Glastonbury Visit: The Abbey and Glastonbury Tor

Glastonbury Visit: The Abbey and Glastonbury Tor

Aerial View of Glastonbury Abbey Site, UK

Aerial View of Glastonbury Abbey site (source – Google images)

“Traditionally, the earliest Christian sanctuary in Britain. Legend says Joseph of Arimathea brought Jesus here and they built the old wattle and daub church. History records it as standing in 600 A.D.; and it burnt down when the entire Abbey Church were destroyed by fire in 1184 AD.

Leaflet from Glastonbury Abbey Site, UK

Leaflet from Glastonbury Abbey site

Archaeology tells us that Christianity was present in Somerset since earliest days. Glastonbury was important for pilgrimage – even being called “The Second Rome.” The Abbey became the largest and richest in England. St Bridget, St. David and St. Parick are said to have visited.

St. Dunstan was educated at Glastonbury Abbey and was Abbot here until he became Archbishop of Canterbury. He introduced the Benedictine Rule to Glastonbury and into England. Another Glastonbury monk, Sigeric, became Archbishop of Canterbury in 10th century.

In 1191 legend says that the monks found the buried remains of King Arthur and his Queen Guinevere. In 1278 they were re-buried in the chancel in the presence of King Edward 1 and Queen Eleanor.

In succession, three stone Abbey churches have stood here. The remains you see date from 1184 until 1539, when the Abbey was seized on the orders of King Henry VIII, during the Dissolution of the Monasteries. It was demolished gradually and used as a ‘quarry’ for building stone. The Abbot’s Kitchen is one of the Abbey’s remaining complete buildings: and from April to October there are demonstrations about the life of the monks.

The Abbot's Kitchen is one of the remaining complete buildings at Glastonbury Abbey

The Abbot’s Kitchen is one of the remaining complete buildings at Glastonbury Abbey

Behind St. Patrick’s Chapel is the Glastonbury Holy Thorn Tree, which flowers twice each year. The Holy Thorn is said to have originated from a tree that grew, according to legend, when Joseph of Arimathea plunged his staff into the ground at Glastonbury and it burst into leaf.

The grounds contain 36 acres (about 14 hectares) with a fine selection of trees, wildflowers and bulbs for interest and seasonal variation, wildlife, ponds and a cider apple orchard.

In 1907, the ruins were bought and preserved. The Abbey is a Charity; “our only income is from you, the visitor.” The above information is taken from the leaflet given when you enter the grounds of the Abbey. You can refer to The Custodian. Glastonbury Abbey, Somerset. BA6 -9EL. You can contact the Glastonbury Abbey here

Commemoration of Joseph of Arimathea and Somerset at Glastonbury Abbey

Commemoration of Joseph of Arimathea and Somerset at Glastonbury Abbey

When John and I arrived at Glastonbury town, we were amazed about the numbers of people and shops that were there; selling all kinds of what could be loosely described as ‘esoteric aid’ shops with ‘new age’ connotations. Many people looked happy enough – others seemed lost, as if searching for something. We were happier when we entered Glastonbury Abbey behind high stone walls. It is run by a charity, although privately owned by folk who live in Australia. A lovely peaceful place with calm energy. We enjoyed strolling around the ruins and walking the green lawns.

John Barrow standing at the ruins of the Chruch at Glastonbury Abbey

John Barrow standing at the ruins of the Church at Glastonbury Abbey

We came across the original site of the Wattle and Daub referred to as ‘The Old Church”. After visiting the Camargue in South of France and witnessing the replay of the landing of Jesus’ family when escaping Egypt – our memory is Joseph of Arimathea, uncle to Mother Mary, was among them, and after a short stay in Gaul he continued with others to his familiar business route of shipping and tin mining in what is now known as Cornwall and Wales. At the time, Glastonbury was an island surrounded by marsh lands (similar to the Camargue) a safe place when the Island of Britain was still occupied by the Roman Empire. In earlier days Joseph traveled with Issa – north to Scotia. (Scotland) – much evidence and research of Jesus traveling there is given by Barry Dunford, in his website www.sacredconnections.co.uk/holyland/christ_mission.html

Issa-Jesus in Scotland (Caledonia)

Issa – Jesus in Scotland (source:www.sacredconnections.co.uk)

It is reported that Joseph had already acquired land from the local ruler, Arviragus to establish a place of learning and meeting – hence the Wattle and Daub building.

Jesus, (although I prefer to call him Issa) referred to himself as coming straight from the Father (meaning heaven). He never came to start a new religion and wanted to help people to rethink their way of life. He wanted to discourage sacrifice – he wanted to discourage slavery – he wanted people to understand of where He really came from and the message that He brought in the name of The Father, for people to love one another as He loved them. He spoke with clarity, being overlighted with Divine Light so that people felt compelled to stop and listen and marvel at His words. He performed miracles.

He was the anointed one. The word “Christ” comes from the Greek word Christos. By itself, Christos is the ancient Greek translation of the Hebrew word masiah (Messiah) which means “anointed one.” Later with the development of a church and a religion it eventually came to be called “Christianity.”

At the last supper Issa has been portrayed to say, “This is my body, this is my blood.” The church has placed the focus here – and this is not really the focus. The focus is Love, the focus is the Divine Kingdom of God, a cosmic kingdom of oneness of spirit.

