EarthPoem Archives
Artist/Naturalists
Site Map
Join MorningEarth
Teacher Resources
Learn Ecology
Kids' Earth Art
Members' Writing
John Caddy
Homepage
Contact MorningEarth
 

How Does Life Work?

Biosphere as An Expression of Spirit

The Green Man

The Green Man is found in many cultures. His image is of a man combined with vegetation. Sometimes he is disgorging vegetation from his mouth, sometimes his human face is made entirely of leaves. He is found extensively in medieval cathedrals in Europe, usually carved of stone. In old, small churches he is widely present, carved both of stone and wood. Medeival masons and wood carvers apparently took every opportunity to include the Green Man in fairly unobtrusive places, as a way of blessing Christian churches with a pagan image that holds power even today. In Asia similar images in temples are known as the Face of Glory.

The Green Man links the human with the vegetative cycle of life/death/rebirth from seed. In myth he is connected with fauns and such gods of the forest as Silvanus, Pan, and Cernunnos

A Gallery of Green Men -- click to enlarge


Green Man
medieval cathedral

Green Man fountain


Green Man as Maze


Green Man painted as a flowered hll

Green Man mask


Green Man
carved tree


Green Man
ancient bronze

Green Man on Ceiling,
Exeter Cathedral


Green Man, stone
by Walter Arnold


Green Man
painting

Green Man,
stained glass

Green Man with surprising tongue

Green Man graphic

Green Man, stone
medieval church

Green Man, stone
medieval church

Green Man
in French Church

Green Man
doorknocke
r


Green Man
carved oak


Green Man painting
by Roy Harper

Green Man squeezed
in cathedral stone

Green Man, stone
medieval cathedra
l

Green Man
ancient bronze


Green Man tapestry


Green Man medieval church, England