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.

Friday, 30 September 2011


 I'm slightly late posting this weeks's excerpt from my Akashic research notes.  I've been away in London and I've only just returned. 
This is by no means all of the research, but it's still in rough order.  I've been doing the research mostly in a linear, chronological way, but now and again I need to backtrack further down the line and new early pieces come in, so although the general progress will be chronological here, readers may still find moments of back-tracking now and again.
Below, you will find Louis and Eleanor hearing of his father's death, and an introduction to Louis' mother, the formidable Adelaide of Maurienne.

Go to Louis receiving the news that his father has died.
I think Louis is asleep. Yes he is.  He is being gradually awaked by a voice and he comes out of the fog and he immediately goes down on his knees and starts praying. Was he alone in bed?  No, Alienor was in the bed with him. ‘Oh my father, grant him entry into heaven.  He’s asking for Saint Peter to intercede on behalf.  He’s repeating these things over and over.  Alienor is crawling across the bed to find out what’s going on.  She says ‘Oh, my God’ and puts her hand over her mouth.  Immediatelys she is thinking ‘He will be king,’ and everything expands.  She’s a little fazed by it.  The thing was that they were going to be greeted by his family who would have everything ready for them as guests, but now they are going to have to go as the householders.   That’s a whole different thing. I think she’s in shock.  She’s wondering if he realises what it means.  She wants him to stop praying and come back into the bed. So she can comfort him?  Why does she want him to come back to bed?  It’s mostly because she doesn’t want him to be seen vulnerable in public. She doesn’t think it wise. She needs to talk to him about what they’re going to do.  She’s telling him to say thank you to the messenger and let the messenger go.  Practical things like ‘We must get up, we must get ready.  You can have masses said for your father; you don’t have to do them yourself.  She does have a lot of sympathy for him because she knows what it’s like to lose a father.  They are both in the bed sitting up with their knees up.  She has put her arm round him and he has got his head on her shoulder.  Louis has gone quite numb.  He is thinking ‘I must do something’ but he is not very productive in thinking what to do.  I think he is feeling a bit panicked and he is taking comfort  from her.
He obviously has to mourn, but also as Alienor reminds him, he has a duty to his people that he has to fulfil now and make them feel that he’s okay and confident and in control.   
How does Louis feel about Alienor giving him advice and telling him what to do?  He doesn’t see it that way at all.  He feels that he is still in charge. She’s just there to advise him.  It’s just part of the surroundings, therefore it’s his.  He doesn’t see any conflict. Is he grateful to her?  No, he takes it for granted.  It’s what he thinks she should do, but also there’s a bit of naivety there because he’s got no experience of anyone being any different.  It’s just what is.

Louis’ relationship with his mother Queen Adelaide of Maurienne.  To an incident prior to 1137.
He’s got a really strange expression.  His mouth is really pursed.  I am seeing a huge domed ceiling with a point at the end and I am seeing light streaming from that point.  I am seeing lots of people – monks gathered under that light and him looking from one side at this body of men.  I feel that she is behind him.  He is separate from this group of men and then there is her behind him separate again.  There’s no movement.  Just this focus on the men.  I think it must be some kind of religious ceremony.  There seem to be some voices.  I think it’s a service.  He’s joining in with the singing.  He’s finding it absolutely beautiful.  I’m not getting a contact with her.  I’ll go forward. Oh right, this is it!  He’s turned around and realised that she is there and his whole middle has lit up.  This is the most real and excited that I’ve seen him.  He is very excited to see her, but she is much more measured.  ‘Hold on boy,’ sort of thing.  ‘What about the kneeling?  So he has to kneel  to her and she nods and he has the approval.  She says she has just been speaking to his tutors and she is recounting the areas where he needs to pay attention.  It’s to do with manuscripts and to do with memorising, but otherwise they are very pleased with him.  He just needs to concentrate more on his manuscripts.  She’s not giving away too much praise at all, but he is jumping up and down inside like a little boy!  He adores his mum and I think part of it is because she is so distant and difficult to get approbation from, it makes him more keen to get it.  He absolutely adores her, but he’s a bit scared of her as well.
So another moment?  He’s a little boy.  His body is so tight and happy. I am seeing some weapon practise going on.  He’s been watching, very excited, and now it’s his turn to go on.  His mother had been watching, that’s what this is all about, and he had been standing near her waiting his turn.  She seems to be dressed very formally, very stiff materials.  He’s doing his weapon play.  He’s got a sword.  They’re doing a display or practise.  He’s following specific movements.  There’s a strategy.  At the right moment the opponent falls back. I don’t get the sense that there’s any chance of Louis losing.  It’s just meant to demonstrate his skills at this stage.  He’s so thrilled with himself when he’s finished.  He’s really beaming inside, rays of golden light beaming out of him.  He’s looking at his mother for congratulations and she nods and says ‘Good.’  And then just turns away and walks off.  Oh, the disappointment in him is painful.  All his expectations have gone zoom, straight down.  He’s thinking he must try harder next time.  He must work harder.  He must win her favour.  He watches her go off and pushes his feelings down and turns back to the other men and boys he’s been practising with.  He takes on the challenge again with a lot more bravado.
What does Adelaide think of her son Louis?  This a lofty individual and not particularly emotional.  A calm feeling and a tall feeling.  She’s the sort of person who can categorise things right and wrong very easily. It’s strange, it’s not a maternal feeling.  It’s more a feeling of wanting to give the right training to this person, almost like an employee, to fulfil a role. It’s like she’s trying to mould him, but she’s more interested in her own life.  He is like a job to her.  She’s got other interests, personally.
Her opinion of Louis’ marriage to Alienor? Oh, she’s got very good posture this woman, I should tune into her more often!  It’s a bit of a balancing act for her.  It’s part of fulfilling the role, which is good, but it also means there’s a live bird in the nest and we can’t have that, so it’s a feeling of wanting to constrain and restrict so that it just fits into the nest – like an egg rather than a bird.  She doesn’t want a loose cannon in the family, but she is thinking ‘Well, we shall see.’  She is not particularly approving on first impression.
So go to when her husband dies and she realises she is no longer Queen of France.  She’s got genuine grief about his death. She says ‘He was good in his own way and he looked after me.  There will never be another like him.’ There’s the feeling that this man underpinned an entire  tree.  Everything came from this central trunk.  What can you do when the central pillar is not there?  I feel as if she wants to maintain a structure even though he’s not there, and make it as though he is there and just let Louis the heir be the mouthpiece.  So let Louis take a slightly larger role than he has at the moment, but basically everything is as if he is acting on behalf of his father.  That’s how she feels about it.  Her own role would obviously be to help him implement his father’s role.   And how does she see Alienor in that mix?  She keeps having to try and push her back. She thinks that Alienor has got no idea of social etiquette or what’s right and proper, and she can’t be told.  She’s wild. It just seems as if she has to be completely natural, which is shocking to Adelaide.  If we were all natural, how could there be any kings and queens?  It’s an art.  It’s something you have to perfect.  If we were all to be natural, than anybody could be king or queen, but she sees it as ‘Oh well, these things that come to challenge us,’ and it’s just something she has to deal with.  

