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Newsletter May/June 2014

Newsletter May/June 2014

Finally some rest. So much has happened the past several weeks. But now it is quiet, there are only a few guests and the weather is beautiful. Just as it should be. The only excitement now is the world championship soccer in Brazil.

We had three large groups, one of Stavoor, the ‘pre-pensionados,’ one of Leonie Linssen, with some beautiful girls and one of Thomas Young, a spiritual leader from Germany and Hawai, who came here with a group of 22 wonderful people. There will be a special newsletter for the tours made with this last group. And there were several smaller groups or single persons. Among them my lovely daughter Femke, with her daughter Simone and her friend Roelof. And our friend Hanneke Hoppenbrouwer with her partner Eric.

I did a lot of guiding and I sold many books. Good for business. There were familiar places to visit, mostly the places with a special energy, or the places that are difficult to find. I will show some of these places in the next chapters.

The weather has been in constant change. Some rain, not much, some thunderstorms, lasting only a few hours, lots of wind, some very cold weather, highly unusual for these months, impressive cloud formations and finally days full of sunshine and high temperatures.

I was so busy and often so tired, that I didn’t have time to work in the garden. But now, fortunately, I have plenty of time, and it feels good. So good. My hands touching Mother Earth, sitting in the midst of all those beautiful flowers and delicious fruits and vegetables. Being one with nature and Mother Earth.

It is a time of rest, of peace and solitude. Waiting patiently and with confidence for things to happen, to manifest themselves.

Places with a special energy

The most favourite places are still the places with a special energy. Mainly caves, like the Aven cave or the cave of Mary Magdalene with this strange figure inside. And next to it the birthing cave. And Rua, our dog, loves to accompany us to these caves. Or the Caves of Lombrives and Niaux far to the west. And of course the initiation caves of the Cathars, all in Ussat-les-Bains. But also the famous cave of Perillos and the caves ‘housing’ the enigmatic statues of Jesus and Mary Magdalene in the former monastery of Carol in Baulou.

And water, in fountains, springs, wells and rivers. Like the Fontaine des Amours in Rennes-les-Bains, or the Benitier, the Holy Water Stoup, where the River Sals meets the River Blanque, and Le Cercle, near the Fauteuil du Diable, also in Rennes-les-Bains. And let’s not forget the Source of the Sals, bubbling out of the side of a mountain. Then there is the Source of the Mother Goddess in Campagne-les-Bains and the holy water spring near the ND de Marceille in Limoux. Or the well in the ND de Val d’Amour in Belesta and a little further west the famous fountain of Fontestorbes. Rising and falling every half hour. And the island in the river Aude in Alet-les-Bains, a perfect pick-nick place.

Then there are special stone and rock formations. Like the Trembling Rocks in Rennes-les-Bains and the Pierre Droite near St Salvayre, or the Pierre Dressee near Serres. Or the curious Rock formation called ‘Les Bals’ sticking out into the valley of the River of Colours. And further west, south of Tarascon-sur-Ariege, the Stone of Sem. And the curious rocks on La Pique near Coume Sourde. And very, very special the Labyrinth, or rather the Maze, in Nebias.

Most powerful of all are the sacred mountains. The Pech Cardou, a ‘female’ mountain, 800 metres high and the Pech Bugarach, the male mountain, with 1230 metres the highest mountain in the area. And of course, further west, the Montsegur, 1216 metres high.

Churches and places where Mary Magadalene can still be ‘found’

Famous churches in the area of Rennes-le-Château are of course the church of Rennes-le-Château itself, dedicated to Mary Magdalene in 1056, the ND de Marceille with this statue of Jesus and the church of St Martin, both in Limoux, the church of Alet-les-Bains with next to it the beautiful ruins the Abbey, further the abbeys of St Hilaire and St Polycarpe and the enigmatic church of St Salvayre. Where I found this strange ankh, stuck in the ground.

