Last month, V. and all the new housemates took me to Seattle. It was the very first time I’d ever been there, so I was a little nervous. A lot of Pacific Northwesterners sort of groan when you mention going there. I guess it’s really well known for confusing, slow traffic and unyielding police officers. (Since I saw two car accidents in the first half hour, I’m guessing the reputation is well deserved.)
The very first place V. took me was a store in the University district named Gargoyle Statuary. It’s a very pagan-friendly place nestled in a very pagan-friendly setting: the store is currently in a renovated Tudor-style bar. It was kind of a blast to see all these beautiful representations of pagan gods (and other assorted figures) all on display, especially when the only place I’ve seen most of them is the Internet. As we were leaving, though, one group caught my eye, and it was all I could do not to buy them on the spot.
The figures were wall mounted greenman plaques, but unlike any others I’ve seen before. In the set of four, each man stood for a different season, with a fat, smiling young man for spring and progressing to a beautifully wizened winter.
The set I found at Gargoyle Statuary is the second set in the picture above. I can’t get over how exquisitely detailed each one of them is. The faces in particular are masterful, and I’m especially in love with the winter man. As I saw them displayed, I thought that they would make for a wonderful God representation on an altar, especially if changing the representations at the appropriate lesser Sabbats was incorporated into the ritual. Of course, I’m still sold on Neil Sims’ Cernunnos as my primary God representation, and I’d rather not breed redundancy at this particular time. However, in the ‘ideal ritual room in my mind’, I can see a set-up where I have my two primary representations of my personal gods on my altar, but also having art depicting the Wiccan symbols of the gods on the wall behind the altar. For example, I can totally see a large central pentacle above the altar with Maxine Miller’s plaques of the Triple Goddess and Horned God flanking it on either side and a “calendar” shelf below it. There would be a plate stand holding one of these greenman plaques, a central one holding the wheel of the year, and a third holding one of a maiden, mother, crone plaque set (though I have yet to find one of these). I could very easily change out the greenman every season, spin the wheel to each new sabbat, and change out the goddess plaques according to the phases of the moon. Of course, this is all very, very elaborate and not likely to happen any time soon.
I will, however, keep my eye out for the seasonal greenmen. Both sets pictured above can currently be found at Dark Knight Armory, as well as many other places online. I have to admit, I’m not sure which set I like best! I really like the inclusion of horns in the first, as well as the choice of using berries instead of flowers in the summer motif (though sunflowers are an EXCELLENT flower choice for summer!), but there’s something about the fall and winter faces and detail in the second that twist at my heart. Either way, the sets are about the same price: $12-$18 per piece, with most being around $16.