A new interpretation of
"the True Celtic Language and
the Cromleck of Rennes-les-Bains"
My meeting with Boudet and "the True Celtic Language…"
speak about Henri Boudet, the priest of Rennes-les-Bains, is not an easy
thing. Indeed, one can find all that one wishes to discover there for anyone
who has some imagination. What I propose does not have any other claim than
its approach in its reading in a different way, in order to find the true
purpose of this strange book.
I first discovered this strange book of the priest of Rennes-les-Bains in a very particular way. It was in the 1970s, when I was already interested in "the history of Rennes-le-Chateau" and thus obviously in Saunière as well. At that time I assiduously visited a second-hand bookseller in Toulouse. We evoked several times the history of the treasure of Rennes, at a time when the topic was only at its beginnings and only Gerard de Sède, J.P Monteils and Rene Descadeillas had written on this subject. We were particularly interested in the works that at the time were considered untraceable, among which were "the Red Snake", the genealogy of Merovingian Kings by Madeleine Blancassal, and the book of Boudet, "the True Celtic Language and the Cromleck of Rennes-les-Bains", which we were persuaded would provide the solution to the entire puzzle. We could not go wrong. I do not know by which chance (but is there any place for chance in the history of Rennes?) that this second-hand bookseller announced that "the True Celtic Language" was going to be republished in the form of photocopies, conform with the original and this in a very small number of numbered copies. It is in this way that I approached the work of Boudet, thirty years ago. I spent months without returning to it for certain lines, sometimes for a word or an idea, without never anything to find that was really convincing to me. It is only now that I start to see the reasons that pushed Boudet to write it and how he encrypted his work, which is the subject of this article.
To analyze this book I used a copy of "the True Celtic Language…" photocopied from one of the originals of 1886, the republication by Belfond from 1978, as well as two English-French, French-English dictionaries namely Harrap's of 1982 and the Larousse dictionary.
Henri Boudet: a survey of his life and his literary work
words concerning Boudet. He was born in Quillan on November 16, 1837, passing
his youth in the Small, then in the Great Seminary. Then he works as an
English professor in the college Saint Stanislas of Carcassonne, before
being ordained priest in 1861 (at the age of 24). He is then named vicar
of Durban, then at Caunes Minervois where he is interested in the Black
Virgin of Our Lady of the Cross. From there, he goes to Festes before being
named priest of Rennes-les-Bains in 1872, then 35 years old. In 1881 he
writes "the true Celtic Language", which he publishes at Pomies
in Carcassonne in 1886. In 1914 he is relieved of his parish by Monseigneur
de Beauséjour and withdraws in Axat, where he dies of intestinal
cancer on March 30, 1915, at the age of 78. Let us note already that he
does not leave his parish by his own will, but is relieved by his bishop.
He is replaced by Rescanières, who dies in Rennes a few months after
the beginning of his ministry.
Boudet left several literary works: "The True Celtic Language" 1886; "Remarks on the Phonetics of the Languedocian dialect" followed by "The Name of Narbonne" 1894, and finally "The book of Axat" and "Of the name of the family of Ax" in 1896. Let us add that these last three documents were not published during his lifetime. However this list would not be complete if we do not add a book that has been widely discussed and which has been linked with Boudet: "Lazare Veni Foras".
Some onomastics before going further
fact this onomastic and linguistic work by Henri Boudet is not a first.
Little before the French Revolution, Bullet had written a work called: "Memories
on the Celtic Language". This work inspired several researchers, namely
that the geographical names were explained by the Celtic one, and it was
believed that each modern syllable represented a Gallic word whereas the
Indo-European compounds were made up of only two terms.
