Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Green Man Revisited

It has been about 5 years since I carved the Green Man. I became captivated by the whole Green Man mystery when I saw my first Green Man in Chris Pye's book "Elements of Woodcarving". Visit his website at: Chris is a great woodcarver and his books have taught me a lot about woodcarving. He has a page on his website devoted to the the Green Man with links to other sites. There are many theories on what the symbol of the Green Man means and why the symbol appears in so many medieval churches. No one knows for sure, where the symbolism comes from, or why he was so ubiquitous during that period.

Some people think it is purely a pagan symbol. Personally, I think it is simply a symbol of re-birth which may have roots in pagan beliefs, but has been absorbed and transformed to represent Christian beliefs, like Easter and Resurrection.

I am quickly approaching retirement age, and a new phase of my life. Seeing the Green Man hanging in my living room reminds me that my passage into retirement should be a re-birth into a new life of creativity and appreciation of nature.

Have you ever carved a Green Man? What do you think the Green man symbol means?


Anonymous said...



Donna Menke said...

Pappa- you know I love your sense of design. When it comes to band saw boxes you are at the top of the list. I didn't know you could write too- nice to read your philosophy as well as admire your boxes. Thanks for showing us your box as it develops. I'll have to try one also. It is a great design- I have the 400 book but don't recall that design- I'll have to look through it again. Donna