In a Prieuré de Sion document called THE LAND OF THE WHITE QUEEN the author makes a curious connection between an imaginary white queen of Rennes-les-Bains [in the form of a statue] and a real historical white queen, Blanche d'Evraux. 

By using a play on the sound and spelling of the French and English words for white and queen the author compares a tale of an underground Temple at Gisors with a similar tale of an underground Temple at Rennes-les-Bains. 

To truly understand why the author does this we have to appreciate the way the author has used the language and why. Once grasped it becomes easy to see what the author intended and we can therefore better 'read' and hear the text. It is a text is cloaked in an aura of mystery and carries with it familiar motifs such as a sacred tomb and a mysterious perfume, used elsewhere in Prieuré de Sion mythology. 

How is all this mythology related to the mystery at Rennes-les-Bains?

'Au Pays de la Reine Blanche' was written by Nicolas BEAUCEAN. Beaucean is the probable nom-de-plume of either Pierre Plantard or Philippe de Chérisey, the two main steering characters behind the group created in the 50's, the Prieuré de Sion. In many texts that these two authors published anonymously they used literary tricks and sleights to refer to the 'mystery' at Rennes-le-Château. However, Plantard and Chérisey always maintained their main focus of attention at Rennes-les-Bains, the sister village just a few miles away from Rennes-le-Château.

They often spoke through a third colleague, one Gerard de Sède. He discussed this policy of literary trickery saying it was often created to conceal something. The linguistic gymnastics were created to be able to speak of a 'mystery' in a guarded way. He wrote;

' ... the maker of a stupendous discovery, would, if he were unable to reveal it, be the prisoner of an almost intolerable contradiction, between his pride that would ..... impel him to make it public, and his fear, which would constrain him to remain silent....' 

It has echoes of a sentence Chérisey wrote in a private letter;

 '... What do you believe that I will seek in Rennes-le-Château? If I succeed I will not have the right to speak about it'. 

As de Sède correctly observed in 'The Accursed Treasure of Rennes-le-Château' … the secret seemed to be of great import …. and thus literary tricks were used not purely for effect or deliberate obfuscation but adopted to disseminate the extraordinary information being imparted. 


Ambiguous language was used to promote and shield their knowledge. They used circumlocution - which means literally to talk around a subject, using words or expressions that are difficult for others, or more precisely perhaps, outsiders, to understand. It is like a special form of jargon, a word that harks back to the Anglo-French language by way of Middle English and means the "twittering of birds". Jargon is derived from the Latin word gaggire, meaning "to chatter", which describes speech that a listener cannot understand. Chaucer, the great English poet and “first finder of ... language” referred to jargon as the utterance of birds or sounds resembling birds'

This is our first hint that, for Plantard and Chérisey, the sound of words might be important as well as how one reads them. Like the famous 'Language of the Birds' it is a mythical & magical language to communicate with the initiated. It is an esoteric language intended to be understood by a small number of people with specialised knowledge. 

Chérisey and others in the Rennes Affair [including Henri Boudet] utilise this kind of language-speak to great effect. This is because the "language" consists in hearing a sound rather than reading it at times. It is a question of no longer trusting "the written word", but of hearing "the cries" [sounds] of the words. In this language "double meaning"  prevails, enabled by homophony (and other mechanisms). It is the sound, in short, that  "resonates" and "reasons". The "Language of the Birds" is a metaphor describing a way of reading a text in which language moves forward by means of puns and wordplay rather than being guided by a narrative. Reading becomes the act of detecting patterns rather than the act of interpreting symbols

This kind of language reception harkens back to earlier times. When the great Romanesque-Byzantine abbey of Souillac was built one of the magnificent architectural capitals of its great ambulatory depicts several doves putting their beaks in to an owl's ear. 

This owl represents Athena's owl of course, and shows access to knowledge. The birds are unblocking the owl's ears to offer the hearer access to what the ancients called the "third ear" [a popular term for the use of intuition, sensitivity and awareness]. It is also a concept in psychology, advanced by Theodor Reik, which refers to the practice of listening for the deeper layers of meaning in order to glean what has not been said outright. At the website Neologikon they write; 

'The Greeks linked the night vision of Athena's Owl with a special sight, a kind of clairvoyance. It seems plausible, too, that [the] owls’ nocturnal vision suggests a kind of sight that, by lighting up the dark, was revelatory, or which is diametrically opposed to darkness, a kind of clearing [of vision], or, as some scholars say, an ability to see through the shroud of obscurity. 

... The owl stands for rational, inner knowledge because it, like a mirror, reflects the light ..... Perhaps it is their prophetic wisdom at work. Owls seem to know something we do not. They are symbols of inner-knowledge, of looking-inward. Being able to fly, to soar high above us, and to see in the dark, where everything appears concealed, owls have a perspective much more inclusive than ours: Owls have a bird’s eye view, an ability to look down ....., to ponder and perceive .... and therein lies the owl’s wisdom—to be patient and consider things from a grand point of view, with matters brought forth from the dark into the light, wide-eyed, all-knowing, and waiting until we are ready to receive their wisdom'

I suggest that Plantard and Chérisey were acting precisely like the owl of Athena as described above when they wrote about the Two Rennes!  

In any case with Athena's Owl at the Abbey of Souillac the expression is direct: you are told to stand up against the pillar in order to have your subtle ear unblocked so you can truly understand. If you try and fix on a "symbol" which explains this image you risk getting caught up in verbiage and entirely missing the event or point itself, and it is this experience that interested the ancients. Plantard and Chérisey [and for that matter, Boudet] used a-lot of verbiage and put this to good effect. As Simon Miles reported in his new book in regards to the verbiage around the so-called Sauniere Parchments [the Pommes Bleues coded message] the point is missed about the real and actual mystery of the Parchments. He wrote;

' ... the Parchments were ... planned within the context of this complex multi-faceted game as a vehicle for the dissemination of a subliminal image, [that of] the emblem of the Martinists....the aim was to ensure that these materials were distributed as widely as possible use the modern term they wanted the parchments to go viral ....while generations of seekers and searchers have obsessed about the 'Pommes Bleues' message .. they unwittingly fulfilled the goals of the puzzle-maker; to spread the image far and wide'.

One has to enter in to this fantasy world of language, poetry, imagination etc to start to understand what the Priory were up to. 

Hearing and Seeing

'Hearing' and 'seeing' words rather than 'reading' language is as old as the Egyptian hieroglyphics. The ancient Egyptians called their hieroglyphs “the words of God” and unlike the simple elegance of modern writing systems, this early attempt at recording words used a number of techniques to convey meaning. The picture symbols represent a combination of alphabet and syllabic sounds together with images that determine or clarify the meaning and depictions of actual objects which are the spoken word of the thing they represent.

The analogy with birds is above all physical: sounds fly from the letters which remain fixed. The popular proverb "The writings remain the words fly" also testifies to this symbolism. It is the perfect vehicle concept for those with secrets to reveal or for knowledge to be encoded. 

The expression 'language of the birds' may even be an historical phonetic distortion of the name of a secret and old brotherhood called the "language of the goslings " (in reference to the young goose, a term that has become archaic), so named because of the crow's feet worn by the builders of the Medieval cathedrals. These medieval Cathedral builders used on their construction sites a jargon allowing them to preserve the ancestral techniques of the "masons". However, after the “Strike of the Cathedrals” (following the proclamation of the Templars as non grata in France the March 19, 1314), most of these initiated builders and workers fled the French Inquisition, for northern Italy (where they would prepare for the Renaissance) and the Middle East. 

After the Inquisition, these initiates, back in France, nicknamed "Saracens", disseminated their knowledge by means of secret coding systems quickly assimilated in to the occult sciences: for example, the Tarot de Marseille, the "goth art" (art of light, which will become Gothic art), alchemy and of course, the language of birds.

This kind of language can even be dated much earlier as it seems to have some relationship with Provençal poetry, from a time when the Medieval troubadours composed "cants" that were called "open" when they meant what they said and "closed" when they said one thing but meant something else. So in their poems words could seem to be almost magically linked by means of their aural or visual similarity. Once two words have been glued by this formal correspondence, we take the connection to be a form of "truth". 

We could consider the Language of the Birds as an imaginary folklore that links a whole lineage of poets, from the Provençal troubadours to Clement Marot, Rabelais, Gerard de Nerval, Alfred Jarry, Raymond Roussel, some of the surrealists like André Bretón, Michael Leiris and the elusive Marcel Duchamp. Most recently that lineage continued through the OuLiPo group, a group to which Chérisey was a member - the so-called French ’pataphysicians'. 

The Tarot Tradition

French tarologists have always found references to the language of the birds in the Tarot de Marseille. For example the Tarot card La Maison Dieu - illustrated in the arcanum XVI card, is not a Tower of God as usually depicted, but a Maison Dieu (House of God). At the time of the origin of these cards a House of God could refer to either a sort of hospital, run by the church; or it could have some reference to the Knights Templar; or it could refer to a name given to the places where the crusaders could stop overnight for sustenance and rest. But in any case it's NOT a Tower and it has something to do with a House and God. In Bird Speak  LA MAISON DIEU  and  L'ÂME ET SON DIEU sound alike but mean something very different things according to its aural understanding. Both interpretations therefore are correct. 

Chérisey and the Tarot card Tradition 

Chérisey used the Tarot card Tradition & its symbolism to show that he was on a spiritual 'journey' [elsewhere in his writings described as a search for the tomb of Mary Magdalene in the environs of the Two Rennes] and in this journey he often depicted himself as a Fool [Le Mat/Le Fou], a kind of innocent on a pilgrimage. He often advocated researchers should become Le Mat to be able to enter in to the mysteries of the Two Rennes. 

The Fool symbol was therefore a literary device he used to describe the journey and give it a form or route to take. For example, this route is shown in the poem Le Serpent Rouge

Historically this Fool character, also later called a jester, was a comic character whose job it was to make the royal court laugh, and to advise the king. In terms of the card game The Fool does not have a number only a name. 

The earliest Fool card is from the Visconti-Sforza deck commissioned by the Duke of Milan in the 1450s. He was depicted with ragged clothing exposing his loin cloth, he’s feather-brained and he carries a long club to fend off dogs. His mouth is clamped shut because he has nothing sensible to say. At the time the original Tarot was invented, the mentally ill and foolish fell into this category: they could be dangerous, raving madmen who needed to be confined for everyone’s safety; or they could be an “Innocent”, child-like simpleton. These Fools so afflicted had no legal rights and no obligations to family or society. They were ultimate outsiders with no place in the social hierarchy. It is precisely the role the Fool plays in the game of Tarot where he has no rank and no power, yet he can pop up anywhere to mimic any card making him, ironically, one of the most valuable cards in the deck. 

The Tarot de Marseille pack of cards conflate these two types of Fool. In many esoteric systems of the Marseille card interpretation, the Fool is the protagonist of a story and follows a particular route around the cards in the card pack. This is known as the Fools Journey and Chérisey takes that spiritual path/journey through the great mysteries of Rennes-le-Château. It is his testing pilgrimage where he tries 'to clear my way using a sword through the tangled vegetation of the woods ... & in desperation of finding my way ... the parchments of this Friend were for me, the thread of Ariadne'.

Chérisey only used the Tarot de Marseille symbolism in his writings [as did Plantard] and it was this pack only that was and is associated with occult use. The word occult from the Latin word occultus [meaning "clandestine, hidden, secret"] is literally "knowledge of the hidden."  In the 16th century the occult later referred to astrology, alchemy, and natural magic. And this concept of the "esoteric" originated in the 2nd century with the coining of the Ancient Greek adjective esôterikós ("belonging to an inner circle").

