Visiting Mary Magdalene´s Grotto

Fri, May 13th, 2016: The weather did not cooperate with us today – the weather god was definitely not in a good mood. It rained throughout of the entire first day of our spiritual journey. Even if it wasn´t heavy rain, the beautiful basilica in Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume was not glistening in the sun as usual. Also, the grotto, in which Mary Magdalene supposedly lived, was entirely dark today. Nevertheless, we did not let the weather dampen our mood. It was a wonderful day filled wit impressive energy and messages from Mary Magdalene, which I was able to channel for the group. They will continue to have a positive affect on us for a long time to come. If you want to learn more about the place that Mary Magdalene lived in and is allegedly buried in, you should continue reading below the photos.

Today we have been guided and accompanied by Mary Magdalene and Maximinus. He was the first Bishop of Aix-en Provence. Legend tells that he was so close to Mary Magdalene that he was also her confessor, and she received the last rites from him. (It remains to be seen whether she was really in need of this…)

In the morning we went from our hotel to Saint-Maximin. Allegedly, Mary Magdalene’s remains, which had been hidden to prevent them being stolen, were found here again in 1300. They were buried in a stone sarcophagus in the crypt in front of the high altar of Saint-Maximin.

The church is a devotional complex, representing Mary Magdalene in different ways: in paintings, sculptures, on the high altar, as a brass figure, carved or as a painted medallion. The golden ‘rose altar’ is particularly remarkable. It contains several scenes of the life of Mary Magdalene, and the carved pulpit. Only one side chapel is dedicated to Maximinus, where he is represented with Mary Magdalene and Martha on an altar.

In a sarcophagus in the crypt there are the supposed remains of Mary Magdalene. Furthermore, her head is set up in a glass container behind the altar bar. The front of this container is decorated with a golden mask which can be removed. The relics are carried through the village in a large procession once a year. Next to Mary Magdalene’s sarcophagus there are four others, containing Maximinus’s and Nicodemus’s relics.

Our journey took us to the high plateau of Plan d’Aups next. On the way we came past an old shrine, which shows the last encounter of Mary Magdalene with Maximinus. First we arrived at the high plateau Plan d’Aups, which holds a pilgrims refuge and a small restaurant which are open for pilgrims and hikers throughout the year. The chapel of the Hostillerie, as the hostel is referred to, is decorated with wall paintings and glass windows, showing scenes of the life of Mary Magdalene.

From there the path leads us up to the grotto through a particularly mystic wood, with trees, hundreds and thousands of years old. Numerous kings, noblemen and Popes have walked this path before us because La Baume (‘the cave’) has been apopular pilgrimage place since the 5th century. The crucifixion scene, which we reached shortly before, was impressive as well.

In front of the entrance to the grotto you enjoy impressive views over the landscape of eastern Provence, the area around St. Maximin. Mary Magdalene is said to have lived in the cave for 30 years to do penance for her allegedly sinful life. At the end of her life ‘angels should have carried her down into the valley’ to receive the last holy communion from Maximin. All this is legend. Inside the grotto there are two devotional places as well as some beautiful stained glass windows, showing scenes of Mary Magdalene’s life.

France Spirituality & Journeys

Mary or Mary Magdalene?

Soon I am going to be off to Southern France; today I have rummaged in my extensive archive and found a few thoughts regarding Mary Magdalene, which I have written down for you:

 In past incarnations I must have been at home in Southern France plenty of times – and above all – must have been very happy. Because every time when I get to Provence or Languedoc, I have the overwhelming feeling of eventually coming home after a long time.

People who are concerned with Mary Magdalene’s history – not with the church traditions but with the spiritual knowledge about her person – know that she not only lived in Southern France but was also worshipped as the disciple and woman by Jesus’ side there for many centuries.

Why is there such a remarkable number of churches that are dedicated to “Our Lady” or Mary, since not Mary but Mary Magdalene lived and worked in this country?

_ Could it be that those places of worship are actually dedicated to Mary Magdalene instead of Mary?

_ Or to her daughter Sarah Tamar?

_ Could it be that the numerous depictions of Mary with child do not show Mary and the baby Jesus but Mary Magdalene and her daughter Sarah Tamar? Or Mary Magdalene with one of her other children?

Could it be that the knowledge about Mary Magdalene’s teachings and her cult were intentionally blotted out during the Middle Ages, because the institutional Church took radical steps against them and also did not shy away from mass murders, as demonstrated by the example of the Cathars?

Feel into yourself! I am convinced that you are going to find an answer inside your heart!

Mary Magdalene

Mary Magdalene in Chianti / Tuscany

Most wine enthusiasts among yourselves associate the name Chianti with the world-famous region south of Florence where the grape variety of the same name is cultivated and the typical Tuscan wine is pressed. The lovely scenery is characterised by rolling hills, rows of cypresses and medieval wine-growing villages that attract many people from far and wide.

