The Bridget Cross
The intricately woven straw decoration that brighten churches throughout Britain at the time of Harvest Festival have their origins not in the christian religion but in the beliefs and the ideas stretching aback into prehistory.
The celebration of the harvest is steeped in legend and mythology, and centres around the story of Ceres the Earth Mother, goddess of all that grows out of the earth.
This is based on the theory that women once had complete control over production of food and distribution of services and supplies. As this legend is the same in every country around the globe it is probably more than a theory.
In 1973 in England is was still the custom in some areas of Britain for farmers to leave a row of wheat standing in the fields at the end of the harvest in the belief that bad luck will befall them if it is cut. The legend is that Ceres hides in the corn and to avenge what happened to her.
In some parts of England at least until 1900 as sheaf of corn would be left in the fields, and while it stood there no one was allowed to go into the field. When the sheaf was taken out, women and children were allowed to enter and glean through the stubble.
In another part of the country the last row of corn used to be beat down to the ground by the reapers who shouted, ‘There she is! Hit her.” And, “Knock her to the ground” – also “Don’t let her get away” – basically attempt to make the female creative energy from the remaining corn go back to the earth so the field would be abundant the following year.