Alienor getting to know Adelaide
Adelaide has very fixed, starey eyes that are quite judgemental in their expression.  She’s not a warm person.  There’s a distance between herself and Alienor.  On the other hand she xtends her aura of authority and regalness to include Alienor and she expects Alienor to participate by expressing her own regality and stiffness. I can feel them walking a long a corridor and Adelaide is leading the way.  The whole building is so new to Alienor she is just looking round as she walks.  I’m not getting much emotion from her.  They’re in a more private room now. It’s quite big though.  Adelaide is seeing to it that Alienor has a sit down in a big carved chair.  She’s having her feet washed by some assistants.  She’s having her hands washed too.  She reminds me of a strict schoolmarm, and there’s also a quality of our own queen there as well.  You know when Diana and Sarah Ferguson were brought into the royal family, they were both automatically supposed to be royal and behave like the royal family.  It’s the same kind of attitude here.  Adelaide is just talking about the journey, asking her about the journey, trusting that her son is well.  She is interested about him going off to do his duty, but not a hint of any fear about what might happen to him. This is all completely new for Alienor because it’s so, so unemotional. She’s wondering when the sweetmeats when will be brought on, as in not just the nutrition, but the people with feelings.  Where are they?  It all seems kind of cold and empty.
So go to an incident with them a few years hence.  Say in 1140.
  Oh dear, she’s not feeling happy.  Everything’s going round and round and she wants to cry.  This woman is going round and round her and harrying her, like dogs circling and having a nip at the ankles whenever they can.  Alienor can’t relax.  She’s got to be on her guard.  She’s got to put on an appearance otherwise there’ll be big trouble.  At the same time she is being undermined. It’s mostly about keeping ‘my son happy.’  Little hints about what she could do, and questions about what she is doing to service the son in terms of how she behaves towards him, how she dresses.  It’s like you've got to be the perfect couple on top of the perfect wedding cake.  There’s very little room for Alienor to breathe easy and be free and relax and be herself.  She has to be alert and fully conscious of what’s going and what she’s doing.  There are possibilities of people being her enemies.  I suppose it’s a very political environment and she’s having to deal with it on a 24 hour basis, so she has developed a very mature personality.  
Another incident with Adelaide and Alienor?
I am seeing Alienor with a baby in her arms and Adelaide looking over.  There’s pleasure in her face.  That’s unusual.  This is genuine emotion.  And then she looks up and she has a hard look for Alienor.  So pleasure at the baby and hardness for Alienor.  ‘Maybe you will do better next time my dear.’ Because it’s a girl?  I think so.  But she likes the baby for its own sake.  It’s a good healthy baby.  Also because she’s a grandmother she likes it.  It’s another thing to have power over. For Alienor it’s like being smacked across the face with a wet cloth.  Shall I try and find a nice time between them?  It all seems a bit harsh doesn’t it?  You can try!
They are sitting before a fire in a room.  There’s a youngster sitting on the floor and Alienor has her hand on top of the youngster’s head.  Adelaide is sitting at the side. Adelaide is telling tales of when she was a young girl and what used to happen in the old days and how the winds used to howl outside and how there were dark, dark woods.  It was very cold.  You never knew what danger was lurking outside in the woods.  How the guards used to play tricks on them by bouncing in through the doors and roaring as if they were invaders, just to scare the women.  Adelaide used to have to stand up against them, stand her ground, and use her authority to tell them to get out because otherwise there would have been general marauding and merry making that she’d heard of in other castles.  Like in Aquitaine (wry comment from me).  She hopes that Alienor will remember this and also that the little one will never have to experience anything so uncivilised.  And she sort of gives herself a seal of approval, as if awarding herself a gold medal.  She pats the little girl on the head, thinking ‘she’s got my golden blood in her veins as well.  She’ll be strong; she’ll be a good one.’ Alienor is just non committal.  She’s sitting there taking it in her stride as if she’s heard it all before, but at least she is not being called upon for her opinion this time. So Adelaide will ask her opinions then?
In the sense of the teacher will ask ‘What do you think about this?’ And you are expected to give the right answer.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011


I've just put a word count on the main archive document I'm taking these  excerpts from and so far it stands at 90,000 words. By the time I finish the novel, the Akashic notes will be longer than the novel itself!  This Wednesday, continuing in a chronological fashion, here is the marriage of Alienor and Louis, their wedding night, and Louis coronation as Duke of Aquitaine.

As always, the main text is in ordinary script.  My input is in bold and Alison's in italic.

Go to Alienor at her marriage to Louis of France in July 1137.

