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Author Topic: Do Pagans living in the Southwest US worship the Green Man of the Forests?  (Read 5156 times)
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« Topic Start: July 29, 2009, 08:15:50 am »

Or those of you living in any other desert region, for that matter?
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« Reply #1: July 29, 2009, 12:02:45 pm »

Or those of you living in any other desert region, for that matter?

What we now commonly call "The Green Man" (a relatively modern construct) seems most defined as the spirit of the forest/green places.  Whether or not this characteristic is transient, I don't know.  Perhaps the desert in springtime is a manifestation of the Green Man's potency?  Perhaps he goes dormant in the heat of summer?

I'm just speculating.  My own beliefs are intimately tied to the land upon which I live.  If I lived in the desert, my practices and focus would reflect that.  Different seasons, climate, plants, and animals would necessitate changes.

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« Reply #2: July 29, 2009, 10:35:03 pm »

Do Pagans living in the Southwest US worship the Green Man of the Forests?
Or those of you living in any other desert region, for that matter?

I'm a desert-dweller (people tend to forget that Las Vegas is surrounded by the Great Basin and Mojave deserts - probably because of all the freakin' pools, golf courses & palm trees, but I digress), and I do communicate with the locals, as far as spiritual entities go. My main spirit guide for most of my life has been Coyote. The desert itself seems to speak to me in the voice of a very Old Woman, and I call Her Grandmother Desert, or Grandmother Sand, and She hasn't told me otherwise. Out here, it seems as though the plants are more individuals, and many times staunchly individual and prickly about it. There is Datura, there is Saguaro, there is Aloe... not speaking all in one voice like a birch forest or pine forest. 

My primary patrons are Greek, so I do my best to provide Them some Mediterranean flavor in my home. I was visited by Herne once while living here, in my kitchen of all places, but His energy isn't as strong here as it was when I lived in Washington state or Louisiana.
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« Reply #3: July 31, 2009, 01:03:00 pm »

I'm a desert-dweller (people tend to forget that Las Vegas is surrounded by the Great Basin and Mojave deserts - probably because of all the freakin' pools, golf courses & palm trees, but I digress), and I do communicate with the locals, as far as spiritual entities go. My main spirit guide for most of my life has been Coyote. The desert itself seems to speak to me in the voice of a very Old Woman, and I call Her Grandmother Desert, or Grandmother Sand, and She hasn't told me otherwise. Out here, it seems as though the plants are more individuals, and many times staunchly individual and prickly about it. There is Datura, there is Saguaro, there is Aloe... not speaking all in one voice like a birch forest or pine forest. 

My primary patrons are Greek, so I do my best to provide Them some Mediterranean flavor in my home. I was visited by Herne once while living here, in my kitchen of all places, but His energy isn't as strong here as it was when I lived in Washington state or Louisiana.

Grandmother Desert.  I like that a lot.  Deserts have such a feeling of being ancient, old, with so many secrets.

I was wondering this because I have been contemplating this concept of "worship the gods where you're at" and I am wondering how people who live in different climates and geographic regions see their gods of nature.
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« Reply #4: July 31, 2009, 01:12:57 pm »

My primary patrons are Greek, so I do my best to provide Them some Mediterranean flavor in my home. I was visited by Herne once while living here, in my kitchen of all places, but His energy isn't as strong here as it was when I lived in Washington state or Louisiana.

I consider Herne a god of the forest, but a god of a particular type of forest, ya know?  I could imagine him in a rolling grove of towering oaks with crisp leaves on the ground and crisp winds in the air... but not in among the moss-draped low-limbed trees in the marshes of Louisiana.  The God of that forest looks different to me; He sounds different, speaks with different words and in different ways.
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« Reply #5: July 31, 2009, 02:12:23 pm »

I consider Herne a god of the forest, but a god of a particular type of forest, ya know?  I could imagine him in a rolling grove of towering oaks with crisp leaves on the ground and crisp winds in the air... but not in among the moss-draped low-limbed trees in the marshes of Louisiana.  The God of that forest looks different to me; He sounds different, speaks with different words and in different ways.

I think it depends on who you ask.  The Greenman or God of the Forest is worshiped/honored by so many pagans all over the world.   
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« Reply #6: August 01, 2009, 02:17:56 am »

I consider Herne a god of the forest, but a god of a particular type of forest, ya know?  I could imagine him in a rolling grove of towering oaks with crisp leaves on the ground and crisp winds in the air... but not in among the moss-draped low-limbed trees in the marshes of Louisiana.  The God of that forest looks different to me; He sounds different, speaks with different words and in different ways.

And see, for me, I see him riding on the sodden moors and fens just as easily as slipping through an oak grove Smiley
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« Reply #7: August 01, 2009, 11:30:29 am »

And see, for me, I see him riding on the sodden moors and fens just as easily as slipping through an oak grove Smiley

I typically am hesitant to assign any certain gods to nature, because their face changes so much depending on where you are.  Their faces change with the changing landscapes.

Ideally, I'd like to ask the people living in a certain area, indigenous to it, what the names of the gods of their land are.  