That inner circle of the original Tarot de Marseille card creators may well have been figures traced back to the Italian Renaissance. A documentary Les mystères du Tarot de Marseille claims that the work of Marsilio Ficino can be credited as having inspired imagery specific to the Marseilles deck. In this investigation the enigmatic game of Tarot turns out to be the vehicle of an esoteric teaching of ancient wisdom by Marsilio Ficino, one of the greatest philosophers of the Renaissance, passionate about astrology and the one who directed the Neoplatonic Academy of Florence. He was an astrologer, a reviver of Neoplatonism and in touch with the major academics of his day, and the first translator of Plato's complete extant works into Latin. His Florentine Academy, an attempt to revive Plato's Academy, influenced the direction and tenor of the Italian Renaissance and the development of European philosophy. His father, Diotifeci d'Agnolo, was a physician under the patronage of Cosimo de' Medici, who took the young man into his household and became the lifelong patron of Marsilio, who was made tutor to his grandson, Lorenzo de' Medici. 

It was this Lorenzo who later created the 'Shepherds of Arcadia’ society - consisting of painters and poets that Lorenzo surrounded himself with at his villa. The term 'Shepherds of Arcadia' of course is a very well known 'artefact' of the mystery at Rennes-le-Chateau. Cosimo de Medici very good friend and patron along with Ficino and whom Ficino must have known was one Rene d'Anjouthe famous "Good King Rene " as he was called, Head of the Royal House of AnjouUsing his numerous Italian possessions as a base of operations, Rene spent many years in Italy and became the greatest thinking salesman of all time. He inspired sponsorship from the ruling Sforza family of Milan and of course Cosimo de Medici and he got them to send their agents all over the world in a quest for ancient manuscripts [it is interesting here to observe that the oldest surviving tarot cards are the 15 or so Visconti-Sforza tarot decks painted in the mid-15th century for the rulers of the Duchy of Milan]. As a result, in 1444, Cosimo opened Europe's first public library. The Library of San Marco now made available, for the first time, the thinking and ideas that had been suppressed for centuries. Translations of Platonic,  Neo-Platonic, Pythagorean, Gnostic and Hermetic thought were now readily accessible.  

René himself was a tolerant and open man, interested in a plurality of thinking styles. He was steeped in esoteric tradition. His court included a wise Jewish astrologer, Cabalist and physician known as Jean de Saint-Remy who was the grandfather of Nostradamus on his mothers side. Also, for some time, René employed the great Italian Admiral, Christopher Columbus. Both of Nostradamus' Grandfathers were Court physicians to King René along with the father of Leonardo Da Vinci.

These types of individuals would have frequented the group called the 'shepherds of Arcadia' or had access to their knowledge and interests. The origins of the specific theme of ‘Arcadia’ that Western culture later adopted and to which Poussin was heir in the later Middle Ages can be traced back to René. 

Rene's Arcadian theme included an underground stream and a tomb that connoted aspects of a ‘secret tradition’ or elements of  ‘secret knowledge’. And this ‘Arcadian’ theme was promulgated by artists throughout the Renaissance and beyond. René may even have been the source and originator of that enigmatic phrase Et in Arcadia Ego.  We do know he composed mottos. Did he want to present to humanity knowledge unknown to the mass populace by his attempt to encourage collection of all manner of ancient manuscripts through his illustrious connections? 

There may be an obscure connection to the White Queen [which we will elaborate on further below]. Plantard and Chérisey were preoccupied with a tomb of some importance, a tomb that was sacred to them and which engendered much mystery. It is pertinent to note here that King Rene himself is known to have excavated for a tomb - the tomb of Mary Magdalene. He seemed to be operating on information unknown to others. He was carrying on a 'family tradition' because in 1279 Charles II of Anjou, King of Naples was supposed to have found the alleged grave of Mary Magdalene at Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume. Charles founded the massive Gothic Basilique Ste. Marie-Madeleine in 1295 because of his find; the basilica had the blessing of Pope Boniface VIII, who placed it under the new teaching order of Dominicans. 

It is famously reported that King Rene had a red porphyry cup which he told people was used at the wedding of Cana. This cup also had associations with Mary Magdalene. The whole Anjou dynasty had adopted Mary Magdalene as their very extra special saint, probably since Charles of Anjou had indeed found her tomb in the 13th century. Mary Magdalene was thought to protect their dynasty because as Counts of Provence they also protected the land that she came and evangelised. The scholar Ludwig Jansen even wonders why the Anjou dynasty had such a bizarre and obsessive love for the Saint.  Jansen offered two sources of transmission for this devotion to Mary Magdalene. The first is via Charles of Anjou and his mother, Beatrice of Provence. Perhaps, Ludwig Jansen speculated, Beatrice traced her family back to the legendary ruler of Provence converted by Mary Magdalene, thus emphasising to her son her family's links to apostolic Christianity. Does this mean more or less for Jansen that the Anjou dynasty and family had inside information about the legends of the Saint and the ruler of Provence? Once again we are back to an inner circle of knowledge.

Rene of Anjou claimed to have many relics associated with Mary Magdalene. In the cathedral at Angers he gave a font which he believed Mary Magdalene had used to baptise the pagan rulers of Provence. He also donated an 'urn' which he had been assured Christ used at the wedding of Cana to change water into wine, which had been transported to Provence by Mary Magdalene. What is interesting is that Rene of Anjou and his line can trace back to Louis V of France (a so called 'do nothing king') who after dying in a hunting accident left no legitimate heirs, so it was his uncle Charles III who was advanced as the hereditary successor to the throne. But the surrounding clergy, including both Adalberon and Gerbert (who later became Pope Sylvester III), argued eloquently that Hugh Capet, who was not only of royal blood but had proven himself through his actions and his military might should be the next King. Capet was elected to the Frankish throne and Adalberon crowned him, all within two months of Louis V's death. Thus the Carolingian dynasty ended and the Capetian began.

Godefroy de Bouillon was a descendant of this Charles III of Lorraine and he, of course, much later was was crowned first defender of Jerusalem during the Crusades. As we shall see below the 'historical' White Queen of Chérisey and Plantard was Blanche D'EVREUX - the 'white queen' who retired to the Tower of Neaufles in 1359. Her ancestry was very illustrious, being traced back to Ida of Lorraine, the daughter of Godfrey III, Duke of Lower Lorraine and his wife Doda. Ida of Lorraine had married Eustace II, Count of Boulogne and they were parents of the following children;

  • Godfrey of Bouillon 
  • Baldwin I, King of Jerusalem; 
  • Eustace III Count of Boulogne, patron of the Knights Templar. 

So the historical White Queen of Plantard and Chérisey had a family link to the Anjou dynasty, a dynasty possessed of inner knowledge about the fate of Mary Magdalene herself. Perhaps this dynasty were the root behind various legends associated with the Magdalene and later encoded this family knowledge via the Tarot cards and other vehicles. [See HERE] The origin of the particular deck of cards of the Medici came from groups close to the Anjou dynasty such as Ficino as we have seen. 

All these ideas have been used by Plantard and Chérisey to suggest that a sacred tomb, hinted at as being that of Mary Magdalene, is linked to a mythical white Queen. 

In the poem Le serpent Rouge the authors wrote; 

"From her that I wanted to free, rose towards me the emanations of perfume which permeate the sepulchre. Once some called her: ISIS, queen of the beneficent springs, COME TO ME ALL YOU WHO SUFFER AND WHO ARE OVERWHELMED AND I WILL COMFORT YOU, otherwise: MADELEINE, with the famous vase full of healing balm. The initiates know the true name: NOTRE DAME DES CROSS".

Somehow all these themes tie up to suggest that there is some kind of occult knowledge, in the true sense of the word - that is those who possess "knowledge of the hidden" and even more the esôterikós "belonging to an inner circle" - the family and bloodline of Rene of Anjou which have this hidden knowledge. 

All this ancient history interested Plantard. 

For example, in 1947, to be exact the 26th August - Plantard formed the "Latin Academy", replacing the Alpha-Galates. The president of this new Academy was Plantard’s mother, Amélie-Raulo.  Amélie-Raulo worked for a time for Genevieve Zaeppfel, a famous medium of the interwar period who divided her time between her residence in Paimpont (Ille-et-Vilaine), the Manoir du Tertre located on the edge of the Brocéliande forest and her house in Paris. The Zaepffel family spent their summers in Paimpont and brought with them a cook, Amélie-Raulo Plantard, was a widow who occasionally worked in their service. It is unknown how they met. Amélie-Raulo Plantard was accompanied by her son Pierre, of school age. Having no children, Geneviève Zaepffel took a liking to him and contributed to his intellectual development. She frequented recognized esotericists of her time such as Paul Le Cour (founder of Atlantis magazine), Georges Monti and Oswald Wirth, often at her home. Zaepffel practiced the art of tarot and introduced Pierre Plantard to the art.

Plantard, when setting up his Latin Academy, would appear to be mimicking not only Plato but also the Platonic Academy, a group of scholars in mid-15th-century Florence who met under the leadership of the outstanding translator and promulgator of Platonic philosophy Marsilio Ficino, who we have already met above. These groups met to study and discuss philosophy and the classics. The influence of their modernised and Christianised Platonism on Italian Renaissance thought was profound and still survives in the popular concept of “Platonic love.” Although the group was never formally organised, its members considered themselves a re-creation of the Academy that had been formed by Plato in Athens. The most important members of the group were connected with the courts of Cosimo and Lorenzo de’ Medici, such as Politian (or Poliziano), the outstanding poet and classical scholar of the Renaissance; the professor of poetry and oratory at the University of Florence, Cristofero Landino; and the scholars and philosophers Pico della Mirandola and Gentile de’ Becchi.

In a neat little circle then this brings us back to the secret and occult language adopted by Plantard and Cherisey and Athena's Owl and the unblocking of the third ear.  The original Latin Academy - the  Akademia - was a school outside the city walls of ancient Athens. It was located in or beside a grove of olive trees dedicated to the goddess Athena. Athena was regarded as the patron and protectress of various cities across Greece, particularly the city of Athens, from which she most likely received her name. Her major symbols include owls, olive trees, snakes, and the Gorgoneion. She plays an active role in the Iliad, in which she assists the Achaeans and, in the Odyssey, she is the divine counsellor to Odysseus. In the later writings of the Roman poet Ovid, Athena was said to have competed against the mortal Arachne in a weaving competition, afterwards transforming Arachne into the first spider; Ovid also describes how she transformed Medusa into a Gorgon. Since the Renaissance, Athena has become an international symbol of wisdom, the arts, and classical learning. 

Plantard's TAROT 

Plantard would also give his own Tarot card consultations using his own methods.

We also know that Plantard painted twenty-two paintings corresponding to the twenty-two Marseille card tarot deck - and in these paintings there appears in the background landscapes and elements linked mainly to Rennes-les-Bains. Unfortunately, only five of these paintings are visible in the publication "Le Circle" presented by his son Thomas in 1992. 

Plantard used the OSWALD WIRTH TAROT deck of 1889 to base is own paintings on. This was the deck that  French occultists later also associated with the Hebrew alphabet and the cabalistic Tree of Life, and it didn’t raise the Fool’s consciousness one bit.

Below - the OSWALD WIRTH TAROT Fool Card of 1889

Wirth only produced the major cards, never a full 78-card deck. In the preface to his book, "Le Tarot, des lmagiers du Moyen" [Tarot  - Pictures of the Middle Ages] published in Paris in 1926 and translated into English as "The Tarot of the Magicians" by Samuel Weiser in 1985, Wirth attributes his blossoming knowledge of Tarot to another young occultist, Stanislas de Guaita. Guaita admired Wirth's artistic talents and "advised [him] to restore the 22 arcanas to their hieroglyphic purity... The ideal to be realised demanded a perfect unity of symbolism, so that everything fits into the 22 compositions, which must throw light upon each other and must contain no arbitrary detail which is not justified." 