The message of Issa-Jesus - a cosmic kingdom of oneness of Spirit

The message of Issa-Jesus – a cosmic kingdom of oneness of Spirit

Issa often used symbology in teaching. His blood and His body was not of this earth. He was showing everyone that His Blood was Holy and His Body was Holy and that He had come directly from The Father, or another world. This is the Holy Grail. This is the Sang Real … the Blood Royal … The Holy Blood and The Holy Body through which it flowed. He came from the Cosmos.

Issa’s message was, “Love one another as I have loved you.” and that, “The Kingdom of God is within you.”

As a Medium I have, with agreement, allowed Beings of Light to use my voice box to speak through me. I have been blessed a number of times with the Light Being who is Jesus present himself and speak to us. In particular was the first meditation we had for the New Millenium. We all in the room felt His presence as He took over my body. He could be seen clairvoyantly dressed in pale blue and white robes, by a number of people, and he stood standing with His hands uplifted towards everybody in the room. Everybody was moved to tears and felt overwhelmed by His presence, including me. He was sharing His energy with us, not speaking much at all – but He did say:

“Many people await my return, but I have never left, all you have to do is ask, and I will come.”

The room was filled with a warm feeling of Universsal Love and Peace. And when I sat down I became aware of footprints in the carpet, which took a long time to fade.

Returning to our visit to Glastonbury Abbey we found the place where the monks found the buried remains of King Arthur and his Queen Guinevere.

Plaque at Glastonbury Abbey marking the site of the graveyard where the remains of Arthur and Guinevere were found

Plaque at Glastonbury Abbey marking the site of the graveyard where
the remains of Arthur and Guinevere were found

Plaque in Glastonbury Abbey marking the discovery site of the graves where the remains of Arthur and Guinevere were found

Plaque in Glastonbury Abbey marking the discovery site where
the graves of Arthur and Guinevere were found

And finally before we left the Abbey, we found the Holy Thorn Tree that is said to have originated from the staff Joseph of Arimathea plunged into the ground on Wearyall Hill on the way to The Tor.

Valerie standing under the Holy Thorn Tree

Valerie standing under the Holy Thorn Tree

It was a stiff climb, without handrails, up to the Tor above the Abbey at 158 metres above sea level. There remains the ruins of St Michaels church destroyed in 1539 on King Henry VIII’s orders. There also the Last Monk from Glastonbury Abbey was hung, drawn and quartered. I refused to ‘tune into’ that energy.

The energy up there was breathtaking – it was easy to see how Glastonbury town was built on an island and that large, wide flat plains existed in a full circle around it in which was obviously once a marshland. Hills rose in a great distance around a larger circle that had an opening, like a gateway, where the sea would have once come in and flooded the plains.

Valerie and John at Glastonbury Tor

Valerie and John at Glastonbury Tor

This was looking towards Wales. I could easily see why Glastonbury was once called the Isles of Avalonia and existed as marshlands when King Arthur ruled 1500 years ago and of course when Joseph of Arimathea lived there.

View from Glastonbury Tor

View from Glastonbury Tor

Joseph is said to have died at Glastonbury on July 27th, A.D.82. On his tombstone was written, in Latin, “After I had buried the Christ, I came to the Isles of the West; I taught; I entered into my rest.”

We later visited the Chalice Well and its Holy Waters. Chalice Well is one of Britain’s most ancient wells, nestling in the Vale of Avalon between the famous Glastonbury Tor and Chalice Hill.

Chalice well with the Vesica Piscis on the cover

Chalice well with the Vesica Piscis on the cover

Go to PART TWO: our visit to Stonehenge and Avebury

 

The Cave of Mary Magdalene at la Sainte-Baume

The Cave of Mary Magdalene at la Sainte-Baume

View of Sainte-Baume Monastery

Looking towards the Monastery and Grotto at la Sainte-Baume

Postcard view of la-Sainte-Baume with sheep grazing in the foreground

View of la Sainte-Baume landscape

We are staying at the wonderful abbey hostelerie in Saint Maximin, next to the Basilica, thinking of the message from Alcheringa and him saying we would visit the cave. Today I am at first in some doubt, for it is pouring with rain this morning (although I am given insight that the weather will clear later in the day).

We have booked another night here at Saint Maximin and found, with some difficulty, our way out of town for the 35 minute drive to first the little abbey at Plan d’Aups and then Sainte Baume, which means cave or grotto. It is also the name of the mountain. Half the journey is climbing a dangerously narrow road up the mountain from Saint Maximin. My heart is in my mouth the whole time as we have a large hire car even though we would have preferred a smaller car to travel around the narrow streets in the little villages of Provence.

According to the ancient Gypsy legend Saint Marie Madeleine (Mary Magdalene) arrived by boat with her exiled companions at Saint Marie de la Mer in the Camargue. She then traveled with Maximin and her brother through Provence on a mission of evangelization. True to her beliefs and ideology she decided to spend her last years in contemplation in the Saint Baume mountain cave.

There is a long history of what has happened to the cave over the years. The 13th century saw the peak of pilgrimages in Christian Europe. “The Kings Way” is the road through the Sacred Forest to the Cave. Thousands of pilgrims have come to this holy site over the centuries, including eight popes and eighteen kings. (Hence the name Chemin des Roys, or, The Kings Way.) Four Dominican monks still live up there.

