14 March 2024

Farewell to Lady Raglan (3)

 It is hardly surprising that Lady Raglan has been deemed the Inventrix of the Green Man, since she herself wrote that, as she looked at the carving in Llangwm church in Monmouthshire, the suggestion was made to her that the Green Man was intended to symbolise the spirit of inspriration. "But it seemed to me certain that it was a man and not a spirit, and moreover that it was a 'Green Man' ... and so I named it"

Silly old woman, she convinced herself that "by the 15th century it formed an important part of the religious life of the people."

"It is still", she wrote, "the custom to hang bells or flowers over the bride and bridegroom at the wedding ceremony ... now I see it to be none other than the Garland of the Sacrificial Green Man and his sacred bride."

Well, at Dorchester those who buy Sue Dixon's guide to the former Abbey church will continue to be informed that the Green Man is a "pre-Christian symbol of rebirth and renewal". And, reputedly, there are enthusiasts who, in pursuit of 'Wicca' are informed that it "predates Christianity by thousands of years".

Enough about that!!


Catholic said...

Has anyone told these fools Aleistar Crowley was paid to invent thee ever so ancient "Wicca?"

Josephus Muris Saliensis said...

Dear Father,

thank you for exposing this rubbish. Green man, what b*lls - as we were both taught at school, "Buzz-buzz - Queen Anne is dead!"

What a lot of total nonsense, but it infects all of Europe in different manifestations. France is obsessed with a rather "Asterix" version of the Celtic world.

Grant Milburn said...

Long ago, in an Englit tutorial, we were discussing the 14th century poem Gawain and the Green Knight, and one student made a connection to the Green Man. The rest of us, Kiwis living in an evergreen land, had never heard of the Green Man, and so we could neither confirm nor deny her thesis that this ancient folkloric motif had influenced the poem, and the discussion faltered. (This was long before a time in which one could pull out a device to do some quick research on a topic then and there.)

In an essay I attempted a digression into the "hidden mythology" behind some text; my tutor commented: "Best to avoid this kind of speculation, it's so easy to get wrong, and anyway it rarely adds anything of value to our understanding of the text.'