Stanislas de Guaita established his Major Arcana as an initiatory sequence to be used to establish a path of spiritual ascension and evolution. What is this, if it is not what Cherisey himself reports about a journey to find a spiritual tomb? And Plantard also must have been utilising the deck of the 22 arcana to establish a path of initiatory sequence which must throw light upon each other and must contain no arbitrary detail which is not justified!

In Cherisey's ADDENDUM TO THE PREFACE in his novel CIRCUIT he writes;

"In accordance with the resolution previously taken, the 22 chapters of Circuit are being laid out in the accepted order of the Great Book of Massilia. 1 2 3 …etc. so that the pictures can been seen. The 22 verses of “Good King Dagobert” should be applied to the 22 former, but not in the order of Larousse, so that the reader who would like to discover a second “circuit” under Circuit can rearrange the chapters in the order of the verses

Other parallels that have been considered, and that will allow the reader the pleasure of discovering for himself, are: 

(a) The 22 stations of the Vincennes-Neuilly line

(b) The 22 volumes of the journal of the Goncourts.

(c) The 22 sections of the “Apocalypse of St John”

(d) The 22 paragraphs of “Menexène” of Plato that form a framework to the 22 books of the great work of St Augustine

(e) The 22 letters and half of “The Stranger” by Balzac

(f) The 22 chapters of the “Indes Noires” by Jules Verne

We would like to emphasise the great importance of the number 22 to Jules Verne, whose “Extraordinary Voyages” are 66 (3 x 22) and who having been turned down by twenty-one Editors, was finally accepted by Hetzel whose building today houses the Editions de Seuil.


Below - is the Fool Card designed by Pierre Plantard  

Here you can see in the background the church at Rennes-les-Bains, and the Fool is descending some steps which hint of something below ground, perhaps below the church or perhaps in the cemetery as the orientation of the Church depicted suggests that the Fool is [already underground] in the cemetery at the side of the church, perhaps by the Fleury tomb? This resembles Beaucean remarks, when he asks whether a statue of Isis, also known as Venus came from a Roman Temple - he says the answer must be Yes because 'the discovery of a great charnel house under the main square seems to confirm it'. The discovery of this charnel house is made 'under the town square' i.e under the Place Deux Rennes. And behind this main square Beaucean continues is the church - to the South - where stood a huge pagan Temple from which the statue of an alleged Isis/Venus came from. The geography referred to fits with the very real large block Roman foundations witnessed by Boudet and other which all feel are related to an underground Roman Temple. A Temple that conceals some kind of shrine.

Plantard's Fool card also has other designs on it. For example what is the Cross in the Circle logo sitting atop his staff? It is probably a local land mark detailed on maps called La Croix de Cercle. What is the design on the hat he wears, what is the meaning of the large triangle depicted?

Four other painting composition's of these Tarot cards by Plantard were published in “Le Cercle” and published by his son Thomas in the BNF in 1992. They carry details which relate to Rennes-les-Bains and Rennes-le-Chateau. 

Below are the illustrations from Le Cercle as well as the original Wirth Great Arcana;

One can see here the Wirth card basic designs that Plantard adopted to re-design his own Tarot deck as shown above;

The French Occult Connection?

Oswald Wirth himself was the secretary of Stanislas de Guaita, a French occultist and poet, co-founder with Papus and Joséphin Péladan of the Kabbalistic Order of the Rose-Cross. In 1891 however, Péladan left to found the Order of the Catholic and Rose-Cross of the Temple and the Grail. It was these same circles of occultist's who believed in the presence of a burial of Christ in the South of France and they even searched for it! 

They were all close to the Gnostic Church and one Dr Fugairon. 

Dr Fugairon showed a marked interest in the hidden life of Jesus. He also converts Déodat Roche who was the Cathar expert in the Aude. [Interestingly it was the father of Déodat Roché who, in his function as a notary, secured the land later assigned as a burial plot at a place called Les Pontils. This Les Pontils tomb, once situated close to Arques, bares a striking resemblance to the tomb in the second version of Les Bergers d’Arcadie by Nicolas Poussin - made famous in the Rennes Affair by Plantard and Cherisey. The Tomb was apparently built during Saunière’s lifetime - in 1903 to be exact - by a mason from Rennes-les-Bains by the name of M. Bourrel for Mr Galibert, the grandson of American industrialist Louis Galibert, who had settled on the plot of land 20 years earlier. [The Mason Bourrel or perhaps Bourriel is alleged to be a key player in the story of the Rennes Affair. His family are allegedly linked to the story of the Maison Chaluleau at Rennes-les-Bains, which does have links to the 'White queen' as we shall see below. Bourrel/Bourriel is linked to a supposed  'cover up' or diversion created at the Moulin in Pontils. You can see more about these aspects HERE].

In an interview Antoine Captier said [in reference to the early visitors to Rennes-le-Chateau] that;

'The restaurant of Noel Corbu coped fine then, but was incommensurate with what followed. The customer's then, were those such as the brother of Déodat ROCHE, who was interested in Bérenger Saunière and also his other brother who was the notary of the priest. There were plenty of neo-Cathar's who came here on pilgrimage at the time. Déodat ROCHE became interested in Rennes-le-Chateau but we do not know why'.

If Fugairon 'converted' Déodat Roche maybe it central to what was going on at the Two Rennes? What did Fugairon indeed 'convert' him to? 

Fugairon had wondered about the whereabouts of the historical Jesus after the Crucifixion. And this is where Fugairon is brought to play in a fundamental way in "The Rennes Affair" [according to French researcher Christian Doumergue]. In June 1897, Fugairon published in L'Initiation, an article where he defends the idea that Mary Magdalene, when she went to Provence, brought back with her the body of the historical Christ - and that it is therefore in the South of France that the body still rests, even during the time when he writes.

Nothing to do with a bloodline, or marriage but specifically the body of Christ.  

The members of the Gnostic Church even tried to find this tomb. In letters of Fugairon specifically, there are several correspondences and cross-checks that attest to some members of this Gnostic church (Déodat Roché, Jules Doinel and Doctor Fugairon ...) carrying out real research in the Rennes region. For example in a letter to Dr. Fugairon on August 20, 1899, Déodat Roché informs his correspondent that Fabre des Essart, bishop of the Gnostic Church since Jules Doinel left, was asking him to communicate to him any and all discoveries ... nothing is said in this missive as to the exact object of the research being conducted. But another letter, addressed by Roché to Fabre des Essart on 7 May 1899, suggests the nature of Roché's investigations.

"As for the body of J.-C. why would it not have been "stolen"...? Catholicism uses a little too much of its magic to convert or hold under its yoke the faithful ... ", writes the 'Cathar of Arque “.

Déodat Roché had also met Prosper Estieu, a poet and teacher in Rennes-le-Château in June 1900. Estieu was ardent an defender of the Cathars and was the founder of the review called Montségur [a magazine about the Cathars] which he published from the village of Rennes-le-Chateau when he lived there. There was a known conflict between Estieu and Saunière at Rennes. It was probably because Estieu was such a champion of the Cathars and of what Saunière may have seen as the 'occult' [see below]. In 1903 the Mayor of Rennes-le-Château sent a letter to the Prefect complaining that Prosper Estieu was “a very bad teacher”. Later there was another letter from the Prefect to the Sub-Prefect of Limoux wondering if the Mayor’s letter dated 8 February, which was not in his handwriting, had actually been written by Bérenger Saunière!

Fabre des Essarts was an occultist, symbolist poet, politician and a theorist of gnosis and esoteric Christianity. He was Victor Hugo's friend and was crowned in a ceremony at the Toulouse Floral Games. Under the name of Tau Synesius, Bishop of Bordeaux, he was one of the first consecrated bishops of the Gnostic Church of France of Jules Doinel [see more about this below]. After the latter broke with his church, he was elected patriarch in 1896 and collaborated with another Gnostic bishop, Dr Fugairon [already referred to above], to develop the same Gnostic Church. In 1900, he agreed to readmit Doinel into the Gnostic Church and to consecrate him again under the name of Tau Jules, Bishop of Alet and Mirepoix. He also hosted a synarchic Masonic lodge and collaborated on the occult review L'Initiation, which as we saw above is where Dr Fugairon wrote about his views on the last resting place of the body of Jesus.

As Christian Doumergue wrote; 

"Jules Doinel, the founder of the Gnostic Church, after his conversion to Catholicism - allowed him to approach Bishop Billard, with the purpose of conducting research in the region, and he stands out, among other things, for his publication of a life of ... Blanche de Castille! It makes you think that Noël Corbu, in one way or another, had inherited archives from the Gnostic Church, which later found themselves in the hands Pierre Plantard, who had arrived already well informed at Rennes." 

For me it seems probable that something occurred around the time of Saunière within a group connected with the so called occult revival of the 19th century. It all seems to stem from Jules Doinel. It was he who initiated the Gnostic Church of France as a French neo-Gnostic Christian occultist organization in 1890 and declared it as a religious association in 1906.  It was Doinel, as an esoteric Freemason influenced by Cathar documents and by the theology of ancient Gnostics such as Simon the Magician and Valentin, and as the archivist of the Aude who as we saw above founded the Gnostic Church in 1890, a date that opens, for him and his followers, "the Year I of the Restoration of Gnosis”. Doinel was the self-proclaimed Bishop of Montségur [a priesthood he claims to have received from Jesus], and as patriarch of this new Church, Doinel took the mystical name of Valentin II and appointed eleven titular bishops, including a woman bishop, as well as deacons and deaconesses. 

Chérisey and Plantard and their coded information about the Two Rennes

All of these concepts and strands of exoteric history as well as esoteric history describe how the works of Plantard and Cherisey came in to being. We need to appreciate this before we can fully hope to understand Chérisey [and Plantard] and their coded information! 

Chérisey was above all an extraordinary and under-rated poet and fantastic story-teller and he put it to good use in collaboration with Pierre Plantard. Pierre Plantard had access to occult files that carried strange information [in 1951, on 8th July - he was initiated into the Grand Orient of France by the lodge "The Future of Chablais" in Ambilly] and they, between them they used literary devices to convey deeper meanings and to highlight important themes they had obviously found out about. 

They used not only circumlocution but also transposition - and by changing the relative place or normal order of some thing, or altering a known sequence of events they were drawing us in to some hidden knowledge they posessed. And using juxtaposition - they put two things [facts or ideas] together with contrasting effect to illustrate something else entirely. Chérisey did this supremely well in his novel CIRCUIT. And in the text 'In the Country of the White Queen' they did it to compare and contrast a similar legend between Gisors and Rennes-les-Bains about an underground Temple in both places, both solidly attested to in archaeology. Some of it is real history, other sections are symbolic history. From it one is to glean the true history!


Plantard and Chérisey transposed the local legend of an underground passage in the GISORS area to one at Rennes-les-Bains. 

The legend in Gisors involved the tower of Reine Blanche de Neaufles with its underground passage leading from it & which linked in some way with the town of Gisors. This transplanted legend to an 'underground' place in Rennes-les-Bains with a Temple will take us directly to Henri BOUDET. 

In the legend of Neaufles the underground passage ends at the entrance of a cave of treasure guarded by a demon and access is granted on only one day of the year [December 25th]. In the collective memory of the locals, the links existing between Gisors and Neaufles are marked by belief in this underground passage which supposedly connects the two fortresses of Gisors and Neaufles.

