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, 9 November 2011

Part 11. The church and an heir

Eleanor and Louis were married in the summer of 1137, but apart from a miscarriage early in the relationship, there was no sign of an heir.  It has been suggested by historians that Eleanor and Louis gave the famous 'Eleanor' vase to St Denis at its consecration in 1144 not just as a gift for the church, but also as an offering in the hopes that a child would be granted to Eleanor's womb.  Eleanor also, apparently, appealed to the 'saintly' Bernard of Clairvaux for advice.  I asked Alison to go and take a look at aspects of this situation.  I have seen suggestions by other historians and some novelists that Louis' giving of the vase to Suger, greatly upset Eleanor.  I wanted to observe her mindset here.

Alison: She feels quite tight across the heart area.  This is an Alienor who is quite worked up.  Tight heart, tight cheeks, tight eyes.  Emotional in an anxious way.  I am getting the words ‘Please God, this has got to work.’  She is angry and not that bothered about the vase.  This is about God.  Her anger is connected to her relationship with God, so this is a direct communication with God.  Suger is just a periphery.  I think this is to do with wanting a boy child.  It doesn’t seem fair.  Why can’t she have what she wants?  She will give anything, it doesn’t matter what, in order to have what she wants.  So the actual item isn’t as relevant as what she wants.  Suger to her is just someone who is doing what’s needed in the circumstances.  Not quite a servant, but a functionary. It’s not up to him, it’s up to God.  That’s how she sees it, although she wouldn’t say it outright.  It wouldn’t be necessary.  She can find Suger a bit annoying but he’s got a job to do.  She’ll let him get on with his job, but this isn’t to do with him really.  It’s to do with God. He’s just a functionary of God. 
So this vase is to be given to God as a plea for her fertility?  It’s more of a demand actually!  She hardly even looks at the vase.  It’s only in her side vision and the main part of her vision is to God. Why the vase and not a different gift?  Well she could give anything.  She doesn’t mind what it is, and it isn’t the only thing she’s given.  She’s given loads of things.  She’s given bags of gems.  She’s given gold coverings to things.  I am seeing one of those gold engraved domes that you put over tombs.  She would rake around and give whatever it took.
Going off on a slight sidetrack: I wonder how Louis feels about Alienor’s childlessness.  He feels he must have done something wrong to displease God in such a way and he is starting to distrust Alienor because just maybe she has done something wrong that he doesn’t know about, or there is something wrong in their relationship.  His mind is working on those old fashioned things like consanguinity and something that’s displeasing to God about them being together.  That’s one part of it.  The other part is someone who is holding back sobs and just wants to cling on to Alienor for comfort in their mutual sadness.  She’s the one who comforts him.  I can see his head on her chest and she is stroking his back and head.
So is this not for want of trying?  Because when she married Henry II, she was having children one after the other.  So let’s take a look, without being salacious,  at the reason for non conception.  I think he’s having difficulties in sustaining the act.  He still wants that closeness in being with her, but the actual finishing off – he’s not sustaining.  To get into the emotions of that… His heart is hurting.  It’s breaking.  He feels he doesn’t deserve so much in terms of Alienor.  Such beauty, such love.  He’s finding it hard to accept.  He keeps going there because outwardly there seems no reason why he shouldn’t have these things, but there’s something inside that’s not opening to accept them.  He does actually cry about it. He’s really upset.
So to the Alienor Vase.  Why did Louis decide to give it to Suger.
Louis loves this man and there seems to be a flowering of this love as Louis gets older.  It seems to be something that sustains him.  He has been able to rely on Suger right from childhood as someone that sustains him.  He just wants to show his appreciation for everything that Suger has done for him and his family in everything that he upholds.  The way that he’s treated in the family.  The way that Suger has dedicated his whole being and life to upholding the family.  What more loyal member of state could you wish for?  It almost brings tears to his eyes.  So how can he show what he feels without bringing something that is very precious, fragile and more than that, luminous, to give to Suger.  It’s something which appears transparent but in certain…ah this is interesting…but in certain lights gives off other colours like a prismatic effect.  That’s why it would be so precious wouldn’t it?  It would be like a real light show. It would complement the windows that Suger had put in his church – like a reflection.  I can feel that Louis feels the emotional preciousness of it in the connection that he has with Alienor.  So it has that emotional resonance as well as the other resonances.  And to give that, all his love, all this beauty, all his connection with Alienor is an enormous gift.  No wonder it brings tears to his eyes.
What does Suger think of this gift?  He is taking it into his stomach, taking it into his treasury. Mmm, yum, nice. 
But then he tarted it up, didn’t he?  That’s to make it his.  It can’t go back; it’s his now.
Yes, he made an inscription to that effect.  So the tarting wasn’t because he felt it needed extra bling?  No, he was putting his own graffiti on it.  So he thinks it’s a worthy gift?  Oh indeed, yes. Has he coveted it before?  Yes, he has!  Has he ever made mention before that it’s a nice piece?  I’ve lost it now, but I just got the feeling he has commented on it before and seen it before, but said things like ‘If only it was a little bit here and a little bit there, it would be perfect, or it would be gorgeous.  He certainly does like it.

