Le Serpent Rouge Interpreted
by Tracy R. Twyman

Oct 23, 2004

from DragonKeyPress Website

recovered through BibliothecaAlexandrinaWayBackMachine Website

Illustration from Le Serpent Rouge

The poem Le Serpent Rouge consists of thirteen stanzas, each dedicated to one of the thirteen houses of the Priory of Sion‘s zodiac system. The authors are purported to be Louis Saint-Maxent, Pierre Feugere, and Gaston de Koker, who were all killed shortly after the poem was published. Strange and frightening as this may seem, these men may not have in fact been the authors, for the poem does not appear to be the work of a committee, but rather a single quixotic mystic. My theory is that the true author of the poem was Jean Cocteau. One only needs to read Cocteau’s known work, or view his film Orpheus, to recognize the style of writing and the symbolism employed. Also, it was published just a few years after his death, and it was during Cocteau’s grand mastership that the publication of “Priory documents” such as this one began.

Assuming that Cocteau was probably the author, and working with the conclusions about Rennes-le-Chateau that I have expounded in other Dagobert’s Revenge articles (and in my book The Merovingian Mythos), I am now able to understand certain key phrases used within this queer poem. It is my belief that this poem is written from the point of view of someone following the occult clues that have been left by past initiates to discover the sacred tombs beneath Rennes-le-Chateau, and the “Ark” that contains the “Grail stone.” The narrator likens his journey to the symbolic journeys of mythological heroes from numerous ancient legends. Several veiled references are made to Noah/Enoch and his ark; to the Grail stone and the mysteries it contains; and to the discovery of the tomb of Venus or Isis.

Let us now examine Le Serpent Rouge, as translated by Amy Keller, for its hidden meaning:

Strange are the manuscripts of this Friend, great traveler of the unknown.

I think that these “manuscripts” represent the wisdom of the tablet of Enoch (Hermes-Thoth). It is Enoch, as Noah, Deucalion, or Hercules, who is the “great traveler of the unknown.” Hercules is mentioned later in the poem, and his tomb is said to be located in a cave within Montsegur. He was the pilot of the boat called the “Cup of Helios” (the “Sun-ark”). That would make Hercules (also called “Arkaleus”) another manifestation of the archetype of Noah (whom I have identified as being the same as Enoch). Hercules is famous for enduring a series of twelve trials, all of which clearly represent the houses of the zodiac. Le Serpent Rouge may be presenting us with a strange allegory for the Labors of Hercules: one in which there are thirteen trials, and thirteen zodiac houses, instead of twelve. The “unknown” through which he travels, then, would be the zodiac - the Celestial Sea, also represented by the serpent.

They reached me separately, nevertheless they form a whole for him who knows that the colors of the rainbow give a white unity, or for the Artist, who, under his brush, is able to, from the six hues of his magic palette, make the night spurt out.

This passage refers to the peculiar property of the seven colors of visible light, which, when combined, form a pure white light, the radiance of divine illumination. This may be an allusion to the alchemical language of light. When all of the major pigment colors are added together, they form the opposite - black. The Grail has always symbolized, in part, the essential unity of diverse aspects of the universe in this manner, including the unity of opposites such as black and white. The author of this poem seems to be saying that that Grail has been broken into disconnected pieces and scattered about, like the pieces of Osiris’ body, or the original language of the Tower of Babel.

This friend, how does one present him? His name remains a mystery, but his number is that of a famous seal.

“His name remains a mystery” because the true Enoch is hidden behind many veils of myth, and is given many names. The “seal” is the six-pointed seal of Solomon, which is associated in the occult with Saturn (Satan). I have discussed in other articles, and in The Merovingian Mythos, how this symbol also represents the “Arka” and the world-mountain.

How does one describe him? Maybe like the pilot of the imperishable Ark...

A direct reference linking the main character to the Flood hero.

… impassable like a column on a white rock, scanning towards the South, where the black rock is.

Here we have a reference to a white rock and a black rock. The Grail stone is said to be both white and black, and this will have a very particular significance later on in the poem.(1) The Ark’s pilot standing “impassable” upon the white rock may also refer to the mountain that the Ark rested upon when the Flood subsided, like Mount Ararat in the Bible.

In my arduous pilgrimage, I was tempted to clear for myself, with a sword, a way towards the inextricable vegetation of the woods. I wanted the reach the mysterious house of the Sleeping BEAUTY in whom certain poets see the QUEEN of a fallen kingdom.

