our Manhood to the Benefit of the Whole
Green Man of Hatra, Iraq
European Green Man
Mexican (Maya) Green Man
Asian Green Man (Maitreya Buddha)
Jesus was A Green Man
One of the current Green Men
History teaches us, that when all
Green Man born from MotherGoddess
In these most critical of times, listen carefully, my friends, because your life and the lives of everybody on the planet will be depending on it. I assume that you agree with me, that the world is in deep, deep trouble. In the course of history, we the men have created a mega-machine, that is rapidly destroying all sentient and non-sentient beings. Unfortunately, our outward successes didnt match with an equal amount of self-understanding. A very troublesome fact, indeed. No wonder, that everything is rapidly getting out of control.
In order to know, why everything went wrong, we have to gain insight in ourselves. Lets start with the beginning. As you probably know, everything without any exception is embedded in the all-inclusive Great Consciousness. In pre-historic times we therefore lived in a situation of permanent Bliss, comparable with the oceanic experience of the fetus. It was the time prior to the development of the mind. Society was centered around the awe-creating mystery of women and their ability to give birth to children. The role of men in the pro-creation was unknown.
This was reflected by the intuitive insight into the universe as an all-embracing Cosmic Womb, also called the Great Mother. The entire world is born out of Her, while continuously returning. Obviously, earthly mothers were especially revered. Men saw it as their role to provide them and the children with everything they needed. They served life, without being aware of serving. They did not question their social position at all (which in fact was subordinate). Society (consisting of tribes) functioned in a most harmonious way. Hence, later authors (e.g. Lao Tzu) referring to this early stage of mankind as being paradise.
With the discovery of agriculture (by women) everything got a more outspoken connotation. People observed the sprouting of seeds, the growing of crops, their full maturity (harvest) and their return to the earth. Since their lives depended on it, concern for the success of the cycle was of extreme importance. Originally, this entirely belonged to the realm of the Great Mother as the Source of birth (creation), permanence (web of life) and death (destruction). In the course of time, these functions were delegated to the men, though. Hence, the Vegetation God (Dumuzi, Baal, Attis) became responsible for the harvest.
The core characteristic of the Green Man is that he has been born out of the Great Mother as Light out of the Darkness of the unfathomable Cosmic Womb. This is Her Son aspect. He matures and becomes Her Lover and Servant. As such He carries out Her instructions: as caretaker for the wellbeing of creation. This is symbolized by His identification with the seasons. In spring He is (re)born, performing the ritual marriage ("hieros gamos") with the Mother (Goddess/Queen), through which a new offspring is created. Subsequently, His mission is to facilitate, guide, promote and protect the process of sprouting, growth, flowering and frutition. In autumn he dies because the vegetation dies, thus going into the second phase of the cycle: that of decay and death, until the next resurrection.
Friends, it is of utmost importance to understand, that our sacrificing role with regard to guaranteeing the well-being of society is deeply engrained in our genes. As you probably know, the more early the experiences of a child, the more decisive they are to later life. It is the same with mankind. This means, that deep within the goal of serving life is the most fulfilling one a man can pursue. It reveals in a most painful way, how far we have gone astray. Something went terribly wrong in the times after. Please, feel this pain so totally, that nothing can stop you from discovering the Truth about who you really are.
Some of us did not live so close to the earth, women and the Great Mother, though. Circumstances had driven them to the open planes of Eastern Europe. Here the original hunters had developed themselves into skillful nomads and warriors. Their perception of the Divine was a reflection of open space. Not surprisingly thus, that they revered a Sky God, ruling the earth from above through thunder, storm and winds. These tribes managed to develop a war chariot, a superior tool in conquest. It didnt take long before they discovered the thriving agrarian communities in the South.
At the same time, the early maternal society proved not to be that static either. Several factors were involved. First of all, through accumulation of property men were attributed with a new role: that of protectors/guardians. They had to identify themselves with one aspect, at the expense of their (previous) concern with the Whole. It signified a sense of separation or the birth of the ego. Rather than serving, self-interest evolved. Thats why men increasingly refused to be committed to their role as Vegetation God. Instead of submitting themselves to the cycle of birth and death, they started searching for immortality* (Gilgamesh Epic).
* The driving force behind all major patriarchal religions!!!
