It seems appropriate, given the time of year to share ” The Green Man ” with you.
This is my Green Man stained glass panel, he is 17 inches in diameter. The total number of pieces in this panel is approx 56. If you search for The Green Man online you will find a huge variety of images in all sorts of mediums. From pub signs to wall plaques and it has also become very popular with stained glass artists. This is my take on the subject here using Youghiogheny Stipple Glass. The variation pictured below is 12-inch diameter and uses cathedral glass. Even though I have adapted the pattern you can see the difference in how the choice of glass affects the look of the panel.
The history of the Green Man image dates right back to pagan times. Found in many forms the most common feature being foliage sprouting from his face. He symbolises the cycle of life, death and rebirth, heralding in Spring after the long dark Winter. Although the image has adorned many ancient buildings the Term “Green Man” is more modern. In doing my research for this post I have come across a great many different stories of our foliated friend. One thing is for sure though he is around to stay, there is even an annual “Green Man” festival held in Wales.
There are strong Irish connections amongst many others in pagan folklore. Most of these centre around Beltane the Celtic festival of fire. Held on the 1st of May between the Spring equinox and the Summer solstice and also known as a cross-quarter day. There would be feasting and rituals celebrating fertility and rebirth. Fires were lit and the cattle were driven through the smoke to protect them from disease.