Now to April 1144 Alienor at St Denis and any conversation  Eleanor had with Bernard of Clairvaux about her infertility.
Alienor is upset. This is a different Alienor. She is crying. She says ‘I don't mean to burden you with this but I cannot understand it. Why is God punishing me so when I do everything in my power to please him?  By ’him’ she means Louis. ‘And he just rejects me. I cannot see why, I cannot tell why. He says he loves me. He also tells her that she is - I can't quite get the words - the apple of his eye staple of his life, the thing that runs through the centre of his life like lettering on a stick of rock. And yet, he does not find me attractive enough to want to procreate. Please give me the means, whatever the means are to reawaken his interests and the love that I have to give him so that we can do God's work and produce a child for this world and an heir to the throne. I cannot imagine how I have failed him. Therefore I must ask you to throw some light on the situation. Tell me how God sees it, that I may rectify my ways and be more of a wife to him. I do love him dearly and I have no one else. I need to please him in the eyes of God.’ All the time she is saying this, it's very internal. It's as if she's not talking to Bernard. He doesn't feel to be there. She's atlking to herself and generally perhaps to God, yes to God. She's in such a situation that she can't make that connection for herself. She's asking it to be done from the outside.
When I see Bernard of Clairvaux, I see sharks in the water, a very bad sign. I got him, just as the sharks went under the water. He's got a thin bony face and thin lips, and he's smiling with satisfaction, not with the compassion that you'd expect in this situation. He's got her where he wants her.  He says ‘Very well my dear. You have done well to recognise the error of your ways. God has a way of bringing his flock back to him. Now you have accepted what you've done, he will welcome you back into his fold. Leave off all those fripperies, those wicked ways that have come to be so important to you, and forsaking them hold tight to Christ your saviour.’ I've got a sense of holding onto a relic of a cross and I think he might even have put that in her hand at that point. ‘Just as Christ died on the cross to the physical world and rose again, so let your soul die to the physical world and rise stronger and greater than ever before and God will admonish you and test you again and again until he is sure that you are one of his. You may carry his cross and be worthy of it, for this is no easy task to bear the burden of a country upon one's back, and one must be ready for it and worthy of it. Therefore I say, scourge your life and make it as he would wish and you shall be fruitful as you would wish in the ways of the spirit. Gird your loins and prepare for the journey that he has prepared for you, for this is what I tell you: In order to make new life, you must leave behind the old life. You must go forward in sanctity and be at peace with the whole world, which is God's world, and you must do God's work fervently. Do you understand me in this?’
And she looks up with serious eyes and she nods.
He says again, just in case she hasn't got it ‘You must change your ways.’
She swallows and nods again. She can only think if it will bring her closer to Louis, then she will have to do it. She decides to make prayer a very important part of her life, and alms, and fraternising with the clergy. I think this means the female clergy. He says’Good my child.’ He is writing something down.  He says ‘Here take this and give it to the Abbess, and they will purge you of any deleterious spirits. You must stay there for three days on bread and water. Do not ask for the 40 days that Christ endured, but only what your small frame can muster. Hold yourself in that knowledge and place in the scale of things, and you will come to a better understanding of your place in the world.’
Alienor feels quite humbled, but also kind of real. It's as if this has brought her down to the ground. She's breathing in a different way.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Part 10 The first year of marriage

