The Old Religion

A few days ago I had the opportunity to present my book El árbol de los mitos at Lo Carreró, located in Montgai (Noguera region, Lleida province). In a pleasant atmosphere, in which the mystery of the region (explained in the work La llegenda del Carreró, by Sílvia Colomé) is combined with an attractive rustic setting, the visitor can enjoy here an interesting cultural offer, as well as a careful bar and restaurant service (at a reasonable price).

The next day, I had the opportunity to visit a certainly interesting enclave, which plays an important role in the work La llegenda del Carreró, cited above. It is the Torre del Moro, located a few kilometers from the town of Montgai, in the municipality of Cubells. With a picturesque panoramic view of the Serra de Bellmunt, we find a whole series of archaeological remains, with a curious symbology, accompanying an old "Moorish" tower. This set of inscriptions, symbols, ceremonial pools or altars made me think of other similar places that are spread throughout the Catalan geography. Enclaves where the Old Religion was practiced.

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The Tower of Dionís, or of the Moor, in the municipality of Cubells

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The curious profile of the Serra de Bellmunt, with a "wave" shape, serves as the setting for this remarkable set of archaeological remains

As I have pointed out above, a few meters from the "Moorish" tower we find a series of elements that seem to indicate a liturgical use of the land, in which religious ceremonies of a pagan type would have been celebrated; some of them with a "bloody" character (as the altar seems to indicate with a slot, so that -supposedly- the blood of the sacrifice circulates, which would fall into a gutter located below). It is remarkable the fact that a few meters away there is a pool of lustral waters. Both things, together (the sacrificial altar and the pool of lustral waters), correspond to a ceremony mentioned in the Bible (Numbers 19, 2 and following). This is remarkable at the archaeological and ritual level.

To erase its pagan character, and sanctify the place, a series of crosses have been added. However, there are also certain symbols (the three round points, the double A) that link this place with an ancient esoteric current that has survived to this day (see below).

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At the foot of the supposed "sacrificial altar" there seems to be a gutter, which would presumably serve to circulate the blood of the sacrifice a little further down

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A few meters away from the "sacrificial altar", there is a square pool with a gutter, which supposedly transfers the "lustral water" to a small circular container (another pool, but round) located a few meters away, to its right

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The place has been "sanctified" with a Latin cross (and a Greek cross next to it), at the foot of a triangle formed by three circular "cups". Next to it we find some inscriptions, with the combinations MA and AA

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A "ritual path", carved into the rock, leads to this place of pagan worship

But as I mentioned above, in Catalonia there are many pagan ceremonial centers, very similar to this one.

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Ceremonial pools such as the one of the Torre del Moro (in the center) can be found in different places in Catalonia: Òrrius (above), Martorell (below, left) and near Girona (below, right)

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 Another ceremonial pool, in Oristà (Barcelona)

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The most diverse inscriptions or engravings can be found in Savassona (above, left) or in Santa Coloma de Cervelló (rest)

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In this regard, the so-called Pedra de les Bruixes, in Savassona, is especially well-known

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Glyphs and inscriptions in Oristà

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The "sanctification" of pagan enclaves with the imposition of the cross is very common. Up, Orrius. Bottom left, les Gavarres. Bottom right, Torre del Moro (Montgai). In the center, a cross inscribed on a menhir, somewhere in the Pyrenees

In different places in Catalonia, we find engraved or excavated a series of symbols that are still valid today in secret or discreet societies (Rosicrucianism or Freemasonry). This is the case of the three stars (or the three points), of astral groupings (such as Orion and Sirius), of the "all-seeing eye", etc.

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Three dots (marked by cups) on a rock at Savassona

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In a chapel near Girona, we find, on the lintel of a door, the representation of the constellation of Orion, with the star Sirius to its left

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In Òrrius we find this strange rock, with an "all-seeing eye" carved into its center

Sometimes, authentic "temples" of Nature are erected, with altars, or scale representations of "sacred mountains" and "initiatic caves".

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This strange (sculpted) rock formation seems to hug a tree. It is located in Clots de Sant Julià, Canapost (Girona)

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At the foot of this "enchanted" tree, located in Collserola, near Cerdanyola del Vallès...

