* This pilgrimage is now over. It offered amazing opportunities for growth and was filled with beautiful moments of connection with the energy of the divine Feminine. Please stay tuned for future offerings. *
Mary Magdalene is one of many symbols representing the feminine energy. This inaugural pilgrimage will explore the manifestation of her energy in Paris and Chartres in the north, then following her footsteps in the south of France.
A pilgrimage is a call to surrender and commit to the process of learning from the journey. Every step is an opportunity to grow and to receive. Within our pilgrimage, we will walk the labyrinth at Chartres, in itself a call to surrender. Circles within circles. The cyclical nature of the feminine energy calls to us, again and again.
The Divine Feminine calls us all in different ways. She calls softly in the night and cries loudly in moments of disconnection from our hearts and the truth of who we are. She beckons us to surrender to all we are and all we’ve known and to open ourselves instead to all we can be.
It may not be an easy call to follow; it is even more difficult to ignore. The Shift in Consciousness relies on our willingness to embrace the wisdom and lessons of the Divine Feminine. This is a feminine defined by our hearts and our innate connection to the Earth, our bodies and the rhythms of life. It is not defined by the old structures which have become distorted through time to express as a watered-down version of the feminine designed to make others comfortable. This is the call to break our hearts open and live as embodied versions of the Goddess.
Day 1: Wednesday, September 19 – Paris
We assemble in Paris to begin this powerful pilgrimage. Today is a fairly open day allowing for flexibility in arrival times. Towards the end of the afternoon, once gathered, we will visit the Eglise de la Madeleine (more popularly known as La Madeleine).
Dinner will be in the Montmartre district with free time afterwards to explore.
Days 2 and 3: Thursday, September 20 and Friday, September 21 – Chartres, including Cathedral and Labyrinth
We’ll have two days to explore the holy places and energy of Chartres, long associated with the Divine Feminine (millennia before Christianity). Chartres is said to be on ley lines which link Glastonbury, Stonehenge and the Pyramids in Egypt.
Chartres is well-known worldwide for its magnificent cathedral and labyrinth. The Cathedral is filled with imagery, sacred geometry, carvings, stained-glass windows and sculptures of feminine figures, offering a glimpse into the feminine aspect of God. We will be joining Malcolm Miller, a prominent expert on Chartres Cathedral and its history for a guided tour.
On Friday the labyrinth in the Cathedral is open for public walking from 10 am to 5 pm. We will gather early to walk as a group solidifying our intention in the presence of the divine feminine energy of the Cathedral.
Day 4: Saturday, September 22 – Chartres to Aix-en-Provence
We will be staying overnight in Aix-en-Provence at Escale Oceania after a long day of travelling. Arriving at about 3:30, we’ll have time to gather our thoughts. There is a pool at the hotel and spa nearby. We’ll meet for dinner, and the rest of the time is for relaxation or exploration. Aix-en-Provence is well-known for its fountains and its architecture. A walk around the city will reveal many gems. Cézanne spent part of his life here and was inspired to paint many of his later works.
Day 5: Sunday, September 23 – Aix-en-Provence to Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume
One of the main reasons for our visit to this area is its association with Mary Magdalene. She is said to have lived in the Grotto at Sainte-Baume for up to thirty years. Her tomb was discovered here in 13th Century. We will be back from the Grotto in time for lunch. Then we will explore the Basilica of Ste. Marie Madeleine.
We are in the powerful energy of the Fall Equinox at 3:54 am (CEST) on the 23rd and the Full Moon at 4:52 am (CEST) on the 25th. The energy of the fall equinox very much supports a time of inner reflection.
Day 6: Monday, September 24 – Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer to Nîmes to Béziers
We travel today to a charming historical village on the ocean where the three Maries are reputed to have come ashore along with their uncle Joseph of Arimathea, Maximinus and other followers. The three saints Mary Magdalene, Mary Salome and Mary of Clopas are believed to be the women who first witnessed the empty tomb at the resurrection of Jesus.
We will stop for lunch here before travelling on to Nîmes for a brief visit to the Temple of Diana.
Arriving in Béziers in the early evening, we will meet for dinner after checking into our hotel. Béziers was a stronghold for the Cathars in the Languedoc region (12th – 13th C). The Cathars were a Christian sect who rejected much of the formality and structure of the Catholic Church, and as a result, were branded heretics.
Whatever the true beliefs of the Cathars, much has been lost over time. On July 22, 1209 (the Saint Day of Mary Magdalene), 20,000 men, women and children were massacred at Béziers by order of the Catholic Church (Pope Innocent III).
It is said that the Pope, when asked how to distinguish between Catholics and Cathars, said (something like), ‘Kill them all. God knows who are His.’ The people of Béziers stood together in the face of death. The city was burned to the ground during the massacre. This marked the beginning of the 20-year Albigensian Crusade, which would wipe out the Cathars across Languedoc.
