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Subject: Green man, what's that secret your keepin'?
From: "Thomas J. Delaney" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Thomas J. Delaney
Date:Wed, 3 Nov 93 11:34:41 -0600
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Thank you Jill, Kevin, and Noreen (whoops, I hope that's right) for perhaps
clarifying the identity...yet somehow adding to the mystery...of this most
enigmatic figure, the GREEN MAN (uhm-hmm)..
 
Last night I looked up some things, and if anyone's interested...here's what I
found out.  The example of the green man being hewn into the sculptures of a
cathedral which I recalled, refer to the chapel at Rosslyn Castle, near
Edinburgh (the home of the Sinclair family).  Rosslyn chapel was built
(foundations ating from 1446) with the intention of it being a Lady Chapel for a
much larger catrhedral.  Of some interest are thecrypts  which contain all the
barons of Rosslyn - get this - laid out in their armor rather than placed in
coffins (...well...don't you think that's...interesting...qanyway...)
 
     So, there's this curly-haired bearded fellow in several corners, which is
supposed to be "the Celtic vegetation god and "tutelary deity of fertility"
(hmmmm....that sounds like a good phrase to use at a party)." The book which has
some pictures of the chapel traces the green man sculptures to "the CEltic 'cult
of the head'" - the ancient belief that the head contained the soul, and that
the heads of vanquished adversaries should therefore be severed and preserved
(so Celtic head severing and worship...forgive me...rears its ugly head again in
the Celtic interest group). The authors also associate head worship with the
myth of Bran the Blessed, whose head is supposedly buried as a protective
talisman outside of London, facing towards France, to protect Britain from
invasion by the plague and ensured fertility of the surrounding countrside, and
as well as the Grail.
 
So...there you have...something.  As far why the green man was built into the
cathedral's design it seems that it was perhaps fashionable given that Robert
the Bruce was pursuing the re-establishment of a Celtic kingdom in Scotland
around the time of the cathedral's construction.
 
And now...Mr. Newton....what's this about Cuchullain being a pict?  As I
understand it his true father was Sualtim, but I don't know where he hailed
from.
 
One more thing about knightly orders...or warrior groups...whatever it was that
someone inquired about a while back...besides the Red Branch Knights of Emania,
you may be interested in looking up the Gamanraide of the West (who were
Firbolgs), and the  Clanna Deaghaid of Munster led by Curoi MacDaire...anyone
can let me know if they want me to pursue information about these guys...
 
Met John Barleycorn for 'un unco guid breakfast!
 
Dia dhuit!
 
Tom
 
Thomas J. Delaney          |  **************************
School Psychology Program  |  *    University of Minnesota    |  *  From whence
   come you, *
350 Elliott Hall           |  *                        *
75 East River Rd.          |  *     and whither do     *
Minneapolis, MN   55455    |  *                        *
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Voice: (612) 624-9340      |  *                        *
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