Blanche D'EVREUX mentioned in the text is the historical 'white queen' who retired to the Tower of Neaufles in 1359. Her 'whiteness' was because when her husband died she was in mourning and she dressed in white as opposed to the later black colour. Her husband was Philippe VI, the first king of France from the House of Valois, reigning from 1328 until his death in 1350. Having died without leaving any male heirs, the throne would fall to a cousin from another line: Philippe de Valois. Philippe therefore wanted to consolidate his disputed royalty by marrying his son Jean-le-Bon, who had become a widower, to a descendant of the illustrious Saint Louis, the lovely Blanche de Navarre (also called Blanche d'Évreux, i.e the White Queen of the Neaufles tower). 

Her ancestry indeed was illustrious, being traced back to Ida of Lorraine, the daughter of Godfrey III, Duke of Lower Lorraine and his wife Doda. Ida of Lorraine had married Eustace II, Count of Boulogne and they were parents of the following children;

  • Godfrey of Bouillon 
  • Baldwin I, King of Jerusalem; 
  • Eustace III Count of Boulogne, patron of the Knights Templar. 

This bloodline extended back to Charles (953 – 22 June 992-995) who was the Duke of Lower Lorraine from 977 until his death. This very same Charles [we met him above as an ancestor of King Rene of Anjou] was said by one Monsieur G [who i suspect is Plantard] when in conversations with author Camille Bartoli [about the identity of the Man in the Iron Mask] to be the reason why the Knights Templars existed. Monsieur G said that;

'the first part of the 'secret' Templars involved the reinstatement of the French monarchy - those Frankish kings called the Merovingian's – who ‘were kings by right of birth’. All dynasties which followed – the Capetian's, the Valois and the Bourbon were illegitimate. It was re-iterated: ‘The crown of France belonged by divine right to the descendants of Charles de Lorraine, who was the true heir when Capet usurped the throne at the end of the 10th century.’ 

But Philippe VI [as a widower himself for just a few weeks] changed his mind, finding that this Blanche would suit him just as well and instead of his own son he married her on 29 January 1350 at Brie-Comte-Robert, forty years her senior. As the chronicler Jean Le Bel recounts:

«...the father took the beautiful young damsel Blanche, whom his son had wanted as a wife. But the father took such a liking for her for as she was so beautiful and gracious that [he] married her, and gave his son in marriage to the first cousin of damsel Blanche.

Philippe died a few months later after this marriage and Blanche, a young woman, and  pregnant, dressed all in white as befits queens who go into mourning at the time. She withdrew to her lordship in Normandy which constituted her dower and to her castle at Neaufles. From there, she is said to have walked the paths along the Levrière. Pious, chaste, beautiful, honest, gifted and with compassion, cultured and a fine politician, Blanche received the nickname Belle Sagesse. 

Even then she took after another very illustrious ancestor. A century before Blanche de Navarre lived in Neaufles, her own ancestor, Blanche de Castile, the mother of Saint Louis, also stayed at the Tower after the death of her husband, King Louis VIII in 1226. Both could be said to be White Queens, all dressed in white during their mourning. Blanche number one took refuge in the tower during various wars - in one, when the enemy finally managed to enter the tower, it was found empty. Apparently Blanche of Castile had used an underground passage which, starting from the keep, allowed her to reach the castle of Gisors which was 4,000 meters away. 

The legend of this underground tunnel is reinforced by the presence in the town of a "monumental cross" in limestone, called the "pierced cross", carved in the middle of the 12th century.

Above - Pierced cross of Neaufles-Saint-Martin famously used by De Sede on the cover of his 'The Templars Are Among Us'. 

Another variation on this legend says that Neaufles & Gisors are at the centre of a mysterious knot of underground passages whose route, in the region, is marked by Templar crosses tracing their passage above ground. 

Is there an implied similar set of underground passages at Rennes-les-Bains?

In the 19th century, a worker was sent to inspect these underground areas of Neaufles to see if any consolidation work was required. He walked through the galleries for a long distance, before arriving in front of a heavy, rusted iron gate, behind which, at the back of a room, he could see glittering objects and gold coins. He decided to tackle this solid gate, kept closed not only by its strong lock, but also by the rust that covered it. While he was engaged in this operation, there was a terrible crashing noise, as if from hell, which filled the galleries and caused him to panic. He quickly turned back and, sure that he had crossed paths with the devil, refused to descend into the sinister trenches again.

For me this legend has an echo in those legends of Rennes, especially with the involvement of a demon or Devil. I think in particular of the Devil's Treasure at Blanchefort or the Shepherdess treasure of Le Serbairou. 

A slight variation on this same legend is one called Le souterrain de la Reine Blanche which reports that the underground passages of the Neaufles tower and it's ruined fortress are located one league from the castle of Gisors & that they communicate with each other, as usual, by way of an underground passage which passes under the river bed which separates the two places. The passage conceals a magical treasure, locked up under iron gates of marvellous workmanship. The legend also carries a report of the testimony of a worker who, having worked in the underground passages of Neaufles, claimed to have seen and touched these beautiful gates. They formed an impenetrable barrier which defended the entrance to a magnificent temple [my emphasis]. This temple was dedicated to the Golden Calf, whose resplendent image rose at the bottom of the sanctuary. A heap of riches, to put off the greedy, was spread at the feet of the impure idol. Gold, silver, diamonds & precious stones were displayed in profusion on the walls and ceilings of the temple. 

It seems strange that a legend in Gisors would reference an ancient Hebrew treasure. According to the Bible, the golden calf was an idol (a cult image) made by the Israelites when Moses went up to Mount Sinai.  When Moses went up into Mount Sinai to receive the Ten Commandments he left the Israelites for forty days and nights. The Israelites feared that he would not return and demanded that Aaron make them "a god to go before them". Aaron gathered up the Israelites' golden earrings and ornaments, constructed a "molten calf" and they declared: "'This is thy god, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt". Aaron built an altar before the calf and proclaimed the next day to be a feast to the LORD. Some scholars have suggested that the golden calf was merely an alternative to the ark of the covenant or the cherubim upon which Yahweh, the God of Israel, was enthroned.

Workers who had received the order to clear the underground passages to get to this Underground Temple at Gisors, tried to penetrate under the dark vaults, but were forced to interrupt their work: flaming chasms opened up under their feet; the air around them was impregnated with fetid vapours; hideous apparitions appeared before their eyes, and they heard a dreadful angry hell roar in their ears! On reading the genealogy of Christ at midnight mass, the iron gates of the underground Temple open silently, while the Golden Calf and its satanic riches are delivered, defeated and defenceless, to the hand that would dare to seize it!

For Beaucean, and by extension Plantard and Chérisey, using transposition they relate the legend of this underground Temple at Neaufles/Gisors with one at Rennes-les-Bains - also directly associated with a different White Queen - a white queen who was in fact a statue!

There are also echos of flaming chasms ... under their feet; the air around them was impregnated with fetid vapours at Rennes-les-Bains, because as an ancient Roman spa town also sorts of hot water vapours are seen there, even to this day! 

Beaucean writes that;

"By collecting many documents, historians were able to establish the precise location of a white marble statue measuring over two meters in height & representing ISIS. Here the testimonies diverge. Some say that the tests carried out at the place indicated brought back dust of white marble, others that the exhumed goddess was immediately re-buried, others finally that the research is entirely imaginary. The owner of the Hotel has not been heard from because we are certain that a man has the right to bury ISIS in his yard without reporting it to anyone."


This white marble statue described here, thought to be Isis, is therefore the White Queen of Rennes-les-Bains. 

Beaucean has taken this information from a historical work by Dr Paul Courrent. Courrent [who was the personal physician to Sauniere & Boudet] wrote a lot about the history of Rennes-les-Bains saying; 

"Paul Urbain de Fleury and his son Henri ... created a small local museum with the discoveries found at Rennes at different times but especially at the beginning of the eighteenth century, & they have long been kept in the cabinet of the Fleury's. They include: fragments of brick and tile edges which are Gallo-Roman; a beautiful white cornice fragment of marble and an ornament plate of 45 mm. There are also remains of statues, artistically made, including; 

i) a complete arm with a hand holding an egg, white Marble, 0.60 centimetres 

ii) an arm holding a snake wrapped in a patôre, white marble, 

iii) a hand gripping a cloth/linen, marble. The latter should be compared to an ornate hand with rings also holding a piece of cloth, of which other examples have been found in the ruins of a temple on the Seine. 

Marius CATHALA the learned archaeologist and palaeontologist, former president of the Society for Scientific Studies of the Aude, personally believes in the existence of the statue to which the hand with the egg belonged. He even locates the presence of this statue in the furnished hotel CHALULEAÛ at Rennes-les-Bains, in the middle of an exterior courtyard, where soundings carried out by himself, brought up marble dust which he believes to have come from this statue. This hotel is built on very old substructures. We do not want the owner of this hotel to continue to oppose any research - how interesting it would be, if it is true that the statue exists, to bring it to light and place it on the square of our station!" [i.e the Place Deux Rennes].

As we shall see below it is the complete arm with a hand holding an egg, white Marble, 0.60 centimetres

which is of interest [as drawn by a local historian and shown below]

The interesting observation is that the owners of the Maison/Hotel Chaluleau at the time of Courrent appear to be obstructing the early archaeologists from excavating which he finds a source of great frustration - and this is even in the knowledge that the Fleury's themselves were already collecting artefacts and displaying them. These displayed artefacts actually came from this same hotel/maison. We do indeed wonder why the owners would obstruct the archaeologists when finds were already being made and displayed in the Fluery cabinets!

Above -  Marius CATHALA

However, Courrent in his piece, seems not to be aware of the rumours of the finding of another statue, that of the goddess Venus, allegedly found in the same place and later sold off to an American. 

This statue of Venus has direct links to Henri Boudet.  

Courrent continues;

"The Chaluleau hotel also seems to be built on very old substructures. Repairs carried out in this house in 1928, revealed "large block foundations" that Mr. ROUZAUD, former president of the Archaeological Commission of Narbonne, attributes to ancient Roman buildings, temples or palaces'. 

Thus Maison Chaluleau begins to be seen as the place where an underground Temple exists and I suspect where from its grounds a White Queen statue, of either Isis or Venus was found. The arm with an egg was thought to come from this statue, or perhaps another in this same underground temple. 

A further local historian, years before, had already drawn a diagram of the statue's arm 'with a hand holding an egg' [as well as other items] as the illustration produced above shows. It is sometimes described as a votive offering but could it be possible that the hand holding an egg was part of a much larger statue as Marius CATHALA believed? Cathala located the presence of the rest of the statue in the 'courtyard' of the maison CHALULEAÛ, in fact in the middle of its exterior courtyard.

Above - a marble statue of Venus/Aphrodite holding an egg/?apple [Louvre Museum]. Did the White Queen statue of Rennes-les-Bains resemble this?

As noted this seems to be related to a witnessing of the finding of a statue in the very same courtyard by Henri Boudet, our archaeologist priest. Boudet discussed this find with Henri ROUZAUD who was a friend of Cathala and who visited Boudet at Rennes-les-Bains in around 1911 - and these people were the same individuals interested in the Temple under Maison Chaluleau.

All of this is certainly the source of the literary output in the BEAUCEAN text. 

If you cross-reference this idea with other Priory documentation one discovers that a buried goddess/female figure is associated with a fragrant tomb which is also associated with a white queen and a sacred sepulchre in the poem Le Serpent Rouge. Therefore would the pilgrimage of the traveler and poet in Le Serpent Rouge superficially appear to be a visit to this underground place and Temple? 

That is we are searching under the ground of the village of Rennes-les-Bains. 