Louis and Alienor's marriage seems to have started off with promise - if a few caveats and pointers to later bones of contention - but on the whole to have been workable. But as conventional history tells us, that changed over the years until there was much bitterness and hostility between them. The Akashics is an unparelleled aid in getting at the mindsets and feelings of the personalities involved. 
Here are Eleanor and Louis in the early days of their marriage.

Now to 1138 and Alienor and her relationship with Louis a year into their marriage.
 I am getting Alienor very still, looking down.  There’s a feeling of a spiritual journey.  I feel that she’s meditating.  I feel that Louis is close by.   It feels as if they are joined as well.  For Alienor it feels as if they are sharing a spiritual moment.
Is it a spiritual moment for Louis?  I’m going to the bit after it (they’ve been making love). Louis  just loses himself in her.  It’s like liquid gold.  He loses the sense of himself as an individual being. It’s like his boundaries are all gone.  His body feels as if he’s not there; it’s just everything.  And afterwards he just feels so peaceful and still.  He’s kind of lost in space.  It’s a meditative state. 
How does this make him feel about her in non sexual circumstances?  It makes him a little bit confused because it makes him feel as if he is the same person as her, and when they pass, he feels as if it’s right because he’s becoming who he is with her, and when she goes past it’s strange and he gets a bit confused.  It’s as if he’s more himself when he’s with her, than he is when he’s not with her.  I’ll try and find a time in normal circumstances when they’ve not been close together.  There’s a level where they can intellectually beat each other.  It’s a bit like playing a board game where they can chatter and disagree with each other and be competitors, but only in that little context, so I suppose that would be like talking policy or planning things. Most of the time she just sucks in his senses.  If you imagine you’re taking a plateful of the most delicious meat to the table and your dog’s in the room.  You know how he follows his nose and his whole body follows afterwards, well that’s how Louis is with Alienor.  He feels her go past and – Alison inhales deeply -  He might not show it on the outside but it’s as if his aura is being sucked into her.
That is really fascinating that it has developed like this in the year since their marriage.  When they first married, it was just like 'driving a new car' as far as he was concerned.  So I think we need to go back and find out how this happened.  But  before we go, let’s find out how she feels about him in their ordinary life a year later.  She has an emotional attachment to him from the heart.  It is sometimes disappointed because it feels frustrated and unfulfilled as if something is not there. It’s like someone not being able to meet you intellectually in a conversation.  For her the emotions are not being met on the same level.  There's the sense that she sometimes thinks he’s a bit of a fool.  He doesn’t see the obvious and he’s stubborn in his stupidity sometimes.  He will stick to something for no real, obvious reason and he can’t really argue his case and it seems the most stupid thing for him to stick to and he won’t be moved, but then she can’t really do anything about it. But she’s happy enough with her sphere and to be honest she has quite a lot of influence in his sphere as well. She feels superior to him.  She feels as if he is servicing her needs in all ways – in her life and in her bed. It’s not the full thing, but it’s an aspect of what she’s sensing. So now she is driving the car.  Yes. She’s now in control.  Yes, powerful lady.  It’s not instinctual.  She is totally consciously making her own directions.
So go to snapshots of their marriage between the wedding and now a year later and find out how she got the control. Go to next time they came together after he had to leave her shortly after the marriage and go to Alienor’s POV. She’s very pleased to see him.  She kneels at his feet and kisses his hand.  I can see them dancing together and it makes them both enlivened and relaxed.  They’re breathing faster.  They are chatting in a very relaxed manner about their time apart and what they’ve been doing.   They’re still in the public arena where they’ve been chatting to each other rather than to anyone else.  The feeling in Alienor is of excitement.  She has got something powerful and interesting here, a new toy, and a new maturity.  There’s a feeling that she has entered the adult world and wants to be a proper part of it.  It’s like she’s been given permission and accepted into the adult world, and that has made her more open to her own feelings.    She is finding out about herself.  She feels very secure in her relationship.  It’s very solid, so she can be as free as open as she likes.  She can do just what she wants within that relationship and no one can say ‘You can’t do that’ or ‘that’s wrong, it shouldn’t have happened.’  Because it’s there for everyone to see and it has been accepted.
