The Green Man & why some things never change

“But I’m the Green Man.  The earth is my element.”

(from Jane Gardman’s  The Green Man) [1]

The Green Man is tradition.  He tirelessly tends the land.  He does this off his own back.  He receives thanks from none.   Each and every year it’s his green thumb that brings in the harvest that the rest of us eat.   This is the job of the Green Man;  this is what he does.  No matter how discouraged, his element is earth.  He cannot leave.

Perhaps this is a familiar feeling for those of you with lots of planets in earth (Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn)?

Earth planets and houses (2nd, 6th, and 10th) require work.  It is through these earth energies that you give form and definition to life.  Like the Green Man, you can’t do this for others.  You must do it to satisfy yourself.   If you expect reward, these energies will turn against you.  You are lost when you give form to the values of others.

Value is nothing until you put a price on it and it seems that in our society the Green Man pays an extortionate price; he is old, poor, unfed, and unappreciated.  All his contemporaries drive Mercedes.  He does not.

Yet aren’t material success and personal fulfilment assured to everyone who tries?  Some say we can’t have both.  I say we can’t afford not to.  The Green Man just retired.

Traditionally earth planets and houses show how you make money and achieve your ambitions.  From birth, you’re told ‘the sky is the limit’.  Is that what post-modern life is all about?  We’re told that good old-fashioned work has no place for airy ideals.  Yet this contravenes magic (Neo-Platonic philosophy).  Manifestations on the material plane are reflections of subtle changes in the ‘ideal’ plane.  What gives?

In Gardman’s story, the Green Man told Christ he couldn’t go to heaven because

‘…the earth is my element.  This is my tragedy.  I am not yours.  I am bound and tied.’

Post-modern Western man (myself included) is also bound & tied – to iPhones, iPads, and all the latest fashion.  We’re also tied to bank-overdrafts and credit card debt.  Apparently (at least in relation to our ‘earthy’ ‘values’), some things never change.  How dispiriting.

[1] The Windrush Press (1998), p. 45.

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