Friday, February 09, 2007
CATHARISM IN THE CAVES
The Antonin Gadal website gives a lengthy description of Catharism as it was conducted in the Ariege Valley in France--conducted mostly in caves, claimed by Gadal to have been the home of Druidic practice in the past.
Exploration in the caves brought forth various paintings representative of religions that had been conducted there:
The Solar myth, the myth of the great Mother Goddess, the myth of Ram and the Aum, original Christianity, Gnosticism, Pyrenean Catharism, the Empire of Love and the Knights of the Grail have left more or fewer signs of their passage through the centuries:
red circled sun, lunar crescent, white snakes, red or carved animals, magical inscriptions, carved goddesses, sacred objects of the Egyptian Mysteries, Aegeans’ siren-tortoise, theology of the Pure Ones engraved in the stone.
Gadal saw in the caves a "Bible for mankind."
Three large caves became three Cathar churches: "they are called the ‘three churches’ of Ussat, of Ornolac-Bethlehem and of Bouan."
Initiation took place in the caves:
After a year probation on the Sacred Mountain, the young Cathar neophyte celebrated his initiation in the cave of Bethlehem, in Ornolac, and thus could access the state of living Soul, the state of ‘Pure One’ or ‘Perfect One’.
Then going through the ‘Mystical door’, he would come back to the world to devote himself to suffering mankind, in service to Christ.
The Cathar cathedral was the cave of Lombrives:
In 1244, after Monségur’s fall, the cavern of Lombrives became the dwelling of a Cathar bishop, Amiel Aicard. This Perfect One had indeed received the order of leaving the besieged fortress during the night of its surrender in 1244 and bringing to Lombrives the ‘sacred treasure of the Cathars’.
The final confrontation between the Catholic crusaders and the Cathar adherents in the caves is described here. Naturally the Catholics come off badly. Ultimately the Cathars died after the Catholics walled up the entrance. The cave that became a grave is described here.
Two and a half centuries later the cave was opened by a descendent of the Cathars who would later become Henry IV, King of France.