The Green Man is believed to be pre-christian in his
origins, but later adopted by Gothic carvers and placed in
thousands of churches and cathedrals all over Europe.
He is usually
shown as a male head formed as a leaf mask,
often disgorging vegetation from his mouth.
He stands for
humanity's "deep kinship with the
trees and woods" and for the cycle of renewal and
associated with Robin of the Wood,
the Green Knight of Arthurian legend, Jack in the Green,
the May King or Summer Lord, Cernunnos
and Herne the Hunter.
An old English
name for the countryside is "Greenmans"
and this is a favorite name for taverns.
In London alone there are 30 pubs
called "The Green Man."
He is celebrated today in May
Day or Beltane
ceremonies all over Britain.
I believe the Green Man is
more relevant now
than ever as a champion for the fight against
the major environmental
issue that now face our fragile planet.