Enya – Aldebaran – Deireadh an Tuath (1987), Tribute to Thirteen (aka Eye Of The Devil) 1966-67

1) I chose “Aldebaran” from Enya’s album ‘The Celts’ for the first part of the video. The Celts migrated into France, especially to the northwestern portion. In the film “Eye Of The Devil” the location is changed to Bordeaux in…

Enya - Aldebaran - Deireadh an Tuath (1987), Tribute to Thirteen (aka Eye Of The Devil) 1966-67

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1) I chose “Aldebaran” from Enya’s album ‘The Celts’ for the first part of the video. The Celts migrated into France, especially to the northwestern portion. In the film “Eye Of The Devil” the location is changed to Bordeaux in the southwest, although the customs and inhabitants seen during the course of the film are clearly intended to be Celtic. There is also an intriguing parallel to the story based on the star’s mythology and astrology. Aldebaran is the brightest star in the constellation Taurus. The fiery orange-red giant is often called “the Eye of the Bull” (quite literally “bull’s eye”) and was also known as Cor Tauri (the Heart of the Bull) in the Middle Ages. The name Al-de-baran is Arabic for “foremost” or “leading star” because it precedes or leads the Pleiades. It is usually portrayed as an archer pursuing the Pleiades, often represented as DOVES. Taurus itself was important to the agricultural calendar of many ancient peoples including the Druids. Taurus has been the sign of wealthy landowners, barons, and community leaders.

The myth of Aldebaran is clearly played out by David Hemmings in the role of Christian de Caray. De Caray is an expert archer who hunts doves for practice. Along with his sister Odile, a witch (played by Sharon Tate), both live on the estate of Castle Bellenac as their family has done for many centuries as guests of the de Montfaucon family. The film was based on the novel “The Day Of The Arrow” by Philip Loraine (real name Robin Estridge). I suspect the film producers had the Aldebaran legend in mind and thus “The Eye of Taurus” was likely changed to “Eye of the Devil” with Aldebaran in conjunction with both the Lord of the Ascendant and the Moon (thus, a devil). But also likely Cor Tauri meaning “the heart of Taurus” which refers to the heart of the Marquis, Philippe de Montfaucon (played by David Niven), his chest pierced by an arrow shot by Christian de Caray at the conclusion of the film during the agreed blood sacrifice ritual to save the failing vineyards (agreed by a secretive council of thirteen elders of the community of which Philippe is the 13th and its head). The film’s original title was “13”.

In this segment Philippe’s wife, Catherine de Montfaucon (played by Deborah Kerr), having already discovered a poem concerning the “13 dancers” on a medieval tapestry, is becoming increasingly fearful for her husband’s safety and sanity. Through a window she sees a light in what had been an unlit tower, then sees it shut off. She wanders upwards into the castle and accidentally stumbles upon a ceremony involving a slain dove, is heart pierced by an arrow, carried into the council of 13 by Christian and Odile de Carey. She is well-hidden in the shadows and tries to make out the face of the 13th hooded figure, and only for a brief glimpse believes what she has seen is the face of her husband Philippe. For me this is the core of the Aldebaran myth being played out, thus the song.

2) Deireadh an Tuath (End of the Tribe), refers to past spirits and the fertile soil that helps ensure the future of the Celtic people, which is celebrated in the annual Gaelic festival Samhain (Halloween), held on October 31. This is the ending of the film. Philippe de Mountfaucon and Christian de Caray, unknown to Catherine, are good friends who often race horses together on the expansive grounds of Bellenac. When Philippe agrees that he is the only one who can restore the failing crops of his community by becoming a willing blood sacrifice, it is left to Christian to carry out what has thus far been only symbolic sacrifices of doves. The film never discusses the meaning of the dove and its significance as an animal sacrifice, again clearly developed from the Aldebaran myth. If enough doves are killed, perhaps a human sacrifice will not be required. But required it is. Philippe and the 12 along with Christian ride out to a clearing in the forest and there the Marquis nobly gives up his life to Christian’s arrow. There is no malice in Christian’s face when the sacrifice is finally carried out, only love for his good friend, the Marquis.

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