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Someone has built this niche, with what looks like a stylized Christmas motif

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Similarly, someone has used a "dolmen" to place a Christian Nativity, generating a curious case of pagan-Christian symbiosis (Òrrius, Barcelona)

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In the Font Nova de Can Catà (Cerdanyola) a stepped pyramid was built at the beginning of the 20th century

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Said "stepped temple" is located next to an artificial grotto, perhaps with an "initiatory" character


In the neighboring town of Cerdanyola del Vallès, in front of the justice courts, we find this tomb-sculpture, which combines a stepped pyramid with an artificial cavity

We have previously talked about an inscription, located next to the cross that sanctifies the pagan space of the Torre del Moro (near Montgai), which basically consists of a double A. In this regard, about it, Robert Graves writes what follows in his work The White Goddess: "Tarot is an anagram of ROTA, wheel, and the Wheel of fortune, AA, was the first and main card".

In my book Temas de Historia Oculta (page 293) I write what follows: "From my point of view, the double A is an alternative image to the Christian worldview (Alpha and Omega), which, as is well known, has a linear character: the world has an origin and an end marked by the Creation and the Final Judgment. On the other hand, the double A (Alpha and Alpha) would allude to a 'circular' (that is, cyclical) vision of History. Thus, we would speak of seeing the world as a place where eras succeed each other, to return, again and again, to the original Golden Age". In this regard, read the following article to understand the symbolism of double A:

José Luis Espejo - El mensaje oculto de Gaudí (

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If it is not an inscription that mentions a certain Arturo and a certain Amparo (for example), this is a typical case in which the Double A is alluded to. Clots de Sant Julià (Canapost, Girona)

What is the Old Religion?

I do not venture to guess what the Doctrine and the Liturgy of the Old Religion consist of; among other reasons because it can acquire multiple aspects. But I dare to affirm that the Old Religion would include the use of psychoactive substances, such as the mushroom of the Amanita muscaria species.

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Mushrooms (such as the Amanita muscaria) are represented in several "sacred forests" in Catalonia. On the left, Orrius. In the center, Savassona. On the right, a curious rock formation in Puig de Cadiretes, near Sant Feliu de Guíxols

I also dare to think that according to this religion, the forest and Nature in general would be inhabited by a dense population of invisible beings, who would be "guardians of the place". Sometimes they act malevolent, and at other times they are benefactors. Among them we can count the Catalan "follets" (goblins), the dryads of the trees, the fairies, or the undines (nymphs) of the watercourses.

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Numerous fantastic beings populate the forests and rivers, according to the Old Religion. They are guarantors of its protection, and also od the well-being, of the inhabitants of the place

The Old Religion has a matriarchal character. The Mother Goddess, or Mother Earth, is a residue of that time when women ruled not only the offspring, but also social organization.

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The Old Religion had a feminine and matriarchal character. On the right, goddess Artemis in Gallifa (Barcelona)

The "consort of the Goddess", the Horned God (the Greek Pan), was made by Christianity the personification of the Devil, and in traditional pagan culture is the emblem of fertility (he was called the Green Man).

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The paleolithic or pre-Christian Horned God (for example, the Celtic Cernunnos or the Greek Pan) was transformed, by Christianity, into the Devil (on the left, with an androgynous character). Nevertheless, in popular culture it continued to exist as the personification of the generating power of Nature (bottom-left, Pan in Barcelona; bottom-centre, "green man" in a Romanesque capital, in the province of Girona). On the right, "the green man" hidden in the center of Leonardo's Magdalena Leggente. To the right of him, the "green man" motif, according to the Christian esotericist Louis Cattiaux.

Likewise, I dare to conjecture that the Old Religion used the so-called "circle dance" in its ceremonies (but in the opposite direction: looking out of the circle, and with naked participants, as it appears on a capital of the Gothic cloister of the abbey of Montserrat, in Barcelona). This circular dance (also called "of the witches") would eventually lead to the famous "sardana" typical of Catalonia.

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Above, left, the so-called "dance of the witches", which would eventually lead to the modern sardana (see below, left). Above, right, how the "circle dance" (ball en rotllana) was danced in pagan conventicles: naked, and looking out of the circle (capital in Montserrat). Bottom right, an open space where -predictably- circular dances were performed, near the castle of Montsoriu