 So another snapshot.  What has changed that a year later Alienor is in charge?  When Louis comes home, he is not relaxed.  He’s feeling anxious and tight, like a band across his solar plexus area.  There’s distaste for a great deal that’s going on in the court. He finds that there are only a few people to trust. Issues of trust are very close to the forefront to his thinking, and distrust for the ways of the court.  When I say this, the double dealing, the lack of true integrity, so people are doing this for the wrong reasons and not in line with God.  Things are really heavy to move, to get things done, and to get changes made.  Everybody’s got their own vested interest.  Alienor pushes herself forward into his awareness and her whole being becomes more solid and detailed because of that.  She stands out from the others and she can make him feel like a human being.  So when they’re dancing and relaxing, he can react like a human being instead of like a king.  This is very different for him.  I think coming back to Paris as the King is a real awakening for him.  It’s a very different experience to what he had before or whatever he imagined.  So that in itself has knocked him off the pedestal he used to be on where everything was set along definite tramlines.  That surety has gone.  The tramlines have gone.  Very different.  It’s like he has now to make the tramlines for other people.  He wasn’t expecting that.  With her she doesn’t expect tramlines.
Another snapshot.  Alienor is sitting on a dais at the end of the room.  He’s walking round the room.  He’s working the room as they say, and every so often he’s looking at her and she is giving him a smile and a nod.  She is giving him confidence. Because of what’s been happening between them at a personal level, there’s a connection there and it helps him and she feels it’s perfectly how it should be and her mind is already in intellectual mode, planning.  I’m just trying to see what she’s planning, but it’s everything.  It involves people, projects, buildings, how things should look, everything. 
She’s world building then?  Yes, exactly, and he’s part of the plan.
So how is Louis feeling?  He is feeling so warm and full in the solar plexus.  It goes up to his heart and makes him feel warm and loved, as if his whole world is perfectly full.  What he is doing in the room is just the peripheries.  The real world is his heart.  It’s like a warm sun. This is the nitty gritty.  No one has ever understood him, supported him, known him and accepted him as he is ever before, without recriminations or criticism, just as he is.  And given him love.  He has never had an experience like this before.  All his previous relationships, where there should have been love, there has been an element of cruelty there as well, or indifference at the very least.  He’s never known acceptance love.  It’s been correction love that he’s had before.

Alison said something very pertinent to me during these sessions - something that I knew, but it was good to hear her mention it.  People alter.  They don't stay the same, even if certain traits are ingrained. Life experience and the physical metamorphosis from child to youth,  to adult, to old person, all have their part in changing the sculpture from moment to moment.  So when I write my work, I have to factor in those changes.  That's why, for example, Roger Bigod in The Time of Singing, is slightly different to the Roger Bigod in To Defy A King.  One is a young man, flexible and optimistic.  The other is a seasoned politician with the weight and responsibility of an earldom on his shoulders.
Alison said - having observed Louis and Alienor:
It’s amazing how relationships go through different dynamics.  I’ve seen this time and again in my job.  You think ‘Oh, that’s a marriage made in heaven’ and about 20 years later, it’s all turned to horror.  Or it can go the other way.  Sometimes a significant event comes along and sets in. It’s as if you’ve put a coloured lens in front of everything, and everything then is a different colour.  You can never see that person the same again.