The Lay of the Horned God

Last night during my nightly meditations I found myself in the presence of The Horned One and once again I asked the question I always ask whenever I see Him: “What are you?”. The following images flooded my brain. I’m feeling the need to indulge my bardic side today and to relay what I saw in story form. Keep in mind this is just my own UPG. I’m not trying to convince you. This is perhaps one way it happened, in a way that was related to me by my God. If it is of use to you take it as you will or not, or better yet, ask him yourself!

The Lay of the Horned God

Love me?

He came into this world much like you and I. A new soul from the primordial cauldron with infinite potential. A child of the Earth, born to his mother in ages long past. The first agonizing breath of the harsh air of this world filled his lungs, the smell of his mother the first thing in this world he knew. He knew comfort from her, the taste of her milk, the warmth of her fur. Other scents assaulted his new born nose, the rich wet Earth, the dew upon the grass, the metallic blood shed at his own genesis. This baby fawn stood unsure on his unsteady legs, surveyed the land around him and too his first trembling steps.

We will never know exactly what he was. Perhaps a modern stag as we know them today, but more likely a much larger megafauna predecessor that dominated that primitive era, such as a stag-moose or an Irish elk. He lived and grew into a great specimen of his species, that faun growing into a proud buck standing tall above those around him, muscled and strong. Like any other animal he knew passion, he knew pain, hunger, and satiation. He knew the rush of blood in his head as he fought off rivals, horns locked in combat, the scent of blood again. He knew the thrill of sexual release and the smell of a female in estrus. He fathered fawns of his own. Some lived, some died, he felt no affection for them such was the way of his kind. His passions guided him, this creature of instinct. For all his strength he also knew when to run, the frenzy of the chase as he was hunted by those who saw him as prey.

Like the rest of us shall one day know, he knew the release of death. The pain exploding in his side as the arrows and spears punctured his weathered flesh. The scent of blood again, present at both his birth and death filled his mighty nostrils as he breathed his last heaving breath.

His flesh went to feed the tribe, his physical essence mingling with that of our early ancestors becoming part of us, his destiny tied to that of man for the very first time. By all rights it would of ended there. A life well lived, no regrets as our foolish kind know them. This single primal spirit that arose from the primordial cauldron now poised to returned to it again, bringing with it the experiences of it’s life to add to that of all those who went before him. Yet before the darkness took his spirit for the final time he heard a call that brought him back into the world of lights, the voice of a man. In later times we might call this man a shaman or sorcerer,Β  what his own people called him is now lost to time, a mystery that only he is privy to.

This man draped himself with his own former now blood stained hide, his regal skull and majestic antlers now stained and reddened with ocher and the fresh wet loam of the Earth. As his body went to feed the tribe, the man now asks him to serve the same. The confines of his former skull now serve as a fetish, a familiar domicile to house his newly arisen spirit. He answered the call of the man and served the tribe, and they in turn venerated him for his gifts. He witnessed their harsh lives and grew to know them. He learned of their needs, shared their pain and loss, exulted in their triumphs. He protected them from the dangers of the outside world that he had evaded during his natural life. He aided their hunt and lead them to food. He saw them die, and new helpless ones born into the world to replace them. The man who called him forth now had succumbed himself to the darkness that might of claimed him long ago, though the secret of his existence was whispered in hushed voices passed from the father to the son, and then to the daughter of the son, and so on forth down the line.

He knew not how long he served His people, many times the span of his natural life, generations of man came into being and faded into lands embrace under his gaze. With each voice that called to him his spirit grew in awareness and knowledge. Mere beast no more, the divine spark within him grew and ignited and he became a God. This divinity was not bestowed upon him by an outside force, but it was the very spark he was born with those eons ago, the very same spark that exists within all of us, from our most enlightened spiritual teachers, to that shellfish you may have consumed without a thought last week. This spark ignited and grew into a raging fire.

