Ever since 2004, I have been using The Akashic Records to write my novels. They are a form of psychic time travel where someone with the skills to tune in can access people, places and events from the past. My good friend Alison King has this ability. You can find out more at her website and mine - see the sidebar of the blog with more detailed explanations. This blog is soley for extracts of research from my work in progress.
I am currently engaged in writing about Eleanor of Aquitaine. The first novel, THE SUMMER QUEEN is well underway, and the extracts I am posting come from the Akashic Records research data so far conducted.

Wednesday, 31 August 2011


I asked Alison to go to William X of Anjou and find out why he wanted to go to Compostela.

Alison: I can sense that William is longing to clear his head. It seems as though everyday life and business matters encroach on his attention so much and he has this longing for peace and for – it looks like a horizon with light on that horizon.  A feeling of wanting to get away from it all.  A feeling of a person who needs a good holiday.  He knows he has to treat his responsibilities properly and he’s very much willing to leave everything in good order.  He knows this is something he has to do for himself.  It’s nothing to do with anyone else or their call on his attention.  He wants to go to Compostela because he believes he can get there in time.  He feels quite sick down on the left side of his stomach.  He’s poorly then?  I think he probably is.  He doesn’t let it encroach on his normal everyday life.  He can switch off from it.  The emotion there is that he needs to make peace with his God and he can only do that in a place of peace away from the things that have aggravated him or caused problems in his past, or that would distract him from making his peace.  There is also the element of pilgrimage being like the journey of Christ to the cross.  The stripping away of everything that wasn’t needed so that he can enter heaven as a simple individual rather than the camel in the bible story.  He wants Jesus to accept him and the crossover between Jesus and God is very close.  It’s almost the same thing to him.  It’s a matter of principle as well as emotion and he sees it as a logical thing. While he can do it, he will do it.  When I say it’s a logical thing, it’s something about the academic side, the scriptures.  Re his illness.  It doesn’t bother him all the time, although he knows there is no real cure for it.  The course of the illness is generally known; it’s not an obscure thing.  He doesn’t want his daughters to see him unwell.  He wants them to remember him as well and happy.
Does he think Compostela might effect a cure for him?  There’s a minor possibility, but when I pressed that home, I can only see him coming half way back, I can’t see him coming the whole way back, so I think he has the strong, underlying belief that there’s no way.  His main feeling is that he needs to cleanse his soul in order to become acceptable to God.  He thinks that even in the place where he is, if he was to attempt cleansing his soul through the religious people that are there, it would be partial.  They would ere on his side.  They wouldn’t be firm enough, and he takes it very seriously.  He feels that he’s left everything as it should be.  He’s done all he can do, and even if he stays at home, it won’t make a difference because it will all end that way anyway.

So now go to William X saying goodbye to his daughters.
This is the hardest thing he’s ever done. His whole face has gone rigid.  He’s having to hold back the tears and it makes him seem a little aloof.  He’s promising to bring back gifts.  He’s telling them to be good while he’s away and he’s saying to Alienor that he’s trusting her with the reins of the kingdom – similar to the reins of a horse.  He finds it really hard because she’s so young and she shouldn’t have to be left in that position at such a young age.  The feeling he gets is like a dagger in his solar plexus.  It’s a real pain because it’s something he can’t do anything about.  I just saw him with Petronella.  Petronella was on a little black pony with a really bright green cloth on its back and he was holding her as he walked along. They’ve gone part of the way along the journey with him.  He says ‘You can always say you have walked part of the pilgrimage route of St. James.  But now I must go on.  It’s time for you to return.’ And he stands and watches them ride back.  It’s really hard for him to watch them go off into the distance.
And Alienor’s POV?  She feels quite angry at him. This is before they set off. This is still at home.  She is thinking ‘Why is he going?  I don’t want him to go. She is thinking of all the different ways she could make this turn out, all the ways she could make him stay.  The things she could give him to make him want to stay.  Why is he going to go and leave them all alone?  It’s not fair.  She’s become taciturn and her mouth is quite tight.  If she goes below the anger, she gets to that love underneath and finds it very upsetting.  And then there’s the duty of having to be there and hold the fort.  She loves her dad deeply.  She doesn’t fully understand why he has to go.  I don’t think she realises his medical situation fully and she thinks if he needs spiritual enlightenment, why can’t he work on it at home?  Why can’t I go with him? Then she realises that Petronella couldn’t go and someone has to stay at home to look after her.  When the moment of turning around comes, she acts cold because she is angry.  She is very stiff-backed and rides back in the frame of mind of doing her duty which she has to do.  She takes advantage a little bit when she’s at home – of being in charge and having things how she likes them, especially when it comes to food and drink.
So what’s her favourite food then?  It’s like a crystalised fruit.  It’s round, reddish, as if it’s preserved.  There are other shapes around, not just this one.  There’s a whole plate of them of different kinds.  Yes. Preserved fruit.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Post Script William IX and Dangereuse de Chatelleraut