We arrive at Plan d’Aups at 700 metres. The wind is so strong as we alight from our car – we are nearly blown off our feet and it begins to pour with rain. Umbrellas are out of the question – they will easily be blown inside out.

We decide to have a cup of hot coffee at the little store and wait to see if the weather will improve. When we finish our coffee, we hear a bell ringing, calling people to a service to be held at the little chapel next door.

The chapel has wonderful paintings on the wall depicting the three Marys and others arriving by boat from the Holy Lands after fleeing danger after Jesus had been crucified.

Madeleine’s hair is painted long and red. Looking more Celtic than Arab-like. Didn’t our ancestors know more than what has been recorded? I am reminded of the Scottish research into the early royal family where the Mother Mary’s grandmother was said to be married to a Scottish king. (refer: http://www.sacredconnections.co.uk

Painting of Mary Magdalene inside the small chapel at Plan d'Aups

Painting of Mary Magdalene inside the small chapel at Plan d’Aups.
This first photo reminds me of the simple white buildings
where the Essenes lived in the Holy Lands

Scene of Mary Magdalene inside the small chapel at Plan d'Aups

Scene of Mary Magdalene inside the small chapel at Plan d’Aups

Painting of Mary Magdalene inside the small chapel at Plan d'Aups

Painting of Mary Magdalene inside the small chapel at Plan d’Aups

Painting of Mary Magdalene inside the small chapel at Plan d'Aups

Painting of Mary Magdalene inside the small chapel at Plan d’Aups

The priests conduct the morning ceremony wearing robes of white with green chasubles and on the robes is the symbol of the Chi-Rho.

Chasuble with Chi Rho

Chasuble with Chi-Rho

Inside the small chapel at Plan d'Aup - an orb is visible in the photo

Inside the small chapel at Plan d’Aup – an orb is clearly visible on the right.

It is clear we are meant to stay for the service – for by the time it finished the weather clears a little and we begin walking through and up into the Sacred Forest. We almost don’t make the climb, but John changes his mind and we go.

Signpost to the Grotto of la Sainte-Baume

Signpost – to the Grotto of la Sainte-Baume

We reach the entrance of the wonderful ancient forest. Just as we do, there arrives two young men and a woman dressed in medieval garments. John greets them in French and they call out they are going into the forest to collect ‘truffles’. It seems strange, as if we have stepped into a parallel universe. Another time completely and as John is speaking to them, I am experiencing a feeling of familiarity as if I have walked this place before.

Quietly shaking within myself I remember the body as a Pope. I have been here before, in another life. I don’t like that life memory, but I am part of it. It is in my Soul memory. I will speak of it more, but not now. I ask John to walk with me on the original path that leads up the mountain to the cave. Where the young people walk is along “The King’s Way” but I choose not to walk that path again.

Pathway through the forest to the Grotto la Sainte-Baume

Pathway through the forest to the grotto la-Sainte-Baume

(To the left is the wider path, wide enough for carriages and if you look closely you can just see a full length, high collared, black flaring cloak disappearing into the distance)

Pathway through the forest to the Grotto la Sainte-Baume

Steps through the forest to the grotto la Sainte-Baume

The photo on the right is the original path the monks used, and I like the idea of becoming close to the nature spirits that exist in this magical forest.

We walk for 90 minutes, up and up—still cold, windy, wet and slippery under foot. Some of the trees are down – let alone small branches. As we reach about half way up the mountain through the forest everything becomes peacefully calm, almost as if we are walking in a different dimensional frame, yet again, with no sign of the three young people collecting truffles this time.

John about to climb the steps on the pathway through the forest to the Grotto la Sainte-Baume

John about to climb the steps to the grotto la Sainte-Baume

Entrance to the Abbey at la Sainte-Baume

The Entrance to the Abbey at la Sainte-Baume

Eventually we come to changes made to the entrance of small abbey. I say ‘changes’ for I am still remembering that other time I visited. 150 steps, representing the Psalms of David or the 150 Hail Marys of the Rosary, are built up to the doorway with a sign showing the different order of monks that have been in residence over the centuries.

Showing the different orders of religious and monks who have maintained the grotto for centuries

Showing the different orders of religious and monks who have maintained the grotto for centuries

Doorway to the grotto at la Sainte-Baume

Doorway to the grotto at la Sainte-Baume

To the left, before you enter the doorway is the scene of the three Marys kneeling at Jesus’ feet as he hangs from the cross. Mary Magdalene is still showing long red hair.

Crucifixion showing the three Marys

Crucifixion showing the three Marys at the entrance to the Grotto

Looking back towards Plan d'Alps showing just how far we have climbed

Looking back towards Plan d’Alps showing just how far we have climbed

I take a photo past the wall showing how far we have climbed and then we enter into the abbey. There are no monks insight, or anybody else for that matter; we are alone.

Stained glass at the entrance to the grotto at la Sainte-Baume. An orb is visible on the left of the doorway

Stained glass at the entrance to the grotto at la Sainte-Baume. An orb is visible on the left of the doorway

Overwhelmingly Magdalene’s presence is here – very strongly. The Church is inside a massive cave where water is still dripping from the ceiling. John is the first to kneel in prayer and I am so touched – usually he just waits to see what I do. The moment is very special and bonding for us. Bless him!

