Tuesday, January 17, 2012

"A place where there's no space or time"? Time Slip#1

Yesterday's post described the movie Midnight in Paris - a plot which centres on a time warp or, I find now, the more commonly used term is time slip. Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris isn't the first movie to latch onto this fascinating premise of course. Portrait of Jenny & Somewhere in Time are two others we've seen fairly recently on DVD or on Turner Classic Movie channel. Several novelists have used time slippage as anchor for their storylines. Wikipedia has a list of examples: see the section "Time slips in popular culture", towards the end of the page.

While searching for something else online I happened upon an article touching on time slips. Then, having spent a couple of hours just reading many websites and blogs where real life experiences of time slips are described, I became intrigued. I'm going to describe one of these here and others in future posts. Anything appearing to be enhancement, frills or suspect moss gathered in multiple re-tellings of the stories will be questioned! I'll look at any relevant astrological factors where dates and times are available.

First up, the story which is repeated most often on blogs and websites featuring time slips. This happened so long ago that reading about it now seems almost like a double-dip time slip!

It was 10 August 1901 (in reality). Two English women in France visit Versailles: Annie Moberly (55), Principal of St. Hugh's College in Oxford and Dr. Eleanor Frances Jourdain (38) a teacher. A little on the ladies' backgrounds from here:

Annie Moberly 10th of 15 children, was the daughter of an Oxford don who became the Bishop of Salisbury in England. She was well educated, honorable, religious, imaginative. She became a teacher and was appointed the 1st principal of St. Hugh's College, a small school for girls, in Oxford.

Eleanor Jourdain was also the daughter of a parson and the 1st of 10 children. Although descended from a Huguenot family, she was thoroughly British. She was introspective and prim, yet fanciful and independent as well. She published 7 weighty textbooks, one on symbolism in Dante. She, too, set out to teach, held several positions, ran a school of her own, and after her adventure in France was to become vice-principal of St. Hugh's College under the older Annie Moberly.

In 1901, Eleanor Jourdain, eager to learn French, had moved to Paris temporarily, where she was sustaining herself by tutoring English children in that city. Annie Moberly, who at that time knew Miss Jourdain only slightly, came over to Paris to enjoy a short vacation and to offer Miss Jourdain the post of vice-principal at St. Hugh's. The 2 teachers became good friends and began taking trips outside Paris. Neither had ever been to Versailles, and they decided to go by train to visit its historic palace and beautiful grounds.

And so the adventure began:

They "did" the Palace of Versailles then decided to go find the Petit Trianon (right) - a "small" château located on the grounds of the Palace . Wikipedia tells that it was built by order of Louis XV for his long-term mistress, Madame de Pompadour, and was constructed between 1762 and 1768. Madame de Pompadour died four years before its completion, it was subsequently occupied by her successor, Madame du Barry. Upon his accession to the throne in 1774, the 20-year-old Louis XVI gave the château and its surrounding park to his 19-year-old Queen Marie Antoinette for her exclusive use and enjoyment. Marie longed to escape Louis and his court, and he gave her just the place.

The two ladies, having taken a wrong turning somewhere, were unable to find the Petit Trianon. With nothing available as a guide, they were lost. Both reported later that they began to experience a heavy mood, a dampening of their previously high spirits. They asked for directions from two men who passed by dressed in "long greyish-green coats with small three-cornered hats". They then passed an isolated cottage; a woman and an adolescent girl were in the doorway. The woman held a jug, the girl reached towards it. Dr. Jourdain wrote later, "She might have been just going to take the jug or have just given it up I remember that both seemed to pause for an instant, as in a motion picture."

Next the ladies came upon a pavilion. Again they noticed an unpleasantly depressing atmosphere. A man, face marked by smallpox, sat outside the pavilion, but did not acknowledge the presence of the two women in any way.

They then passed a small house, with terraces and shuttered windows. A fair-haired lady, unusually dressed, was seated on the grass in front of the house studying what appeared to be a drawing on a large piece of paper. There was a second house at the end of the terraces. As the two English women neared the houses a door opened then slammed shut. A young male, possibly a servant, appeared. Our two visitors, suspecting they may be trespassing, followed the young man towards the Petit Trianon. Then....in the next moment.... suddenly found themselves in the midst of a wedding party, dressed in the current style - 1901.

On their return home the two women pondered over their strange experience in Versailles. Had they seen the ghost of Marie Antoinette - or had they stumbled telepathically upon an abandoned memory of hers, or...was it a time slip? Miss Moberly, in the course of some research, found an illustration of
Marie Antoinette by the artist Wertmüller. To the ladies' amazement it showed the same woman, wearing the very clothes, they had seen near the Petit Trianon.
The outfit, as described (here) "a summer dress with a long bodice and a very full, apparently short skirt, which was extremely unusual. She had a pale green fichu or kerchief draped around her shoulders, and a large white hat covered her fair hair", doesn't match any portrait by Wertmüller I can find online. That shown right is the best known painting of Marie Antoinette by the artist. It's not imposssible that there are others illustrating old bound volumes of course.

Dr Jourdain went back to Versailles the next winter, but found it impossible to retrace their 1901 path, the grounds appeared strangely changed from the way she remembered.

Further research brought forth the information that on October 5, 1789 Marie Antoinette had been sitting at the Petit Trianon when she first learned that a mob from Paris was marching towards the palace gates. Dr Jourdain and Miss Moberly surmised that Marie Antoinette's memory of this terrifying moment could have lingered there through time, and the two ladies had inadvertently walked into its echo.

