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TRACY R. TWYMAN | Hidden Secrets of the Blanchefort Tombstone and the Sauniere Parchments

By Tracy R. Twyman
Originally written for Dagobert’s Revenge Magazine, Copyright 2000
(Does not necessarily represent author’s current viewpoint.)

By Tracy R. Twyman

One of the foremost clues in the Rennes-le-Chateau mystery is the Blanchefort tombstone. On the sides of the stone, as we know, the message “Et in Arcadia Ego” is inscribed, using a mixture of Greek and Latin letters. Potential interpretations of this phrase are analyzed at length in the Dagobert’s Revenge article “The Real Meaning of ‘Et in Arcadia Ego’.” It is also interesting that the word “ark” is used in certain apocryphal accounts of the life of Cain to denote the region to which Cain and his descendants were banished by God, and its location was said to be in the center of the Earth. And the word “Arcadia” applies to the Greek notion of Paradise and the Golden Age, while the word “Etin” (the first four letters in the phrase) was once an alternate spelling of “Eden,” the Judeo-Christian notion of Paradise and the Golden Age. But on the Blanchefort tombstone, the message actually reads: “Et in Arx Adia Ego.” The words “Arx” and “Adia” are separated so as to emphasize “Arx.” This word, in Latin, means “a fortress, citadel, or stronghold.” Thus, this message may be specifically referring to a man-made structure, perhaps a temple, buried beneath Rennes-le-Chateau. This leads us directly to the message “Reddis Regis Cellis Arcis” in the center of the stone. The word “Reddis” is supposed by most researchers to be derived from the old name of Rennes, which was once called “Rhedis,” “Redis,” or “Rhedae.” Meanwhile, “Rennes” means “reins,” and may perhaps be a name derived from the belief that Cain was imprisoned or shackled within the Arka. But “reddis” is also a Latin word meaning “you return” or “you restore,” from which the French “rendre” and the English “render” are derived. “Regis” means “royal,” “Cellis” means “a basement or cave,” and “Arcis” means the same thing as “Arx”: a fortress, or an “ark,” in the sense of a box or enclosure. Thus the statement being made here is “Return to (or ‘restore’) the Cave of the Royal Ark.” The words at the bottom of the stone, “Prae-Cum,” imply the notion of “before time,” or “the time before,” indicating the Golden Age. The octopus symbol below it, as we have learned from the Priory of Sion itself, represents “the primitive solar religion of Atlantis” – that it, the primeval religious tradition that defined the Golden Age. Even the person whose grave the stone was supposedly made for, Marie de Negre de Blanchefort, whose name means “Black Marie of the White Fort,” appears to be used in this context as a symbol of the goddess archetype of Isis, queen of the Golden Age.

The Blanchefort Tombstone

The Blanchefort Tombstone.

The letters “P” and “S” are at the top of the stone, surrounded by a Fibonacci spiral. The same “P,” “S,” and spiral can be found at the bottom of Sauniere’s first parchment. These letters, presumably, stand for “Priory of Sion.” At the bottom of Parchment Two, the word “SION” is spelled backwards, and the “O” has a dot in the middle, causing it to resemble the astrological sign for the Sun. (1)

As I looked at these clues again, I began to see the secret which these clues pointed to. A pertinent line from Le Serpent Rouge reads: “I pivot, looking from the rose from P to that of the S, then from the S to P.” I wondered if this line, the “P,” “S,” and spiral, as well as the word “SION” spelled backwards were all clues telling me to transpose the letters in the words “Prieure de Sion.” I eliminated the article “de” and with little effort, came up with “Pieurrenois,” which, when pronounced with a French accent, would sound very much like “Pyrenees.” It then occurred to me that the pronunciation of “Prieure de Sion” could be altered just slightly to sound like “Paradision.” Does this mean that the term “Prieure de Sion” is itself a clue indicating the idea of Paradise (the Garden of Eden) and the true Mt. Sion (the metaphorical World-Mountain in the center of the Earth) are located in the Pyrenees? It certainly seems so.

