Our prizes for the riddles posted August 31 and September 7 are
courtesy of Warner Brothers.  The anagram posted as of the 31st is
based on something in the original movie.  The first person to answer
correctly will win a Wickerman Hat, and the next 2 people to answer it
correctly will win a FULL SIZED theatrical poster. -
PLEASE GO TO OUR
RIDDLES PAGE TO SEE THE LIST OF WINNERS!

September 7th will be even more interesting.  I will be seeing the movie
its opening weekend, and I will create a riddle which WILL BE BASED ON
THE NEW VERSION OF THE WICKER MAN.  The first person to answer
that riddle correctly will receive a Brown Wickerman Tee Shirt.  The next
3 people to answer it correctly will win a FULL SIZED theatrical poster.

If you want to check out the movie's official site, the link is:
http://thewickermanmovie.warnerbros.com/  

Answers and winners will be posted on our Riddles page once the next
one is posted.  There is a form below to submit your answer.  Please
include your mailing address and your name with your answer. Warner
Brothers will be mailing the prizes.  Please note they can only mail
within the US and Canada, and prizes cannot be shipped to P.O. Boxes.
In light of the new version of The Wicker Man due out, I watched the original again with a few friends  
all with pen and paper in hand. So now I have created a list of the Celtic/Pagan imagery and references,
as well as folklore references, below including their meanings for both movies.

If there is anything I missed or anything you want greater clarification on, please let me know!  There is a
form at the bottom of this page to submit your suggestions and requests.
Bees - sacred to the Goddess Brigid. A
mother/fertility goddess who is a solar
goddess.

Corn Dolly - this are hanging everywhere
in the movie and are shown here as dolls.
They can symbolize Brigid.

Fox - known in mythology for not only
being sly and cunning but for outsmarting
and tricking its hunter.

Great Mother Goddess - there are so
many potential candidates for this one!
Anu/Danu = Morrigan/Badb/Macha -
these are Irish triple goddesses.  
Anu/Danu is much more maternal.  
Morrigan and her aspects are war
goddesses.  Symbolism includes the
cauldron, crows, ravens, moon and water.
Brigid - this is my top choice for whom the
movie means.  She represents women,
healing, and is represented by the corn
dolly.  Her worship is so powerful that she
became the saint, Bridget. The only
aspect of her which counters the
symbolism in the movie is the triple moon
pendant as she is a solar goddess.
Cerridwen - this is a Scottish/Welsh
goddess.  She is absolutely a nature
goddess who represents the grain.  She is
also a lunar goddess.
Don - the Welsh counterpart to Anu/Danu.

Hare - the symbol of the hare is found
repeatedly in this original movie.  It is
associated with fertility and rebirth.

Honey/Mead - was used throughout
Celtic society.  Although I have read Mead
was a medieval creation, there was a dig
in Scotland dating back to 2000 BC where
shards of pottery were found with
remnants of a fermented drink of heather
and honey.  Both honey and mead are
associated with virility and fertility.  It is the
interest in honey's more "earthly"
properties which gave us the term
Honeymoon.  In mythology, it is the drink
of the gods.

May Pole - typically made of hawthorn or
birch.  In the UK, it originated as a simple
pole used at May Day festivals.  The
addition of ribbons, etc that is shown in
the movie, and that most of us think of if
we think about May Poles, incorporates
Scandinavian traditions.

Oak - sacred tree to the Druids.

Orphic Egg - on the door of the school
house you could see this painted.  It is an
egg with a snake wrapped around it.  This
symbol is of Greek origin but used later
on by Aleister Crowley.  It recalls creation
mythology and fertility imagery.

Raven - represents the Morrigan, part of
the Celtic Triple Goddess.

Rowan - is a type of tree.  Other names
for it include the Mountain Ash.  It was a
sacred tree and in parts of Wales was
planted on graves to ward off negative
forces and evil spirits.  In Irish lore, the
fruit was food for the gods.  Scottish
folklore mentions planting Rowan near
your house to ward off evil and lightening.

Royal Honey -  this is a combination of
Royal Jelly and Honey.  Royal Jelly is a
secretion used to feed young bees.  The
future Queen Bee is ONLY fed Royal Jelly
and it makes her fertile.

