Discover more from Project Earthwork
Crowning ourselves as stewards of the land
Notes on sovreignty, the gathering of the ancestors, and coronation as a grid worker.
Like so many people, I remember where I was the day the queen died. Not specifically when I heard the news that she had left her earthly body, but hours and hours later, when something incredibly poignant unfolded.
I should say here that I’m not exactly a royalist. I understand a lot of the issues caused by and related to the monarchy and why their presence infuriates so many people. And I also understand the significance of the death of a monarch – particularly one that had been in that role for so long – and why the queen’s passing upset so many people.
Thanks for reading Project Earthwork! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.
However this blog is, in. many ways, nothing to do with the monarchy itself and so as you read, I invite you to take a step deeper than the centuries-old institution we are so familiar with now and look more deeply at the idea of sovereignty over the land.
Back to the day of the queen’s passing though; that evening I headed to my parents’ house. It wasn’t that I was devastated and couldn’t be alone, more that it felt like company was important – as though this was an event that should be marked communally rather than as an individual.
While there I offered to take their dog, Inka for a walk. And that’s where things got strange.
When the ancestors of the land spoke
Our walk around the streets of our town was pretty standard at first – Inka stopped to sniff everything he could get his nose into while I fully appreciated the fresh air and the early evening birdsong after a day of being mostly indoors, I chatted away to him as we walked and he smiled up at me every now and again as though understanding perfectly hat I was saying.
Then we stepped into a deserted field and things changed.
I felt the energy shift, as though I had stepped into ritual space and every nerve in my body stood on end.
Inka felt it too, stopping dead, and looked around before looking back at me in utter bafflement.
Our eyes met, and when I looked away again I realised that we were surrounded. Everywhere I looked in the field I saw women – some that looked vaguely familiar, others that didn’t; each dressed in different styles and fashions throughout every age of history it was possible to imagine and more I had no idea about.
And then the noise began. They were singing, dancing, drumming and clapping; these women who spoke and sang in words and sounds I’d never consciously heard but that went all the way to my heart, my womb and my inner knowing. Words that I suddenly began to sing with them.
Inka was pretty nonplussed (this is a dog who has walked with me in the woods after dark on Samhain, very little phases him energetically!) and so we kept walking through what seemed like an everlasting crowd of women. And when I was finally with it enough to ask any questions I sent out the thought: “What is going on?”
The words that came back were so powerful I recorded them:
“The Queen is dead but the feminine is risen*;
The Queen is dead and we gather to honour and to protect.”
And gods did they gather. What made this even more potent was that, in the six or so hours that followed I heard from two friends, both of whom had had almost identical experiences.
For my part I walked through that field and watched those women as they honoured the passing of a monarch. And in that moment recognised that this was about so much more than one woman, or even that one family, but about that promise of sovereignty that is taken over the land.
Something the ancestors of the land wanted to make very clear.
Stewards of the land
In times gone by we would have all sworn allegiance – not to an individual monarch as the archbishop of Canterbury would have us do (that came later) but to the land itself.
And still, even within that time of collective sovereignty, there would have been those amongst us who agreed to take the role of leader. Those who would have stood atop hills, been re-baptised in wells, and taken part in their own version of the hieros gamos – a sacred ceremony which saw a king and a priestess come together physically to symbolise the marrying of the leader and the land, and the vows he would take within that role.
Those ceremonies and what they truly represented have been lost to time. Hell, the real meaning of “king” or “queen” has been lost to time in ways that I could easily rant about forever. But the principle behind it still stands – the idea of what it truly means to take a place of sovereignty for and with the land.
As a witch I believe that nature is entirely sacred. And I am wholly of the opinion that whatever is beneath your feet right now is the most sacred piece of land that you can ever walk upon. Why? Because every piece of land is sacred.
Across the whole of the world every inch of our land holds wisdom, memories and power. Every rock, every plant and every piece of soil offers us stability, support and the foundations through which to survive. What could be more important?
For the longest time the world en masse has forgotten this sacredness, treating the land as something to be dominated, capitalised and violated while directing its reverence instead to the intangible forces that they’re told will offer salvation and blessings without really stopping to consider just how deeply those things already exist in the Earth beneath our feet.
That’s changing of course – I know that from the increasing numbers of people who are taking action to slow down climate change, from those who are embracing more nature-based ways of life and spirituality and, closer to home, from the increasing numbers who are joining in with everything myself, Yolandi and Charlie do through Project Earthwork.
That’s beautiful, and it’s vital that we all take and keep our place as keepers of the land we call ours as our ancestors once did so naturally.
Yet that doesn’t mean that the land doesn’t ask for someone to claim sovereignty – someone to be Her ultimate steward, protector, guardian and supporter, putting Her and all she holds dear first no matter what else comes their way.
Of course, that’s not what monarchy has meant to this land or many others for centuries now and certainly isn’t the role that they have fulfilled. But technically, by taking their vows at a coronation, this is the role the monarch agrees to fulfil.
And in the almost eight months between the queen’s passing and the coronation of her son, the ancestors have stepped in to fill that breach.
The time between eras
When I journaled on my experience with the ancestors later that evening, I was told the following.
“We gather to protect this land in the time between times.
For we join hands to honour not the passing of a life but the passing of an era.
The bell tolls on the ending of an age marred by conflict and blessed by strength.
The bell tolls on the dawning of an age characterised by transition.
An age in which much will be lost, but through which so much more will be gained.”
It struck me that for the first time in over seventy years this land I call home had no one technically sitting in that place of ultimate stewardship – no one who had stood before their people as the high kings and queens once did in ritual and ceremony – and vowed to be the protector and guardian of them and their land.