Alison: She is very nervous.  There is an anxiety and constriction from the heart down to the solar plexus. I  can see flashing past like a film all these beautiful images – paintings and pictures of saints and animals all in rich colours.  I can see big, high, narrow pillars and beyond that high windows. Alienor feels afraid.  It’s all new to her because she’s got nothing to hang onto.  It’s like being set on the sea in just a little rowing boat without landmarks.  It’s this feeling of being cut off from her old life and everything that was familiar.  She knows she’s got to go from here forever.  It’s very hard and it’s bringing tears to her eyes.  She has spent some time contemplating, looking down, and putting her hands together.  She’s not actually praying, but she has that contemplative state of mind.  I think it’s something she’s dreading.  It’s a feeling of being in the waiting room at the dentists.  She finds herself walking.  She’s had the call to go forward.  I can see a really big, round font.  Everyone kneels suddenly.  There’s a tremendous feeling in her heart as everyone kneels.  Just in front of the font, I think,  Louis takes her hand and they walk ceremonially forward in exact step and then they stand and face each other and the marriage vows are taken.  When I say that I mean that the service or ceremony is being conducted.  I’m seeing a series of things I don’t understand.  Objects being placed between them, objects being put in their hands or being wound round their hands.
What sort of objects? The first one that I saw was like a tap but it had more than four lever things, and that was made out of decorated metal – very bright.  I saw a cord being wound round her hand.  I saw a small object being put in her palm, I’m not sure what. 
What do they do with this tap?  Did they keep holding it?  No, they didn’t hold it.  The clergyman just sort of put it between their hands and pulled it out again.  She’s still scared and she feels that she’s being tied into something that there’ll be no escape from.  She’s feels quite frightened.  There’s another part of her that’s quite alert and is looking at the congregation.  She is quite astute with people.  She recognises people.  She knows about them.  If there’s a group of people there she will know each one.  They’re like objects and she is like a curator of these objects and knows them individually.  It’s solid and real, but it doesn’t feel like an emotional thing; it’s more like a physical thing.  There are lots of people there that she doesn’t recognise, but the ones that she does, she’s clocking.  There’s a little girl inside her that’s separate from the older more conscious person, and it’s the little girl that’s frightened.  The older person is more detached.  They’re turning now and she’s moving very carefully because this turning involves moving all her skirts round.  She’s got a long train and she has to do it carefully.
What colour is she wearing?  Pale gold.  Her head dress is the most interesting thing.  It’s very plain. It’s a pale cream silk, not at all showy, but very soft.  And then she’s got a crown on top of it that is really beautiful and glowing.  Within the pale gold there are some very subtle blues within the pattern of the fabric.  The whole fabric is patterned. She’s got blue slippers on with pointed toes and gold braid edging.  By the time she reaches the door she’s got a smile – a kind of wry smile.  A bit like someone who’s been on the big dipper. ‘I’ve done it now.’  She feels quite relieved when she gets outside.  It’s a feeling of just wanting to lift off and raise her arms up.  Everything is well organised.  She’s just waiting her turn to go to the next thing.
And this incident from Louis’ POV?  He’s feeling quite the young man.  It’s a bit testosterone driven.  It’s like someone having a very good new car - something to show to the neighbours.  At this stage he’s waiting.  He’s wearing a fairly loose-fitting tunic but very ornately patterned. He’s smiling reassuringly at Alienor as they meet.  He likes the feeling of her fingers on his hand.  He’s taking an interest in the ceremony as if he’s taking an interest in the actions that are going on, rather than his own feelings.  When he turns after the mariage, he feels an enormous surge of success.  The singing that starts up at that moment is like applause.  It completely coincides with his feeling of success. Walking out of the door, this is the most relaxed, happy, normal that I’ve seen him.  He just feels quite blissful.  Outside he’s going with the flow and he is very happy because of success.  He’s succeeded in this great political alliance.  He’s got lots of money – a new car basically.  He has the acclaim.  He’s the one who has actually achieved this, although it reflects on the rest of the domain. 
He’s fulfilled his role and achieved what he’s meant to achieve, and it’s good for him.  Self-satisfied would be my description of it.  Everything is in its place as the Lord wants it and as it should be and he's been a part of it.

Now to Taillebourg where they spent their wedding night.
Well if I thought he was happy then, he’s even more proud now.  I can feel the feathers rising and the chest puffing out.  It’s not the upper chest but the lower chest.  He’s beaming. This feeling of everything looking right, being in a good mood, everybody smiling and fulfilling their role – it’s as if he’s taller than everyone else and is looking down on this undulating cobbled surface.  And each surface is a head and each in its right place.  He’s being led into a very tall building.  It seems as though Alienor wasn’t riding alongside him but in a covered vehicle of some kind, so he’s had to wait for her to get to him.  They don’t walk in together.  It’s like a procession. Inside, it seems as though there’s a line of soldiers who are doing like a weapons salute/parade.  They make a noise altogether.  There’s the bang and the tap and the putting down of things.  There’s tremendous singing.  There’s one voice then a group, then one voice.  It’s a call and then a response.  Louis is standing in the middle of this room. Alienor is brought up to his side. They’re taking an acclaim.  I suppose this is the secular version of what was happening in the church.  They’re being recognised by the assembled people. They are receiving people who kneel at their feet.  Again, Louis is taking all this in his stride and finding it not that interesting to be honest.  He wants to be away.  He wants to kiss her.
He’s getting bored with this anyway and there seems to be such a long line of people who want to do this.  He’s trying to think of a way out of it.  He’s calling to his steward to ask if he can let them do it with written acknowledgements or whether they can do it a bit later on.  Apparently they can’t  If he doesn’t allow people to do this, it won’t bode well for him.  When he gets that answer, his stomach sinks and he feels sick.  He starts looking quite morose.  He’s looking quite the seasoned prince.
FFW to when it’s all finished.  He’s so fed up that the pleasant mood has gone entirely and there’s a tightness just above his stomach and a dull, darting look in his eye.  Quite a sour expression.  I can see him walking quite quickly.  He’s taken from the room and down a corridor into another room that seems to be all done out in wood.  Here there’s going to be quite a formal but intimate meal.  There’s a big table set out in the middle.  I’m quite concerned for them because they’ve not had a chance to get themselves together at all.  They’re having a meal and he’s settling down a bit more now.  He’s becoming a bit more confident and authoritative.  I think it’s because of the bad mood that was on him.  It gives him a bit more solidity somehow.  Every so often he takes Alienor's hand.  They don’t seem to be having much conversation.
Alienor’s POV.  Alienor is keen to have some food.  She is being quite objective about everything and watching everything that’s going on.  Recognising people.  Again there’s this recognition. When Louis touches her hand she just thinks that this is part of the new thing she’s going to have to get used to.  It doesn’t do anything for her one way or the other.  It’s just a new manner to learn, but once she looks at his face and looks at him, there is speculation in her feelings.  In what way?  About him as a person and this is the initial part of her learning about a new person.  She is very perceptive with people in the sense that she likes to see them as they are, rather than make up what they might be.  There’s a slight excitement there.  This is a frisson, the element of them being in a male/female relationship now.  She is breathing very deeply and feeling quite defensive as in ‘Nobody’s going to make me do something I don’t want to do’ and that applies to everyone, not just Louis.
FFW to when they retire.  I can see that there is a magnificent bed.  It is really luxurious with big curtains.  Alienor finds that really a nice comfortable thing.  It’s like arriving at a very, very nice hotel and everything’s there for you.  This is all from the outside, she’s not in the bed yet, but I sense that he is.  He’s calling for her to come as well.  She does.  It’s really romantic.  She opens the curtain just by the pillow on her side.  If I’m looking towards the bed, she’s on the right and he’s on the left, and just looking at her face, the freshness of it, the downy sort of skin, it’s really romantic, and her wondering what’s going to happen and him smoothing the sheet for her.  He’s lying on one elbow and he’s got a sort of white shirt on.  She’s wearing something that I would consider a dress.  Not her wedding dress?   No.  The reason I thought it looked like a dress was that it has got a straight neckline and it’s stiff and I can see reddish colours – brick-red.  I can see a white chemise-like garment underneath.   She climbs onto the bed and sits up with her knees crossed. The covers are drawn back a little bit but she hasn’t pulled them over her.  She sits there and looks down at him.  She wants him to talk to her.  She says ‘What are we going to do?’  He’s not saying anything, but the images that are flashing through is mind are quite specific.  I think that he thinks it doesn’t require words.  
I wondered with his background whether he was experienced or had any idea?  Yes, he has an idea, and he has an urge as well!  He doesn’t say anything and just goes ahead.  He’s not being forceful or anything; he’s being quite gentle and quite sensuous.  He’s removing her clothes as they go.  Alienor can hardly breathe.  It’s not quite panic but it’s heading that way.  It’s apprehension.  It’s not too bad until the final bit which she doesn’t really like.  When it’s over and done with, what do they do then? Just go to sleep?  Yes.  She feels let down. It’s like an anti-climax – an ‘is that all there was to it?’ sort of feeling.  No sense of a duty fulfilled?  No, the duty seems to be to do with external things of having married him, but once in that marriage it’s personal.
And Louis?  He’s very pleased with himself.  He’s driven his new car now!  He’s done his bit and acquitted himself well in his own opinion; what more could a man ask?  I am seeing a square of light opening up as if the morning will bring new excitements.  He can go out for a ride and things like that.  He’s a man of the world and all is as it should be. I tried just then to feel into the other side of his life  (the religeous one) and that feeling did come back, but it wouldn’t go together with the ones of now.  He keeps them so separate.  Which is the greater and which is the lesser?   Where he is with Alienor is how it should be in the sense of everything in its place and he is a tremendous man for everything in its right place.  The other is much more intense and much deeper.  Sort of more turgid colours and gripping feelings in the stomach. 
 His feelings for Alienor now – are they still just of a nice car? Yes, the feeling is ‘Well, why would you ask that?’ Well the chronicles speak about this tremendous passion he had for Alienor.  Well you would love your car wouldn’t you?  I don’t think he has much idea of what goes on internally for other people, especially women.  It doesn’t compute with him – that’s how it feels at the moment.