Salmon of Knowledge - in Celtic
mythological tradition, to eat this salmon is
to gain the knowledge of the world.

Sacrifice of a Stranger - I did find
mention of this; it was mostly done to
alleviate the stress on a small community
by choosing one of their own.

Sheep - have been raised in Celtic Britain
and Ireland since the Bronze Age and
were extremely important to this agrarian
society. However, I have not found any
ritual correlation.

Snake - associated with the Goddess
Brigid and fertility.

Triple Crescent Moon - symbol of the
triple goddess. The are several triple
goddesses in Celtic mythology and
include Anu/Danu as well as Brigid each
within there own group.  The three
aspects of the Triple Goddess are
Mother, Maiden and Crone.

(freakish) Twins - twins were all over the
place in the remake.  There is a theme in
Welsh folklore of changeling twins.  A
people from the "otherside" , the Tylwyth
Teg, were said to have kidnapped babies
they liked and replace them with twins who
became awful and unmanageable.

Wicker Man - according to Julius Caesar
in
De Bello Gallico that the criminal and
the "lowly" were considered the best
offerings.

Willow - associated with the triple
goddess
Ash Tree - in Welsh mythology,
Gwydion used this wood to fashion his
wand.

Beltaine - the same as May Day. This
day celebrates, or helps to usher in, a
successful growing season.  The date
is the halfway point between the Vernal
Equinox and the Summer Solstice.

Corn Dolly - this are hanging
everywhere in the movie.  Dollies
aren't actually dolls but straw woven
into a circular, spiral pattern.  
Technically it was supposed to be
made of the last sheaf of the crop to
house the spirit of the grain through
the winter.  Then it would be
re-introduced into the field the
following spring.  However, they are
used in more modern times as good
luck symbols.

Corn Rigs/Barley Rigs - the lyrics of
the song early on in the movie comes
from Robert Burns The Rigs o' Barley.  
For people from the US reading this -
corn means grain not maize.  
Riggen is
Middle English meaning "to bind" , so it
is safe to say that a Rig is the same as
a bale.
*updated information 2/24/07: Pretanic
World reader Scott Forrester from
Aberdeenshire, Scotland informed me
that in his native Scotland, the term rig
refers to a strip of land, either a single
plough furrow or a slightly wider strip of
land or part of a field.  He also let me
know that in England, Corn generally
means wheat where in Scotland it
means Oats.  Thanks Scott!

Dead - if you remember, the school
teacher would not say the word dead.  
I cannot find tradition specifically
related to this - but it could easily
represent the common belief that
saying words empowers them to
manifest.  (i.e. look at Harry Potter - he
who shall not be named...)

Eye painted on boats - I have not
found any reference to this practice
except in the Mediterranean.  There it
is used to ward off evil/the evil eye.  
Since there are superstitions in the UK
and Ireland about the evil eye, I think it
is safe to assume the painted eye is
playing the same function.

Female Cake - this cake, found in
May Morrison's shop, most likely
represents the Queen of the May.  
However, I have not found that
tradition anywhere to corroborate.

Fire-jumping especially at Beltaine
was supposed to bring about good
luck and fertility.

Frog as cure - there are 2 common
beliefs in traditional medicine - like can
either attract like or repel it.  In this
case, the frog is used to attract the
sore throat away from Myrtle.   
Personally, I prefer over the counter
medication.  And once again, I feel the
need to put a disclaimer though.  
Sticking a frog in your mouth to cure
disease is not a good idea. Ever.

Green Man - also known as Jack in
the Green is generally believed to be a
medieval representation of Cernunnos
or just the forces of nature.

Hag Stone - is a stone with a hole in
the center used to ward away witches
and hags according to folklore.

Hand of Glory - medieval tales tell of
fastening a candle to a dead person's
hand and burning it with a spell to
keep those who have fallen asleep in
that state for a prolonged period.

Hare - the symbol of the hare is found
repeatedly in this original movie.  It is
associated with fertility and rebirth.

Herms and Phallic Hedges-   Herms
are phallic shapes used to denote the
boundaries of someones property
(yes, marking it).  In Ireland, there are
some of these same types of images
still found - often incorporated as part
of a gatepost.  The hedges performed
the same function.

Hobby Horse - another traditional
May Day character.  A man typically
wears this costume and is among the
leaders of the procession.

