Monday, 1 August 2011
Magical Monday: The Corn King
Corn dollies (as seen in the picture above) are related to Lammas celebrations and seem to have different meanings in different communities. To some, they celebrate the corn (symbolic of the whole harvest) and remind us of the abundance around us. To others, they are used in ritualised slayings of the Corn King or God (who sacrifices himself willingly for us). For others still, they are a kind of offering, a way of setting aside the last bit of the harvest rather than consuming it. Safeguarding the corn dolly through the year is sometimes seen as a way of protecting next year's yield, showing gratitude for the harvest and thereby proving we deserve another one. Yet another belief is that the corn dolly houses the spirit of the corn over the winter. For those following this final system, the dolly would be buried when the new crop was planted, sometimes quite elaborately, or driven into the newly-ploughed ground in the spring. Either way, this ensured that the corn spirit was never lost.
For the original version of the picture above, along with others and instructions on making one design, visit this site.