Now to Louis being made Duke of Aquitaine in St Peter’s Cathedral - his and Alienor’s feelings about this.
This is real pride.  This is how it should be and a bit.  He’s a very fortunate person isn’t he?  He’s not come across any knock backs in this at all yet. He’s a bit more than head and shoulders above everyone else at the moment – almost half way down his arms as well.  He just seems as if he’s been made for this moment.  He has a proprietorial interest in everything around him – the art work, the scroll work of the columns, the stone work.  It’s as if he’s checking it to say ‘that’s right, that’s right.’  Running his judgement over things.  Feeling that he really lives up to this moment because he has all the qualities for this task innately.  I think that feeling is there in part because people defer to him so much.  He’s bringing Alienor forward and the feeling is one of completion.  He’s got the full set.  This makes the complete circle that no one can penetrate or question. 
And Alienor’s POV  She is very still at first. There’s a part of her that when she thinks about it is very, very upset, because this is the position her father had and it’s terrible to think that he’s not there and this stranger is filling his shoes.  She knows nothing about Louis and there’s that feeling again of nothing there, as if everything has gone.  And strangely that feeling as if she has nothing, as if she has to just live by her wits now.  I think that this whole thing brings up her feelings of loneliness and grief that she hasn’t recovered from.  She absolutely loved her dad and depended on him and there’s a sense again of this foreigner in a position of authority in the centre of that old place that she knew, and as she leaves the cathedral she’s feeling more mature and that’s because her feelings are melding together, her feelings of grief and her feelings of keeping going – of hope and determination.

Thursday, 15 September 2011


Eleanor's first marriage took place when she was 13 (it used to be thought she was 15, but research now strongly suggests the younger age and the better academic works are now reflecting this view).  The marriage was to the future Louis VII, a youth who had been raised by the church with the expectation that the cloister would be his life.  However, when his older brother died in a riding accident, Louis' career path changed and he emerged from his religeous studies to take up the secular position of heir to the throne.  History has painted some very different and opposing views of Louis. He was gentle and pious - supposedly - but then again he is reported to have had a vicious temper, to be stubborn, and would go his own way, often against the Church. He had the reputation of being wild on occasion.  Seriously mixed up doesn't begin to describe what I have so far found in conventional history.
But what do the Akashic's say of him?  It was interesting that at first, with the piety in mind, I thought Alison had gone off on the wrong tack, but when you look further, when you look at his relationship with the Church and with women, you begin to realise why he acted as he did as he matured.  That's the thing with the Akashics.  They build up complex layers on people's personalities, but you have to wait for those layers to develop over time.
There will be much more on Louis in the future, but here's the outset, and includes his first meeting with Eleanor. My questions and comments are in bold, and Alison's are in italic.  The ordinary script is the Akashics themselves.

To look at Louis of France in July 1137 when he was arriving in Bordeaux to marry Alienor.
  I don’t want to get too deeply into this person.  He’s quite broad in the body, sensuous and has a whole mixture of feelings.  I feel as if I have got a really big tongue in my mouth and that he likes the good things in life.
That doesn't sound right from what I've read on him.
So might I have got someone else - his father?
You might have done.
Well this one feels as if he has a cruel streak in him. 

Try again. It wasn’t a pleasant feeling which is why I thought ‘I’ll come out of this.   I am getting this big tongue feeling again.  A big, fat, wide tongue.  A lover of fine things, but also a cruelty.  This is the same thing as before but I am just going in very much more slowly.  The cruelty is to these fine things.  He loves them but his sensuousness wants to destroy and obliterate them.  Fine things are only fine for him and after he has finished with them and they are no longer needed, they are to be destroyed.  There’s a clash of feelings here.  The things that he loves he also hates.  It’s the feeling of eating lots of beautiful but very sweet cakes.  Wanting more but it also makes you sick.  So what he sees around him he wants.  What’s going on inside may not show on the outside because they are such opposites.  Because it is so different from what you are expecting, I am thinking maybe the hate side of it is coming out more than the love side of it.  Because people won’t know what he’s feeling inside.  They won’t know he’s getting a lot of sensual satisfaction from things. He sees the women as the fruitful produce of the land and Alienor as the one that’s put forward as the brightest fruit.  He’ll have her but he doesn’t set a lot of importance on her really.  He sees it as all part of the pattern and fabric of his possessions and his life.  It’s like a tapestry and everything fits in.  I can see a cross now that could be a sword, laid across a tapestry, and the cross is made of shining light.  It’s quite thin though.
 Is it actually a cross or a sword though?   It varies one to the other.  When it’s a cross, it’s a sword laid for God, so as for having personal feelings towards Alienor, it really doesn’t enter into his mind.  Oh, just a minute, he’s got a lurching feeling in his solar plexus.  That’s when he thinks of the one to one with her – the non public time.
A pleasant lurching?  It didn’t feel very pleasant.  He feels he will have to keep her down.  He doesn’t want any clambering up onto him.  He doesn’t want to have to deal with day to day emotions and events that she might have been through.  He doesn’t want any of that stuff.  When all that is laid flat, the world is fine.  It’s the world according to the Lord.  And the lord is him. He wants everything smoothed out around him.  Everything has to function as part of a landscape.  It reminds me of one of those early landscape pictures where you have the landscape in the background and this huge figure of the lord on top, out of scale with the landscape. That’s how he likes it.  He doesn’t like disruption, he doesn’t like having to deal with emotion. It’s distasteful.  He doesn’t know how to deal with his own emotions I would say.  He thinks everything is quite logical and proper from his point of view.  He has the correct attributes to rule.  He would consider that he had refinement and taste, that he has vision of how things should be and that he can keep things in order.  He believes that those are the finer attributes of kingship.  And also he can be firm when he needs to be with his enemies and that’s what the people need.  But they in turn have to toe the line and do their part.  He doesn’t want anyone stepping out of line and there’s a big gap between him and others.  He’s big, and everyone else is smaller at a distance.  He doesn’t pretend authority.  He embodies authority in himself.  He couldn’t do it any other way, that’s how his personality comes out.

