Listen to the Words of the Horned God,
Who was of old called among men:
Adonis, Tammuz, Dianus, Herne,
Bran, Beli, Lugh, Gwyn,
Dionysus, Osiris, Cernunnos, Pan,
And by many other Names.
O Secret of Secrets,
That art hidden in the being of all that lives,
Not Thee do we adore,
For That which adoreth is also Thou.
Thou art That, and That am I.
I am the Flame that burns in the heart of every being,
And in the core of every Star.
I am Life, and the Giver of Life,
Yet therefore is the Knowledge of Me
The Knowledge of Death and Resurrection.
I am alone, the Lord within ourselves,
Whose Name is Mystery of Mysteries.
I am the Horned God.
I am the Lord of the Universe,
The Father of all living,
The All-Devourer and the All-Begetter.
I am He Whose Seed lies strewn
As glittering Gems across velvet darkness
Within the Womb of the Mother.
I am the Lord of the Shadows
In the darkness of the Underworld,
For I am the Midnight Sun.
I am the Light of the Stars,
And the Spark of the Spirit Eternal,
For I am the God Within.
I am the Horned Leader of the Hosts of Air,
The Leader of the Wild Hunt,
The Judge of Gods and of Men.
I am the Hidden God,
Who ever yet remains,
For I dwell within the secret seed.
I am the seed of grain,
I am the seed of flesh,
I am the Seed of the Stars.
I am the Lord of the Heights,
I am the Lord of the Depths,
God of forest, of flock, and of field.
I am the Hunter and Hunted,
I am the wolf and the Shepherd,
I am the vine and the grain.
I am a Guiding Star above you,
I am a bright Flame before you,
I am a smooth Path beneath you.
I am the Light of Life.
I am the Flame of Love.
I am the Horned God!
You stand in the Center Hall of your Temple of the Wise, taking a moment to look around once again at the beauty of your space and the life that is beginning to flow through it. You breathe in deeply taking in the smells of this space, a hint of Frankincense burning and the mixture of wood, marble and more. Now, it is time to begin your work within the Hall of the God.
You step towards the massive wooden door and push firmly to open it. Greeting you is a figure that is human and animal. Huge antlers adorn his crown and his skin glistens with dew and moss and hair. He looks at you through piercing eyes that seem to shift in color and the entire Hall is filled with wood and leaf, soil and water.
I am the Lord of the Hunt, who is known by many names! I am keeper of the wild and hunter of what will not survive the harshness of winter’s cull. Come to me and feel the power of the animal within you. Come to me and feel the embrace of my protection and honoring of all life. Stand with me as guardian and slayer of what cannot survive…..
Who is the Lord of the Hunt…..
As you can see from the Charge above, the Lord of the Hunt is known by many names. Herne, Cernunnos, Orion and even, an aspect of Odin, to name a few. He is called as the Horned God, Guardian of the Wild and Protector of the Animals.
We visited last, The Hall of the Goddess and found nurturance within the gifts of Hestia. Now, we stand in the energy of one who exudes power and strength in its most primal of forms. What may on the surface appear to be the contrast of She who gives and He who takes are merely the illusions of They who continually maintain the balance and cycle of the natural world. Their place in it shifts and moves in accord with what is needed at the time. The Fires of Hestia hearth may just as easily be withheld if the lesson is one of the required action and effort on your part in ensuring your place at a table of sustenance. And, the Lord of the Hunt will guard and protect your basic needs when you have falling weak and lost your way if your intention and will are viable.
In looking at the various forms this God takes and the broad reach of his impact and importance in the co-existence of the human and animal(of which we are a part) kingdoms, we find our space of courage and will. Courage to stand strongly in safe-guarding natural world, all of its inhabitants and seeing its beauty through the lens of our most basic nature. Despite the “civilized” manner which we assume, everything that we do still has the undercurrent of our primal need to survive. The food we select, the partners we choose to share our lives with, the shelter we seek and the competitive nature to stay as strong (or stronger) than all in the pack, lest we be sacrificed in the hunt, are the energies that the Lord of the Hunt calls forth in those under his care.
His more familiar form is seen as Cernunnos, the Celtic Horned God, most notably depicted on the Gundestrup Cauldron. Cernunnos sits amongst the animals of the wild, antlered and commanding in His ease and care of the life of the natural world.
This God of the Wild is the consort of the Goddess, his fecundity the necessary seeding of the Earth itself. And, Goddess as the Earth Mother birthing the progeny of their union as life in all of its forms serves as caretaker, food and shelter. As God and Goddess ourselves, we are the stewards of this world we inhabit and its is our choices that are made that will either destroy or tend to this land and is life.
Each Spring, our Tradition, The Assembly of the Sacred Wheel, offers a public ritual honoring the Stag God, Cernunnos. The timing of Spring and the promise of the fruitfulness held within this awakening of first life after Winter’s frost, awakens within us the rising of our wild and free spirit. We dance with the animal spirits, call to their strength and courage, cunning and fierce protective instincts to guide us through the months ahead. We listen to the words of the horned God and heed both his warnings and his encouragement to stand boldly in the light of our primal nature as we wear the mantle of that power.
Trust your instincts and do not fear the death and sacrifice of what is not strong enough to survive. Trust your power to protect and nurture a you that walks among the wild and hears the call to act, to be, to thrive. Make love passionately, eat heartily from the abundance of a never ending harvest, drink from the sweet waters of earth’s gifting, nestle deep into warm fur and hair, flesh and bone, sleeping soundly as the call of the wild sings its lullaby. Hestia will warm you with her Fires and the Lord of the Hunt will stand watch as you rest in his loving embrace.
Spend some time with the Lord of the Hunt. Go out into nature and open to the sounds of the animal life and the changes in weather that are occurring as we near the Autumnal (Spring) Equinox. If you have an animal companion sit quietly and breathe together. Go outside and move and play. The Lord of the Hunt offers up the bounty of his natural world for you to enjoy!