The landscape changed, the once plentiful herds moved on and the tribe followed them. New lands were found, the tribe split itself into many factions as some remained behind. This posed no problem to him, as spirits just like flame, are able to be in more than one place at once. As the peoples experience changed, so did their view of him. Some forgot him entirely, others renamed him. From his tempered divine spark he gave birth to new children. In the north the called him Wuldor and so he became the hunter, bow in hand silently stalking the northern wood. In Windsor they called him Herne, and he protected that forest as well taking residence in his sacred tree. In Arcadia voices raised to him shouted Pan! Pan! And thus he chased the nymphs of legend. In Gaul the venerable Cernunnos raised his antlered head and taught the children of man who sought his wisdom. Thousands of names, thousands of divine children all sprung forth from his primordial core. Some themselves going back into the cauldron of rebirth, others igniting and growing their own divine spark, all tracing their lineage back to Him and in some deep part of their being remaining part of Him.

The child of the Earth watched man as he grew and changed and learned and He in turn changed and learned with them. He grew to understand and protect them, though his core remained the wild stag of ages long past. Until the day finally came that man abandoned their champion of old, and in some areas turned on him and vilified him, even sought to destroy any mention of him. He slept, needed no more as man turned to their own ingenuity and clever thought. Yet still from time to time a voice would call out in remembrance, their blood screaming out seeking to reconnect to the bond that was forged between this unnamed God and his own earliest of ancestors. Man may had forgotten him, but their blood remembers, and the blood never forgets.

As more call out to him, heeding the urgency in their blood that cried out to be reconnected to the one who cared for us and shaped us, he finds himself drawn back to this world once more. A simple unassuming spirit that would of livedΒ  and died and been reabsorbed like the teeming billions of lives before him became something more, and as He did so can you. This is perhaps the most important lesson he teaches.

Hail The Horned God!

Addendum: Ever wonder why those animal spirit familiars are so keen to help us? Everyone gets something from the interaction. As they help us, we help them.

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44 Responses to The Lay of the Horned God

  1. snaegl says:

    Wonderful story. πŸ™‚

  2. Melia Suez says:

    Wow. What an answer! I’ve thought this way but never have seen it substantiated especially with such detail. Love the section: “as spirits just like flame, are able to be in more than one place at once”. It fills out a little my theory of why there are multiple gods that share the same characteristics. Thanks for sharing!

    • Seillean says:

      Thanks Melia! I’m glad that it struck a chord with you! Although the words are my own, the images behind them are very much a “channeled” work. It kind of rounds out my own outlook and adds to it as well. I’m glad it could be of use to you as well.

  3. crookedways says:

    Oh Rick. Just wow…

    Now, it’s my turn to be speechless… *hugs*

    • Seillean says:

      Thank you my friend, that really means a lot to me! *hugs*!

      • crookedways says:

        I’m actually sitting in hear half in tears to be honest with you. What you have described sounds awfully like a wee journey Cernunnos took me on a while ago, when asking a similar question. To have your own UPG verified, or at least corroborated by someone else, makes the world less of a lonely place for us solitaries. Thank you so very much for sharing, love.

    • Seillean says:

      And now you have given me a gift as well! Having ones own gnosis corroborated is indeed a powerful thing. Thanks for sharing as well and helping this solitary out! πŸ˜‰

  4. A beautiful story rich in symbolism perfect for telling around a campfire or during ritual! I’m starting to think you’re a reincarnation of R. Lowe Thompson who wrote Hunter in Our Midst and History of the Devil – the Horned God of the West. Your words always seem to echo his theories and beliefs…

    • crookedways says:

      I need to read this… It’s on my list… So many books, so little money, so little time to read them all! ;-p

    • Seillean says:

      Thanks for the compliment Sarah! Hmm I haven’t read either book though History of the Devil is on my (very long) list of “must haves”. I hadn’t heard of Hunter in our Midst, but now I’m going to have to get them both, they sound like something I would really enjoy. Thanks for the lead!

      • As they’re quite old try Alibris and Abebooks for antique copies. They’re worth moving up the list! I am a bit biased though *whistles innocently*

  5. Melia Suez says:

    “To have your own UPG verified, or at least corroborated by someone else, makes the world less of a lonely place for us solitaries. ” What she said!

