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Sophia’s Sanctuary is dedicated to the service of humanity, through wisdom and love. Every event we offer is guided by these principles. We offer opportunities for encountering the spirit in every thing living, through creative, life enriching programs. These include classes, workshops, retreats and training programs.

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2016 Holy Grail Seminar in South of France


  • Chapel Saint-Laurent 34150 Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert France (map)

With Robert Powell, Ph. D & Estelle Isaacson

Visit the Sophia Foundation website for details.

In the Chapel Saint-Laurent, 2 rue font du portal, 34150 Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert, north-west of Montpellier, France Accommodation at “Accueil Saint-Elie—Carmel Saint-Joseph” or at a hotel, guest house, or vacation rental (gîte) of your choice, whereby it would be possible to choose to eat lunch and dinner— organic vegetarian meals without meat or fish—with the group staying at “Accueil Saint-Elie—Carmel Saint-Joseph”
16 rue du Bout du Monde in Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert

Information concerning the two excursions that will be made during the week of the seminar: Two half-days (afternoons)—on Wednesday and on one other afternoon (weather permitting)—are envisaged for visits to sites: on Wednesday afternoon immediately after lunch we shall travel to the nearby world-famous Grotte de Clamouse— http://www.clamouse.com/en/.

Click here for more information including the schedule of the week, and excursions. A bus will be reserved to simplify traveling the short distance from Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert to the Grotte de Clamouse. Participants are requested to respect the hours indicated on the schedule for the seminar activities and the meals, also the excursions, and after visiting the Grotte de Clamouse to return to the bus in a timely fashion.

The two excursions planned for the week:

[1] The caves and underground area known as the Grotte de Clamouse, near Saint-Guilhem-le- Désert, north-west of Montpellier, is a vast grotto of spectacular beauty. It is one of the world’s most famous grottos, which we are planning to visit on the afternoon of Wednesday the 14th of September. After a short drive in our bus to this vast underground series of caves, we shall descend into the bowels of the earth to behold the majestic vistas offered by the Earth Mother. See: http://www.destination-languedoc.co.uk/articles/the-grotte-de-clamouse-582-2.html

For a short 1-minute video, click here.
After our visit to the Grotte de Clamouse, on the way back to Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert we shall stop to visit the Pont du Diable (“Devil’s Bridge”), one of the oldest medieval bridges in France. See: 

[2] The focus of our time in Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert will be on the Grail Mystery, one aspect of which is the identity of the Grail knight Kyot, who was the uncle of the later Grail king Parzival. In a wonderful book by Werner Greub, How the Grail Sites Were Found

—it is revealed that the ruins of Kyot’s “hunting lodge,” now called “The Castle of Verdus” (see plate 19 on page 101 of Werner Greub’s book), still exist on the summit of a hilltop just outside of—and visible from—the little town of Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert. We shall take the short walk up to the ruins of Kyot’s “hunting lodge” on one afternoon (not Wednesday afternoon) when the weather is good. There is an extraordinarily powerful atmosphere, still to the present-day, that can be experienced at these ruins—something of the atmosphere of the Grail Mystery lives on here.

Schedule of the week—11-17 September 2016—including two excursions—[1] and [2]:
[1] is on Wednesday afternoon ;
[2] will be on another afternoon—yet to be determined—when the weather is good, whereby excursion [2] will replace the afternoon program for that day.

Note that Choreocosmos and all seminar activities will take place in the Chapel of Saint-Laurent:

Sunday, 11th—For those who make their own accommodation arrangements in Saint- Guilhem-le-Désert, arrive and check in. After dinner, seminar introduction at 8:30pm at Chapel Saint-Laurent, 2 rue font du portal—indicated by “5” on the attached map—allow time to reach this location.

For everyone else, arrive at “Accueil Saint-Elie—Carmel Saint-Joseph” in time for dinner at 7pm. The address of “Accueil Saint-Elie” is 16 rue du Bout du Monde. As can be seen from the map, this road— rue du Bout du Monde—leads up from the central plaza, Place de la Liberté— indicated by “7” on the map. After dinner, introduction at 8:30pm at the Chapel Saint-Laurent,

2 rue font du portal—indicated by “5” on the attached map—allow time to reach this location.