Votive candles lit before a statue of the Virgin and Child in the grotto

Votive candles lit before a statue of the Virgin and Child in the grotto

Main altar in the grotto at la Sainte-Baume

Main altar in the grotto at la Sainte-Baume

Statue of St Mary Magdalene being raised up by angels at la Sainte-Baume

Statue of St Mary Magdalene being raised up by angels at la Sainte-Baume

View of the statue of St Mary Magdalene being raised up by angels at la Sainte-Baume

View of the statue of St Mary Magdalene being raised up by angels at la Sainte-Baume

Former location of the relics in the grotto at la Sainte-Baume

Former location of the relicts at la Sainte-Baume

(These relics were moved back to the Baslica in Saint-Maximin)

It has been a difficult drive up from 300 metres to 700 metres and then the walk is a real challenge not to slip in the mud. Heel, then toe keeps us safe; John tells me that is how he was trained to walk in the army.

We feel truly uplifted up here – what a walk (and me not well after a bout of flu- with cough and chest noises). It is 1,000 metres above sea level.

Coming back down, John is wobbling a bit at the base of our walk – I have used a bush walking stick lifted from the forest – it has definitely helped to steady me. It is muddy, slippery and hilly to say the least, but beautiful.

Tree blown down by strong winds on the pathway to the grotto la Sainte-Baume

John negotiates his way past a fallen tree on the pathway

A wonderful, picturesque forest

A wonderful picturesque forest

Logs on the pathway from the grotto la Sainte-Baume

Logs on the pathway from the grotto la-Sainte-Baume

Another fallen tree on the pathway from the grotto la Sainte-Baume

Another fallen tree on the pathway from the grotto la-Sainte-Baume

Valerie and her walking stick, suitably clothed against the elements!

Valerie and her walking stick, suitably clothed against the elements!

It is a relief to arrive back at the chapel and the shop at Plan D’Aups to have another hot cup of coffee and a very appropriate madeleine cake! We meet a grateful forester whom John is able to advise, in French, about the trees falling down.

Now finally, we are driving back down the narrow road (easier on the inside this time – next to the mountain wall) and returning to the warmth and dryness of the Royal Convent Hostelerie at Saint Maximin.

A Miracle Photo?

It is only when this photo was uploaded onto the website that I can see Mary Magdalene’s effigy of her ‘remains’ appear on the roof of the cave entrance.

Reversal of photo of entrance to Grotto

Turn the photo upside down; it suggests a body in a shroud, lying in a sarcophagus (Below the line)

Can you see it ? Her long hair is still intact although her face is reduced to a skeleton, and she is wrapped in a shroud.

Visit to Saint Maximin and la Sainte-Baume

Visit to Saint Maximin and la Sainte-Baume

Replica of the reliquary of Sainte Madeleine , St Mary Magdalene

Replica of the Reliquary of St Mary Magdalene
carried in procession

Valerie Barrow and her husband John spent the end of September, all of October and the early part of November 2010 travelling through the UK, France and parts of Egypt. What follows is Valerie’s record of their visit to the Saint-Maximin la Saint-Baume region, where Mary Magdalene resided after her flight from Egypt. There has been a constant monastic presence here preserving the tradition (and the relics) of Mary Magdalene since the Fourth Century.

Map of Saint-Maximin la Saint-Baume Region

Map of Saint-Maximin la Saint-Baume Region. Click to see a larger map

The area is well known for a geological formation known as Massif, which will come into play in the story which is to unfold.

The region, as evidenced by some archaeological finds, was already a religious center some 3000 years ago. The existence of a huge reserve of water which is fed by all the rivers of the region explains that since prehistoric times, the pagan cults dedicated to the goddesses of fertility were developed there. Some historians believe that the forest has been frequented by the “Druids” at the time of the presence of Celts from the fourth century BCE.

Geological formation known as Massif at Sainte-Baume

Geological formation known as Massif at Sainte-Baume

The attractive market town of Saint-Maximin lies 300 metres above sea level, surrounded by vineyards and sheltered by the three great ranges of Mont Aurelien, Mont Sainte Victoire and the Massif Sainte Baume.

Originally a Gallo-Roman site north east of Marseilles and The Camargue, this ancient town owes much of its fame to that part of its rich history touched by the mystique and legend of Mary Magdalene.

Basilica of St Mary Magdalene surrounded by the Royal Convent

Basilica of St Mary Magdalene surrounded by the Royal Convent

The relics of the saint were discovered here in 1280, in a crypt dating back to the fourth century AD, and thenceforth preserved in a primitive local church. Later, in order to accommodate the ever burgeoning influx of pilgrims, Charles II of Anjou, Count of Provence and nephew to Saint Louis of France ordered, with the blessing of Pope Boniface VIII – the construction of the Basilica of Saint Mary Magdalene and Convent on the same spot.

