Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Popessa of Rennes-le-Chataeu by Pierre Plantard

The Popessa of Rennes-le-Chateau sits on a thone which has been set up on the rampart leading out to the RLC tower which is behind her. From there we have an excellent view of the Chateau d` Hautpoul which was rebuilt in the 16th c. by the Hautpoul family, Marie d` Ables of the famous tombstone was the descendant who lived there. There is a room of the castle which dates back to the original structure constructed in the time of the Visigoths. The fortress was destroyed by the Albigensian crusade against the Cathars and also by the Spanish. To this day it is inhabited, the owner has a collection of artifacts discovered on the grounds. Plantard`s Popessa holds a large book as do other High Priestesses from different decks - those ladies probably hold the Bible. The Popessa of the Wirth deck holds a book with a Yin-Yang symbol on the cover while Plantard uses other alchemical symbols. The Yin-Yang sign is actually an ancient Chinese alchemical notation denoting the combination of elements in the heated crucible. The triangle and Infinity symbols on Plantard`s tome are the triangle with a dot - purifying fire, and the Infinity sign which is also used as the brim on the hat of the tarot Magician and the hat of the tarot Strength card. "The Yellow Book" was a famous alchemical book by Hermes, so her book yellow. In her other hand she holds the two crossed keys which are an ecclesiastical heraldic device, they are also used by the Freemasons as a Masonic jewel. Plantard has cropped this card so her crown does not show. As with the other trumps, this setting is a night scene. Plantard is telling us that the Popessa is a learned adept and an alchemist - she is a student of chemistry. Pierre Plantard, the Priory of Sion, and the Tarot are all champions of the spiritual importance of women.

The Tribute to Our Jester - the Joker of Pierre Plantard

Look closely at the original Jester or Fool card from the Marseilles French deck and it is obvious that this character portrays a member of the Saracen forces who fought the Templars. His skin tone is different, darker, and he is wearing a huge turban. Pierre Plantard is more modest in his version of the #0 card, the Fool, this fellow at least has his pants up even though he is being bitten by a cat. As usual, there are other subtle differences in the Plantard card. Our Jester is strolling through the backyard of Rennes-le-Bains (Baths) near Rennes-le-Chateau in southeastern France. The Rennes-le-Bains church is the backdrop for this major arcana character. Instead of using the yellow brick masonry as a frame as on his Pope of Rennes-le-Bains card, Plantard has constructed an equilateral triangle as the central focus of the painting. When giving a lecture about the Hermetic sciences, he began with the geometry of the map of France - an equilateral triangle of French cities with Bourges in the center. What is the significance of these two triangles on the map and the card? Note the fool`s staff, the church bell and the "X" marks the spot within the three sided map. Where does the "X" fall, can you solve the puzzle? Our Jester has the sign of the planet Mercury on his shoulder, it refers to more than that small wandering planet in space. The substance liquid mercury was all- important to alchemists throughout history, indeed Pierre Plantard was known to be an alchemist himself as well as being a fine draftsman. He used the characters of the Oswald Wirth tarot deck in his tarot-themed paintings and drew the architectural backgrounds himself displaying perfect perspective. The sign for Mercury also denotes the important Greek oracle called "Hermes Trismegistus" author of "The Divine Pymander" and many other arcane volumes, Hermes Trismegistus is one of the authors of the ancient Gnostic codices discovered at Nag Hammadi in Egypt. Alchemy was an all important science in Greco-Roman Egypt. During the Crusades, the Templars learned the alchemy of the Holy Land and in Egypt, sometimes when they were held captive by Moslem forces. When the Templars returned to Europe with this new knowledge, it caused a Renaissance of their culture. New building techniques such as the pointed arch came back with them as well, and their Gothic style of architecture flourished. Each town competed to construct the most grand cathedral. This method of building and weight-bearing opened up the walls for stained glass windows and the alchemical art of colored glass. The tarot and the history of the Rennes-le-Chateau area is all about the Templars. In the Fool/Jester card Plantard expresses all of these subjects brilliantly. Is this our Jester returning from the Holy Land with the secrets of the alchemical sciences? In Plantard`s version, the Fool has rosy cheeks but he is wearing a Saracen costume. does he portray a Templar who was a prisoner and a student of the Islamic sciences? On his turban there is the alchemical sign for water, the inverted triangle. The dot in the center means that the water is either distilled or enhanced by the alchemist`s art - our Jester is an adept. I have colored this card according to the tones utilized by Wirth on his 19th c. deck. Can you figure out the triangle puzzle of Pierre Plantard? What does the location of the "X" within the triangle tell us about him?

