In a Prieuré de Sion document called THE LAND OF THE WHITE QUEEN the author makes a curious connection between a Reine Blanche of Rennes-les-Bains and another Medieval white Queen, Blanche d'Evraux. Using a play on the sounds and spelling of French and English word's such as Blanche, white, bath, queen, Reine & Rennes the author was able to draw a connection to a tale of an underground Temple at Gisors with one at Rennes-les-Bains.
To truly understand this concept one has to look at how the language is used and why. Once this has been grasped it becomes easy to see what the author of 'The Land of the White Queen' had in mind and therefore how to 'read' and hear the text.
The whole text itself is cloaked in an aura of mystery with hints about a sacred tomb. But who's tomb? And how is it related to a or the White Queen?
In this article we will look at the language, its tricks and hints to determine what is being suggested.
The Prieuré de Sion document by Nicolas BEAUCEAN entitled 'Au Pays de la Reine Blanche', refers to Queen BLANCHE D'EVREUX, known in real history as a White Queen. Beaucean proposed that this White Queen was associated with a mysterious perfume - language uncannily similar to descriptions of the perfumed tomb described in the poem Le Serpent Rouge. This White Queen, according to Beaucean, practised alchemy in the NEAUPHLES tower, near the Normandy town of GISORS in the company of Nicolas Flamel. 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].
Beaucean is the probable nom-de-plume of either Pierre Plantard or Philippe de Chérisey, the two main steering characters behind the notorious Prieuré de Sion. Between them they used literary tricks and sleights of hand in their writings to describe the 'mystery' at Rennes-le-Château. For their colleague Gerard de Sède this policy of literary trickery was used 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 Sede wrote in 'The Accursed Treasure of Rennes-le-Château' … his informants speak to him of a secret of great import that cannot be directly referred to …. and so literary tricks were adopted not purely for effect or deliberate obfuscation but was a deliberate way to disseminate the extraordinary information they were in possession of.
LITERARY TRICKS AND SLEIGHTS OF HAND USED AND WHY
Plantard & Chérisey firstly use ambiguous language to promote and shield their knowledge. They certainly used circumlocution - which means literally to talk around a subject, using words or expressions that are difficult for others to understand.
This is like using a special form of jargon, a word itself that harks back to the Anglo-French by way of Middle English and means the "twittering of birds". It is derived from the Latin word gaggire, meaning "to chatter", which again describes speech that a listener cannot understand. Chaucer, the great English poet and “first finder of ... language” even referred to jargon as the utterance of birds or sounds resembling birds.
This of course is the 'Language of the birds' - a mythical & magical language used by birds to communicate with the initiated. It is an esoteric language & is intended to be understood by a small number of people with specialised knowledge. It has been used for specialised (and often obscure) vocabulary since the 1600s.
Chérisey and others in the Rennes Affair utilise this code to great effect. This is because the "language of the birds" consists in hearing a sound rather than reading it. It is therefore a question of no longer trusting "the written word", but of hearing "the cries" of the words. In this language the "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 thus 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 [ie letters].
This kind of language and the reception of it harkens back to such times as when the Romanesque-Byzantine abbey at Souillac was built. A capital of its great ambulatory in this abbey depicts doves putting their beaks in to an owl's ear. This is Athena's owl of course, and represents access to knowledge. The birds are depicted unblocking the owl's ears and offers the hearer access to what the ancients called the "third ear" [a popular term for the use of intuition, sensitivity, and awareness].
Hearing' and 'seeing' words rather than 'reading' language is as old as the Egyptian hieroglyphics - the Egyptians called their heiroglyphs “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 meaning and depictions of actual objects which are the spoken word of the thing they represent.
In any case with Athena's Owl 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.
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.
The language of the birds thus invite us to find the deep, hidden meaning of a sentence!
It is the perfect vehicle for those with secrets to reveal or for knowledge to be encoded for only the few.