Obviously, this position also gave way to lust for power. Step by step men started dominating not only property, but also their wives, children, the (extended) family and the whole tribe. In many places this coincided with the invasion of patriarchal warrior tribes from the North. Centuries of conquering (by Hittites, Assyrians, Dorians and countless others) would follow. E.g. the Old Testament can be considered as an account of the crushing of (relative) peaceful people (Canaanites) by the invading Hebrews. The horrors were indescribable: Saul killed thousands, but David slaughtered tens of thousands, everything ordered by the God of the chosen people, Yahweh.
Dear friends, dont think these accounts have historical value only. They reveal a pattern, with which we still have to deal today. In fact, the overall tendency of dominating powers to declare minorities as untermenschen, that can be oppressed, terrorized, tortured, raped or killed at random, is a main factor behind all modern wars. Its cause can be traced back to the time in which the ego originated. If you dont identify with the Whole anymore, but with separate self-centered interests, then the other becomes excluded. Rather than feeling compassion toward the whole of existence, you start perceiving the other as a threat. You start projecting all ugly things of yourself into the other.
Lets recapitulate. From the beginning there was an intimate relationship between the Great Mother and the Vegetation God. Like everything else he was born from the Mother and had to return to Her. Thats why he is both Her Son and also Her Lover ( .). Deep engrained was the awareness, that even when he exercised his role as a King, he did so exclusively in the Name of the Mother, emphasizing the Source on Which he was depending. He and all others knew where they were coming from. Without exception men never claimed to be the ultimate authority. Even in the highest post, he remained the servant of life. Isnt that beautiful?
Some have argued*, that in Great Mother Tradition men would be reduced to "son-lovers" only, pushed back into a subordinate position. As is often the case in Wicca/Goddess groups. Nothing could be further from the Truth though. First of all there is his historical role as Vegetation God e.g. King. Moreover, from a spiritual point of view the Son (Daughter) represents the Divine (the Light), Mother's first emanation. In the Original Tradition his position is upgraded - by his possibility to Realize full Enlightenment (the Divine as your Innermost Core) through taking refuge in the Mother - something he never managed to "accomplish" under patriarchy.
* Rosemary Radford Ruether
The Essence of the Green Man is that He symbolizes the sacredness of the earth. He is the Divine Essence that permeates all sentient and non-sentient beings. He is proof of the fact that the Divine is not separated from existence (as Christianity tries us to believe), but that It Is All-Present in everything, nothing excluded. It is the Immanent Transcendence. Hence, the Green Man is intimately connected to vegetation, that's why branches and leaves are pouring out of His head. He is All-Encompassing, Nature proving to be content of the (His) Divine Space. He literally embraces and protects it. This is His Essence, Power and Mission. That's why the Green Man is the ultimate redeeming Dimension, re-appearing at a time He is most needed. In the past the old Vegetation Gods were the first, followed by Dionysos, Maitreya Budda, Al-Khidir and....Jesus*. Ultimately, everyone of us is a Green Man (or Wise Woman**).
* Jesus as an initiate - anointed by Mary Magdalene - of the Old Mother Religion, of which the latter was a priestess.
** See: "Wise Women"
If the Divine is penetrating the Whole of Existence it also includes us, nobody excluded. It constitutes our innermost core. Meister Eckhart called this "our Divine Spark" within. If it is true, that deep within we are Divine - and this IS the Truth - then the dogma of the Christian "original sin" proves to be a blatant deceit*. You are either Divine or a sinner, you cannot be both. They definitely exclude each other. Indeed, it is the most outrageous manipulation in Christian faith, upon which all their other "truths" depend. Without "original sin" there is no need for a Divine Savior, without Savior no need for a Church "representing Him"......By the way, from the very beginning the Church denounced nature as "work of the devil", making the former responsible for the desacralisation of e.g. alienation from the earth. Green Man therefore is a triumph over 2000 years of oppression, a true symbol of newly acquired freedom.
* The obvious fact that individuals can and do sin - turn their back to the Divine - is not part of the discussion here. It is about whether we are collectively and essentially - by birth - "sinful" or Divine.
