particular little mountaintop has been an important place in history since the Romans. The stories echoing among these hills have threads to all major movements for the last two thousand years. The hills and mountains are perforated with grottoes and ravines, underground rivers and caves, all covered in vegetation that is hard to penetrate.
On my trip to the area a year ago, I wanted to walk the hills, singing like Maria von Trapp, only to get myself entangled in brambles and brush. The vegetation, which looks very friendly from a distance, is so dense that even a good machete wouldn't do you much good. So these researchers must have hiked the mountainside for years, to stumble upon this find.

Rennes-le-Chateau is one of five mountains surrounding another hill jutting sharply up in the center of the landscape. La Pique is a narrow ridge, which is also hard to get to the top of, unless you follow the long path around it. The five mountains mark the five points of a pentagonal star, the footprint of the path of Venus, seen from the Earth. Legends say there was a temple dedicated to Venus on this ridge, built long before the Romans. The priests of the temple knew how to communicate with Venus, using the surrounding landscape to gather energy and information. If a vortex is created by the movement of the planet, and it points down to a specific spot on the earth, there were technicians of old who knew how to work with the energy generated.
The Romans wanted to know how, but never got hold of the knowledge. The Catholic church, which in effect is an extension of the Roman Empire, never got hold of it either. But in the attempts to shield knowledge, important items were hidden away. And the caves and grottoes of the area gave them ample opportunities to do so.

What treasures are we talking about? The presence of Mary Magdalene is apparent in local legends. More obscure legends says that the Lord was buried in the area. Newer stories talks about the Knights Templar and the treasure they brought from Jerusalem. The Jewish settlement in Narbonne knew all about their activities. Did the Prince of Narbonne supply them with information about the Temple Mount, the basement of King Salomon's Temple? Did he send them out to rescue important artifacts that otherwise would have fallen in wrong hands? The tales say the "things" the Templars brought back went through the Languedoc area on their way to Paris. Were some very secret and very important items hidden securely in a forgotten valley? How about the Visigoths who also inhabited these hills and forests? Or the Celts? They all had treasure that was mentioned in documents. These objects are not accounted for any longer. But in several places it is hinted, that they might be buried between five mountain tops in the Languedoc.

I look forward to see the movie when it comes to Chicago. If someone was looking for treasure or hidden items, the landscape south of Carcassonne around Rennes-le-Chateau holds enough secrets to satisfy even Indiana Jones.


Her message, what was it? Who was she?

Her message, what was it? Who was she?
Will we ever know? Where can we search?

The buzz started with The Da Vinci Code, goes on. Bloodline, the movie is coming soon, what will it tell us?

I've been asking these questions for a long time. I've been searching for information for decades. In recent years, the shelves in the bookstores have given me books to dive into, great research to investigate, new interpretations to explore. There is a new attitude out there about her. People are looking for information beyond the established, approved sources.

And there is information to be found. We know more about her time, the customs and traditions she was part of. We know a lot more about the political climate she lived in. And we're starting to see the faint light from the mystery schools that existed in her time, which she must have been familiar with. Like beacons from light houses, they are inviting us in, asking us to participate, to explore.

In this space, I invite you to join me on this journey of discovery.