Then there is the church of Bugarach with its curious stained glass windows, the lovely church of Cubieres and a little further south the rock church in the Gorges de Galamus. And if you can visit the Church of St Peter and St Paul in St Paul de Fenouillet, please do. They have two magnificent, very old statues of both the Mother Mary and Mary Magdalene. To the west can be found the lovely church of Brenac, the ‘village of flowers.’ And in Tarascon-sur-Ariege is the lovely chapel ND de Sabart with its Black Madonna. Then there is the rock church of Vals, situated roughly between Pamiers and Mirepoix, with its special paintings on the ceiling and the beautiful cathedral dedicated to St Maurice in Mirepoix.

Castles and special landscapes

First of all there are the so-called ‘Cathar’ castles. They were not built by the Cathars, but by local warlords/knights on very strategic, inaccessible places. Only the Montsegur was specially strengthened for the Cathars. The most famous Cathar castles in the area are Montsegur, Puilaurens, Queribus and Peyrepertuse. There are many more Cathar castles but they are all a bit further away. Very interesting is also the castle of Puivert, the castle of the troubadours. And Mont-Real-de-Sos, near Vicdessos, also called the ‘Grail Castle’ because of the special drawing in one of its caves. And its beautiful view of the high Pyrenees. Of great interest is also the Templar castle, also called Chateau Albedun, near Le Bezu.

Special landscape features can be found in Couiza, where on the hill south of the village, the ‘Camp Grand,’ once over 200 capitelles, little stone huts, stood. And the ‘Terre Rouge’ north of Peyrolles, with its snake, the head is a field and the body is the river, and its beautiful red and yellow earth.

Orbs and special light effects

They keep coming, the Orbs and the special light effects. but sometimes I really don’t know what is what. Look for example at this strange picture taken at the cave of Mary Magdalene. On the left side we clearly see some light effects, but what is that strange white shape on the right side doing there? {PIC 30}

My book “the Beauty and message of Orbs” is finally causing some interest and mild consternation in the area, as is my presentation on the Orb Evolution. A series of 203 pictures showing the evolution of Orbs, from the year 2000 to the present day. Even people who were very sceptic or didn’t believe in Orbs, were now fully convinced that the Orb-phenomenon really exists. Others have been crying while watching my presentation.

Uitgeverij Aspekt in the Netherlands will bring out an e-book about the “Orbs evolutie.” Hopefully this autumn.

I have selected some of the most curious Orb pictures and light effect pictures, all for your pleasure.


I have sold a lot of my “Mary Magdalene in France” books. And ordered three times new copies from CreateSpace. The book is available on Amazon.com. I also sold a lot of “Jamie on his cloud” books. Here I got some interesting feedback from my English publisher Nigel Peace of Local Legend. He offered the book in a contest and it was indeed nominated. The readers liked the story, the simple style of writing and the strong characters. But, they said, it was not a book for children, because of some of the violent scenes in the book. However, I never meant it to be a book for children, but rather a book for people leaving school or university, starting their new, working life. To give them some spiritual support and make them aware of the fact that there really exists a Spirit World, with all kinds of Spirits looking over our shoulder. And for people who were retiring, enjoying their pensions and old age allowances. To give them, in the last 20 or 30 years of their life, some sense of life, some purpose. To help them find the Spirit World and their destiny in life. Now I don’t know what to do. Rewrite the book into a children’s book? Or leave it as it is? If you have any good advice I will be very grateful.

My tenth book, in Dutch, “Uit in Eigen Huis,” a cooking book for men, will be published in autumn, also by Uitgeverij Aspekt in Soesterberg.

Furthermore I have decided to rewrite my book “Verschil moet er zijn.” I started to translate it from Dutch into English, or rather American, but I quit. I love to play with the words of my mother language, and it was very hard for me to translate this playful writing into American language.

