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The Portal: An Initiate's Journey into the Secret of Rennes-le-Château Paperback – September 7, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Chaplin's latest continues the Grail mysteries and New Age practices explored in her City of Secrets memoir. This time the author, daughter-in-law of legendary comedian Charlie Chaplin, and a guide traverse cities and landmarks in southern France and northern Spain that fall on energy-rich ley lines--geographic locations that resonate with mystical force. One stop is Rennes-le-Château, the small French church popular with speculative historians of the Holy Grail. Chaplin's journey is an initiation into a secret order charged with protecting esoteric information and involves fasting, chanting, and a psychic baptism. The Dan Brown–meets–On the Road journey culminates with an experience at the summit of Mt. Canigou in southern France, in which the author's life, and lives past, flash before her. Heaped onto the Grail mythos are references to Cabala, numerology, astrology, chakras, and astral travel that are rattled off much too quickly for clarity. Chaplin is an able writer but repeatedly falls into lengthy reveries about a lost lover and her bohemian youth, slowing momentum and diverting focus from the spiritual narrative. While some may enjoy this, most Grail researchers and occult specialists will find the author's claims unsupported and unlikely.
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"Readers of the Da Vinci Code will be fascinated with this real-life drama of magic and intrigue! The truth is out there, and Patrice Chaplin has lived it!
" --Kathleen McGowan, author of The Source of Miracles

"A story of love and magic steeped in the truth, a story that will stay with you years after you read the last pages.
" --Kathleen McGowan, New York Times best-selling author of The Expected One and The Book of Love

"Patrice Chaplin becomes the first author in decades, to add something original to the Rennes-le-Chateau mystery. No one except her has been so involved in the decipherment of a century-old secret that, if we could put under control in the near future, it could give a quantum leap in our evolution. The Portal is, no doubt, the missing piece in the Rennes-le-Chateau puzzle.
" --Javier Sierra, New York Times best-selling author of The Lady in Blue

"The Grail mystery: Patrice Chaplin lived it and is conveying its incredible nature to the reader." --Philip Coppens, investigative journalist and author of The Stone Puzzle of Rosslyn Chapel and Servants of the Grail

"Chaplin continues the epic literary journey that she started in 'Happy Hour' and 'City of Secrets'. The reward is an enchanting tale of love and nothing less than the truth." --Corjan, Singer/Songwriter and publisher of Rennes-le-Chateau Research and Resource

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Quest Books (September 7, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0835608883
  • ISBN-13: 978-0835608886
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 5.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #512,663 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Patrice Chaplin is an internationally renowned playwright and author who has published more than 27 books, plays, and short stories. Her most notable work includes Albany Park, Siesta, which was made into a film staring Jodi Foster and Isabella Rossellini, Into the Darkness Laughing, Hidden Star, Night Fishing, and Death Trap.

As a Bohemian in Paris during the 50's and 60's, she spent time with Jean Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir. Married to Charlie Chaplin's son Michael and living and working in Hollywood, she was friends with everyone from Lauren Bacall and Miles Davis, to Salvador Dali and Jean Cocteau, who gave her a starring role in one of his films.

In her books, City of Secrets (2007), The Portal (2010) and The Stone Cradle (2015), Chaplin opens the door to entirely new and compelling elements of the Rennes-le-Château mystery: the Spanish connection, namely the Catalan capital of Girona.

Chaplin has contributed to collections of short stories, including Black Valentine and The Minerva Book of Short Stories 1. Her plays, documentaries, and short stories have been extensively written and adapted for radio. The short story Night in Paris has been translated in many countries, and other short stories of hers have appeared in magazines and newspapers, including The Independent.

Her stage play From the Balcony was commissioned by The National Theatre in London in conjunction with Radio 3 and was performed at the Cottesloe Theatre. She has also written articles for publications including The Guardian, The Sunday Times, The Jewish Chronicle, The Daily Mail, Marie Claire, and The London Magazine.

Today, Chaplin finds herself thrown deep into the Grail culture, and at the heart of a raging new controversy about the reality of the Rennes-le-Château mystery.

Chaplin is the director of The Bridge®, a non-profit organization that leads workshops based in the performing arts as a new and unique way to help fight addiction. She resides in London and is currently writing The Garden of the Frenchwoman.

To learn more about Patrice Chaplin go to

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Mary A. Roe on February 8, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"The Portal" by Patrice Chaplin

The mysteries that have been revealed by Patrice Chaplin in her latest book, "The Portal" are ancient, yet living, as practiced today in the classical lands of Northern Spain and Southern France.

Patrice takes the reader back in time using traditions which have been preserved and jealously guarded by the private society in the region. Her revelations are a rich window into their esoteric history, they are written down at last for the world at large that they might not be lost forever.

Echoing elements as ancient as Chaldea, this tradition combines the fields of astronomy, geometry, and numerology with mineralogical gemstone references. These sciences are laid out on a map which is superimposed on a Pythagorean magic square, the Venus magic square to be exact. Each numbered small square within the larger magic square represents a location on the trek that follows the pattern of the constellation The Great Bear, our Big Dipper. The associations of the specific locals with their own number, star, and other symbols serve as the basis for meditations along the way. The design of the 7 stars of the Dipper, the Great Bear Mother, forms the path of the initiate through this ancient area of the world, culminating at the portal at the top of Mt. Canigou. Weeks of physical and psychological preparation go into the initiation which proceeds step by step through historic towns and ancient sites, and then upwards through rugged terrain - it is not for the faint of heart. It is not an indulgent journey and the fare is minimal.

Life lessons are taught and absorbed at each location and notes from previous initiates are studied. For Patrice these writings included those of the Abbe Berenger Sauniere and also those of Jose Tarres.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Koda on January 13, 2011
Format: Paperback
Patrice has again offered her personal account of the Grail Mysteries.
The portal in France, the Initiate's journey and in my view, some very obvious as well as cryptic clues to further a greater view of this fascinating topic.
She stitches the stories skillfully together... of Gerona, the mystical star map (Venus square) across southern Europe and the Private Society's long held secrets.
Patrice is a colorful and creative writer.. a true a poet.
The portal is an elaboration of her strength, her honest refusals...and yet her amazing willingness to undergo a dangerous journey.
Her journey opens her consciousness in such a way that the untold secrets, spill out (like the nectar from the grail) with each turn and each passage that she moves through.The Portal then offers, we the readers what she has discovered. It is our journey as well. Wonder....full.
And, it is my suspicion that this book delivers a message to us, not easily determined (an inner arcane) ...
something like a secret knowledge held in our cells, in our DNA, that springs up from a deep place within us at just the right time.
Thank You Patrice...Thank You for all you have gone through for us. For what you have endured just to get this book written, published, manifested for us all.
Another wonderful Partice Chaplin oblation from the Grail Mysteries.
Check out Partice Chaplin's Face Book Page. Cock full of intrigue. [...]
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful By L. Gagne on September 7, 2010
Format: Paperback
Though much has been written about the mysteries of Rennes-le-Château, not all of its carefully guarded secrets have been brought to light, if indeed they ever will be. The quest continues. The Portal takes us one stage further in understanding the Grail mysteries from both historical and spiritual perspectives and in relationship to the terrain in which their secrets remain embedded in stones of the region.

Our guide is Patrice Chaplin, who has already laid the foundation for our journey in her previous book "Girona: City of Secrets."

We begin in Gerona and accompany Patrice on a transformative trek which engulfs both past and present, placing us that much closer to the "doorway" where even time and space (as they are generally understood) are subject to transformation. The portal on the summit of Mount Canigou lies strategically midway between two key locations in Girona and Rennes-le-Château - locations that have been marked with identical towers, constructed in relationship to ley lines to activate an interdimensional portal.

Referencing a Cabalistic system of numbers known as "magic squares", the journey "through the Seven Stars under the Great Bear [Ursa Major]" is mapped out with 11 sacred stations along the French/Catalan border. Each of these stages represent a hallmark in self examination and personal, spiritual development along the path, necessary for the successful (and safe) completion of the journey. Though not necessary to understand the numerological system which maps out the journey, the symbolism can be "felt", the signs perceived, enough to assist one along the often treacherous inner and outer paths to the sacred summit. As above, so below.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Alan S. Glassman on December 29, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Charlie Chaplin's daughter-in-law has done it again. She has produced a sequel to her 2003 autobiographical City of Secrets, and it kept me on the edge of my chair. It's a book that grabbed me with its captivating, almost mesmerising effect. I could not put it down.

The Portal picks up where her previous book left off, and goes into much greater depth with the story of her life since she first met her great love, José Tarres, in Girona, Spain in the 1950's.

This time we find out what Holy Blood, Holy Grail's priest, Abbé Bérenger Saunière, was actually doing on his extended sojourns away from Rennes-le-Château. In City, we learned of his Cabalistic work with a secret group in Girona, but now we delve into the substance of his search and the search of a select group Chaplin calls "the custodians." Custodians of what?

It seems that centuries ago different religious and mystical groups recognised Girona and the area of Catalonia around it as harbouring a number of planetary power points at intersections of ley lines.

From very ancient times, the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Moors, Christians, Jews, and others venerated and practiced their rituals in the area, so it's not surprising that a great deal of psychic energy has built up there over time. Cabalists, especially, have found this earthly spot very powerful.

Chaplin says, "In the twelfth century, a centre of Cabala was founded by a Jewish settlement that had existed in the province since the fourth century AD. The renowned scholar Gershom Scholem said this Girona School of Nachmanides was the most important in history." It is thought to be the location where the Zohar may have been written.
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