This post is about the 2nd metaphor and follow up to my post about The Hidden Spirituality of Men - Ten Metaphors to Awaken the Sacred Masculine. In that original post I said I would share my journey of reading this book. This is another part of that journey. The Green Man
In mens' studies the Green Man is easily seen through the story of Iron John. In spirituality there are many different stories and references to the green man. Where modern man tries to control nature, the green man works with nature. He is one with nature to the point that some stories make the green man out to BE nature. The green man is a steward who cares for mother earth and knows that she will take care of him in return. [ad#Google Adsense] As a member of the Green Party, I have already begun to explore my Green Man. However, even that is pretty recent and I've always been more of a tech guy so there is quite a bit of room for spiritual growth for me in this area. For me this metaphor pulls me to my native heritage that I have ignored for too long. It reminded me of how touched I was when I read Brother Eagle, Sister Sky to my sons. It is a story based around a message from Chief Seattle before he agreed to "sell" land to the US. The whole message is great but the end sums it up well:
So if we sell you our land, love it as we've loved it. Care for it as we’ve cared for it. Hold in your mind the memory of the land as it is when you take it. And with all your strength, with all your mind, with all your heart, preserve it for your children. and love it . . . as God loves us all.
One thing we know. Our God is the same God. This earth is precious to him. Even the white man cannot be exempt from the common destiny. We may be brothers after all. We shall see.
With that in mind I found a way to get closer to my green man - running. I have never been a runner. I have started and stopped a few times. This chapter gave me something else to focus on while I run. Something I have read from many sources. So I started running with the couch to 5k (c25k) program. I did indeed get closer to the earth as I ran. I reveled in the calm mornings where I could marvel at natures bounty around me. However this also connected me to Father Sky - something unexpected. Father Sky and Mother Earth stories often tell that they were connected by a tree that was cut down at some point. As I ran I would find myself following the trees up to the sky. Then of course, breathing is so important when running and air the the domain of Father Sky. Running also has me more connected my body as I run and the way it feels as a result. The cosmic body is another metaphor that I will cover in another post. To top it all off, the time I spend running is time to ponder the thoughts of what I have recently read.
Beyond just connecting, I have paid more attention to the events of the day. I've begun questioning how much I limit my involvement in anything that affects our planet. Little by little I have been checking myself to make sure I am fighting for what I believe in rather than stand by and do nothing. I am reminded of something I heard during the 2008 election season,"To know and to not act is not to know." I'm starting to understand the reality of that statement now. It is the value of a spiritual warrior - another metaphor to be discussed in a later post. The Green Man has been the seed that has sprouted and grown towards other spiritual masculine metaphors.
I have now read all 10 metaphors from the book and I am going to focus on writing a post on each of the metaphors before going on the the the part of the book. The next part of the book is about sacred marriages - connections of the sacred masculine and the divine feminine. I'm looking forward to those discussion as well so I should be making posts fairly quickly.