  6. Scylla says:

    Absolutely beautiful. And reflects some of my own feelings and notions. Though I -think- I see that ‘shaman’ as well, over many, many, incarnations. He and that Stag-spirit were very closely identified, and … well, time makes fools (and stag-men) of us all.

    Would it be alright with you if I did a reading of this at one of the rituals I’m hosting this fall?

    • Seillean says:

      Scylla, thank you! Very interesting about the shaman! Something about that rings very true indeed. Thanks for sharing that bit of gnosis.

      I’d be honored if you wish to read it at a ritual, truly. If you decide to, please let me know how it goes.

      • Scylla says:

        I will likely read it at either First or Second harvest at a public ritual. So, a bit far off, but I’ll let you know.

        In addition, this post lit a fire under my backside to actually post my impressions about the ‘shaman’, and they’re on my blog now.

    • Seillean says:

      I really enjoyed your narrative about the Shaman. I posted over at your blog, but I really found it interesting and informative.

  7. nelliella says:

    That is amazing – not often do you come across words that continue to reverberate in your head after you’ve read them. Sometimes you hear or read things which you know will forever change your perspective and this was one of those times for me – thankyou for sharing. Beautiful. Honestly.

    • Seillean says:

      Thank you Nellie! I’m absolutely humbled by your comment. I’m so glad that it was able to resonate with you. Many thanks my friend.

  8. Nornoriel says:

    That’s beautiful, thank you so much for sharing.

    Also, the little baby deer captioned “Love me?”… EPIC WIN.

    • Seillean says:

      Thanks Noni! Glad you liked it.

      Hehe yeah I couldn’t resist putting in the “Love me”, the picture seemed to cry out for it! Was wondering if anyone would catch it πŸ™‚

  9. Sunblazer says:

    The recounting of your experience resonates with stunning imagery that underscores the idea that in the blocked off residue of our ancient primordial (un)consciousness lies the memory of that one whose identity we seek. I especially like your idea that He is part and parcel of all that has been and will be created in divine nature and that the same spark of divinity in Him lies within us as well. We have not really forgotten but rather yearn to be reconnected with His vital presence. Your beautiful story stirs slumbering archetypal images of the Magnificent One deep within our collective unconscious. Thank you for sharing your experience so eloquently. You inspire me to meditate more often!

    • Seillean says:

      Thank you Sunblazer! I’m happy that it stirred you so. You’ve pretty much picked up on the core contents that I myself found interesting about the gnosis. I think it was a story he wanted told.

  10. Thistlemoon says:

    This is absolutely beautiful. I am speechless and cheering at the same time. Like many of the others commented, it is amazing to see your own UPG corroborated by others. Very excellent work. Looking forward to the book and more.

    • Seillean says:

      Thistlemoon, thank you so much πŸ™‚ I’m very glad you liked it! It is indeed a good feeling when your own UPG is confirmed. The book should be out this spring, I hope you enjoy it.

      • Thistlemoon says:

        I am sure I will – wish I would have known sooner so I could have contributed, Wuldor being the God closest to my heart and who’s path I follow. Very excited nonetheless!

    • Seillean says:

      Interesting Thistlemoon, I’ve met very few devotees of Wuldor. I’ve been feeling him knocking on my door for awhile, I’m just not sure where to go with it myself.

      • Thistlemoon says:

        Yes, there are very few. Although I have met one or two. I think it is because there is so very little known about him. I think those devoted to him follow a very different path because of that, much you said in your about the lore and worship of the Horned God. But I have found many blessings on this path, and as I have followed him, the more that grows as does the connection to the land, nature and the hunt.

  11. Rachel says:

    Beautifully expressed post. Reading this has triggered something, a little click deep within, beyond me, beyond my own blood and flesh, that has been nagging for a long time, something I still don’t understand or have a name for. I do not have a name for the Divine, but I hold out for it, that maybe for me and my experience, it is still in the making. Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

    • Seillean says:

      Thanks Rachel! Finding that name for the divine is infuriatingly hard isn’t it? Its a workin progress for me as well, always.

  12. Skye says:

    Wow, how powerful! Excellently written and completely moving. I also have never heard that the Horned God was linked to Ullr (or Wuldor) before, is that a scholarly conclusion, or more UPG based? In any case, it is very fascinating for me as a heathen.

