An Experience with Cernunnos- The Horned One

He was bounding,

He was boundless,

He was the swift air beneath my feet, my paws, my pads of soft flesh and nails

He was the guiding light, the guiding arrow, he was the air that twirled me in a contortion of death

He was severity and compassion

As I entered the flesh

As I felt the moment of death,

of sacrifice,

of pain.

He was the ecstatic dance of spirit as flesh fell to the ground

He was, is and always will be







It was the first time I ever worked with the Mighty Horned One. I was nerves and excitement and fear and apprehension. After all I had rejected the Horned one for years, not out of petulance or fear, but simply because when it came right down to it, what need had I for pulsing masculinity, a hunter, a Horny God, a Kingly God?

For many of us when we first discover Witchcraft and/or Wicca we tend to focus on female divinity. For me it was no different, not only was the archetypal Goddess the only thing I could process as the ripe age of 12, but a male god seemed absolutely yucky. After a few years I discovered a god who was not quite so intimidating, Anubis. Anubis is my Lord for now and forever, his presence may at times be unsettling, but who wants a deity who is carved in cardboard?

Many years have gone by and over time I became less and less inclined toward extremist Feminist views, as I studied Men and Masculinities, and started seeing a different kind of male god that was not about Patriarchy I started working with other male deities, particularly of the Egyptian Pantheon- Thoth, Osiris, Set, Sobek. As a third wave feminist my views on femininity and masculinity may not be construed as normal, after all at the youngest age I was already considered a Tom Boy, rough and tumble mud and trees, but with pink nails and wearing mommy’s heels. I still like to pluck and play with identity, fully experiencing each emotion, each persona, each mask that helps to bring out parts of myself left hidden.

Cernunnos is the Hidden God in my work, I cannot lie and say that he hasn’t popped up here and there, because the truth is he has, two very profound experiences I had with him were quite enlightening, but despite that He was still a god in the shadows, hidden in the trees, hidden in the breeze, in the wild clash of thunder, in the pain of letting go, and in the dance of Wildness at Rock clubs. He never needed acknowledgement because he simply “is”.

So when I decided to heed his beckoning call, that has been maddening me for the last few weeks on Sunday with a ritual, I experienced him as Hunter and Hunted, and the poem above is a snippet of a meditation experience that I had after doing a drumming session.

This was the Cernunnos that was difficult for me to relate to, and after this ritual I felt a liberation, a freedom expressed through allowing myself to feel this “Masculine”, virile and forceful energy at work within my circle.

I’ve stated before in my book review on Goddess Aloud! that although working with female deities can be incredibly beneficial, and of course is incredibly important to heal our psyches that working with Male divinity is just as important. We need to recoup from the damage of Patriarchy and working with Masculine Divinity can be a catalyst into healing the Self, the parts of the Self that are wild, and free that need urgently to be expressed. He helped me to not feel ashamed of the body, the flesh that holds my spirit, as He is Spirit made Flesh in the Nature of All things, he is primal need, and he is within each of us as the spark that dances us into existence and oblivion.


Below is  a link to a related article which talks about the Horned God and Pan:

Finding the God

Poem and blog content copyright of Nightshade 2012 author of The Purple Broom


One thought on “An Experience with Cernunnos- The Horned One

  1. Moving and very interesting. Quite similar in a way to my own recent re-discovering of the masculine side of divinity and it’s importance in my life. It also took me quite a few years to get round to it and realize it’s importance. It was quite exciting and liberating too!

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