G is for Green Man
Today’s trip spans the world as this being brought to you by the letter G is found in many cultures.
Name: Green Man (this term originates from 1939 in The Folklore Journal)
Type: Nature Spirit and/or vegetative deity
Origin: True origin unknown. There’s a multitude of variations from different ancient cultures.
Description: The Green Man is a very old primal nature spirit that is closely tied to the cycle of life and nature. It’s commonly seen as rebirth or renaissance and is viewed a part of the seasonal growth during Spring. He’s typically seen as an older man wearing green, even though he can take on a multitude of forms. Most view him as a type of woodland spirit. He has been considered similar to Odin, the Holly King, and Jack in the Green.
He’s found carved in wood or stone in churches all over. He’s appears most commonly in three forms.
- Foliate Head – covered in green leaves
- Disgorging Head – spews leaves and vines from mouth
- Bloodsucker Head – sprouts leaves and vines from mouth and other orifices (No clue why it’s called that. *grin*)
Interesting Facts: The Green Man can be found in one form or another around the world. The Green Knight is Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is viewed as similar to the Green Man as well as Robin Hood, due to the close ties with woodlands and green clothing/armor. The Green Man can also be viewed as a great living tree, similar to Tolkien’s walking, self-aware trees. Also, in some of his variations, he is depicted in roles similar to Odin and Osiris.
On a side note, he seems awfully similar to the Jolly Green Giant, huh? Ho, ho, ho… *grin*