I've been asked about the relationship between Alienor's grandparents - which I said was a bit too rude to publish on a non X-rated blog!  However, I have trawled through a few snippets and have added one or two pieces from the sessions we did on these personalities - having censored out the naugthy stuff!
Here's an example of William IX's  poetry
or this one

To the Excerpts.  William IX has arrived while Dangereuse's husband is absent and they have been getting it together.

This is a very passionate relationship.  It’s huge for both of them in the sense that it just takes over their whole being.  They are who they are because of the other one. 

The man is being set at ease now and he is having his equipment taking off properly.  They are still glancing at each other across the room.  He’s a tallish man.  I say that because he has got quite a long face and he has got really lustrous dark brown curls.  They’re not tight curls, they are wavy curls and they just fall down when the helmet’s taken off.  He’s got quite a big forehead. Brown eyes and a more pointed lower part to the face, but overall quite long.  He’s got a long neck.  He’s long-limbed.    He’s feeling hungry.  He can smell smoke. He’s feeling still not quite satisfied but the hunger is starting to encroach on that.  When he eats, he is still very sensual. He’s got a little square thing that is layered and the top is very golden.  Each layer has its different flavours.  He can really pick up on those flavours and the texture. He’s drinking and he’s giving little signs to her as he puts the cup down.  So although they’re not in a clinch or anything the energy is still very much attached.
FFW to when the husband comes home. I can hear his footsteps on the corridor.  He is rcihly dressed like a king. The front part of his tunic isall swirly gold and red patterns and then there are panels down the front of his legs like that as well.   He comes in and sees that all is well, that there is food on the table.  He goes to the man and he kneels on one knee.
So this man with Dangereuse is of higher rank than the husband?  Yes, and it’s kind of incongruous because this whole atmosphere is very informal and he goes and does this very formal thing.  William IX raises his eyebrow and he says ‘What do you have for me?  I can see a purse being handed over.  It’s not very big.  It’s about two hands wide, but very fat and round.  William IX looks inside and takes one or two items out and holds them up to the light. There are all sorts of things in there.  The husband says ‘I trust this will be the last payment’ and the man says ‘I will see it counted by my accountants.  He is thinking ‘Not if I can help it.

Go to Dangereuse with her children.  I can see a circle.  She feels quite light here and happy. They’re doing a circular dance like a ring a roses.  A little one’s fallen down.  She’s gone to pick it up but she doesn’t have much patience.  It’s crying.  She won’t have crying.  She stands it on its feet and when it won’t she picks it up again and stands it on its feet.

1. I asked to see the reaction of William X Count of Poitou to his father’s adulterous relationship with Dangereuse of Chatellerault.
Alison.  Oooh, there’s so much tension in the solar plexus it’s hard to move or breathe.  It affects the face as well.  He’s really tense.  His eyes are alert.  It feels like a highly intelligent person, very aware of things around him.  
His feelings about his father and Dangereuse?  Oh that’s what gets him.  It makes him feel sick.  He has to laugh though.  Why?  Initially I thought because he thinks his father is so stupid, so taken in.  He could have his fun and not have to go the whole hog and have the woman over here with a place.  He quite likes Dangereuse.  She makes him laugh, but that doesn’t mean to say he likes having her there.  He can’t believe what his father has done to his mother; that is upsetting, but even so, both of them have said it is better that way.  It’s his feelings about having his mum and dad together.  When they are at meals together, he feels like the adult and his father and his partner feel like the children.  He leaves their company as soon as possible. 

