Royal responsibilities of a True King
One of the private rituals in which the King participated was an initiation ceremony for the Order of the Serpents, to which Alvin belonged. Alvin and a couple of other candidates who had also spent years performing spiritual exercises, had reached the point of attempting to arouse and make conscious contact with the living spirit within the land, and raise it to flow through their own bodies and perhaps raise their consciousness still further to a level of divinity. This was reminiscent of the old Egyptian Pharoahs’ emblem of a cobra rising behind them and symbolised as a serpents head on their foreheads. These were the druid ‘snakes’ that St. Patrick was said to have driven from Ireland, thereby depriving it of it’s heritage of wisdom. In India there had been similar depictions and the spiritual force had been known as kundalini. It was not incidental that a dragon or wyvern was the emblem of Wessex,flown over the heads of it’s king and people. Amongst the Royal regalia was a copy of the Sutton Hoo helmet, which had a snake from the back of the head meeting a bird formed by the nose and eyebrows, face to face at about the location of the ‘third eye’. The original, along with much else as well as the British Museum, had of course been destroyed by the treacherous Israeli nuclear attack a millennium earlier. This ceremonial headgear appeared to be at least as much a numinous mask of power as a piece of battlegear. Not only did the King have the right to wear it as an emblem of Royalty, as a True King he actually had the ability which it portrayed and may have been intended to invoke. Hence, in the ritual of initiation within the sacred circles of Avebury, he was able to raise the power and induce it successfully in the candidates. After the ceremony the initiates processed around the circles and ‘snakes’ of stone, led by the King, introducing them to the spirits of the land and of their predecessors associated with each of the stones. This was a contact and communion which they could subsequently renew by themselves.
The King and his advisers were responsible, to the gods and to the people, for both the physical and spiritual welfare of their country. They watched over the circumstances and moods of all it’s groups and of nature, seeking balancing adjustments as they and the spirits of the Land considered necessary. At this time they were generally satisfied with the condition of the people and of their land. The bulk of the people were content, happy in their relation to each other and to the powers of spirit. They held to simple pragmatic faiths, confident that their rulers maintained deeper relationships on their behalf. The mercantile and technical classes were more materialistic, opportunistic and self interested, less securely rooted in the Land. They could be vulnerable to the blandishments of Dieter and his ilk, but they were not inherently disloyal. The fact that Money no longer ruled was a major check on materialistic tendencies. It would be necessary to see that technical and economic changes and greater opportunities to amass great wealth abroad did not cause any great disruption in their society. Strong indications that charity was a virtue expected of the rich would help. The gentry and nobility also had greater knowledge of the world than the peasantry, and some could be swayed by ambition and hopes of advancement under the rule of the German Empire, but honour, pride of ancestry and love of the Land were still strong in them. A class of rootless atheistical, egotistical intellectuals, in the old manner, would have been a problem if their poison had been allowed to corrupt the minds, manners and morals of the people; but intellectual as well as spiritual functions were now the province of the sacerdotal class of druids/priests/philosophers/shamans, who were the staunchest upholders of the spirits of the Land, because they had the greatest capacity and responsibility for dealing with them and mediating their influence to the people.The King was the keystone of the arch, holding it all together at the level that concerned each of the classes, and overall. Wessex was fortunate that he was a True King.
On this occasion some of the Irish druids and ‘birdmen’, together with mages from Mercia and Yorkshire were present at private meetings of the psychically and spiritually gifted and with the king. Their ‘birdmen’ astral travelers had more up to date news of the Americas, and of the rest of the world.The Republican Americans were respected to a certain extent by those who knew more of them from the reports of the ‘birdmen’, than the caricature of evil that entertained the public. Their tenacity in protecting and re-establishing their identity and institutions in the face of almost overwhelming assaults from the savage Mexicans, who had performed much the same role as had the Moslems in Europe, was admired, as was their implacability in slaughtering any such savages or mutant degenerates or potential troublemakers from the Coasts of Death that they encountered. On the other hand, they were regarded as too old fashioned to be of much relevance in the ‘new world’, since on the whole they were still very materialistic and were recreating their immediate past as best they could, rather than developing a more spiritual society. The spiritual and temporal leaders of these Islands wished the current Americans well, but had no desire for closer contact with them. The popular loathing of the old time Americans, although crude, was soundly based. They were hated and despised not so much for what they may have done to others, as for what they had done to themselves, and through their cultural dominance encouraged in others. Like the Biblical Esau, they had sold their birthright for a ‘mess of pottage’, to Jacob whose name meant supplanter or deceiver. Failing to be true to themselves they could not fail to be false to others.