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Rennes-le-Chateau - Plantard`s Emperor Card and the Divine Fire of the Crista

It takes some esoteric knowledge to realize that the tarot Emperor drawn by Pierre Plantard is sitting below the tower at Rennes-le-Chateau. With the way the artist has cropped this print,it is difficult to discern the RLC tower. The insignia upon which he sits is different than the imperial eagle on the original Oswald Wirth card, this shape denotes an alchemical type of caduceus and is colored like the serpent rouge, the red serpent of Rennes fame. There are many colorful versions of this card, on Plantard`s black and white print, the areas colored red appear as black, so that is how I chose the reds for the helmet and the fabrics. Plantard`s Emperor has an All-Seeing Eye on his shoulder and he wears the Masonic sun and moon on his chest. He is holding a royal orb surmounted by a red cross reminiscent of the Templars. The cross is red on the Wirth card versions as well. On his helmet appear two horn shapes colored red and the crest plumes at the top are red as on some of the other depictions. This is a well known symbol to classicists familiar with Virgil`s account of the visit of Aeneas to the Underworld through the twin gates of Sleep and Death and through the Gloomy Vestibule to the Land of the Dead. It was Charon with Cerberus Hypnos who took them across the river in his boat - eventually. When Aeneas reappeared his head was surrounded by the divine fire known as the Geminae Cristae. He reentered this world through the Geminae Portae, the twin gates of horn and ivory, with a halo of ethereal flames around his head. These flames have been compared to the aura which encircled the head of Moses when he came back from Mt. Sinai. Since the time of Virgil this event has been remembered by warriors and artisans by the use of red plumes on helmets symbolic of the flame halo of Aeneas in the Underworld. Called the "Geminae Cristae", it was also an element of the Crista artifact attached to the ruler ship of France. On the helmet of the king we see the red horns of flame and the red plumes on his crest as an example of this tradition. There is a fragment of a moon in the sky above which is unique among the five Plantard tarot cards, although all of them are night scenes. His staff is quite magnificent and imposing evoking a bygone age.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Alchemical Blackbird of Rennes-le-Chateau - the Pierre Plantard Tarot

Alchemy is one of the main mystery foundations at Rennes-le-Chateau and since it is a secretive subject, not much is out in the open. The famous scholar of the Merovingian dynasty, Pierre Plantard of Priory of Sion fame was a draftsman adept at architectural drawing. He left to us five major arcana tarot card drawings which include buildings from Rennes-le-Chateau and Rennes-le-Bains in the backgrounds. This collage is the first of them that I colored to bring them to life, she is the Imperatrice, the Empress. Kissing her foot is a Templar knight whom I believe to be a self-portrait of the artist himself looking out at us. Note how he holds and leans on a painters` stick as an oil painter would do. The Empress rests her foot on a crescent moon which can be a reference to the woman with the moon under her feet from "The Revelation of John the Divine" known as "The Apocalypse of John", or the crescent may symbolize the Saracen enemies of the Templar knights. The railing and the checker board floor tiles locate the scene in the interior of the church at Rennes-le-Chateau. All we have of the cards are small black and white pictures from an issue of "Vaincre" magazine from the 1960s. One photo is of four of the cards which are cropped to fit into such a small space, these now have been enlarged. I had to add the head of the lady angel which was taken from the 19th c. Oswald Wirth tarot deck, this is the tarot deck Plantard used for his characters. The 19th c. Oswald Wirth deck was the first modern deck to replace the original Marseilles cards which were woodcuts. There are slight but meaningful differences in the Plantard copies of the Wirth characters. Note the blackbird on the shield of the angel, it is a symbol of alchemy. To "behead the blackbird" in alchemical language refers to the "nigredo" black prima material with which the alchemist experiments. In these operations much depends on the alignments of the stars and the proper meditational attitude of the alchemist. In the small photo of the four cards, the head of the angel is missing, was this an intentional omission which references an alchemical parable? - probably. One of the cards was painted by Plantard himself and is called "The Pope of Rennes-le-Bains" which has the back of the church of Rennes-le-Bains in the background along with other pertinent symbols including a megalithic formation up on the mountain behind the church. The design is taken from the Wirth tarot but is enlarged as a painting. Plantard includes fine detailed background landscapes and buildings, he was an excellent artist. In these works of art is hidden the genius of the artist, this is the first of several articles that will explore the messages apparent in his work. Other researchers eagerly search for the remainder of the entire deck hoping to discover clues and directions to hidden relics and treasure, but I believe that the gold of Plantard`s wisdom is alchemical. He was known as an alchemist in his time, a few of the cards are signed and dated having been painted in different years in the 1960s. Compare the photographs of Pierre Plantard to the face of the French knight in the foreground, this is his message to us from the past to the future. In this card he worships the Empress who is the angel with the twelve stars. On the lower wall are depicted 3 signs: the Mason`s square, a Templar camel (the Templars in Egypt), and the Hebrew letter "gimel" which means "a camel". In the Wirth tarot the Imperatrice angel card III has the letter gimel on it as each of the cards carries a letter of the Hebrew alphabet, Plantard expands on this. In the issue of "Vaincre" the cards are reversed so the gimel on the wall is reversed, however Plantard signed them this way (reversed) leaving us more secrets to ponder. He framed his cards with sandstone brick masonry, the colors of which he painted on his pope card. "Rennes-le-Bains" is named for the hot-springs and baths in the area. Plantard has given us an additional dimension from which to view the mysteries of Rennes-le-Chateau.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Plantard Tarot Enhanced by Hans

