Sunday, February 28, 2010
The Green man..
The green man is a symbol of fertility and rebirth. He is found in many cultures around the world in various guises. Carvings of the Green Man take many forms.
The simplest depict a man's face peering out of dense foliage. Some representations have leaves for hair or a leafy beard. Leaves or shoots can be shown growing from his open mouth and sometimes from the nose and eyes as well. At its most stylised the carving at first glance appears to be foliage, with the facial element only becoming apparent on closer examination. The face is almost always male; green women are rare. The three most common styles are
1. The Foliate Head - completely covered in green leaves
2. The Disgorging Head - spews vegetation from its mouth
3. The Bloodsucker Head - sprouts vegetation from all facial orifices
Many people feel that the green man is one representation of other pagan gods, such as Cern (Cernunnos) and Pan. He can be compared to figures such as John Barleycorn and Herne the Hunter.
His roots can easily be identified in terms of early man living in close proximity to vast and mysterious ancient forests, which provided both danger and comfort. The green man can be seen to represent the rebirth of the forest in spring.
The Green man is found in one guise or another in many cultures, as Tammuz in ancient Babylon, as Erriapus in iron age Britain, as Ilyas to Muslims.
His face is found on many ancient monuments, but also in the modern stonework of modern christian churches. This is thought to be both a reflection of Victorian fashion, and a reflection of the survival of ancient beliefs.
The Green man's rites are usually carried out in sring around Beltane. The Green man represents the wild and untamed side of nature.