The Mythical Stone of Destiny


Charles III was crowned king of the United Kingdom and 14 other sovereign states of the Commonwealth realms on May 6. More than 18 million viewers in the United Kingdom were estimated to have tuned in to watch the elaborate ceremony for the first time in 70 years. Among the royal regalia in the investiture were the Sovereign’s Orb, Imperial Robe, Crown, Coronation Spoon, Sword of State, the scepters, Coronation Bed, and the Stone of Destiny (aka Stone of Scone).

The Stone of Destiny is a representation of the king’s role as monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain. It is among the most treasured relics and artifacts in Britain’s sociopolitical and religious treasures. The iconic rectangular stone – made out of sandstone – has been rumored to have been the very stone that the biblical Jacob used as a pillow. This myth has gained traction because its mysterious past is unknown.

The Stone of Destiny has been used for coronations in Britain since the late 14th century. Prior to that, it was used for centuries to crown kings of Scotland until 1296 when King Edward I of England conquered Scotland. Westminster Abbey, which has hosted British coronations since 1066, became the “foreign” home of this revered artifact, until it was returned to its natural home in Scotland’s Edinburgh Castle in 1996. 

The legendary rock was stolen twice in its history of association with royal coronations. The coronation of the late queen Elizabeth II in 1953 was nearly marred when, in 1950, four Scottish students broke into Westminster Abbey and stole it. Like other articles of royal coronation, the Stone of Destiny prior to the May 6 coronation of King Charles III had last appeared in public in 1953 during the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.

Of all the colonial regalia and relics of coronation, the Stone of Destiny, also known as the “speaking stone,” has generated the most interest from across the globe, especially within the international Christian community. 

Divine vs Devil Stone

In the Twi language of the Akan people of Ghana, bo is stone and som is worship. Therefore, bosom is literally stone worship, a terminology associated with paganism as European missionaries would make us believe.

The misconception of stone and other natural phenomena as objects of worships by Europeans can no longer be ascribed to ignorance but rather deliberate attempt to control the psyche and thought-pattern of the unsuspecting African. By all intent and purpose, early European missionaries to Africa would have been acquainted with the role played by the Stone of Destiny in coronation of their kings and queens, but they came to Africa to miseducate and mislead Africans into seeing themselves as stone worshipers with no chance to enter the Kingdom of Heaven if they did not repent this idolatry.

It is important to reflect on the imperial robe and other parts of the costume donned by King Charles III during the ceremony. It depicts and preserves centuries-old tradition that defines and identifies the royalty of a people. On the contrary, the Ghanaian patriot, musicologist, and teacher Ephraim Amu was dismissed by the Presbyterian Synod in Akropong in 1933 for preaching from the pulpit in a kente cloth.  Indeed, the phrase “everything European is divine and everything African is devilish” is as widely believed today as it was yesterday. 

Stone in Church

The debate of a stone as an object of ceremony in church has begun in earnest among Africans. Conspicuously absent from this intellectual discourse are prominent members of the African clergy. The presence of a stone in a church sanctuary as a sacred symbol has by and large boxed them in a corner and zipped their oratorical skills because early missionaries had described such practices as abominable sin. One must remember the role of a spotless white ram that featured prominently in the funeral rites of the late Queen Elizabeth II.

Then again, Europe is telling us that there is nothing wrong in marrying tradition to the religion they brought to us. That seems a “betrayal,” albeit too late to our esteemed Christian leaders. Yet, no contemporary African church of substance will allow a ceremonial stone in its sanctuary.

But in metaphysical thought, the reverence and/or propitiating of natural objects were representations of ideas expressed in abstract realm. Similarly, religious image creation such as the rosary or the picture of Jesus is neither paganism nor fetishism. The Africans, like their European counterparts, knew and understood that these objects have no inherent supernatural or superhuman powers and are therefore meaningless to worship.

Cultural Wars

European missionaries in Africa came to understand that Africa had a high culture woven around a powerful, dignified religion. They concluded that it would be too risky to out-rightly attack Africa religion with all its attributes – fear of crime, higher morality, sense of communal belongingness, respect for the elderly, among others. There was simply no room for two diverging faiths.

So, they decided to attack African religious beliefs through cultural wars, including but not limited to mode of dressing, as alluded to above. The Europeans’ success in the religious war against Africa is evident in the unfortunate fact that African people are the only human stock whose image does not reflect that of their God as depicted in Christian iconography arts and edifices.

The gradual dismantling of Africa’s culture has created a visionless prism of moral decadence, social conflicts and confusions, religious intolerance, political “ethnicity,” and economic chaos ever since Europeans arrived in Africa. Yet they (Europeans) have religiously upheld their centuries-old culture, including, but not limited, to paying homage to an inanimate rock in the sanctuary of a Church.

Posted by on May 12 2023. Filed under top stories. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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