The expression 'language of the birds' may even be an historical phonetic distortion of the name of a secret and old brotherhood called: "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 language can even be dated much earlier as it seems to have some relationship with Provençal poetry, from a time when 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 a poem, 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 of which Chérisey was a member - the French ’pataphysicians'.
The Tarot Tradition
French tarologists have always found references to the language of the birds in the Tarot de Marseille. The proper name for the word CARD of the Tarot cards in French is not "carte" (although this is used in more informal situations and is most common) but "lame". A "lame" is the woodblock on which the original cards were engraved before being reproduced. Only the Tarot of Marseilles has retained the terminology. Now Lame is, in the language of the birds, "L'ÂME" which means "THE SOUL”. 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 - L'ÂME ET SON DIEU sound alike but L'ÂME ET SON DIEU which means "The Soul and its God” and could also mean "L'AME EST SON DIEU" which would mean "The Soul IS its God." The two are pronounced the same. Both are therefore right because both sing as the birds do.
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. The Fool symbol was a literary device he used to describe that journey and give it a form or route to take.
Historically though this Fool character, also called a jester, was a comic character whose job it was to make the royal court laugh, and to advise the king. The king had his appointed fool, who alone had the right to mock him, using satire and pranks. One of the most famous of them was called Triboulet (real name Nicolas Feurial) and he was the jester of King Louis XII.
In terms of the card game The Fool does not have a number only a name. In later traditional card games the Fool becomes the Joker.
For Chérisey and his bird speak this was the his perfect vehicle.
The earliest Fool card is from the Visconti-Sforza deck commissioned by the Duke of Milan in the 1450s. This Fool 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, a raving madman who needed to be confined for everyone’s safety; or the “Innocent”, child-like simpleton. [Chérisey often advocated that researchers into the Rennes Affair should adopt this attitude of childlike innocence when looking in to the mystery]. These Fools so afflicted had no legal rights and no obligations to family or society. They were the ultimate outsider with no place in the social hierarchy. This 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.
But, in The Fior di Virtu, a text written in the early fourteenth century there are descriptions of pairs of virtues and vices - and there is a section on Folly which quotes Aristotle, who makes a distinction between those dangerously insane, melancholics who have lost their minds and those simply with low intelligence. The earliest Tarot Fool is therefore a simpleton, portrayed with any of these attributes: feathers on his head or a fool’s cap with ass’s ears; a long club or stick; a dog nearby; laughing inappropriately; dressed in rags; genitals exposed; holding a pinwheel, balloon or wind instrument; and bells on his cap or clothing.
This French Fool slowly evolved into a wandering entertainer.
The Tarot de Marseille conflates these two types of Fool. They encompasses the foreigner, the emigrant, the nomad, the traveler, the wanderer, the homeless, the pilgrim, the marginal, the eccentric, the artist, the genius. For those who follow the Rennes mystery they will see why Plantard & Chérisey depicted themselves as Le Mat/the Fool for they self-refer some of these labels to themselves throughout their works!
The Fool, as we have seen, is an unnumbered card, viewed as separate and additional to the other twenty-one numbered cards because it usually cannot win a trick. In many esoteric systems of the Marseille card interpretation, the Fool is the protagonist of a/the 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 fools 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 referred to astrology, alchemy, and natural magic. The concept of the "esoteric" originated in the 2nd century with the coining of the Ancient Greek adjective esôterikós ("belonging to an inner circle").
Plantard is known to have 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. Plantard has used the OSWALD WIRTH TAROT deck of 1889. This was the deck where French occultists associated the Tarot 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 - the Fool Card designed by Pierre Plantard [here you can see in the background the church at Rennes-les-Bains, the Fool is descending some steps which hint of something below ground, pr perhaps below the church [perhaps in the cemetery as the orientation of the Church suggests the Fool is in the cemetery at the side of the church, perhaps by the Fleury tomb?] The card also has other designs eg 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?
Five other composition's of these paintings of the Tarot cards by Plantard were published in “Le Cercle” and deposited by his son Thomas at the BNF in 1992. They carry details which relate to Rennes-les-Bains and Rennes-le-Chateau.
