PaganSquare


PaganSquare is a community blog space where Pagans can discuss topics relevant to the life and spiritual practice of all Pagans.

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Login
    Login Login form
Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Green Man
An Encounter with the Green Man: Three Lessons to Inspire Your Beltane Magic

Twenty years ago on a Beltane Eve, I did my first ritual after moving to a rural home. In a secluded spot, surrounded by seven acres of undomesticated forest with only the stars and a single candle for illumination, I cast a circle and then called to the Green Man to come be with me in my Beltane magic. There was just me and my overpowering yearning to connect with the wild God energy of Nature. Sitting cross-legged with the moss-covered earth beneath me, I rocked back and forth, putting every ounce of my longings and love into my prayer and invocation, speaking out loud to the listening wilderness.   

When you do magic in ritual space, the extraordinary and inexplicable can happen. This was one of those experiences. To my utter shock, a man-sized being of light appeared between the trees and walked toward me. His inner core was a warm, golden white, with diffused beams extending outward, like moving, radiant candlelight. I don’t have words to describe His beauty and power. Even as I write this many years later, I feel the intensity of His stunning, delicious presence pushing against my flesh, both from the inside and the outside at once.

Yet, I am sorry to say, this spontaneous, magical appearance in physical reality terrified me. Although I had been working with spiritual beings through my dreams, ritual and channeling for a number of years, my contact had always been through inner images and voices, not direct, physical communion.  

I closed my eyes and asked the Green Man to forgive me my limitations and fears, and to come to me in the way I was used to, through visualization and words. And there He was inside of me, speaking to me, and gifting me with the information and insights that I needed at the time on my long journey of healing my relationship with God and men, and blossoming into my true, deep Self.

This Beltane experience has left an indelible imprint on me, with lessons that helped me truly understand and embrace the Green Man’s presence and gifts. Here are three of these lessons to inspire your Beltane magic with the Green Man.

1. The Green Man isn’t just a mythic being, a psychological construct or something we humans have made up. He is real, substantive and most accessible to us at Beltane when the veil between the worlds is thin.

This lesson brings up an important point of divergence in the pagan world. Some see the Gods and Goddesses as purely human creations that are the products of myths and reflections of our human psyche. Others understand these Divine beings as immense spiritual entities that we can encounter and come to know through our spiritual practices, dreams and human creative and mythic works.

When I did my Beltane ritual, I wasn’t drawing on any preconceived notions of the Green Man. I split my heart open and gave free voice to my untamed longings, and He came to me, unrestricted by my human projections, as a being of pure, radiant light. The raw, naked truth of this encounter had a profound impact on me: it primed me for real-time, unmediated communion with the Green Man, and other Gods and Goddesses, beyond my mythic and intellectual understandings of these things.

Consider how you conceive the Green Man. What do you already know about Him through myth and story? How do you understand and engage the Gods and Goddesses in your personal and ritual work?  How open are you to direct communion with the Green Man? Your answers to these questions will impact how you can experience and work with the Green Man in your Beltane magic.

2. The Green Man is the lover God who gives us whatever we need, in whatever form to help us grow and blossom as our true, deep Self.

Beltane magic has a sexual edge. The Green Man walks the land, firing up everything He touches with His wild, fertile life force. In Nature, plants, birds, bees and creatures, great and small, mingle, mate and give birth to a brilliant display of new life. Even the seemingly innocent, secular practice of the maypole has its roots in Beltane’s celebration of sexuality and fertility: the maypole is a giant phallic symbol arising from the fertile earth, and the dance interweaving the long ribbons represents sexual union and the creation of new life.

Yet communion with the Green Man isn’t so much about sex; instead His sacred purpose is to be the lover that awakens our desire and capacity to share our true beauty with the outer world. He does this by gifting us with what we deeply, truly need in our encounter with Him.

In my Beltane ritual, the Green Man was my gentle, patient lover. In the face of my fear and limitations, He enfolded me in His loving presence, took me to the shadow places in my inner landscape that held my wounding with God and men, and shared visions that helped me make peace with my personal story and the men who had hurt me. This was exactly what I needed to take my next step on my journey of soul.

The Green Man is your lover, and mine, and of every living thing on the Mother Earth. He makes love and life with each of us in accordance with our needs and capabilities. When you open your heart and your longings to the Green Man, He will come to you. This communion can be and feel sexual, but that’s only one expression of His lover presence. Whatever you need, in whatever form, He will give to you.
 
3. The Green Man gifts us with a positive, life-centered vision of God and masculinity, outside of the limitations and dictates of our collective human reality and personal wounding.

The Green Man is the guardian of the wild world, and the master of the mysteries of life and co-creation. He is a masculine presence unlike anything in our shared, mundane world: a being of light, love and life-making, feral, sensuous, and unencumbered by the restrictive dictates of our human society.
 
Our Beltane magic with the Green Man can take us up against the shadow places in our collective and individual psyche that hold our wounding in relation to God and men. He invites us into His wild-world dream, outside of the domesticating ways of our everyday reality that seek to suppress our primal, life-centered instincts, and entrap us in self-judgments and outer voices that tell us who we are and how to live our life. He shows us another face of God and masculinity that can heal the wounded places inside of us, and kindle a new freedom and relationship with the Green Man’s powers of light, love and life-making.

