Wednesday, 24 August 2011

The Horse, the Land and Sovereignty III

Something I have discussed with others is the notion of sovereignty; the contract between people and the land by which they live together and coexist. Effectively I guess you could see it as a divine tenancy agreement. We don’t however live in a world any longer here we have a single sovereign who represents the people’s place in that agreement anymore (ok, Queen Lizzie is sovereign over here but it isn’t the same thing in this context – though gods it would be good if somehow the whole land-horse-king thing slipped in somewhere in the next coronation).

With that in mind, and bearing in mind that my current ‘religious community/tribe’ is spread all over Britain, the chance to incorporate Rigantona as the one who grants sovereignty (Rosmerta fits in there somewhere, I have my suspicions) and work some kind of group ritual during which sovereignty is conferred upon us a group seems slim, and will probably not be something that can be carried out too regularly. The option now is to work on this individually; addressing my own personal sovereignty over the landscape I inhabit and work on/in.  I could for instance each year, hold a ritual whereby sacrifice is made, libations offered and Rigantona addressed to confer sovereignty to me for the coming year. In place of a king who takes the responsibility (as embodied by Lugus) it would be me taking personal responsibility. Then arises the question of worthiness.

How is worthiness to receive sovereignty judged? How is it measured?

To be honest, I don’t think it can be measured in such a way. Perhaps in the past disease, crop failure and general shitness of life in a community would be indicators that something was amiss, that the land wasn’t too happy and the land wasn’t holding up it’s end of the agreement anymore because the people had already broken their end of the bargain. Perhaps this could be looked at from a different perspective, especially for those of us who are increasingly getting their food from wild sources or growing it in a garden or allotment. How about looking at this from the other end; at the end of the year when the harvest has been successful, the eggs plentiful and the hens healthy, the brambles and damsons in abundance and perhaps the crayfish traps bursting with invasive species ready for eating, then we see that the land has been fruitful and our actions in accordance with the place gifted to us. How about we hold a ritual of sovereignty retrospectively and pre-emptively at the same time? Sort of along the lines of saying “yeah, things have been good... thanks, and we would like this to continue and as such we ask for and accept for you to grant sovereignty once again upon us”.

For our part in the complex we would need to consider how we recognise that what we have has been given to us by the land and the representation of the land we refer to as Rigantona. The obvious is to look towards living in a manner that takes into account that our lives detract from the landscape around us. We take those things we need in order to live our lives. This isn't 'bad' per se and is vital of course; we need to eat, we need to work, we need shelter. What we should really be doing is looking at the impact we have, moving from a life where we actively exploit the land with little or no thought to the consequences and move towards something approaching a sustainable lifestyle. That to me would be the easiest and most obvious way in which we can begin to fulfil our responsibilities. That would certainly be a step on the more practical side, in terms of the religious I think a proper inclusion of the gods in our lives. Perhaps moving beyond devotional work and into something else.
I think that might be enough for now, I do think I should really consider a bit more means by which I can work towards, well, living the lives of the gods. I also need to go on a bit about the manner in which the sovereignty ritual is carried out; when, how and do I need to look into purchasing myself a nice little pony?


Nellie said...

I think that is a good idea... though I personally may not be able to say 'thanks for such a fruitful year' with my track record lol!

This post has though sparked a bit of an idea...

Musings of a Druid said...

Excellent post! Thank you!

Francis said...

I think that we should be aiming for a lifestyle that aims at making explicit the connection between our lives and the land around us. (I agree growing and/or harvesting your own food from within the landscape you live in is the most obvious way in to this approach).Sustainability is a happy inevitable consequence of re-engaging with the land immediately around us - but focusing on sustainabilty as a goal can sometimes create a sort of relationship by proxy with the land around us.

As for the pony, well I can get you a couple of unbroken Carneddau mountain ponies for about £50 - when do you want them delivered? ;-)