Was it any wonder the ancestors were gathering? Stepping close to hold the land and its people in an embrace of wisdom and support.
Perhaps it was even that now, for the first time in decades, they were able to draw closer than ever – the land itself no longer feeling duty bound to put the sovereign and their needs at the centre of the energetic field and instead allowing the wisdom of the ancients to come to the fore.
That night I was told that the time between eras would be a potent one for this land; that more clarity would be given as more wisdom came to light and that the very nature of time itself may feel like it was shifting as the ancestors of the past, present and future came together in the etheric realms to hold us through this period of transition.
And man have I felt that personally in the months since!
Over the past eight months my entire life has shifted. I’ve taken a deep dive into the underworld and been through what many people have referred to as “a serious dark night of your Soul”, but I’ve come out of the other side of that stronger, wiser and more connected to myself than ever before.
Unintentionally but perhaps more importantly, I’ve also come out of it more connected to my land than I had ever considered before. And I wonder just how many of us – on the land mass I call home and elsewhere – might say the same?
A coronation of our own
And so I write this post on the eve of the coronation – an event which I know is an awful lot of pomp and ceremony. Even more, expensive pomp and ceremony when more people in this country than perhaps ever before are being forced to use food banks, wear extra layers of clothing rather than turn on the heating, and so much more besides. Those are things I have strong views on; things many of us have strong views on.
But for the purposes of this post – for the purposes of the land under our feet – let us again take a step back from that and consider, just for a second, the deeper meaning of that.
Let us consider that, in a compartment within the throne you’ll see tomorrow will sit the Stone of Destiny, a piece of sandstone with quite a story.
It’s said to have been carried over from Egypt by the missing princess Scota – brought to these lands by her and her family as a gift to the land and a powerful connection to the mysteries and wisdom they held so dear.
We’re told the magical Tuatha De Dannan of Ireland recognised its magic and took the stone from Scota after she died in battle with them. They placed it atop the Hill of Tara where would-be High Kings had to place a foot upon it hoping that the stone would roar in joy when it recognised them as a true king.
And we know that this particular stone found its way to Scone in Scotland, where it was tucked away in an abbey only to be brought out for official coronations, those of monarchs chosen by birthright, battle or other more allegedly logical methods rather than by those willing to listen to a stone.
But while you may not hear it roar tomorrow – with joy or any other emotion – the stone and all of its magic will still be there just as the land and its desire for true stewardship and sovereignty will still be there.
And so I wonder, what if we were all to step up and answer that call? What if all those of us who call this land home in any way shape or form were to use this day of coronation, the day marked as the dawning of a new era, as an opportunity to claim our own role of sovereign?
Tomorrow, I will drink some cacao, I will stand barefoot on the Earth beneath me, and then I will make a vow of guardianship to the land.
Not the vows that Charles, his mother or any of those who came before them took.
Not the vows that a man in a long robe and a tall hat who has deemed himself authority on some things declares to be necessary, but vows of my own.
I can’t tell you what those will be because they’re the words that will come from my heart in that moment, but if you’re looking for inspiration, I recommend something along the lines of the following:
I stand here as a guardian of this land and promise to hold stewardship over the Earth beneath my feet.
I vow to honour Her, every day and in every moment.
I vow to protect and to guard her, to tend and to love her and to hold this land sacred in all that I do.
I take her beauty into my heart and share it with all that I meet.
I take her wisdom into my mind and vow that every word I speak and deed I undertake will be in the name of that wisdom, in the name of Her highest good.
I call to the ancestors of the past and to those of the future.
I call to the guardians of the present and to those which exist above, below and all around us.
And I call to every aspect of myself as I promise myself as steward of this land, sovereign of this land.
By Air, by Fire, by Water and Earth by all that lies above, below and in between, I take my place.
Imagine yourself growing roots down into the Earth, and imagine the light of Source and of the Sun flowing into and filling your crown, then see the two come together within you – Human and Divine, Land and Source, and yourself as the powerful container for this Divine marriage, a steward for this beautiful energy.
Will undertaking a ritual like this one mean that you can add “King” or “Queen” to your title? No. Will it mean you can move into one of the Royal palaces and demand fealty from everyone you meet? No, but that’s not the point.
This is about stewardship and about reclamation. And I guess with that I have to share with you the final set of words that were given to me as I journaled in the hours following the Queen’s passing:
The land is never to be owned, only stewarded. And when we reclaim the land and its wisdom, we reclaim our place in the natural flow of all. The power is in the remembering, in surrendering to the flow.
When we remember, we reawaken.
When we reawaken, we shake and shift the world.
*A postscript – a king as the feminine rises?
Yes I know, those ancestors spoke of the feminine rising at a time when this land was preparing to crown the first male monarch in decades. How can that be possible?
Let’s remember though that the true feminine and the true masculine are not about physical bodies but about energy; energies that each of us and the whole of the world hold within us.
In the seventy years that Queen Elizabeth was on the throne many strides were made in women’s rights and equality in this land and further afield too. But the work is not done. Nor is the work to return us to a place of the true masculine complete – these are paths we’ve only just begun to walk and both are vital if we want the other to truly thrive.
I don’t know what, if anything, Charles will personally do to further that path and as with the whole of this post, I’m not here to discuss the man himself, his personality or his past actions.
But I will say that, symbolically, it is interesting to see a Green Man – one of the oldest and most powerful symbols of the Divine Masculine – pictured in the design for official coronation invitations.
Even outside of the coronation we know, from the movement of the stars and so much more besides, that we and our world are birthing a new era. May it be one in which the true masculine and the true feminine can rise and support one another together – upon this Earth and beyond.
Thanks for reading Project Earthwork! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.