After this empirical work appeared several scientific syntheses. The first author to be quoted is H. d’Arbois de Jubainville who studied in 1890 the names of villages of Gallic or Gallo-Roman origin, then did the same in 1891 for the names of anyone Gallic at the time of Caesar. But the creator of French toponomy was Auguste Longnon, whose teaching on the origin of the place names which he gave to the College of France was published only in 1920 on a posthumous basis by two of his former students: L Mirot and P. Maréchal…
The essential instruments in onomastics are the cartularies, the charters, the burrows and the topographic dictionaries. To play the devil's advocate (if we dare to use the expression) let us say that the words coming from the Gallic language very rarely lived on until the present time, and that they were transmitted to us by the authors of Antiquity. By using a reference work to know "the History and his Methods" published in the prestigious collection of the Encyclopaedias of "the Pleiades" by Gallimard, one can read: "the linguists endeavoured to find the significance of the Gallic terms and helped themselves to the corresponding words which are still spoken in the Celtic languages in Ireland and Wales. It is not proven that the Celts of Gaul spoke a language identical to that of the Celts installed in the British Isles even if these speeches undoubtedly had great resemblances as French that is spoken today in France and French spoken in Canada… there does not yet exist a complete repertory of the toponyms of Gallic origin… but some see their perfectly clear origin, such as Condate, meaning with the confluence. Thus can one say with certainty that the localities built on a confluence are called Condate or derivatives of Condé, i.e. Condat, Cosne or Conta, that those built on fords or around bridges are called Brive or one of its derivatives. In the same way a Gallic water is called dubron, plural dubra, which is found in Dover or in the Aude Argentdouble (Argantodubrum: money river). Let us add that the thermal springs were placed under the protection of a genius, such as Borvo or Bormo.
Let us add that Boudet has shown an enormous preparatory work and research before writing his work, indeed he read works on linguistics, specifically the work of the German France Bopp, author of a book of grammar in 1816 showing the analogies between the European languages and Sanskrit, which will later receive the name of Indo-European language. Let us note however that the following passage could not have escaped him: "… the same processes applied to a vaster scale to all the Indo-European idioms. […] Sanskrit and its derivatives of Indian, Persan and old Iranian, Greek, Latin; Italic, Irish, Gothic, Lithuanian, Slavic, Armenian led to a certain restitution of the common speech of which each one of these languages represents an original evolution, the language known as Indo-European", quoting Bopp on page 10. Then why does he want to make up the primitive language as the Celtic tongue and thus link it with modern English?
this to show that H. Boudet is not a precursor in this field; that he makes
errors, for example Condate, which he quotes on page 169, which he states
derives from ‘- to con’, [translated in French as] to learn
by heart, `- death' death and its derivatives; or even `- date', time; finally
that few Gallic words are preserved in our language as opposed to what he
We would thus have the right to think that "the true Celtic Language" is nothing more than an eccentric enterprise, and yet the book is coherent, it has a goal, a quite precise intention: to inform us about a TOMB.
Goals of the book, as indicated in the foreword
"The True Celtic Language or the Cromlech of Rennes-les-Bains" is a disconcerting book; it is the least one can say. There is a series of words, proper names, place names drawn from the Hebrew, Punic, Basque and Languedoc language, broken up into monosyllables to find their origin in modern English, itself resulting from the Celtic tongue. At first sight, the work is that of an inspired person, and it is judged as such by the Académie des Jeux Floraux of Toulouse, though it is equally deprived of scientific interest. What to think? The work of a illuminated person or a message to be transmitted? We chose the second approach, and we will try to prove it to you.
First: if one wants to transmit a message in 1886 and this starting from a small village lost in the Razés, why choose this method which rests on a foreign language? Indeed, there were not many anglophiles in the Audoise population that were sufficiently fluent in this language to decode the message. Also, our priest makes sure to gracefully distribute his book to all the learned societies of his time, where he knows that his work will remain preserved and can, one day, be correctly interpreted. Thus, to answer this first remark, we will say without much risk of error that English lends itself admirably to the task, as we already said insofar that this language is rich in monosyllables. Let us not lose sight of the fact that he had taught English. For him, English was a familiar language. We thus have in front of us an esoteric book, addressing people able to understand it.