Marseille/St Maximin/Les Stes Maries

I picked up two American friends in Marseille. It is just a four-hour drive from Les Labadous. There was a nice traffic jam, so I could take a picture of this huge building standing right next to the road. The weather was great and the Mediterranean Sea was blinking in the sunlight. We went to a restaurant at Le Vieux Port, the old harbour and had some wonderful Bouillabaisse (fish soup). At night we returned to our homes, admiring the basilica of St Victor, dressed in a soft purple light.

The next day we went to St Maximin-la-Ste-Baume. The first pilgrim site of Mary Magdalene in France. Always a special treat. We walked through the garden of the Couvent Royal and the tourist office to the basilica Ste Marie Madeleine. I was happy to see that finally they were doing some serious repairs and renovation work on some of the most precious and the most damaged religious objects. Inside I took only a few pictures. Not so many for I have shown you lots of pictures from this basilica in previous newsletters.

Next we went to Les Stes-Maries-de-la-Mer. Also a special event. The church is built like a castle. Inside is a sweet water well and a crypt full of candles and of course the beautiful Sarah. I especially love the statue of the ND de la Mer in the church. The village itself is a busy, colourful place, with its gypsies, its shops, its restaurants, its beaches and its boats, what a beautiful sight. The village is situated at the end of the Rhone delta with its white horses, black bulls, its rice fields and flamingo’s, its salt lakes and fruit shops along the road.

Lourdes/St Just-de-Valcabrere

Almost all American tourists, when coming to France, must visit some special places. It is almost obligatory. Paris, Chartres, Lourdes and sometimes St Maximin-la-Ste-Baume, Marseille and Aix-en-Provence. I picked my good friend Door up at the airport in Toulouse. Now we were already halfway to Lourdes. Lourdes itself is impressive, but not so impressive that it merits a 4,5 hour drive from Les Labadous. The Grotto itself is rather  simple. There was a short queue of people passing underneath the grotto. All were touching the rock. There were many candles burning. The holy healing water came out of several taps in the rock. It was eagerly accepted by the pilgrims. Catching it in their bottles or washing their faces and hair with holy water. The most interesting thing, in my view, was the possibility to be bathed in the Holy Water. In strictly separate bathrooms for men and women. A wonderful experience that I had undergone a year before. But now there was such a long line of people waiting before us, that we gave up. The cathedral itself is very impressive. But it is all relatively new and it is all gold and glitter. A bit too rich and too much for us, simple souls from the Aude. Around the cathedral you can find an incredible amount of shops. All selling the same things. I don’t know how they manage to survive, but they seem to flourish. It is a nightmare scenario for the time when they will find something very, very important in the area of Rennes-le-Château. As I feel they will, within the next ten years. Then we would become a second Lourdes.

We drove back to Toulouse but turned off at St Bertrand de Comminges. Here we visited the basilica of Saint-Just de Valcabrere. So beautiful. Dating from the 12th century. What a wonderful place this is. And what a wonderful atmosphere. Inside the basilica we found this magnificent Madonna. See how happy I was in this basilica. Then we went on to the cathedral of St Bertrand de Comminges, close by, built on top of the hill. A special place! With very old stones and many, many paintings.


-         My birthday, May 14th. Thank you dear friends for all your good wishes. Here I am, celebrating this happy day with a croissant and a cup of coffee. And next came the ‘hip, hip hurrah’ from the Stavoor group that I was guiding to the Aven cave. {PIC 55} and {PIC 56}.

-         Anne Chaimbault, our new neighbour, has rented the old house of Elizabeth van Buren, next to us, situated along the River of Colours. She is an expert in kinesiology and works in a beautiful tipi. And she is doing a great job! So when you are here, we can, if you want, make an appointment for you.

See {PIC 57} and {PIC 58}.

-         June 12th. I gave a presentation in the Ducs de Joyeuse in Couiza, an old castle made into a wonderful hotel. For a group of over 50 people. Coming from all over the world. From the USA, from Japan, from France, from everywhere. About “Mary Magdalene in France.” A presentation of 1,5 hours, showing exactly 222 pictures. It went well, I think.

