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The Green Man: Neolithic Deity

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by Neo Deist, Jun 27, 2016.

  1. Neo Deist

    Neo Deist Th.D. & D.Div. h.c.

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    The pagans, especially Celts, are going to love this...

    Before the story of Jesus, or Mithras, or Dionysis, or Osiris, or Dammuzi, or even Murugan, there existed a legend of a pagan deity that dates back to the Neolithic era (~10,000 BCE). That legend is of the "Green Man." We will use GM for short.

    GM was born from the "virgin" Mother Earth, with Father Sky (the sun) being dear old dad. That period in time is accredited with the beginning of farming, which was a transition from the typical nomadic hunter/gatherer lifestyle. Because of agriculture and the seasons, it is easy to see where the winter solstice (around December 25th) would become a holiday or celebrated. It all revolved around GM being "awakened" during the solstice in preparation for spring, and thus a rebirth of vegetation for the farmers.

    GM grows rapidly during the summer months and actually becomes one with his father (per legend), which in turn yields a second gestation period for Mother Earth. That period would be the fall harvest. After the fall months, the GM would "die" just like much of the vegetation "dies" in the winter. As spring approached, the GM would be resurrected and the cycle would repeat itself, year after year.

    So this very early legend which predates the world's dominant religions (and their ancestors) contains the following:

    Mother Earth
    Sun God
    Offspring between the two

    Winter Solstice celebration
    Death and resurrection of that offspring
    Ascension and union with the Father

    Hmmm... ;)
     
  2. BSM1

    BSM1 What? Me worry?

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    So?? Is there something here to debate??
     
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  3. Neo Deist

    Neo Deist Th.D. & D.Div. h.c.

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    Depends on how deep you want to look at other religions and how they copycat what came before them.
     
  4. Riverwolf

    Riverwolf Amateur Rambler / Proud Ergi
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    So the Green Man is John Barleycorn? XD

    Incidentally, did you write this legend yourself?
     
  5. BSM1

    BSM1 What? Me worry?

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    Hmmm....
     
  6. beenherebeforeagain

    beenherebeforeagain Rogue Animist
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    Uh...what is the source of your information?
     
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  7. Neo Deist

    Neo Deist Th.D. & D.Div. h.c.

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    Nope.
     
  8. Neo Deist

    Neo Deist Th.D. & D.Div. h.c.

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    Just something I learned while studying world religions. It comes from Celtic/pagan lore.
     
  9. Riverwolf

    Riverwolf Amateur Rambler / Proud Ergi
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    Where'd you get it, then?
     
  10. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    In Hinduism and with Indian Aryans, the Sun God was never given that kind of importance. We did have a not clearly defined Dyavuh (Zeus) and his consort, Prithavi. Then Varuna (Ouranos) became the Lord of Universal Law. The other chief Gods Tvastar (Thor), Parajanya (Perun), and Indra came later.

    The celebration (and the beginning of the new year) was on vernal equinox and coming of spring and never on winter solstice. That was considered a very inauspicious time. Ahur Mazda clarified that if some one died in this period, the person's body should be kept in a trench and given burial only when the spring came.

    There are no stories of death and resurrection or ascension and union with the father. Basically you are imposing Christian scheme on my neolithic ancestors. I cannot say that I am terribly amused.
     
  11. Father Heathen

    Father Heathen Veteran Member

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  12. Neo Deist

    Neo Deist Th.D. & D.Div. h.c.

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    Trying to find the articles I used for that section of class...

    Some things I do remember:

    The Egyptian god Osiris (ruler of the underworld as well as rebirth/regeneration) was typically depicted as being green.
    osiris1.jpg

    Many early cathedrals all throughout Europe used depictions of the Green Man in their architecture:
    greenman1.jpg greenman2.jpg greenman3.jpg

    In literature, the concept of a "green man" is often used. That list includes Robin Hood, Peter Pan (both dressed in green), and even the Ents from the Lord of the Rings. It only makes sense that as people migrated throughout the world, their stories traveled with them. All religions have a man made origin.
     
  13. Neo Deist

    Neo Deist Th.D. & D.Div. h.c.

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    You read way too much into it. All I said about Murugan was that the Green Man legend predates it. If there are aspects of GM in Hinduism, so be it.
     