Now to Alienor and a significant moment between her and Dangereuse.
Dangereuse seems to be doing something typically dramatic.  There are things going this way and that way but there doesn’t seem to be any fear from Alienor; she feels quite comfortable.  In fact she feels quite interested and almost enjoying her company.  If I didn’t know it was the wrong century, I would say it was opera.  It has that sort of emotional bigness and there’s something involved in expressing it, producing it.  Alienor admires this.  She admires her grandmother’s ability with this.  She admires her physical beauty.  Anything that’s beautiful, Alienor really responds to.  She is enjoying the train of thought and she is thinking ‘Grandmother isn’t half bad when she’s being….’Normal? Yes, I was hesitating to use that word but it was the one I was thinking of.
When it’s finished there’s applause and then Dangereuse is the famous actress coming to get the backstage party so to speak.  The acclaim, the praise, and she can just manage a little wave for Alienor, but Alienor doesn’t really want more than that.  To Alienor this is the way of the world, the setting.  It’s that layer that she just accepts as being there. It’s all quite normal to her and she feels okay about it and relaxed.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Alienor, birth and childhood.

Our research began with Alienor's grandparents, William IX Duke of Aquitaine and his mistress Dangereuse de Chatelleraut.  However, since this blog is for public consumption and not intended to be X rated, I have decided to come in at Alienor's birth.  Suffice to say that William IX's full blooded poetry was very much reflected in the relationship he enjoyed with the Lady Dangereuse!  I don't cover Alienor's very early years in the novel, but it's always good to know the background.  Here is Alienor as a newborn baby:  Other than headings, the comments in bold are mine.  Those in italic are Alison's personal observations.   Also to note that I'm not putting every single bit of the research in, but there will be a wide range of excerpts.  Sessions are conducted about once a fortnight, and once I've worked through several months of background material, I'll add snippets as they arise.  There is some material that challenges assumptions, but interestingly those assumptions are mostly modern conclusions based on modern notions and mythology about Alienor - and not primary source.

The birth of Alienor.
Aenor seems to have got through it okay.  It doesn’t seem to have been a traumatic birth.  She hasn’t been wiped off the extremes of feelings.  She’s quite satisfied.  She’s looking at the little baby and seeing that all the limbs are there.  She’s quite a catch this little baby.  She looks like a miniature person rather than a baby.  She looks more like those pictures of Jesus as a tiny man, you know the kind of pictures.  Very long fingers and long thin arms.  A delicate little face.  She responds very quickly to any noise, especially mellifluous noise.  She’s like a magical instrument herself.  You only have to touch the feet and the whole being is in movement and waving about.  She’s a very responsive baby – like a toy you can play with.  Knows its own mind when it’s fed it knows how much and when it’s finished – it has table manners! Born refined.   Yes!  Aenor is quite enchanted with the baby and quite proud of herself, but passes it off nonchalantly.  She is glad that the child is in her domain.  It doesn’t need to be shared by the outside world.  Not that you would guess that from her body language.  It’s more of a deep knowing.  And especially that she can lock the door at night and lock them inside and at last she has a companion, someone who understands her and is like her and can be with her.  And she thinks this will make her life become bearable.

What does William X think of his daughter.
Well it’s a girl.  He says I suppose we have still got time to remedy that, but what if we have more girls.  She will have to raise her game.  He’s wondering how soon he can get Aenor back into action.  Like one down, nine to go.  This was just a blip, but never mind, we can get on with it.  So he’s not in this marriage to get girls.  I think as well as the passing on to an heir, it’s also sharing his learning, knowledge and education – that’s what he was hoping to do as well. 

