Eleanor of Aquitaine and Her Family: Troubadours, Trouveres and Courtly Love
Quant voi la flor novele French troubador song, anonymous, XIIIth c.- Translation Catherine Braslavksy When I see the new flower in the meadow, I sing a new song of the young virgin Who nursed the King at her breast, Who, by his flesh fine and noble, redeemed us all … Maiden noble and pure, source of all good, Forgiver of my sins, take care of me By your dear Son and that covenant, assure me that in heaven in certain joy I may arrive. Lady Holy Mary, filled with grace, may you hear us, don't forget us That in this mortal life we may serve that in your company we may come. Flower of mercy to your Son attune me, tune this string to never make discord So that the Devil cannot untune me, for I am in harmony, in tune with God. Mary, sweet mother, never were you harsh. Of the King you are both daughter and mother And you bore your own Father. Now I pray you, sweet Mary, full of pity, that God our Father may keep us from
Pivotal Figures in the Family Tree of Eleanor of Aquitaine
Guihelm IX (William the Troubadour (1071 – 1127) First troubadour , Eleanor's grand-father "Dangereuse" de l'Isle Bourchard: Eleanor's seductive grandmother
William X: Eleanor's father who died on Good Friday in Compostela while on in pilgrimage
Eleanor (1122-1204) Wealthiest woman in the world, heiress of Aquitaine, first the wife of French King Louis by whom she had two children and secondly the wife of Henry II ( eleven years her junior) , by whom she bore eight. Cultivated the "Courts of Love", bringing beauty, romance, music to both the kingdoms of France and England Crusader, Lover, Mother, she retired at the end of her life to Fontenay Abbey and lived as a nun.
RIchard the Lionhearted (1157-1199): King of England who spent many years on Crusade. He died at Beynac Castle of a fatal archery wound.
Marie de Champagne: Eleanore's daughter from her first marriage established courts of love in her county of Champagne where she was a patron of Chretian de Troyes, the first writer of the Grail stories
D Blanche of Castile: grand-daughter of Eleanor, she was born in Spain but became queen of France by the time she was a teenager. A composer and poet in her own write, she was the muse for many and a great patroness of art and architecture, donating or commissioning major works of art including illuminated manuscripts and the North Rose Window at Chartres Cathedral. She also had a hand in creating Sainte Chapelle. Mother of 13 children, she followed in her grandmother's footsteps sto the Crusades and also ended her days in a convent.
Count Thibaut the Trouvere: Penned both love songs to Blanche of Castile and the first anti-war song in response to the horrors of the Albigensian Crusade, "Deus est Un Pelicanz". In his poetry, Thibaut carried forth the idea of love as religion and revelation. He writes of the Beloved that it is "though her presence that God has illuminated the world/ For, even on the fairest summer day/ Next to her, the light of high noon is obscure and is as darkness. Thibaut was in love with Blanche of Castile, and penned many of his love songs to her.
Alfonso X, "The Wise", was the king of Castile and Leon (now Spain) and the great-grandson of Eleanor of Aquitaine. His devotion to Mary-- particularly the Black Madonna of Montserrat inspired the amazing accomplishments of his multi-cultural court . As a response to his own miraculous healing, Alfonso sent out Jewish, Christian and Islamic scribes to collect stories of miracles along the pilgrim path to Santiago. Over 400 of these were turned into songs., and he himself wrote a loor or "Hymn of Praise" for every tenth song, including the magnificent Santa Maria Strella Do Dia and Rosa Das Rosas. The Cantigas are an invaluable collection of both art and music, providing critical clues for both how people dressed and what their musical instruments were like. The songs themselves are varied- some poignant and tender, others funny, some even ferocious. Like the Black Madonna herself, the music reconciles all things. While a few of the texts tragically reflect a deeply anti-semitic bias ( such as #4, the tale of the Jewish boy who is murdered by his father when he wishes to be baptized but is protected by the Virgin), others reflect the hope of reconciliation and unity. The overall emphasis is on forgiveness and mercy for all people, no matter what they may have done. Kings, beggars, thieves , those who have made enormous mistakes- are all brought underneath the cloak of Mary's compassion. Even animals are offered her protections, as in Cantiga 31, a tale of a runaway cow and her unborn calf, or Cantiga 398 , in which a lost sheep who is protected by wolves after a farmer's prayer..
Here is the link to Oxford University's Cantigas de Santa Maria collection and below is a recording of some of the Cantigas
Jungian Perspectives on Wholeness and Integration
The following are books that look at typology from a mythopoetic Depth Psychology perspective Toni Wolff, Structural Forms of the Feminine Psyche- read here online Robert Johnson, She: Understanding Feminine Psychology Robert Bly, Iron John Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette, King, Warrior, Magician, Lover James Hillman, Senex and Puer Robert Johnson, He: Understanding Masculine Psychology Robert Johnson, Transformation: Three Stages of Masculine Development
An invaluable book on the psychological and spiritual meaning of the stories of the Arthurian legends is