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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

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

Green Man
carved oak

Green Man painting
by Roy Harper

Green Man squeezed
in cathedral stone

Green Man, stone
medieval cathedra

Green Man
ancient bronze

Green Man tapestry

Green Man medieval church, England