May 1st, 2017

Meet the Gods: Green Man


As pagans celebrate Beltane, the world is turning green, so it’s easy to understand why pagans turn to Green Man. He is the head or face seen in many forms, always made from or surrounded by leaves – sometimes with vines or branches coming from his mouth or ears.

His is found on pagan altars in the woods; on the walls of Christian churches in England, France and Germany; and in secular buildings.

Beltane celebrates life as spring reaches its peak. Earth energies are strong and bursting with potential. Fertility is abundant.

The Green Man, as the young Oak King also known as Jack-in-the-Green, falls in love and couples with the Maiden goddess, also called the Goddess of Spring, the May Queen and Flora. She becomes pregnant. Together, this God of Vegetation and Goddess of Spring become symbols of the sacred marriage, the coming together of earth and sky.

To honor Green Man is to live in harmony with nature. To celebrate him is to recognize the gifts of the earth. Just breathe, and know the oxygen made by trees and plants you are inhaling is a gift of magic from Green Man. Plants, leafy branches, acorns and a bowl of earth are among the symbols used to represent Green Man. Patchouli incense, and the essential oils of oak moss, sweet birch and cinnamon are also among his correspondences.

It was common in the days of old, to offer sacrifices to Green Man. That’s the reason I like that the large cement face I have of him has finger-like leaves that form a bowl into it I can place offerings, as well my desires. I also turn to him when I seek guidance to lead a life that respects sustainability. He is sustaining, offering renewal of spirit and body. You leave happy and lighter after spending time with him.

You can find him roaming the forest. Sometimes he is seen with horns. He’s the spirit of vegetation and his energy is in all that is green and grows. His wisdom is that of the wheel of the year. He is born at Yule, mates at Beltane, reaches his peak at the Summer Solstice, then sacrifices himself over three harvests to sustain us though the winter. The eternal cycle offers deep wisdom as well as change.


Lest you think there is only one Green Man, I wanted to show you the first Green Man to sit on my altar – a plastic barbaric figure. The witch who reintroduced me to the craft by way of the Goddess gave it to me. In addition to being green and a man, it represented the Celtic and Nordic mythology to which I was drawn.

May Green Man bless you with abundance.

Merry part. And merry meet again.

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