Monday, 12th—breakfast at 8am—Choreocosmos from 9:30 to 10:45am—Study/Conversation from 11:15am to 12:30pm—lunch from 12:30 to 2:00pm—Study/Conversation from 2:30 to 3:45pm —Choreocosmos from 4:15 to 5:30pm—dinner at 7:00pm—free evening

Tuesday, 13th—breakfast at 8am—Choreocosmos from 9:30 to 10:45am—Study/Conversation from 11:15am to 12:30pm—lunch from 12:30 to 2:00pm—Study/Conversation from 2:30 to 3:45pm —Choreocosmos from 4:15 to 5:30pm—dinner at 7:00pm—Celebration at 8:30pm

Wednesday, 14th—breakfast at 8am—Choreocosmos from 9:30 to 10:45am— Study/Conversation from 11:15am to 12:30pm—lunch from 12:30 to 2:00pm—Excursion [1] to Grotte de Clamouse from 2.30pm to 6:00pm —dinner at 7:00pm—free evening

Thursday, 15th—breakfast at 8am—Choreocosmos from 9:30 to 10:45am—Study/Conversation from 11:15am to 12:30pm—lunch from 12:30 to 2:00pm—Study/Conversation from 2:30 to 3:45pm —Choreocosmos from 4:15 to 5:30pm—dinner at 7:00pm—Celebration at 8:30pm

Friday, 16th—breakfast at 8am—Choreocosmos from 9:30 to 10:45am—Study/Conversation from 11:15am to 12:30pm—lunch from 12:30 to 2:00pm—Study/Conversation from 2:30 to 3:45pm—Choreocosmos from 4:15 to 5:30pm—dinner at 7:00pm—Closing gathering at 8:30pm

Saturday, 17th—breakfast at 8am—depart from Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert after breakfast

Additional practical information concerning the week of the seminar:

Your arrival—please reply to Laurence Penetrat (contact information below): TRAVEL: On Sundays there are no buses to Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert. If you are not coming by car, please let me know the time of your arrival by train or plane. For those coming by plane, I will try to organize a local taxi (6 seats, i.e. for a maximum of 6 people) to make a few trips from the airport in Montpellier to Saint- Guilhem-le-Désert. In some cases it might be necessary to wait a while at the airport for the taxi to arrive. As Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert is somewhat remote, and as our arrival day falls on a Sunday, this necessitates organizing transportation by taxi from the airport. Cost of the taxi to Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert—a drive of about one hour—is 150 euros, which can be divided between those sharing the taxi.

The same applies for those arriving at Montpellier by train. The main train station is called Gare de Montpellier-Saint-Roch. The cost of the taxi from the train station to Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert is 125 euros, which can be divided between those sharing the taxi—again, a maximum of six people can travel with the taxi.


It would be good if you could let me know your arrival and departure information: by plane, arriving/departing from Montpellier airport: arrival time on the 11th and departure time on the 17th by train, arriving/departing from Gare de Montpellier-Saint-Roch: arrival time on the 11th and departure time on the 17th by car, your approximate time of arrival at Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert on the 11th—also it would be helpful to know who will be traveling with you.

Practical information concerning accommodation and meals:

For those making their own accommodation arrangements, let me know where you will stay and if you wish to have lunch and/or dinner at “Accueil Saint-Elie”. For everyone else, “Accueil Saint-Elie—Carmel Saint-Joseph” is reserved for us during the period from Sunday evening, 11th to Saturday morning, 17th September. Prior to our week, there may be others staying there, and also following our departure. Therefore at the present time we do not know if there will be free rooms available prior to the 11th September or from 17th September onward. If you wish to arrive early at “Accueil Saint-Elie” or stay on there after the seminar, please let me know. Also, see: http://csj.stguilhem.free.fr/vivre.htm And please let me know—with details—if you have special dietary requirements.

Thanking you in advance for responding to me regarding these practical details. And I look forward to meeting you in September,
Laurence Penetrat
Contact information:

LAURENCE PENETRAT, 17 RUE DE LA MAIRIE, 11260 ROUVENAC, FRANCE TEL: +33-468-741-479 / EMAIL: penetrat.laurence@orange.fr

Earlier Event: August 20
Sophia Grail Circle
Later Event: September 17
Sophia Grail Circle