So go to the time when he was brought out of the monastery when his brother had died.  He was the second son and his older brother was killed when his horse tripped over a ‘diabolical pig.’ Louis was fetched out of his religious education to become heir.
Alison makes an odd face.  Have you got the tongue again? (see previous session for this). Yes, I have got the tongue again, and he’s trying to spit something out – something horrible.   And then he puts his tongue back in.  Then there’s that sensation of the pleasure of moving into something which is very luxurious.  He was destined to reject those things and then he had to move in to those things.  So there’s a clash between actually enjoying them, and a horror of enjoying them.  And an acceptance of the will of God like a column coming down in front of him, something very solid, to take him from that direction, to that direction. 
So when he hears the news his brother has died?  His initial response was ‘Oh, that’s all right, I didn’t like him anyway.  Then there’s a sadness he won’t acknowledge.  He wouldn’t tell anyone about that sadness; he wouldn’t trust anyone with it. And then there’s this that he has to reject one life and go into another.  It’s like a bad taste.  In what way? It’s his beliefs.  They are very set. Religeous beliefs?  Yes. That all these good things in the world are bad. And he’s got to move into these good things?  Yes, so how can he stomach that – it’s bad.  It’s like having to get something out of your own mouth.  It’s as if something has been ingrained inside you and you’ve got to root it out.  It’s a horrible feeling because actually, secretly, he likes them.  Gosh, that’s a bit mixed up isn’t it?  Yes, he’s a very complex character.  He was very settled in his life.  The church would have suited him in its more extreme forms. He was known as Louis the Pious.  I can imagine that, because he would have gone in for the extreme views about flagellation, about wickedness and duty, which would also involve mortification of the flesh. 
To Louis when he’s told he has to marry Alienor.
 Uggh, he feels completely sick.  It’s rising up from the pit of his stomach.  Oh, he is being sick.  He’s retching up.  But he’s thinking ‘This is a good thing because it’s a penance from God.  God knows what makes me retch and he has presented me with this for the purification of my soul and I am well pleased with it. And then he has this innocent smile.  And you would think he was the most pleasant person in the world.  You would even think he was just mild mannered because he is just sitting there accepting it.  You would even think he was stupid because he has a Harry Enfield type of mouth and he can push his lower jaw out and shrug his hands as if ‘Well, you know, this is how it is.’  To him that is the pinnacle of the acceptance of God’s will.  He’s doing nothing to resist it.  He’s just letting it happen to him, the most horrible, horrible thing, and retaining his calm and demeanour.  It’s very creepy.  It’s like in horror films when the serial killer is going ‘Oh, my latest victim, what can I do?’     What it is, is enduring suffering and praising God for that suffering.  So he’d be going (to Alienor) ‘Oh you are so lovely’ and thinking to himself ‘this is the most exquisite pain.’ So he’s an emotional masochist.  The more he can praise that pain or the cause of that pain, the greater the feeling and the more he gets high on it. 
Louis’ relationship with Abbot Suger in 1137 prior to his journey to Bordeaux.
 I am getting this really strongly.  Suger is standing at Louis’ side.  He is instructing Louis, pushing him to the extremes of spiritual piety, pushing him further and further to deny himself as human and create himself as spiritual, and instructing him in all the processes to do this.  Ceremonies, prayers, thought processes, denials of the body and ways of the body and Louis does it all because he knows it will get him further into the spiritual life.  This is a good honest way of developing his spirituality.  It’s like a lifeline to him.  It’s his main road in fact and if that was taken away from him, he wouldn’t know where to go or who to ask.  This man’s got a lot of influence on him.
So what is Suger like?   It’s as if he thinks Louis is a bit of a twit. He just has to think of things for Louis to do to fulfil his role and to do his duty.  He encourages Louis to do these things because that’s his job when Louis keeps asking for more.  It also keeps Louis from under his feet.  He thinks Louis’ got a fine future if he can just behave himself.
So let us see what he thinks Louis’ problem is and why he doesn’t behave himself.  He’s got a wild nature, and he can be disorientating.  I think that when he first came upon Louis, he had to get Louis under control, so perhaps this system has developed from that, but maybe it was just because Louis was a small child and couldn’t concentrate very much.  It seems to be working but why fix it?
What does Suger think of this notion of Alienor and Louis being married?
He thinks it’s very good because he can actually then put his tentacles into the south of France.  He can make inroads into there territory.  He’s very urbane and plays the game of mind controls.  He works quite on the surface.  He’s got no idea what he’s doing to the internal workings of Louis.  
A significant event showing Louis’ relationship with his father Louis the Fat.
He doesn’t like his father very much.  It gives him a bad taste in his mouth. Louis seems to work a lot on taste. He thinks his father is gross in the way he deals with people and carries on.  Being so smarmy with them.  I see him here at court observing his father and seeing how he will bring people round and put his arm around someone and engage in big conversation and to young Louis this is all bullshit.  It’s not real.  You should just get on with the job, the job being to bring the law and the rule of God into the world.  There’s no need to talk about it because there’s only one way of looking at it and there’s nothing to talk about as long as people do their job. All this slimy putting your hand round people, he doesn’t approve of that at all.  People should be in church praying.  Nice solid walls and pillars.  It should be the relationship with God.  So what he sees his dad as, is ungodly as well because he’s making relationships with people.  If someone disagrees with you, you can either take it or leave it, but God will sort them out, because that’s the rule that will come down sooner or later.
So first to Louis in 1137 when he first sees Alienor.
I can see something that looks like columns in a row so I can see the round edges of these things going into the distance.  And now I’m seeing a tunnel of golden light as if I’m looking between two rows of columns.  I can feel anxiety that borders on fear and sometimes rises up to the heart and I can feel the face is quite rational-looking.  Interested and intelligent.  The sort of face of an interested student in a classroom.  I feel as if he’s waiting and the sort of building I’m in is a bit like the way a cathedral is set out with a long aisle and columns down either side and a plinth at the end with a couple of steps leading up to it. There are chairs on this plinth and he’s sitting there.  He’s quite resplendent.  It’s not just one chair.  There are other people with him.  He’s looking down this vista and he’s very interested in what’s going to happen.  When Alienor does appear, she appears from the side at the other end of the aisle.  He sighs and he admires her beauty, but there’s something in him that’s a little bit scared as well.  She looks directly at him from the other end and then she looks down and she remains looking down all the way up to the dais.  He gets up and he helps her up the two little steps.  He puts his hand out to take hers.  I’m trying to get her eye colour now.  Gosh, it’s a beautiful colour.  It’s a bluey-green azure colour.  It’s a sea colour, but it’s not wishy-washy.  It’s a tight, intelligent eye and eye colour.  They’re the sort of eyes you know where you are with them, truthful eyes.  Louis is pleased to be presented with something so perfect.  He wouldn’t expect anything less but it’s very pleasing to see that it’s better than he would have imagined.  A wife.  It’s like having anything else that a person should have.  It’s part of the equipment.  I can see them walking together along the dais to the left.  I can see a cross.  I can see arches.  So I can imagine that this may be part of an ecclesiastical building or leading to one.  There are arched windows to one side.  I am wondering if this is part of a courtyard or a cloister.  They are going to a place where they are dining.  There are long tables with white cloths on open to the air and a sort of part inside and part outside feeling.  It feels as if there is a roof over, but the sides are open.
 He is walking along in a regal sort of state.  He’s not really directing his conversation at Alienor.  He is talking to the person walking next to him.  I am just trying to catch what he’s saying.  He’s asking what they’ll be doing this afternoon.  There will be some games.  There was some suggestion of riding out but they think there might not be time.  He asks Alienor if she likes to ride and she nods.  She’s finding it quite hard to talk; she’s overwhelmed. Just by the whole pomp and ceremony of the thing, or because she’s having a husband foisted on her?
