SPECIAL NOTICE: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic we have moved this in-person pilgrimage into a virtual environment with reduced tuition fees.
Dates: July 12-18, 2020
Location: On Zoom at 11:00 AM Pacific/8:00 PM CET for 2 Hours
Faculty: Dr. Kayleen Asbo
Academic Credit: Bachelors, Masters and Doctoral – 4 credits. Can also be audited for no credit.
Email for more information
Watch this video with Dr. Asbo to learn more about the pilgrimage
The Dordogne: In the Footsteps of the Sacred Feminine
Throughout 22,000 years, the Dordogne has been the birthplace of beauty and the cradle of artistic creativity connected to the feminine. In our virtual pilgrimage, we will create a sense of connection to the deep past as we encounter stories, art and music of the sacred feminine.
We begin our journey with an introduction to the Cro-Magnon caves of female initiation as we marvel at the incredible cave art at Pech Merle. We will encounter the legends and lore of the Black Madonnas of Europe and the extraordinary history of Notre Dame de Rocamadour, site of profound spiritual transformation for the composers Francois Poulenc and Olivier Messiaen who each wrote works in Her honor. At Beynac Castle, we will learn about the Troubadour culture fostered by Eleanor of Aquitaine, honoring the spirit of chivalry, literature, poetry music and love that was the legacy of her family. At St. Leon Sur Vezere and Domme, we will learn about the history of the Knights Templar, warrior monks dedicated to the Sacred Feminine, whose rise coincides with architectural innovations of the Gothic Age and whose persecution is one of the great tragedies of history. We will travel to the Troglodyte village of La Madeleine, site of the sacred feminine from Paleolithic times where a community of Mary Magdalene followers settled in the Middle Ages. Here we will learn about the teachings of the Cathars and Albigensians, a persecuted spiritual community whose esoteric expression of spirituality is calling to many in our own time. Our final day will be a celebration of all the facets of the feminine through the incredible story of Josephine Baker. At Chateau Milande, the castle museum dedicated to her memory, we will trace her extraordinary life. From the slums of St Louis to her meteoric rise as the most celebrated singer-dancer-actress in Europe to the Croix de Guerre awards she received for her heroic resistance to Nazi occupation and her quest for world peace– we will discover a heroine that can embolden each one of us in our own journey to creativity, courage and compassion.
Day 1: Spiritual Archeology: Prehistoric Caves and Magdalenian Civilization and the Sacred Feminine
Day 2: The Black Madonnas of France and Rocamadour
Day 3: The Knights Templar, Pilgrimage and Sacred Geometry
Day 4: Troubadours and Courtly Love
Day 5: Heroines and Heresy: The Albigensian Crusade, Montsegur and La Madeleine
Day 6: Josephine Baker and Chateau Milande
Day 7: The Contemporary Call to Awakening the Sacred Feminine
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 students taking the class for credit:
Mysteries of the Middle Ages, Thomas Cahill
other books to be announced
Photos on this page by Kayleen Asbo