Sovereignty of the Land: What does this mean, and what is it to us today.
by Shaun William Hayes
So, let’s start with this word Sovereignty. You have all heard it in this context, but what do we really mean. I could have titled this ‘The Importance of the Land’, or ‘The Spirituality of the Land’ etc. These alternatives would not be wrong, but would not convey the same thing.
When I think of Sovereignty, I think of such words as Nobility, Higher Service, Sacrifice, Leadership, Chivalry, even Devotion. When a sovereign is crowned, they are crowned the king or queen of England, or The United Kingdom. These words describe a place, a land, (which includes the people), but it is the land first.
Today we hear politicians complain that we are losing the sovereignty of our currency, but the word in this context doesn’t have the same effect. It’s not the same invocation as ‘Sovereignty of the Land’. The Monarchs were stewards of the land; we looked to them to look to the land.
So today we are talking about the land in a spiritual sense rather than ecologically. We are all aware of the physical problems of the land and there are plenty of sources of information. But what of the spiritual well-being of the land, how do we affect it and how does it affect us? What happens when we perform rituals in our grove?
Today our nation is more divided culturally and spiritually than ever before and this is causing more and more problems.
Throughout history these islands have been visited, traded with, settled and invaded. These settlers were very special people because they were the warriors, the adventurers, the brave ones of their tribes. They brought their potency and their strength to this place and the land welcomed them.
Until comparatively recently everyone had to work with the land to succeed. The settlers quickly co-mingled, sharing their knowledge. They added a little but changed a lot themselves. Working and struggling closely together with the local people informed them. They worked also with the spirit of the land. They learnt about this place and her ways. The land was the common language. Within a few generations they all became natives of these lands.