The importance and ceremony of the events.  It’s like a huge weight has been put on her.  It’s such a sudden and complete life change.  It’s not that she’s feeling nervous and naive and shy.  It’s more like a feeling of it being too much, and such a lot of new people to weigh up and they all seem so different in their mannerisms.  They seem out of control because she is used to the people she’s with and they’re fairly predictable in what they do, but these French people... They are behaving in a way that doesn’t gel with what she’s been used to, so it’s all out of control.
FFW to when he gives her the presents.  I can see Louis sitting in a chair with a heap of things around him.  A bit like a Christmas tree with presents all around. 
He seems to be on his own and his attention is about each individual thing. ‘Is it all right, is there any damage, is it perfect?  He wants these things to be perfect in themselves, it’s not the intrinsic value of each thing.  And then he’s thinking it’s hard to give all these things away.  And then he’s thinking that he’ll have them all back anyway soon because she is going to be his wife.  So it’s really only a matter of form. I think he is reluctant to give them to her.
What sort of things are they?  One is like a column like a candle stick with different coloured jewels stuck all over it.  It’s gold and has little bent over feet and a bit that sticks out round  it where the candle is and it’s jewelled as well.  In a similar style I saw a thing like a tower, perhaps oxagonal, it had sides all around that were flat sides and a top with a flat bit and another flat bit on top of that and they were jewelled as well and there was a door in the side that opened.  Perhaps a reliquary?   And then I saw something round, like a ball and it has things sticking out like long points and this thing hangs by a chain and it can go round, so I think it might be a censer, but otherwise I don’t know what it is.  Now I am seeing something like a cushion, but could be folded textile.  It’s got ribbons round it.  It’s in segments of four squares which are different colours – plain, azure, then on the other two a textured, darker colour.  There’s something else that has the shape of a flame and it has a long bar going horizontally so it’s not an upright candle.  It has another piece coming before the flame shaped thing which is hammer shaped and the handle of the whole thing seems able to move backwards and forwards, so it’s got a grip like tongs, and it’s got a round thing in the middle.  A lot of these objects are in boxes or wrapped.  I am trying to go forward to when he actually gives them to Alienor.  He is saying ‘Is she coming?  Is she coming?’
Someone’s telling him to be patient.  He’s saying ‘But I need her to be here.’  I feel that where he is, is where we first saw him and he’s looking off in the direction where they went to eat. Eventually she’s coming, but it’s not just her, there’s quite a few other people and the atmosphere is bright and jolly. So there is this noisy atmosphere entering a quiet atmosphere.
And she sees all these things glittering and she is taken aback.  You can see it in her eyes, the surprise. And he says ‘For you my dear, to show my pledge of allegiance is strong and real.’  He gets down on one knee and says ‘I give you my heart’s desire. Do you bless me with my heart’s desire of this marriage to you.'  And his heart actually turns over inside him.  Then he looks around to make sure that nobody is sniggering or laughing.  It seems very flamboyant or romantic language.
Alienor is pleased with the declaration and satisfied to see the gifts. It’s starting to feel more real and solid to her now – something that she can interact with.  She curtseys and thanks him.  I don’t get the feeling that she wants to examine them right there and then.  She’s going to take them off to her apartment and look at them later like the queen does. Yes, but they’re in a formal place, and even today, people don’t open their wedding presents there and then do they?  They look at them later.  You’re right.  She’s much more open to the arrangement and to being friendly now.  They’re walking off together, again in a very formal way with hands raised and held.  I can see some dancing going on and some games – lots of spinning round. Louis is starting to feel rather satisfied with himself as if to say ‘I’ve got her where I want her.  Where he was feeling very anxious and things were turning over, now he’s feeling warm and tight in that place and he’s smiling a satisfied, tight-lipped smile and it makes his mouth feel very big.  And again that feeling of having something precious and perfect and beautiful that actually moves as well.  It’s a very good feeling that he’s got something like this.  Alienor feels quite wary still of everyone.  She’s playing the courtesy game – making contacts, talking to people, smiling where it’s needed.  Just the odd word here and there.  It’s her way of getting to know these people.  She keeps looking at Petronella to make sure she’s all right.  Every so often her eyes will go to her.  It’s one of those situations where you might be in a room full of strangers and you know someone, and without speaking to each other, you know what each other’s thinking.
So now go to her when she’s having a look at the gifts later on.
Well, she’s very interested in them.  She’s looking at that tower thing particularly to see how it works, so she likes that. There’s a little shelf inside or a divider, and on it, something that looks kind of coffin shaped and is white. It seems to be carved in the shape of a person on a coffin like in ivory.
And is there something inside the coffin?  Euwwww! Alison jumps.  Yes, I think it’s a finger bone or something.  Euwww.  I didn’t like that! Laughter.  That would be really important back then, a big gift. Well she’s fascinated by it.  She likes how the little door works.  It’s like a piece of technology.  It’d be like getting an I-Pod today or something like that.
There’s something else that I didn’t see before.  It looks as if it’s made out of silver and looks like a very fancy cake stand.  I’ll never be able to draw that.  It’s all different perspectives.  The work on it looks like a doilly.  It seems to be to put fruit on.  
So she’s pleased with these gifts?  Up to a point.  She doesn’t look at them all.  She wants to go off and do something else.  She’s going down some long spiral steps.  She wants to go outside.  She’s gone to see the horses.  She’s stroking the horse’s nose.  Petronella is with her.  She’s stroking the horse all over.  She’s saying to the horse she is sorry that she’s been so long away. What colour’s the horse?  It’s grey and white.  It’s grey along the mane area, spotty grey, and then white further down.  I think it’s pregnant.  It seems to be very big round the tummy and she’s hugging it.  She’s grooming it and combing the mane.  She’s really getting very close to the horse.  She’s rubbing her face on it and breathing it in.  She’s really smelling all the horsey smells and the straw.  It’s a relief to do this.  She’s saying to the horse, ‘You’re going to be all right.  I’ll take you with me, whether you have foaled or not; I won’t leave you behind.’ And now she’s massaging the horse’s flanks.
You said Petronella was with her? Yes, she’s the other side of the horse, leaning on the other side of the stable boards.  She’s leaning forward and tapping her toes.  She’s relaxed and a bit bored – just going with the flow.  Eventually Alienor says ‘Let’s go now.’  Petronella wants to go across the yard, not back up the stairs.  Alienor’s all for going back, but Petronella wants to go and see something else.  I can see trees in the distance.  The trees look dark and pointed.  Oh I see.  Petronella just wants to stand near this opening.  I think it may be a place where they can see over the wall or a gap in the wall.  But there’s some kind of opening where they can stand and breathe the fresh air and see right into the distance. But it’s getting dark.  I can see mountains as well.  It’s not as if what they are seeing is obscured, but the colours are dulled by the changing light.  Oh, here’s a conversation coming because Petronella hugs Alienor and says ‘Do you think we’ll be all right?’  Alienor puts her hand on her back and says ‘Of course we will.’  As she says that, her stomach turns over and she feels very anxious and has to close her eyes.  Because this is a huge loss.  It’s quite unbearable.  She’s lost her mother, she’s lost her father. And now she’s going to lose her home, her land, all the things that she has ever held dear or familiar.  She’s going to lose it all, for what she doesn’t know.  All she knows is she must take care of Petronella and not show that she’s afraid.  She must protect Petronella and she’s reassuring her.  She’s patting her shoulder, just on the back here at the top of her shoulder and saying ‘We’re going to be all right, I know we are. We’ll be safe.  We have Geoffrey and we have somebody else as well.  Sounds like Anjou.  And we have all your maids and even little - sounds like Cherie or Chelle.  This is a person who is a maid but the same age as Petronella and someone she plays with.  We will be all right wherever we are.  We will have our home together, and no one can gainsay that.  And Alienor says ‘Louis seems to be a decent man.  In fact she smiles and feels quite satisfied and warm.  She is actually quite relieved and pleased that he seems to be kind.  She feels a bit more reassured by that.  Her head goes down to the left and she nods and bites her bottom lip.  She’s quite pleased.  It could have been so much worse.  It’s not as bad as she thought it was going to be. Bless her.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011