Original plan of the Basilica of St Mary Magdalene showing the location of the crypt

Original plan of the Basilica of St Mary Magdalene showing the location of the crypt.
The Basilica was never completed on account of the Black Death,
and so the entry of the Basilica shows the unfinished face

John Barrow standing in front of the Basilica of St Mary Magdalene; the unfinished front is visible

John Barrow standing in front of the Basilica of St Mary Magdalene; the unfinished front is visible

John and I are entranced with being able to stay in the Royal Convent, once occupied by Dominican monks but now converted to comfortable accommodation and restaurant.

View of the Dining Room of the Royal Convent at Saint-Maximin

View of the Dining Room of the Royal Convent at Saint-Maximin.
Note the white orb overlaying the bunch of roses, top right

A Dominican monk overlooks the menu in the dining room of the Royal Convent

A Dominican monk overlooks the menu in the dining room of the Royal Convent

We soon begin the short walk, virtually next door, to explore the magnificent Basilica. I know the remains of Mary Magdalene are kept in the crypt and I am anxious to view them.

Entrance to the Basilica of St Mary Magdalene at Saint-Maximin

Entrance to the Basilica of St Mary Magdalene at Saint-Maximin

Just after we arrive, the crypt is closed because a sacred ceremony – a Confirmation of Children – is taking place. John and I decide to wait until the ceremony (which lasted about hour) was over.

Confirmation Mass was taking place in the Basilica of St Mary Magdalene at Saint-Maximin

Confirmation Mass was taking place in the Basilica of St Mary Magdalene at Saint-Maximin

The High Altar in the Basilica of St Mary Magdalene at St Maximin

The High Altar in the Basilica of St Mary Magdalene at Saint-Maximin

While waiting for the Crypt to re-open after the Confirmation, I was led to the following photo in the Cathedral, Trilogie, which is believed to be the spirits of the Three Marys.

Trilogie, depicting the spirits of the Three Marys at the Basilica of St Mary Magdalene at Saint-Maximin

Trilogie, depicting the spirits of the Three Marys at the Basilica of St Mary Magdalene at Saint-Maximin

 


 

At the Crypt

View of the Crypt at the Basilica of St Mary Magdalene at Saint-Maximin

View of the Crypt at the Basilica of St Mary Magdalene at Saint-Maximin

When the Crypt is opened I ask if I can take a photo of the shrine of Mary Magdalene with the skull inside. (see Jehanne/Judith half sister of Issa – Jesus.) I ask my mentor if it is really she? He replies,

“It It is indeed, my dear, for all have come to recognise her and bless her for her work – the ones that understand and know from the origins from which she came.

Valerie's photo of the Shrine in the Crypt at the Basilica of St Mary Magdalene at Saint-Maximin

Valerie’s photo of the Shrine in the Crypt
at the Basilica of St Mary Magdalene at Saint-Maximin

The photo that you have – IS – an extra light my dear, so do not question it. It is in acknowledgement of your presence and she is very pleased to see you. Understand her spirit is not just in the crypt, but is omnipresence – and it will follow you to the mountain cave. “

Notice at the Shrine in the Crypt at the Basilica of St Mary Magdalene at Saint-Maximin

Notice at the Shrine in the Crypt
at the Basilica of St Mary Magdalene at Saint-Maximin

Altar in the Crypt at the Basilica of St Mary Magdalene at Saint-Maximin

Altar in the Crypt
at the Basilica of St Mary Magdalene at Saint-Maximin

Shrine with skull of Mary Magdalene

Shrine with Skull of Mary Magdalene

The Crypt also houses the sarcophagi of Saint Maximin, Saint Sidoine, Saint Marcelle and Saint Suzanne—companions of Saint Mary Magdalene on the boats.

Replica of the reliquary of Sainte Madeleine , St Mary Magdalene

Replica of the Reliquary of St Mary Magdalene
carried in procession;
The Feast Day of St Mary Magdalene is July 22nd

Where we witnessed the evocation of the Marys landing at the Camargue along with six other members of Jesus’s family, it was said Saint Maximin was also one of them. It would seem he moved on to the mountain area with Mary Magdalene to spread the teachings.

Cover of the Annales Ecclesiastici by Cardinal Caesar Baronius

Cover of the Annales Ecclesiastici by Cardinal Caesar Baronius

There is another legend written by Cardinal Baronius, curator of the Vatican Library, in his “Annales Ecclesiastici” (ecclesiastical annals from Christ’s nativity to 1198), consisting of twelve folio volumes, is a history of the first 12 centuries of the Christian Church) giving a complete list of passengers who were said to travel to Marseilles to escape the danger that existed after Jesus was crucified: I am prompted by spirit to research the Web about Joseph of Arimathea and this is the website I am led to: Web Archive (archive of a web page that has since disappeared after creating this page)

Joseph, with many disciples traveled from the holy land by Phoenician boat and landed at Marseilles (a Phoenician trading post), in the Vienoise province of the Gauls (France) in the year 35 AD. From there Joseph went on to England, to establish seminaries and send out missionaries. Cardinal Baronius, Curator of the Vatican library, in his “Ecclesiastical Annals“, gives this account. “In that year the party mentioned was exposed to the sea in a vessel without sails or oars. The vessel drifted finally to Marseilles and they were saved. From Marseilles, Joseph and his company passed into Britain and after preaching the Gospel there, died.”

