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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Horned God

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Stories That Tell Themselves

On March 6, 1710, workmen excavating a crypt beneath the nave of the cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris discovered a number of carved blocks from a Gallo-Roman votive pillar set up by the Guild of Boatmen some time during the first quarter of the first century CE. By far the most famous image from this pillar shows the head of the Gaulish god Cernunnos, bearded and deer-eared, his antlers hung with torcs.

On March 18, 1314, Jacques de Molay, 23rd and last Grand Master of the order of the Knights Templar, was burned at the stake on an island in the Seine River in Paris. The order had been suppressed, seven years previously, on charges of heresy, including the worship of a mysterious bearded Head. De Molay's last request of his executioners is that they tie him so that he can face the Cathedral of Notre Dame as he burns. They grant his request.

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  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Thanks, Troy: we live by our stories. Bwa ha ha.
  • Troy Young
    Troy Young says #
    A superb story indeed and well worth sharing.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Stags that Wear Torcs

One of the mysterious creatures that inhabit the dark forests of Arthurian lore is the stag with a crown around its neck.

This bizarre figure has entered heraldry and folklore as well. A stag gorged with a crown (French gorge = “throat”) appears on numerous coats of arms and pub signs.

The meaning is not far to find. The stag is the preeminently crowned animal—“crowned with antler”—and, as such, Lord of the Forest. Still: a crown around the neck? Weird.

Peeking from behind the High Medieval Dudgeon of much Arthurian lore one may sometimes see hints of something older and wilder: retroflections of the early Iron Age, post-Roman Keltic world that gave rise to the later material. And here, I suspect, we may find a key to understanding the stag gorged with a crown.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Lurker on the Threshold

Thresholds—doorsteps—are sacred. Neither inside nor out, both inside and out, the threshold is, like all other betwixt-and-between places (and times), a major locus of sanctity in any building.

In Old Craft lore, the Horned, preeminently god of the In-Between, is said to be seated on every threshold. Every passage through that doorway is (or at least has the potential to be) thereby a rite, an encounter with a god.

For this reason, they say, it's best not to tread directly onto a threshold; one should step over it instead. (It's old woodsman's lore never to step on anything you can step over.)

This is really a pretty subversive idea. Every building contains within its very fabric a place inherently sacred to Old Hornie: your house, the supermarket, the mall. Every building makes a place for Him. So there's a place sacred to the god of the witches in every synagogue, church, and mosque on the planet. Now that is subversive.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Drighten

In her 1974 autobiography Witch Blood: The Diary of a Witch High Priestess (39-40), Patricia Crowther cites as part of her initiation what she calls “the blessing prayer”:

In the name of Dryghtyn, the ancient providence,

which was from the beginning, and is for eternity,

male and female, the original source of all things;

all-knowing, all-pervading, all-powerful, changeless, eternal.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
A Story in Five Pictures

Dating from more than 40,000 years ago, the Lion “Man” of Hohlenstein Stadel is the oldest uncontested zoomorphic figure that we know of. Carved from mammoth ivory, and standing about a foot high, the bipedal image combines feline and human characteristics. Since the lions of prehistoric Europe had no manes and there is no clear indication of sex, we cannot say for certain whether the figure is intended as female or male. 

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  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    It's such a rich image. Hereabouts, he would be the Cougar Man. After years of "reported sightings," a few years back a surveillan
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    Way back in the 80's I dreamed of a soap stone sculpture of a seated man with the head of a mountain lion wearing a feather bonnet

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Grinnygog

Did you know that there's a specific name for a statue of the Horned God?

Neither did I, until I read Dorothy Edward's 1981 children's novel, The Witches and the Grinnygog.

Back during the Troubles, goes the story (the Witch Troubles, not the Irish ones), the three appointed Keepers of the most sacred image of the Master just barely manage to escape (on brooms) with their lives and the Lord. They hide Him away in a safe place, and go into a deep, deep sleep until such a time as they shall be needed again.

That time is our day. Where's the best place to hide a Grinnygog? Well, of course, precisely where no one would ever think to look for Him: among the carvings of the local church.

But now the historic church is being dismantled stone by stone, preparatory to being moved to a new location, and the Lord is once more in danger. (Or is He?) His guardians awake, and their magic along with them.

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"Lord of the Beasts": An Interview with the Witch of Forest Green

 

 

In Which Our Intrepid Blogger Speaks with Artist, Herbalist, and Witch-at-Large

 

 Sarah Anne Lawless Concerning Her Ground-Breaking Print, Lord of the Beasts,

 

and Sundry Other Matters

 

Sarah, who is the Horned to you?

The Horned Ones to me are the great spirits of the wild lands and forests. They are not male or female, but both and neither. In the lore of animistic cultures around the world and through time there always seems to be a male or female spirit, or one of each, that is the guardian or protector of a particular forest or land mass and who is Lord or Lady of all the flora and fauna that dwell within it. Their horns are a weapon as much as they are a crown, and symbol of power and otherworldly knowledge.

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  • Bruno
    Bruno says #
    Cool. Reminds me also of the Dragon in the film Excalibur. "a seer's magic comes from the land and its spirits" I don´t know if t

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