When the Green Man came to me that Beltane eve, He helped me mend a debilitating inner tear that separated me from God and men. I called out to Him from a pain, primal and ancient, that arose from my personal wounding and from the generations upon generations of women before me that had suffered at the hands of men. I wanted this separation to end, and to love God and men once more. But I didn’t know how to make right what was broken within me.

So the Green Man revealed to me His true nature: a being of light, beauty, love, compassion and patience. With His gentle guidance, He helped me see beyond my inner tear and limitations, and showed me the spiritual wasteland of the men who harm others, a desolate place severed from the love and life-centered ways of God and the sacred masculine. This Beltane night, the Green Man set me free, not only returning me to a positive relationship with God and my own instinctive, life-seeking nature, but also widening my love and compassion to include the wounded masculine.

However you choose to embrace the magic of Beltane — be it a walk amongst Nature’s feral, stunning fecundity, or to sit in ritual circle with the Green Man, or in whatever ways you honor this potent time of year — know that the Green Man’s wild-world dream of light, love and life-making is reaching out to you. Here He can help you step beyond the wounding and limitations of your personal story and our collective human reality to explore and embrace a new, positive relationship with God, the sacred masculine, and your own wild, life-centered nature.

Last modified on
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Critter
    Critter says #
    Its a beautiful article, but I wonder if you might have overgeneralized a bit? I can't see the Green Man as you described him inte
  • Thesseli
    Thesseli says #
    This was absolutely and utterly beautiful.
  • Karen Clark
    Karen Clark says #
    Thanks so much Thesseli! What a wonderful comment!

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Horned Green Men: A Colloquy

So, Posch.

You say that the Horned and the Green Man are not one god, but two: the Divine Twins, Master of Beasts and Master of Plants respectively.

You also say that in our day They reveal Themselves through art.

So what about all those Horned Green Men that we see?

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Coat of Many Colors

All summer long, he has been our bonny god in green, and we have loved him for it.

But now come the days—so poignant, so bittersweet—for which he is called in the Old Language of the Witches Wulder, for his splendor.

His festive coat of colors he dons now, different each day: Earth's yearly gift of favor to her first-born and (they say) best-loved child.

Alas, such gifts of favor are apt to be preludes to deeds of blood.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Solace

In our fast paced society, stress and distress can occur over seemingly small occurrences, in addition to the large stressful life events like death, divorce or accidents.  Seeking solace to relieve any or all stress is a common practice.  Comfort can be found within the family unit, rocking a child or in the arms of a lover.  Stress can be relieved by escaping into a good book, movie or taking a long quiet bubble bath.  Exercise, good food, time alone or with good friends can offer comfort and a release from stress and chaos.  Solace, to find comfort, is one of the most common reason people to turn to religion.  During difficult times most people, even those who are not religious, turn towards the divine to receive some type of comfort and release. Pagans, Witches, and Wiccans often find this solace by turning to one of a multitude of Gods or Goddesses and to nature.

Paganism offers a multitude of divine beings to aid in this process. From the compassion of Kwan Yin to the vengeance of Kali, most of the pantheons have a representative of home, compassion, and the underworld, all of whom can provide solace or comfort at any time.  The crones and sages of paganism remind us that each phase leads to the next.  As a popular crone goddess Hecate will drag you kicking and screaming to the next phase.  She can be the “tough love” goddess who reminds that first you let go and then you begin the new or next phase.  

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Master-in-Green

They say that he's god of women, and the artists show him naked amid the women's pulsing dance.

Verdelet, the witches named him: the Master-in-Green.

He's green.

(They say that in the old days they greened him with copper and ground malachite.)

There's a shaggy crown of leaves bound round his head, and leafy ruffs at his wrists and ankles as well. He rustles when he moves. He's the Green.

Green lord of chlorophyll, twin to the blood lord of beasts: like his brother, both wild and tame. Of the two, he's the rooted, the calm one, the peaceful, the thinker of long thoughts.

Don't be fooled.

Last modified on
Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Aline "Macha" O'Brien
    Aline "Macha" O'Brien says #
    Moving and beautiful! Thanks.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Green Man Walking

Here in the US, the “Walk” icon at pedestrian crossings is a little white guy. (Figures.)

But in the UK he's green.

In the London suburb where I lived, the sign at the corner crosswalk read: Pedestrians Wait for the Green Man. I always found this highly amusing.

(No, I did not steal the sign. I did not.)

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Kiss of the Green Man

“What do you know about the Green Man?”

Jim isn't pagan, but his husband, who is, told him that I was the one to talk to. In my pagan arrogance, I could understand why he would be interested in the Green Man. What I couldn't understand was why he should be so interested.

I rattled on for a while about late Roman Bacchic motifs and medieval sculpture, clearly missing the point entirely. Finally I trailed off and asked the question I should have asked first.

“Why do you ask?” I asked him. Thank Goddess.

Last modified on

Additional information