Does Your Inner Green Man Want You to Bust the He** Out of Here?
Have you had a vacation yet this summer?
Or have you had one, but still need another?
Here it is, just a few days before Labor Day weekend. Most of us are making our very last, end-of-summer time-in-the-sun plans. (You may already be “outta-here.”)
I’m just like you. I’m about to bust loose inside, but here I am – at the computer – because it’s been way too long since we’ve talked.
I’m not at the computer.
In my mind, you and I are walking on Sandy Beach, on the eastern (windward) side of Oahu’s southern tip. It’s early morning (just as it is here, in Northern Virginia, where I just finished my real early-morning walk just a couple of hours ago).
But in this imaginary scenario, it’s just you and me. The surfers aren’t up yet. Because this is a “local” beach, the tourists haven’t found there way here yet, either.
You and me, shoes left back at the car. Gritty sand squishing between our toes, as we walk along the firm sand at the water’s edge; waves rolling in to our side, tide just coming in.
A gorgeous, calm early morning, with just the two of us, some sea gulls, and a light, brisk little wind.
Of course we’re talking; voices raised just a little so we can hear each other over the surf, the wind, and the calling of the gulls.
And of course, we’re talking about our archetypes.
After we’ve cleared the air of all the “little stuff” that goes on in our lives, we’re getting just a bit deeper – as in: how much time we’ve put in at work lately, and is it really worth while? How long it has been since our last vacation, and how good it feels – now, just a few days into this time together, our heads are really starting to get a bit clear.
We look out across the waves, the sun just over the horizon, and we get a sense of perspective.
There’s nothing like getting away from home for a few days, even if only in our minds.
Getting Outta Here Has a Long Tradition
Even thousands of years ago, when the Jewish people were settled but largely agrarian, they were commanded to celebrate Sukkot – the Feast of Booths – every year.
Yes, the particular Jewish Feast of Booths was ordained to remind them of the time after Exodus, when they had not yet entered Canaan, but were wandering in the desert. All their needs were provided for them by God; their shoes and clothes did not wear out, and they received manna every morning.
To commemorate this time, they were instructed to live for seven days in “booths” that they covered with organic material – typically branches and leaves.
In short, they camped out. Typically on their own front porches, but – they camped out. They didn’t work (especially for the first two days). They were on vacation.
What Does the Feast of Booths Mean to Us? (Especially if We’re Non-Jewish)
Rabbi Harold White, who was Director for the Jewish Chaplaincy at Georgetown University before he co-founded the Program for Jewish Civilization there, is one of my favorite people. A few years ago, we met to discuss the Unveiling archetypes and the Kabbalah, and he noted how the Jewish faith included many rituals – a good number of which were specific for women. Others, of course, were for the entire populace.
Rabbi White went on to describe the role of rituals in our lives as help[ing] us to overcome our fear of transition.’ (Unveiling, p. 254)
So what’s the transition that we’re addressing when camp out for a week?
Because my own inner Green Man is so strong right now (and because you and I, at least mentally, are still “at the beach”), let me not answer that question directly just yet.
Instead, take a look at the diagram in the blog just prior to this one; Practical Archetypes. This diagram shows the eight different archetypes, arranged as octants in a pie-chart-type circle. You’ll see the Green Man at the bottom, slightly to the left.
Think about the Green Man archetype – even if you haven’t heard much about him. (Prior to writing Unveiling, I hadn’t heard of him very much either. And in fact, this is the very first time that I’m writing about him.)
Think about some of the female archetypal correlates for the Green Man – the Greek goddess Artemis, who later became the Roman goddess Diana – the original woman who ran with the wolves.
What does this sense of wildness and freedom say to you?
And what does he (or she) mean to you – sandwiched in between three other masculine archetypes, all of which are very nose-down and disciplined? The Green Man is right after the Magician, who will consume all resources in the sake of his creative vision, and the Emperor, who also takes up every resource and tool he can find, so that he can expand his empire. And the Green Man comes just before the Hierophant – our Obi-Wan Kenobi archetype. (Actually, think of Obi-Wan combined with Yoda, with Mr. Miyagi from the Karate Kid, and with Professor Dumbledore. All kindly, and not a one of whom will take any nonsense whatsoever.)
Does it begin to seem as though the Green Man lets us do what we must for psychic survival – that is, to blow off a little steam?
Share your Green Man experiences in the comments section below.
To your own inner power – as you cultivate each of your inner archetypes.
Much love –