Do you think women hold powerful positions in today?s society? Would you believe that women were powerful as long ago as the fifth and sixth centuries? BELIEVE IT! Niniane, The Lady of the Lake, was one of the most powerful and influential women in King Arthur?s court. She used her intelligence and beauty to place herself at the right hand of King Arthur himself.
Niniane was an ambiguous woman who lived in the lake of the Celtic Otherworld. She was a determined lady who would let nothing stand in her way. She was the lover of Merlin and perhaps that is how she became so powerful. Merlin, who was overcome by Niniane?s beauty, decided to accompany her on a trip to her home. Niniane soon tired to Merlin but not before she had seduced him into teaching her all of his magic. Niniane used Merlin?s own magic as she sealed him in a tree in the forest of Broceliande. Though King Arthur had lost his mentor and chief advisor, Merlin, Niniane quickly took his place since Merlin himself had taught her. Now that Niniane had established a close relationship with King Arthur she needed one thing to close the deal, one thing to secure their relationship for as long as she needed. So, She gave the mighty sword Excalibur to King Arthur as a gift. She was close to King Arthur until he was killed, as she was one of the four ladies who carried his slain body to Avalon.
Niniane?s story is inspiring to me. I think it shows that if anyone is determined enough then they can achieve anything that they want. Niniane was determined and achieved what she wanted thought she did it deceitfully at times. I think her intelligence and ability to achieve what she wanted showed the power of one.
Arthurian Women.2, Feb.2001