Parchment 1

The message of the second parchment also took on an enhanced meaning now that I knew what I did. The words “Shepherdess – No Temptation; that Poussin and Teniers hold the key” are perhaps the most straightforward aspect of the message. “Shepherdess” and “Poussin,” as we know, refer to Poussin’s painting, The Shepherds of Arcadia. The “key” that Poussin has embedded into this painting is the imagery of the tomb and Arcadia, coupled with the landscape that clearly matches that of Arques, near Rennes-le-Chateau, and of course, the hidden pentagram. So the painting is telling us that the sacred “Arka,” the tomb of a long-lost god, is located near Arques, and within a pentagram – the mountains of Rennes-le-Chateau – and is the location of Paradise, or Arcadia. The David Teniers painting mentioned by the parchments is assumed by Henry Lincoln to be Saint Anthony and Saint Paul, the only Teniers painting featuring Saint Anthony which does not show him enduring his famous temptation by demons – thus the words “no temptation.” In this painting, the two saints are sitting in front of an altar upon which stands a crucifix and a skull. This indicates the nature of the tomb depicted in the Poussin painting. The image of a skull and a crucifix obviously implies Golgotha, and the fact that the life-size skull dwarfs the miniature crucifix implies the giant skull of Adam after which Golgotha, the location of the Cave of Treasures, was originally named. The painting shows one saint pointing up towards a descending dove that is carrying the holy host, a representation of the Grail stone.

Parchment 2

“By the Cross and this Horse of God” is a little less decipherable. The cross was, like the octopus, an ancient sun symbol dating back to Atlantis, and was also used to denote the pole, or center-point of the Earth. The horse was a symbol of Poseidon, or Dagon, who was thought to be an incarnation of the Sun, and the Sun was often seen by ancient man as a chariot drawn by celestial horses. Le Serpent Rouge also makes mention of “divine horsemen of the abyss.” Are we talking about the “abyss” of the celestial sea? Or the abyss of the Cave of Treasures? Both possibilities seem likely. “I destroy this demon guardian at midday” may tie in to the notion of the cataclysm that destroyed the Golden Age, sometimes represented as the slaying of a dragon. Midday, as we have seen, has had ritualistic significance in the religious life of man for thousands of years, because it was when the Sun was at its highest point.

The term “blue apples” has been explained by previous authors as an idiom used locally in Southern France to refer to grapes, and therefore, its use in the parchments is a reference to the symbol of the vine, representing the bloodline of Christ. But there is perhaps another level of meaning as well. The Fall from the Garden of Eden was supposedly caused by Eve eating a forbidden fruit, usually depicted as an apple, from the Tree of Life. Therefore, the apple symbolizes the sin that caused the Fall, and as we have said, we believe that the story of the Fall represents the same historical event as the Deluge. The Flood was God’s retribution for the sins of Cain and his descendants, who were unlawfully breeding with the “daughters of men” (or in some versions, the “daughters of Seth.”) Also, according to some scholars, Seth and Abel were in fact the same person, which does indeed seem to be the case when the relevant chapters of Genesis are examined. L.A. Waddell believes that the symbol of Eve’s apple is tied into this. That is, they were unlawfully mixing their sacred, royal blood with that of commoners. So this, then, is the sin that the apple which Eve ate actually represents. And since royal blood is referred to often as “blue blood,” is seems to me that the words “blue apples” are referring specifically to the sinful breeding practices that are thought to have led to the Fall/Deluge.

Other details about the parchments stick out as well. For instance, the words “Rex Mundi,” meaning “King of the World,” are embedded into Parchment One, indicating the Devil, or Cain. Then there are the words “Redis Bles” and “Solis Sacerdotibus” written beside the main message of Parchment One. The way Henry Lincoln and other authors choose to interpret this, “Redis” means “Rennes,” and “bles” means “corn,” which is what wheat was called in Europe and England prior to the discovery of maize, now also called “corn” in the New World. “Bles” (“corn”) is also a local idiom for “money” or “treasure,” like “bread” is in English. “Solis” means “solely,” and “sacerdotibus” means “initiated.” Lincoln thus reads the message as saying, “The treasure of Rennes is only for the initiated.” But as we have established, “redis” also means “return,” and wheat (“corn”) was also a symbol of Cain, who was thought to be the inventor of the plough, and the first to introduce the crop’s cultivation. In fact, Cain’s name actually means “grain.” Furthermore, wheat, and the bread that is made from it have been important icons in religious rituals throughout history, ranging from the Greek and Babylonian mysteries to ancient Judaism and modern Christianity. Catholics celebrate communion by eating a wafer that represents Christ’s body, and the ancient Jews had a special “shewbread” that was only administered to the Levitic caste of priests during certain rituals. “Solis” also means “solar,” and “sacerdotibus” specifically means “priesthood.” Thus, “Redis Bles Solis Sacerdotibus” could be translated in any of the following ways: “Return the corn to the priesthood of the Sun”; “The corn of Rennes is for the priesthood of the Sun”; “The corn of Rennes is only for the priesthood”; or “Return the wheat solely to the priesthood.”

