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