Here is Cardinal Baronius’ complete list of passengers:

  • St. Mary, wife of Cleopas
  • St. Eutropius
  • St. Salome
  • St. Martial
  • St. Trophimus
  • St. Cleon
  • St. Saturninus
  • St. Maximin (the blind man)
  • St. Sidonius (Restitutus)
  • St. Joseph of Arimathea
  • St. Mary Magdalene
  • St. Martha
  • St. Lazarus
  • Marcella, the Bethany sisters’ maid

Other records state that James and Mary, the mother of Jesus, were also in the boat. Philip was waiting for the travelers in France. There is testimony asserting his commission in Gaul, all of which say that he was received and consecrated Josephus the Apostle to Britain, prior to his journey there.”

Alcheringa, (who often speaks on behalf of Cosmic Sai Baba) has advised that there were many ships that came with the refugees from Egypt. The Camargue is not far from Marseilles. The Camargue gypsies hold the legend as told about in my article “Les Saintes Maries de la Mer” that St Salome, St Jacobe and Sarah, along with St Maximin landed at the Carmargue and Alcheringa says, St. Mary Magdalene, Mother Mary and her 2 daughters also landed there along with Joseph of Arimathea and Jesus’ brother James. There were others not mentioned.

Those Saints who have sarcophagi nearby the reliquary of Mary Magdalene at the Basilica here at the village Saint Maximin, are St. Maximin, St. Sidonius, St. Salome, St. Suzanne, who are the same people who are mentioned in the previous list (with the exception of St. Suzanne)

2000 years later, the records of antiquity are difficult to decipher. A companion or disciple is often referred to by name, or from where they came from, or a son of – in different ways so that it is difficult to know when it is the same person being recorded in manuscripts written by different scribes.

There were many who left the Holy Lands via Egypt for safety reasons, after Jesus was crucified. Those, particularly the women, who traveled to and stayed in South of France (then known as Gaul) were still in danger and had to go about their mission of spreading the teachings quietly and almost secretly.

Joseph of Arimathea traveled with others to his familiar territory in the Britannic Isles and began his teaching there. He went on to establish the first Christian Church at Glastonbury. It was not so dangerous there, even though it was still part of the ancient Roman Empire.

In my next article I will be speaking about our visit to Glastonbury, U.K.

Returning to our visit to Saint Maximin, we later walked around the old town, noting how narrow many of the streets were.

Illustrating the narrow byways of Saint-Maximin

Narrow byways of Saint-Maximin; not much room to pass the car!


John Barrow  illustrates the narrow byways of Saint-Maximin

Narrow byways of Saint-Maximin; the room in the corner behind John looks like it is about to fall away.

Cakes in shop at Saint-Maximin

Some of the lovely cakes we saw on our walk around Saint-Maximin

Go to PART TWO: Our visit to the grotto LA SAINTE-BAUME

The Bay of Marys and the Evocation

Les Saintes Maries de la Mer, The Bay of Marys on the Mediterranean coast of the Camargue

Roadsign at the entrance of the town of Les Saintes Maries de la Mer

Roadsign at the entrance of the town of Les Saintes Maries de la Mer

Valerie Barrow and her husband John spent the end of September, all of October and the early part of November 2010 travelling through the UK, France and parts of Egypt. What follows is the narrative of the visit to the Bay of Mary’s, South of France and the sacred event that was to unfold, unbeknownst, for them.

Renactment notice - Evocation of the arrival of Les Saintes Maries de la Mer

Enactment notice – Evocation of the arrival of Les Saintes Maries de la Mer

We were constantly guided while moving from one place to another when travelling – the only real thing I wanted to research before we left Australia upon our journey, was the Bay of Mary’s in South of France where it is said members of Jesus family escaped to after he was crucified.

The Camargue Cross of Les Saintes Maries de la Mer

The Camargue Cross of Les Saintes Maries de la Mer

One Thursday afternoon we are driving into the small village on the Bay of Mary’s and the sign in the photo above is seen everywhere in the village. We had no idea that there was to be a re-enactment of the landing of the Marys on the forthcoming Saturday night. This re-enactment only happens once a year in October and now we find we have arrived in time to witness it. Thank you Holy Spirit!

Idol of St Sarah, (also known as the black Kali, servant girl to the Marys and Patron Saint of Gypsies

Idol of St Sarah, (also known as the black Kali, servant girl to the Marys and Patron Saint of Gypsies

Mary Salome who holds an alabastar jar often associated with Mary Magdalene

On the left, Mary Salome holds an alabastar jar (often associated with Mary Magdalene) with Mary Jacobe (also known as Mary, Mother of James (in Latin, Jacobe) standing in a boat

A day of rest was welcome, giving time also to explore and get to know this place.

We found the Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer Church where the effigys of Mary Salome and Mary Jacobe along with Sarah are carried down to the sea at their annual sacred Festival held in Spring. These Marys are all said to be the family of Jesus. But that Festival is not the evocation that we are to see on Saturday night. To read more about that Festival, see here

The medieval fortress church of Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer

The medieval fortress church of Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer

The people of the Camargue wetlands are gypsies with a strong Spanish influence, who have held the legend of the landing of The Marys for nearly two thousand years. “Gypsies” is a term used for Egyptians who fled the temples, many of them originally gifted priests and priestesses, when they were invaded long before 1 BC. (Other legends tell they were expelled from Egypt for harbouring the Infant Jesus.) They knew the ‘family’ and wanted to protect them. So they knew of the Essene they called Issa and they also knew of him being crucified. Their secrets were held in their Tarot cards.

