A Guide to Mystical France: Secrets, Mysteries, Sacred Sites

A Guide to Mystical France: Secrets, Mysteries, Sacred Sites

by Nick Inman


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France is one of the most visited countries in the world—and one of the least known. This book takes you beyond the superficial coverage of conventional guidebooks—history, architecture, etc.—in search of the deeper truths.

A Guide to Mystical France takes you deep under the psychic skin of France into the invisible dimensions that our materialistic world does its best to ignore. Science stops at the most interesting questions. To describe, say a painted prehistoric cave as a sacred space used for ritual is to beg more questions than it answers. It is impossible to fully appreciate the cathedral of Notre-Dame, Mont St Michel, or the alignments of Carnac if you do not understand the reasons these structures were built and they way they have been used over the centuries. The book makes no assumptions. The reader is not required to believe anything. He is merely pointed in the direction of the invisible and the hidden and left to judge for himself. You get much more out of a visit if you look for what isn’t there as well as what is. Only by engaging with such enigmas in an open-minded, non-logical way can we begin to unravel them. This approach also makes sightseeing more satisfying and more meaningful. Covered here are a multitude of fascinating themes: the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela, Black Virgins, prehistoric cave paintings, labyrinths, ley-lines, symbolism and sacred geometry, the tarot, etc. The backdrops for the drama includes such legendary places as Chartres, Rennes-le-Chateau, churches carved out of the rock and mountain sanctuaries. The cast list, meanwhile, includes Templars, Cathars, mystics, Gurdjieff, King Arthur, Nostradamus and alchemists such as the enigmatic Fulcanelli (who is rumoured to be immortal).

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781844096855
Publisher: Inner Traditions/Bear & Company
Publication date: 01/12/2016
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 541,491
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Nick Inman is a writer, a photographer, and a translator. He is the author, coauthor, and editor of more than 30 books, including "Eyewitness Spain", "The Optimist's Handbook", "Who on Earth Are You?" and "The Road Less Traveled: Amazing Places Off the Tourist Trail". See his website for more info: www.nickinman.com

Table of Contents

Introduction: How Not to Get There 9

The Value of Legends 12

The Language of Symbolism 20

Sacred Geometry & The Meaning of Numbers 22

I Following the stars: The Great Routes of Pilgrimage Through France 25

The Symbol of the Scallop 30

Destinations of Pilgrimage 38

II Raw Landscapes: The Transcendental Power of Nature 41

Sacred Springs and Wells 43

The Sacred Heights 52

III Artists of the Underworld: Visions in the Darkness of the Painted Caves 55

Cave Paintings in France 57

Natural Caves 62

Subterranean Spaces 68

IV Silent Stones: The Riddle of the Megaliths 71

Menhir-Statues 76

Lands of the Dead 82

V Idols Unknown: The Evolution of the Gods of Old 85

Druids Ancient and Modern 88

The Gods Become Decoration 92

From the Goddess to the Black Virgin 96

VI Awake in Dreams: An Initiation to the Temples of the Romanesque 101

Chi Ro 108

Romanesque Sculpture 112

Christian Iconography 114

Labyrinths 120

Stained Glass 123

Mythical Monsters 126

Monasteries 130

VIII Heresy of Perfection: The Doomed and Enduring Belief of the Cathars 133

Cathar Locations 137

Angels and Fairies 144

The Devil 145

IX Cusodians of Ancient Knowledge: The Knights Templar and their Heirs 149

The Hospitallers 152

Compagnons du Tour de France 154

Templar Sites 155

Mystics of France 160

X The Legendary Laboratory: Alchemists OF the Past and Present? 163

Chåteaux of the Alchemists 169

Magic and Witchcraft 172

The Tarot 176

XII. Spirit in our Times: Finding Meaning in Modern France 179

Latter-Day Churches 182

The Dechristianization of France 184

Faiths of France 188

Travel Guide 191

1 Brittany 192

King Arthur of France 194

Carnac, Locmariaquer & Gavrinis 196

Mont Saint-Michel 198

2 Normandy 200

Wayside Crosses and Shrines 201

3 The North 201

The Wheel of Fortune at Beauvais 202

4a Pairs

Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral 205

4b Ile de France 205

5 Champagne, Lorraine and Alsace 206

Joan of Arc 206

Alsace's Half-Timbered Houses 207

6 Burgundy 208

Ley Lines of France 210

7 Loire Valley 211

Spiralling Spires 212

Chartres Cathedral 214

8 Massif Central 216

Astrology 217

9 The Rhône and the Alps 218

10 Provence 219

Mary Magdalene in France 221

UFOs in France 223

Round Churches 225

Rennes-le-Chateau 226

Two and Three Faces 232

14 The Pyrenees 233

The Fall of Montségur 234

Lourdes 236

The Mystery of the Cagots 239

The Cyclic Cross of Hendaye 240

End Notes 243

General Information 244

Walking the Pilgrimage Routes 246

Notes on Sources 248

Bibliography 250

Index 252

Acknowledgements, Picture Credits 256

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