Quaker in the Green

Rising from strong roots,
we dance the body
electric and free.

Oak, ash, alder and elder
gather a circle
of living stones

To make and unmake,
weave and mend:
from wood, through fire and light,
song and story –
to return again.

River of life and death
will cleanse and clear the way,
creating songlines that echo in the soul.

Under cloudy continents, a harmony
of male and female reveals
goddess and god in modern dress.

Written by participants on ‘The Goddess and the Green Man in the Quaker’ course, Woodbrooke 17-19 August 2012.

Paul’s pictures added to workshop gallery

Lickey Hills Green Man sculpture

Some beautifully atmospheric pictures, taken by Paul,  of the sculptures and trees on the Lickey Hills, have been added to our workshop gallery

Our recommended reading list

One of the resources we forgot to share at Woodbrooke was a recommended book-list.   These are the books recommended by Debs at The Goddess and the Green Man.  Debs personally selected all of the books I brought along at the weekend and her knowledge is incredible. Why don’t you add your favourites too?        I can heartily recommend ‘Sacred Celebrations’ by Glennie Kindred too, which I have used as source material on the three workshops we have run and constantly return to it for inspiration.  I’ve added the ISBN for each book, in case your bookshop doesn’t have them in stock.

Green Man – Pitkin Guides £4.99  1841650455

Britain is rich in medieval buildings, from great cathedrals to parish churches, and Green Men can be found lurking in many of them. The best places to look for them are on the roof bosses, the capitals at the top of columns, bench-ends and the hinged wooden seats known as Misericords.The Green Man in Norwich Cathedral is in the style called ‘the foliate head’ in which the shape of the face changes imperceptibly into leaves.

Little Book of the Green Man – Mike Harding £6.99 1854105639

Mike Harding presents a selection of the most fascinating manifestations of green men, gargoyles, miseri cords and stained glass in this series. He explains the back ground and meaning behind each subject in text and illustrations. His photography is quite stunning.

Landscape of Memory – Living Folklore in England – Jerry Bird £12.99 0955290872

Valuable reading for all those interested in English Folklore. A wealth of illustrations & photographs.

Wheel of the Year – Myth and Magic through the Seasons (Beginners Guide) – Teresa Mooney and Jane Brideson 0340683864

This is a modern pagan’s guide to living in harmony with nature and the seasons. It covers the turning points of the year, including the solstices, equinoxes and major pagan festivals, with explanations of their significance in everyday life.

The Kitchen Cauldron – MS Saille £9.95

This book is a little glimpse into charms and cooking and how magical intent in the kitchen can conjure up some spellbinding results! The major celebrations of the wheel of the year are also shown with ideas for both Altar decoration and suggestions for cakes and wine. Each book is a hand bound numbered edition

Hedgewitch – Rae Beth £6.99 0709048513

Written in the form of letters from an experienced witch to her two apprentices, solitary witchcraft is offered as a fulfilling lifestyle in its own right. This book provides spells for all the key festivals of the witch’s calendar. Her lyrical letters, accompanied by pen-and-ink sketches, bring the reader to an understanding of the solitary witch’s lifestyle and beliefs. A bestseller.

Sacred Celebrations: A Sourcebook – Glennie Kindred £10.95 0906362482

This is a handbook for those who wish to find ways to celebrate and connect to the earth’s cycles. The author explains the underlying energy of the solstices and equinoxes, and details the eight Celtic festivals, working with moon cycles, herb and tree energy, and inner journeys. Highly recommended.

Earth Wisdom – A Heartwarming Mixture of the Spiritual, the Practical, and the Proactive Glennie Kindred – £14.99 1401904696

Earth Wisdom is a heartwarming mixture of the spiritual, the practical, and the proactive. It provides clear insights into new ways of looking at the world to bring about positive change, integration, and renewal. Glennie is one of the UK’s leading authorities on the earth traditions and this book will appeal to anyone who would like to deepen their connection with the earth. Written in an accessible and inspirational style.

The Earth’s Cycle of Celebration – Glennie Kindred – £5.99 095322273X

If you want a guide to tell you when to celebrate the Wheel of the Year and the Cycle of the Seasons, with plenty of suggestions on how to do it, this booklet contains everything you need. Beautifully handwritten and illustrated (brown line drawings on parchment coloured paper) this has obviously been inspired by a love of the Earth, and not by thoughts of profit. Glennie Kindred has produced a book to treasure.


Alison’s favourites:

Singing the Soul Back Home – Shamanism in Daily Life  Caitlin Matthews £12.99  1859061036

Since first publication in 1995, Caitlin Matthews’s primer on practical, everyday spirituality as practised through shamanism, has become a sought-after classic. For those trapped in a material society, shamanic wisdom offers new purpose and vitality in life, and a re-connection to the natural world. Caitlin Matthews shows how you can harness your creative imagination and innate healing powers as you explore your inner space, and journey between the everyday world and the spiritual realm of the shaman.

The Once and Future Goddess – A Symbol of our Times Elinor Gadon £12.99 0062503545

Having demanded that spirituality be reexamined in terms of women’s own spiritual needs, the women’s movement has brought a resurgence of prepatriarchal spirituality centering on the goddess–whatever her name. Along with this resurgence comes the need to reexamine artistic and anthropological assumptions. Using art and artifacts, Gadon traces the history of goddess worship from Paleolithic times to the present day. (From The Library Journal)

Green Man in the Garden by Charles Causley

Green Man in the garden
Staring from the tree,
Why do you look so long and hard
Through the pane at me?

Your eyes are dark as holly,
Of sycamore your horns,
Your bones are made of elder-branch,
Your teeth are made of thorns.

Your hat is made of ivy-leaf,
Of bark your dancing shoes,
And evergreen and green and green
Your jacket and shirt and trews.

“Leave your house and leave your land
And throw away the key,
And never look behind,” he creaked,
“And come and live with me.”

I bolted up the window,
I bolted up the door,
I drew the blind that I should find
The green man never more.

But when I softly turned the stair
As I went up to bed,
I saw the green man standing there.
“Sleep well, my friend,” he said.