Map of Camargue Region of South France

Map of the Camargue Region of South France

The Camargue region is the Delta of the river Rhone, made up of lakes and marshlands, giving home to over 400 species of wild birds. It is known as the cowboy country of France where white horses and black bulls run wild. When the horses are born they are black or dark brown and as they age they gradually become white. The Gypsies are herdsmen and superb horsemen. A long stick with a three pointed end is used to poke the bulls into a certain direction. Sheep, goats, bulls are all herded onto the ‘stage’ area to demonstrate their skills before the actual enactment is performed. We are told the bulls are not the same as Spanish bulls with large horns that point downwards, but rather the Camargue bulls’ horns point up to heaven. When they have bullfights, the bull is not killed but rather festooned with flowers after the bull has been made submissive.

John making the bull submissive with a parley cloth

John making the bull submissive with a white parley cloth

John and I sat in a prime position on the beach, to watch “The Evocation“. Eager crowds gradually gathered around the fenced area of where the enactment was to take place.

Riders on white horses prepare for the evocation of Les Saintes Maries de la Mer

Riders on white horses prepare for the evocation of Les Saintes Maries de la Mer

Oxen drawing a wagon across the sands in preparation for the evocation of Les Saintes Maries de la Mer
 

Oxen drawing a wagon across the sands in preparation for the evocation of Les Saintes Maries de la Mer

The sun sets on the crowds gathered for the evocation of Les Saintes Maries de la Mer

The sun sets on the crowds gathered for the evocation of Les Saintes Maries de la Mer

Complicated stage lights had been erected near us with some adjustments taking place. Romantic music was played to entertain the waiting people – there was not a religious feeling to the set, but rather a stage play of a legend. Finally sheep were herded onto the sandy stage leading to the water. The fine horsemen came galloping in, and later goats and the white horses and black bulls came. All were paraded by the Gypsies and herded off the stage leaving the time at 8pm when the event – the Evocation proper began. A little boat out to sea on the waves, was spotlighted and slowly made its way to shore.

Nine bonfires were lit to welcome them and to show the way to where the gypsies were.

Nine bonfires were lit for the evocation of Les Saintes Maries de la Mer; the caravan crossing to position

Nine bonfires were lit for the evocation of Les Saintes Maries de la Mer; the caravan crossing to position

The gypsies dressed, as they would have been 2,000 years ago, crowded to the waters edge and assisted the refugees ashore. Although the area was part of the Ancient Roman Empire, this watery region remained safe and separate at that time.

Small orbs linger above the dray and the actors at the evocation of Les Saintes Maries de la Mer

Small orbs linger above the dray and the actors the evocation of Les Saintes Maries de la Mer

Both John and I were overwhelmingly flooded with emotion as tears ran down our cheeks. Words were being spoken over the loud speaker relating the story in French; I mentally chastised myself for not bringing a recorder to be able to translate it later.

Not understanding what was being said – put us in an observation mode, leaving us free to receive insight and understanding from within our own soul memories, for both John and myself could remember being part of that ancient time.

A large blue orb lingers above the evocation of Les Saintes Maries de la Mer

A large blue orb lingers above the evocation of Les Saintes Maries de la Mer

I strongly felt a starship was watching over the whole event. Then energy created was palpable and peacefully beautiful. I asked ‘upstairs‘ to show themselves as I took photos in the dark. Movement is in the photos but Light from the ether shows through. The first one you can see is a major Blue Orb which I am advised from my mentor is like a strobe light used by scientists when observing happenings in deep water. So too, from the Star Peoples’ point of view, they use a similar strobe light to observe what is taking place in the heavier atmosphere of our earth plane. It also serves to up-lift the energy of the event taking place.

Two blue orbs linger above the wagon at the evocation of Les Saintes Maries de la Mer

Two blue orbs linger above the wagon at the evocation of Les Saintes Maries de la Mer

Enlargment of the blue orb above the evocation of Les Saintes Maries de la Mer

Enlargement of the blue orb above
the evocation of Les Saintes Maries de la Mer

Three blue orbs along with many other orbs linger nearby the  cattle being corralled at the evocation of Les Saintes Maries de la Mer

Three blue orbs (along with many other orbs) linger nearby the cattle being corralled at the evocation of Les Saintes Maries de la Mer

When all the sea-faring family had arrived, they were greeted and brought up closer to the awaiting crowds, viewing the scenario.

More photos below; you can see smoke – the orbs are visible behind the smoke. Also note there are two separate images showing a large Red/purple orbs, with one showing the blue orbs behind it.

Orbs visible behind bonfires and smoke at the evocation of Les Saintes Maries de la Mer - large purple orb in the foreground

Orbs visible behind bonfires and smoke at the evocation of Les Saintes Maries de la Mer – large purple orbs in the foreground

Orbs visible behind bonfires and smoke at the evocation of Les Saintes Maries de la Mer - large purple orb in the foreground

Orbs visible behind bonfires and smoke at the evocation of Les Saintes Maries de la Mer – large purple orbs in the foreground

One scene in particular I could see thin white light in stripes streaming down from the unseen starship above and took a photo.