Below are some of the illustrations 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;
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 people [i.e 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.
Fugairon showed a marked interest in the hidden life of Jesus. He also converts Déodat Roche who was the Cathar expert in the Aude. But, above all, Fugairon wondered about the whereabouts of 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 Christ - and that it is therefore in the South of France that the body still rests, even at the time when he writes.
The members of the Gnostic Church try to find this tomb. In the letters of Fugairon specifically, there are several correspondences and cross-checks that attest to some of them (Déodat Roché, Jules Doinel and Doctor Fugairon ...) carrying out real research in the Rennes region. For example in a letter to Dr. Fugairon of 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 met Prosper Estieu, poet and teacher in Rennes-le-Château, ardent defender of the Cathars. There was a known conflict between Estieu and Saunière at Rennes. 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 a 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. 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, author of an incredible imitation - that of his conversion to Catholicism - allowing 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."
I believe we need to understand all of these concepts and strands of history as well as the esoteric history and language of the Birds described above before one can fully hope to understand Chérisey [and Plantard] and their coded information about the Two Rennes!
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. They used all of these various devices to convey deeper meanings and to highlight important themes in a piece of text. Not only circumlocution but also transposition - changing the relative place or normal order of some thing, or altering a known sequence of events. A bit like juxtaposition - they put two things [facts or ideas] together with contrasting effect.
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.
IN THE COUNTRY OF THE WHITE QUEEN
Plantard and Chérisey transposed the local legend of an underground passage in the GISORS area to one at Rennes-les-Bains. In Gisors it involved the tower of the Reine Blanche de Neaufles with its underground passage leading from it & linked in some way with the town of Gisors. The legend is then transplanted to an 'underground' place in Rennes-les-Bains.
The underground passage of Neaufles 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 connected 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 and she was in mourning 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 when he died: 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 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;
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 was said by one Monsieur G [who i suspect is Plantard] in conversations with Camille Bartoli [about the identity of the Man in the Iron Mask] to be the reason the Knights Templars existed. He said that;
the first part 'secret' Templars involved the reinstatement of the French monarchy - those Frankish kings called the Merovingian's – who Monsieur G added ‘were kings by right of birth’. All dynasties which followed – the Capetian's, the Valois and the Bourbon he said 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, dresses 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 with compassion, cultured and a fine politician, Blanche received the nickname Belle Sagesse.
A century before Blanche de Navarre lived in Neaufles, her 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.
This Blanche 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 the passage above ground.
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 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.
Workers who had received the order to clear the passages, tried to penetrate under the dark vaults, but were forced to interrupt their work: flaming chasms opened under their feet; the air around them was impregnated with fetid vapours; hideous apparitions fascinated 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 daring 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 with one at Rennes-les-Bains - also directly associated with a different White Queen - a white queen who was in fact a statue!
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 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."
A WHITE MARBLE STATUE AT RENNES-LES-BAINS
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 of 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 also 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 depicted by a local historian 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 frustration - and this is even in the knowledge that the Fleury's themselves were already collecting artefacts and displaying them. These displays actually came from this same hotel/maison. We do wonder why the owners would obstruct the archaeologists when finds were already being made and displayed in the Fluery cabinets!
Above - an old photograph of Marius CATHALA
Courrent, in his piece, seems not to be aware of the rumours of the finding of another statue, that of the goddess Venus, found in the same place and later sold off to an American.
This statue of Venus has direct links to Henri Boudet.
"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 Chaluleau begins to be seen as the place where an underground Temple I suspected to be and 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 the same underground temple.
Another 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]. It was 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 in around 1911 - and these people were the very 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 the pilgrimage of the traveler and poet would superficially appear to be to this underground Temple?
How is it that Courrent missed writing about the statue found by the priest of the village of Rennes-les-Bains? Especially when he was a good friend of said priest as well as his personal doctor?
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' ]. It also has correlates with 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 also makes one ask the question - as it seems impossible that Boudet just happened to find artefacts, where was he taking artefacts from, to hide under a house associated with him in the village? Presumably it would be the church he was priest of?