For me, I'm a devotee of Oshun, for example.  Now, if you want to get down to brass tacks, She is the river Oshun in Nigeria... but all rivers are Oshun.  So, here I am, living in Memphis, TN, and never been to Africa, but I can visit Her by going to the Mississippi River and dipping my toes in the water.  Oshun, a goddess of love, sensuality, and all things pleasurable, makes sense to me.  Aphrodite, however, does not.  I rarely am by the ocean, the feel of sand under my feet is a rare treat to me (but muddy toes in muddy waters are a delight), and the smell of salt water doesn't nearly smell as sweet to me as the thick pollen-filled air around the river I live by.  Aphrodite is as foreign to me as Greece.  If I moved to a place by the ocean, though, I would probably honor Aphrodite more often, because I could go visit Her quite easily.
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« Reply #8: August 01, 2009, 03:18:25 pm »

For me, I'm a devotee of Oshun, for example.  Now, if you want to get down to brass tacks, She is the river Oshun in Nigeria... but all rivers are Oshun.  So, here I am, living in Memphis, TN, and never been to Africa, but I can visit Her by going to the Mississippi River and dipping my toes in the water. 

I've felt Oshun in the Mississippi, too (I lived in Memphis when I was 13 - 14). I'm not one of her children, but she's got a big presence there.
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« Reply #9: August 02, 2009, 04:18:40 pm »

Or those of you living in any other desert region, for that matter?
Well, I live in the Southwest about 4 months out of the year.  I feel more connected to things when I'm at school in Upstate New York, where it's green.  There, I wouldn't hesitate to honor the Green Man, but I feel less connected to him in the Desert.  But my own way of looking at the gods is more like general spirits, and the Green Man makes for a good way in my mind to think about the divine spirit(s).  The Desert must have it's own spirit, which I just haven't found yet.  I don't think I would call it the Green Man, though.  The Brown Man, maybe, but not the Green Man. Wink
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« Reply #10: August 02, 2009, 07:10:08 pm »

Or those of you living in any other desert region, for that matter?
(I don't worship the Green Man as a god, so I'm not sure if my answer is what you're looking for.) 

But I grew up in and around the lush Redwood forests of Northern California, and now I'm living in the middle of the Sonora Desert.  I believe very strongly in honoring the spirits of the place, which is what I think of the Green Man as - kind of a personification of all the nature spirits.  Now, the desert is very vital and alive, but it gives me a very different feeling than what I get in the redwoods.  The evergreen forests up near Flagstaff different again, as I'm assuming the deciduous forests of England, where the Green Man is supposed to originate, would be.  Does one God or spirit inhabit all these places?  It seems unlikely to me.
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« Reply #11: August 03, 2009, 02:20:05 pm »

(I don't worship the Green Man as a god, so I'm not sure if my answer is what you're looking for.) 

But I grew up in and around the lush Redwood forests of Northern California, and now I'm living in the middle of the Sonora Desert.  I believe very strongly in honoring the spirits of the place, which is what I think of the Green Man as - kind of a personification of all the nature spirits.  Now, the desert is very vital and alive, but it gives me a very different feeling than what I get in the redwoods.  The evergreen forests up near Flagstaff different again, as I'm assuming the deciduous forests of England, where the Green Man is supposed to originate, would be.  Does one God or spirit inhabit all these places?  It seems unlikely to me.

Same God (as all Gods are of the Great God), different face? 

It's interesting to contemplate upon.  Like, if I lived out in the desert area, I'd go get a branch from one of the local plants to use as my wand, but certainly I'd have to go hunting into the realms of different Gods from different cultures to learn more about these plants. 

I was visiting northwestern Canada, up in the Rockies a few years ago, and was contemplating those odd, tall skinny trees that were like huge toothpicks sprouting out of the ground, reaching for that last little bit of sunlight, and thinking about how those gods of that land - the Lord of the Forests - had to be especially hearty and tough there, and likewise I imagined looking like a great caribou rather than a stag, as I usually do.  I imagined the Goddess of the land as being ancient and powerful in the solid snow-capped mountains that have looked that way for millenia; a Grandmother with glittering silver hair and a deep echoing voice.  And I recalled the moon Goddess being especially vibrant and playful there halo'ed with the Aurora Borealis.

I find things like this interesting to contemplate upon.  I like reading of the mythologies of different parts of the world specifically because it is interesting to see how they vary based on geography.
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« Reply #12: August 03, 2009, 05:06:45 pm »

Same God (as all Gods are of the Great God), different face? 

I'm a hard polytheist -- and I can't see why a deity of the forests who was never associated with deserts would suddenly acquire equal interest in the desert just because some people want him to.
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« Reply #13: August 04, 2009, 02:31:14 pm »

Same God (as all Gods are of the Great God), different face?  

I live in the SW.  I am a panentheist and so, while I acknowledge the different deities and call upon them from time to time for specific needs, I worship the Great Spirit/Creator of all life.  this is what most resonates with me.  So I guess it depends who you ask...
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« Reply #14: August 04, 2009, 08:16:59 pm »

Same God (as all Gods are of the Great God), different face? 
Sure, if you're a soft polytheist, that would be a good way of looking at it.  But then, it would also explain the differences between, say, Odin and Coyote.

Doesn't work for me, though.  I find my polytheism growing progressively harder as time goes by.
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