The Sacred River of Rennes-les-Bains - BOOK
Everything began with a visit to the source of the River Sals at Sougraigne near Rennes-les-Bains, in the Corbières mountains of southern France. It was such a wonderful day, my thoughts kept returning to my mental image of the water that never fails, simply bubbling out of the ground, always there, flowing eternally down from the mountains to pass through Rennes-les-Bains.
It seemed to me like "the underground stream of knowledge" flowing eternally, especially as Mary Magdalene is said to have baptised people in this River Sals at Rennes-les-Bains, at the place called "Fontaine des Amours" - Lovers' Fountain.
One can imagine her here, for there was a place for the Goddess to stand, beside a deep pool of swirling cold water, excellent for washing away sins. The Jews believed that the colder the water was, the better the purification. The Sals is certainly cold, rising from deep under the ground.
Indeed the River Sals was a holy river, a Sacred River.
I decided to feature the river Sals in a simple history of Rennes-les-Bains, called
The Sacred River of Rennes-les-Bains.
But it wasn't so simple. One connection led to another, the tiniest piece of research opened several doors, things started coming to me, people told me things, dreams woke me and made me write down new ideas, new avenues of explorations, it was rich and never ending. I couldn't write fast enough!
I found out about the Celts, who lived at Rennes-les-Bains and on the nearby Plateau de Lauzet. The graveyard at Rennes-les-Bains was once a Celtic nementon, where they held they sacred gatherings on the magic dates of their year, including the 31st October, when the veil between this world and the other world is at its thinnest.
The Celts had many "White goddess" stories, (and we can link this with the story of Blanche of Castille, who came here to use the hot springs) and it came to me that when Mary Magdalene came here the Celts thought of her too, as a white goddess. Meanwhile, in the 1880's, the local priest found a head carved on a standing stone. He thought it was the head of Jesus, but the local historians said it was the head of a Celtic water goddess.
It is sadly worn . . . also found was a small Roman altar. Yes, the Romans came here to develope the thermal springs into bathing suites. It fascinated me to read that the Emperor Augustus came here, as he was thought of as a God in Roman times. Rennes-les-Bains was patronised by ALL the best people!
It's my idea that both Mary and Jesus came here after the crucifixion (that Jesus survived) and certainly the local priest, Henri Boudet of the 1880's, believed Jesus was here and declared that the theme of the book he wrote was resurrection. Modern spiritual people today have defined some five places where they think Jesus was buried. It's all in my book!
The book has 8 pages in colour with wonderful photos and 182 pages black and white, all illustrated. For my French friends; please note, this book is only available in English.