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France Retreat

Persephone, Demeter & Mary Magdalene -

The Heroine’s Journey

May 26 – June 2, 2018  


 Lavaldieu, Templar Hamlet by the legendary Rennes-le-Chateau in the Pyrenees, France

Have you ever experienced a loss of innocence, being plunged into darkness, subject to the will of an irresistible force?  Had your innocence & trust betrayed?  Been separated from all that is familiar, or had that which is dearest to your heart stolen away?  Been forced to grow up?  This retreat is for you.


Persephone (Kore) is the young daughter of Demeter, Goddess of the Grain, crops, harvest, plenitude.

She is seized by Hades, her Uncle, God of the Underworld, Guardian of Souls, & taken down into his realm, there to be his Queen.  Demeter wanders the earth desperately seeking her beloved daughter, ultimately causing all crops to shrivel & die, thus forcing her brothers to restore her daughter to her before all humanity perishes. Zeus & Hermes are also involved..  There is a catch, however….


We’ll be exploring the three Archetypal stories:


  •   Persephone: Innocence, loss, separation, attachment, awakening sexuality, love, the dark, trust, empowerment.

  •   Demeter: Bounty, betrayal, loss, despair, mothering,  retribution, forgiveness, reconciliation & love.

  •   The Magdalene, High Priestess: Ancient feminine mysteries, betrayal, power, wisdom, fear, male/female conflict & collaboration, repression, negotiation & empowerment of the feminine, in the Journey of the Soul. The Magdalene preached in this area. Mysterious discoveries relate to her status as High Priestess .


What is your story, how might it link through the myths to your personal path, & how to the new rising of the feminine in today’s world?  


How would you relate this to the crisis facing our precious Mother Earth? How might you embody & share your authentic, hard-won wisdom?


We will bring our own personal stories & experiences to Inquiry, using The Work of Byron Katie, Voice Dialogue, Movement & Yoga, & Creative Imagination to deepen, clarify & expand our experiences in what we discover.

All you need is an open mind, & a notebook! & any photos of yourself as child, as mother, as wanderer or priestess - any images connected with these themes.


This year for the first time I’m making it for women only. 


NEW: Daily Yoga with Noa Mofaz.


Daily schedule:

7.00-8.10 Yoga/Meditation

8.30-9.30 Breakfast

9.45 - 1.15 Workshop

1.30 Lunch


Afternoon your own time, to sleep, journal, do assignments  (pair work or worksheets), 

go shopping, visit local sights or villages, walk the woods and hills, or just chill out.  


6.00 - 7.30 Group gathering to share, and/or yoga

8.00 dinner 


Food is delicious vegetarian, mostly organic, much home-grown.  Herb teas, coffee, wine at dinner all included. 

We share food for lunch.




Tuition GBP £337 earlybird Mar 21 (full £377) - pay via paypal 

£70 deposit (non-refundable). Payable via paypal. 

Vegetarian half-board & farmhouse lodging: € 286

Book your accommodation directly with Lavaldieu: or phone +33 4 68 74 23 21    



“We look back on a wonderful week ” Fenna & Job 

“What a special week for me. I came for so many reasons, & I achieved all that I had set out to do & loved my time with you all.” Rosie



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How to get there:
Nearest airports to  Couiza are  Carcassonne (34km),  Perpignan (60km) and

Toulouse (100km).  Ryanair flies to Carcassonne and Perpignan,  Flybe and

AirFrance to Perpignan,  Easyjet to Toulouse.  Hertz do good car hire rates

through the Ryanair website. You can also travel  Eurostar to Lille, then  TGV to

Montpellier or Narbonne, then regular (Corail Teos or Thalys) to Carcassonne,

then train or bus via  Limoux to  Couiza-Montazels, then call for a taxi or to be


We can put together a list for car or taxi-share.


Note: Alison Judge runs a useful minibus shuttle service from Carcassonne

airport or rail station to the Haute Vallée de l'Aude (Carcassonne — Limoux —

Alet-les-Bains — Couiza — Esperaza — Quillan) matching the round trips to the

day's flights. Contact + 33 (O)468 20 15 54 or + 33 (0)668 72 05 01.

Or book on the website at Aerobus Haute Vallée:

She is usually able to divert via Lavaldieu for a few extra Euros, and her charges

are really reasonable.


For drivers:

Hertz seems to offer the best deals if you book through the Ryanair website

(you don’t have to have booked a flight).

Find the route on your map from Couiza to Rennes-le-Chateau (you go through

Couiza centre and it is a sharp little turn up to the left opposite a sort of large

villa with trees). Up the twisty hill, 2 or 3 km, you'll see Rennes le Ch on your

right on top of the hill. Turn leftish, Not sharp left (actually you are going

straight on). Signed to Rennes-les-Bains. Continue along this road over the

plateau, through a cluster of houses, past a farm on your left and right, (below

the limestone ridge that juts out), and there you'll see a couple of large wooden

buildings, and the entrance to Lavaldieu left fork. If you go down the steep hill,

you've gone too far.



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