This describes the “Herculean” task of finding the tomb of the goddess-queen said to be buried in the Pyrenees. She embodies the goddess archetype of Venus, the Sleeping Beauty. The symbols of the labyrinth and the dense woods are identical and are often combined in other versions of the Tomb of Venus tale. Nicholas de Vere writes in The Dragon Legacy that,

“Labyrinths were often placed in the center of groves. Sleeping Beauty, Diana and Rapunzel’s tower were all located in the middle of groves or thick woods.”

And as the poem says, Venus was indeed a queen during the golden age. That kingdom is now “fallen”, and it is that “fallen kingdom” which the Priory of Sion wishes to revive.

Worried about finding the way again, the parchments of this Friend were for me like the thread of Ariadne.

Here we have a direct reference to the aforementioned labyrinth, specifically the one built on Crete which is the center of the famous Greek myth of Theseus and the Minotaur. This labyrinth symbol repeatedly comes up in connection to the Venus myth and the Holy Grail. The labyrinth is often located inside the caverns of Venus’s enchanted mountain, or, as in the Rapunzel story, can be entered through a tower that represents a mountain. In fact in Scandinavia labyrinths are referred to as “Babylons”, indicating that perhaps a labyrinth was located underneath the Tower of Babel, like the labyrinths that have been found underneath South American ziggurats and the pyramids of Egypt. There may then be one underneath the mountains of Rennes-le-Chateau. As Nicholas de Vere states,

“The labyrinth, like the pyramid and its collaterals, is thought to be a development of the idea of the mountain cave.”

De Vere also sees the labyrinths as a feminine, vaginal symbol, and the Sleeping Beauty story as a metaphor for sex magic. He points out that the word “labyrinth” very likely comes from “labia”, and that, “On at least two occasions in England labyrinths have been euphemistically referred to as ‘fishtraps’”, bringing to mind not only a vaginal connotation, but one specifically associated with Venus, who was represented in myth by the fish, and who came from a race of “navigators”, all of whom were associated with fish and water. In some versions of the myth of the Melusine - that half-woman, half-fish who was the spawn of Satan (clearly a representation of the Venus archetype), and who spawned the Angevin kings - de Vere says that Melusine is depicted as residing in the midst of a labyrinth.

“The center of the maze”, he writes, “incorporated a black cubic stone, from which spurted the waters of life, La Fontaine de Soif, and the blood of the Virgin Womb.”

This relates to de Vere’s theory that the Grail kings of the ancient world regularly participated in a vampiric ritual that involved drinking the menstrual blood and female ejaculate of so-called “Grail maidens”, the foremost of which was Venus herself, “the Queen of Harlots”, and head of the temple prostitutes.

This ritual would have been cause itself for the Grail kings to observe a 364-day lunar calendar based on thirteen lunar (and menstrual) cycles of twenty-eight days each. Such a calendar would seem to be represented by the labyrinth on the floor of the Chartres Cathedral in France, of which de Vere writes that,

“The radius of the maze is 21 feet, which is 3 x 7, representing the three fallow weeks of the menstrual cycle. The week of menstruus would be represented by the point at the center of the maze, which is, on certain days, illuminated red.”

This is accomplished by use of a stained glass window through which sunlight shines upon the center of the maze. Here also can be found, according to de Vere, a “six-petaled Plantagenet or wild rose, carved into which there seems to be an M figure reminiscent of the symbol of Virgo.”

In the myth of the Minotaur, the thread of Ariadne is what allowed Theseus to escape from the Labyrinth after slaying the beast. Every nine years, the Minotaur required a sacrifice of seven youths and seven virgins, who were placed as hapless victims inside the labyrinth, where they were torn apart and eaten by the monster. This state of affairs is what Theseus was sent to rectify by slaying the monster. As de Vere writes,

“...by the time Theseus is said to have turned up, the tribute to the Minotaur in youths’ and virgins’ blood had been paid twice in 18 years. Gematrically this gives us a total of 28 victims, on one lunar cycle of 28 days.”

Ariadne, while depicted as human in some versions of the tale, would appear to represent a spider who spins a magic thread. Note the similarity between the name of “Ariadne” and that of “Arachne”, from whence we get the word “arachnid”, denoting an eight-legged creature, such as a spider.(2) Arachne was a Greek goddess, the master spinstress of Olympia, who hanged herself after she lost a web-spinning contest to the goddess Minerva. Her competitor then felt sorry for her, and reincarnated her in the form of a spider. This web-spinning goddess figure would seem to have a link to Sleeping Beauty, who, if you will recall, fell into a deathless sleep after pricking her finger on an enchanted spinning wheel. Theseus entered the labyrinth with the magic thread of Ariadne tied around his waist, like the cable tow of the Freemasons that is worn while “groping for light” (akin to traversing a labyrinth) during their initiation ceremonies. De Vere compares the story to that of Rapunzel, writing that,

“In Rapunzel the golden thread is her hair, and the maze is substituted by the equally daunting but related structure, a Tower.”

