Animal Masks Worn at John Macarthur's Camp Regeneration, The Druid Festival of Lughnasadh
Animal masks were an integral part of the Wicker Man festival. They are prominently visible in the 1973 British horror film, The Wicker Man and the Wicker Man film in 2006 starring Nicholas Cage. Animal masks are also worn by campers at John MacArthur’s Regeneration, which took place during the Druid festival of Lugnasadh, which is also the Celtic Druid “Festival of Regeneration.” What is the significance of animal masks?
“Lughnasadh is the perfect time to experiment with the use of masks. Wearing a mask allows the person to hide their own face and personality, and don the personality of the mask. Wear the mask of your totem, or of your god/goddess. Become the mask you make.” (Lughnasadh: Activities at Lammas)
The following pictures have been taken from John Macarthur's Camp Regeneration.
According to pagan sources, Celtic warriors wore animal masks which enabled them to “shapeshift” into animals and endued them with the physical strength of animals. The animal is also believed to be a guide to the “Otherworld,” i.e. Hell. King Solomon's magical signet ring enabled him to speak with animals:
WORKING WITH ANIMAL SPIRITS
“Warriors often had animal totems or called upon animal powers to help them in battle, invoking the strength of the bull, the courage of the boar, and so on... These warriors were feared, because they knew how to draw on the power and strength of the bear and fought in a kind of tranced frenzy, without fear or hesitation. They received the power of the bear at their initiation and were also believed to be able to shapeshift... certain ancient Celtic warriors were said to be able to turn themselves into wolves to tear and rend their enemies... “...Perhaps in early times warriors wore animal masks in battle or during their initiations. Worldwide, magicians and shamans work with animal powers. The qualities of the animal are called upon to help the magician in his or her work... Because the animal is a spirit, it is also a guide to the Otherworld.”(Lammas: Celebrating the Fruits of the First Harvest, p. 156) “The magical signet ring said to have been possessed by King Solomon, which variously gave him the power to command demons and to speak with animals, as we saw above was carved with the Name of God, and set with four jewels. In later versions the ring bore the symbol of the hexagram.” (Notes on Le Serpent Rouge)
The following pictures have been taken from The Wicker Man Film (1973 and 2006).