I have been seeing a flush of Pagan-related articles in Anglosphere news media lately, so many that it feels like October, which is usually the only time we are noticed.Possibly with a smaller peak around Yule.
One reason may be upcoming coronation of King Charles III.I might as well say it: when I was young, my older sisters and I independently worked out that I was probably named for him, at least partly, by our anglophile mother. Officially, I was named for a … Continue reading There was a flutter of exitement over the Green Man on the coronation invitation. Was the king a closet Pagan?
When the Times announced that the Princess of Wales might wear flowers in her hair, historian Francis YoungAlso a contributor to The Pomegranate playfully tweeted, “The folk horror theme of this Coronation intensifies.”
Young, in fact, has written an article on the king’s coronation, “Monarchy re-enchanted: The new Coronation liturgy underlines Charles III’s sacral kingship,” which emphasizes both the coronation’s deep Christian roots and an attempt to add an element of mysticism.
[The King] has consistently demonstrated sensitivity to an expansive awareness of the sacred that exceeds the strictures of a single religious tradition, in spite of his unambiguous commitment to the Church of England. . . . Charles III seems intent on re-enchanting the monarchy through a Coronation service rooted in both the past and the present, but suffused with mysticism. . . . Charles III’s Coronation will be the first in many centuries to take place directly on top of the Cosmati pavement made for Coronations in the reign of Henry III, a talisman designed to draw down celestial influences on the new king. The new “Cross of Wales”, the processional cross, contains a relic of the True Cross given to the King by the Pope; the holy oil for the King’s anointing has been consecrated in Jerusalem. Furthermore, the King has insisted that his anointing, the holiest moment of the ceremony, be entirely hidden by a specially designed screen adorned with words of the mediaeval mystic Julian of Norwich, and he has elected to wear the full sacred vestments of his forebears.
Saturday’s coronation will be a deeply Christian ceremony with ancient roots. They are bringing out a manuscript of the gospels, the St. Augustine Gospels, believed to have been brought to England in 596 by Augustine, a missonary to the Anglo-Saxons, before there ever was a political entity called “England.”This is Augustine “of Canterbury,” not to be confused with the earlier Augustine “of Hippo,” the weaselly lawyer. (The Celtic British were largely already Christian by then, with a connection to Christian Ireland.)
But the sort of Pagan penumbra persists. Why does the BBC pick this time to discuss the The Wicker Man, the Pagan-themed horror that became a cult favorite of actual Pagans in the 1980s? (“Just ignore the ending,” they would say, which is of course not posssible.) Is there some sort of Fraserian sacred king/death/rebirth smoke in the air, ancient gospel manuscripts or not?
|↑1||Possibly with a smaller peak around Yule.|
|↑2||I might as well say it: when I was young, my older sisters and I independently worked out that I was probably named for him, at least partly, by our anglophile mother. Officially, I was named for a maternal great-grandfather, who was a job printer, newspaper publisher, and postmaster in Baxter Springs, Kansas.|
|↑3||Also a contributor to The Pomegranate|
|↑4||This is Augustine “of Canterbury,” not to be confused with the earlier Augustine “of Hippo,” the weaselly lawyer.|
One thought on “Yet It’s Not October: Paganism in the News (Part 1)”
Fraserian smoke on the pop occulture waters,,,
My opinion on the chance that Charles is any sort of “pagan in the broom closet.”
There’s a sort of Witchy inclination that deep down and by some Land of England fashion he might be. And somehow has managed to cover this up so that nobody can say for sure. Despite that responsibility of British royalty for the state religion. Plus, all the Christian historical stuff, like what you mentioned.
Once, years ago, I had a part in a food related publicity effort for some of Charles’s supported and endorsed foods and beverages, via his Duchy of Cornwall. This put me in contact with some of the various courtiers, staff, consular folks, and (we’d say these days) squad around Charles. “Vigilant protective management of his image” really understated the precise focus and detailed oversight that they provide.
I became convinced that there was no possible way that Charles could be a “pagan in the broom closet” without some of these folks noticing–and nudging–him into a royal outlook and position that suits the role he is to play. Defender of the Faith.
Besides that, for no particular reason, Charles never seemed like somebody that I wanted to circle with. No bows or curtseys for me, I guess.
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