Thanks to him, from now on with measured steps and with a certain eye, I can discover the sixty-four dispersed stones of the perfect cube…

The “sixty-four dispersed stones” which form a “perfect cube” must be a crucial part of this mystery. There are sixty-four squares on a chessboard, and a perfect sixty-four-square chessboard is formed by the black and white tiles on the floor of the church at Rennes-le-Chateau, facing both the statue of the demon Asmodeus, and the statue of Saint Germain, as if they were opposing players in a game of chess. In addition, the cipher used in one of the Sauniere parchments is based upon the chessboard, specifically the “Knight’s Tour.” This is a mathematical puzzle, to which there are numerous solutions, the goal of which is to have the knight visit each square on the chessboard once only, using the L-shaped knight’s move. The Knight’s Tour was also used to form the encryption system used in the code found on one of Sauniere’s parchments.

The chequered pattern, and the game of chess itself, is associated with the Knights Templar, who purportedly acquired knowledge of these things through their extensive contact with Eastern mystics during the Crusades. The game of chess not only represents the eternal battle between the forces of good and evil, light and dark; it also represents something astrological. First of all, the board’s outer ring consists of twenty-eight squares, which, as Michael Schneider acknowledges in The Beginner’s Guide to Constructing the Universe, represents the twenty-eight days of the lunar cycle. The king and queen are solar and lunar symbols, as Schneider elaborates:

“The king, the most important piece, represents the Sun of this solar system... traveling only one step at a time, along both square and triangular lines, in any of eight directions. The king is virtually hidden from the action, yet the entire game revolves around it...The queen is the most powerful piece on the board, having unlimited movement in any of eight directions of manifestation... In another sense she is Regina Coeli, Queen of the Heavens, the widely traveling moon which always reflects the light of the Sun, the king.”

Besides the king and queen, other pieces on the board also have special significance. The four rooks, or towers could represent the “four watchtowers” that divide the zodiac into four cardinal points, and which were incorporated into the headdress of the goddesses Isis and Diana, as well as Mary Magdalene. (In fact, a statue of Mary Magdalene crowned with four towers can be seen just outside in the courtyard of the church at Rennes-le-Chateau.) The black and white squares could be considered alternating periods of day and night. The chessboard itself, made up of four concentric rings of squares, resembles a “bird’s eye view” of a four-stepped ziggurat, and thus represents the world mountain that in the eyes of the ancients provided the axis along which the cosmos metaphorically rotated.

In the belief system of ancient man, it was the cosmos, and the heavenly bodies contained within it, that controlled man’s fate. The chessboard symbolizes an astrological mosaic of fate’s possibilities. On the board there are six different types of pieces, and these six types of pieces can move in any of eight directions (the four cardinal points, and the four diagonal points). That there are sixty-four possibilities is fitting, since there are sixty-four six-part “codons”, or “genetic words” in human DNA. There are also, notably, sixty-four hexagrams in the Chinese divination system known as I-Ching. The relationships between the pieces on the chessboard form, as Michael Schneider suggests, “...lines of force composing an energy web”, like the web of the spider goddess Arachne, whose eight legs can be likened to the eight directions on a chessboard, as well as the eight squares that are on each side of the chessboard’s outer ring.


Schneider writes that,

“The chessboard, the spider’s web... and the I-Ching each in its own way represents the world’s opposite forces weaving the eight-fold ‘elements’... the warp and weft of matter’s web.”

The Web of Arachne, or the “Web of Fate”, was also likened by Nicholas de Vere to the Buddhist eight-spoked Wheel of Life, and to the Tarot’s eight-spoked Wheel of Fortune, which both seem, in this context, to be not unlike Sleeping Beauty’s spinning wheel, which controlled the fate of an entire kingdom.

There is another important connection as well. I have discussed in my book The Merovingian Mythos how the Egyptian symbols of the Eye of Ra and the Eye of Horus represent the “Grail stone”, the “stone that was rejected” and the “substitute” stone. Well, according to R.T. Rundle Clark’s Myth and Symbol in Ancient Egypt, the Eye of Horus consists of “64 parts” that have been scattered and need to be reassembled! He writes:

“It will soon be seen that if each part of the [Eye of Horus] represents a fraction of the descending geometric series 1/2, ¼, 1/8, etc., put together, they make 63/64… So Thoth (3) can say ‘I came seeking the Eye of Horus, that I might bring it back and count it!’”