 So go to her when she’s a bit older with her dad.  She is very quiet with him when she is little.  She is a bit afraid.  She has been taught to be distant, quiet and well behaved, a bit like her mother when she was curtseying and putting her head to one side.  I think she’s been taught to do that from her mother.
 His viewpoint?   He’s looking at a basket which is bow shaped with a handle that goes across the middle.  It’s got flowers in. He’s saying ‘No, you shouldn’t do that.’  She’s climbing up some carving to put flowers high up on top of columns.  He’s saying ‘Come down here.’  She has to climb onto his shoulders to get down.  He puts her down quite forcefully on her feet.  She doesn’t look very little even here. (probably tall)  He says ‘You must never do that again, never!  What came into you?’
Alienor is quite calm.  She thinks ‘Nothing came into me.’ She wasn’t afraid when she did it.  She doesn’t understand why he’s all upset, so she just stands quiet and passive.  
An earlier incident than that?  William is just seeing her walking across the courtyard.  She is very beautifully dressed. A miniature little person.  His heart warms and he thinks she’s very sweet.  He calls her to him and she doesn’t respond at first because it’s unexpected.  It reminds me of being in school when you’re very small and everyone seems very big and the head mistress or head master is a massive, massive person that nobody talks to.  That’s the feeling I get about her and her dad.  She knows he is there and she knows he is influential but she daren’t talk to him.
So what happens when he calls her over?  He says ‘What is that that you’ve got on?’  She thinks ‘Oh crikey, and she brushes the front of her dress and says ‘My blue dress, sire.’ And he says ‘It is mighty fine work.’  And it is.  It’s got all like teardrop shapes outlined in gold across the front.  He says ‘Do you like to wear nice things?’  She says ‘Yes, sire.’  He says ‘Then I will have a garment sent to you when I return.’  He says ‘Fare you well for now.’  He picks her up and he kisses her temple.  When he picks her up she feels so light.  When she was on the ground she looked heavy because she had got all those heavy clothes on. He feels a bit of magic when he picks her up.  It’s a similar sort of feeling to the way her mother felt.  It’s sort of a mystery beyond his normal expectations or experience.  It’s like something dropped in there from somewhere else.  It’s quite an odd feeling.  He puts her down and feels quite wistful, but tells her to run off and be with her mother.  There was quite a group of them walking across the courtyard.
To an ordinary day in the relationship Between Alienor and Petronella her sister
Alienor wakes up in a sunny space.  It’s a really big room.  She can swing her arms and walk about.  It’s beautifully sunny.  Petronella is reluctant to get out of bed but she’s very playful, and she’s got these very playful big brown eyes.  She is hiding, playing rabbits under the bed-clothes.  Alienor is putting her hands under the bed covers and tickling her and then wrapping her up in the covers and hugging her.  Then she gets in beside her.  They lie face to face talking.  It’s everyday things.  What they’re going to do, things that they like.  It’s just chit-chat.  Now a woman’s come in.  I take it to be be the maid.  She says, ‘Are you in there together again?’ She says ‘Come on, let’s have you out, let’s have you dressed.’  She sets about dressing them and doing their hair.  Hair seems to be a really important thing.  There’s more time consumed working on the hair than anything else.  And Alienor’s hair colour?’  It is that same goldeny colour I saw before and it has a slight wave to it.  Her sister’s hair is dark.  And her eye colour?  I can’t see at the moment I am only getting the back of her head.  Well just keep an eye out for it as we go on (Pun intended).   They are going downstairs.  Everything is so fresh and open and light; it’s lovely.  There’s a long table and it has lots of food, piles of fruit in bowls. It’s like when there are lots of French windows open to the sky – that sort of effect.  It’s really lovely.  They take some fruit and go outside to eat. They are very together.  It feels natural and normal for them to be a pair. Alienor wants to go riding.  Petronella wants to go along with her. It’s the feeling of freedom as much as the riding that Alienor wants, but it’s not that easy to get.  She’s got to find someone who’s willing to take her.  The woman who looks after them doesn’t want to take them.  There’s no one in the household she can really ask.  She’s tried to ask the stable assistants and it seems that they have been told not to, so it seems she has been pretty frustrated.  Does it occur to her to ask her uncle Ralph?  Well yes it would, but she knows he wouldn’t go.  It could well be that he is the one who’s instructed them not to take her.  
That surprises me because I would have thought learning to ride would be part of the curriculum so to speak.  I think it was, but not when she wanted to go. 
Now there are rows of things.  At first I thought it was writing, but it’s weaving of some sort.  She’s getting solace from the colours which she likes.  Petronella's sitting next to her.  She’s not actually doing the weaving, but she’s winding little balls.  Petronella is leaning on Alienor and Alienor is saying ‘Get off, because I can’t use my hand if you do that.’  Petronella is a bit like a kitten.  Sometimes I can see her sucking her thumb.  She just wants some comfort from Alienor.  This is done outside on a veranda as well, half in and half out.  Some other ladies come to join them.  They’re admiring the work.  They have drinks with them and the talk turns to grown up talk.  That’s when the girls get wary. Petronella in particular tenses up and switches off and Alienor separates herself from it.  Is it risqué grown up talk then? It’s adult talk in the sense that it’s all about grownups and in the sense of who fancies who as well – the goings on in the household.  It’s gossip. And this makes the girls wary?  Yes, it makes them tense.  A lot of it is because they don’t want that sort of attention attracted to them and Alienor has already had that sort of thing – men being attracted to her.  She finds it really creepy; she doesn’t like it.  She finds she has to defend herself against it all the time and that’s why they like to keep themselves to themselves if they can.  The weaving goes on all day more or less.  The food is brought in to them. Petronella is getting quite drowsy in the afternoon.  Alienor has stopped weaving.  There is a beautiful flower scent all around.  Alienor seems to be just wandering around and Petronella has gone to sleep. Like a siesta then.  Yes. Alienor has found some young people in the garden to talk to.  It seems to be a mixed group and she’s laughing and joking.  Then she leaves them.  She’s not giving herself away as in not giving her emotions to other people.  It was an interaction that was quite pleasant but she’s still herself. She walks off and she feels really quite constrained.  It’s got edges and although those edges might be fluffy and beautiful like clouds or like trees in full leaf, she can’t go beyond that and that makes her feel constrained.  She’s not happy there.  I was going to say she particularly doesn’t like the people who have power over her, but it’s not as straightforward as that.  It’s not that she doesn’t like them.  She accepts that they have this power, but it makes her feel sad. She’s kind of indifferent to them.  It all feels kind of dreamlike as if it’s real but not real.  She’s going back to her sister now and she’s waking her up in a really playful way.  She’s taking the thumb out of her mouth while Petronella is still asleep.  She’s getting Petronella to get up and to come out into the garden with her.  They go out to a different part of the garden and have a bit of runabout.  Then they go to another quiet part of the garden and have a sit down on stone seat with an arch over it set into a wall, but the wall is just part of a garden and is one level up.  It’s tiered and the wall with the seating is very high.  They just sit there, kicking their toes and being children really. 
            It’s starting to get towards evening now.  Alienor’s starting to feel tired and they are in that room where they woke up now and are being brought warm milk and bread.  I can see some people hugging.  A man and a woman.  These are not nobly dressed.  They are more household people.  The servant who looks after them has brought her man friend up, thinking that the girls will sleep.  She’s always told them to keep very quiet about it and it’s their secret.  But this is a more normal relationship.  It’s not full on.  It’s more of a sociable, convivial relationship.  Then they go to sleep.  End of day.
So Alienor is close to her sister.  Yes, she seems responsible and almost maternal for her.