Let's continue my elaboration on the mission of men. Obviously, in order to be able to serve, one has to grow to maturity first. Men have to learn to rely on their inner Self, rather on their position in society (only). Men suffer from a devastating identity-crisis. Hence, working on your wholeness has utmost priority. Crucial is to awaken from ignorance by becoming the one you really are: your inner observer, the Divine Spark within. Realizing it transcends your superficial (social) identity. It runs parallel to re-connecting to your body and your vital energies. Heaven and earth will become united, once again. Once firmly established you may start working on balancing your inner polarities: male and female, creativity and destruction, strength and vulnerability, lust and compassion, freedom and commitment.
Again, my friends, you will understand, that our primordial archetype that which constitutes the deepest layers of our soul - is in great conflict with the roles we play in modern times. Could that be the core cause of our deep unease, which we men suffer? Isnt it true, that we rarely feel to be ourselves? A strange inner restlessness pushes us forward further into no mans land. We cannot find a place in ourselves, in which we can relax, enjoy or regenerate. Some of us have a far away (painful) memory of a mystical/mythical place of beauty though, in which we were still in harmony with existence. Or more specific: with The Eternal Feminine.
Longing for the Womb is usually considered as psycho-pathological. It is a symptom of immaturity, neurosis e.g. regression. The Truth is different, though*. The joke is, that nobody has ever been able to escape from the Womb. Isnt She the Cosmic Womb that embraces us all without exception? It not only makes our ego-efforts futile, but more importantly gives us the sense of security we are longing for. Realizing that you live in an all-inclusive Cosmic Womb while devoting yourself to Her - makes you LESS dependent on immature mechanisms, with which you rely on your wife, for instance. Emotional exploitation will be decreasing, rather than the opposite.
* F.i. Martin Buber has stated, that the deepest spiritual longing consists of returning home or reuniting with the Cosmic Womb.
The Essence of the Cosmic Womb is a Vacuum, also called Emptiness or Nothingness. For the first time we understand the old saying God gives and God takes. Rather than personalizing this why would God give and take? reason for endless useless theological discussions - insight in the Vacuum gives a perfect natural explanation. In the Depth of Her Bottomlessness both the Light (Divine) and the universe are born, while continuously returning to Her. There are thus two cosmic forces: one toward manifestation (creation) and one back to the Origin (death).
Since ancient times (and preserved in Hinduism), Mothers Vacuum is said to generate the Law of the Universe: the dynamic equilibrium between death, permanence and creation. Women represented permanence. It is them who embody the substance ("Web") of life. Men, on the contrary, connect to death and rebirth.* They sacrifice themselves to the benefit of the Whole. By doing so, they continuously renew themselves. It is the essence of a Green Man. His vocation has been lost through patriarchal dominance, though. Rather than dying to the old, his world increasingly became dictated by accumulation, exploitation, money and power.
* What men experience psychologically, women do so through their bodies a.o. the menstrual cycle.
The tragedy of manhood is, that it has become ugly. We have allowed, that the system exploits our predisposition of sacrifice. We have become addicts. Both big business and the state (bureaucracy/army) abuse our abilities to the benefit of the few. Obviously, we are responsible for that. We cannot blame others for our transgressions. Hence, become painfully aware of your intolerable position. Your burn-out is a sign of an ego that has exhausted itself in chasing surrogate satisfaction. To have is the inability to Be. A deep remorse has to penetrate your innermost core, being the conditio sine qua non for authentic Transformation of Self and Society.
Dear friends! The positive side of the current global crisis is, that this cannot go on anymore. As everyone can see, society is in decay. Why? The cosmic balance is seriously disturbed by our accumulations. Emptiness doesnt tolerate them anymore. Hence, everything is being broken down. Individually and collectively we are moving toward nothingness. This nothingness isnt the end though, like people try to let us believe. In reality Nothingness proves to be the Cauldron of Regeneration, in which everything old, sick and ugly dies in order to become reborn. The mission of The Green Man thus has won a new meaning: to guide mankind to a new stage of evolution.