The Eye of Horus is a representation of the Grail stone as the “All-Seeing Eye” of Satan, with which all of his direct descendants are able to see as well. This would have to be the “Third Eye” of Hinduism, called the “Ajna” (which comes from “Az”, a title used by both Cain and Enoch). Is this, then the “certain eye” which discovers the “sixty-four dispersed stones of the perfect cube”?

The “perfect cube” is also an important symbol in the ancient mysteries, being representative of the “Philosopher’s Stone” of the alchemists. Albert Pike wrote that the Emerald Tablet was a cube. The cube contains, in its angles, magic numbers. As Pike wrote:

“If we delineate a cube on a plane surface thus, we have visible 3 faces, and 9 external lines, drawn between 7 points. The complete cube has 3 more faces, making 6; 3 more lines, making 12; and 1 more point, making 8. As the number 12 includes the sacred numbers 3, 5, and 7, and 3 times 3, or 9, and 3 times 3, or 9, and is produced by adding the sacred number 3 to 9, while its own two figures, 1,2, the unit, or monad, and duad, added together, make the sacred number 3; it was called the perfect number; and the cube became the symbol of perfection.” (4)

The “scattered stones” of the cube mentioned in this poem may also refer to the ruined Temple of Solomon, a building whose dimensions, delineated to the architects specifically by “God” himself, formed a perfect cube. Albert Pike writes of this:

“The Holy of Holies of the temple formed a cube, in which, drawn on a plane surface, there are 4+3+2=9 lines visible, and three sides or faces...”

Perhaps this is why the unit of measurement used by the Hebrews for the construction of the Temple was called, by Englishmen, the “cubit.”

Given what we know, we can now look at one of the mysteries surrounding Jean Cocteau, the presumed author of the poem Le Serpent Rouge, with fresh insight. In the mural he created at the Notre Dame de France in London, he signed his name with the mysterious initials “D.D.D.” - a code which has never been explained. But if you consider that “D” is the fourth letter of the alphabet, and then cube the number 4 (4 x 4 x 4, or 4 to the third power), you get 64 - a perfect cube.(5)

… that the Brothers of the BEAUTY of the black woods, escaping the usurpers pursuing them, disseminated while they were fleeing the white Fort.

If the “beauty” is Isis, or Venus, then her “brothers” are the Cainites (descendants of Cain), who literally were her brothers. Also note that there is a woman whose grave, located on the grounds of the church at Rennes-le-Chateau, is very important to the whole mystery, and whose name, “Marie de Blanchefort”, means literally, “Marie of the White Fort.” Clearly her grave stone, and her name, are clues pointing to the grave of Venus, the real “Marie of the White Fort.”

Reassemble the scattered stones, and work with square and compass to put them back in regular order;

The Freemasons’ most well-known emblem is the L-shaped, right-angled square and compass, and this reassembly of “scattered stones” indicates re-acquiring “that which was lost”, i.e., the Grail stone, by using the L-shaped, right-angled moves of the knight in the Knight’s Tour to “reassemble the scattered stones.”

…search for the line of the meridian that goes from the Orient to the Occident, then look from the South to the North, and finally in every direction to obtain the sought solution, stationing oneself before the fourteen stones marked with a cross.

This indicates using the “Roseline” meridian that, according to the Priory of Sion and Pierre Plantard, runs through Rennes-le-Chateau, and which is a much more ancient meridian than even the Paris meridian, supposedly. It has been suggested that the “fourteen stones marked with a cross” may actually refer to the fourteen Stations of the Cross within the church, each of which is surmounted by a Celtic-style cross with a circle. However, I am not certain that this is the correct interpretation.

The circle was the ring and the crown, and that was the diadem of this QUEEN of the castle.

This passage associates the Venus figure with the written symbol of Venus: a cross surmounted by a circle - the queen crowned. This sign is related to the Celtic cross mentioned above, and to the Egyptian Ankh, which was also used by the Cathars, who referred to it as “the Albigensian cross.” This imagery may further be related to that of the constellation Virgo, who is depicted in iconography as crowned with a circle of stars, as are Isis and the Virgin Mary.

The stones of the mosaic pavement from the sacred place are alternately white or black, and JESUS, like ASMODEUS, observes their alignments.

This again is the black and white chessboard tiling on the floor of the church at Rennes-le-Chateau, which both the statues of Jesus and Asmodeus are staring down on. Perhaps we are meant to observe the alignment of the chessboard with other items in the church, and/or to project these alignments outward through the wider surrounding landscape.

My view seemed incapable of seeing the summit where the Sleeping Beauty lay hidden.

Again, we have a reference to the goddess buried within the mountain: the Venusberg tale, upon which the story of Sleeping Beauty is based.

It is not by the magical strength of HERCULES that one deciphers these mysterious symbols engraved by observers of the past.

