I've always been drawn to the Green Man, so much so that when my husband recently installed tiles in our kitchen; he thoughtfully incorporated our very own Green Man over the kitchen stove!
To me, the Green Man represents divinity in nature and is the male counterpart to Mother Nature. His face, most often formed or surrounded by leaves, is literally "fused" with nature and creation. His gaze is generally (but not always) one of benevolence. Sometimes, though, tendrils grow from his mouth, and even his eyes, nostrils and ears - then the overall feeling is one of the harsh reminder of the reality of death; our eventual return to dust and the earth; but also a visual representation of the rebirth and regrowth that is nature's life cycle.
I am very fond of old churches and architecture and am always delighted to find the Green Man incorporated into various structures; keeping everyone safe and reminding them of their inescapable relationship with nature. You can find him in many countries around the world - and through a variety of artistic expressions: from architecture to theatre and from jewellery to poetry. I guarantee that once you start truly "seeing" the Green Man - he will begin "cropping up" in more and more places ...
Meadow Sweet Grove © V. Buchanan, 2021
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Folklore & Magic Archives