I’ve been thinking a lot about plant people and will probably sit down to draw them soon. One of my favorite plant buddies would have to be the Green Man, god of the forest. I’ve already painted him a few times over the years, but yeah, he is starting to play in my imagination once again. This week, I’ve decided to post a few pictures of him throughout history.
I’ve read that the first incarnation of the Green Man (that we know of) may have been the Egyptian god Osiris. His body representing the land of Egypt as it goes through the winter months when he is murdered, dismembered, planted in the ground, only to rise again for harvest (with his skin a nice shade of green). The Green Man has certainly evolved since then, and has been represented throughout Europe, and even India and Asia to represent the guardian of Nature. Even the Catholic church couldn’t get rid of the Green Man, and his image can be found inside and incorporated into their medieval cathedral’s architecture, columns and stained glass.
I love the Green Man. Branches and bark on his face and skin, leaves as his hair, with flowers and foliage growing out of his mouth.
I remember being very happy as a kid if he’d show up in one of the books I’d be reading. I may have initially encountered the Green Man the first time I read Tolkien, where the he was embodied by the Ent, Treebeard. I’ve come across him many times since, in comics (Yay Swamp Thing!), literature, artwork, sculpture, and out in the wild wood. He shows up all over the place, and if you keep your eyes open you will see him everywhere!
Some books and things:
The Green Man: Tales from the Mythic Forest
Green Man: The Archetype of Our Oneness with the Earth
A Little Book of the Green Man (Little Books)
The Earth Has a Soul: C.G. Jung on Nature, Technology & Modern Life
Saga of the Swamp Thing, Book 1
The Green Man Tree Oracle: Ancient wisdom from the greenwood
“Fall” by Todd Powelson
“Green Man” by Todd Powelson