The house associated with Boudet was 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" (in the Bulletin de la Société d’Ètudes Scientifiques de l’Aude, 1973] that there was a discovery of a statue of Venus by Abbé Henri Boudet. It 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 further 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' would have surely taken place between 1872 and 1874!
Gibert however reports 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 - but 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 statue of Venus but as we saw above it is Cathala who felt the arm of the statue found in Chaluleau - 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.
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 ....."
"... 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 the Queen 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!
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 very interesting fact is that it was during these Saracen invasions of the Aude where it is said that King Edues of Aquitaine removed the sacred body of Mary Magdalene for reburial elsewhere to protect her body from desecration. Charles, Prince of Salerno, the son of Charles of Anjou, Count of Provence, and therefore the nephew of King Saint Louis in 1279 wishes to update the evidence of the existence of the tomb of Mary Magdalene in Provence. Charles II thus acquired the certainty that Saint Maximin had buried the body of Magdalene in the church of the small town which bears his name. He therefore went there with his suite, in December 1279. He gives order to make excavations, they visited the tombs, the walls and the floor of the church … They ended up reaching the crypt, walled and filled with soil. Finally, on December 9, said the chronicler, Charles had stripped his chlamyde, and, armed with a hoe, dug the earth with such ardor that he was inundated with sweat, those who were there met a marble tomb work". They tried to open it; immediately a wonderful odor escaped [this has echoes of the odour of perfume which the finder of the tomb of a female enters in to in the poem Le Serpent Rouge].
And so, Charles thinks that the body they saw was the treasure they were looking for. These are the facts which 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 30 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'. His existence, but not his parentage, is corroborated by the other sources. The naming of one of his supposed grandsons Loup suggests that he may have been descended from the earlier Duke Lupus, assuming that the latter did exist as a historical person. The Continuator of Fredegar records that Eudes supported Ragamfred 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 , 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".
Beaucean has therefore equated this white statue with the huge pagan Temple that Charles Martel did not burn down with some 'great charnel house' that had been discovered at Rennes-les-Bains. [A charnel house is a building or vault in which corpses or bones are piled up. Or it is 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].
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.
Above - the areas we are referring to in the text
There are two versions of the Beacean text, one 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 via the Anne character in CIRCUIT, 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 by Gourdon he 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 refer to the Arab invasion, under Al-Samh ibn Malik, who was the governor-general of al-Andalus at the time, 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 and Charles Martel not burning it down which suggests it was still standing in the 8th century.
"... 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".
All these artefacts and pieces of statue 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 in this house.
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 Temple.
A Cromlech usually surrounds a dolmen or ancient underground tomb. So this tomb must, for Boudet, be in the underground Temple at Rennes-les-Bains, which the authors of the Beaucean text considered equivalent tomb of a Goddess who was exhumed and then re- buried and also 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 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 at the last house in the village which we shall see below is in the area of Maison Chaluleau.
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 a 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.
Later Louis Fédié observed that the stone was originally attached to a wall in the vicinity of the "Source de la Reine". But for Gourdon it is 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 Temple or palace.
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."
[An interesting piece of information 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 Pontils 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 stations represents the taking of the body of the historical Jesus, founder of Christianity - to his tomb.] Plantard seemed to intimate that the art work around the tomb on this 14th Station of the Cross - replicates or represents a necropolis at Fangalots!
Is this another transposition trick? Is the figurative tomb of Christ to be found at Fangalots? Are we supposed to understand that a necropolis holds the body of the historical Jesus, a Great Roman? Or is it only relevant in as much as the term Fangalots, as alluded to by Boudet, means human sacrifice as a punishment usually reserved for criminals? Some historians interpret the Crucifixion - in strict historical terms as the death penalty for a Jewish rebel who incited violence and the overthrow of the Roman authorities. He was killed by the Romans as a Jewish criminal.
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 the 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  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 forms 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 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 - were found on the site of a house that actually 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 , 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 deplume 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 of importance. 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 by its supposed '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: