The Templar Rose and Bright Morning Star


18th - 25th  July  2020

8 participants

Retreat leaders : 

Tom Bree, Bertrand Gamrowski, Basia Goodwin



Early bird (before March 1st): 

1,600€ single ensuite  

1,500€ shared ensuite (per person)


After March 1st: 

1,500€ single ensuite  

1,400€ shared ensuite (per person)



During  the  first  four  days  of  the  retreat, on  site  at  'Flores Del Camino',  we  will  explore  the  symbolism  and  geometry  of  sacred buildings  along  the  pilgrimage  route  to  Santiago;  the  octagonal  churches  of  Eunate  and  Torres  del  Rio,  the  magnificent  Ucero,  the  lost  rose  window  of  Santiago  as  well  as  Wells  cathedral  in  England.


Part  of  this  exploration  will  consider  the  Fibbonacci  ratios  8:5  and  13:8,  which  are  related  to  the  Marian  symbolism  of  the  rose and  the  Morning  Star.  Our  explorations  will  be  continued  in  the  final  three  days  by  visiting  the  related  sacred  sites.  


The  "Morning  Star"  is  the  epithet  used  for  both  the  Risen  Christ  as  well  as  for  the  Virgin  Mary.  In  cosmological  terms,  the  Morning  Star  is  the  planet  Venus  because  she  rises  just  before  the  sunrise  and  then,  as  the  "Evening Star"  she  sets  just  after  the  sunset.  The  symbolism  of  Venus  has  also  long  been  associated  with  the  rose  and  this  appears  to  be  related  to  the  cosmological  phenomenon  known  as  the  Venus  Pentagram:   the  orbital  interactions  of  planets  Earth  and Venus  plot  out  the  coordinates  of  a  pentagram  star  over  the  course  of  an  eight - year  cycle.  Such  five - fold  symmetry  emulates the  five  petals  on  a  wild  rose  and   the  five  mystery  beads  on  a  rosary.


The   rising   of   Venus  in  the  east  is  also  symbolic  of  the  Risen  Christ  on  Easter  Sunday,  who  rises  up  from  His journey  through  the  underworld  that  He  entered  on  Good  Friday.  This  part  of  the  Easter  story  also  naturally  reflects  the  ancient  cosmological  myth  of   Innana -  (Sumerian pre Venus) . After  she  sets  in  the  west  as  the  evening  star,  she  journeys  down  into  the  underworld  and  experienced  death  there  for  three  days  and  three  nights.  She  is  reborn  as  the  morning  star  in  the  east  and ascends  back  up  to  her  heavenly  origin.


In  this  retreat  we  will  focus  on  the  influence  of  this  ancient  cosmological  symbolism  on  medieval  Christian  culture,  including  the  symbolism  of  the  rose  in  the  chivalric  tradition  of  Courtly  Love,  and  in  churches  in  the  Camino  region  that  are  associated  with  the  Knights  Templar.  We  will  also  consider  the  same  cosmological symbolism  in  the  design  of  Wells  Cathedral  -  the  first  English  gothic  cathedral  - with  its  pentagonal  Lady  Chapel  dedicated  to the  Virgin  Mary,  and  situated  at  the  cathedral's  east  end.


The  original  rose  window  of  Santiago  cathedral  appears  to  depict  the  eight - year  cosmological  cycle  or  Earth,  Venus,  Sun  and Moon.  We  shall  explore  the  window's  geometric  design  and  its  cosmological  symbolism. The  Camino  de  Santiago  itself  is  a  symbolic  journey  of  death  and  resurrection  in  that  it  leads  westwards  towards  the  setting  sun  and  the  evening  star.    After  the  journey  westwards  is  complete,  the  pilgrim  is  reborn  into  a  new  existence  and walks  home  eastwards  towards  the  rising  of  the  bright  Morning  Star.  These  explorations  will  enable  us  to  create  some  beautiful geometries  on  tea - stained  paper,  using  natural  pigments.  During  the  retreat  we  will  be  nurturing  the  traditional  "pilgrims´ communitas."  You  will  be  enjoying  home  cooked  meals  under  the  pergola  in  the  courtyard  shaded  by  vine  and  fruit  trees  and sharing  by  the fire  in  the  evenings  under  the  star -  lit  Milky  Way. 

Preliminary  timetable


18th     Arrival  between  4pm  &  7pm. Welcome  dinner  7:30pm

19th     Presentations,  introductions,  tea staining

20th     Workshops  &  outside  activities

21st      Workshops  &  outside  activities

22nd    Workshops  &  outside  activities

23rd     Visits  to  Burgos  Cathedral,  Torres  del  Rio,  Eunate.  On - site  workshops

24th     Visits  &  on - site  workshops  continued.

25th    Morning  visit  to  Ucero.  5pm  drop - off  at  Madrid  airport.



 Tom  Bree  is  a  geometer - artist,  teacher  and  writer.  He  specialises in  the  use  of  geometry  in  sacred  art  and  philosophy  and  teaches  drawing  art  classes  as  a  form  of  contemplative  philosophy.  Tom  teaches  primarily  at  the  Prince's  School  of  Traditional  Arts  in  London  but  also  for various  other  organisations  both  in  the  Uk  and  abroad including  the  Princes  Teaching  Institute,  The  Chalice  Well  in  Glastonbury,  the  RWA  in  Bristol  and  the  Education Renaissance  Trust.  For  the  last  9  years  Tom  has  been conducting  a  very  detailed  geometric  analysis  of  the  design  of  Wells  Cathedral  in  Somerset  he  is  soon  to  publish.  See ABOUT for Bertrand and Basia's backgrounds. 




The  price  includes :

Seven  nights accommodation

All  meals

Three  days  of  visits

Teaching  and  materials

Travel  to  Madrid  airport  on  the  25th

It  does  NOT  include  airline  tickets  or inbound  journey  to  the  retreat  centre.   HOW  TO  GET  HERE  ?

Once  we  confirm  you  can  join  the  retreat,  you  can  secure  your  place  by  making  a  300€  deposit.  The  remaining  amount  is  to  be  paid  two  months  before  the  retreat.  Refunds  are  only  available  if  you  can  find  a replacement  for  yourself.  You  can  make  the  payment  by  Pay Pal,  bank card,  bank  transfer  or  Transferwise  (contact  us  for  details).  Please  make  sure  you  cover  all  transaction  or  conversion  fees.  Please  read  our  full  Terms  &  Conditions.  In  making  a  reservation,  you confirm  that  you  have  read  and  understood  the  Terms  &  Conditions.

Click on the icons below to share this post

Write a comment

Comments: 0

Flores Del Camino, Calle Real 36,  Castrillo de los Polvazares  24718

+34 691 221 058