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The Green Man

Authors Unknown

Stone Carver


Who is the Green Man? Where does the Green Man come from?

The Green Man can be traced back many hundreds of years where we find him lurking in Medieval churches across the length and breadth of Europe.

In the British Isles and Europe, The Green Man a pagan deity of the woodlands usually represented as a horned man peering out from a mask of foliage, usually the sacred oak.

Today these foliate faces, the personification of nature, the Wild Man of the Woods, have returned to become a neo-pagan symbol and a reminder to us all to respect the world in which we live.


The Green Man, also called 'Green Jack' 'Jack-in-the-Green' and 'Green George', represents the spirits of the trees, plants and foliage.

The Green Man is attributed with the powers of making rain and fostering the live-stock with lush meadows.

The Green Man appears often in medieval art, including carved decorations in churches and cathedrals, is such an overtly pagan one that nobody really knows why the Green Man is so prominent in Christian art.


In a fertility ritual, performed on May Day or Beltane, Jack in the Green, or Green George, as The Green Man dressed in a frame of greenery, was led in procession around the village, ending with the symbolic death of the Jack.

The Green Man is mentioned in the ancient Morris dance song, 'Jack on the green', a contortion of Jack in the Green.

In spring Pagan rites, The Green Man is represented by a young man clad from head to foot in greenery, who leads the festival procession.

In some festivals, The Green Man, or an effigy of him, is dunked into a river or pond in order to ensure enough rain to make the fields and meadows green.


As the woodlands deity, the Green Man shares an association with the forest-dwelling Fairies (green is the fairy colour).

In some locations in the British Isles, the fairies are called 'Greenies' and 'Greencoaties'.

'The Green Children' is a myth of two fairy children, a brother and a sister, whose skin is green, and who claim to be of a race with green Skin.