Campaigning for a Sovereign & Pagan Mercia in the Midlands
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SOVEREIGN MERCIA

MEETINGS

ANTHEM

Sovereign Mercia organises a regular public meeting, or moot, in Birmingham, with details of dates, times and places announced in Pagan & Magical Birmingham – an open networking group for news of rituals, gatherings and magical groups in Birmingham and the Midlands. Venues have included The Old Crown, Deritend, built 1368; the underground Egyptian temple at The Bacchus Bar, Burlington Arcade; the beer garden of The Prince of Wales, Moseley Village; and Pret A Manger, in the centre of the main concourse at New Street Station. Pictured below is a musical moot at Moseley Bog, four miles south of the city centre.
There were three men came out of the West, their fortunes for to try, / And these three men made a solemn vow: John Barleycorn must die. / They’ve ploughed, they’ve sown, they’ve harrowed him in, threw clods upon his head, / And these three men made a solemn vow: John Barleycorn was dead.
They’ve let him lie for a very long time, till the rains from heaven did fall, / And little Sir John sprung up his head, and so amazed them all. / They’ve let him stand till midsummer’s day, till he looked both pale and wan, / And little Sir John’s grown a long, long beard, and so become a man.
Sovereign Mercia’s Annual General Moot takes place during the first weekend of September, at the Middle Earth Festival, Sarehole Mill, Birmingham. This event celebrates the life and works of J.R.R. Tolkien, who lived nearby as a child and through his writings did so much to revive interest in Mercian history and mythology. Matters covered are by no means confined to politics, and include all aspects of Mercian culture, such as its folklore, history and Pagan heritage.
Mercia shall adopt the Old English folk song John Barleycorn Must Die as its national anthem. John Barleycorn – who appears in the Mercian royal genealogy as Béaw – is a personification of barley, and the song describes the latter’s transformation into beer. It has been recorded many times, most famously by the Birmingham rock band Traffic, in 1970. Presented above is the beautiful and haunting version by the Fairfield County (Connecticut) Children’s Choir, filmed in 2007.
Musical Moot, Moseley Bog
Middle Earth Festival ►
▲ John Barleycorn Must Die
Wild Boar of Penda
Originally known as the Ordo Anno Mundi (OAM), Sovereign Mercia was founded in Acocks Green, Birmingham, on 18 March 1985, and adopted its present name on 13 August 2008. While campaigning for complete Mercian sovereignty, Sovereign Mercia also works to establish alternative state structures to take up the slack when the ‘United Kingdom’ inevitably ceases to exist.
The Mercian flag shall feature the Wild Boar of Penda, last Pagan King of Mercia (reigned 626–655), wearing a three-pronged, Anglo-Saxon Crown. The boar shall be white (silver), the crown yellow (gold), and the field blue (azure). In Pagan times, Mercian warriors wore boar-crested helmets into battle, similar to those described in the epic Béowulf, a work of Mercian origin.
 

FIREPIT, MOSELEY BOG

ALTERNATIVE FLAGS

Moseley Bog, Birmingham, is our most sacred sanctuary, and is the primary venue for our rituals, feasts and training groups. The Middle Earth Festival is held every year at nearby Sarehole Mill, and the bog itself has been a magical site since the Bronze Age, with two burnt mounds – the remains of sweat lodges dating to 1100 BC alongside Coldbath Brook. Moseley Bog is on the Belinus Line, a ley-line connecting some of the most important ancient sites in Mercia.
• The Cross of St. Alban is thought to have represented Mercia since AD 793, when King Offa founded the monastery at St. Alban’s, Hertfordshire.
• A white (silver) double-headed Eagle of Leofric, Earl of Mercia in the 11th century, defacing the yellow (gold) Cross of St. Alban, on a blue (azure) field.
• Darker verson of the Cross of St. Alban, introduced by the Flag Institute in 2014 as a new Mercian flag. Not recognised by Sovereign Mercia.