Possible explanations - and my own quibbles:

After drafting this post I found yet abother website with a long account of the two ladies' adventure in Versailles. See here under section: The Trianon Adventure. There several possible explanations are put forward, mainly based on the fact that it was known that certain people were in the habit of frequenting the area around Petit Trianon in the costume of the era of the French Revolution - for their own peculiar reasons. One woman was known to have dressed as Marie Anoinette. None of that is capable of disproving completely the ladies' story, but several spokes are put in the wheel (as it were).

Logically I can see no reason for these two ladies, in 1901, to have fabricated the story deliberately. What did two respected teachers stand to gain? Nowadays they might be able to publish a book or two on the back of their experience, and a lecture tour, maybe a few appearances on late-night chat shows - but in 1901....?

On the other hand....

Both women were of good education, with ready knowledge of historical events. It's not out of the question that, having become lost in the palace grounds, on a sultry August afternoon they fell into a kind of dreamy play-acting mode - decided the tale they came up with to pass the time while trying to find their way was too good a story to forget. It would have been repeated many times, no doubt expanded and embroidered with each telling. I notice, for instance, that the ladies said they were able to ask directions of the first two men (in strange garb) they encountered, yet other people they saw seemed to be unaware of their presence. Some renditions of the story vary slightly too, depending on where you read it.

Out of curiosity I looked at a chart for 10 August 1901, Versailles. At noon Moon in the last degrees of Gemini was conjunct Neptune at 00 degree Cancer....I'm not sure whether this is relevant or not, but the "atmosphere" in early afternoon would have been ripe for imagination and creativity! Just sayin'!

PS: Title of post comes from the lyrics of Leon Russell's lovely "A Song For You"


Anonymous said...

GP: "Obviously", as there were two respectable ladies experiencing what you are telling us there, T. and not just one, all this merits serious consideration:

Some "force" must have tried to get a message accross.

1. Choose two English visitors (to avoid suspicions, one must think, as most French are divided regarding Marie Antoinette)

2. The astrological situation on that day is "perfect for such an occurrence" - as was the other day while the Costa Concordia hit a rock Venus was conjunct Neptune, also at the end of a sign, Aquarius here, Gemini then.

3. End of signs (and air signs maybe in particular) are easily leaving "akashic-type of records".

Twilight said...

Anonymous/Gian Paul ~~

Yes, we ought not to dismiss such stories out of hand. If even one out of a hundred of experiences such as this were actually true it would indicate one of the most important discoveries ever made by man.

I wish more of the instances available online had exact dates of the happenings attached, but most don't. I have another for tomorrow, and am still searching for others with indication of dates.

"akashic" records, as you mention them could well, though perhaps with another label, be involved.

Time/space is a mystery still to be solved, but I'm convinced there's some kind of "wave" involved. Maybe akin to Rupert Sheldrake's morphic resonance theory?

Perhaps some locations, and some points in our method of time-counting are at more risk than others of experiencing an espcially deep or especially high dip or rise in an ongoing wave pattern, leading to a time slip - Simplistic way to describe it... but something of that nature.

The end of a particular time wave might coincide with some late astro degrees as you've mentioned.

Fascinating stuff!

JD said...

That story is recounted in Michael Talbot's book "The Holographic Universe"-


-and it is by no means the most remarkable story in the book!

Shakespeare had the answer (as usual)-
"There are more things in heaven and earth...than are dreamt of in your philosophy"

Twilight said...

JD ~~ thanks for the link. I'm not surprised. This story seems to be the best known of any relating to time slips - probably because it has been around for the the longest time.

I don't disbelieve the ladies' account, but at the same time remain cautious, because I remember another famous story from around the same era. The Cottingley Fairies.


That tale was believed by many for years. Much later in life one of the gals involved admitted it (or most of their story and photos) was false.

I want to try to always keep an open mind, but a cautious one.

Juno said...

Ans as for time slips and movies, have you seen Donnie Darko? It has achieved cult status among teens, and came out about 10 years ago. Give it a watch.

Twilight said...

Juno ~~ Yes we saw DD on the advice of one of my husband's grandsons some years ago. To be honest I didn't understand it at all then. Will give it another go soon, see whether the mist has cleared yet. ;-)

Wisewebwoman said...

My immediate thought (psychic?) T, was that the story was possibly invented to cover up a romance between the ladies in an era which would not tolerate such things.
To put another spoke in your wheel :)

Twilight said...

Wisewebwoman ~~~ That's another possibility! Although in thinking that way would our 21st century sensibilities be colouring judgement perhaps?

Juno said...

Your husband's grandsons liked Donnie Darko? That proves my theory that it is cult film for teens that comes around each sub-generation every 5 years or so, like Harold & Maude in the early 70's, Rocky Horror, After Hours & Repo Man in the mid 80's, and on. The only people I know that like DD are under 30, or they work with teens. The movie is fairly impenetrable and the science questionable at best, but fascinating as an example of the dark side of the Pluto in Scorpio teen.

By the way, I love all your latest time slip posts - fascinating! My mom comes from a part of Ireland where they have "fairy rings" and the old folks still warn people about not walking in them in case you disappear. On another note, have you ever read Evans-Wentz's classic The Fairy Faith in Celtic Countries?

Twilight said...

Juno ~~ Re DD and other cultish movies, music, books.....I can't decide whether the cult members really do understand the stuff -possibly due to their generational astrology - or whether they are just determined to find stuff that their parents and older people don't like - and make a point of liking that. ;-)

Glad you enjoyed the time slip posts - I enjoyed writing and researching them.

I haven't read that book - will look for it. The Celtic races have mysticism ingrained within them - gotta love 'em all!