Quest for the Green Man

Overview

From ancient folklore and timeless tradition, the archetype of the Green Man is reemerging as an image of force and power. No other figure so strongly focuses our vision on the ruin of nature; no other speaks so directly of our relationship to the natural world.

Endlessly changing shape, the Green Man appears in many guises and cultures throughout history. As Wildman of the Woods, he guards the sacred trees and forests. As Lord of the Beasts, he watches over the woodland ...

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Overview

From ancient folklore and timeless tradition, the archetype of the Green Man is reemerging as an image of force and power. No other figure so strongly focuses our vision on the ruin of nature; no other speaks so directly of our relationship to the natural world.

Endlessly changing shape, the Green Man appears in many guises and cultures throughout history. As Wildman of the Woods, he guards the sacred trees and forests. As Lord of the Beasts, he watches over the woodland creatures. As the sacrificial Corn King, he is cut down but grows anew, a natural symbol for all dying and resurrecting gods -- such as Christ, Odin, or Adonis -- who meet death on a tree but rise again.

We know the Green Man in tradition as Merlin, Robin Hood, Herne the Hunter, The Green Knight, Enkidu, and Cernunnos. Today, he finds voice in the green movement and even the astronauts! Throughout all manifestations, he remains the quintessential Spirit of the Wildwood, the guardian of the planet's life force and ecology. If we think of the earth as Gaia, the Goddess of Nature, then the Green Man is surely her consort. We are wise to recognize him as such, for the marriage of nature and humanity is essential to our survival.

Now we seek the greening of the spirit almost as urgently as we do the greening of the earth. Our urban society lacks those who can show us the way. Perhaps it is for this purpose that the Green Man now returns. Perhaps we collectively call him back into consciousness to help us heal our relationship with the natural world.

This book explores the Green Man's many faces throughout time. Its course ranges widely through forest and woodland, medieval church architecture, folklore and ceremony, the ancient mythologies of the world, shamanistic art and artifacts, and images of contemporary ecological concern. Highly illustrated with images from Western iconography and the beauty of natural objects, The Quest for the Green Man will delight the eye, thrill the story-loving heart, and quicken the spirit.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780835608251
  • Publisher: Theosophical Publishing House
  • Publication date: 8/28/2001
  • Edition description: 1ST QUEST
  • Pages: 144
  • Product dimensions: 8.33 (w) x 10.29 (h) x 0.67 (d)

Table of Contents

Prelude: The Quest Begins 6
Chapter 1 The Face in the Leaves 18
Practice: Making a Shrine to the Green Man 40
Chapter 2 The King of the Wood 42
Meditation: The Green Lady 54
Chapter 3 Gods of the Forest 56
Meditation: The Guardian of the Woods 64
Chapter 4 The Dancers in the Green 66
Meditation: A Vision of the May 84
Chapter 5 The Green Gome 86
Meditation: The Green Giant 102
Chapter 6 The Wildman and the Wodewose 104
Meditation: A Vision of Herne 122
Chapter 7 The Greening of the Soul 124
Practice: A Ritual Journey 134
Sources and Resources 138
Further Reading 139
Index 142
Illustration Credits 144
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