Paganistan: Notes from the Secret Commonwealth

In Which One Midwest Man-in-Black Confers, Converses & Otherwise Hob-Nobs with his Fellow Hob-Men (& -Women) Concerning the Sundry Ways of the Famed but Ill-Starred Tribe of Witches.

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Login
    Login Login form

Son of the Horned

Flamenco Nut <hr id=

 “Second, Mother of Third”


He was called Son of the Horned and, indeed, this was no more than truth, for did not He from Whose Antlers Torcs Are Hung get him on his maiden mother, even upon the altar, one Eve of May?

May-begot, Imbolc-born, he was of the Dobunni, the people of the Two Bands, and from his boyhood known far and wide as a far-seer: both into the past, and into the future, he deeply saw.

For this, he was taken into the royal court, but those were the days when the Royal Dun of the Dobunni—but by that time they had mingled their blood with that of the Incomers, and were known as the Hwicce, tribe of Witches—were increasingly given to the New Ways, so that the one called Son of the Horned left that court, and attached himself instead to the retinue of Gwenddolau ap Ceidio of the Selgovae, he who would be known as the last Pagan King of Britain.

But not before he prophesied before the king and his shaveling priests that the Dobunni would return in joy to the Old Ways in the days of a great Queen yet to come, mysteriously named Eliad mam Trydydd, “Second, Mother of Third”.

Gwenddolau ap Ceidio he counseled for many years, and after his patron's death at the hands of two Christian armies at the Battle of Arderydd, he cast away his golden torc and fled to the Forest of Caledon, and there lived, wild among his father's deer, for many years.

Of him are told many foolish tales: to whit, that he served Artos the Bear in the days of his glory, which is a tale fit not even for children, since indeed he was not born until long after Artos' day.

Nor did he ride a stag at the head of an army of deer, as they tell; being rather (you of the Dobunni will know what I mean) not so much Stag-Rider as Stag-Ridden; not he-who-rides, but he-who-is-ridden.

Though untruth be spoken on his account, yet the years have nonetheless shown the truth of his words, the far-seeing son of the Horned.

Now, in our own day, do we not see it?




Nikolai Tolstoy (1985), The Quest for Merlin. Boston: Little, Brown, and Company


Last modified on
Poet, scholar and storyteller Steven Posch was raised in the hardwood forests of western Pennsylvania by white-tailed deer. (That's the story, anyway.) He emigrated to Paganistan in 1979 and by sheer dint of personality has become one of Lake Country's foremost men-in-black. He is current keeper of the Minnesota Ooser.


Additional information