More on Robin and the Green Man:
The mysterious yet omnipresent Green Man is already an icon. He links us with England’s pagan past and reminds us of our deep and sacred relationship with the natural history of these islands. He represent the spirit of the ancient forests, at once terrifying and protective, and the natural cycle of birth, death and rebirth.
As old as time himself, he has become a familiar image to us all. Adopted by medieval stonemasons, this elemental pagan image peers at us from the roof bosses and columns of hundreds of our oldest churches and from the T-shirts of young festival goers, a witness to the changes of centuries, yet as unchanging as the very earth from which he springs.
He is Jack-in-the-Green, Robin Hood, Herne The Hunter and the Celtic god Cernunnos. An icon for respect for our beautiful country and its past, but also perhaps a unifying champion for the coming environmental battle for its future.
T L Coltham
Sir Garwain and the Green Knight:
Learn More Here.
An Article on Robin Hood:
“Robin Hood was a species of fairy derived ultimately from the old Celtic and Saxon fertility god or vegetation deity, the so-called Green Man.
While in popular folklore Robin Hood was interchangeable with Green Robin , Robin of the Greenwood, Robin Goodfellow, Shakespeare’s Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, who, at the summer solstice, presides over fertility, sexuality and nuptials.
The Robin Hood legend provided, in effect, a handy guise whereby the fertility rites of ancient paganism were introduced back into the bosom of nominally Christian Britain. Every May Day, there would be a festival of unabashed pagan origin.
Rituals would be enacted around the May Pole, traditional symbol of the archaic goddess of sexuality and fertility. On Midsummer’s Day, every village virgin would become, metaphorically, Queen of the May.
Many of them would be ushered into the greenwood where they would undergo their sexual initiation at the hands of a youth playing the role of Robin Hood or Robin Greenfellow, while Friar Tuck, the Abbot of unreason, would officiate, blessing the mating couples in a parody of formal nuptials. By virtue of such role-playing, the borders separating dramatic masque and fertility ritual would effectively dissolve.
May Day would be, in fact, a day of orgy. Nine months later, it would produce,
throughout the British Isles, its annual crop of children.”
(From the temple and the lodge, by Michail Baigent and Richard Leigh).
The Holly King as a Green Man
The Holly King.
The Holly King is a speculated archetype of English folklore, who has been popularised in some Neopagan traditions. Robert
Graves proposed in The White Goddess that two mythical figures, the Holly King and the Oak King, representing two halves of the year, perpetually strive for superiority, the Holly King triumphing over the Oak King at midwinter and the Oak King triumphing in turn at midsummer.
Graves identified a number of paired hero-figures who he felt were variants on this myth, including Lleu Llaw Gyffes and Gronw Pebr, Gwyn and Gwythr, Lugh and Balor, Balan and
Balin, Gawain and the Green Knight, the robin and the wren, and
even Jesus and John the Baptist.
These pairs are seen as the dual aspects of the male Earth deity, one strong in the summer, the other strong in the winter.
Stewart and Janet Farrar, following Graves’ theory, gave a similar interpretation to Wiccan seasonal rituals. According to Joanne Pearson, the Holly King is represented by holly and
other evergreens, and personifies the dark half of the Wiccan Wheel
of the Year. He is also seen by some Neopagans as an early inspiration for the Santa Claus legend.
The Green Man: Ash Mandrake & Friends.
The Green Man: Type O Negative.
Call to the Green Man Poem:
Magpie Lane: Jack in the Green/Jacks Alive.