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    The Green Man

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    Violet
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    The Green Man

    Post  Violet on Mon Feb 23, 2009 10:04 pm

    Originally Posted by 1 Antique

    What is a Green Man?
    A foliate face - a face with foliage coming out from nose, mouth, ears, or foliage instead of hair; any face or body where leaves and sometimes branches are part of the whole. There are very many types of design. Nobody knows the real significance and yet everybody who really sees a Green Man understands without knowing that he represents something very deep and important. Perhaps he reminds us of our interconnectedness with nature and the greening power of trees and plants.


    The Green Man is an image of a face, usually male, associated with foliage. As an image, it appeared first about two thousand years ago, since when it has emerged spontaneously in different places, in different cultures, and in different times. As an idea, it is much older, arising from the earliest of mythology. Fraser, the "The Golden Bough" describes many myths connecting a man with a tree...there has been a wide recognition that all of these have the same origin in human psychology, an archetypal idea inherent in our mentality that bonds us to the natural world. This is the function of an archetype, a mental structure that assist us in life. The image has returned to public awareness as a sign of our recognition that our relationship with nature has been flawed, and that we are damaging our world, something which has become even more apparent recently.
    excerpts from
    Goucester Cathedral.

    "The legend of green men is associated with Robin Hood or Herne the Hunter of the Greenwood, and also with Merlin - and has a strong connection with the gypsy tribes who enjoyed special protection at Rosslyn. While they have come to be associated with British pantheist traditions, few people realise they are a universal motif also found in Egyptian and Hindu temples."
    Scotsman Heritage


    Love and Light
    Allen


    Last edited by Violet on Sun Jul 19, 2009 11:37 pm; edited 1 time in total



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    Freak
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    Re: The Green Man

    Post  Freak on Sat Jul 18, 2009 8:09 pm

    The earliest images of the divine in art was humans blended with animals (the Horned God ie Pan), because that's how man lived - as hunter-gatherers. It wasn't until later on when society turned from that to agrarian did the image of the God become human and plant - the Green Man. So the concept of the animal spirit preceded that of the plant spirit.

    The earlier horned God Pan became the Green Man as human civilisation advanced. Early imagery tells us this as the art relating to The Horned God had the stag with foliage in his mouth - eating the bounty of the forest. Later art has the green man with foliage in his mouth also - the bounty of nature issuing forth from him.

    So the spirit of the woodland animal kingdom was taken out of dark wooded places and brought forth into open cultivated fields. The Green Man then became the spirit of the land itself. He is then seen as a god of fertility, as the harvest grows, and then the sacrificial king at the reaping as he is bound up for harvest. Then the spirit of the Green Man is returned to the land with the seeds from the ripe plants.

    The other names: Green Jack (Jack in the Green), John Barleycorn, the Straw Bear, the Green Man came from pagans influencing public celebrations and festivals after the rise of Christianity, as they introduced them into street plays.

    The concept of the Green Man in the cycle of nature may come from the tales of King Arthur. He is seen as the Green Knight who battles with Gawain (and sometimes Arthur) and represents the opposing forces of the waxing and waning seasons of the year.

    This type of battle is seen in trying to win the hand of the spring maiden (May Queen) on the first day in May.

    When society advanced more, and nature was pushed aside for more civilised and developed communities with walls, gates, and structures. Nature became viewed as wilderness, and no longer home for mankind. This is what obstructed the connection man had with nature, and nominated themselves as the Masters of Nature.

    During the Middle ages, the Green Man was placed in architecture, including Christian places of worship. Many of the oldest cathedrals contain images of the Green Man pillars that support the ceilings. This was so Pagans could still look up and worship their own Gods when forced to attend church. though there's some debate as to whether the churches themselves put the images there, or whether it was done in secret.
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    Violet
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    Re: The Green Man

    Post  Violet on Sun Jul 19, 2009 11:41 pm

    You guys are great at finding out and posting this information, thank you :asmile:

    When society advanced more, and nature was pushed aside for more civilised and developed communities with walls, gates, and structures. Nature became viewed as wilderness, and no longer home for mankind. This is what obstructed the connection man had with nature, and nominated themselves as the Masters of Nature.

    And have you noticed how many are craving it back lately



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    wyldeflower
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    Re: The Green Man

    Post  wyldeflower on Wed Sep 23, 2009 9:34 am

    I love the green man when i visit old churches i allways look around the roof or ceilings as you often see a green man looking back at you.I have two green man wall plaques at home.i went somewhere recently and saw the green man on a building.
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    Violet
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    Re: The Green Man

    Post  Violet on Wed Sep 23, 2009 9:01 pm

    Don't they put some fantastic things on old churches? We visited an old church a few weeks ago it was stunning.



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    wyldeflower
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    Re: The Green Man

    Post  wyldeflower on Wed Sep 30, 2009 4:05 pm

    yes brilliant i will see if i can find some of my photos ..wf photo albums are like jumble sales no order or anything but i did take some green men this year so i will go look for them.. I try to visit churches if i go anywhere new not modern ones as they are naff..
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    Violet
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    Re: The Green Man

    Post  Violet on Wed Sep 30, 2009 8:10 pm

    Yeah the modern ones are too modern there is no atmosphere to them at all and they're all the wrong colour, I never thought to take pics but next time I visit one I will



    Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly.

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