Take a look at Robert Lentz's striking 1985 icon of the Horned God, Lord of the Dance.
Take a close look.
Specifically, check out the hands and feet.
Yes, folks, he's been crucified.
This is Jesus as the Horned God.
Now that I call ballsy.
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Ooser (“Rhymes with bosser, not boozer,” I always tell people) is a term from what Sybil Leek would call the Language of Witchcraft. It denotes a carved and horned wooden head-mask of the God of Witches.
It's a dialectal word, of unclear etymology. Doreen Valiente suggests an origin from ós, the Old English cognate of Old Norse áss, “god,” better known to English-speakers in its plural form aesir. An ooser, then, would be a “god-er,” which, since it bears the god and is worn by his personifier at the sabbat, makes sound theological (if not etymological) sense.
The famous and mysterious Dorset Ooser is the best-known example. Also known, from its bull-horns, as the “Yule Bull,” it frightened generations of Dorset children until it was stolen from its hereditary keeper in 1897 and never recovered. Old Craft scuttlebutt would have it that it was “took” to get it out of cowan hands, and that it has since remained in ongoing, if private, use among witch-folk to this day.
Well, so they say. In its own way, it's even a true story.
Does the horned God of Witches = ha-Satan/Satan/ash-Sheitan of the Abrahamic traditions?
Pagans being as media-driven as anyone else, this question (most likely, as my friend Joni recently pointed out, driven by the popularity of a certain television series) has seen a certain amount of discussion in the pagan blogosphere of late. Just hear those Wiccan toes curling up backwards....
If ever you wondered who in ages of ages first invented the art of skiing, this 4000-year old petroglyph from Rødøy ("Red Island") in Norway should leave little doubt.
That wily old Guy with the Horns: father of arts and sciences, wellspring of human culture. Is it not he who brought us Fire and instructed us in its use? Is it not he who taught us to hunt, and gave us the Old Law: to take no more than is needful, and to kill both quickly and ruthfully?
The story of how he taught us to ski has been lost to time. Can we doubt, though, that it was originally a hunter's tale?
It may be that the tale of the Horned One, the Two Serpents, and the First Skis is not, after all, lost beyond all recovery.
Some time around the year 1120, a sculptor working on the Basilica of Mary Magdalene in northeastern France carved onto the capital of a column in the nave of the church an antlered figure that looks remarkably like the 'Cernunnos' sculptures of Roman Gaul from 1000 years earlier.
The Basilica of St. Mary Magdalene in Vézelay, Burgundy, is France's largest Romanesque church. Famed for its masterful sculpture and numerous relics of its eponymous saint, it was built on the site of a Roman-era villa.
High on the capitals of one of the columns in the nave, a handsome, antlered man peers warily from between two acanthus leaves. Bearded, with mustache and shoulder-length hair, he wears high boots and a tunic with long, cuffed sleeves.
Well might the antlered man be wary. On the other side of the stylized tree that divides the capital stands a bowman with an arrow pointed directly at him. There can be no doubt of the eventual outcome. The Antlered must die.
When the horns of sunset sound, we gather with unlit candles and lamps in the great mound's forecourt. Between its tall stones, the gateway gapes.
Then he is among us, singing. I am here, I am right here among you. He shines, his antlers shine. We light from his torch and gather around him in a great wheel of fire. We sing.
Shadows slip between us and our song. Three? Nine? One by one, they snuff out our lights.
One by one, until only the god's torch still burns. They converge from all directions then, like silent hounds on a stag. He struggles, but they bring him down and kill his light. He falls. He is dead.