Holly: Green Man

By S.F. Skyheart - May 15, 2024
Holly: Green Man

The Celtic month of Holly, May 16 - June 12, is associated with:

Symbol: Green Man

Green Man, as he is depicted in the modern day, is a relatively new symbol of ecology and divine masculine energy, stemming from the New Age and modern paganism movements of the 1960s, often drawing meaning from a Jungian archetype. He is sometimes an amalgamation of the deities Cernunnos (Celtic), and Pan (Greek).

In the 16th century, "Green Man" was usually a man dressed in green foliage and moss, often at the head of a parade or celebration, clearing the way for the procession through the crowd. In the 17th century, "Green Man" became "Jack O' Green," which was/is a person dressed as a green shrub as part of May Day (Beltane) celebrations.

I've included Green Man with the Celtic month of Holly because for some, he symbolizes protective, divine masculine energy--similar to the other associated symbols of Holly: tinne, tiwaz, carnelian, and oyster. I think it's important to discuss balanced divine energy that includes masculine and feminine qualities (unrelated to gender). There is a lot of discussion on social media about "toxic masculinity," and not enough about balanced and unbalanced energy.

We know the toxic, unbalanced example when we experience it because, unfortunately, it's easy to find. It is a fragile ego pretending to be strong. It is boastful, stunted, narrow minded, and above all, attempts to control others. It's that jerk who hits on someone in a club, but doesn't handle their rejection with maturity, instead lashing out at them (which is definitely not going to change their answer). 

What about balanced energy? What does that feel like? It's a person who takes action, but also hears and applies constructive criticism from others. It's a person who is focused on growth. It is someone who absolutely understands consent--physical and emotional--and respects when someone says no or changes their mind. Above all, it is someone who attempts to control themselves and to be flexible and open-minded enough to keep learning and evolving.

In spirituality, divine masculine and divine feminine are not binary "two halves of a whole," rather, they are blended energies that create balance, an ebb and flow with life, and each person's blend is uniquely theirs. And that is what Green Man symbolizes to me: balanced energy, oneness with environment, and a focus on inner growth and inner peace. Protect your peace.

Do what lights you up,
Sadie

Please note: Some people start the tree calendar with Birch in January, which follows the solar calendar. However, I learned them in an older tradition, which aligns with the 13-month lunar calendar. It's up to you to discern what feels right for you, of course.

See also: 

Taurus 2024
Gemini 2024
Holly May 16 - June 12
Holly: Tinne
Holly: Tiwaz
Holly: Carnelian
Holly: Oyster 
Celtic Tree Months

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