The Green Man symbolizes irrepressible life, and the union of humanity with the vegetable world. He is Father Earth, the ancient pagan god of vegetation and fertility, the male counterpart to Gaia, Mother of All.
Without him, there would be no life. All living creatures depend on the fertility of the soil from which he emerges in spring, and to which he returns at the end of summer when winter comes. He brings abundance and prosperity to his people. He is Lord of the Harvest. As the god who is born, who dies and is born again, he is the archetype of renewal and resurrection, a central theme of later world religions.
His worship dates back to prehistoric times. His foliate image appears in cultures ranging from Egypt to India, and throughout Europe. Transcending his pagan roots, he is discovered in crudely chiseled stones at Stonehenge and Avebury, and in exquisite carvings in Gothic, Romanesque and Renaissance cathedrals. There, his image is coupled with that of Christ, Mary, and all the saints. Why? Because the church wisely found it better to absorb him into their sacred spaces, than to attempt to root him out of the hearts of an agricultural people who loved him.
After a long period of silence, the Green Man speaks to us again with the emergence of the Green Movement. He challenges men to work hand in hand with women, and with the Goddess, to heal our wounded Earth. (Story on back of card.)
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