Second note: when an author writes a book, he has it preceded – in
general – by a foreword in which he expresses the goal of the work,
his reasons why. Thus let us look at the foreword. In this book, he has
called it "Foreword": in the first line, Boudet explains to us
clearly why the reading should not be made as usual, indeed we can read:
"the title given to this work seems, upon first reading, too pretentious
to be rigorously exact", which is to say that he will indeed not speak
directly about the Celtic language, or about the cromleck of Rennes-les-Bains.
But if the subject is not to interpret the cromleck with the reading of the Celtic language, Boudet reassures us that our research will be crowned with success: "these people… with the help of their national language, can devote themselves to research, which, certainly, will be crowned with success." And a passage follows where Boudet warns us about what there is to discover: "the living language to which we refer, strongly helped us to discover the splendid Celtic monument existing in Rennes-les-Bains." But there is not and there never was a cromleck in Rennes-les-Bains. It is thus clear that the splendid monument is something other than a stone circle. He insists drawing the attention of the reader when saying: "and the study of this monument led us safely to etymological deductions which seem to us difficult to refute."
Let us conclude this second point by saying that Boudet says to us that there is a SPLENDID MONUMENT to discover in Rennes-les-Bains, that it is the goal of his book and that it is not about hazardous interpretations of the CELTIC LANGUAGE but which can help to find it.
Third point of the foreword: Boudet clearly indicates to us what this monument
is: "Thus the cromleck of Rennes-les-Bains is closely related to resurrection."
Difficult to be more explicit.
It is necessary for us to seek a TOMB and, not just any, but one that par excellence is related to the RESSURECTION. To arrive there, we will use the TRUE LANGUAGE, in fact the Celtic one, which is necessary to understand, but we also need “SALT”, which in essence means that things will be spiced up a bit – something is added to make one thing into something else, to “make it work”.
Confirmation of the goal of the "True Language…": a tomb
When Boudet died in March 1915, he was buried in Axat in the High Valley of the Aude, with his brother Edmond Boudet who preceded him in death by 7 years. His tomb astonishes: on a simple flagstone a cross with equal branches is engraved, and in the lower right a kind of small closed book with on the cover an inscription which could be in Greek. It resembles Greek, but it is not. In passing, it is wise to see that the cross with equal branches is known as the Greek cross in opposition to the Latin cross on which Jesus underwent the torment and which remains the key symbol of the Christian church. It is this cross which the Knights Templar were supposed to stamp with their feet during their initiation (it is at least what comes out from their official indictment), which is the same cross that was rejected by the Cathars, for whom the son of God had not been died, and thus they did not recognize this cross as a sacred object.
we turn the book by 90 degrees, the pseudo-Greek inscription ? IO.XI can
be read. We will notice that 310 turns us to the book of Boudet, "the
True Celtic Language", since 310 is exactly the number of pages of
this work. This being so, we can thus say that the book has a close relationship
with this tomb, or better with a TOMB.
Let us continue the analysis of the tomb of Boudet at Axat and our interest in the number XI. This page is significant because for the first time the abbot will set up his linguistic system. He compares the languedocian names with Breton, Irish and Welsh, and the first word subjected to his analysis is brén: "the ground corn is named in the languedocian dialect is brén; in Welsh bran; in Irish and Scots bran". In French this is called the sound, and by using the system of Boudet i.e. by adding a little salt to it, one will translate the SOUND as the noise, the music of the words.
Here is what the small closed book of Axat says to us: The True Celtic Language speaks about a tomb and to find it (or if you prefer: open the book) what it will lead to needs to be discovered by its sound… which is in essence a reference to saying you need to “listen” to what is written, not be blinded by how it is written.
