The Queast for the Green Man

John Matthews

144 Blz., ISBN 0 8356 0825 5     
Quest Books - The Theosophical Publishing House , 2001     

The Green Man is coming back!

From ancient folklore and timeless tradition, the archetype of the Green Man is reemerging as an image of force and power. No other figure so strongly focuses our vision on the ruin of nature; no other speaks so directly of our relationship to the natural world.
Endlessly changing shape, the Green Man appears in many guises and cultures throughout history. As Wildman of the Woods, he guards the sacred trees and forests. As Lord of the Beasts, he watches over the woodland creatures. As the sacrificial Corn King, he is cut down but grows anew, a natural symbol for all dying and resurrecting gods - such as Christ, Odin, or Adonis - who meet death on a tree but rise again.
We know the Green Man in tradition as Merlin, Robin Hood, Herne the Hunter, The Green Knight, Enkidu, and Cernunnos. Today, he finds voice in the green movement and even the astronauts!
Throughout all manifestations, he remains the quintessential Spirit of the Wildwood, the guardian of the planet´s life force and ecology. If we think of the earth as Gaia, the Goddess of Nature, then the Green Man is surely her consort. We are wise to recognize him as such, for the marriage of nature and humanity is essential to our survival.
Now we seek the greening of the spirit almost as urgently as we do the greening of the earth. Our urban society lacks those who can show us the way. Perhaps it is for this purpose that the Green Man now returns. Perhaps we collectively call him back into consciousness to help us heal our relationship with the natural world.
This book explores the Green Man´s many faces throughout time. Its course ranges widely through forest and woodland, medieval church architecture, folklore and ceremony, the ancient mythologies of the world, shamanistic art and artifacts, and images of contemporary ecological concern. Highly illustrated with images from Western iconography and the beauty of natural objects, The Quest for the Green Man will delight the eye, thrill the storyloving heart, and quicken the spirit.

The Quest for the Green Man takes us on an exciting journey across twenty centuries and through dozens of cultures around the world - all of which have acknowledged, in one form or another, the presence of a mysterious leafy figure that personifies the generative masculine power of the earth.
Folklore expert John Matthews, author of the prize-winning The Winter Solstice (Quest Books 1998), tells the long history of this remarkable being, from his origins in the prehistoric past to his reemergence in the modern ecological movement.

Rediscover the spirit of nature in the Green Man´s age-old story.

Delight in transformative tales and legends from many cultures.

Explore for yourself, through myth, image, and visualization, the mystery at the heart of the natural world.

Find ways to live in harmony with the environment and the seasons.

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