As Cherisey once wrote; 

'The church of Rennes-les-Bains dominates the old cemetery that is today under the grand square where we go to drink pastis these days."

Cherisey also wrote in his novel CIRCUIT the following;

"[...] CRITIAS – Il y a une statue d’Isis, ou de la Reine Blanche, ou de Notre-Dame, comme vous voulez. Elle a servi de modèle à la Vénus d’Ille décrite par Prosper Merimée qui l’a donné en bronze alors qu’elle est en marbre blanc. La statue mesure deux mètres de haut mais vous ne la verrez pas, enterrée qu’elle est dans une cour d’hôtel et prouvée seulement par la poudre de marbre que l’on a ramenée d’un sondage [...]"

 CIRCUIT de Philippe de Chérisey,cap. XIV – LA TEMPERANCE

"[...] CRITIAS – Revenons donc à ce chapiteau qui sera planté au sud du village, sur la rive gauche de la Sals, au-delà du cimetière, après la grand’place et l’église. Ici se tenait un temple paien haut de quinze mètres qu’incendia Charles Martel en l’an 737 lors de sa tentative d’invasion du Languedoc. Outre la statue d’Isis, alias Vénus d’Ille, qui en provient, les autres reliques sont une tête de Mercure et une de Jupiter, un bras tenant un linge, une main tenant un oeuf, sans compter le charnier sous la grand’place. Ces renseignements proviennent des « Mémoires de l’abbé Delmas qui, ayant fait couler beaucoup plus de salive que d’encore, sont perdus depuis plus d’un siècle. Ont-ils jamais existé, existent-ils encore ? Prestidigitation [...]" CIRCUIT de Philippe de Chérisey , cap. XV – LE DIABLE "[... ] 

which is translated thus;

CRITIAS - There's a statue of Isis, or the White Queen, or Notre Dame, however you like it. She served as a model for the Venus of the Island described by Prosper Merimée who gave it in bronze while it is white marble. The statue is two meters high but you won't see it, buried that it is in a hotel courtyard and proven only by the marble powder that we brought back from a survey [...]

Circuit of Philippe de Chérisey, cap. XIV - THE TEMPERANCE

"[... ] CRITIAS - So let's go back to this shrine that will be planted in the south of the village, on the left bank of the Sals, beyond the cemetery, after the grand square and the church. Here stood a fifteen-meter-high Pagan temple that Charles Martel burned in the year 737 during his attempt to invade Languedoc. In addition to the statue of Isis, aka Venus of the Island, which originated from it, the other relics are a head of Mercury and one of Jupiter, an arm holding towel, a hand holding an egg, not counting the hinge under the grand square. This information comes from the "Memoirs of Abbot Delmas', which, having spilled much more saliva than ever, have been lost for more than a century. Did they ever exist, do they still exist? Prestigitation [...]. ]" 

Circuit by Philippe de Chérisey, cap. XV - THE DEVIL

In 'The Land of the White Queen' Beaucean proposed that this White Queen was associated with a mysterious perfume - a language uncannily similar to descriptions of a perfumed tomb described in the poem Le Serpent Rouge. BLANCHE D'EVREUX, according to Beaucean, also practised alchemy in the NEAUPHLES tower, in the company of Nicolas Flamel, himself a bookseller and manuscript copyist. Flamel was not a religious scholar or even royal as were many of his predecessors and his entire interest in the subject of alchemy revolved around the pursuit of the philosopher's stone [in it's original form alchemy can be interpreted as the process of transmutation by which to fuse or reunite with the divine or original form].

Using our Owl's inner ear and insight does this white queen not somehow represent a sacred body of a female, and that if you can smell the sweet perfume emanating from her you are near the sepulchre? 

All this is simply fascinating. 

There is no doubt in my mind that Cherisey is referring and intimating a 'shrine' found 'beyond the cemetery  and after the grand square and the church' at Rennes-les-Bains. This shrine was originally perhaps to be found in a fifteen metre high Pagan Temple - probably the old Roman Temple - whose substructures Marius Cathala 'could make out' under the Maison Chalaleu current building at the time of Boudet. 

Cherisey says that Charles Martel burnt the Temple down when he tried to invade the Languedoc in 737.  Of course, this is not Martel invading the Languedoc but Martel fighting off the Saracen invasion, the Umayyad conquest of Europe which had begun with the invasion of the Christian Visigothic Kingdom of the Iberian Peninsula in 711. 

It us the Continuations of Fredegar alleges Odo [or King Eudes, an historical figure said by the finders of the body of Mary Magdalene in the Middles Ages to be the person who rescued her body from the Saracen Invasion] called on assistance from the recently established emirate of al-Andalus, but there already been Arab raids into Aquitaine from the 720s onwards. Indeed, the anonymous Chronicle of 754 records a victory for Odo in 721 at the Battle of Toulouse while the Liber Pontificalis records that Odo had killed 375,000 Saracens. It is more likely that this invasion or raid took place in revenge for Odo's support for a rebel Berber leader named Munuza. Whatever the precise circumstances were, it is clear that an army under the leadership of  Abd al-Rahman ibn Abd Allah al-Ghafiqi headed north, and after some minor engagements marched on the wealthy city of Tours. According to British medieval historian Paul Fouracre, "Their campaign should perhaps be interpreted as a long-distance raid rather than the beginning of a war". They were, however, defeated by the army of Charles Martel at the Battle of Tours - a victory also described by the Continuations of Fredegar.

Cherisey therefore thinks that this 'shrine', this tomb, enveloped in a mysterious perfume must be none other than Mary Magdalene. And if Henri Boudet is indeed referring to this Temple where an important tomb lay in his book La Vrai langue Celtique, then his centre of the Cromlech he details perhaps begins on the foundations of this temple. Boudet further asserts this tomb is associated with the resurrection. 

Cherisey also makes it clear -  the statue of Isis, aka Venus of the Island [ie the Venus statue found by Boudet] which originated from these ancient foundations included other relics such as 'a head of Mercury and one of Jupiter, an arm holding a laundry, a hand holding an egg, not counting the hinge under the grand square. This information comes from the "Memoirs of Abbot Delmas'

Then how is it that Dr Courrent indeed missed writing about the white statue found by the priest of the village of Rennes-les-Bains? The statue of Venus? Especially when he was a good friend of said priest as well as his personal doctor? And the Abbe Delmas did not talk of these artefacts at all, he spoke of the tomb of a mysterious and grand Roman who died in the vicinity of Rennes-les-Bains, linked to the great Roman general, Pompey!

Local villagers indeed have reported via oral legends that Boudet - together with his family - had started to hide artefacts under a house built in the middle of the village - a house that was associated with him. If correct, this suggests a deliberate policy by Boudet of looking for artefacts 'around Rennes' [i.e he found them during the course of his rambling walks or perhaps knowledge he was already aware of. Think of his comment in his book, La Vrai Langue Celtique. He wrote that he was: trying to penetrate the secret of a local history' ]. This activity may link Boudet to a verse in Le Serpent Rouge about the pillaging of artefacts viz: 

Celestial vision for him who remembers the four works of Em. SIGNOL around the Meridian line, to the choir itself from the sanctuary from which beams this source of love from one to another, I turn around passing the site of the rose of the P to that of the S, then from the S to the P ... and the spiral in my mind becoming like the monstrous octopus expelling its ink, the shadows obscure the light, I am dizzy and I hold my hand to my mouth biting instinctively my palm, perhaps like OLIER in his coffin. Curses, I understand the truth, HE IS GONE, but to him too in doing GOOD, like HIM of the flowery tomb. But how many times have they sacked the HOUSE, leaving only the embalmed corpses and numerous metal objects which they could not carry? What strange mystery conceals the new temple of SALOMON built by the children of Saint VINCENT? [my emphasis].

It seems that Boudet was not 'hiding artefacts under a house built in the middle of the village'. More likely that villagers were present when these artefacts were found and which became the subject of village gossip - and it referred to the local knowledge of archaeology attached to Maison Chalaleu. It makes one ask the question - as it seems impossible that Boudet just happened to find artefacts in the countryside - where was he taking artefacts from, to hide under a house associated with himself in the village? And how did he know about these artefacts?

The house associated with Boudet at Rennes-les-Bains was and is in fact CHALULEAU as we shall see below.

Archaeologist Urbain GIBERT reported in his "Notes Historiques sur les Bains de Montferransd devenues les Bains de Rennes, Actuellement Rennes-les-Bains  about a statue of Venus associated with Abbé Henri Boudet. The incident was said to have occurred in the maison Chalaleau at the beginning of the century. It was a beautiful statue but Boudet found it 'demonic". Gibert writes;

"Boudet, did not not want to preserve it - an archaeologist from Beziers took it. It was later sold in America'. [The information was collected by Mrs. Martin-Duclos, of Rennes-les- Bains)". Another witness, a M. Certain (of the Mémoires de la Société des Arts et des Sciences, Carcassonne, 3rd series, t.VII) also recorded the find. He reported that "...40 years ago, the cure of Rennes-les-Bains, M. Boudet, found in the excavations at (maison Chaluleau) a statue of Venus.

There is a problem. 

The arm holding an egg thought to be related to a statue found at Maison Chaluleau - was drawn and reproduced in the work of Dr Jean Gourdon, Stations thermales de l'Aude which was published in 1874. Boudet arrived at Rennes-les-Bains in 1872, aged 35. If it is the same statue - the original finding 'of the arm of this statue' of Venus presumably would have taken place between 1872 and 1874! 

Gibert however reports that a/the statue was found 'at the beginning of the century ....." [ie 1900's] then M.Certain records the find as one that took place '40 years ago' - making the discovery in the 1930's - however Boudet was long dead by then! 

Are we talking about the same statues, or a muddling of events of the finding of different statues, or even deliberate obfuscation? 

We have no description of the Boudet statue of Venus. Cathala's arm of the statue found in Chaluleau - to be precise in the exterior courtyard of the hotel associated with Boudet - has similar details and information regarding the finding of the Boudet statue in the same property. Is it the same statue or a different find of another statue, or even several statues found in a Temple complex, perhaps from underground? 

Other examples of Venus statues found in Roman temples in Southern France do show her holding an egg. 

Beaucean, after describing all this archaeology at Rennes-les-Bains, then observes that glottologists had arrived at the deplorable conclusion that the word “Reine” had been confused with the word “Rennes” and therefore a white bath of Rennes had in fact been confused with a White Queen of Rennes

This signals the use of the language of the birds and the beginning of a transposition. 

Nicolas Beaucéan just prior to this observations had written;

"The post cards which showed the bathing tub of Queen Blanche at Rennes-les-Bains were printed in their thousands. However, since the 39/40 war no more were published. The object itself has disappeared, but of the forty bathing tubs which are included in the furniture of the thermal station, no-one knows exactly which one received the precious body of the sovereign. Similar bathing tubs have been seen in all the thermal establishments. This one is in marble, squat, in no particular style - this allows it to be dated. A Celt could have sculpted it, but so could a manufacturer from the last century. This anonymity gives it a certain beauty and surrounds it with mystery ....."

He continues:

"... the grammarians proposed this deplorable conclusion, namely that "Reine" had been confused with "Rennes" and a white bathing tub [which the ancient curists had used - my addition] at Rennes with a bathing tub of la Reine Blanche (the White Queen), so the mystery turned to the thermal station's past. A work of 1886 proposed placing Rennes-les-Bains at the centre of a cromleck measuring 16 to 18 kilometres long. Here was situated one of the high spots of the Celtic civilisation.'

So now this archaeology and bath tub somehow relates to Henri Boudet and his imagined and non-existent Cromlech. 

Beaucean is using homophony to get his point across. 

