So through the agency of a promo on Fey’s Podcast, I ended up listening to the 4th episode of the Druidcast podcast, featuring a fabulous talk given to the OBOD by Ronald Hutton about the History of the Pagan Horned God.
This is a fascinating talk and in my humble opinion not only has some fascinating and valuable information about the evolution of the Horned God in the 19th and early 20th Century, but also contains the best performance by a heterosexual academic of the fabulously homoerotic Hymn to Pan, EVER!
Dr. Hutton’s talk has me contemplating the God I serve. In his talk Dr. Hutton discusses the history of the idea of the Horned God as it was in the ancient world and as it re-emerged to the historical and literary record in the 19th century.
He then discusses how the image of the Horned God is, for many, primarily sex and grunt and groan and stuff of the locker room and armpits… c’mon you know that you’ve got a little bit of that image of Old Horny!! He also discusses how he is viewed by many modern Pagans as consort to the Goddess and an idealized lover and spirit of Life, and that there is sometimes not much development of his role beyond that in the thought or writings of modern Pagans.
To a degree this would seem to be true to this Witch.
As a solitary Witch of nearly 20 years now, I look back on my early years of Witchcraft and it just seems to me that a lot of the material out there went on and on about the Goddess and then was like…
“oh, yeah, there’s a god too… he’s her consort… but now back to the Goddess and Magic… did we mention magic theres spells and stuff….”
I felt this lack of ballance rather keenly when I read Witches Goddess and Witches God by the Farrar’s. It seemed to me, at the time, that the book about the Goddess was much more about allowing the witches involved to experience and commune with the Goddess, and that the material about the God was somehow less… something than the material about the Goddess.
At least that’s how it seemed that way to me at the time… so I started drifting away from Books and looking for a relationship with Him. I’ve already written of how He sent me an image/meditation/message, once upon a time…
One day though I was sitting before a makeshift altar and centering and grounding and an image leaped into my fore brain, a bolt from the blue….
The image was of myself sitting cross-legged, Indian-style as they still used to say when I started school, with an image of Cernunos super-imposed/interwoven with my own. His/my hooves extending some roots into the soil… the base of His spine also extending roots into the ground that intertwined with the roots of the great tree He/I leaned against. One hand turned downward, cupped over His/my knee, the other held open and relaxed facing up. Our Antlers weaving between the branches of the tree, rattling amongst them slightly as We moved Our head.
Then it was gone…
In regards to that gift, I’ve also mentioned that it felt almost like being taught how to properly meditate and ground and center… from an intensely personal perspective..
“Not quite, more like this…“
There have been two other times that HE has decided to share his Wisdom in a rather direct fashion with me….
One was a moment of poetic and Divine inspiration wherein He gave me the first half of this poem…
Charge of the God
By Geoffrey Stewart / Pax (C) 1997
“Hear now the Words of the Great Father who of old amongst mortals was known by many names; Tammuz, Brahma, Osiris, Dionysus, Wottan, Apollo, Cernunos, Janicot, The August Personage of Jade, and by many other names.”
“I who am the Wise Youth and the Wild Man, The Horned Hunter and the Dark Wanderer, the Fury of the Storm and the Gentle Whisper of the Leafs in the Trees, I call upon your minds and bodies to arise and join me in this now sacred place.
Learn and remember! I welcomed you into this world and promised you a life of both Pleasure and Pain, Joy and Wonder, Fear and Fury; for all of these are a part of my Mysteries, the Lessons that must be learned, cherished, and remembered lifetime after lifetime.
Know then that whatever tests and trials you face in this life, I have faced before. For I am the Guardian of the Gates of Life and Death, and whatever steps you take and wherever you are within the Spiral Dance, of Birth and Life and Death and Rebirth, I have led the Way. For I am the Lord of the Dance, and to know my Mysteries you must learn to be at one with the Rhythm, the Tao, The heartbeat of the universe, that confluence of outer and inner forces that moves and works upon us all.
From all things you encounter, all people whose lives you touch, Learn and Give something of yourself in return.
All learning and wisdom is sacred to me; all quests for knowledge and understanding, all acts of effort, and thought, and willing sacrifice; all of these are my rituals.
Know now that sometimes I lead, and sometimes I follow; but as you wind your way through the Spiral Dance, I am always with you.”
The second half of this Charge came to me a few years later, rather quietly and calmly without the sense of singing inspiration that accompanied the first part.
The other time that He has decided to speak in a direct fashion to me was actually through me. I was discussing and demonstrating for a couple of guys I knew, whom I felt could use some good guidance and metaphysical self-help techniques, how to cast Circle… as a part of this I decided … on the spur of the moment, to demonstrate Invoking the divine… SO I invoked the Horned God.
He! Decided! To! Show! Up!
By which I mean that after 3 or 4 years of calling upon and invoking the God and Goddess, He decided to show up and speak and work through me directly.
I experienced a brief yet, I assure you internally spectacular, moment of panic as I felt something from outside myself roll over me like the tide, and into me. It was as if everything in my mind that was ME was pushed up and back into the rear of the crown of my skull and He started to speak through me. After a moment of panic, and then truly realizing why in the religions of the African Diaspora those divinely posessed are said to be ridden or to be as a horse to the Spirits, I realized two things.
He wasn’t going to harm me, and He was speaking… so I started to pay attention to what He was saying to my friends. After a short time, He left, and I resumed control of both the vertical and horizontal and made some small talk and polite goodbyes to my friends and went home to quietly freak out in peace.
It took a while before I invoked, rather than invited Their presence, at my own Circles.
He is so much more that the stuff of the locker room. He is poetry and music and theater. He is the caress of the wind on a warm summer’s day and both the blinding flash of lightning and the rumbling roll of the thunder. He is so much more than we can put into words and so worthy of our love and so ready to love us in heart and mind as well as in body.
Great Green Eyed Horned God,
With the Sun Upon your Brow,
Wise Youth and Wild Man
Darkness and Richness of the Earth
And the Blade of the Plow
Skilled of Mind, Skilled in Speech, Skilled of Hands,
Guide and Guard us your Children
As we seek along the Path to Wisdom.