This is a reference to the cave known as the Tomb of Hercules (a.k.a Enoch), which is covered with hieroglyphic symbols, just as the tomb of Hermes (Enoch) supposedly is.



Writes Buechner:

“He explored the grottoes of an area known as Sabarthez, notably the grottoes of Ornolac and the massive cavern of Lombrives. Here he found a huge chamber which was known to the local mountain people as the ‘Cathedral’ because it had served as a meeting place for the ancient Cathars. In the main hall was a great stalagmite known as the ‘Tomb of Hercules.’ In a third grotto, that of Fontenet, was a stalagmite which was white as snow. It was called the ‘Altar’... Deep within the grottoes of the Sabarthez he found chambers in which the walls were covered with characteristic symbols of the Knights Templar, side by side with the well-known emblems of the Cathars... One very interesting image which had been carved into the stone wall of a grotto was clearly a drawing of a lance. This depiction immediately suggested the bleeding lance which appears over and over again in Arthurian legends, and which is, of course, the Holy Lance which pierced the side of Christ at the crucifixion.”

In the sanctuary, nevertheless the font of benediction, fountain of love of the believers, reminds us of these words again: “BY THIS SIGN YOU WILL CONQUER.”

The holy water stoup at Rennes-le-Chateau is marked with the phrase, “By this sign you shall conquer.” This phrase was used by Constantine when he saw his vision of the sun-cross in the sky. The cross above the stoop is of the Celtic type described previously. However, it has been suggested in Holy Blood, Holy Grail, and in the literature published by the Priory of Sion, that the sign which Constantine really envisioned was the Chi Rho. This is a symbol made out of the first two Latin letters in the Latin word for “Christ.” It is pre-Christian in origin, but is now a common Catholic symbol.

From her who I wish to free, steams of perfume that impregnated the sepulcher climbed towards me. Formerly some called her ISIS, queen of the beneficial spring, COME TO ME ALL OF YOU WHO SUFFER AND WHO ARE AFFLICTED, AND I WILL COMFORT YOU. For others: MADGALENE, of the famous vase full of healing balm. The initiates know her true name: OUR LADY OF THE CROSS.

Here the author associates Isis, Venus, Virgo, and Mary Magdalene with the vase full of balm which all of these characters were supposed to have carried, and which can also be linked with the Holy Grail. The use of the term “Our Lady of the Cross” again associates the goddess with the Celtic circle and cross symbol. The idea that she needs to be “freed” from something indicates that she, like her brothers, the Cainites, is imprisoned within her mountain tomb, trapped “in a deathless sleep”, like Sleeping Beauty.

I was like the shepherds of the famous painter POUSSIN, perplexed in front of the enigma: “ET IN ARCADIA EGO…”!

It goes without saying that this is a reference to Nicolas Poussin’s painting, The Shepherds of Arcadia, which was mentioned in the Sauniere parchments, and which depicts the mountains of Rennes-le-Chateau. The painting is a clue indicating the sacred tombs located within the mountains.

Et in Arcadia Ego, Guercino

Et in Arcadia Ego, Poussin

Shepherd's Monument

The voice of the blood made me form an image of an ancestral past. Yes, the lightening flash of genius cut across my thinking. I saw it again, I understood! I knew now this fabulous secret.

The author is perhaps experiencing ancestral memories pertaining to the secret of the Grail, for he may be of the Grail blood himself.

One must marvel that, during the jumps of the four horsemen, the hooves of one horse left four imprints on the stone.

The imagery of horses brings to mind the “horse of God” that was mentioned in the Sauniere parchments. However, these “four horsemen” are the four knights on the chessboard, and their “jumps” are once again a reference to the Knight’s Tour. They are also reminiscent of the four horsemen of The Revelation of Saint John the Divine.

There is the sign that DELACROIX had given in one of three tableaus in the Chapel of Angels. There is the seventh sentence that a hand had traced: DELIVER ME FROM THE MIRE, SO THAT I WILL NOT STAY HERE SINKING. Twice IS, embalmer and embalmed, miracle vase of the eternal White Lady of the Legends.

“Twice IS” is, of course, Isis, or Venus, the “Eternal White Lady of the Legends.” Here, her vase is associated with the embalming of corpses, both her own and someone else’s. Of course, Mary Magdalene’s balm was supposedly used to “anoint” Jesus for burial. “Deliver me from the mire” is perhaps a prayer from the Ark navigator, asking to be saved from the Flood, to keep him from sinking into the mud that was swallowing up creation all around him. It also may link up with the story of the children of God, Shu and Tefnut, who in Egyptian mythology got lost in the Primeval Waters, and were saved by God’s eye, which was sent out to find them. In the myth, the Eye was personified as female, a precursor to the idea of the goddess Isis.