He describes the frequent bath tubs the curists used at ancient Rennes and he mentions postcards which represented at least forty of these bathtubs at Rennes-les-Bains. The postcards, he notes, stopped being published in 1939-40. There is even a reference that the bath tub that held a white Queen [a statue or a real female body?] could just as well have held the body of an ancient Celtic princess as well as our more modern queen because it was so well preserved. 

The aural connection to be made via the words reine/Rennes and transposition seems to be the idea that a buried white bath-tub held a real historical white queens' body and a buried white queen which really was a buried statue at Rennes-les-Bains could have been associated with this bath-tub! 

But since when did the Maison Chalaleu have bath-tubs associated with it - surely this would be more associated with the spa areas of Rennes-les-Bains, of which there were several? 

Is the question, therefore, via the wordplay - whether the buried white Queen/statue is now a buried white bath tub at Rennes that perhaps held or still holds a body, whether real or a statue!

Beaucéan goes on to refer to the gossip concerning " ... the remains of a huge pagan temple 15 metres high which was situated to the south of the village behind the main square and the church, that is to say on the left bank of the Sals, beyond the cemetery. A head of Jupiter, a head of Mercury, an arm holding a cloth, a hand holding an egg seem to have escaped a terrible fire lit by Charles Martel when he tried to invade the Languedoc in 737. Was the statue of Isis originally in this temple? The discovery of a great charnel house under the main square seems to confirm it."

The artefacts referred to here are and were associated with a Roman Temple, burned by Charles Martel which looks to be the ancient Roman foundations associated with a Temple under the area of Maison Chaluleau.

As I noted above the very interesting fact is that it was during these Saracen invasions of the Languedoc where King Edues of Aquitaine is said to have removed the sacred body of Mary Magdalene for reburial elsewhere to protect her body from desecration. 

Everything seems to hint that the body of Mary Magdalene was associated with an old pagan Temple who ch used to be a Roman Temple and was perhaps re-used. When the area was invaded by the Saracens in the early 700's the body was removed for safekeeping. 

How would the holy body of Mary Magdalene end up - as Cherisey seems to imply - in the Roman Temple at old Rennes-les-Bains? 

Much earlier in historical time it was said that Charles, Prince of Salerno, the son of Charles of Anjou, Count of Provence, and therefore the nephew of Saint Louis in 1279 wished to investigate the evidence of the existence of the tomb of Mary Magdalene in Provence. Charles II had somehow acquired the certainty [?how] that Saint Maximin had buried the body of the Magdalene in the church of the small town which bears his name. Charles therefore went there with his entourage, in December 1279. He gives the order to make excavations, and they excavated the tombs, the walls and the floor of the church … They ended up reaching the crypt, walled and filled with soil. Finally, it was on December 9,  said a chronicler of the events, that Charles, '... stripped down to his chlamyde, and, armed with a hoe, dug the earth with such ardor that he was inundated with sweat, and that those who were there met a marble tomb work". 

They tried to open it; immediately they did so a wonderful odour escaped [echoes of the odour of perfume which the finder of the tomb of a female encounters in the poem Le Serpent Rouge].  

Charles thinks that the body in the tomb was indeed the treasure he was looking for. These facts constitute the “invention” of the relics. In the dust of the tomb the Prince found a piece of old cork containing a small parchment with a Latin inscription.

The year of the Nativity of the Lord 710, 6th day of December, at night and very secretly, under the reign of the very pious Eudes, king of the French, at the time of the ravages of the treacherous Saracen nation, this body of the very dear and venerable Saint Marie-Madeleine was, for fear of the treacherous nation, transferred from her alabaster tomb to this marble tomb, after having removed Sidoine’s body from it, because it was better hidden there ”.

In the middle of the relics was a wax-coated globe and inside this short inscription that was still hard to decipher:

“Hic requiescit corpus Mariae Magdalenae” - (Here lies the body of Mary-Magdalene).

This Eudes, died 735, was allegedly a son of BOGGIS Duke of Aquitaine & his wife Oda. 

The charter of Charles II "le Chauve" King of the West Franks dated 30th Jan 845 names "Eudonis Aquitanie ducis et fratris sui Imitarii et eorum genitori Boggiso duci" and specifies that the territory of Duke Eudes consisted of "pago Tolosano, Cadurcensi, Pictaviensis, Agennensis, Arelatensi, Sanctonensi et Petragoricensi'. The naming of one of his supposed grandsons - Loup - suggests that he may have been descended from an earlier Duke Lupus, assuming that the latter did exist as a historical person. The Continuator of Fredegar records that Eudes supported Ragamfred, the maior domus of Neustria in [715/17] against Charles "Martel", but fled when confronted by the forces of the latter. 

Eudes broke the resulting peace treaty in [725], but was again put to flight by Charles "Martel" according to the same source, which says that Eudes then "summoned to his assistance…the unbelieving Saracen people", although the chronology of these incidents appears compressed in this source. The death of Duke Eudes is recorded, without a specific date, by the Continuator of Fredegar, who also describes the ensuing occupation of Bordeaux and surrounding areas by Charles "Martel".

So, under the reign of King Odo/Eudes in 710 AD the body of Mary Magdalene was removed from somewhere during the Saracen invasions ?Rennes-les-Bains to Saint Maximin, for safekeeping? Later Charles of Anjou finds it after coming in to information about the said tomb's whereabouts.  

Beaucean says Was the statue of Isis originally in this temple? The discovery of a great charnel house under the main square seems to confirm it. 

There are several questions to ask here. We already know the statue of Isis was likened to the Statue of Venus, and that the Statue of Venus for Beaucean was found in the courtyard of Chalaleu. This statue seems to represent a very real but sacred other body. And Beaucean decided that the discovery of a charnel house under the main square at Rennes-les-Bains would confirm it! 

But why? Why does this confirm it and when was this great charnel house discovered? [A charnel house is a building or vault in which corpses or bones are piled up. It can be a place associated with violent death]. 

And it would seem Cherisey has been here because he describes his visit to it in the last chapter of CIRCUIT.

This old Roman Temple somehow housed a shrine - from the Latin scrinium which means a "case or chest for books or papers"; (Old French: escrin "box or case".  A shrin is also a sacred or holy space dedicated to a specific deity, ancestor, hero, martyr, saint, daemon, or similar figure of respect, wherein they are venerated or worshipped. Shrines often contain idols, relics, or other such objects associated with the figure being venerated. 

A shrine at which votive offerings are made is called an altar.

Above - the areas we are referring to in the text

The discovery of this charnel house is made 'under the town square' i.e under the Place Deux Rennes. And behind this main square and church - to the South - stood the huge pagan Temple from which the statue of alleged Isis/Venus came from. The geography referred to fits with Maison Chaluleau and the witnessing of this Maison's large block Roman foundations support this supposition that this house and its foundations are related to an underground Roman Temple. A Temple that used to conceal some kind of shrine.

There are two versions of the Beacean text

One is written by Anne-Léa Hisler and the other by Nicolas Beaucéan. 

It is interesting that Plantard's first wife may have written a version of this text, as she had certainly written about her husband Pierre Plantard before. [She may even be referred to in CIRCUIT via the Anne character, the novel by Cherisey]. 

It is the Anne-Léa Hisler text entitled 𝑇𝑟𝑒́𝑠𝑜𝑟 𝑎𝑢 𝑝𝑎𝑦𝑠 𝑑𝑒 𝑙𝑎 𝑅𝑒𝑖𝑛𝑒 𝑏𝑙𝑎𝑛𝑐ℎ𝑒 - 𝐻𝑖𝑠𝑡𝑜𝑖𝑟𝑒 𝑒𝑡 𝑙𝑒́𝑔𝑒𝑛𝑑𝑒 𝑑𝑒 𝑅𝑒𝑛𝑛𝑒𝑠-𝑙𝑒𝑠-𝐵𝑎𝑖𝑛𝑠 𝑒𝑡 𝑑𝑒 𝑅𝑒𝑛𝑛𝑒𝑠-𝑙𝑒-𝐶ℎ𝑎̂𝑡𝑒𝑎𝑢 (𝐴𝑢𝑑𝑒), where it is explicitly stated; 

"The thirst for mystery was about to be further disappointed when the REINE BLANCHE reappeared no longer in a bath, but under the earth of a hotel courtyard!"

The association is thus made between this white queen and a buried bath tub and a buried statue 'under the earth' of a hotel courtyard - and as we have seen the courtyard is that of Maison Chaluleau. 

Above - document in NATIONAL LIBRARY of France by Anne Le-Hisler about the 'country of the White Queen'.

Essentially the two texts tell the same story with some interesting variations. 

Beaucéan wrote: En rassemblant des foules de documents les historiens purent établir l'emplacement précis d'une statue de marbre blancmesurant plus de deux métres dehaut et représentant ISIS.

His reference for his statement was cited as Docteur J. GOURDON's - Stations Thermales de l'Aude - published in 1874 [& to which we have already mentioned] - you can see this detailed at the bottom of the page in this photograph below. 

Above - document in NATIONAL LIBRARY of France by ?Philippe de Chérisey about the 'country of the White Queen'.

Docteur J. GOURDON's - Stations Thermales de l'Aude 

In this book Gourdon wrote:

"... in several points of the village today, mainly in the part between Bain-Fort and the hamlet of Le Cercle it has been recognised, at various depths, a great quantity of remains of Roman buildings: constructions of buildings, fragments of mosaics, etc, which may have been part, either of private houses/villas or monuments of another order. The literal space occupied by these objects indicates an extended and fairly large city, in the Valley, spread out to the broader and more Southern area of the village. In this Valley, there was seen, in the middle of a cultivated field, the site of a square house, recognisable from the lines and 'crop marks' found in the vegetation where it was much less bushy than in the corresponding parts of older buildings. It is at this point especially there have been found in the ground raised by agricultural implements, a huge amount of debris of all kinds, most covered with a layer of ash and charred fragments, testifying to the destiny of this ancient city, which, at the time when the whole country was ravaged by barbarians, was destroyed by fire. From this its prosperity disappeared and so did its fame and its name'. 

Above - the general area Gourdon identifies as where the majority of the significant finds were made.

The 'barbarians' mentioned by Gourdon surely refer to the barbarian Arab invasion, under Al-Samh ibn Malik, who was the governor-general of al-Andalus at the time, and who swept up the Iberian peninsula by 719 and overran the area of Rennes. 

This is the historical event referred to when the Priory text mentions a pagan Temple [i.e pre-Christina] and that Charles Martel did not not burn it down which suggests it was still standing in the 8th century.

Gourdon continues: 

"... Among the items discovered in the above cited circumstances, are objects of architecture, sculpture, pottery and various interior utensils, etc.The objects of architecture seem to be the most significant - they were found on the site of a house that actually forms the last house of the village of Bains, to the South; they consist of several sizeable fragments of capitals, columns, etc., of remarkable work, in which it is easy to recognise the debris of a temple, dedicated either to Aesculapius or Hygeia. One of these fragments is the base of a column that can be currently seen at the fountain of the Cercle, where it has been used as a capital/cornice, the dimensions allow us to consider that it formed the base of a column of more than 10 meters in height. Other remains are as follows: A beautiful white marble cornice fragment, forming a plate with a thickness of 45 mm, bearing letters carved in hollow of a rare elegance and of more than 10 centimetres, an antefixe [?] in white terracotta, of an an elegant model, fragments of tiles which were used by the Romans to cover roofs. An ancient inscription that Catel said existed during his time, in the Church of the village, & had originally been part of the buildings in the same vicinity [ie on the site of a house that actually forms the last house of the village of Bains, to the South - my addition]; Here is the text as this author: POMPEIVS QVARTVS. P. A. M. SVO. This inscription no longer exists in the Church of Rennes. We are told that it has been removed and is today located in a church in Perpignan. Also amid the debris of sculptures, there is especially noted: A complete forearm with the hand holding an egg, white marble; total length 60 cm, which implies that the statue to which that arm belonged, was of a height of 2 m, 50 at least, when one considers the proportional size of the arm in relation to the temple which we discussed and in which this statue would have had its place, a hand holding a snake in a patera, white marble; length 31 cm, which therefore, belonged to a statue of a much larger dimension again, another hand holding a cloth, made of white marble from Italy, and 18 cm long". [my emphasis]

All these artefacts and pieces of statues and buildings and even the cippe dedicated to POMPEIVS QVARTVS were for Gourdon found in a Temple associated with the area of houses south of the village, in the vicinity of Maison Chalaleau [which is near the Church at Rennes-les-Bains]. The artefacts were therefore not 'scattered' but found in one particular area or actually just in this house. 

