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Posted on Monday, June 19 - 2006

" Copyright All Info About Myths & LegendsHe is the Green Man, Cernunnos, the Horned One, Jack in the Green, Green George and the Old Man of the Woods. He is the archetypal male essence, the thrusting life force, the potent initiator whose body is wild nature itself, the vitality of..."

The Green Man

Copyright All Info About Myths & Legends

He is the Green Man, Cernunnos, the Horned One, Jack in the Green, Green George and the Old Man of the Woods. He is the archetypal male essence, the thrusting life force, the potent initiator whose body is wild nature itself, the vitality of the forest merging with man... and many other things besides.When you come upon the Green Man for the first time you will recognise him, for you have always known him. You will see him carved in stone or wood, on stained glass and in illuminated manuscripts, as a face, often grotesque, with foliage sprouting from his mouth, nose, eyes or ears.Sometimes he may be a face composed entirely of leaves. In churches both old and new, you find him on capitals,corbels, choir stalls and roof bosses.

Indeed, on any surface open to ornamentation, the Green Man peers out from his mask of foliage. His roots are deep in our past. Look into his eyes, and quickly look away again, for in gazing on his face we sense that something old and strong and tremendously powerful looms just behind his leafy mask. And we are right. Behind the sacred oak, the Green Man is death and resurrection, he is the ebb and flow of life and creativity.

The Horned God The Green Man is both a symbol of fertility and the power of the forest, the Horned god and the god of vegetation. These days, the imagery of horns can be disturbing for those of us raised in Christianity, but the ancient Horned god is not the much later Christian concept of the devil. In antiquity,horns were a symbol of power, fertility and virility. Visualise the great stags in the wild woods, the bounding rites of Spring, the sympathetic magic that transfoms the mighty antlers into a symbol of male potency. Like other early deities, the Green Man has been christianised, trivialised and made palatable but his image lingers in our psyche. This is why he appears in so many churches - by incorporating such a strong pagan symbol, its power was, in some way, absorbed by the new religion, and its potency as a symbol in its own right substantially diminished.

The Green Knight Perhaps you first met the Green Man through the Arthurian legends. The Green Knight is a mysterious, supernatural creature who rides into Arthur’s court on New Year’s Eve. He is in stark contrast to the court,symbolising the......


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