A Non-Definitive History: the Cathars of Southern France
This article was originally published on my Wordpress site back in 2015.
Memorial at Minerve where 140 - 180 Cathars were burned alive
for disagreeing with Catholic theology. Source: www.cathar.info
I based the Sidhe characters in The Ouroboros Key on a mix of the Albi and the Anunnaki. In essence (or in theory whichever you prefer), the Albi or the Albi-gens, were the “Elvan” bloodline descended from Tailltu, Celtic Goddess of the Earth. In The Ouroboros Key, Tailltu is presented as Tiamet. Tailltu and Tiamet are dragon goddesses/queens and they are often symbolised by a serpent holding its tail in its mouth – the Ouroboros.
Tiamet is often depicted as a multi-headed dragon.
Image source: www.mmogames.com
The Ouroboros Key is derived from Celtic, early Christian and Sumerian mythology, and so it is. We see the symbology I describe in the history of each of these religions/cultures. Which is what hooked me in the first place. How can similar symbols and myths be in a religion such as Christianity, which opposes all other religions? How can one religion reflect the gods in another? And how can each religion say that they are the one true faith (or words to that effect)?
It’s a deep and murky hole filled with scholarly works, fantastic tales, and conspiracy theories. Naturally, I decided I needed to add to it.
The Ouroboros Key doesn’t delve too deeply into the whys and wherefores. I prefer to deliver an entertaining story to a semi-academic piece, but I had to do a lot of academic reading and research in order to present a story line that travelled relatively smoothly.
The Cathars (Pure Ones) have an interesting story. They were a sect or a denomination if you prefer, of Christianity from the 1100s to the 1300s who believed in two gods; one good, one evil. Enki and Enlil. These two also figure in legends of the Anunnaki.
Oh, it’s a very tangled web.
Back to the Cathars. The Christian hierarchy at the time called the Cathars “Albigenses” (they were from the region of the same name in Languedoc and I don’t think the elvish theory was much touted in those days) and the Cathars called themselves, Christians. Aside from being dualist, Cathars did not believe in holding observances in churches, considered men and women equal, were happy with questioning faith and thinking for themselves, and were against the taking of life and eating meat. Their belief system was quite popular in the Languedoc area among the commoners and the local nobility.
The Cathar doctrine was about love and compassion. They rejected the idea that bad things happened because God was trying them. It was the perpetual war between good and evil, and the shifting balance between them that caused the “shit to fly”.
There were several other tenets of the faith and practices of the people (such as not paying tithes to the Catholic church), which in the end proved their downfall. Neither side liked each other and when a campaign of propaganda didn’t work, the Catholic Church started the Albigensian Crusade. I’m sure you all know what that means–holy armies marching on the “unholy” and killing everybody.
The quote, Kill them all. God will know his own, derives from this period and is attributed to the Cistercian monk, Arnaud Amaury. Fairly gruesome stuff, but then that was the crusades for you (all of them).
Catharism belief reached far and wide, and though the Cathars were eventually wiped out, we can see traces of their influence throughout history in other religions, cultures, and of course, in the remains of former strongholds in the Languedoc region.
There are many references to the Cathars in The Ouroboros Key, some obvious, others merely whispers. For instance, the discussions on Tolosa in France (fairly obvious), the esoteric language and the Sangreal (bordering on fairly obvious), and the underlying theme of service and sacrifice, and the importance of the quality of a life lived.
A few of the quotes that I came across during my research, and that really stuck with me (enough to contribute to theme and storyline) were:
… the whole point of Catherism was their conception that Christianity is a life lived, not a doctrine believed in. The Albigensian Heresy by HJ Warner
And these, which I’m fairly certain came from The Cathars and Reincarnation by Arthur Guirdham (please correct me if I’m wrong. My notes, written a long time ago, are a tad messy).
The spirit is born, lives and never dies
Time has no significance – the past, present and future are blended
I feel I am dreaming… [but] I know I am wide awake
I researched The Ouroboros Key some 10 to 15 years ago and my notes come from books I found in my local library or that I procured through inter-library loans. Then along came the internet… if you’re interested in the Cathars (they truly are fascinating) then I refer you to: www.cathar.info/ (a history) and www.bibliotecapleyades.net/esp_autor_whenry04.htm (which makes many connections with the Annunaki)
If you prefer to hit the books, I would be happy to give you a list of everything I’ve read on the subject.
The Ouroboros Key is published by Odyssey Books and is available from all online book stores such as Amazon, Book Depository etc. Feel free to request it at your local library or fave book shop.