 The session that this excerpt cropped up in was a little bit out of the ordinary and showed us just what a powerful personality Eleanor has.  Not content for Alison to access as an observer, Eleanor wanted to make a few things clear to us herself.  This occasionally  happens in our sessions but it's not a common occurrance.  The last full paragraph of explanation just raises the hairs on my nape.
We begin with her father making the preparations to go to Compostela, some of which has been show in a previous posting. 
It may seem strange that Alison accesses this in modern English, but what she is doing is translating the energy/vibration pattern of the word.  Occasionally the word doesn't translate if it's one that doesn't have a close modern equivalent.
Go to William X of Aquitaine making his preparations to go on pilgrimage circa 1137
He has a very deep feeling, a true feeling that goes deep.  It’s a serious feeling too.  He seems at peace, but he is also looking for more closeness to that sense of peace and his sense of God.  There’s a feeling of prayer and he's wishing for all things that are good, particularly for his daughters.  When he thinks about his wife, his mind flicks away from the subject (she was dead).  When he thinks about her, he doesn’t have any warm feelings.  Some couples when parted by death, long to meet up again, but for him it’s an ‘oh no,’ feeling. It’d be more aggravation and another issue to deal with that’s being held at bay. 
So he doesn’t want to meet her in the afterlife?  He feels that he will do, but he’s not looking forward to it. 
Going back to Compostela preparations there’s a lot of 'paperwork 'to keep everything in order while he’s away.  He keeps his head down and focussed on the papers rather than the people.  He’s dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s so to speak. This is a quieter person than I saw earlier in his life.  It is as if life has knocked him and mellowed him, but there is still that academic spaciousness somehow.  He has a lot of responsibilities to discharge before he goes as well.  There are people who want things doing – supplicants.  I can see them coming in an official capacity before him to present their scrolls or their bags of money.
To him drawing up the will before he goes.   I have come back to the same place where he was crossing the T’s and dotting the I’s.  There’s that feeling again of wanting to do the best for his daughters.   He wants to see them settled in the sense of secure.  He also wants them to have as good a settlement as if he was still alive.  He doesn’t want them done down just because he’s not going to be there. 
So, for Alienor.  Let’s have a look at that first.  He sees her as a surrogate son.  I see her as a figure, drawing behind her this huge estate which is like a big balloon of stuff attached to her by a thread.  He sees her standing proud and tall.  He sees her as someone with character who will stand her ground, and with that he’s pleased.  It’s as if he is standing beside her and they are both looking out into the distance.  They need someone who is strong so that this fortune can be protected and won’t be picked off by other competitors.  It needs someone with a golden light about them and I think this means someone regal or from a high noble family.  I can see somebody who is not Louis coming from the East and it’s a darker figure.  The figure has a darker, hard helmet with a pointy top and I can see him periodically trying to encroach in between them, but then going back.  It could be Raymond of Antioch, Alienor’s young uncle, her father’s brother?   He could be quite pushy with Alienor’s father, because face to face he is quite vocal. Although they wouldn’t have got face to face at that stage because Raymond was abroad.
And Alienor’s sister Petronilla in the will?  He thinks she needs protecting even more.  She is younger, more vulnerable and closer to his side.  There’s much more of an emotional neediness on her part here.  He’s very protective.  He knows she’s not ready.  He wants to put her in trust.  I can see her reaching for Alienor and then coming back to her dad in a quick movement. 
What’s he going to do for her?  He wants her to be self sufficient.  He wants Alienor to care for her from a distance.  
Any conversations he had about the will with Geoffrey of Loroux – how does Geoffrey feature in the will? (Geoffrey was Alienor and Petronella's tutor and Archbishop of Bordeaux).
I can feel Geoffrey pressed up to William’s back, very close to him, helping him to stand straight, almost being his hands.  Very close. He can do the things that a father would do but cannot be the father in the sense that he can do the hand movements but he can’t do them as a presence in his own right. He has to stand behind William. I am seeing Geoffrey and Alienor with hands linked and held high as if Geoffrey is leading Alienor onwards and forwards.  Little Petronella following in their wake, holding onto Geoffrey’s robe as she once held onto her father. 
Did Geoffrey have any input in choosing the French to look after Alienor if William should die?It’s all William’s idea.  Geoffrey is a little bit surprised but goes along with it.  The feeling is of them looking over a document and William is already looking at the French and Geoffrey  hadn't got that far Geoffrey trusts absolutely in William’s judgement. 

