Coming of the Green Man

This is the time when the God returns as the Green man, the spirit of vegetation, unfurling in the leaves on the trees. Many Pagans have sculptures and masks that represent him, a face surrounded by leaves, and they were often a feature of architecture, including churches, in the mediaeval period here in England.  Many mythologies have some kind of representation of the vegetation spirit, a god who represents new growth in spring.

In an echo of the masks of the god Dionysus hung in the trees at the ancient Greek springtime festival the Anthestêria, I am putting out my Green Man masks in the garden, as I do every year. Some of these are resin, some concrete, and some ceramic. These foliate faces represent the spirit of vegetation we call back to the land at this time of year, asking for his blessing. (If you don’t have a garden, you can place a green man mask on your altar.) The invocation in this ritual was written by a late friend of my hearth, Paul England, who loved to wear the Green Man mask in our springtime ceremonies.


Your mask it is a magical world
Your name it is constantly changing

You’re a breath of the wind, you’re the son of Pan
You’re the greenwood prince, you are the Green Man
You dance all day to your father’s tune
Then sleep by the light of the moon.

You never speak a word to the plants and trees
But your heart belongs to the growing
You live in the spring and all summer long
And sleep when the weather is snowing

Come breath of the wind that seeds all the flowers
In the bright summer sun that shines for hours
Dance all day to your father’s tune
Then sleep by the light of the moon
. [1]

[1] This is based on a poem by my late friend Paul England


Author: annafranklinblog

Anna Franklin is the High Priestess of the Hearth of Arianrhod, which runs teaching circles, a working coven, and the annual Mercian Gathering, a Pagan camp which raises money for charity. She regularly speaks at conferences, moots and workshops around the country. She is the author of many books on witchcraft and Paganism, including the popular Pagan Ways Tarot, Sacred Circle Tarot, The Fairy Ring, Herb Craft, Magical Incenses and Oils, Personal Power, A Romantic Guide to Handfasting, Familiars, The Oracle of the Goddess, Hearth Witch, The Path of the Shaman and The Hearth Witch’s Compendium. Anna’s books have been translated into nine languages.

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