    • Seillean says:

      Thanks Skye. The thing about Wuldor is pure UPG, though I’ve seen others who share it. For clarification I don’t think they are the same god, but I think Wuldor is somehow “closest” to the Horned God if that makes any sense. They are very closely connected in my own mind.

  13. Juniper says:

    Bravo! So well written. The one time I asked him more or less the same question I was told “It doesn’t matter” I’ve been too afraid to ask again!

    • Seillean says:

      Thank you very much Juniper, I’m glad you liked it. In the end I think his answer to you is very wise and correct! It really doesn’t matter does it? Ah us humans and our curiosity πŸ˜‰

  14. Kullervo says:

    Mastodon’s cover art looks so insanely awesome all the tie, and they have great names for their songs. I wish their music did not suck so frakking hard.


  15. Druv says:

    I want to connect the dots here, thanks for the wonderful article.

    In India, There is God Shiva who has 108 names, and one of his name is Pashupatinath – the animal protector.

    The story goes that he transformed into a deer to protect the animals.

    The Same Horned God can be found in the artifacts of the Indus Valley Civilization.

    Hence the Horned God of Celts is same as God Shiva. In one of your pics here, the horned God is Blue, with many heads and has a Yoga mudra called Dhyana Mudra.

    Image of Dhyan Mudra :

    Image of God Shiva :

    I found an article that explains the past better, please read :

  16. Druv says:

    Meditating God Shiva:

    He is known as the Ultimate Yogi, he is the one who gave the people of Sanatan Dharma/Hindu the knowledge of Meditation/ Yoga. He is the source of all knowledge – he is the God of Knowledge.

    Tandav dance :

    This is the “Natraja” the God of Dance, God Shiva dances on the Demon of Ignorance, you can see the little guy under his feet. The little guy is the Demon of Ignorance.

    When the world is shrouded in the Veil of ignorance and people forget their true source, God Shiva does the tandav dance to make people remember the truth.

    Once Ignorance is destroyed, people remember their source once again..!

    If you see you pic of the Horned God, he has a third eye in the middle of the forehead –
    God Shiva is the three eyed God….!

    The third eye represents one of the Chackras, from which the power of knowledge and all the emotions come forth….!

    Through meditation God Shiva has perfect control over his emotions and he focuses all of his energy into a creative form of energy.

    He is the strongest as he can focus all of his energy with the power of meditation….!

    He is the true creator and the destroyer !

  17. Druv says:

    It is the same reason why the Christian Devil has the “trident: as well, the trident is the symbol of God Shiva – the three eyed God.

    The horns of the devil – represents the horned god and God Shiva

    Trident – represents God Shiva as well

    This is the connector between the Eastern God Shiva and the Horned God of the western Celts.

    In all Shiva temples in India, there is always a trident on top of the temple as a signature of God Shiva.

  18. Druv says:

    You can read more about the God of Indus Valley civilization in the link below – Pashupatinath.


    • Seillean Ioho says:

      Really interesting stuff Druv! Thanks for writing. You’ve given me lots to think about and an angle I hadn’t considered before. I certainly can see that picture in a new light. There is an article in the Horned God Devotional you may be interested in entitled “The Horned God of the East” by Elenna Rose that is largely about Pashupatinath. It’s one of my favorites in the whole book πŸ˜‰

  19. Druv says:

    I see another connector, The Horned God seems to be holding Snakes in his hands….

    Look at any pic of God Shiva — he has snakes too!

    Looks like they are the same God, that would mean we are the same people separated by time.

  20. Druv says:

    Another thing i have found out that in Ireland there is a place called “Hill of Tara”.

    In India, Goddess Shakti – the whife of God Shiva has another name Goddess Tara/ Tara Devi.

    If you look at the pic of the ” Hill of Tara” on wiki, clearly you see the Shiva lingim on the Hill of Tara.

    This means that people of Ireland have origins from Vedic Civilization.

  21. greycatsidhe says:

    Wonderful post. I’ve often felt this way about Deer Spirit, one of my allies.

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