When I first became aware that the Green Man was something that was real and not a prickling in the recesses of my imagination, I found Kathleen Basford’s wonderful book The Green Man which is comprised of photographs of Green Man (a.k.a. : the Foliate Head) from around the world. Some of her photographs are from ancient Iran. I can’t help but wonder if they still exist or if they’ve been destroyed by warring factions. I think of the Urkraine and the increasing possibility of invasion and war and their tradition with the Green Man.
One of the traditions in the Ukraine is that of St. George’s Day. Gary Varner, author of The Mythic Forest, the Green Man and the Spirit of Nature discusses St. George’s day where Spring will be reborn. In many cultures, it is said that “George will bring Spring.” Traditionally a tree will be felled on the eve of St. George and decorated with vines and flowers and carried through the town. Fields are blessed and the continuing tradition of the Green Man and humankind of birth, death and rebirth will continue.
I can’t help but wonder how this tradition can flourish in the travesty of potential war. Will tradition survive or will it be blown to pieces like the antiquities in the middle East? Perhaps it is very much like the Green Man of birth, death and rebirth. My hope is that like the blade of grass or weed that makes its way through a crack in the sidewalk, that Green (and good) will conquer over the winter and the dark. I hope so and hope is a seed.
Though my written thoughts may be brief, my heart and head are full of thoughts for the Urkraine people at this time.