The Green Man

And just as the Deer has been a powerful symbol and guide in my life the Green Man (the leaf face above) has whispered secrets to me for many years.  He in turn is very much connected with Deer, as he is related to the Celtic Cernunnos the Horned God. You can read about some of my adventures with the Green Man in the following articles:

May Day, 2002 and Tales, Harps, And A Mask Of Leaves; (this 2002 essay is a reprint of an article written in 1994!)

May Day/Beltane & the Green Man In Our Time (a few ideas from the previous article, but with some additional musings)

The Green Man is everywhere (though not necessarily by that name) in my newly published magical fiction novel, Because Of The Red Fox. His is the nature of the Green, the Green Spirit, viriditas.

“In a voice that whispers like leaves he tells that any path we choose will lead to magic …” – from Forest, a bardic performance by Spookytree (Debra Knodel & Jane Valencia)

What happens when the Green Spirit whispers to you? What creative healing magic do you choose?

12 thoughts on “The Green Man

  1. I have been called by the GreenMan. He is elusive. I have seen him in my tree. I am a reiki master and shamanic practitioner. I am wondering if he is a healing spirit and available to work with healers. I am looking for information. Your book sounds interesting.

    Bev Cotton

  2. Just read your articles and book review. This is a children’s book. Does it actually deql with th Greenman?

  3. Hi Bev,

    Thank you for your comments! I’m going to respond to both: Yes, the Green Man is elusive, isn’t he. Yes, I do believe he is a healing spirit and available to work with healers. (more on this in a moment). And, yes, my book — though a children’s fantasy novel — is truly all about the Green Man. But as with your experience of the Green Man so far, he is mostly in the shadows (though at times overt) and he is both elusive and very much present.

    The Green Man is an mythic archetype that has sprung awake in recent decades — perhaps (as many, I think, believe) in response to the challenges facing Nature and Mother Earth. In mythic lore, he has been the consort to the Goddess, and, in many ways, her champion and protector. So it is certainly appropriate to believe that he would spring into our consciousness at this time.

    The Green Man has certainly been present in my consciousness for over 30 years. I have experienced aspects of his archetype in the medieval English poem, “Sir Gawain And The Green Knight” and in the medieval Welsh tale, “Pwyll Pendeuic Dyved”. The Green Man figures as the Green Knight and as Arawn in these tales.

    The Green Man is also the intelligence and life force of the plant world, the “green spirit” or viriditas, and in that regard he is a force of Nature. My novel, Because Of The Red Fox, is very much about all these aspects of the Green Man, and how the main character, Shell, comes to wield its magic. In the novel, the Leaf Face, the Green Knight, Bert the Gamesmaster are all aspects of the Green Man. The spirit of the Green (the life force that is the Green Man) shows up as the “greenweave”, and the spirit of the Otherworld, and as the force that overcomes some of the characters, including Govan/the Mabon.

    The Green Man is a complex archetype, full of both light and shadows. Yes, he is available to you to work with as a healer. Just know that he is very much an intelligence and life force of nature, and so one must be careful not to regard the Green Man simplistically. Nature is about both decay and new life, birth and death, cycles, and consequences. Nature can be nurturing, but she may also need to reclaim.

    The Green Man is most certainly about the more-than-human world, and about threading the human family into that context, reminding us that the green realm is our home too, and the plants are elder kin. I believe that the Green Man demands right relationship.

    All this is woven into my children’s novel — it’s actually a story I had to write in service to the Green. But, the story is also very much and first and foremost, a children’s magical adventure novel. I wanted to tell a fun tale and have truths that feel meaningful to me layered into the tale. I wanted it to be on its own merits, a fun tale, but that if you cared to lean into the story, you’d find that it’s about a whole lot more.

    Blessings on your journey into the Green! Indeed, the Green Man is speaking with you already, in a “language that whispers like leaves”, as one of the characters mentions in my book.

  4. I did not know you had answered my comment. But I just found it now, and your answer is music to my ears. Thank you so much.

  5. Thanks for your comment. I did not know you had answered. I am looking for BECAUSE OF THE RED FOX. Where is it sold?

    Your answer was music to my ears. Thank you.

  6. I hope you enjoy the book. I’d love to hear what you think — and about your own adventures and journeys with the Green Man!

  7. I left you a message yesterday, but it does not seem to be here now. Probably did something wrong.
    The book was wonderful. I truly enjoyed it. Covered a lot of things I have been studying.
    I was particularly interested in your portrayal of the Green Man as a person of light and shadow. The split between Bert and the Green Knight. I met a man on line after studying the Green Man for several years. His avatar was the Greenman, so I became curious when he asked to be a friend ad I accepted. We became very close and he told me a lot of things about the Greenman. He was a naturalist, and fascinating person. I could feel his energy although we never met. Then one day about a year ago, he just disappeared off Facebook. The thing that is curious is that the energy we shared did not leave. And the energy is very healing. I am suffering chronic pain from nerve damage from 3 rounds of shingles while caring for my mom with dementia about 5 years ago. This energy is gradually healing my pain. I guess I am wondering if I am in touch with the energy of the true Greenman. And maybe the energy I felt with my friend on line was never his at all. After much debating, I have decided to just go for it and let the energy heal me. I don’t think it is connected with anything human.
    So that’s why my quest for the Greenman, although I had been questing for some time before I met this man.
    If you have any comments, I’ll check back from time to time and see if you left one.
    Thanks for the comments you have left. They were very helpful.
    Sincerely, Bev Cotton.

  8. Hi Bev,

    Wow – thank you for relaying your story! I do believe that we sometimes can tap into and emanate archetypal (and other) energies. I imagine that we all do to varying degrees, depending perhaps on our awareness and intention to work with particular energies, essences, and spirit beings. Your sense that perhaps that you were tuning into the Green Man energy itself is probably spot on, especially after the human Greenman “vanished”. What a beautiful story of tuning in, evaluating, and deciding to trust. Your words seem to indicate that you tuned in on several levels and ways to decide whether accepting this energy was right for you — and that seems like quite a wise course of action.You wonder if you are in touch with energy of the true Greenman. You speak of your quest to discover more about the Green Man — and that it dates back to even before your friend. What do you feel within you? Feel into the nourishing energy of the earth, and into your three main centers of knowing: Solar Plexus, Heart, and Third Eye., and bring to mind, heart, and gut/instinct the Greenman energy you feel. If all feels well and nourishing, then I think you can rest easy! If you feel agitated, then quest into that agitation. Call in some Reiki and make a prayer, and quest into what doesn’t feel right and why that might be so.

    My thought? Green Man healing energy indeed. What a sweet blessing! I’d love to hear more about your journey as it unfolds.

  9. Thanks for your reply. I loved it Yes, I think I am tuning into the true Greenman energy. I’m studying Celtic shamanism, and doing daily reading in a book called THE CELTIC SPIRIT. Yesterday, it talked about green fire, the energy that makes spring come into being. Was out in the woods yesterday. I have loved the woods since childhood. Still go there as much as I can. Kind of asking the Universe for a sign about some things. Met a lady feeding black capped chickadees out of her hand. I was fascinated. So she gave me some seed, and they ate out of my hand too. I have them in my yard, so I’m going to try it when the weather gets warmer. Again, thank you for all your replies. I truly appreciate it.
    Blessings,
    Bev Cotton

  10. Oh, how magical to feed chickadees by hand! Sounds like the greenfire is moving through your life in a beautiful way. Blessings on your “greenwalk”!

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