Italy
GREEN MEN OF ASSISI
Nearby places: Perugia

 


One may think that the Catholic champion of connectedness with nature - St.Francis - had a special connection with the Green Man. Nothing is further from the truth, though. A striking feature is, that in almost all European franciscan churches (exception LINK Salzburg) the latter is conspicuously absent. The reason is simple. From the beginning St.Francis was the Pope's instrument in combatting "heretical" (poverty) movements, like the Humiliates and Waldenzers. With regard to the Green Man: he had to replace him rather than making friendship with him.... ass-3.jpg (13024 bytes)
Thus upon entering Assisi I had very little expectation to find Green Men there. Surprise, surprise. The portals of the two churches both contain masks. After some pondering I found the solution. As headquarters Assisi had simply "collected" some heads of enemies and displayed them there. Fully comparable to a village of primitives that triumphantly peak the heads of their killed adversaries on posts at the entrance of their territory....  

 

These four masks on the two main doors underline my point of view. The faces have been portrayed as repulsive creatures, ones who deserve to be humiliated, punished and eventually destroyed...  

 

The same feature at the portal of the upper church. Although a certain hidden admiration seems to have played a role, the essential attitude of this (beautiful) Green Man is submission. The danger of identifying with him is great. For nothing creates more fear with Catholics but to be accused of "pantheism". That's why the "title" of Benedict XVI as "Green Pope" is just a farce.
ass-20.jpg (13504 bytes) On the ridge of the upper portal the real sensation. From many churches LINK Freiburg, Chartres I know that the Church loved to portray enemies ("unbelievers", "pagans", gnostics, "heretics") as vile little monsters. (NB. Just people like you and me, just because they had a different view!). Here you see some of this "vermin". For some time people challenged me asking me to prove that these dregs were actually symbolizing people. 

The Green Man......

Well, here is your proof. The two monsters above show their "true face": haughty human (pagan) faces , "typically" expressing "no humility for God". Not to submit to God (the Church!) was considered major sin, hence these people were considered less than animals. The consequences were grave. To declare dissentient people as "Untermenschen" with value less than animals the gate was open to persecution and destruction. It would become the pattern of the Inquisitioin (culminating in the catastrophy of the 20th century...), of which - not surprisingly - Franciscans were among the most fanatical (and cruel) members*. For all those who search for the origins of evil: here is your track!

* To clear away a misunderstanding. In school I had a Franciscan teacher who was my best friend.

.......you and me

View from the church

Because St.Francis was so close to nature, especially Franciscans had to constantly prove that they are not "pantheistic". That explains their radicalism. Not everybody in Assisi agreed with them, though.

Green Man as fountain head

Palm (Tree of Life) of the Goddess

The following three carvings (on a house in the main street) are a delight. It is as if the owner wanted to erase all bad energies coming from the basilica. Instead of the Green Man as "Untermensch" the real Green Man is portrayed here in his full glory. Like in the old Hermetic Tradition green is turned into gold: nothing less than two Green Men who  realized God (Sun) Realization. Even on the spiritual plane they remained loyal to the Source of All Life: the Cosmic Mother, though, displayed as Universal Mother Shell (below). It is proof of Supreme Cosmic Insight. Deep gratefulness entered my Being  

Enlightened Green Man

Cosmic Womb

Enlightened Green Man

At last once again a house owner (restaurant) who openly expresses his views on life. Three Green Men challenging the dogma's of the Church

Fountain

Why the Church often changed sacred places into fortresses?

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  2000-2010 Copyright Han Marie Stiekema
Last revising: 08/03/11