Still, the Americans were not of immediate concern to the leaders of Wessex and the other British kingdoms. Eventually the mercantile interests of Britain, Europe, the German Empire and Brazil would reach an accommodation with the Americans. They had a much greater project on hand. They were engaged in awakening the Land, making it aware of itself as a living entity, and of the various sacred centres on the land as senses or organs within it’s body. Already their more advanced members of the druid class could experience such a common consciousness, and the King could go further. Not for nothing had there been an old saying, ‘let our leader be our (spiritual) bridge’. Indeed the Popes had taken over this very title of Pontifex Maximus, chief bridge builder, from the old Roman priesthood, and not because of any special interest or proficiency in civil engineering. They hoped to encourage the reciprocal relation between the people and their land, which was already very much stronger than it had been in the Old Times. Now the objective was to strengthen the sense of identity of the Land and it’s people in each of the Kingdom, and to have each regional identity contribute to and participate in the overall identity of Britannia, and further, to extend the concept to link the strong separate identities of the peoples and Lands of Europe and even the whole world. This, they hoped, would be a better foundation for co-operative action on both physical and spiritual levels than the old empires based on force and fraud. They had no desire to repeat those mistakes or the greed driven ‘globalisation’ which had destroyed the identities and livelihoods of so many, including those who supposed that they were benefiting from it, in order to create a small class of evil parasites who sucked the lifeblood out of the peoples and lands of most of the earth, reducing everyone to miserable ghosts of what they could have been, for the malicious enjoyment of the very few who expressed the evil of the Old Times in the most concentrated form.They scorned those who had worshiped ‘The Economy’ as a supreme deity to whose service all other considerations had been sacrificed. They knew that the economy should serve the needs of the Land and the People, not the other way round. A good servant had been allowed to become a bad master, consuming like a Moloch, the ‘children’ or future hope of the foolish people of the Old Times. Neither had they any time for the feeble old scientific conceit of an abstract Gaia, expressing the interrelation of physical quantities only. They had confidence that their successors, if not themselves, would be able to rise to participation on still higher spiritual levels through their communion with the Anima Mundi.
The day after the Closing Day ceremonies and festivities people began to depart, slowly gathering their families and possessions. Many were moving slowly and nursing hangovers. The roads away from Avebury were filled by throngs resuming their normal lives and business. The King and his entourage had departed before dawn, riding briskly to Winchester well ahead of the awakening of most of the people, and leaving servants to pack his pavilion and other baggage into carts which would not leave until the next day so as not to impede the passage of the public on their way home.
At Avebury that midsummer, all those who had sought found something of value to them. At a popular level many people had enjoyed the festivities, the entertainment, the sporting competitions, the colourful displays, the public ceremonies, the chance to buy and sell, the social connections, the weather, the meetings gossip and news. Their identity and pride had been re-affirmed. At a ceremonial level, their participation in the seasonal cycle had been demonstrated and their loyalty to each other and the powers of earth and heaven had been renewed and strengthened via their attachment to their King. At a deeper level the rituals at this sacred place had invigorated the relationship with the Powers of heaven and earth, of those who could sustain it; and the initiations had introduced a few more worthy candidates into this relationship. The Land itself had been energised and brought closer to awakening as a unified consciousness, a consciousness in which at least some of the People could participate, and which provided an entry to more exalted states of cosmic consciousness for more advanced mystics such as the King.
Watching the departure of great and small, Mrs. Sugden was contented. She and her assistants had worked hard and she was pleased that the Festival had been a success at every level. She hoped that next year’s Festival would be just as good. For the present she looked forward to a resumption of her slower and less crowded routine, in the happy and peaceful presence of the Stones.
As he left the festival Alvin Wendover was very happy. As far as he was concerned, Midsummer at Avebury had been a great success. The occasion had marked an important stage in His spiritual pilgrimage, and he now had wider vistas and responsibilities to survey and cultivate.
It was another beautiful day. The sun was warm but a breeze kept it from becoming too hot, as the grass and flowers and crops and trees nodded and sparkled and a few wisps of clouds drifted like dreaming sylphs in the shining sky. There was an abiding sense of peace and joy, and those who noticed such things noticed that the Land itself was smiling.