Alienor’s happiest time as a child before her marriage.
It’s not full on happiness.  It’s a glow in the solar plexus that is warm and bright but below that there is some anxiety.  There is definitely a smile on her face.  She is looking down at her hands clasped close to her body.  She is looking down at something small and fluffy in her hands.  I think it might be a nest of tiny fluffy chicks.  They are so beautiful and vulnerable and she is really moved by it.  She thinks how easily they can be crushed.  She is seeing it as an analogy for herself and her sister with no parents.  Hmmm, well that’s not really a happy time is it?   No. So perhaps she wasn’t happy as as child?  No, and this feeling of being incarcerated, that really came full on later in her life didn’t it? 
Her education?  Her sister is quite a distraction from this, because when Alienor is studying, it means Petronella loses her attention.  I am seeing again the weaving but that’s not really what I want to see, so I’ll retune.  This is quite a good feeling.  Calm, deep, meditative.  She is listening carefully to a story, following it through.  It’s being told but there is music as well, some musical instruments being played.  It’s as if Alienor is imbibing the whole thing and it’s very satisfying.  The story is rounded and whole and complete – perfect. Which fills a whole gap in her life.  She loves things like this and they make her want to write her own and she does spend some time writing out her own versions of these.  She even makes tunes to go with them.  She does play them sometimes, but generally they’re private.  This is the same sort of age as I saw before – young adolescent.

Right, that's all for now.  More later.  I'm not sure how often I'll post - at least once a week though.