  14. beenherebeforeagain

    beenherebeforeagain Rogue Animist
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    Don't know much about The Green Man, certainly not enough to debate about it, but looking at a few sites:

    http://www.greenmanenigma.com/index.html
    http://www.ancient-origins.net/myths-legends/unraveling-nature-and-identity-green-man-002620
    http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/beltanemayday/p/GreenMan.htm
    http://www.pantheon.org/articles/g/green_man.html
    http://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/the-remarkable-persistence-of-the-green-man

    These sites suggest that the current mythos of the Green Man is of recent vintage...most certainly, the name for the image only dates to 1939, and few images are known to date to before the Roman period...few of them seem to be connected to northern or western Europe or the Celts, at least according to these sources. And the version presented in the OP is much more certain and coherent than the information presented about the Green Man in these other sources.

    I'm therefore a bit skeptical of the OP's presentation. Citing sources, other than just a class you once took, would be helpful, I think.
     
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  15. BSM1

    BSM1 What? Me worry?

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    Variation of theme:

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Neo Deist

    Neo Deist Th.D. & D.Div. h.c.

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    That is the problem...there is not going to be an official "world religion book" that lists all the details and everything. Names/titles may have been coined recently, but you have to look at archaeological clues with the recurring theme. From ancient Egyptian pyramids, to Middle Age cathedrals in Europe. However, the ancient-origins site agrees with the OP.

    Edit: as a matter of fact, here is another article from that same website. This may have been what my professor used as it closely resembles what I said in the OP...

    http://www.ancient-origins.net/opin...cient-origins-often-used-legend-part-i-006130

    Edit 2: NM, that article is too recent to have been used in class 6 months ago.
     
    #16 Neo Deist, Jun 28, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2016
  17. beenherebeforeagain

    beenherebeforeagain Rogue Animist
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    Yeah, but it could be from the same source.

    My feeling is that we spend way too much time trying to figure out a single strand of mythology, a single story common to all early cultures...when I don't think that's really how it was. The assertions that are made about ANY beliefs or practices predating written records are speculation, pure and simple, and we must assume that whatever version that got recorded (through artifacts, such as the Venus of Willendorf) or through legends and myths written down is ONE version, out of many that existed even at that one time, and that there were likely many, many iterations in existence over time.
     
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  18. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    No objection to that. I am not into 'our view is older thing'. Then I do not know since when people in South India have been worshiping Murugan. It could be 20,000 years or 3,000 years. There is no record. At a later time, Murugan merged into Shiva family as his son and a brother to Ganesha. Elder in North India, younger in South India :). Kartikeya. Now Kartik (derives from the asterism 'Krittika', Pleiades) The Aryan calendar was changed by one month around 2,000 BC because of precession of equinoxes. Prior to that on the day of vernal equinox, the sun rose in the asterism of Orion, 'Mrigashiras', the Hunter, Antelopes Head. So, Murugan or Kartikeya is a mix of Aryan and indigenous Hindu belief. I do not know if anything more could be said about it.

    upload_2016-6-28_21-8-14.jpeg upload_2016-6-28_21-8-55.jpeg [​IMG] upload_2016-6-28_21-10-56.jpeg upload_2016-6-28_21-11-17.jpeg

    However, we do worship a Mother Goddess with the name Shakambari (one who has vegetables as clothes). Her face is depicted as fair, black or sometimes even green. :)
    [​IMG]
     
    #18 Aupmanyav, Jun 28, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2016
  19. Augustus

    Augustus the Unreasonable

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    Usually all of these look "Jesus was copied from Mithras/Osiris/etc/etc" turn out to have absolutely no substance to them whatsoever. I'm going to assume this one follows suit as there is absolutely no evidence to support it beyond an internet site you linked to that mentions Mithras/Osiris/etc/etc.

    Many religions contain similar tropes and topoi, this is to be expected. No need to overdo it though and pretend that different myths, from different cultures that reflect a different historical and social experience are simply the same story with a new name merely because they have the occasional specious similarity.

    It's a reductionist view of history that fundamentally misunderstands the way cultures, myths and religions evolve.
     
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  20. GoodbyeDave

    GoodbyeDave Well-Known Member

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    How do you know that your myth goes back to the neolithic? There was no writing then: that's why we call it prehistoric...
     
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