Unless men start participating in
creating a New World based
Green Men see, how in patriarchy fear of Nothingness (relapse into the Womb) has led to progress, an obsession with the future, accumulation, expansion, exploitation, oppression and injustice. Its motto is never look back. F. i., in business stagnating growth figures is giving rise to extreme hysterical nervousness. Once you have really seen (felt) this, then there will be no way back. It is equal to waking up from a nightmare. Your new life will be centered on Restoring the Wholeness of Life, to start with yourself: reclaiming your True Self, your suppressed emotions, your gentleness and feelings, your contact with your body and nature, your (inner) beauty, your self-respect and pride, your courage and compassion.
* See also: The Universal Way.
Despite all distortions, the archetype of the Green Man managed to survive until this very day. After the era of the Great Mother the torch was passed on to the Hellenistic Mystery Religions. One well-known example was the Eleusinian Mysteries, centered on Mother Demeter and her Daughter Kore. As always the theme is dying to the old in order to become reborn. Initiates went through a (secret) ritual, whereby they had to go into Darkness in order to subsequently enter into the Light. Through this process people were said to be renewed. Christianity thus wasnt that unique beginning as it has always claimed. In fact, through his death and resurrection Jesus fits perfectly in the old tradition.*
* F.i. Hildegard of Bingen spoke of Jesus as The Green Man.
Christianity surely was a (sad) milestone in the sense, that something that previously was available to many, now was claimed by one man only: Christ, who died for us all in order to redeem us. The power of regeneration was taken from us, becoming the exclusive instrument of the church, making everyone of us depend on its salvation. Despite that, the Green Man started to appear as images of a (mostly) foliated male face. Especially in Ireland (Cernunnos, Dagda) and in England you see countless of these pictures in churches and other places. It was an attempt of the people to keep the tradition alive. Something that soon after culminated in the Grail Legend, with Parcival as the new Green Man.
Patriarchal religion alienated us from our True Self, our bodies and nature, eroticism, love and sex, our femininity and a Self-sovereign community. Hence, our spiritual thirst being accordingly. What we (desperately) need are spiritual leaders men and women* - who like Parcival - embark on the Quest for Wholeness withdrawing, transforming and sharing to the benefit of the Whole. Who will extend their insight, love and strength into their immediate surroundings: family, street, neighbourhood, commune and further on. Who like the spiritual knights of the Middle Ages solemnly vow to support and defend the poor and the hungry, women and children, the exploited and the oppressed, plants, trees, animals, the rivers and the oceans.
* The Green Man Initiative will be supported by the Council of Wise Women, the latter having an equal say (or more...) in the decision making.
What is urgently needed is a worldwide movement of people, dedicated to healing the planet. Starting point could be Healing the Planet as defined in this website. Our efforts include A New Spirituality (The Eternal Feminine as the Foundation of Spirituality and Religion), A New Psychology (The dynamic interaction between awareness, the reflexion and the various sub-personalities), A New Health Care (Self Help, Holistic and Technological Medicine respectively) A New Tradition ((Wise Women and Green Men), A New Society (Based on Subsidiarity, Mother Right and Community Democracy), A New Economy (Economy of balance, Voluntary work and a Basic income) and A New Earth (Sustainable energy, Nature conservation and Organic agriculture).
The greatest virtue both of women and men is to be a fountain of overflowing abundance. It presupposes, that you have realized the Source of Inner Wealth. True giving is sharing the treasures without expecting anything in return. In fact, you have to share, because the Source is bigger than you. (Obviously, what you are sharing doesn't belong to you, either). So you will be grateful to everyone, who is open to receive it. Your gifts will not immediately reach everybody, though. You have to find sensitive people, who resonate with your wavelength. When the time is ripe - a time like ours, when everything is turned upside down - your message may penetrate larger groups. Blessed are those who struck a sympathetic note.
Green Men of the world, stand up, unite and become fruitful. Rely on your True Nature, that which has been there from the very beginning. By returning to the Source you will continuously regenerate yourself, to the benefit of all sentient and non-sentient beings. Indeed, striving for excellence, however, not as an instrument of exploitation, but a powerful tool in guiding people toward a sustainable, peaceful and just society. The time is ripe. Thats why the Great Mother has revealed HerSelf: to help us to get out of the Mess. Overcome your existential fear by surrendering to Her (Nothingness). From early times, it is said, that the ones, who have gone through Darkness will forever live in the Light.
Los Angeles, July 2006
2006 © Copyright Han Marie
Stiekema. All rights reserved.
Last revising: 08/09/12