Begun in darkness, my journey could only be completed in Light.

Here is yet another reference to the opposing but equal powers of good and evil, light and dark.

At the window of the ruined house, I contemplated the trees made bare by the autumn.

This “ruined house”, like the story of the ruined Temple of Solomon, or the ruined Tower of Babel, represents the loss of the Grail wisdom after the Deluge.

At the summit of the mountain, the cross detached itself from the crest under the midday sun. It was the fourteenth and highest of all with 35 centimeters!

I have already discussed the significance of the time of midday, or high noon, in regards to the Rennes-le-Chateau mystery in other Dagobert’s Revenge articles, and in my book The Merovingian Mythos and the Mystery of Rennes-le-Chateau.

It is the moment when Hiram Abiff (representing the dead, hidden god within the tomb) was murdered. Dagobert II, to whom the treasure of Rennes-le-Chateau is said to belong, was also murdered at midday, and “midday” is mentioned specifically in the parchments found by Sauniere. As for the rest of this passage, I have been unable thus far to decipher it conclusively.

Here I am, thus, on my knight’s tour, on the circuit of the divine horsemen of the abyss.

Here is an even more overt reference to the Knight’s Tour. The words “divine horsemen” would also seem to correlate with the “horse of God” reference in Sauniere’s second parchment. “Crossing the Abyss” may be analogous to discovering the tomb, and “reassembling the scattered stones” – regaining the Grail.

Celestial vision for him who remembers the four works of E. M. Signol regarding the meridian line;

Emile Signol was a painter who produced four paintings of the old Paris meridian line, which the Priory documents suggest has some geometric relationship to the “Roseline” meridian. Signol also painted a famous portrait of King Dagobert II. All of these works are now on display in the Saint Sulpice church in Paris.

…at the choir of the sanctuary from where this spring of love radiates towards one another, I pivot, looking from the rose from P to that of the S, then from the S to the P…

I believe this line refers to the tombs hidden beneath the mountains of Rennes-le-Chateau: the “sanctuary.” The word “choir” comes from “core”, indicating the inner chamber of that structure, the “heart of the sanctuary.” The word “heart” in French, is “coeur”, and it comes from the Latin “cor” or “cordis”, from whence we get the word “cardia”, designating the heart organ These words are also related to the ancient words “kar” and “gar”, the key syllables in the words “Garral”, or “Grail”, and “Kardo”, the name given in The Book of the Cave of Treasures for the mountain upon which the Ark landed, which I have equated with Mt. Cardou in Rennes-le-Chateau. In my book The Merovingian Mythos I discuss how Cardou/Kardo may have been, as indicated by the Priory of Sion’s own writings, the “zero point” for the ancient prime meridian referred to by the Priory as the “Roseline”, and thus was literally the “center of the Earth” in ancient times.

The “rose” mentioned may be the “hidden sun” said to be within the tomb, which is referred to metaphorically in occult ritual as a rose. It may represent, in this instance, the “heart” of Mt. Cardou. If the prime meridian of the ancient world passes through this point, this may explain why it is called “the Roseline.” The reference to the “heart” which “radiates the source of love for one another” identifies this “rose” with the Sacred Heart symbol as well, which was used by the Priory of Sion under their guise as the Hieron du Val d’Or. The Sacred Heart symbol is further linked with the rose-cross, the Celtic cross, the ankh, and the Venus symbol. All of these represent this concept of the center of the Earth and the prime meridian.

The “P” and “S” represent the Priory of Sion.

…and the spiral in my mind becomes like a monstrous octopus expelling its ink. The tentacles absorb the light, I am dizzy.

The tomb of Marie de Blanchefort, which in its inscription reveals the coded words “Et in Arcadia Ego”, also has the figure of an octopus etched down at the bottom. The octopus is, according to Priory of Sion member Paul Le Cour, a solar symbol used in Atlantis. It also contains the same symbolism as Arachne, the spider goddess, in regards to the number eight and the chessboard.

“The spiral in my mind” may signify the Fibonacci spiral. On the tombstone of Marie de Blanchefort, at the top, we find the letters P and S, linked by a Fibonacci spiral. Furthermore, when an octopus expels ink into water, the ink makes a perfect Fibonacci spiral, another peculiar property of nature. Spirals in general, however, can also be seen as yet another representation of the labyrinth, or maze.

I put my hand to my mouth, instinctively biting my palm, maybe like OLIER in his coffin.

