©1999 Jay Weidner and Vincent Bridges
Republished with permission of Jay Weidner.
The Hendaye Cross is the loose thread on the tapestry of history. Tug on it long enough and the whole carefully constructed psycho-drama unravels before your eyes. It is the grand maguffin of the mystery.
Although Hendaye has grown into a good-sized resort town, the town square and St. Vincent’s church looks much the same as it did in the 1920s and 30s when Fulcanelli and M. Lemoine the painter came to visit. Wednesday is still market day, and the vendors of fresh fish and vegetables still line the square. The people who pass by on their way to the square barely notice the non-descript cross standing against the wall of the church. Cars park a few feet away, and the everyday bustle of life in a French resort town takes place around it. Occasionally, like M. Lemoine, a tourist stops to take a photograph.
It is of course the curious images on the pedestal that attracts attention. The casual passer-by sees an angry sunface and a strange cross with four A’s. These faces of the pedestal are easily visible, but walking around the monument reveals two more, a man-in-the-moon design and, close against the church wall, an eight-rayed star-burst. The ordinary tourist snaps his shot, then looks for a sign explaining what he has just taken a snap of. Finding no information except more curious images, our tourist shrugs and later labels that side as “Cross with angry sun face, Hendaye.”
However, standing before the Cross, in the bright Basque sunlight on a busy Wednesday market morning, we came face to face with the great mystery. Somehow, Fulcanelli inserted a new chapter in Le Mystere designed to link, uniquely in all alchemical literature, Chilaism and the secret of practical alchemy and thereby point directly to the real secret, the nature of time itself. As proof, he offers the reality of the Cyclic Cross of Hendaye and its symbolic code.
Like a lodestone of pure weirdness, this juxtaposition of the end of the world with the transmutational process of alchemy drew us out of our normal routines and eventually all the way to southwestern France and the Cross itself. Our involvement began accidentally when one author, Jay Weidner, picked up a copy of Le Mystere at a yard sale in West Hollywood. Over a decade later, the code was cracked, and, as the implications emerged, the mystery began to consume our lives. We found ourselves without any recourse but to go to France and resolve it. If the Cross existed, we felt, then we could validate much of what Fulcanelli had to say in Le Mystere. Without the monument, however, the whole thing vanished into a cloud of hoaxed smoke.
Yet, as we decided after our last visit, other than proving the existence of the Cross, going to Hendaye and researching its history left us with few clues. As we discovered, Hendaye surfaced into the spotlight of history at a few key moments – Hitler visited in October 1940 to meet with General Franco of Spain – to tantalize us with its possible significance. Only to fade back into obscurity with hardly a ripple of historic remembrance. The Cross itself seemed to have no history, and other than Fulcanelli and Boucher, it is unremarked upon.
But it does exist. And the symbols on it are just as Fulcanelli described. Could the Cross at Hendaye really be a monument to the double catastrophe which will “try the northern hemisphere with fire” as Fulcanelli insists?
That blustery spring morning standing in front of the Cross, we decided that the reality of the cross brought into focus the questions that must be answered in order to evaluate its message. We can list them in five broad categories:
1) Is Fulcanelli telling the truth? Is there any connection, in history or tradition, between alchemy and such gnostic eschatologies as Chilaism? And if there is a connection, how has it been maintained through the centuries? Is the secret really displayed on the walls of certain Gothic Cathedrals?
2) What does Fulcanelli have to say about alchemy and the Cross at Hendaye? And does that information shed any light on the connection between alchemy and eschatology?
3) What do the symbolic images and ciphers on the Cross mean? How are they “the rarest symbolic translation” of an apocalyptic philosophy? And, most important of all, do they suggest a date?
4) Is there any scientific evidence to support the idea of Fulcanelli’s double catastrophe? And does that evidence also suggest any insight into alchemy?
5) And if this catastrophe is cyclical, what happened the last time? Can we find any proof?
Standing in front of the Cross at Hendaye that day, we realized the importance of having answers to these questions. We needed information, solid facts, to resolve the mystery. We never suspected that once we had laid bare the meaning of Fulcanelli and the Cross, the real work would begin.
As we found answers, both expected and unexpected, to our list of questions, we also found that our subject was expanding, also in ways both expected and unexpected. We agreed that we would focus first on the meaning of the Hendaye chapter and the monument itself. The history of alchemy would have to be included, we thought, but only to support Hendaye’s message. We had no intention of attempting to unravel the ultimate mystery of alchemy itself, much less an exhaustive examination of the contents of Le Mystere and Dwellings. We simply wanted to know if the things “Fulcanelli” reported in the Hendaye chapter were true.
Now, after years of intensive research, we can definitely state that not only is the information in “The Cyclic Cross of Hendaye” true, but that it demonstrates a sophisticated knowledge of galactic mechanics, something that Fulcanelli would have been hard pressed to come by in the 1920’s, much less the designer of the Cross itself, working back in 1680. The implications of this are staggering.