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Gary R Varner

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The Muse Book Review of the Mythic Forest, the Green Man and the Spirit of
By Gary R Varner   
Not "rated" by the Author.
Last edited: Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Posted: Thursday, July 13, 2006

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The Muse Book Review of Gary R. Varner's The Mythic Forest, the Green Man and the Spirit of Nature

Who is the Green Man? “The image of the Green Man is that of a foliated head, a face with vines and leaves sprouting from the mouth, eyes and nose, the hair and beard formed, as well, from leaves and twigs. The image may be stern and almost frightening, or a beguiling face peering out of a wealth of vegetation. The Green Man represents the creation of all plant life and its continued renewal.” (p.85) But where and why did these images originate, and how have they evolved over the years?

This comprehensive and well-researched work is presented in two parts. In the first section, the author introduces the reader to the numerous spirits dwelling in the forests. The mystical properties of various trees are also explored as well as the legends associated with them.

In the second part, the reader encounters many of the gods and mythical characters who share several qualities of the Green Man. These include an affinity with vegetation, springtime resurrection, and abundant harvest. The author also touches on the interesting appearance of the Green Man in religious structures, where one would least expect to see this pagan figure. Many pictures of the Green Man in modern era architecture are provided.

The Green Man has been with us for several thousand years, but why does humankind keep creating his image? Maybe to remind us of our connection with nature, and our responsibility to make sure the forests and vegetation continue to thrive.

This is a well-written and well-documented portrayal of mystical forests and the Green Man. If you are interested in this enigmatic figure and what he represents, I highly recommend this book.





Web Site: The Muse Book Review

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Books by
Gary R Varner

Monsters in Stone - Kentucky's Gargoyles, Grotesques and Green Men

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Creatures in the Mist: Little People, Wild Men and Spirit Beings

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The Ancient Religion and Beliefs of Ethiopia

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Ghosts, Spirits & the Afterlife in Native American Folklore and Religion

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Gargoyles, Grotesques & Green Men: Ancient Symbolism in European...

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Portals to Other Realms: Cup-Marked Stones and Prehistoric Rock Carvings

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Remembrances of the Dead - Graveyard Art & Symbolism

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Dream Symbols In Waking Life by Jeanne Miller

Have you ever had a dream with certain symbols that seem to appear in waking life? Ever wonder why this happens?..  
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Infinite Darkness Infinite Light by Margaret Doner

Obsession, murder, betrayal and karma are woven into a gripping tale when Victoria Barkley meets Dennis Manon and is flooded by memories of their past lives. Immediately..  
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