AUDE (pronounced “Ode”) TO THE NEW AGE.


In a recent WholeLife News we described the part of southern France where we live, called the Aude Valley, which is part of a larger area named Languedoc/ Roussillon. Also it is known as “Payes du Cathare” which means “country of”. The name Languedoc refers to the language; Occitan used in the Pyrenean foothill country until Francais became the official language of France. Last time we described a little of the tragic fate that in medieval times befell the gentle race of Cathars.


Crushed by a Holy Crusade for forty years, the remnants of the Cathar race were then hunted, persecuted, terrorised, and tortured by the Holy Inquisition for a hundred years until the Light of Truth finally seemed to be extinguished in the area. The departing inquisitors left behind them an intense fear of God and a universal dread of the church that claimed to represent God. Later, the broad sweep of the history of France left the Languedoc as a forgotten, neglected backwater. Languedoc was left to lick its deep wounds and to reflect on its golden history. It had been the solitary beacon of Light, Truth and Hope in a Dark Ages Europe that was rife with poverty, ignorance, fear, superstition, and religious bigotry.


In modern times another foreign crusade arrived in the Languedoc. These crusaders didn’t wear swords and didn’t wear crosses or bring instruments of torture (unless we include the effect of their attempted Francais upon French ears) What they did bring were theodolites, compasses, tape measures, cameras, maps and notebooks. They didn’t seek hidden Visigoth plunder or the lost treasure of the Cathars. Their interest was in the mysterious sacred geometry of the area. The results of these surveys were made known internationally and so this modern crusade that began as a trickle near the end of the millennium swelled to a torrent. Worldwide more and more people have felt drawn to visit and explore this mysterious part of France and the many facets of its history. The facets include the Ancient Greeks and Romans and the Celts, the Jews, the Visigoths, the Franks, the conquering Moors from Spain, the Cathars and the Knights Templar. All of these peoples and many more have left their imprint on the energies of this area.


In the Aude Valley we have lived between Limoux and Quillan in a large village that insists it is a town, named Couiza, and the beautiful River Aude flowed passed our home. Towering above Couiza is a high plateau in the centre of which is a steep hill that dominates the plateau. Perched on the very top of the hill amid dramatic panoramic mountain scenery is the tiny village of Rennes le Chateau. Each year thousands of visitors drive up the twisting, narrow, mountain road to make their own pilgrimage to Rennes le Chateau, a living village with a mysterious ancient and modern, much written about, history.


This latter-day foreign crusade is largely made up from very aware individual seekers who seek to bring their “Light” to this wounded land. It really is a wounded land because although the medieval inquisitors of the Holy Roman Church crushed Catharism they failed to replace it with their dogmatic beliefs. Instead, all they achieved was to leave a spiritual vacuum that endured for centuries. Those who visit here and we, who live here, consciously act as willing channels of energy to fill that vacuum, and in return receive something very special.


It is a delight to observe the effect of this modern-times, ongoing crusade upon the people of the Aude Valley. When we settled here in 1991 the attitude of local French people to anything even remotely “New-Age” was of bewildered astonishment tinged with suspicion that Black Magic might be involved. The varied interests of this growing invasion of foreigners baffled the locals. Everyone knows what tourists want, but these visitors were different. Previous to this ongoing invasion of their peaceful existence, to the locals the Cathars and the ignored ruins of the Cathar castles belonged to the dust of the rest of local history. A simple, rural existence doesn’t mean that the one who lives it is a simpleton. Swiftly and efficiently the local French people have gained a deep knowledge and understanding of what the Cathars and their faith means to many of these foreign visitors. Here is a source of badly needed employment. But also here is a source of local pride in the history of the area. Whatever facet draws you to the Aude is now catered for and made readily available to you. Why not visit the Aude Valley and see for yourself?



Love and Laughter


From: “Ascension Support Team”


David and Yvonne Brittain: Quillan. France 11500


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