Air discusses the relevance of Paganism, and indeed the past generally, to the present day. Our past has been taken from us. The way we, as a nation, have developed has meant that we have rewritten our past to support our present objectives, be they empirical or ecumenical. It was thought that by showing our pre-Christian selves as savages, the followers of the cross might somehow gain a kudos which was not rightfully theirs. Similarly, in seeing tribal displays in the colonies similar in tone to the ancient Briton, our history was again seen as uncivilised, barbarian. It wasn’t Classical – not Greek, not Roman – even Egyptian would have done at a push.
Everything pre-dating the Romans in Britain was somehow just not even considered worthy. And yet this is who we, the Troubadours of Albion, are. We predate Roman influence – even if only spiritually – and do not count amongst the Christian church even at its broadest. We represent the old ways; indeed, the Old Ways, when life was more honest and ruled by nature, when we would live off the land and respected it, honouring its spirits and its story. Nowadays, many people don’t know where bacon comes from, let alone know how to build a round house. Everybody’s lives are ruled by chips – if they aren’t making them fat, then they are making them redundant as computers take over more and bigger areas of our lives, or enable others to do so.
We stand for self-reliance, then, as we stand for history. We also stand for knowledge and understanding. Science, that wayward child, knows little but was understood millennia ago, and yet it is the final arbiter while we are relegated to superstition. Of course, science is marked by what can be reproduced in laboratory conditions and peer-reviewed, whereas for obvious reasons much of our knowledge is a more guarded secret. There’s a reason for that – and we can withstand the jeers of the sceptical fraternity because understanding, commensurate with being able to run the gamut of general bigotry, is its own reward.