Thursday, July 22, 2010

Phipps Conservatory ~ the Greenman

In one of the glorious rooms of the Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh was a featured display of Greenman. Legend tells us about a Lord of the Forest. Considered fierce in battle but kind to wounded knights, children lost in the woods or damsels in distress.
Sometimes considered Father Nature or Pan like, the Greenman protects the wild and those in the wild, he also blesses the crops and insures that the seasons progress on time. Always depicted with lots and lots of leaves, often depicted with a staff growing from his palms and vines all a round, many Greenman carvings are found on European churches. The term Greenman was first coined by Lady Raglan, in her 1939 article "The Green Man in Church Architecture" in The Folklore Journal.
The spring march of the Blessed Order of the Greenman is one of my very favorite parts of the Spoutwood Farm Fairy Festival. They march and chant symbolizing the rebirth of the growing season and offering blessings. The Greenman can be hard to spot but not impossible.


Marilyn said...

I love seeing each and every Greenman, even the ones hard to spot.

Frivolitea said...

Fascinating post! I love images of the Greenman and find the legend interesting as well.