Week of 9/25-30/2023: The Green Man and the Sacred Masculine

September 25, 2023: And Now, the Green Man
As we more deeply explore the Sacred Masculine, we reflect on the Green Man, who represents vegetation, fertility, and generativity. This brings to mind Christ’s statement of “I am the Vine.” Says Matthew: Vines have deep roots in the ground, in the dark, in search of the Source where life finds its nourishment.

Jim Wert, retired lawyer and “The Wizard of Cheltenham, MD” as Green Man. Photo published with permission.

September 26, 2023: Hildegard of Bingen & Indigenous Teachings on the Green Man
Matthew teaches us that: Philosophers of the modern industrial era such as Descartes and Francis Bacon talked about “mastering nature,” and clearly the West has been doing that for centuries. The Green Man is decidedly not about mastering nature but about relating to nature…. Hildegard of Bingen also taught about greening power (viriditas) which she sometimes calls the Holy Spirit in us, our generative and creative powers. Meanwhile, in Native American traditions, plants are considered the wisest of all living creatures. They have certainly been here the longest.

September 27, 2023: Christ as a Green Man a la Hildegard of Bingen
Hildegard calls Christ “green wood” and green man. Hildegard calling Jesus a “green man” is of very great impact. After all, she is a saint and declared doctor of the church. In this time of climate change with so many great challenges to the health and wellbeing of our planet, we are all called to be green men and green women. As we revision Christ as a Green Man, we can emulate him and work to preserve the beautiful, regenerative, greening power of the Earth.

Mural showing Jesus as Green Man, in a church in Havana, Cuba. Photo by Ellen Kennedy. Published with permission.

September 28, 2023: The Green Man as an Antidote to Authoritarianism
It is important for us to explore archetypes of the Sacred Masculine. As author Joseph Jastrab observes: “Generations of modern men have grown alienated from images of manhood connected to the living Earth and to the Great Mystery.”  For instance, the rise of authoritarianism in many countries today is yet another sign that healthy masculinity is in trouble. Whereas, as Matthew reminds us, “One sign of the healthy masculine is to respect women and celebrate the return of the Divine Feminine.”

September 29, 2023: Masculinity as Standing Tall, God as Ground of Being
William Anderson, coauthor of The Green Man: The Archetype of Our Oneness with the Earth, teaches that the Green Man, depicted as a benevolent being, helped shift the mindset of the Middle Ages from a fear-based relationship with nature to one of friendship. There is a deep relationship between the Green Man and the ground. Thich Nhat Hanh’s favorite name for God was “ground of being” which originally came from Meister Eckhart, though Thich Nhat Hanh got it from Paul Tillich. That sense of rootedness can bring us closer to the mystery of God, Source, and the nourishment that creation provides. Green Man can be an ally for us.

‘Green Man’ stone carving ‘Green Man’ stone carving in the medieval kitchen of Coventry City Council. Flickr

September 30, 2023: The Green Man, Sacred Trees, Shamanhood, Spirit-Strength
Anderson calls the Green Man “the cosmic man or intelligence underlying creation.” The Green Man also recalls the Cosmic Tree, or the axis mundi which connects the Earth and Sky. The shaman often uses the axis mundi to journey to the underworld or to the upper world to commune with spirits there. In early Christianity, the Cosmic Christ is often connected with the Cosmic Tree, as the cross itself is a sacred tree, as is the bodhi tree under which the Buddha found enlightenment.


Banner image: “Ancient Oak Trees in Brocton Coppice, Staffordshire, United Kingdom.” Photo by Staffordshire Clive, Wikimedia Commons.

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3 thoughts on “Week of 9/25-30/2023: The Green Man and the Sacred Masculine”

  1. Avatar

    Blessings of LOVE, Wisdom, Peace, Justice, Healing, Transformation, Joy, ONENESS… to all our sisters and brothers around the world, and to our Beautiful Sacred Mother Nature and all Her creatures and graceful abundance, within our Sacred multidimensional-multiverse LOVING Evolving Diverse Wholeness~ONENESS COSMOS….

  2. Avatar

    I live in Costa Rica. I am deepky coscious of the reality of the divine behind, but not in, nature. We are all Green Men when we behold the divine beyond. Whether it is our enlightened faith or our enlightened habits we still know that this green earth is not our true home but a stepping stone to the truly green eternal. God bless you all!,

  3. Avatar

    What a timely & beautiful fresh take on Christ’s message. Reading this brought to mind Blake’s gorgeous sentiment, “To some people a tree is something so incredibly beautiful that it brings tears to the eyes. To others it is just a green thing that stands in the way.”

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