Geoffrey of Loroux when he receives the news of William’s death.
Big sigh. He is devastated.  This is genuine emotion.  It takes his breath away. All those things that they have done together that will never be more.  When he thinks of all the plans they made, all the dreams they had and the things they actually managed to achieve.  And now no more.  And the man himself gone, a precious man.  
He really loved him didn’t he?  Truly.  You see Geoffrey hasn’t the power to bring these things into fruition himself.  He hasn’t the position.  He knows that’s the end of the dynasty and things can only recede back.  He’s got a realistic attitude to what’s happened.  His eyes are damp but he knows he has a duty to do.   So what does he do when he’s over the initial news and grief?  He gets on with the administration.  There is in the background a feeling of urgency because if he doesn’t get on and do it, someone else will.  He feels as if the predators are circling.  So he’s drawing up documents.  Sometimes he feels as if he hasn’t had time to perfect the documents but he just sends them off because it’s better than delaying. 
Does he speak to Alienor and her sister at all?    He does his best to be kind to them.  He’s very sympathetic.  He’s emotionally there for them.  He’s very understanding emotionally.  He teaches them how to look to the future, especially Alienor,  because Petronella doesn’t quite understand yet.  Petronella can actually be distracted as well by other people.  If they are doing something interesting or fun, she won't concentrate.  Geoffrey teaches Alienor to look into the world.  You know how I saw William and Alienor looking side by side into the world?  Well here you’ve got Alienor standing as she was before, and Geoffrey with his arm round her and bent sideways, and directing with his other hand.
Does he talk to her at all about the French at this time?   There is some anxiety there.  I am getting something but just trying to clarify whether she’s there with him at that time.  No, he’s talking to someone else there.  He talks to Alienor about politics in a general way, including the French, and he talks to her about dynasty and great leaders.  He refers back to the past, to history, and to Roman leaders and so on, and he helps her to see her place in that.
To do with the French?  He says ‘Your father had great plans for you and the plans have come into fruition and I have great news for you.’  And this is when he tells her of the proposal from the prince of France.  I was trying to get her response, but she felt very mature; she didn’t feel like a young girl.  So she’s like a mature woman here?  Yes.  I feel I may have misconnected – or we are getting some interference.  So yes, I think he did tell her and put it in the perspective of ‘it’s fantastic news for you and a chance to fulfil your potential and your position.’ Do you want me to try and see what her reaction is?   Yes, if you can.   I’ll ask permission first. Yes, I’ve got permission.  I’ll now ask if she is willing.  I am getting ‘You do not know what you ask of me.’  
 AlisonIn what way do I not know?  In what way do I not understand?
Alienor  ‘That this is not some frivolity for your perusal.’
No indeed. We fully understand that it is a lifetime  you have led and there were real emotions involved and real decisions you had to take.
Alienor  And that were taken for me, do not forget that.
Alison  Indeed, that is the case in most people’s lives, especially when they are young.’  
Alienor Quite so.’
Alison  Might you then permit us to understand how those emotions were for you to experience and what it was really like at the time that we may understand these things better?’  
Alienor ‘It is is for you to understand.’
Alison  Indeed that is what we wish to do.  We wish to understand.  
Alienor ‘Very well then.’ 
Alison  Thank you. We would like to understand how you were feeling when you received the news that a marriage was being arranged between yourself and Prince Louis of France.  
Alienor ‘I felt ashamed.  I felt let-down.’ She has a smile, because she says ‘That surprised you didn’t it?’
Alison  Indeed, yes. I was not expecting you to have feelings of shame and being let down.  In what way?  
Alienor ‘It was not my choice you see.  I had no choice in it.  It was their choice; always their choice.  If my father had told me, I would have told him no, for I do not care for the French style of things, nor for their courtly proceedings. I do not care for their style, nor do I care for their prince.  It was not my choice.  
Alison Why then did you feel ashamed?
Alienor Crying.   ‘I felt ashamed for my father that he should afford this.  I feel shamed that I could not stand in my own right with a strong man by my side.  I do not blame him that he did not see that clearly the shame that I was drawn into this situation, unknowingly, without having been told.  No one cared to tell me, so when I knew it was too late and I was done for.  My fate sealed, my throat cut, I knew it from the start.  I had to go on, I had to proceed, a dead man walking, a corpse alive in the world, and in a way that is what he left me.  He was the dead man and I was walking in his stead.    And I shall bless him all the days of my life.  I love my father dearly, yet he did this to me, not of my own will.  Now you understand.  You understand that I could not be myself of my own choosing.  I could not stand in my own stead, in my own honour on my own land.  I had to walk in the stead of some other man, a stranger and not of my choosing.  What did it benefit me to be lady of all I surveyed when none of it was mine?  That my friend is how I entered married life.
Alison Thank you for explaining that Alienor.  I think we thoroughly understand you now. How interesting that she’s talking directly and I’m not seeing it from the point of view of a young girl, I am hearing it from her (herself).
Me Would she have felt that at 13?
Alison  Exactly.  We are getting an overlay of what the mature woman feels about it. Anyway, it gives you a flavour of what you’re working with.  
Me  Yes.  I do feel for her, but at the same time I can see her father’s point of view.  He wanted to keep her safe.
Alison  But she thought she could fend for herself but with a strong man at her side.  I get the idea that she had a feeling of who that man might be and that she wanted to be married more locally
Alienor ‘You have it.’