We do appear to be on the right track with this interpretation, for the very text into which the code of Parchment One has been inserted is a conglomeration of quotes from three of the Gospels describing a scene in which Jesus and his disciples are walking through a cornfield, eating corn! As The Gospel of Saint Matthew describes it:

At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn; and his disciples were an hungered, and began to pluck the ears of corn and to eat. But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day. But he said to them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungered, and they that were with him; How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the shewbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests? Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless? But I say to you, that this place is one greater than the temple.

So this is the “corn” that is “only for the priesthood.” But what lies beneath the symbolism of this story, and what statement is being made by connecting it with the phrase “Redis Bles Solis Sacerdotibus”? Is the parchment’s creator saying “Return the sacraments of the church (the true church in the tradition of Atlantis) to its rightful priests”? And what of the last line in the passage from Matthew: “This place is one greater than the temple”? If its use in the parchment is a reference to Rennes-le-Chateau, this could mean that Rennes-le-Chateau is a much holier place than the remains of the temple in Jerusalem. There may even be a message buried in the reference to King David sharing in the shewbread of the priests, perhaps a comment on the fact that Christ was seen as both priest and king, a product of the royal line of Judah and the priestly line of Levi.

This may all help explain another curious message which is buried in the text of the second parchment: “Panis Sal” the Latin words for “bread” and “salt” separated by the Alpha and Omega symbols. Now “sal” could represent “sulfur,” which characterizes one of the earliest stages of the alchemical process, while bread could represent the end result of the alchemical process, the Philosopher’s Stone, just as the shewbread does in religious rituals. But why would “Panis” (“bread”) be written next to the Alpha symbol, and “Sal” (“salt”) be written next to the Omega symbol, if salt is the beginning of the process and bread is the end? Perhaps, as we have theorized earlier in this book, the Alpha and Omega symbols are used by the Priory of Sion to symbolize the world before and after the Flood, or before and after the Fall from the Garden of Eden. The bread, then, could be seen as a symbol of the Earth’s fruitful generation, while the salt represents the infertility of the land experienced after the cataclysm, when the land had been inundated with saline ocean water. Perhaps, then, this is another level of meaning to the abbreviation “P.S.” : “Panis Sal.

There is yet another hidden message embedded in Parchment Two as well: “Areth Adgenes.” Henry Lincoln has chosen to recombine these words into “Ad Genesareth,” meaning “Towards Genesareth,” the latter being a town on the coast of the Sea of Galilee (an inland lake where many New Testament stories took place). Indeed, the Sea of Galilee is sometimes called “Lake Genesareth.” But since the words were split up in the parchment in a particular way, it seems to us that were meant to look at the meaning of the individual syllables. “Genes” could be short for “genesis,” while “Areth” could be taken to mean “Ararat.” The word “genesis” means “beginning” or “generation.” “Ararat” means “high holy place,” and of course indicates the mount upon which Noah was saved from the Flood. So we could recombine the phrase to say “Ad Genes Areth,” which would basically mean, “Towards the high holy place where civilization was begun, and ultimately saved from annihilation.”

The code of Parchment Two is made using a passage from The Gospel of Saint John, Chapter 12, verses 1-7. Shortly after Christ raises Lazarus from the dead, he is having dinner with Mary of Bethany (thought by some to be the same as Magdalen), Martha, Lazarus, and his disciples. Mary takes “a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly,” and anoints Christ’s feet with it, “wiping his feet with her hair.” Judas Iscariot, disgusted at the waste of something so valuable, remarks, “Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?” The passage continues:

This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein. Then said Jesus, Let her alone; against the day of my burial hath she kept this. For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye not have always.

The scene this passage describes is also illustrated in a stained glass window on the ceiling behind the altar of Sauniere’s church. What could its significance be in this context? The anointing of Christ’s feet by Mary has been described by some authors as the ritual anointing of a king by his bride and queen, which we find perfectly reasonable. But Jesus specifically says that, “against the day of my burial hath she kept this,” indicating that it was meant to anoint his dead body before it was placed in the tomb. Was this tomb in Rennes-le-Chateau?


(1) The letters “SI,” in this instance could actually mean “IS,” or Isis, while “ON” is another name the Egyptians used for Osiris.