Our Spiritual Journey 2015 is going to take us to this region among others – and thus we have discovered a painting in a small church which hints at a close relationship between Mary Magdalene and Jesus. Whether or not the artist was aware of it when he created this portrait, we will probably never know. The painting bears the title “Noli me tangere – Do not touch me!” and shows the encounter of the two after his resurrection. I simply had to share this discovery with you by means of a photo – and we are going to show it to our fellow travellers on site in September.

Spiritual Localities & Places Spirituality & Journeys

St. James – we are coming!

Drove 3.500 km by car along three important Ways of St. James and walked individual stretches of way … checked the quality of about 30 hotels and 10 restaurants … visited 5 cathedrals, numberless churches and chapels … discovered a number of wonderful power places … these catchwords describe the result of twice 10 days of preparation and planning for our spiritual journey 2016.

Many roads lead to Rome but probably even more to Santiago de Compostela! There is, for instance, the French-Spanish Way of St. James from the east, the British Way from the north, the Portuguese Way from the south, and the North Way from the northeast. We spent most of our time on the French-Spanish route, because it contains the most beautiful cultural sights.

It was not always easy to find the routes; especially the British Way of St. James, of which we were unable to get a description on site, was extremely difficult to find. Like detectives we looked for the sparse hints at the wayside, asked locals, all of whom spoke English, for the way with our scant knowledge of Spanish. Many of them did not even know that there is a British Way of St. James that actually only runs a few kilometres away from their front door.

But it was worth the effort! We were able to arrange a beautiful and very varied travel route that combines culture with spirituality and does not lack good food and comfortable hotels. Every day we are going to walk short, but sublime parts of the Way of St. James, most of the time on the French-Spanish Way and on the last day on the British Way, so that we get to the seashore. The culmination is going to be the visit we are going to pay to the cathedral in Santiago, the much longed-for destination of all the pilgrims on the Way of St. James.

Spain Spirituality & Journeys

A “couch potato” on the Way of St. James

Only when I was I child I enjoyed exercise! Ever since I am grown up I like to spend most of my time with writing or thinking (besides my spiritual work, of course). The only exercise that I really enjoy is dancing. Once a very professional astrologer discerned that exercise is not really my thing in my horoscope …

And now I am travelling on the Way of St. James VOLUNTARILY, in order to plan a spiritual journey for 2016 together with Gerd. Of course, we chose sections that are scenic and pleasant to walk, probably that is the reason why hiking gave me pleasure today. My head, which is always filled with – what feels like – a thousand thoughts, ideas and visions, became freer and lighter with every step; I actually succeeded not to think about anything at times. This is a very special kind of meditation I would like to keep up in the future as well. At least occasionally 😉

Find more photos here

Spain Spirituality & Journeys

SPIRITUAL JOURNEY – DAY 6: Montségur, Mirepoix and much more

To ascend the steep castle hill of Montségur is a sublime experience! You approach the foot of the mountain at a sea level of approx. 1 050 m, where you find the memorial stone which commemorates the 220 Cathars who held on to their faith and had to burn at the stake for it. On a steep and narrow switchback through a box tree forest you walk up to the castle ruins. In 1244 after a ten-month siege, the castle, being the last bastion against the Pope’s and the French king’s troops, finally fell into the hands of the attackers. We took our time to get into the spirit of the energies of Montségur and to enjoy the breath-taking view.

Afterwards, our journey led us to Mirepoix, a medieval townlet of the 12th century, the central plaza of which consists of nothing but half-timbered houses. The unique church is currently being renovated, so that unfortunately we could not admire the lovely side altar with Mary Magdalene, Martha and Lazarus. Nevertheless, we discovered Mary Magdalene in the Gothic stained-glass windows. After a small snack we moved on to a little rock-hewn church, which is built on an ancient heathen power place. Through a narrow rock crevice we entered the Roman-Gothic church interior, which immediately exudes comfort and security. It is only furnished scarcely, but it nevertheless radiates calmness and power.

In the evening we arrived at our hotel in Toulouse, which I have chosen very carefully. It has a very modern and appealing atmosphere and the kitchen treated us with a delicious supper. Earlier, we had had our evening meditation, which had included a live channeling, in the course of which I had transmitted new information from Simon of Montfort, Joseph of Arimathea, Mary Magdalene, and the Angel for Peace and Light-Heartedness to my tour group.

Click here for more photos of Montségur: http://goo.gl/Q8yXi1

France Spirituality & Journeys

SPIRITUAL JOURNEY – Day 05: A seminar day, a visit to Arques, and a relaxed evening

On my Spiritual Journeys, it has become a tradition for me to hold a special workshop for the participants in midweek. This time the setting was especially atmospheric since we gathered in the hall of knights of our castle hotel. The exercises, in the course of which we used the symbol cards of Mary Magdalene and her companions, were about the dissolution of ancient karmic blockages, which amongst other things also bear a relation to the Languedoc.

Afterwards, we visited the Château d’Arques, which earned some fame due to Kathleen McGowan’s novel on Mary Magdalene. We concluded the evening quite “unspiritually”, namely at a typical vineyard estate of the region. Tomorrow morning the Cathar castle Montségur is on our agenda.

France Spirituality & Journeys