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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Green Man/Red Man

 

 

Thank Goddess: after a covid-driven hiatus, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts is finally open again. At last, I can go see the Green Man Gun.

I've been thinking about it for months. Now, in the normal way of things, I've not a gun guy. I don't own a gun; truth to tell, I've never even fired one. (Yes, I'm just another pansy-ass South Minneapolis liberal wussie. You got a problem with that?) In general, I don't think of guns as things of beauty.

That's why the Green Man Gun—no matter how many times I see it—invariably takes me by surprise.

The Green Man Gun is indeed a thing of beauty. No, I can't tell you what kind of gun it is. (A wheel-lock pistol?) No, I can't tell you for sure where it was originally from. (One of the Germanies, I think.) No, I can't even tell you how old it is. (“16th” century, maybe?) If you're interested, stay tuned and I'll tell you these things once I make my pilgrimage and find out. Maybe I'll even get a picture to show you.

Here's what I can tell you. It must have been made for some well-heeled nobleman, because it wasn't just made to shoot: it was made to be beautiful.

The Green Man Gun is inlaid with mother-of-pearl and colored enamel, set into the sides of the wooden stock. (“Lock, stock, and barrel” we say, meaning the gun in its entirety. “Stock,” of course, originally meant “tree trunk”: here, the vegetative component of an otherwise metal object.) The major decorative motif, of course, is swirling vegetation with a Leaf Face peering through: hence the name.

What does it mean to have the God of Vegetation adorning, of all things, a gun: a god of life on an instrument of death?

Well, we can ask this question, but—let us acknowledge—it's a modern question. The Green Man only became a god in the so-called 20th century. To the nobleman for whom this gun was made, I suspect that the Leaf Mask represented decoration, no more. At most, it would have read contemporaneously as an allusion to the forest to which one resorted for the hunt.

As modern pagans, though, our reading of the past is not limited to how the past read itself. This is a central principle of contemporary pagan hermeneutics. The New Pagan Thought is non-Originalist by definition. (Take that, foul SCOTUS conservatives.)

So let me pose the question once again: why a god of life on an instrument of death?

Here we encounter one of the new paganisms' central concepts: the fruitful Death, the death that gives life. The wheat dies on the scythe to give us bread. The grape is plucked and crushed to give us wine. The gun fires to protect, or to give us food. The Green God is no mere god of life. Like his brother the Horned, he is a sacrificial god.

Welcome to the pagan world. Here opposites meet, kiss, and resolve. Here, death brings life, and guns bear Green Men.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Horned Green Men: A Colloquy

So, Posch.

You say that the Horned and the Green Man are not one god, but two: the Divine Twins, Master of Beasts and Master of Plants respectively.

You also say that in our day They reveal Themselves through art.

So what about all those Horned Green Men that we see?

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Master-in-Green

They say that he's god of women, and the artists show him naked amid the women's pulsing dance.

Verdelet, the witches named him: the Master-in-Green.

He's green.

(They say that in the old days they greened him with copper and ground malachite.)

There's a shaggy crown of leaves bound round his head, and leafy ruffs at his wrists and ankles as well. He rustles when he moves. He's the Green.

Green lord of chlorophyll, twin to the blood lord of beasts: like his brother, both wild and tame. Of the two, he's the rooted, the calm one, the peaceful, the thinker of long thoughts.

Don't be fooled.

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  • Aline "Macha" O'Brien
    Aline "Macha" O'Brien says #
    Moving and beautiful! Thanks.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
People of the Morning Star

Hear O People of the Morning Star

 

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Early Green Man

I keep joking that I'm redoing my house in Early Green Man.

My friend Gary has a Green Man wall in his house. There must be 50 different Green Men in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and mediums on that Wall. You can't hardly help but bow. Me, I've got them all over the house, peeking out from the most unexpected corners. One of the hazards of 21st century consumerist paganism, I guess.

The Green God: Earth's Firstborn and, they say, favorite. (But maybe, like in my family, she just understands him better.) She does give him that incomparable Coat of Many Colors every year as a sign of favor. And so his brother becomes a kin-slayer, most terrible of crimes. But that's never the end with the Green Man. “Cut me down,” he says, “I spring up high.” Irrepressible.

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