The King and the Land are One.
Apart from eliciting the obvious Pratchettian rejoinder of One What?, this phrase once formulated the mythology of humanity’s accountabilty for the land on which we live.
Once, the female was the natural and obvious leader. Then came the first stirrings of realisation among the men that by gods, they were as powerful as women even if they couldn’t have babies and bamm! the age of Patriarchy was begun.
Yet it took a good while for the Goddess’ hold on her children’s hearts to let go.
While the reigning monarch became a male and the lineage passed down through the dexter side, the contract with the land was still firmly in place.
That is, if you would rule Her, you will serve Her. You will defend and protect Her against all insult, harm and injury. And you will die to refertilise Her.
William Rufus, third son of William the Conqueror, was handed the English crown and his father’s sword in 1087 CE, which testified that he was the rightful heir to the contract with the Goddess, with the Land.
William was not well liked by the Christian Church.
He wore long hair, had a penchant for gaiety and celebration, and could not be persuaded to take their Christ-king seriously in the least. In fact, he downgraded the power of the church considerably during his reign.
On August 2, 1100, near enough as dammit to the celebration of Lughnasadh – the first harvest and sacrifice of the Corn King – William Rufus was shot through the lung with an arrow while hunting in the forest. His younger brother, so the tale is told, was also in the forest at the time.
Who killed Cock Robin?
Was his replacement, the younger King, responsible for his death?
Was William Rufus in fact a Pagan, with his long hair and love of gaiety, who wittingly took part in the last real life reinactment of the dying and re-arising saviour God ever recorded in England?
The Gang So Far:
Between Old and New Moons
Quaker Pagan Reflections
The Dance of the Elements
Manzanita, Redwoods and Laurel
Aquila ka Hecate