The Pact

Frederick Sandys (1829-1904), The Death of King Warwulf ~ Originally published in Once a Week, 1862

A dying king. Picture by Frederick Sandys.

The pact between human beings and the spirits of the otherworld was one of the core ideas in Celtic religion. In ancient times, the king of the tribe was responsible for maintaining this pact and for suffering the consequences if he failed to do so. The violation of the terms of this pact leads to the loss of Sovereignty, and draws the wrath of the spirit world down on the offending ruler. I believe that our rulers have already lost the Sovereignty, and that the consequences of that loss are becoming more obvious every day. This poem is intended to be suitable for use as an offering prayer, asking the spirits to make a new pact with the people as a whole rather than with a particular ruler.

Mountains, fountains, hills and rivers,

Fields of flowers, humming insects,

Crack of branch in shadowed forest,

Rushing, bursting, jumping waters.

Powers, taste this food we bring you.

Spirits, hear these songs we sing you.

Smell the scent of incense burning.

Something’s turning, something’s changing,

Rearranging what’s inside us,

Waking seeds to bloom as flowers.

Powers of the mountains, fountains,

Fields and forests, hills and rivers,

Let us make a pact between us.

Let’s renew the pact between us!