Lines of light descending at the evocation of Les Saintes Maries de la Mer

Lines of light descending at the evocation of Les Saintes Maries de la Mer

The evocation, as a sacred event, re-enacts the Holy and thus is a suspension of time and space. The energy at the Evocation is the sum of the sacred energy and devotion to the Two (Three) Marys and the flight to Gaul with their companions by the Gypsies over two millennia. The tradition of the evocation round Jesus and his companions call back that energy which surrounded his followers and the Marys, and the lines of light indicate Divinity is present pouring down divine sacred energy into the actors, the participants, and all the observers at the Evocation.

When all of the survivors gathered in a row, looking towards the crowd there were nine … not three as I had imagined in my mind; so I thought, “How could this be?” (Remember, we could not understand what was being said in the local French dialect).

The Nine members of the small boat - surrounded by bonfires, facing the cross at the evocation of Les Saintes Maries de la Mer

The Nine members of the small boat – surrounded by bonfires, facing the cross at the evocation of Les Saintes Maries de la Mer

So I later asked Alcheringa, and his answer was:

Over two thousand years ago, there were more than one boat that landed, I can assure you. The Gypsies welcomed the family and they, on the boats, knew all the people that were there waiting for them to land.

Brother James, John the Divine, and Joseph of Arimathea were with them

They moved on to other places … Mother Mary, her two daughters* were also with them … and of course Mary Magdalene who stayed in the area … moving from the shore to the mountains and spreading the teachings as she went. The teachings were not a religion, they were teachings from the Source, the Source of Creation. They were merely passing on a ‘way of life’; a ‘way to live.’ For at the time there were sacrifices and slavery going on and this is what they wanted to stop and to encourage people to love one another, to love the animals, to love all that was upon the earth and to appreciate and love Mother Earth—these are the teachings that were passed on. Jesus said, “Love one another as I have loved you.” ( Sai Baba says a similar thing in that God is Love, and that you are God.)

The disciples of Jesus, as they were known, were simple people loyal and God loving … they had a special energy around them … they had all been enchristed … and people recognized that … so that when they spoke and put their hands out to communicate with people—people recognized that energy of Holy Spirit that went with them.

I have been given insight to more about Jesus’ family. It unfolded as we traveled giving us an Ancient History lesson as we moved from place to place; of what happened to the disciples after Jesus was crucified; a later development of the Christian Church linked with Egypt; our own Soul History and even earlier major earth changes that had taken place around the Mediterranean sea pre. 12,000 years ago, and 60,000,000 yrs ago. John, my husband is not normally as open to these things, but on this trip he was well and truly receiving messages from his Mentor also.

I will be sharing many more stories in a number of articles about our journey on this website one by one.

With love,
Valerie

* Refer to Rosemary/Ruth’s regression to her lifetime as a half sister of Issa-Jesus and Jehanne/Judith’s regression to her lifetime as a half sister of Issa – Jesus.

The illuminated Camargue Cross of Les Saintes Maries de la Mer  is carried into the evocation

The illuminated Camargue Cross of Les Saintes Maries de la Mer is carried into the evocation

Sacred Past

The Sacred Past articles cover two categories of articles by Valerie Barrow

* The Jehanne D’Arc series of articles

* The Sacred Travels articles (which trace many footsteps of the Jehanne D’Arc writings by Valerie).

Jehanne D’Arc Articles

Mother Energy – Source of all Energy

Defining the Mother – Energy from the Creative Source of All

The Mother God is the source of all
The Mother Energy is in All

Transcript Tuesday February 6th-2007

The mother energy … Is the female energy upon this earth and is within us all, be it male or female humans, of this earth. It is in human, animal, reptile insect and bird. This mother, the mother energy is within them all. The earth herself has the mother, the mother energy in her. It is the creative energy from the Source, the Source of God, the source of all Creation.

It is The Mother and with it comes the love of the mother … the love is God. The love is what goes with the mother to nurture and to give and forgive, teach and understand with compassion. It is the Mother. It is all Love – from the Source to all creation …

You will see the Mother in Plants, in Flowers and Trees all goes on to re-produce with the energy of the Mother.

The Mother energy if you could describe it …   … it opens out like arms and emcompasses all. It is the Mother energy that is in us all – representing a hug or a holding, a healing. It is the Mother.

The symbol of the Mary is the Mother. It is the Mother energy that the ‘Marys’ were holding – it is the energy as they grew to sisters they were able to pass into a journey of holding the Mother energy with knowledge and understanding. (The wise women) and to impart that to all that came into their presence.

It would be wrong to describe them as priestesses – for there was no ceremony, in the sense that ceremony is understood. It was a ceremony within themselves – that was like a bell – that lifts and resounded in each of the ones who hold the name of Mary to connect and to be all emcompassing. To respect – to reflect – the mother from the Creator. Some could call it the Goddess – but again that would suggest Idols … and it is neither that nor ceremony – it is the energy of God which is Love. It exists in all.

Be it male or female, the energy can come forth and reflect what it encompasses on the spiritual earth. It is the true understanding of God as Love.

It is the Love … it is the Maa .. haa … ree, the Mahari – it is Mary – Divine women.

Maha means Great

Eee means female

Mother Sarasvathi
The Great Mother is worshipped in all traditions