|The Green Man - Digital - 2009, Dia Sobin|
Well, my friends, it's that time of year again, and for those of us of paganistic persuasion, this is a day of celebration... the winter solstice.
The Green Man - my interpretation above - is not normally associated with this day, but, instead, is generally associated with Beltane festivities in his guise as Jack-in-the-Green. But the Green Man is also an ancient symbol of death and rebirth... as is the Yule season. In Green Man: The Archetype of Our Oneness With the Earth, William Anderson writes:
"There are legends of him (Khidr) in which, like Osiris, he is dismembered and reborn; and prophecies connecting him, like the Green Man, with the end of time. His name means the Green One or Verdant One, he is the voice of inspiration to the aspirant and committed artist. He can come as a white light or the gleam on a blade of grass, but more often as an inner mood. The sign of his presence is the ability to work or experience with tireless enthusiasm beyond one's normal capacities. In this there may be a link across cultures, …one reason for the enthusiasm of the medieval sculptors for the Green Man may be that he was the source of every inspiration."
So my wish for all us is, may this season inspire wonder and magic in our psyches despite the onslaught of winter.
Let's face it, 2011 was a rather brutal year... so, let's have some fun! And, I can think of no more festive song than this blast from the past, "Ring Out, Solstice Bells", from an old Jethro Tull album (and a personal seasonal favorite in the days of vinyl), "Songs from the Wood".
For a further exploration of the solstice, see: Hail Winter Solstice Deus Sol Invictus.
For hundreds of images of Green Men - as architectural details - found around the world, try these pages.