THE STAG-HORNED GOD
“When this card appears the matter at hand relates to the divine expression of masculine energy. It is the parts versus the whole vision of our perception and discernment. This card calls for us to pay attention to details rather than to the ultimate vision. Its spiritual teaching is ‘be in the moment’.
“The core theme of this card focuses on material abundance, gain, primal drives, and energy. On a spiritual level the card points to solar/masculine cycles of waxing and waning. The card can speak to issues realted to protection, providing, and counseling. It is a card of the material plane and its cycles. Here is the matters of new ventures, business, and career are related issues.”
“Traditionally the God of the Old Ways is a stag-horned deity. Our ancestors took him as a symbol of the protector and provider, as this was modeled after the stag’s nature of leading and protecting the herd. Early human tribes used the stag for food and clothing. The antlers were made into primitive tools and weapons. The Stag-Horned God was also a symbol of ferility. The combination of these aspects made the stag a powerful and important figure.”
“In the background of this card the sun appears amidst the trees, and represents vitality and energizing forces. Here in the woods we see the Stag-Horned God standing in the forest, which symbolizes the primal connection and meeting place between the tribe and the Divine Source of All Things. The boots worn by the Horned God symbolize that he walks in the mortal world. here we see the consciousness of the God as linear and materially focused.”
“The Stag-Horned God wears an antler crown that symbolizes his connection to the tribe as a role model. A wolf pelt is slung over his shoulders, and represents the waning forces of Nature. The stag at the feet of the Horned God symbolizes the waxing forces of Nature. This demonstrates that the Horned God possesses more than one aspect in his being.”
“In the card’s imagery we see the Stag-Horned God holding a harvest sickle, which represents sacrifice and the giving of seed to renew life. This reflects another aspect of the Horned God known as the Lord of the Harvest. He carries a basket suspended from his shoulder, which is filled with the bounty of the field and forest. In the Inner Mysteries the basket is both his cradle and his tomb, and is made of reeds, which are intimately connected to his mythology. In the Horned God’s relationship with the Goddess, his is known as the Lord of Reeds (and she is the Lady of the Lake).”
“You walk along a road leading from the hills into the deep woods. you pause for a moment to allow your eyes to adjust to the dimmer light. Just then you hear something moving through the woods toward you. You turn to move away, but in front of you stands the figure of a man wearing antlers. At his side is a stag, and the figure wears a wolf pelt slung across his shoulder. Here is the timeless hunter and the hunted. The figure carries a sickle in his hands, and hanging at his waist is a harvest basket filled with what has been gathered in the woods and meadow. The sun pierces the trees behind him, and you realize that the figure before you is a powerful god. Indeed before you stands the Stag-Horned God of myth and legend.”
“You begin to explain that the goddess at the cave sent you down this path. The God nods in acknowledgement, and tells you that you must go to the Crone of the cottage you will find the means to discern your path alone. He escorts you to the Moon Tree, as he escorts all souls who pass between the worlds. It is now time to return to the mortal world.”
Today’s message is from A Traveler’s Guide to the Well Worn Path by Raven Grimassi and Stephanie Taylor with art by Mickie Mueller.
THE ORIGINS OF CERNNUNOS
Cernnunos, a nature and fertility god, has appeared in a multitude of forms and made himself known by many names to nearly every culture throughout time. He is perhaps best known to us now in his Celtic aspects of the untamed Horned God of the Animals and the leaf-covered Green Man, Guardian of the Green World, but He is much older. Cernnunos worked his magic when the first humans were becoming. Our prehistoric ancestors knew him as a shape-shifting, shamanic god of the Hunt. He is painted in caves and carved everywhere, on cliffs, stones, even in the Earth Herself. Humans sought to commune with Him and receive his power and that of his animal children by dressing themselves in skins and skulls, adorning themselves with feathers and bones, by dancing His dance. Yet He is older still. In the time of the dinosaurs, the great swamps and subtropical forests of cycads, seed ferns and conifers, and later in the time of the deciduous plants and flowers, when the pollinators came and the first tiny mammals were creeping up from beneath the ground, Cernnunos was the difference and diversity of life, the frenzy and ferment of evolution. But, He is much older still. He is oldest of the Ancient Ones, first born of the Goddess. At the time of First Earth, Cernnunos grew in the womb of the All Mother, Anu, waiting to be born, to come forth to initiate the everlasting, unbroken Circle of Life. — J. M. Reinbold