With the passing of the Queen, arguably the last monarch to so clearly live as mascot for the entity that is Britain, all of us who descend from the people of Great Britain have the opportunity do our own piece of reconciling work with this nation that ultimately gave us life.
The ruler or leader of any field of belonging (e.g. a country, religion, business, etc) is like the center pole on a circus tent. Yes, there are other supports, but the leader is the central point upon which everything else is strung. When this pole is removed the entire field wobbles and in this instability there is most likely uncertainty, perhaps fear and loss, but there is also an opportunity for something new to enter a space that was previously so well secured and clearly defined that change was unlikely, or even impossible.
The Queen was the last of the old monarchs. Charles isn’t a part of the new, but he is certainly a bridge. He has shown through his own life choices what he thinks of following the “rules”…and now his mistress is queen. He and Diana paved the way for one of their own sons to flee the field entirely – a part of the new way that must include a breaking down of these old and strict hierarchical regimes.
So for those of us that have British roots, what is our role in all of this?
Initially when I heard that Queen Elizabeth II had passed (September 8, 2022), I paused for a moment, and then carried on with my day. Even doing the work that I do, and with very strong British ancestry in my blood, it took a few days (and a client very directly in touch with her British roots, thank you R.O.) for it to really hit me.
The Queen is dead. This figure I have rarely given a conscious thought to, but to whom I owe my life…literally.
In the work of family constellations we are each a part of an energetic body much larger than our own individual one. This family body includes our genetic ancestors of course, but it also includes other influential energies that can run across generations such as religion, war, state of wealth or health, and importantly for this discussion, nation.
That means that Britain is one of my ancestors, and according to Statistics Canada that is true for about 1/3 of all Canadians.
So what, you say?
Well, without Great Britain, I wouldn’t be here. Neither would 1/3 of you. And so, however we may feel (or not) about Britain, the monarchy, and all of what first England and then Great Britain has stood for and the actions it has taken over the last millenia or so doesn’t change the fact that without this nation me and 1/3 of you Canadians wouldn’t exist.
As a settler now being asked to see more clearly the impacts of the actions of my colonial ancestors on the indigenous people of Canada it hasn’t been easy for me to know what to do with this ancestor of mine. It can be hard to both allow for what was exactly as it was so as to avoid denying the gift of my own existence, while holding that allowing for it doesn’t mean that I get to turn away from the harm done, or from my responsibility in taking right action to redistribute the incredible imbalance of energetic gains vs losses.
The death of the Queen provides an important opportunity for all of us that descend from Britain to hold this ancestor in a new way in our own bodies. The field is wobbling, possibility for change is present, so what movement can I allow in me?
From “stiff upper lip” to authentic expression, class distinction to equality, and rights of the empire to rights of the human. From separation of mind and body to re-connection to our animal origins. From progress being centered around territorial expansion to one that is centered around the expansion of love, and the understanding that everyone has a place there.
First and foremost, this figure known as “The Queen” was a woman. She gave up her woman’s life to fill the post that was assigned to her. And regardless as to how you may have felt about the monarchy and her position she did a fantastic job playing The Queen. I can imagine her released from this role with relief, and with it perhaps wishing only that all of the descendants of the nation that she represented take only what is good (and their was and is plenty of that), transform what no longer serves into something better, and find new ways of being British that are in service to new ways of showing love.