By Kat Baille
What happens when you turn 45? Your family go back to sleep! (Must have been all the partying last night in Toulouse!)
Here you go then, here’s the Lourdes, the bath experience!
At Lourdes, you will find that all races, religions and faiths visit, not just for the parade but to experience the baths. I sat next to an African lady on one side, a french lady on the other and in front of me an Asian family gathered, mother, daughter, child. Like a baptism of devotion, where you say in prayer what your heart desires and express it freely. Genders are separated into two groups, this appeared to be to preserve the modesty. The intention didn’t seem to be to divide. The whole sanctuary symbolises union.
Though the weather was wet, wet, wet (rain symbolising the divine feminine) the only day it wasn’t 40 degrees and sunshine on the trip, hundreds turned out at 7am for the morning blessing at the cave and the Lourdes bath experience. The sanctuary opens officially at 9am, so that gives you an idea of the queue size. (4 hours beginning to end but I have to say, it went very fast and felt more like 30 mins, which was strange. It was definitely worth it). I took it as a positive experience. In fact, I lost a sense of time.
What I found was that young, old, ill, disabled, full bodied sat side by side, not in silent prayer but rejoicing. Beautiful singing filled the air, the girl singing had a heavenly voice. I did hear prayers being said and I did turn to one lady behind me, who sang with full gusto and as I turned to see whose voice had the most conviction, her heart smiled and then beamed at me, it was like a knowing wink, this lady had pure faith! Complete conviction. She was living the dream, to visit Lourdes and I could see the magic in her eyes, of what this meant.
Not everyone’s hearts were as pure. It was a mixed bag. I noticed that my third eye could skim the crowd could note the lights that shined the brightest. All were united in a devotion and calling to a higher love. All were harmonised by the vibration of the place and the sounds that resonated there. You see, some come to find the light. Some have battled hard with life and that was also humbling. It was a privilege to be here and I was sure there journey to get here had had many twists, turns and hardships but they had hope and true faith. They have come to be inspired to journey and move further, when there bodies actually probably wanted to give up. Perhaps they had tried everything else, I don’t know. One last shot. There hearts were tired and they needed and wanted to regain strength. What I then noticed, is that as we were held in this space, the brighter lights started to harmonise with the dimmer ones and they merged, finding a new pitch. The brighter lights, like the lady singing, elevated the pitch of the dimmer lights. Light and sound combined, divine love! The golden ratio, the glorious union! So I realised then, perhaps this queue that my material mind had thought was crazy, was actually much needed and part of the spiritual effect. It was needed to hold people in a space of pure love, in the hope that we would recalibrate each other. For the love was tangible. I could feel it. It felt special and my heart was excited to know and understand more. Curious.
As many of you know, I am not Catholic. I had actually taken Lourdes off my list of sacred spaces but a friend in spirit, Chris, reassured me and told me to put it back on. If I wanted to gain a deeper understanding then I had to be open to explore it to help others. I honoured that request in my soul. When a friend asks you to come to the party, your not going to say no. They wanted to show me something and they did. As I panicked in the queue thinking, should I be here, I heard my grandfather who unlike me was Catholic speak. I should note that I never saw him attend a service, I knew nothing about his religion, only that he had one. It was said, that he lost his religion and kept his own faith, after his father died. When he later died, I was given his rosary beads in a case, which read, my companion on it. I had never seen them before. All I ever discussed with my grandfather was the nature of everything. A keen Gardner, he grew everything. He had faith but not necessarily in spiritual things.
As I sat in the queue, pondering if I should be here and looking at the signs that led me here, I heard his reassuring voice. It had been a while. “When I died, did you not take my crucifix and wear it for me.” Oh wow, I did. The leather case said my companion and he had always been my companion. I had never seen his rosary beads before, because he never shared his religion with me, but because the case said companion and the Madonna crucifix was all the rage, I had, I have to confess, worn it and slept with it under my pillow for a while! I had totally forgotten about that. Now I wondered if I still had it and where it might be. It had been a while since I had seen it!
As I started pondering what he said, I realised that symbolically many of the bereaved people I meet, carry that same cross, as Mary. They have to carry their grief and it often weighs on them heavier than a cross. In fact, one of my community posted an artwork that illustrated it powerfully, that very day. That statement started my inner thoughts flowing on a very different level. It was quite profound.
“Perhaps that cross brought me here. It gave me faith, even though I didn’t understand religion. Like a talisman. Then a lady spoke in my mind, “You carried a card in your purse that was blessed at Lourdes too.” Holy moses, I had! A lady, a friend of my mums had given me one. It had some beautiful words on it, so I put it in my purse for good luck! Oh, that’s why the gave me the praying mantis and the four leaf clover! Good luck! Good luck! Wow! I put my faith in it for a while, like a lucky duck, as Aunty Anne used to say, well it kind of had! Yes! Wow! The law of attraction! In its full glory. Wow! Wow! Wow! But I had not intentionally done that, I said. “You have pure faith and loving intent and both were and are balanced now!” When you balance faith with other things, it’s pure magic, pure alchamey! Your friends and family also wanted you here for them. “Did you not ask what the loving intent was behind the creation of your soul?” Oh Wow, I had, rather mischievously in the lucid dreaming workshop. I thought, well if your going to ask, it better be something big! Oh wow, the Buddhist technique works too, no one path then! Well what would you know, what an adventure we are having!! This gets you deep in the soul. It was the union of light and sound! That was the living intent! Wow! The only other thing I did take of my grandfathers was his gramophone!
I wondered if someone asked me my religion, whether I should pretend to be deaf? (I know well it’s kind of a half truth.. and awful but when you panic you will do anything) but spirit laughed and said what if they sign back, you might not get the sign, that’s why we have been teaching you to take a closer look! Well, we have all had that problem before! Haven’t we, When is a sign not a sign?
They then reassured me together that I wouldn’t need to say anything, all were welcome in this space. All you had to have was faith and the true meaning of Catholic was universal, as in anything goes. That was the origin and key to it all but like all good churches, they are built on faith and faith in yourself, is more important than all. No one will ask you your religion, they will only ask you your intent and to have faith in the Holy Mother and as you have a pure heart and understand the suffering of the cross, we would love it if you could experience this. It would mean a great deal to others, who walk this path alongside you and the people that you work with and can support. Just trust.
So I put my human worries aside and surrendered to the more spiritual ones.
Inside, it was very dignified. A dark blue robe is placed around you, while you undress! Then a wet white towel is wrapped around you. You are never truly naked or exposed. They ask you to send your love and devotion to the archetype of Mother Mary, symbolising the mother energy, divine feminine and to rejoice in your heart that she has heard you. You then walk down steps slowly into cold water and then lower to kneel before her plaque. It was actually very emotional, even though the water was fresh and cold! You are then given time to gather your thoughts and pray, if you want to. Nothing is impressed upon you, other than your own private thoughts.
Once you dress, you exit out to the sanctuary and you can light some candles if you want.
The last thing I did when I left Lourdes was place a rose quartz heart in the river, dedicated to Nicholas. (It was his birthday on the 28th March, he said he was sending me a birthday present this year!). Why settle for a Prince, if you can meet a queen! I did rather enjoy Buckingham palace and the Tour de France this year!
Some lights go into dark places, so that they can shine a brighter light for others. Good team work guys! I know he was part of an amazing community.
Kat Baille is a British psychic medium/intuitive healer/clinical hypnotherapist and writer, currently living in east london, uk. Formerly a head of buying in the British fashion industry, Kat now conducts readings and group demonstrations in the uk & internationally. She is also available for talks & demonstrations subject to availability. For more information visit her website: www.kat-b.com