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

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

 

 

“The Witches' Almanac," a priestess that I know once remarked, sadly, "never fails to disappoint.”

Somehow, I've always felt the same way about the novels of Canadian author Charles de Lint.

On the face of it, this seems odd. Fantasy novels situating Old World lore in the New World...you'd think that I would be all over it. But no. Elves, Green Men, and Moon Goddesses are all very well, but in de Lint, somehow they're all just so much window dressing. The depths, the wisdom, just aren't there.

I find this to be even more specifically true (alas) of Greenmantle, his 1988 book about the Horned God. It's something of an hommage to Lord Dunsany's stunning 1928 fantasy The Blessing of Pan: a lyrical and deeply sad novel about a rural English village being slowly won over to the Wild. The contrast between the two novels, unfortunately, illustrates my point in the starkest of ways. Dunsany's book has both substance and magic. De Lint, instead, tells you how magical things are, but somehow never quite manages to make you feel the magic.

Well, but. Even a stopped clock tells truth twice a day. When you're writing about Himself, every now and then, something is bound to sing. Sure enough, in Greenmantle de Lint nails it:

[The Horned] becomes what you bring to him. If you approach him with fear, he fills you with panic....If you approach him with lust, he becomes a lecherous satyr. If you approach him with reverence, he becomes a majestic figure. If you approach him with evil, he appears as a demonic figure [181].

Transcribing this passage makes me wonder if perhaps part of my unhappiness with de Lint's writing may not stem from the unrelentingly pedestrian quality of his prose. Unlike Dunsany, who was both, de Lint is storyteller, but not poet.

Still, though his language may leave something to be desired, what it says offers deep insight into the nature of this particular god, skin-strong shape-shifter that He is. In Him, you will see preeminently—as de Lint so rightly says—whatever you yourself bring to the encounter.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

 

 

Our rite that night was a Rite of Opening the Gates. That's when I saw the Horned.

He sat cross-legged, as is his wont, on the threshold between What Is and What Is Not. His body was the blue-black of Deep Space, filled with stars. It was as if, from a photo of the night sky, someone had cut out a silhouette of a seated, antlered man. Behind Him, nothing; before Him, the many-colored world. Between the two, one vast Body of Stars.

I don't usually think of the Horned in cosmic terms. I see Him as a transpersonal person, the collective body of animal life here on planet Earth.

Yet there He was: the Cosmic Horned.

 

Opening the back door, I step out into the cold night to pour out the offerings.

Straddling the threshold, I face the stang in the corner of the garden. In the waning moonlight, the forked stake, standing in its cairn of stones, casts a long shadow.

A rabbit sits in the middle of the garden, a moonlit silhouette. Its ears are exactly the length of the stang's horns, held at precisely the same angle. I look at the rabbit; the rabbit looks at me.

It does not move as I pour out the offerings, and close the door.

 

Are we each as a cell in the greater body of a god?

Are there other Horned Gods, brothers and other selves, on other planets?

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

 

 

"Any guesses as to what our all-time most popular pysanka is?”

I'm talking with Luba Perchyshyn, owner and co-founder of that longtime Minneapolis landmark, the Ukrainian Gift Shop. Not one to sit by with idle hands, she's working on an egg as we speak; I can smell the melted beeswax in the kistka as she works. Over the years, she's made—and sold—tens of thousands of pysanky. Her hands are deft and quick; the kistka makes little scritching noises as she draws the tip over the surface of the egg. She doesn't seem to have any problem at all carrying on a conversation while simultaneously constructing a complex three-dimensional design.

“What?” I ask, curiosity piqued.

She turns the egg to me. Written in blackened beeswax across the shell, two stags with branching antlers face one another, heraldic-wise, across a tree that in some ways resembles a giant flower.

We've not only sold more of these than any other design, we've sold way more of these than any other design, for years now,” she says.

“Really?” I say, intrigued. What the Christian significance of the pattern—if any—may be, I don't know. Twin Stags, and the Tree of Life? As a pagan, it seems clear enough to me what's going on here; we're all cervophiles, pagans. “Why, do you think?” I ask.

