Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Pagan Blog Project: H is for the Horned God

So, this I know is LAST weeks post! But, I only just signed up, and I wanted to do two H's so...

Before looking into it in detail, here's what I know about the Horned God.
In Ditheism (the worship of two gods/goddess's), it is generally (but not always) believed that there is a God and a Goddess, masculine and feminine, two sides to balance each other. The main religion I know this to be true in is Wicca.
Though probably obvious, I'll say that the God is the masculine entity. In Wicca as well as various other beliefs, the Horned God is the Goddess's Consort (Husband), sometimes also her Son; you may also keep in mind that he is often called / portrayed as Pan. He is of the wild, of nature, and in my mind, of physical things (which I know is vague but, it might become clearer to you after the research...

Often portayed as a satyr (half man, half goat), or a man with antlers, the Horned God (often just called the Great God or The Lord) is lord of the woodlands, the hunt, and animals, as well as Guardian of man (and woman). He is ruler of life, death, and the underworld. He is the Sun to the Goddess's Moon, often seen as a server (not slave, as they are equal) of the Great Goddess / Triple Goddess.
In various beliefs he is portrayed as:
  • Cernunnos, the Celtic God of fertility, animals, and the underworld.
  • Pan, the Greek God of the woodlands.
  • The Green Man, the lord of vegetation and woodlands.
Keep in mind that beliefs vary, and while some see the Horned God as all these aspects in one, others see them as seperate gods.
The nature aspect is what he is most commonly associated with, though he also repressents the life cycle (as does the Triple Goddess) in that in Wiccan tales, he is born a son to the Goddess, and then becomes her consort in adulthood to become the father of her child, and at his death is reincarnated into the son once again, every year as a cycle, the cycle of life.
He is also commonly seen as ruler of sexuality (and sex).
(So can you see how, to me personally, the God / Horned God / Lord is a symbol of all things physical? He is and is of the land, the bush, the animals, sex, and so on, where as the Goddess is often of  more abstract things [as well as some physical].)
Though this is not rule, or strict belief, it is often that while one may pray to the Goddess for protection and healing and other such things, it is often to the Horned God that one prays for meals, for food, as he is the provider, because he is of nature and animals.

I found this little rhyme / warning / prayer (however you want to see it) on Shrine of the Horned Gods:
"Never scorn
To wear the horns
They were a sign
'ere you were born."

You may also find in places, when searching the Horned God, images or descriptions of Satan, as in the Christian religion, Satan has horns (in some versions). This is unrelated to the Pagan Horned God, and should be avoided (unless such research is of interest to you).

Remembering that I am and eclectic Pagan, I was first Wiccan (or so I thought), and a lot of what I learned about Wicca influences what I believe today.
To me, the Horned God is the only god, consort of the Goddess, and is of the sun, nature, animals, and everything else mentioned above.
He is also, to me, of bravery and courage, and what are considered more 'masculine' emotions, or the atributes to which are thought to make one a man / manly.

"Ancient God of the forest deeps,
Master of beast and Sun;
Here where the world is hushed and sleeps
Now that the day is done.
I call You in the ancient way
Here in my circle round,
Asking that You will hear me pray
And send Your Sun force down."

As a last note, I quite enjoyed this (I'm a fan of rhymes):
Invocation of the Horned One
"By the flame that burneth bright,
O Horned One!
We call thy name into the night,
O Ancient One!
Thee we invoke, by moon-led sea,
By the standing stone and the twisted tree.
The we invoke, where gather thine own,
By the nameless shrine forgotten and alone.
Come where the round of the dance is trod,
Horn and hoof of the goatfoot god!
By moonlit meadow on dusky hill,
When the haunted wood is hushed and still,
Come to the charm of the chanted prayer,
As the moon bewitches the midnight air.
Evoke thy powers, that potent bide
In shining stream and the secret tide,
In fiery flame by starlight pale,
In shadowy host that rides the gale,
And by the fern-brakes fairy haunted
Of forests wild and woods enchanted.
Come! O come!
To the heart-beat's drum!
Come to us who gather below
When the broad white moon is climbing slow
Through the stars to the heaven's height.
We hear thy hoofs on the wind of night!
As black tree-branches shake and sigh,
By joy and terror we know thee nigh.
We speak the spell thy power unlocks
At solstice, Sabbat, and equinox,
Word of virtue the veil to rend,
From primal dawn to the wide world's end,
Since time began-
The blessing of Pan!
Blessed be all in hearth and hold,
Blessed in all worth more than gold.
Blessed be in strength and love,
Blessed be wher'er we rove.
Vision fade not from our eyes
Of the pagan paradise
Past the gates of death and birth,
Our inheritance of the earth.
From our soul the song of spring
Fade not in our wandering.
Our life with all life is one,
By blackest night or noonday sun.
Eldest of gods, on thee we call,
Blessing be on thy creatures all."

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