Computer enhanced Plantard tarot drawings by Hans - Wombat determined the location of the angel and the knight within the Rennes-le-Chateau chapel from the tile floor and the railing. Wombat and Hans identified the structures on the other cards as well. A word about the original 19th c. tarot designer Oswald Wirth; "The Invisible Basilica: Gerard Encausse, In 1888, Papus, Saint-Yves and de Guaita joined with Joséphin Péladan and Oswald Wirth to found the Kabbalistic Order of the Rose-Croix."

Monday, July 28, 2014

The Plantard Tarot Emperor and Popessa

The Pierre Plantard tarot Emperor with the Rennes-le-Chateau tower in the background (unfinished). The Plantard Popessa with the Chateau Hautpoul tower in the background (unfinished). The Plantard Popessa completed with the Chateau Hautpoul in the background.

Monday, July 7, 2014

The Empress by Plantard

L` Imperatrice by Pierre Plantard. The Joker (le Fou, the Fool) completed.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Little Alchemy Book

World`s smallest alchemy book! Personification of Alchemy. Mercury/Hermes at the bottom. Mercury gold glass goblet.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Alet-les-Bains Church Window

Star of David church window a tribute to artists - Alet-les-Bains, France.

Plantard and Gisors

"The quote was from a de Sède's book: "The Chariot of the Sea, the White Ship of Juno with the sixty-three lights of which Canopus is one, the sublime eye of the architect, which opens every seventy years to contemplate the Universe, the ship Argo that transported the Golden Fleece, in Christianity the modest barque of Peter. It is the symbolic Ark where nothing profane can penetrate without incurring punishment: 'To the sacriligious a fall, to the thief death within a year.' Only those who are capable of working the cube of the wood of Mars - that magic 'die' entrusted to the vigilance of two children: Castor and Pollux - to perfection, in every sense, can enter there." Trying to penetrate through the Hermetic as quickly as possible, the star Canopus was identified with the eye of God, who looked at the Universe every 70 years. Canopus is the second brightest star in the night's sky, but only visible South of 36 degrees North - hence completely invisible throughout France, let alone Gisors. Nevertheless, Plantard was saying that Gisors had been created with alignments to this star - which from an astronomical point was impossible; but from an alchemical point meant that Canopus and Gisors had a "subterranean connection". Canopus, situated South of Sirius, is the main star of the constellation Argo, the ship, and hence the numerous references to the Golden Fleece and the barque. In essence, Plantard describes it as a "star gate of the righteous", where the evil will fall or die, the righteous will… resurrect - though the latter is not specifically mentioned by Plantard. So where did Plantard get this from? - the question posed by de Santillana and von Dechend. It took me from approx. 1992 to 2003 to unravel this enigma; many people along the way, such as Wim Zitman and Clive Prince, tried to help, but in the end, it was something which was so remarkable and straightforward that I myself only realised it when the book had already been typeset - and hence had to go trough the entire process once again; pushing its publication from 2003 to 2004. To condense 100,000 words into a few paragraphs: Plantard had used knowledge from ancient Africa, which had been passed on to the ancient Egyptians, had been retained in the Hermetic writings, and had ended up with Plantard. This placed Canopus as the "Lighthouse of the Universe", who together with Sirius "regulated" the movements of the souls - at the same time, it was identified with the "centre of the Universe", the omphalos, from which Mankind had always aspired to reach Heaven and the Gods - a "star gate for the soul", for those hoping to end the cycle of incarnations and "become a God". Though on reading the above, it might seem difficult to realise, but - trust me - it is remarkable that Plantard in the 60s used this imagery to describe Gisors." - from Filip Coppens, "The Canopus Revelation". "The Alchemical Blackbird of Rennes-le-Chateau" - the Pierre Plantard tarot Imperatrice or Empress with an abstract blackbird on her shield is sitting in front of the RLC interior chapel railing with the RLC Templar checkerboard tiles on the floor. I believe that to be a self-portrait of the artist as a Templar knight in the foreground leaning on an artists leaning stick bending down to kiss the foot of the angel-Empress which rests on a crescent moon inverted. The Revelation of St. John mentions the woman "with the moon under her feet" so this is a double reference. The inverted crescent is also a Templar symbol of victory over the Saracens in the Holy Land. Plantard has drawn a Mason`s square, a Templar camel, and the Hebrew letter "gimel" which means "camel". Plantard photo-copied these cards backwards and they can be viewed either way, his signature is in the lower right hand corner with the date 1962. Color comparison by Hans of the Pope card, on the left is the Pope card by Oswald Wirth and on the right is Pierre Plantard`s "Pope of Rennes-le-Bains" with the RLB church in the background. Hans noticed that the two sides of the RLB Plantard throne are of two different colors. The shoes of the Fool card at RLB are also one green and one red.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Vezelay, France

