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Religious texts/doctrines in the movie and book.

An article on "mainstreaming paganism in the church" with reference to The Wicker Man

Article on gateways to paganism; the wicker man


Christian

Hymn - The Lord’s My Shepherd

The lord’s my shepherd

I'll not want

He makes me down to lie


In pastures green

He leadeth me

The quiet waters by


He leadeth me

The quiet waters by

***

Howie reads part of the communion service:

(1 Corinthians 11:23–6)

I have received of the Lord...

that which also i delivered unto you.

And that the Lord Jesus, the same night

in which he was betrayed, took bread.


And when He had given thanks,

He broke it and said,

take, eat. This is my body,

which is broken for you.

This do in remembrance of me. '


And after the same manner, He also took

the cup when he had eaten, saying,

this cup is the new covenant in my blood.

This do you, as oft as you drink it,

in remembrance of me.

For as often as you eat this bread...

and drink this wine,

you do show the Lord's death...

till He comes again.

***

Howie recites from the Bible while in the WIcker Man

Joel 1:12 The vine is dried up, and the fig tree languisheth; the pomegranate tree, the palm tree also, and the apple tree, even all the trees of the field, are withered: because joy is withered away from the sons of men.

Howie sings this hymn excerpt as the Wicker Man burns:

The lord's my shepherd

I'll not want

He takes me down

to lie

in pastures

***

Summerisle’s religion

The blackboard in the schoolroom has some religious tenets written on it.

The Cock-Knee stone preserves the pith of the milk.
The Snail Stone preserves the eyes from the darkness.
The Toad Stone preserves the newly born from the weird woman.
The hag Stone preserves people from nightmares. (singular in the book and screenplay, plural for
the movie...) Singular in the movie…
***

Miss Rose teaches the schoolgirls (from the movie):

"Now, uh, Daisy, will you tell us what it is, please, that the maypole represents?

Really, Daisy.

- You've been told often enough.

- Miss Rose, I know!

- All right, then, anybody.

- Phallic symbol.

The phallic symbol.

That is correct.

It is the image of the penis, which is venerated in religions such as ours, as simbolising the generative

force in nature."

***

We believe that when the human life is over, the soul returns to trees, to air, to fire, to water, to animals, so that Rowan Morrison has simply returned... to the life forces in another form.

***

"They never learn anything of christianity?

Only as a comparative religion."

***

See the contents of the chemist's shop for a list of the items used to practice their religion.

***

The Fire dance

The screenplay has these opening lines from Robert Herrick's To Marigolds from his The Hesperides & Noble Numbers book, poem # 537. (PS: Miss Rose is likely wearing an Inarculum, a twig of pomegranite in that one shot/still of her draping a twig on her head as she stands between the fire and the stones. This is referenced in Robert Herricks' poem from the same book, #539. TO JULIA, THE FLAMINICA DIALIS OR QUEEN-PRIEST.)

Give way, and be ye ravisht by the Sun,

And hang the head when as the Act is done

Spread as He spreads; wax less as He does wane:

And as He shuts, close up to Maids again."

We hear this in the movie:

Take the flame inside you, Burn and burn below, Fire seed and fire feed, To make the baby grow

Take the flame inside you, Burn and burn belay, Fire seed and fire feed, To make the baby stay

Take the flame inside you, Burn and burn belong, Fire seed and fire feed, And make the baby strong

Take the flame inside you, Burn and burn belie, Fire seed and fire feed, To make the baby cry

Take the flame inside you, Burn and burn begin, Fire seed and fire feed, To make the baby King (Queen)

***

See the info about the pictures Howie notices in the darkroom to see more rituals.

***

The children chant this as they carry a doll through the streets on May Day:

We carry death out of the village!

We carry death out of the village!

This scene was quite different in the original screenplay:

(singing)

We carry death out of the village.

we carry sumer into the village.


Suddenly a group of half a dozen children march round the corner, hearing aloft a new tree cutting to which

is fastened another puppet clothed in white.


CHILDREN:

(singing)

We carry death out of the village.

We carry summer into the village.


The children sweep past Howie and head down the high street in pursuit of the floating puppet.

CHILDREN:

(singing)

We carry death out of the village.

We carry summer into the village.

(Howie talks to them and then they resume their chant)

CHILDREN

(singing)

We carry death out of the village.

We carry summer into the village.

***

Lord Summerisle’s offering of Ale to the sea: (in the movie)

O god of the sea,

I offer you this ale as a libation,

that you may bestow upon us

in the year to come

the rich and diverse fruits of your kingdom.

The crowd responds: Hail, god of the seas!

Accept our offering!

Lord Summerisle’s offering of Ale to the sea: (in the book)

Shoney, God of the sea,

I give you this ale as a libation,

that you may, in the year to come, bestow on us

the rich and diverse fruits of your kingdom.


Hail, Shoney!

Accept our offering!

(At one point, the script went from "Shoney, God of the Sea" to "Hail Shoney of the Lewes! Accept our offering!)

***

As Howie gets annointed:

Sleep, close and fast

The use of the women's hair is a reference to a passage in the Bible: Then Mary (Martha's sister) took a whole pint (other translations say a pound) of a very expensive perfume made of pure nard, poured it on Jesus' feet, and wiped them with her hair . . ."

***

The dead tree is a reference to the goddess Hera.

***

Lord Summerisle recites this before “reverencing the sacrifice” (in the book):


Nuada, Great God of the Sun

Hear Summerisle! 

Giver of all life

Ender of night 

Accept this our anointed King

Our sacrifice. 

Give us music, love

Health, crops and joy. 

Nuada, make our island fruit!

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