This is the Masonic “Sign of Horror”, made by raising the hand over the mouth and biting the palm, a perfectly apt sign to be made if, for instance, one has just discovered a tomb. In fact, this sign is used in Masonic ritual when reenacting the discovery of Hiram Abiff’s tomb. Jean-Jacques Olier was the founder of the Seminary of Saint Sulpice. “Olier in his coffin” may just be a reinforcement of the image of the divine tombs, and the involvement of the Priory of Sion in the Rennes-le-Chateau mystery.

Curses, I understand the truth, HE HAS PASSED in doing good, as did he of the flowery tomb.

“He has passed” is reminiscent of the phrase “he is there dead” from the Sauniere parchments (below) which in that case referred to the remains of King Dagobert being buried at Rennes-le-Chateau. These bones were probably laid there alongside those of his ancestors, going all the way back to the Cainites. The “flowery tomb” reference is in regards to the supposed “rose (or “hidden sun”) within the tomb of Enoch/Hermes.


The text on this parchment, the shorter of the two, is a composite of different Gospel accounts of Jesus and his disciples eating corn on the Sabbath. The hidden message was discovered by Henry Lincoln in 1969. Some of the letters are raised above the rest on the line, and simply reading them in order gives the words:



This had attracted by far the more interest and attempts at interpretation.

The Latin text is the account from John's Gospel (chapter 12) in which Mary of Bethany (believed by many to be one and the same as Mary Magdalene) anoints Jesus. As with the first parchment, certain letters are picked out - this time by being smaller than the rest - which spell the words REX MUNDI, Latin for 'King of the World', a term used by Gnostic heretics such as the Cathars.

There is a grave in the church graveyard at Rennes-le-Bains which appears to links up with this line as well - or rather, two graves. For in this yard there are two gravestones bearing the name of Paul-Urbain de Fleury, grandson of Marie de Blanchefort.(6) Henry Lincoln believes that the reason for the gravestone duplication is to draw attention to the man’s name, which sounds a lot like “fleurie”, the French word for “flowery.”

But how many have plundered the HOUSE, leaving nothing but embalmed cadavers and metal objects that they could not have taken. What strange mystery is concealed within the new temple of SOLOMON, edified by the children of Saint VINCENT?

This is clearly a reference to the sacking of Solomon’s Temple, the loss of the Grail, and the “ruined house” concept discussed earlier. The “new” Temple of Solomon reference alludes to the concept of regaining that which was lost. But it may also refer to Rennes-le-Chateau, linking it symbolically with the Temple of Solomon. In other words, Rennes-le-Chateau is the real “Holy of Holies”, where the real “stone from Heaven”, and the bodies of the real “holy patriarchs” are buried: the real “center of the Earth”, and the ideal location to build a sacred temple, which I believe also exists within the mountains. The writer seems to be describing a tomb that has been partially plundered except for the bodies, and other objects that were too heavy to carry. This may indeed be the case with the tombs beneath Rennes-le-Chateau.

The “Children of Saint Vincentare a subsection of the Priory of Sion mentioned in the statutes written for the order by Jean Cocteau, who, according to him, number 243, and who “participate neither in the vote, nor in the Convents, but to whom the Priory of Sion accords certain rights and privileges.” This subgroup was created, Cocteau claimed, on January 17, 1681.

Cursing the profaners in their ashes and those who follow their ways, I leave the abyss where I was plunged while making the gesture of horror.

Here we have another reference to the Masonic “Sign of Horror” upon discovering a tomb. The “profaners” are those who have plundered the tombs.

Here is the proof that I knew the secret of the Seal of Solomon, and that I had visited the hidden houses of this queen.

Another reference to the six-pointed star, and to the “Sleeping Beauty” hidden inside of a mountain.

Take heed, dear Friend. Do not add or remove one iota; think and think again.

This indicates that clues are hidden in the precise wording of this poem, which you will understand more clearly every time you examine it. These are very similar words to those used at the end of The Revelation of Saint John the Divine, which may not, in fact, be that last words of that book in its original form. A rumor persists that the Priory of Sion (and, I suspect, specifically Jean Cocteau) was in possession of a twenty-third chapter to The Revelation of Saint John the Divine that contained unknown secrets about the Apocalypse which the Vatican wished to remain secret. This theory is presented in Andre Douzet’s book Sauniere’s Model and the Secret of Rennes-le-Chateau, in which he links it to the mysterious phrase “John 23” uttered by Berenger Sauniere at his death. Just a few years later, Jean Cocteau assumed the title “John 23” when he took office as the Grand Master of the Priory.(7)

The base lead of my writing contains the purest gold.

These words imply that the tomb which the poem describes contains the secrets of alchemy, which it would if it contained the tablet of Enoch (Hermes-Thoth).

Returning to the white hill, the sky has opened its floodgates.