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    Anthony Gresham says #
    That's interesting, in "Two Flutes Playing" by Andrew Ramer it says that the recuring monomyth for gay men is two men together und

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

 

 

A Siberian Witch's Tale

 

On the banks of a great river there once lived a poor fisherman. One day he made, from river clay, a clay man, and left him out in the Sun to dry.

The Sun shone, and the Winds blew. When the clay man was dry, he went to the fisherman's cottage and began to tap on the window.

Tap, tap, tap, he tapped.

The fisherman's wife arose and went to open the door, but the fisherman said:

 

Ignore the man of clay,

and he'll surely go away.

 

The fisherman's wife sat back down, but the clay man did not stop his tapping.

Tap, tap, tap, he tapped.

 

Ignore the man of clay,

and he'll surely go away,

 

said the fisherman again, but the clay man still did not stop his tapping.

Tap, tap, tap, he tapped.

 

Ignore the man of clay,

and he'll surely go away,

 

said the fisherman a third time, but finally the fisherman's wife could bear it no more, and she rose and opened the door.

The clay man entered the cottage and swallowed the fisherman's wife. Then he swallowed the fisherman, and all of their children.

The clay man went through the entire village, eating everyone that he could find: infants in their cradles, children at play, fathers, mothers, aunts, uncles, grandfathers, grandmothers. With every person that he ate, he grew larger and more voracious.

Then the clay man saw the beautiful elk. So wide did he open his mouth that his lower jaw reached Earth and his upper jaw Heaven, and he stepped forward, to swallow the beautiful elk whole.

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"He is the life is in all living things: in corn, and horses, and men."

(Rosemary Sutcliff)

 

Brothers:

We are priests to a Horned, and Horny, God. Let me now tell you something that they probably didn't teach you—though they should have—in Witch School.

As priests to this god, it's our duty—our joy—to offer to him daily. What, then, is the nature of the offering due the Horns?

There are offerings and offerings. But to Him, god of all red life, the best and most fitting is the life-offering: the seed-pour, the male libation. This is the nature of our priesthood.

You know how magic works: you raise power, and direct it.

Daily you do this: you do it for Him. This is our obligation, the price of our priesthood.

How you fulfill this is yours to you, and not for me to say. But let me tell you this much.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

 

A priestess friend of mine once took a class in Writing Your Personal Theology at the local UCC* seminary. Back in those days, if you wanted to expand your pagan academic horizons, that's pretty much what you had to do.

(Today, not so much: thank Goddess for Cherry Hill Seminary.)

As one would expect, some of what she learned was applicable, some wasn't.

“'What's my Christology?'” she laughed, looking over the list of seed-questions that they'd given her. “I don't have one!”

(In Christian thought, Christology is the study of Christ's person and role in spiritual ecology.)**

Me, I'm with her. Still, taking a step back—translating into Pagan, so to speak—I ask myself: Well, who—as I see it—is god of humanity? Who, among all the gods, is most like to us? Who stands between—in the sense of connecting us to—ourselves and the other gods?

For me, a witch of the Tribe of Witches, the answer is clear: this role is filled by Him that we call the Horned.

The other gods are who they are, but he's the animal god. (I would see Him as the collective body of fauna/animal life here on planet Earth.) As animals—as human animals—he's likest to us of all the other gods. Like us, he knows what it is to love, to suffer, to die. The other gods may (or may not) know these things too, but he knows them as an animal—and, in particular, as a human animal—can know them.

That's what makes him ours, ours to us.

That's what makes us his, his to him.

That's what makes him our god, our Horned, of all gods likest us: “like us in animality, like them in divinity.”

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

In Which Our Intrepid Blogger Delivers a Warning

 

The old election sign by the side of the road once read

BERNIE

2020

but, bent by the weight of the wet, heavy February snow, it now reads instead

      RNIE

2020  

Naturally, as I drive by, my witch's eye automatically reads

HORNIE

2020


Old Hornie for President? I find myself thinking. F*ck, I'd vote for Him any day of the Moon.

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