Horse - represents maternity and
female fertility.

John Barleycorn - in the movie, this
is the bread body baked in a casket.  
He is the personification of the spirit of
the fields.  Like the Corn Rigs
reference, Robert Burns wrote about
John Barleycorn.  There is evidence
that this character stems back to the
Neolithic Era.

Lammas Night - also known as
Lughnasadh, is a harvest festival held
around August 1 (the start of the
harvest).  The world Lammas comes
from the Old English for Loaf-Mass.  
When references as Lughnasad, it is a
festival in honor of the Irish god Lugh.

Long Sword Dance - this is the
hilt-and-point dance where at the end
the men's swords overlap and intersect
to create a 6 point star

Man-Woman - also known as a
Betty/Betsy Moll is included in the
ritualistic May Day procession and
some show the death and rebirth of
the hobby horse.

May Pole - typically made of hawthorn
or birch.  In the UK, it originated as a
simple pole used at May Day festivals.  
The addition of ribbons, etc that is
shown in the movie, and that most of
us think of if we think about May Poles,
incorporates Scandinavian traditions.

Myrtle - At one time, often included in  
wedding bouquets in Wales to
represent love.

Nuada - also known as Nudd of the
Silver Hand in Welsh mythology was a
leader of the Tuatha de Danann.  He
had a sacred object - his sword.

Nursing Woman with Egg in
Graveyard -
death, birth and rebirth
are considered all connected cycles -
that's why you have all of this fertility
imagery in the graveyard.  The time of
winter is over, and the people are
trying to revive the fertility of the land.

Oak - sacred tree to the Druids.

Owl as guardian - the owl guards the
door - it can protect places at night
when people are asleep and is a
renowned hunter.

Pregnant Woman walking the
orchard
- like begets like and the
women's fertility is hoped to influence
the crops.

Punch - technically a jester, but in
older traditions the fool (or lord of
misrule) would swap places with the
King for just 1 day a year.  A traditional
May Day character.

Rowan - is a type of tree.  Other
names for it include the Mountain Ash.  
It was a sacred tree and in parts of
Wales was planted on graves to ward
off negative forces and evil spirits.  In
Irish lore, the fruit was food for the
gods.  Scottish folklore mentions
planting Rowan near your house to
ward off evil and lightening.

Red Scarf - the inn keeper in the
beginning is wearing a red scarf.  This
could just be a fashion statement, or
he could be wearing red for protection.

Salmon of Knowledge - in Celtic
mythological tradition, to eat this
salmon is to gain the knowledge of the
world.

Sex Magic - so there is that one
scene where it seems like every young
couple in the town it having sex in the
open field (and that scene of the
young widow on her husband's grave).
 Then of course, is the initiation scene
with the town singing about it in the
pub below (talk about pressure to
perform!!!).  I have read numerous
modern references to Druidic sex
magic practices, but I have no idea
from where the source of this tradition
comes or what these traditions entail.

Snail Stone - this was on the chalk
board of the classroom - and I could
only find one reference to this: in
Martin Ruland/Martin Rulandus the
Elder's Lexicon of Alchemy (written
1612).  This type of Ammonis stone
which are grey in color and so named
for their shape.  These are actually
Ammonite fossils.  There are stones,
found in the US called Ammolite, which
come from these fossils.

Snake - snakes represent wisdom,
other-worldly knowledge and rebirth.  I
do not have a clue why Beech
Buchanan's grave needed to be
protected by the ejaculation of
serpents.

Sun and Horse Imagery - there were
a number of paintings in the
background of the movie with this
images combined.  It represents Beli
Mawr - a Celtic Sun God whose
symbols were the horse and wheel. His
feast day was May Day.

Sun Shaped Bread - it is very
common to shape bread into a
ritual/representative shape.  Beltaine is
a holiday which is very fire/sun imagery
oriented to bring the good weather for
the coming growing season.

Toad Stone - was considered an
antidote for poisons and would
become hot in the presence of poison.  
And because we live in an age where
people sue others for their own lack of
common sense to realize coffee from a
hot coffee dispenser would be hot - I
feel the need to state DO NOT TEST
THE TOAD STONE TO SEE IF IT
WORKS.

Willow - associated with the triple
goddess