Cloud’s Books

December 25, 2008

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Mummers and Meta

Here’s a twofer for Christmas.  Archetypes must have been on my mind this holiday season.  I went a little crazy in Barnes and Noble right before Christmas, and this gift kit caught my eye: The Green Man Oracle and Card Set. (Link to Barnes and Noble). It came with this little Green Man plaque,  cards for divination, and a small book by John Matthews and Will Worthington.

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This post is dedicated to Phalaeo, who is interested in becoming a Philadelphia mummer, because the book says that among the many variations and interpretations on the nature deity/Green Man theme around the world and across the ages, from a simple tree figure to Peter Pan, there’s a Green Man figure in mumming.  According to Matthews and Worthington, central to the disguised figures who danced and capered in the middle ages was a “figure clad head to foot in leaves” who “brought with it a challenge and a blessing.”  The challenge is to learn and accept the power of nature and to worth with it.

Unlike a dryad of classical mythology, the Green Man is a male deity, which sometimes takes part in spring rites of sacrifice, like many other male deities around the world. So, as we round the corner of the year and head into spring, it seems appropriate to contemplate the spirit hidden in the trees, and elsewhere. The book said that in most of the churches and cathedrals in Europe, electric light has illuminated a host of Green Men hiding high in the dark rafters and corners, looking down upon the congregations.

Interestingly, the Wikipedia page has a listing for “bloodsucker head” as a type of green man, where vegetation comes out of every orifice.  I can’t really find an image for you though.

Probably just as well.  (Here’s a link to Google images of green men.) I love Google images!

It’s a nice little kit. As far as the divination goes, I believe that most such cards can be an aid to intuition.  As an intuitive person, they are great for me.  I asked the Green Man a question today using the deck and got an extremely succinct and direct answer.   I’m not sure if I would actually want to meet a Green Man in the forest–they’re pretty scary!  I think of the power of the ancient growing things.  I think of Ursula Le Guin’s “The Word for World is Forest,” (link to Librarything) and Tolkien’s spider-infested Mirkwood, as well as his green men, the Ents.

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Look! a new “page” for books!

I’m constantly buying, reading, arranging, and shopping for books.  So I decided to add a page (found in the tabs above) for my books and references. What? No Librarything?

I’ll add books that have useful information about body piercing, and will also talk about other books that interest me as I come across ’em.

Like this one.

Thank you to OddSock’s photostream at Flickr.

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