Take travel journaling up a level on this unique, 9 night tour of sacred sites in magical, mystical southern France. Learn about the symbology of lines, shapes and colors as you visit Black Madonnas, the cave of Mary Magdalene, shrines to Roman goddesses, prehistoric caves filled with beautifully feminine art, sacred springs, and of course, Chartres Cathedral.

Not an artist? No problem!  Learn the symbolic language of a doodle to self-reflect, decipher your feelings, capture inspiration and record the wisdom of sacred places. 

 Artists:  You'll complete quick sketches, small studies and an unforgettable travel journal filled with ideas and insights to fuel your art for years to come!  You'll learn to capture the essence of a special place quickly and easily, and enhance your understanding of the symbolism behind color, line and form.

This workshop is taught by Linda Richichi, who began her career as a portrait artist.  While working on a painting with a live model one day, she felt the painting take on a life of its own.  On canvas, the model's face began to look nothing like the model: First, it took shape as a woman of color filled with unconditional love; next, it became a veiled Mother Mary, and finally, a woman wearing a mask.  This experience taught Linda that goddesses come to different cultures at different times to teach different lessons.  And yet, they are all one.

Today, Linda continues to pursue a professional art career while teaching a doodle method of drawing designed for inspiration, self-reflection and idea generation.  Linda's own work spans subject matter from the landscape (she is an accomplished plein air artist!) to spirit portraits and mask making.  She sees art as "..a journey into the mystery of creation and, through that sacred path, ultimately a journey into the deepest reaches of my soul."  

Join us for this very special, small group trip and tap into the spiritual energy that fuels powerful art and a life of passion!

Price includes accommodation, transfers, transport during the Workshop, breakfast and one main meal per day (lunch or dinner) except for departure day. Flights are not included.  

Itinerary (June 2 - 11 , 2018)

Day 1:  Pick up in Avignon, Welcome Dinner in the village of St Maximim la Ste Baume, home of the church that holds the relics of Mary Magdalene. Overnight in St Maximim la Ste Baume.  

Day 2:  After breakfast, a short drive into the mountains where we will hike through Druid's Forest, up to the cave of Mary Magdalene.  Legend has it that the saint lived out her life in this cave. Overnight in St Maximim la Ste Baume.  Group dinner.

Day 3:  After breakfast, a short drive to St Maries de la Mer.  In France, it is widely believed that Mary Magdalene arrived here, along with an Egyptian named Sara Kali, after the crucifixion. The local village church here is the home of Black Sara, a Black Madonna who is the patron saint of Gypsies and a double for the Goddess Isis.  Sara also figures quite prominently into the legends about Mary Magdalene and Jesus Christ (made famous in the novel, The Da Vinci Code).  After a group lunch, drive to Limoux.  Dinner on your own.  

Day 4:  Today we will see a very important Black Madonna, one that was very popular among Cathars in the 11th and 12th centuries (the Cathars were a heretical Christian sect with some interesting beliefs about Mary Magdalene).  We'll also visit the Church of St Martin, where there is a famous stained glass window that some say depict the marriage of Jesus and Mary. Group lunch.  Dinner on your own.  Overnight in Limoux.

Day 5:  The legendary villages of Rennes le Chateux and Rennes le Baines are on today's itinerary. We'll visit the famous church of Mary Magdalene, the Throne of Isis (thought to be left over from a sacred site dedicated to her), The Fountain of Love (a natural spring associated with goddess legends in the area), and some sacred springs that date back to Celtic times and were frequented by the Romans for healing purposes.  Group lunch.  Dinner on your own. Overnight in Limoux.

Day 6:  Today we will drive into the Dordogne region of France.  Our destination is a village that holds an important Black Madonna, Our Lady of Rocamadour.  The church here was built on top of a cave that was used for worship by the Druids. We'll stay overnight in this little hilltop village carved into the face of the cliffs.  Lunch on your own.  Group Dinner.

Day 7:  After breakfast, we will take a short drive to Les Combarelles to see some beautiful -- and quite feminine -- prehistoric cave art.   Overnight in Rocamadour.  Group lunch.  Dinner on your own.

Day 8:  Our Lady of Meymac, also known as The Egyptian, is on our itinerary today as we head toward Lyon to visit the shrine of the Roman goddess, Cybele.  Cybele is strongly linked with the Christian Mary's in this region of France. Like Isis, she is often seated on the same Throne of Wisdom that are so common among the Black Madonnas of France.  Overnight in Lyon. Group lunch.  Dinner on your own.

Day 9:  We will make our way back to Paris, with an overnight stop in Chartres to visit its magnificent Gothic cathedral. Chartres Cathedral's extensive iconography is so concentrated on feminine imagery that it has long been suspected to symbolically represent ancient goddess worship.  It's most famous Black Madonna (there are two here!), Our Lady of the Crypt, dates back to the 6th century and presides over a sacred well that was the site of pagan worship long before a Christian church was built on top of it.  Chartres is also home to a labyrinth that is popular among pilgrims. The labyrinth is an archetypal symbol of the psyche and of that twisty, unpredictable, tortuous, serpentine path toward wholeness and authenticity.  Pilgrims walk into the labyrinth and then find their way back out again, representing an inward/outward expedition of birth and rebirth.  We will hold our closing ceremony at the labyrinth.  Farewell Dinner.

Day 10: Departure Day.

Accommodations: 

2 nights in the convent hotel (St Maximim la Ste Baume); 3 nights in Limoux, 2 nights in Rocamadour, 1 night in Lyon, 1 night in Chartres.  Photos and details coming soon.

PRICE AND REGISTRATION: 

  •  $2999 per person double occupancy (limited private rooms may be available; contact us)
  • Requires a $500 USD deposit to book
  • Monthly payment plans available for early birds!  Call 954-663-7250 for information!

  • Balance Due By: April 2nd, 2018
  • Register By Date: Final date to register is April 2nd, 2018
  • Cancel By Date: Final date to cancel your registration is April 1st, 2018
  • Please read our Terms and Conditions prior to registration.