Do you know the Green Man?

I found a stone carving of the Green Man in my neighborhood yesterday, and it made me very happy.

As naturalists we are all familiar with the Green Man, whether we know him by that name or not.

The Green Man is a personification of the powerful magic of nature, which we see most movingly as the natural world splendidly renews itself in the spring. Even in the tropics there is something like spring, when the dry season ends and the rainy season begins.

We all respond to that rebirth of nature at every level, viscerally, emotionally, spiritually and intellectually.

And the power of nature renewing itself is particularly uplifting and inspiring to humans right now in this time of COVID-19, when, from a human perspective, disease and death are stalking the Earth and we are cowering in our burrows.

Green Man is a piece of powerful mythology, and his depiction is found in numerous cultures all round the world and throughout history.

In much of the northern hemisphere, the spring awakening is in full force now, even here in NYC. The unstoppable power of nature to start anew and afresh means that even a dandelion in full flower can move me to tears.

Posted by susanhewitt susanhewitt, April 12, 2020 13:45

Observations

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Procumbent Pearlwort Sagina procumbens

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April 7, 2020 03:12 PM EDT

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Mock Strawberry Potentilla indica

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April 7, 2020 03:13 PM EDT

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Common Lilac Syringa vulgaris

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April 7, 2020 03:15 PM EDT

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Common Blue Violet Viola sororia

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April 7, 2020 03:15 PM EDT

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White Snakeroot Ageratina altissima

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April 7, 2020 03:17 PM EDT

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Japanese Mazus Mazus pumilus

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April 7, 2020 03:27 PM EDT

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Candleflame Lichen Candelaria concolor

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April 8, 2020 10:39 AM EDT

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Creeping Jenny Lysimachia nummularia

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April 9, 2020 05:13 PM EDT

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Chinese Quince Chaenomeles speciosa

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April 9, 2020 05:15 PM EDT

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Lesser Periwinkle Vinca minor

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April 9, 2020 05:19 PM EDT

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Fawn Lilies Genus Erythronium

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April 9, 2020 05:20 PM EDT

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Common Lichens Class Lecanoromycetes

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April 9, 2020 05:23 PM EDT

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Wintergreen Barberry Berberis julianae

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April 9, 2020 05:24 PM EDT

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Lesser Celandine Ficaria verna

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April 9, 2020 05:29 PM EDT

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Chinese Quince Chaenomeles speciosa

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April 9, 2020 05:30 PM EDT

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Lenten-Rose Helleborus orientalis

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April 9, 2020 05:30 PM EDT

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Chinese Quince Chaenomeles speciosa

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April 9, 2020 05:38 PM EDT

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Violets Genus Viola

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April 9, 2020 05:54 PM EDT

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Tree-of-Heaven Ailanthus altissima

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April 10, 2020 03:34 PM EDT

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Common Evening-Primrose Oenothera biennis

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April 10, 2020 03:45 PM EDT

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European Field Pansy Viola arvensis

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April 11, 2020 03:22 PM EDT

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Prickly Lettuce Lactuca serriola

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April 11, 2020 03:42 PM EDT

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European Field Pansy Viola arvensis

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April 11, 2020 03:43 PM EDT

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Human Homo sapiens

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April 11, 2020 04:08 PM EDT

Comments

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The usual depiction of the Green Man is a face composed of leaves, or a face emerging from leaves. Green Man is closely allied with many vegetation deities.

The last image here is the one I found yesterday on a wall in my neighborhood.

Posted by susanhewitt 3 months ago (Flag)
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I realized just an hour ago, that the reason that the idea of the Green Man has been able to survive from pagan days throughout the centuries to the current day, is that The Green Man is sometimes (conveniently) also identified with Jesus Christ, because of the resurrection, and giving followers eternal life. And I suppose that this why the apparently pagan image of the Green Man is surprisingly often found in churches, as well as in, or on, secular buildings like this one, which I reckon is from the very early 20th century.

I suppose many people already know that the word "Easter" was taken from the word "Ēostre", which was the name of the ancient fertility goddess. Hence the bunnies, and the eggs, and the baby chicks, which really have nothing to do with Christianity. :)

Posted by susanhewitt 3 months ago (Flag)
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Thank you for this timely, informative, and wonderful post, Susan! We are immersed in the outside, more frightening world, but we seek sanctuary in the renewal of our old and new friends in the world of nature and in it's breathtaking spring renewal. I was struck by this sentence: "The unstoppable power of nature to start anew and afresh means that even a dandelion in full flower can move me to tears." Yesterday, was a " Dandy-lion" kind of day for me, and their startling, bright flowers were everywhere, everywhere, and, again, even everywhere. I was able to observe the flowering of a Dandelion from bud to opening flower in one plant, something I had not seen before: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/41947561

Posted by sadawolk 3 months ago (Flag)

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