See {PIC’s 59 – 61}.

-         Restaurants. I was happy to be able to take Door to two of my favourite restaurants. The first being La Pierre Lys in Quillan, a bit old fashioned ,but that is what I like. And the second was Le Relais du Pays du Sault in Espezel. Where they serve a five-course menu on one plate, with one fork, one knife, one glass and three bottles on the table. Grenache, red wine and water. Bottles that are being refilled when empty. What a treat, for both of us!

See {PIC’s 62 – 65}.

-         Nature. This time of the year, when the air is fresh and there is sufficient water, the world is coming alive. The grass is green, 11 different types of orchids are blossoming, the flowers spring up in the most beautiful colours, the roses are magic. The skies are either clear, or full of impressive cloud formations. The birds are singing. Yes, it is wonderful to be outside and to work in the garden.

See {PIC’s 66 – 72}.

-         Val Wineyard paid another visit to Alet-les-Bains. She is working on a new book. Incredible the amount of books she is putting out! Here she is at the river Aude. And of course we paid a visit to the Angels Gallery, guarded by this Lion of Judah. We were allowed a look at one of the models that that Lorrie was sculpting. What a beautiful, magnificent radiance. Hat off. And good luck at the gallery in New York, dear friends!

See {PIC’s 73 – 75}.

-         This time of the year there are lots of Vide Greniers. Or garage boot sales. It is incredible how much wonderful things can be found on these markets. Costing almost nothing. Here the Vide Grenier in Esperaza. My main interest is of course Mary Magdalene and I always find something.

See {PIC’s 76 – 78}.

-         Music. There is music everywhere. The French love their festivals. They love to listen to good music and to watch people dance. Here is our famous harpist and singer, Ani Williams, performing in the Jardin du Marie. {PIC 79}.

-         June 25th. The birthday of my good friend and colleague, both in writing and guiding, Anneke Koremans. We had a wonderful time spending the afternoon in her garden, near the River Aude, drinking Blanquette de Limoux and enjoying the company of good friends. Look at Door with Anneke, at Ankie Nolen, an expert on Cathars, at Door with Anaiya and at this  wonderful picture of Anneke.

See {PIC’s 80 – 83}.

-         Joke is home again. Back from the Netherlands where she had to sign some documents relating to her dear aunt Fie, who passed away recently. Her house was full of curiosa. So much that they, Joke and Franklin, had to ship some of her household effects by Kuipers Remover to Les Labadous. And indeed, you are right Joke, ‘La Vie est belle.’ See {PIC 84} and {PIC 85}.

News July/August 2014
Program Thomas Young, May 30th – June 8th 2014

Comments 3

Guest - Elke Ratsch on Sunday, 29 June 2014 15:02

Jaap, don't even think of changing "Jamie on his cloud".
It is such a touching and heart-warming tale.
What about writing another version for kids ?
(Besides, the tales of Grimm and Anderson include violent scenes as well,
and were not written for kids, but given to them, too.)

Jaap, don't even think of changing "Jamie on his cloud". It is such a touching and heart-warming tale. What about writing another version for kids ? (Besides, the tales of Grimm and Anderson include violent scenes as well, and were not written for kids, but given to them, too.) Elke
Guest - Priem on Sunday, 29 June 2014 20:50

Hoi lieve Jaap,
weer zoveel prachtige foto's waar ik toch altijd van geniet....♥
Heel veel liefs Myriam xxx

Hoi lieve Jaap, weer zoveel prachtige foto's waar ik toch altijd van geniet....♥ Heel veel liefs Myriam xxx
Guest - Myriam on Sunday, 29 June 2014 20:57

Hoi lieve Jaap,
zoals altijd zijn je foto's weer prachtig,
waar ik toch altijd zo van geniet...♥
Liefs Myriam xx

Hoi lieve Jaap, zoals altijd zijn je foto's weer prachtig, waar ik toch altijd zo van geniet...♥ Liefs Myriam xx
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