Boudet would appear to be protecting the artefacts instead, not gathering them from around the countryside! It is not difficult to see this must be the origin of the legendary underground Temple in Rennes-les-Bains and is probably the same Temple that Boudet refers to in his book La Vrai Langue Celtique. Boudet's book mapped a geological structure surrounding Rennes-les-Bains, his vast cromleck, with the inclusion of a secondary circle in it's centre. 

It would seem that this second circle structure sits not far from Maison Chalaleau and the area of this ancient  Temple. 

Archaeologically speaking a Cromlech usually surrounds a dolmen or ancient underground tomb. 

So one could argue that Boudet and his Cromlech surrounded the underground Temple at Rennes-les-Bains, which may have housed a tomb associated with the resurrection and to which the authors of the Beaucean text considered equivalent to the resting place of a female Goddess who was exhumed and then re- buried in a 'hotel courtyard'. 

Later it seems to form the basis for the descriptions of the tomb referred to in Le Serpent Rouge

In Le Serpent Rouge this tomb is described thus: 

From her that I wanted to free, rose towards me the emanations of perfume which permeate the sepulchre. Once some called her: ISIS, queen of the beneficent springs, COME TO ME ALL YOU WHO SUFFER AND WHO ARE OVERWHELMED AND I WILL COMFORT YOU, otherwise: MADELEINE, with the famous vase full of healing balm. The initiates know the true name: NOTRE DAME DES CROSS.

So the buried white Queen statue is now a mysterious female associated with various Goddess's which initiates [ie the Priory] know the real identity of - Notre Dame des Cross. 

This is an interesting term written in French and English - a Marian Cross is a term to describe a symbolic representation of the close connection of Mary, with the redemptive mission of Jesus. The letter "M" below the cross indicates Mary's presence at the foot of the cross. The papal coat of arms of John Paul II features a cross shifted away from its usual central position to make room for a letter "M" in the sinister base quarter (lower right as seen by the viewer), which supposedly represents the Virgin Mary’s presence at Jesus’ death on the cross. The combination of the letter M with a Latin cross is found as part of the 1830 design of the Miraculous Medal (also known as the Medal of Our Lady of Graces based on the Saint Catherine Labouré revelations). In that design the letter M is surmounted by a normal Latin cross standing on a bar interlaced with the letter M [see below]. 

John Paul later wrote: "As is well-known, in my episcopal arms, which are a symbolic illustration of the gospel text John 19:25-27." But which Mary? John 19: v25-27 records several Mary's. ("Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, 'Woman, behold, your son.' Then he said to the disciple, 'Behold, your mother.'")

However it is not the only tomb of a biblical character hinted at. 

The mention above by Gourdon of the POMPEIVS QVARTVS. P. A. M. SVO. stone is a case in point. He mentions comments by Catel [in his Memoires De L'Histoire Du Languedoc, 1633] referring to the stone's current location during the time of Catel, but Gourdon indicates that this stone had originally been part of the buildings in the vicinity of the temple he has identified with the last house in the village which we shall see below is in the area of Maison Chaluleau. This means - if correct - that some of the Temple contents associated with Chaluleau were well known and discovered before 1633. What was going on in Rennes-les-Bains in 1633? 

How could Gourdon associate the Pompeius stone of Catel in 1633 with Chaluleau - which was not built until the 1870's. It suggests that there was a lot more found in this area of Rennes going back centuries and it suggests there is much more to be found! If Chalaleu was built in the 1870's or thereabouts what was standing there 250 years prior? For example we know via Sacaze that the Pompeius stone had been taken from the ancient buildings that surrounded the source & brought to the Château de Vivier, around 1760. There must have been much more ancient building still seen at this time.

This Pompeius stone is famous, with a long history of legends attached to it at Rennes-les-Bains. 

For example in an original manuscript dating from 1709 found in the "Archives de la Société des Antiquaires de France",  written by an ancient priest of Rennes-les-Bains, Delmas, there is a report that a tomb exists, which Delmas thought was the grave of an extremely important figure from the Gallo-Roman period which might be found in the vicinity of Rennes-les-Bains. Delmas called it the "grave of the unknown great Roman" and speculated that this Roman was a personality close to the famous general Pompey. Delmas asserted that the Pompeius stone was the funerary stone originally located at the tomb. 

But Cherisey would seem to suggest that the Delmas tomb is in fact the tomb of Isis/Venus/the white buried statue/tomb of a female with a strange perfume circulating in the sepulchre - a grave according to Delmas which was of great and important figure from the Gallo-Roman period. 

As we have seen, all these different and complicated strands keep returning back to the same source as it were, and that is the foundations and area of the vicinity of Maison chalaleu. 

Later Louis Fédié, erudite scholar of the local Aude area observed that this Pompeius stone was originally attached to a wall in the vicinity of the "Source de la Reine". But for Gourdon it was associated with the Temple around Maison Chalaleau. 

It is conceivable that the Pompeius 'cippe' did originally mark an important burial, associated with a Temple, consistent with it's association by Gourdon with the last house in the village, Maison Chaluleau. The witnessed large block foundation under this house were, as we saw above, identified by archaeologists as the remains of a Roman Temple or palace. 

Our chronology may fail us here. How can this cippe, described by Gourdon as coming from the Maison Chalaleu [he wrote in 1874] be also familiar to Delmas, who wrote in 1709? And also Catel, who was aware of it in around 1633 when he published his great work on the Languedoc but must have known about it earlier. He died in 1626]. 

Abbé Delmas thought the inscription on the cippe was most likely a grave inscription. He rather bizarrely and out of the blue speculated that Pompey passed through the area on an expedition to Spain and one of his close friends or high ranking officers died there. For this friend Pompey built a mausoleum and a column above the grave. The plate with the inscription would originally have been attached to this column (or to its base). All this is very odd but not as odd as what Plantard decided to then write about this Pompeius stone of Rennes-les-Bains.

A letter from Plantard, sent to a researcher, reported; 

".....I have not undertaken any researches in the Caves de la Reine (in the Rennes district), nor in the Souterrains du Roi ("underground chambers of the King"), so there have not been any researches or investigations on my own property... This property ...has the following boundaries: to the South – chemin de Farres; to the North – Roc Pointu; to the East – the main road to Rennes-les-Bains; to the West – the mountain top. On my property are two mines: a copper mine and a gold mine... , the gold mine dates from the Roman era, from about 70BC. This piece of land is called Roc Nègre. You refer to the tombstone of Coumesourde. I'm sorry to have to disappoint you, but it simply never existed. On the other hand there IS a text dated 1880 or 1890 written by the engineer Ernest Cros based on the Zero Meridian of Paris and the English equivalent in Greenwich (the latter being situated at 9 metres 20.9 seconds west of the Paris Meridian). The triangulation for this study was based at Pontils, between Peyrolles/Serres, at the location of a tomb. The "secret location" to which you refer is the Roman tomb (50-48 BC) called the Tomb of Gnaius Pompey, which is located in Fangalots at a distance of 1 kilometre 500 metres from my property. It is located between two belfries – those of Rennes-les-Bains and Rennes-le-Château, at 500 metres’ distance from the belfry of Rennes-les-Bains. With all good wishes, and please do keep me informed of your researches." [my emphasis]

An interesting aside is that the area of Pontils mentioned by Plantard once belonged to the ancient noble family of the Aniorts. Abbé Mazières, historian of the Aude, confirmed that the archives of this House of Aniort contained a family document dating from the tenth century which said that "la pierre levee Pontils regarde des attics et aux caves du roi" [the raised stone of Pontils looks to the cellars and attics of the king]. The 'et in arcadia..' tombstone of the Rennes affair was dissected by Corbu - after information from Cros - as meaning; 'At Rennes, (a depot) of the King, in the caves (where is hidden) the citadelle of the Templars' which seems to have some bearing on the Aniort document suggesting a link! 

So for Plantard this Roman Tomb called the Tomb of Grand Roman was on his property and he thought, like Delmas, that it was the tomb of Pompey. To my astonishment though, while perusing the Secret Dossiers, i came across a statement in the text as follows;

"The decoration (to) the setting to the tomb referred to [i.e. the 14th station of the Cross at Rennes-le-Chateau] is ...of the necropolis of Fangalots at Rennes-les-Bains

This strange Secret Dossiers quote was placed next to a picture of Sauniere's 14th station of the Cross to remove all doubt [this 14th station represents the taking of the body of the historical Jesus, founder of Christianity - to his tomb.] Plantard seemed to intimate that the tomb of Jesus as depicted in Saunieres's 14th Station of the Cross represents a necropolis at Fangalots! 

In his book, when Boudet mentions Fangalots, after discussing human sacrifices carried out by Druids (which, Boudet wrote, Ceasar had referred to in his 'Gallic Wars'), he wrote; "the punishment [murder/sacrifice] was usually reserved for criminals, and is written on the Celtic ground - we find the term Fangalots, which is designating land in Rennes-les-Bains, in the steep slope down towards where the spa is built - that of Bain- Doux. Fangalots means "disappear from the gallows", to faint (Fent) disappear, gallows (galleuce), gallows, gibbet. The descendants of the Tectosages, keeping the Gallic customs, have always used the gallows against criminals, and even today, hanging is the Anglo-Saxons only method practiced for the punishment of criminals sentenced by the courts to the death penalty".

Delmas' tomb of the Grand Roman then, has via Plantard, morphed into a tomb at Fangalots of Jesus Christ! Fangalots itself is just above the house of Chalaleau - in the landscape - a large forest and canopy overhanging Rennes-les-Bains. It affords panoramic views of the village from its elevated plateau. 

Couple this with Boudet's mysterious burial at the heart of his imaginary Cromleck which he associates with a resurrection, with a small 'r', we have some very strange assertions being made for this village! One can wonder if the central tomb of importance for Boudet, if it is not the Resurrection with a capital 'R' , is the resurrection with a little 'r' signifying perhaps that of Lazarus? This biblical character has legends of being buried in the locality. 

One further observation to be made is what the Pompeius stone of Delmas looked like. As far as i am aware Catel [who first mentioned the stone in 1633] does not provide an illustration of the stone. Neither does Delmas. However the first drawing of it that i have come across is in a manuscript by M. le Sage from the 22nd Septembre 1746 .. le Sage wrote about the extraordinary finds found at Rennes-les-Bains, suggesting the fame of Rennes was well known. He presents a drawing of the Pompeius stone, presumably because he had seen it. Le Sage's drawing is not at all like the stone found at Rennes-les-Bains, or indeed that drawn by Plantard in the Priory documentation. 