It is very much like GULLIVER, when he is within an unknown region dominated by erudite and highly civilized horses. GULLIVER takes them for enchanters, knowing all the languages and he manages to find the direction of the sounds. Undoubtedly the goal of Jonathan Swift in this part of his work was to underline the transcendence of Cabbale (mare), i.e. phonetics, which Fulcanelli two centuries later would show to have a decisive role for the study of Hermetic Philosophy.
This language is universal and appears in the Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz, the same Rabelais had used, like Cyrano of Bergerac in "the States and Empire of the Moon" where the birds speak. This language of the birds is a very old idea (one which we will find with Boudet), which is at the core of the Hermeticists, where we read that in the beginning Man and the animals spoke all the same primitive language. The language of the birds can neither be read nor be written; it is purely phonetic, immediately accessible to the illiterate but at the same time inaccessible to the common people. This is why the Hermeticists used a non-written language that rested on a phonetic interpretation and the knowledge of slang. This language of the initiate is also that of heraldry, which is deciphered like a rebus, it is also the language that makes it possible to understand the sculptures of the Gothic cathedrals. The slang was the incomprehensible language of the manufacturers, the underworld slang, which by reduction became “slang”, which was regarded as a language reserved for a quite precise community.
Here is what Boudet had to say on page 11: use slang, the underworld slang, the language of the birds, the language of the horses, the phonetic cabal, SOUND, to approach the temple and, then as in Jericho with the sound of the trumpets, the walls will let us pass.
Analysis of the "Preliminary Observations"
One will note that what is the foreword in the case of Boudet’s book
is different from what is the norm; it is cut in two quite distinct parts.
First, there is the foreword on a recto-verso page that we already examined
and which was printed in italic characters to differentiate it from the
remainder of volume; then there are the "Preliminary Observations",
which takes up four pages, numbered in Roman numeral.
In these observations, the priest explains that called by God to Rennes-les-Bains, he thinks that the name of Rennes itself will enable him to rediscover the history of this area, which is a surprising statement for a well-read scholar who appears to be unaware of the fact that the name of Rennes not at all goes back to the Celtic period, as a few years before the few houses that composed the village were called "the Baths of Montferrand" and not "Rennes-les-Bains". As to the cromlech, let us note that there are no written records, which means that there is no written or even local legend of this famous circle of stones.
The only thing that is left to us is the Languedocian dialect, but even here Boudet warns us that it “does not appear a sure way to arrive at significant results”.
- This route we have "traversed with patience ".
- "When the torch that we seek with anxiety, was shown in our eyes, its first ray fell on the name of the Tectosages, and this ray dazzled us" and further
- "the result appeared serious to us ", to explain "the significance of the megalithic monuments of Rennes-les-Bains, the premier object of our research".
We can say that here we have the instructions to work with. The patois should be used but not too often or in a rushed manner, it is necessary to be patient, the truth takes a long time to foresee. It is necessary to work like the Tectosages, i.e. by taking again the method of Boudet to remember that that comes from ‘to take' – to be liked, `to sack' – to plunder, it is thus necessary to behave like a "plunderer", but to him this term in Occitan expresses knowing somebody with a sharp, malignant, bright spark; moreover, the priest further gives this definition of plunderer in his book. Finally how to seek a megalithic monument which everyone knows does not exist in Rennes-les-Bains. Except if this `splendid monument' is not a cromleck but another thing which has a relationship with the crown of thorns… and which must remain the PRELIMINARY OBJECT OF OUR RESEARCH…
The used method of encoding
Several techniques are used simultaneously with glaring errors of names
or said places, of reading key words, exclamations, inventions, puns, sound
associations, etc. Thus let us see these various methods.
