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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Wild Hunt

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Year of the Wild Hunt

Minneapolis: Samhain 1986

For the big public Samhain that year, we wanted to avoid the usual cliches: the skulls, the jack o' lanterns.

So we threw a Wild Hunt instead.

300 people crowded—probably in contravention of fire regulations—into a park building in South Minneapolis.

The drums come up. We're dancing.

Suddenly, the Deer is among us: tall, lean, naked in antlers and paint, he dances with a cervine grace.

The drums change. Enter the Hunters, men and women, pounding the butts of their spears on the ground.

The Hunt ensues. We become the trees of the forest: the Deer dodges among us. The Hunters pursue.

(With the eye of years, I see the potential danger here. I like to think that we saw it then, too. In fact, no one was injured.)

The Hunters surround the Deer. Then comes the moment of grace. Seeing that he can't escape, he gives himself to it.

The Deer crouches, then springs straight up into the air. The Hunters' spears track him as he rises and falls. As he lands, the spears thud home.

The Hunters kneel: first silent, heads bowed, then keening. People mourn with them. Real tears rain down. Everyone has some private grief; public mourning heals.

The Hunters hoist the Deer onto their shoulders. Exit Hunters, with Deer.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Yule Man

Odin is well-known for his many bynames and, interestingly, one of them—Jólnir—specifically associates him with Yule.

Jólnir  (YOLE-neer) is hard to translate. "Yule-man"? "Yule One"? "He of Yule"? "Yule-er"?

The title clearly derives from Jól, Yule. -Nir is an Old Norse suffix of agency. An English equivalent would be -er, but unlike -er, which attaches to verbs, -nir pairs with nouns. Interestingly, it is a common element in Old Norse name-creation:

Sleipnir, Odin's eight-legged horse = “slip-er,"

Skírnir, Frey's attendant = “shine-r,”

Gleipnir, the chain that bound Fenris-wolf = “open-er,”

Grímnir, another title of Odin = “mask-er” (or “hood-er”), and, of course, mostly famously of all,

Mjöllnir, the name of Thor's Hammer: “mill-er.”

So maybe “Yuler” would be the most accurate translation, though it's hard not to think of the German Weihenachtsmann, the “Yule Man.” (Modern German pagans have taken to calling Yule Weihenacht—which is an older form of the word—to differentiate it from Weihnacht, “Christmas.”)

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

Cernunnos is known by many names. The Horned God, God of the Hunt, Lord of the Animals. He can be found in the sacred grove in the heart of the forest, in the call of the rutting stag. Of all the names he is known as I grew up knowing him as Herne the Hunter. As I generally make female dolls I was quite surprised that Cernunnos appeared, maybe I was inspired by the fallow deer stags I got to hang out with this summer.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Jude Lally
    Jude Lally says #
    Ah! I was wondering who he had a message for, as it wasn't me!!!
  • Dragon Dancer
    Dragon Dancer says #
    Yep, apparently!
  • Dragon Dancer
    Dragon Dancer says #
    OMG I love him! I shouldn't have, but...yeah, that was me who just snatched him up. I've been wanting one of your dolls - still in

My new book Gwyn Ap Nudd is finally here! After a long long period of retreat it's such a joy to see this book, written as an offering to my patron god finally come into the world in time for Samhain/ Nos Galan Gaeaf! At this time of year he is said to ride out from the 'deep place' Annwfn, as leader of the Wild Hunt, leading all unquiet spirits to their rest and chasing wicked souls from the world.  Working with Annwfn the underworld of the Brythonic tradition, is not an easy path, entwined with faerie it is a place of transformation where we may learn more of ourselves than we are comfortable with….  Yet Gwyn ap Nudd, whose name means ‘Bright’ or ‘White’ is also a mysterious Faery King, dwelling in his Glass Castle beneath Glastonbury Tor, and under numerous dark still lakes in the wild Welsh hills. A dark lover and hunter god of the winter, he guides us to the secret places, within our magical land and within ourselves….      

In the 14th Century, Welsh soothsayers when entering the forest would say

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  • Jeannetta Young
    Jeannetta Young says #
    Danu, this is more of a question than a comment, though the answer might benefit others...with which of your books would you recom
  • Danu Forest
    Danu Forest says #
    thank you!
  • Thesseli
    Thesseli says #
    This was an excellent read. I've been feeling a draw to Gwyn ap Nudd lately, and this book couldn't have come out at a better tim

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Which Way to Hell?

Which way to Hell?

For some, the Land of the Dead is a place of fire, but here in the North we know better.

It's ice all the way.

Which way lies Hell? Norðr ok níðr, says Snorri: “To the north and down.” "North and nether," one might say.

Oh, she's beautiful but deadly, Winter. Whether she comes as screeching black hag or ice-blue maiden, her embrace withers and kills.

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  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    You've shot to the heart, Mab, the very heart of pagan spirituality. Danger and reverence are close kin. A safe "nature" is a fals
  • Mab Nahash
    Mab Nahash says #
    I wonder how much of the sacrality of that feeling of snow stillness springs from the potential danger? I'm in Savannah, GA, and t

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
American Wild Hunt

Seventh Day of Yule, and the Wild Hunt is off and running. 

Last night we heard Old Storm and his buddies the Winds out howling and crashing, all night long.

This morning, there were broken tree limbs down all over the city. The streets were littered with them.

The Wild Hunt, all right, right on cue.

If you look at the folklore about the Wild Hunt, you'll see mostly scare stories, and, indeed, you really don't want to meet them out on the prairie, or anywhere, really. Then a broken limb would be getting off easy.

But, as usual in the Wonderful World of the Many that is polytheism, that's not the whole story.

For the Wild Hunt also has another side.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Pop Culture Wild Hunt

(is as described on the label)

I had no plans to be a Pop Culture Pagan but that appears to be happening anyway. I had no plans to permanently pick up a Joker, but that appears to be happening too. Being with J makes me feel like I understand Beth Wodandis' comment about how being with Odin is like being with a great white shark who's decided to be friendly. I don't think my J is Odin, but I think They have a common bond there. In case you're wondering what J is like, here ya go.

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  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    In "Christianity: The Origins of a Pagan Religion" Philippe Walter writes: As for the name Hellequin itself, no satisfying e

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