Mary Magdalene and the Contemplative Tradition: A Virtual Pilgrimage Through Provence – August 23-29, 2020

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8 Lessons

All sessions will be recorded and uploaded on this page. You will need to be logged in to your Ubiquity University account to see the lesson bank at the bottom of the page.

Dates: August 23 – 29, 2020
Location:  On Zoom at 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM PT | 2:00 – 4:00 PM ET | 8:00 – 10:00 PM CET
All sessions will be recorded, so you can access the replay if you are not able to join the live sessions.
Faculty: Dr. Kayleen Asbo
Academic Credit:  Bachelors, Masters and Doctoral – 4 credits. Can also be audited for no credit.
Email Registrar, Veronica Saldias for more information or if you have any issues with our registration process. You must be logged in with your Ubiquity University account to complete your purchase. If you don’t have one, you will be prompted to create one with a username and password prior to purchase. Please do not email faculty directly.
Watch this video featuring Dr. Asbo to learn more about the pilgrimage

Mary Magdalene and the Contemplative Tradition: A Virtual Pilgrimage Through Provence

Come with us on a seven day virtual journey through the heart of Provence as we trace the legendary footsteps of Mary Magdalene and her spiritual heirs. Our days will begin with a morning ritual of meditation, poetry, Gregorian chant and Medieval pilgrim songs. Each day, we will visit an aspect of the history of Mary Magdalene. We will travel virtually through hundreds of rich photographs and film clips to sacred sites to learn about the rich spiritual tradition in France: the Forest of Artemis and the Grotto at La Baume, where legend says Magdalene spent the last 30 years of her life as a hermit; the Cistercian Abbey of Thoronet founded by Bernard of Clairvaux; Lerins Abbey on Ile Honorat where St Patrick became a monk in the 6th century amongst monks who revered Magdalene; the extraordinary French Orthodox monastery of St. Michel du Var bursting with exuberant and heart opening iconography, and finally, the Trail of Time in the Haute Provence, known in the Middle Ages as the Magdalene Pilgrim Trail and the current site of an epic installation by celebrated land artist Andy Goldsworthy.

Our days will end with a circle of sharing. There will be additional opportunities for discussion sections through the Ubiverse.


Day 1: From Alexandria to the Shores of Gaul: The Myths of Mary Magdalene in France

Day 2: The Life of Contemplation: The Forest of Artemis and the Caves of La Baume

Day 3: Magdalene’s Monastic Foundations: John Cassian, Lerins Abbey and St Patrick

Day 4: A Rhythm of Life: The Rule of St. Benedict, Bernard of Clairvaux and Thoronet Abbey

Day 5: Icons and Images: The Gospel of Mary and St. Michel du Var

Day 6: Magdalene and the Trail of Time: Andy Goldsworthy and the Confraternities de France

Day 7: Bringing Mary Magdalene Back in Our World




Described by Rev. Dr. Lauren Artress as “A true Renaissance woman,” Kayleen Asbo is a scholar, composer, musician, poet, cultural historian and spiritual director who holds three advanced degrees in the fields of Mythology, Music and Psychology. Kayleen is the Artistic Director for the Mythica Foundation for the Arts and she has been on the faculties of the Pacifica Graduate Institute, UC Berkeley and Dominican University, where she has taught courses on subjects ranging from the History of Christian Mystics to Jung and the Red Book, from Dante to Beethoven and the Hero’s Journey. She has been a keynote lecturer on Mary Magdalene and the Sacred Feminine for the Assisi Institute of Depth Psychology in Italy, at Chartres Cathedral in France, the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley and throughout the world for spiritual centers, churches and psychological organizations and has been a featured speaker at the conference on Women and History at Oxford University in England. Dr. Asbo will be offering a virtual pilgrimage in the footsteps of Mary Magdalene and the Sacred Feminine this summer for Ubiquity University and the Wisdom School.



Required Reading (for those students taking for academic credit):

  • The Gospel of Mary translated by Jean Yves Leloup, (Published by Inner Traditions)
  • The Gospel of the Beloved Companion, Jehanne de Quillan
  • Listening for the Heartbeat of God, John Philip Newell

Recommended Reading, Viewing or Activity:

  • 22 Days of Mary Magdalene, a daily email post lasting for 22 days with Kayleen Asbo beginning June 21 (included in course fee)
  • Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years, Diarmaid MacCulloch
  • The Rule of Benedict: A Spirituality for the 21st Century, Joan Chittester (Spiritual Legacy Series)
  • The Meaning of Mary Magdalene, Cynthia Bourgeault
  • Mary Magdalene: Myth and Metaphor, Susan Haskins
  • Mysteries of the Middle Ages, Thomas Cahill
  • Into the Great Silence, a documentary film about monastic life in France
  • Rivers and Tides, a documentary film about Andy Goldsworthy

Photos on this page by Kayleen Asbo