 Above - manuscript by M. le Sage from the 22nd Septembre 1746 .. le Sage wrote about the finds found at Rennes-les-Bains

Above - Fangalots in relation to the finds to the south of the village

I have above drawn attention to the text regarding Gourdon's assertion that 'architecture [&] sculpture' had been found at the site of a house that forms the last house of the village of Bains, to the South; this is almost word for word those used by Boudet when describing archaeology he had found to his visitor, Henri Rouzaud. 

Dr. GOURDON gives a drawing of a sculptured ‘head’ representing a female as a piece of architecture also found at Rennes. The sketch is reproduced by Courrent unfortunately not to scale, but the author says;

"It is a carved stone ornament of light colour and of an elegant design”. 

Gourdon calls it an 'antefix' and was found, once again, in one of the houses to the south of the village. The date of finding was probably around the building of the original house in the village [1860's?] - long after the time of Delmas, but definitely during the time of Gourdon, which is why Gourdon refers to it but Delmas [1709] does not! 

Again this caught the attention of Doctor Courrent, who wrote in his monograph about Rennes-les Bains;

"One can see, set into the wall of the presbytery, at the side of the garden, an elegant ornament represented by figure - 1 sheet 1 of our monograph - an image borrowed from the works of Doctor Gourdon'. 

Above - the sketched head referred to by Gordon, and inset the head in the presbytery wall of the church at Rennes-les-Bains

Local archaeologists in 1969 discussed this 'head' of Gourdon and felt it was NOT the same head found in the presbytery wall to which Courrent attested. They speculated that the ‘head’ from the Temple represented a Goddess icon - suggesting that the village of Rennes possessed its own goddess. They wrote:

"If she seems frustrated at first because of wear, it can be seen in the comprehensive review that the artist was clearly influenced by Roman provincial sculpture. The hair, split into two bands, but without a marked central line, is frequently encountered in our region from the early Roman Empire and the first century. Only the front part is shown and it is difficult to predict the presence or absence of the face, albeit in somewhat heavy character that is often found in indigenous works, seems treated conventionally .... What date could be assigned to this work? Do not forget that we have here a work that is indigenous and therefore does not interpret the cumbersome forms as a late sign, need only compare with certain Sculptures in the Museum of Narbonne, same style, carved in similar sandstone, and of the same epoch. If one refers to the test, that of the hair, we are led to consider it quite old: the statue of the captive trophy of St Bertrand de Comminges, as given before the start of our era is similarly capped. Geographically close, the statue of the deceased heroine Bourièges has a similar provision of the severed head of hair. It seems that we can locate it near the beginning of our era.... This coincides with the most flourishing period of the spa, which had great importance in the first century before our era. This prosperity, to its maximum, in the Augustan period, must extend to the early first century, if we believe the monetary findings. It seems that the Romanisation of a much older water cult should be considered the most likely".

Gourdon did not link his head to the presbytery but with the site of a house that again formed the last house of the village of Bains, to the South! 

We are surely building an image here of a large Roman Temple complex, buried now, probably after a fire, but to which the foundations have been seen, covering an expanse of space encompassing the south of the village, that is Maison Chaluleau and probably the modern town square [under which is some sort of burial crypt/vault is to be found] and to the church [hinted at by Cherisey in Circuit]. All the artefacts and finds associated with the Fleury's and their cabinets of 'curiosity' are the artefacts all found from this Temple complex associated with this area. An important part of the architecture involves a female head - probably of a local Goddess or Romanised Goddess, from the early Roman Empire and the first century

Perhaps Gourdon was right, the famous head of Rennes was originally found in the vicinity of the valley of Le Cercle, or the last house of Bains and represented a local Goddess and divinity of the spa town, or water cult, Romanised when the Romans took over the site and that it was indeed an antefix found on a public Temple building in the area. We already have eyewitness accounts to Temple remains in the foundations of Maison CHALULEAÛ. But ultimately, even if there is a Roman Temple beneath this house, it is simply just Roman archaeology, interesting though it is, why all the mystification?

The date of finding of these artefacts originally, including Boudet's Venus statue appears to have been before 1874 and Gourdon was aware of them. As we saw above the significant point Gourdon makes is that the objects of architecture - found on the site of this house that forms the last house of the village of Bains, to the South. This correlates with information given by Boudet to Henri Rouzaud. During the year Rouzaud visited [1910], he had been invited by Armand Bories, [former notary of Narbonne and member of the same Archaeological Commission of Narbonne since July 1885], to go to Rennes-les-Bains and meet Henri Boudet. Armand Bories is not completely unknown to us - he bought, along with MM. Coll and Satgé, during an auction in June 1889 the thermal baths and certain lands which at that time belonged to the Fleury family. It was this Fleury family who had all these archaeological remains originally.

Rouzaud wrote in his notebook about his visit the following: 

"September 2, arrive in Rennes at 7 am, visit in the morning to the Bain Fort where Mr. Bories showed me the arms of 2 large marble statues found in the past where it is believed that there was a temple from Roman times (blacksmith's house) at the end of the crossing which leads to Rennes-le-Château and almost on the current road, which goes from the Bains to Sougraigne. The parish priest of Rennes, who has been there for many years, and called Mr. ?B?o?u?s?q?u?e?t? Boudet, told us that he saw almost all the houses built which go from that of the blacksmith upstream, along the road and he said he saw the foundations and the large base stones of this Temple. Although in itself, one of the hands of this statue holds a very regularly coiled snake flat: the head of the snake, which alone was broken and is missing. This arm must have belonged to some statue of Aesculapius or Hygieia. The other arm under the hand is broken but has fingers and pieces of fingers, seems larger and must have belonged to a different statue. She held between the first 3 fingers a marble hen's egg, of natural size which has been preserved and which bears the circumference of the contact of each of the fingers. Of what deity was this egg the attribute? [September 2, 1910: visit of Henri Rouzaud to Rennes-les-Bains].

Above - a page from the diaries of Rouzaud - who wrote about his visits to the Two Rennes.

Rouzaud seems to adhere to Boudet's interpretations and Gourdons' too. Boudet does not hesitate to reveal to the former deputy that he saw the foundations and the base stones of an ancient Roman temple and even indicates its location; "at the house of the blacksmith at the exit of the crossing which leads to Rennes-le-Chateau on the current road, which goes from Bains to Sougraigne”. i.e Boudet is indicating the ancient carrefour of the village of Les Bains [see below - a rare word for crossroads or a public square, especially one at the intersection of several roads. The word origin is from Old French quarrefour, ultimately from Latin quadrifurcus - having four forks] - the actual cross-road of the Cardo Maximus and the Decumanus Maximus right by Maison Chaluleau! 

A French researcher followed this up and wrote on a French forum; 

'In order to locate the House of the blacksmith, I looked with precision at the census, the house of Cros is located at the 63rd place/family on 67 to Rennes-les-Bains, which lay at the end of the village at the time. By paying attention to the close vicinity of the Cros family, we can note the presence of the boarding school for girls run by nuns, who are at the 61st place, two houses before that of the blacksmith. The location of the boarding school is identifiable by its religious niche on the façade'. 

The researcher went on to say that the blacksmith's house is easy to establish: 

"The great Arch of the opening matches the type of activity of a farrier. It should be noted this building leads on the way to Fangalots leading to RlC, which fits the description of Rouzaud. This being established, [we] may therefore consider that from the Rouzaud notes: "Boudet said we have seen almost all the houses upstream that range from this blacksmith house, along the built road and he said he saw the foundations and the large base stones of this Temple & that the temple is located in this area".

So it seems this area of the Maison Chaluleau and its environs [i.e. the houses next to it] are vitally important. And it seems that the whole Priory literature is to do with this site. 

But again, why all the mystification?

This same type of mystification also seems to me to be at the root of the Roman Temple that Boudet describes and refers to in his book, La Vrai Langue Celtique. Boudet describes two cromlecks in his book, a smaller one within a larger one. Boudet's map illustrating the Cromlecks conceal surprises ... the larger cromleck begins with the confluence of the Rialsesse with the Sals, and then goes on to the castle of Blanchefort, the Cugulhou du couchant, the Roeselare, theTrinque Bouteille stream, the Dead Man, the Pic de la Roque, Goundhill, the Garosse, Ferrière, Cugulhou du Levant, le Fagole, the crosses of Montferrand, Bazel and Cardou. The smaller cromlech, more limited and included in the larger one, begins at the hamlet of Le Cercle. It continues with Trinque Bouteille, Serbaïrou and Roukats. But Boudet's perfect circles which are supposed to define cromlechs are not circles. Worse, the centres of the two cromlechs that he considers fundamental are not geometric centres. 

The environs of Chaluleau can be said to be in the vicinity of the smaller cromleck. Chalaleau itself includes parts of two possible other houses and several buildings in close proximity to each other which could have been over-lapping in earlier years. 

Cue an interesting comment by a researcher using the non de plume Michel Montbard. 

He wrote on the old Arcadia forum the following:

"...a few years back, there was a very interesting debate on a french forum. Someone had some bold theories, claiming information from a local villager. According to local legend there is a house in Rennes-les-Bains which for several generations belonged to a family with links to Abbe Boudet; the Cathary Family. … in this house there is a well called Puit du Cercle - it can be filled with water and emptied when needed. The Well gives access to a circular underground structure. This ancient structure only has half of it remaining, because the other half has collapsed as a result of flooding or landslides".

If this local legend is true then the Chaluleau house we seek is the Maison Chaluleau - Cathary [from 1900], prior to that known as or perhaps connected to the Maison Aveilla Etienne. We know that the original house was built in around 1860 so maybe some of these archaeological discoveries were made in relation to these building works? Gourdon published his book about these finds in 1874 - just 14 years after the house was built but again rebuilding occurred at the time of Boudet and perhaps even later. If the legend cited above is based on fact & the Puit du Cercle does give access to an underground structure, it most certainly will be the remains of the Roman Temple identified by witnesses and where most of the archaeological finds we have been discussing have been made.

Maison Chaluleau was for sale many years ago and while visiting with friend Rene Barnett - I was invited by some locals to look around the house. We visited all the floors, even looking out of windows of the house on to the main Square of Rennes. We went out to the back and down some stairs and we took pictures and saw the structure [with a lid] that was identified as the Well. Rene was even given some plans to the house. 

Two Rennes researchers have published a book identifying this well. The diagram below is one of it's illustrations of how the village may have looked in Roman times and the well is signified by the small black circle dot. 

The ancient well sits in the grounds of Chaluleau, towards the back not far from its presumed by its 'courtyard'. 

So the Priory have signified the existence of an underground Temple via transpostion. In historical literature this Temple may be the one associated mostly under the houses and their foundations at the old southern end of the village [before the building of modern structures], which includes under the main square of Rennes-les-Bains and probably towards the church and its cemetery. 

But why do the Priory want to signify this area in this way? 

Further they have transposed ideas of a Queen [Reine] and a fragrant tomb. This Queen is associated with a mysterious perfume, where the emanations and scent of the perfume permeate a sepulchre! The Queen of a lost realm associated with Isis or Venus?

Kings, queens, tombs, perfume? A fragrant and perfumed tomb? 

So to whose tomb then, does this belong?

There is a fragrant tomb associated with a 'special' female and this will be the subject of the next article in this series. And perhaps using transposition and other literary tricks already identified above we can have a guess at this important character? However is she the body buried in the tomb, or is the important burial the person she carried fragrant spices to anoint? How is it related to a crypt to be found under the Place des Deux Rennes [where i have sat many times and had lunch!] and how does it fit in with the rest of Priory mythology? 

Below: the ancient village of Rennes superimposed on to the modern village.

Below: more concrete visualisations of some suggestions in this article:

Above - a photo of the famous well referred to by Michel MONTBARD