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

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Why the Craft Is Different

There were many horned gods in antiquity.

There's no evidence that any of them were “dying gods.”

(Osiris, perhaps the preeminent dying god of antiquity, was a horned god, it's true. But since most of the other gods—not to mention the goddesses—of ancient Egypt wore horns, but were never said to have died, it's questionable how much the case of Osiris can be said to prove.)

We have no evidence, for instance, that the Cernunnos of the Keltic world was a dying god, much less a dying-and-rising god. In a single story, Pan is said to have died (“Great Pan is dead!”), but this is a one-off story, not a mythology of an Eternal Return.

Yet, in the modern paganisms, the Horned God is preeminently He Who Dies and Rises: the great and sacred story of humanity's lifelong religious involvement with the animal species which, through the history of our kind, have been the source of our food.

Where, then, did this identification come from, if not from the ancient paganisms? Why do we think of the Horned as He Who Dies to Feed the People?

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  • Greybeard
    Greybeard says #
    Interesting observation about the dying God as a Christian concept. Maybe that's why I have never been comfortable with the whole

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Anvil of the Horned One

“That's the anvil of the Horned One,” a friend wrote to me recently, meaning a hard, but ultimately formative, situation.

As regards the situation, his analysis was bang on, but in the days that followed I've found myself reflecting again and again on that resonant phrase: the anvil of the Horned One.

In Old Craft, the God of Witches is (inter alia) a Smith-God: among his many by-names is Coal-Black Smith.

Back in the day, goes the story, when you had to cloak everything in the Church's names and stories, he came to be called—and so still is, by some—by the name of the Biblical smith, Tubal Cain. “The Clan of Tubal-Cain,” Bobby Cochrane (father of modern Old Craft) called his Royal Windsor coven: one clan in the Tribe of Witches.

The point here is that, as god of animals, he's also god of culture: the originator and teacher of the civilized arts. (Humans aren't the only animals possessed of culture, of course.) Hence smithery: the anvil, tongs, and hammer are his tokens.

Yet there's more than mythology here.

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  • Kile Martz
    Kile Martz says #
    KM is honored to be your muse for this particular post. ~ O, let me suffer on the anvil of the horned one so that he might forge
How the God of the Witches Saved the Lives of His People,  and Fell Like a Star from Heaven

The men with the bows creep closer to the firelight in the clearing. Sheriff's men, foresters all, they move quietly through the night woods.

The witches' sentries have already died silent deaths, raising no alarm.

Now the hunters' chiefest quarry stands directly before them.

From the trees, they watch as he mounts the altar before his adoring congregation: naked, shining, tall. He raises his arms, and the singing begins. His antlers seem to touch the trees. Between them, constellations revolve.

The first arrow takes him under the ribs, the next in the throat. Five, six, seven arrows follow, in rapid succession. The witches begin to scream. Their god topples from the stone, like a star falling from heaven.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Laying Down the Horn

Knock. Knock. Knock.

Crowned with antler and golden leaf, the Stag stands at the door. He leads us out, into the night.

To Night's very Heart he leads us.

We call out the names of the dead.

We pour the libation.

We sing the oldest song.

She gives him the apple. He eats. We eat.

He lays down his horns before her.

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  • Tasha Halpert
    Tasha Halpert says #
    Beautiful. Thank you.
  • Thesseli
    Thesseli says #
    Beautiful.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Stag Rune

Apparently, they hadn't changed the marquee since Holy Week.

He died for you, it read.

Well, there's the difference between the Old Ways and the New, I think, driving past: It's all in the tense.

One's about sin.

The other, food.

The Horned dies to feed us every day.

If he didn't, we'd starve.

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  • Anne Forrester
    Anne Forrester says #
    "He dies for you" --really beautiful thoughts here. Thanks so much!

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Horning

 Stand astride Earth,

from whom the power:

magma, sap, the fire.

Up through soles,

ankles, knees, thighs:

at your loins, it joins,

torso, shoulders, neck,

and fills your skull,

from which erupt

your horns,

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
How Many Tines on That God?

I am a stag of seven tines.

(Song of Amairgin)

The Paris Cernunnos has four.

The "sorcerer" of Les Trois Frères, apparently, seven.

For all his youthful appearance, the Gundestrup Antlered sports a lordly fourteen.

Tines.

Antlers are a miracle. They're the fastest-growing bone on the planet. By Samhain, they're actually dead. Dead horns on a living buck: small wonder that the Antlered is reckoned lord of the dead.

Novelist Rosemary Sutcliff, in Mark of the Horse Lord, describes a cave-painting of the Lord of Herds and the Hunting Trail: "towering into the upper gloom, gaunt and grotesque but magnificent, the figure of a man with the head of a twelve-point stag."

Trophy-hunters value number of points: more is better. The more points, the older (and presumably wiser) the stag.

One wonders just what the meaning of different numbers of tines might be in representations of the Horned God. Having posed the question, the answers readily present themselves.

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