Unfolding the Mysteries of Ancient Chartres
In my return to Chartres for Sacred Number this year, the discoveries unearthed from my time here last year are fresh in my mind…
July 5, 2016: I am spending a week in Chartres, teaching the morning sacred movement practice as part of the Chartres Academy at the Wisdom University. The mysteries of this ancient site are aplenty and unfolding in the most glorious way. I will be back every year inshallah and hope the dancers will join me and drink from the ceaseless fountain of the Divine Mother.
July 6, 2016: I visited the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Chartres (Our Lady of Chartres), which is considered the Home of Mary and houses her veil, the sancta camisia, the silk relic believed to have been worn by her when she gave birth to the Christ. Even though the cathedral burned down 4 times, the veil is the only item that survived each time! I have no words to describe the magnetism of the spot where this small piece of colorless silk is on display. I was simply transfixed!
July 7, 2016: The Druids (Celtic Priests) were the first people we know of who discovered the sacredness of the location of Chartres, which in he year 200 BC, was the capital of the Gallic tribes known as Carnutes. They found limestone and granite on the hill where the cathedral is located and constructed an effigy to the dark perpetually birthing virgin. Each Spring Equinox, they would bring her out in open air and on Fall Equinox, they would take her down underground. Druids from all over the continent made a pilgrimage to the sacred hill 4 times a year. The statue of the Black Madonna housed in the crypt came much later but continued in the lineage of the birthing virgin. No one is buried in the Chartres Cathedral – there is only LIFE.
July 10, 2016: The mysteries of The Cathedral of Our Lady at Chartres kept unfolding…I walked the labyrinth, one of the only surviving labyrinths dating back to 1200. With approximately 276 stones, it mirrors the days humans are in gestation, so the winding pathway is a dying to our small self and a rebirth into our divine self. The form of a cross spans the labyrinth and a flower with six petals forms the center where the labyrinth ends and we come face to face with the alter – the Assumption of Mary. The outdoor labyrinth that I see from my window is a beautiful reminder.
July 10, cont.: The beauty of Chartres Cathedral, one of the wonders of our world, is simply astounding. There are two towers – the sun and the moon each with 7 centers corresponding to the 7 Chakras. An angel sits on top of the roof and at night as the different facades of are illuminated, the cathedral of our Lady comes to life. It is said that the cathedral was at one point painted in bright colors.
July 10, cont.: One of the beautiful sights of the Chartres Cathedral is the Assumption of Mary. When my eyes first beheld this beauty, I felt transfixed as if I could stand in front of it orever…in contemplation of how the structure of the cathedral gows from the glorious Dark Madonna in the depths of the crypt to the luminous flight of Her Assumption. We are shown what we need to be rooted in so we can fly…
Revelations at Chartres mirror this excerpt from my forthcoming book, Dance of Oneness:
What I know after all my years of dancing is that the Mother’s wisdom is stored in every cell of my body and Her primordial beauty and truth can fountain and be felt through dance. Everything is hidden in the labyrinths of my body—the dance of unbounded joy and freedom, the dance of excruciating pain and the shattered heart, the dance of unknowing, all collective myths, all stories of ordinary people throughout time, all ideas, beliefs, doctrines, rites and rituals, prohibitions, wars, rights, wrongs—and when I am truly attuned to Her in adoration, my body reveals them all in a dance aflame with her primordial life-force.