Boudet twice explains to us his technique of assonance. Thus one can first read on page 92 (what is in general the best known of the passages): "We believe that the Numide language can easily assert and, by examining the current language of Kabyles, one will make sure that it is made from puns and by consequence the Punic one - to pun (peun) to make puns. This assertion will undoubtedly not appear without foundation…" Here is the first stake: the technique of pun is not without foundation. Before arriving there let us add a new detail on the Punic language: the priest says that that it can easily be asserted. To assert what? It is all in the passage which precedes the quotation which is significant, where we learn that the Phoenician founders of Carthage spoke the Canaanite language and that this language was close to Numidic. But it is not in Carthaginian that it is necessary to attach the Punic one, but much more certainly to the language of the Numides and that of the Moors. Here it is that if we require to understand the language of the dead, it is necessary to speak by puns. But if the beginning of this passage is most frequently quoted by the specialists of "the True Celtic Language", the authors do not quote what follows. Indeed the priest warns us a second time on how to interpret his book.
This second passage is on page 127, in chapter IV, on the language of Japhet, where we find this title: "Cantabres - Iberians - Kjoekken-Moeddings of Denmark"
It reads: “the language of the Iberians was likely to greatly surprise the Celts: also very astonished not to seize the direction, they decorated the descendants of Tubal with the name of Cantabres, ‘- to cant’ to speak a certain jargon, ‘- abroad’ (abraud) outside…" How to be more explicit? We now know that it is necessary to use the puns and that it is necessary to speak a coded language for “outside”. We will note in passing that Boudet has shown knowledge in the taste of his time. Indeed, in 1884, an extremely interesting book appeared by Garrigou Adolphe entitled: "Ibéres, Ibérie" in which this Ariégeois author shows the Caucasian origin of the Iberians. Proof once again, if it were necessary, that the priest of Rennes did a significant amount of research in writing his book.
Now let us see another technique employed in encrypting "the True Language…". It involved, we realised, certain key words. We find for example the use of the term ‘- To eye’, to have the eye on; this expression can be followed or not by a suspension point. This has also some importance. If there are no suspension points, it is necessary to pay attention to the expression in question, if followed by points of suspension, it indicates that it is what will follow which requires great attention. `To eye' to pronounce `aï' is sometimes used as exclamation: `Aïe', to say that it is necessary to focus our attention even if it is on something that appears impossible; we will return to this point later.
key word used is the English term `key' – which no doubt is a “coincidence”
where the pun was intended. It appears in the translation of "Kaïrolo",
page 295. Here, Boudet analyzes this word by making it derive from `- key',
key, `- ear (ir)' ear of corn, `- hole' small house, attic "and can
be the silo or underground containing invaluable cereal…"; here
is the typical style of Boudet: under cover of a key word, he indicates
to us that the corn was stored in an underground room, with all allusions
relating to corn, as well with gold when using slang, but also with the
parabola of the sower: if the grain does not die....
We already said that the use of sounds is frequent. We already saw that `to eye' was to say `Aï!'. In the same way the phonetics of `how' must decide `Haou!'. In the same manner we note that the pronunciation of the English words is not inevitably given by Boudet, it is thus that if he gives it, it is not always for the most complicated words. We are plunged in the language of the birds, and we must find our heart of our inner child, i.e. listen to the music and let us go wherever we need to wander before we have the eyes to see what we need to see.
We also note that the book contains geographical errors, the inversions of places, or the inventions such as for example Lampos for the foot of Cardou. The old records never mention this name for this place. Then why invent it if not to make it derive from `- to Lamb’. Finally we are vis-a-vis inventions pure and simple, the most obvious being that of the `Cromleck', to which we will return as it merits a specific study all of its own.
think that this first approach will make it possible to realize that "the
True Celtic language and the Cromleck of Rennes-les-Bains" is not the
work of an insane person, but indeed an esoteric book, encrypted, of which
the goal is to put one on the track of a secret that is not inevitably material,
but of great importance to humanity. In a forthcoming study we will study
with more precise details, now that we know his methods, the most revealing
passages. We will consider the "Cromleck" and its significance
and will put a new light on what today is hidden under "the phonetic
cabal". We will go out in the area and will analyze the map at the
end of the book by putting it in connection with certain parts of the text…