* Participants may feel connections to past life experiences as a Cathar, including vows of poverty and purity, a fear of creating, a fear of being seen/heard. This is an excellent opportunity to explore healing your energetic connection to the Divine Feminine and to rebalance the connection between masculine and feminine in yourself. *
Day 7: Tuesday, September 26 – Béziers to Aigne to Minerve to Luc-sur-Aude
After breakfast, we will explore some of Beziers’ important landmarks. We will visit the Saint-Nazaire Cathedral and Eglise de la Madeleine, where many of the inhabitants took refuge during the siege. This didn’t stop the invaders, who burned them to the ground.
We leave Béziers about noon to visit Aigne, a village consciously built in a spiral which reconnects us to the labyrinth at Chartres. We will enjoy lunch here and enjoy the energy of the town before heading to Minerve.
We’ll spend a few hours exploring this ancient fortified city where 120 Cathars took refuge after fleeing from Beziers in 1209. They were rooted out and burned at the stake by Simon de Montfort. You may choose to walk the ‘Martyr’s Way’ which follows the route the Cathars walked to their death. There’s also a walk around the town to follow the river (Cesse) that goes underground in naturally carved tunnels. While we’re here, you can also visit the Church of Saint-Etienne, an 11th Century Roman church with an altar dating back to 450 AD.
We will arrive Le Castillou in Luc-sur-Aude in the late afternoon, where we will spend the next six days. Here we will enjoy tranquillity, community and incredible organic meals at a stunning 120-hectare country estate. Fields of lavender, sage and olive trees encircle the property.
We’ll branch out from here to explore the surrounding area. This will include trips to Pic de Bugarach, Alet-les-Bains, Rennes–le–Château, Rennes-les-Bains, Carcassonne, Limoux and other local spots for contemplation and exploration.
Day 8: Wednesday, September 26 – Carcassonne
We will spend the day exploring this magnificent walled city. It has been a major site in the Languedoc region for many centuries. Traces of early Gaul, Roman and Visigoth settlements are still visible throughout the city and fortifications.
Carcassonne played a major role in the Albigensian Crusade. The city held against a siege for 14 days in August 1209. Eventually, the Catholics surrendered, and the Cathars, refusing surrender, were expelled from the city with nothing but the clothes they were wearing. The invaders, after Béziers, decided they’d benefit from not destroying the cities and all the wealth they provided. The Cathars fled to the surrounding countryside, where they were eventually rooted out and slaughtered.
It is a well-known spot for visitors to explore the fortified walls and their 52 siege towers, as well as numerous churches, the castle and La Porte Narbonnaise, a gate on the fortifications dating back to 1280 (much of the city was rebuilt in the 19th Century after falling into disrepair).
This is a free day for exploration. We meet at the end of the day for dinner together.
Day 9: Thursday, September 27 – Rennes-le-Château and Rennes-les-Bains
There is powerful Earth energy here and in nearby Bugarach. According to some sources, this is the 2nd (sacral) chakra of the planet. We begin the day at the St. Mary Magdalene church, which has much to explore. Historians have suggested there has been a church on this site since the 8th Century. It has been rebuilt several times.
The current structure was renovated in the late 19th century by the controversial and well-loved Bishop Saunière who had a deep love for Mary Magdalene. One of his many gifts to the town was the construction of the Magdalene Tower.
Following the church visit we move on to the Bérenger Saunière Museum. Entrance to the museum also provides access to a number of local sites including the Magdalene Tower, The Oratory, and Saunière’s home and gardens. All of these can be explored at your leisure prior to departing for nearby Rennes-les-Bains for lunch.
After lunch you are free to explore Rennes-les-Bains and the famous thermal hot springs. The hot springs have been a popular attraction with bathers for thousands of years and are reputed to heal rheumatism and certain skin disorders. There are also other sights to explore before returning to Luc-sur-Aude for dinner.
Day 10: Friday, September 28 – Limoux
After breakfast, we will start our day in Limoux, which is famous for its vineyards and a sparkling wine called Blanquette de Limoux. We will visit the Basilica of Notre Dame de Marceille, a 14th Century Gothic church dedicated to Mary. The basilica is built around a Black Madonna and has been a pilgrimage destination for centuries. The spring located there is said to have healing powers. There are many beautiful statues, stained glass windows and a garden.
After the Basilica you are free to explore – there is a Cathar museum, a garden of rare and scented plants, and lots of interesting architecture.
Day 11: Saturday, September 29 – Montsegur
We will visit this ruin of a fortified village atop a hill, one of the last bastions of the Cathars. The walk up is a relatively steep 30-40 minute one, with signposts along the way offering glimpses into the history and significance of the outpost. The views from the top alone are worth the walk! The area is steeped with history and connections to the Divine Feminine.
Day 12: Sunday, September 30 – Luc-sur-Aude to Toulouse
After breakfast, we say our goodbyes and depart for Toulouse for onward journeys.