"Vézelay is a commune in the Yonne department in Burgundy in north-central France. It is a defendable hill town famous for Vézelay Abbey. The town and the famous 11th century Romanesque Basilica of St Magdelene are designated UNESCO World Heritage sites."

Monday, June 2, 2014

Gisors, Jarnac, and Montrevel en Bresse

Gisors. Jarnac. Montrevel en Bresse. Here is something from Plantard ("The Hermeticist's Point of View" by Pierre Plantard) : "Gisors is the northernmost point of an equilateral triangle over France. The lower 2 points are Montreval-en-Brecce near the Swiss border and Jarnac near the Atlantic coast. The triangle is important because Bourges is in the center, it was important to the Priory." Plantard mentions Isis and the design and architecture of Gisors. The Nautonnier refers to the masons who sailed to their destinations in order to build. Compare to the triangle on the Fool card. Bourges Cathedral - most beautiful stained glass. Bourges in the middle of the triangle of the Jester. A window from Bourges Cathedral. There is the triangle on the Fool/Jester card which is a map (see the above Plantard quote)and an "X" marks the spot on the top of the Fool`s staff. The bell on the staff stands for a church. Superimpose the triangle map of France on the Fool card, align the triangles, and see where the "X" on the staff lands to find the mystery location of Plantard. Where would the "X" on the staff line up? Troyes? Troyes was named for Troy and so was Paris, the hero of Troy. But perhaps the "X" on the staff of the Fool points to Vezelay, France where the Romanesque basilica holds the bones of Mary Magdalene. Does the symbol on the throne of the king of Wands resemble the insignia of the Priory of Sion? The symbol on the throne of the king seems to be a modified Alchemical Serpents logo.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Bourges, France and Plantard`s Triangle

San Chapelle. Bourges Cathedral. Book of Hours illustration commissioned by the Duc du Berry of Bourges. Plantard`s triangle, thank you to Hans for this! He says we must allow for the curvature of the earth. The mystic triangle.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Rennes-le Chateau Tower

Photo of the Rennes-le-Chateau tower with model Leslie Cottle of Montreal, Canada. The RLC tower, photo by tour guide Anneke K. Gazette de RLC-News

Book of Hours

"Fleur de Lys-shaped Book of Hours, 18 x 8 cm, likely created in Paris ca 1553. Contains eleven lobe-shaped miniatures. Sold by Christie's".

Monday, May 19, 2014

Oswald Wirth and Hokusai

The Oswald Wirth tarot Popessa (in color) holds a book with the Japanese Yin-Yang symbol on the cover. Was he a student of Japanese metaphysical philosophy? I think he was a fan of Japanese printmaker Hokusai. "Katsushika Hokusai (葛飾北斎, Katsushika Hokusai - 1760–May 10, 1849) was a Japanese artist, ukiyo-e painter and printmaker of the Edo period. In his time he was Japan's leading expert on Chinese painting. Born in Edo (now Tokyo), Hokusai is best-known as author of the woodblock print series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji (c. 1831) which includes the iconic and internationally recognized print, The Great Wave off Kanagawa, created during the 1820s." Here is the Yin-Yang standing for the Primary Material of the alchemists. In both Popessa drawings, the books are books of Alchemy. The chateau at Rennes-le-Chateau which is in the background of the Popessa card. "The Spanish-Arab historian Said of Toledo (died 1069) gives this tradition of Thoth, or Hermes: "Sages affirm that all antediluvian sciences originate with the first Hermes, who lived in Sa'id, in Upper Egypt. The Jews call him Enoch and the Moslems Idris. He was the first who spoke of the material of the superior world and of planetary movements. He built temples to worship God… medicine and poetry were his functions… (He) warned of a catastrophe of fire and water before the Flood… After the Flood the sciences, including alchemy and magic, were carried out at Memphis, under the more renowned Hermes the Second." The Thrice-Great Hermes, who quite possibly did represent three different teachers, is not only the reputed originator of alchemy...." "For Renne, who seems to like the alchemy angle: Idries Shah on alchemy - my own comments in square brackets []. We ... in the West. Azoth is traced by Orientalists to one of two words el-dhat (or ez-zat), meaning essence or inner reality; or else to zibaq, mercury. The stone, according ..." - from Whoop of Arcadia.