In the Bible, the “floodgates” of the “firmament of Heaven” were opened to let loose the catastrophic Deluge.

There seemed to be a presence nearby, its feet in the water like him who comes to receive the mark of baptism.

Following the Flood reference, here we have yet another reference to water, specifically baptism. This could symbolize the cleansing of the Earth via the Flood. It could also refer in part to Christ’s baptism by John the Baptist. In those days, the ritual was performed not by an emersion of the entire body, but only the feet. Note that Jean Cocteau’s mural at Notre Dame de France in London shows only the feet of Christ. But there is another mural of Cocteau’s that illustrates this principle even more clearly. It is the mural in the Chapel of Saint Peter entitled Saint Peter Walking on Water. The painting shows Peter being held aloft by an angel while his feet are dipped into the water, as though he were being baptized.

I turn again towards the East. Facing me I see rings unrolling without end, the enormous SERPENT ROUGE cited in the parchments. Salty and bitter, the enormous unchained beast became, at the feet of this white mountain, red in color.

This passage could conceal a hidden message regarding the combination of red and white powders in alchemy. The reference to the snake being “bitter” reinforces the association with the sulfurous red element used in that process.

My emotions were rising. “Deliver me from the mire!”, I said, and awoke immediately. My dream is over. I have omitted from telling you in effect that this was a dream I had this JANUARY 17th, feast day of Saint SULPICE.

January 17, as we know, is a date that recurs frequently in this Rennes-le-Chateau mystery. It is the day Marie de Blanchefort is recorded to have died, and the date on which Berenger Sauniere fell ill with a stroke, from which he died five days later. It is also the date on which Nicolas Flamel, one of the Grand Masters of the Priory of Sion, is recorded to have successfully completed his first alchemical transformation of base metal into gold, and the date upon which the Priory of Sion‘s “Children of Saint Vincent“ were created. Furthermore, it is, as the poem notes, the Feast Day of Saint Sulpice, and we know that the Priory of Sion took headquarters in the Seminary of Saint Sulpice for some time.

Recently I have discovered even more interesting connections regarding this date. The Birthday Book of Saints, by Sean Kelly and Rosemary Rogers, says that January 17th is also the feast day of St. Anthony the Hermit, the patron saint of buried treasure has cropped up elsewhere in the Rennes-le-Chateau mystery. But even more astounding is that, in addition, this date marks the feast day of “St. Roseline”, whose name contains an obvious connection to the “Roseline” meridian (which, incidentally, runs through St. Sulpice in Paris). According to Kelly and Rogers, she was:

“… the mind reading prioress of Provence. When she was exhumed in 1334, four years after her death, her body was perfectly incorrupt. The astonished cleric in charge was so impressed by the beauty of her eyes that he scooped them out and took them home.”

The details of this story clearly mimic the legend of Venus lying incorrupt within her tomb. The bit about the eyes being taken out connects with the idea of the “Watchers, and with the story of the missing eye of Horus.

Afterwards, my trouble persisting, I wanted after some reflection to tell you a fairytale by PERRAULT.

Charles Perrault, a seventeenth century French writer and poet, was the author of the book Sleeping Beauty.

Here then, dear reader, in the pages that follow are the result of a dream that cradled me in the world of the strange and the unknown. To him who PASSES BY, DO GOOD!

Here the writer seems to be suggesting that we use the clues embedded in the poem to explore the “world of the strange and the unknown”, and to “do good” by solving the mysteries of the Grail, and of Rennes-le-Chateau.

There are many riddles still left to be solved within this poem. This may form the basis for a forthcoming book on the subject.


(1) Albert Pike stated in Morals and Dogma: “The Ancients adored the Sun under the form of a black stone, called Elagabalus, or Heliogabulua. The faithful are promised, in the Apocalypse, a white stone.”

(2) Cocteau decorated the ceiling of the Notre Dame de France with a spiderweb motif.

(3) Remember that Thoth is the same figure as Hermes, or Enoch.

(4) Aleister Crowley insisted that his student magicians construct their altars with two perfect cubes stacked atop one another, “symbolizing the Great Work... The height of the altar is equal to the height above the ground of the navel of the magician. The altar is connected with the Ark of the Covenant, Noah’s Ark, the nave (navis, a ship) of the Church, and many other symbols of antiquity.”

(5) In this context, it is also worth noting that Cocteau was one of the major participants in Hans Richter’s film 8 x 8: A Chess Sonata, and he created one of the film’s most bizarre segments.

(6) Remember that Marie de Blanchefort also had two graves attributed to her.

(7) One should note that, since the Cutting of the Elm, all Priory Grand Masters have taken on the title “John.”