that there is no special meaning in the choice of foliage, but I think it is significant that oak predominates". (Oak, of course, was the Druids' sacred tree.) There is Hernes oak at Windsor.
St. Bernard, we are told, when contemplating the decoration of the Cluniac churches was aghast at the "fantastic monsters" in the cloisters, and blushed for these "absurdities". He declared that they were dangerous, attracting the soul and hindering meditation upon the will of God. Perhaps he had some inkling of paganism among them.
One of Lady Raglan's illustrations, from the font of St. Woolo's Church, Newport, Mon., shows a foliate mask which is definitely horned, and has great whorls of foliage coming from its mouth. Another mask, from the cloisters of Mon Majour, near Arles, France, which also illustrates this article, shows high, pointed ears, reminiscent of horns, and a beard and moustache, as well as the usual foliage. There is a mask similar to this on the outside of Salisbury Cathedral, near one of the entrances.
A very lively misericord from Lincoln Cathedral, which Lady Raglan illustrates, shows not only oak leaves as foliage adornment, but also acorns. Another, from the Chapter House at South-well Minster, has foliage which looks like hawthorn in flower. It was necessary for the person taking the part of "Jack in the Green" in the May Day procession to make a small hole in the erection of green boughs that covered him, to be able to see his way, and this little figure from Southwell Minster appears to be doing exactly that.
It is notable that a number of these foliate masks have the tongue protruding. Lady Raglan suggests that the original "Green Man" may have been the Divine King, and was perhaps sacrificed by hanging, the green garland itself being later hung up in his place, as at Castleton in Derbyshire, where it is suspended on the church tower after the May Day procession is over. However, it occurs to me that the motive of the protruding tongue may be the schoolboy one of derision (perhaps at the solemn edifice in which he finds himself?) as the examples she shows look quite cheerful and far from dead. To stick out the tongue was originally a phallic gesture.
Lady Raglan says,
The fact is that unofficial paganism subsisted side by side with the official religion, and this explains the presence of our Green Man in a church window with the Virgin beside him and below him the sun. This extraordinary figure may he seen in mediaeval stained glass at the church of St. Mary Redcliffe at Bristol. He is crowned, and it would seem that to the artist who made the window, and presumably also to the priests who ordered it, he was equally venerable with the Virgin.
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