The Lia Fail translates to English as the Stone of Destiny or the Stone of Ireland (Fail is an ancient name for Ireland as in the Irish political party Fianna Fail translates to Warriors of Ireland) was from Falias. It represents the direction of the North. When the rightful High King of Ireland put his feet on the stone would roar out in joy. The stone would rejuvenate the King and provide him with a long reign.
The Lia Fail has obvious parallels with the Stone of Scone/the Coronation Stone, and have been linked by some Scottish researchers. There is some speculation that it was loaned to Scotland alongside the Stone of Scone. The Lia Fail at some point returned to Ireland as per legend, whereas the Stone of Scone stayed in Scotland. The Stone of Scone became a contentious issue in Britain after it was taken from Scotland to England by Edward I during the 13th Century.
The stone represents the ancestors, as well as knowledge, wisdom and history. The Lia Fail, (like the stone Excalibur was drawn from in the Arthurian tales), is the arbiter of sovereignty. It represents communing with the Otherworlds and the knowledge and wisdom that comes forth from such interactions. Thus, it subsequently represents our histories, our pasts, our roots. The stone is literally our foundation and without it our houses cannot stand. We must always know what our foundations are and keep them in good repair.
Stone also represents the metals of the Earth, which makes the sword (in the south) an interesting opposite. The stone is the substance that the sword comes from, yet the sword has been honed, polished, crafted. In this regard, it is like civilization, which it represents – something which must be cultivated. The stone is the essence of civilization, it is what we have built our pasts out of. Studying our histories is very important. The stone is feminine as the sword is masculine. The women were the ones who kept track of the lineages of their kin and they were the ones who transmitted the culture because women tend to be the ones that usually teach the children. This probably goes some reason to explain why women have traditionally been the bestowers of sovereignty on Kings and depicted as embodiments of the land (Eiru, Britannia, Columbia etc.), because they represent the essence of the culture and the passing it down through the generations. This also gives a nod to the cycles of time represented by the cauldron, which is also a feminine aspect. The men defend (sword) and provide (spear) for this civilization. The women regenerate (cauldron) and transmit (stone) it. Women are the stone of foundation.
So, both axes balance each other. The east to west is more centred around physical/emotional sustenance and the north to south is about mental/spiritual sustenance. The provider ethic of the east(spear) satisfies the nurturing aspect of the west(cauldron). The rootedness of the north (stone) finds changing expression in the civilized south(sword). In fact, it is this rootedness which drives it forward.
Reclaiming sovereignty in this aspect means to study our history, our pasts, individual, local and national. It means to get in touch with the land you are living from and know about the events that happened in your region. On a spiritual level it implies work with the ancestral spirits of the land, and we can finally see that they are the drivers of our culture, which is expressed in the sword/south which is where we find our civilization and a more ‘of the moment’ time.
Each generation has the task of reweaving the national character/story and expressing that story. This weaving explains the rise and fall of different artistic movements and interests/tastes, but through all of these different expressions their are usually some common threads running through that.
In Britain today, and England in particular, we’ve let those threads slip from our grasp and now we have the task of not only weaving the story of our generation/s, but finding the threads in the first place. I don’t think it is necessarily our fault that they have been ‘dropped’ as it were. I think that our grip has been loosening on them for quite a while now. However, someone has to do the dirty work and pick them up and sort them out – so it looks like its us, here on Earth now.
Tracking our character and our national story, through the ages is essential and it’s primarily what this blog is about. Who are we? As it’s difficult to know, who we were is a good place to start. This is what the stone is about, it is about fixing the foundations, so that the house doesn’t fall down around our ears!
The balance within the axes demonstrate that, for sovereignty to flow within each one of us correctly, the masculine and feminine aspects must be balanced. In my next post, and final one of this series, I’ll be exploring some ideas of how we can do that.