I would like you to sit back and relax. Now imagine
yourself on the edge of a forest. The forest is lush and green
with a slight chill in the air. The forest is inviting you to
As you enter, you hear wolves howling in the distance.
There is no fear in your heart... only excitement. The beating
of your heart grows a little stronger. Then you hear it again...
the wolf howling. You can feel it moving; moving farther into
the forest, toward what appears to be the center. Noticing that
you are moving toward the center as well, you begin to pick up
some speed. As your heart is pounding out of your chest, you find
yourself running through the trees, winding in and out, and leaping
over fallen branches and stumps.
All of a sudden, the sound of hoofbeats is in the
forest surrounding you, almost as if they were running with you.
Catching a glimpse of a clearing, you feel an urge to keep going
toward the center. As you approach, you begin to see a figure
sitting in the very center of this green world that you have happened
upon. In fact, you feel as though this figure is the center.
You see two animals approaching with you... the
Wolf and the Stag. They were a part of your journey, leading you
to the seated figure that is before you. This figure seems to
be drawing energy from below his half-man, half-animal body. It
appears that he himself has hooves like the stag that is now beside
him, as is the wolf. In one hand he seems to be holding a torc
and in the other is a ram headed serpent. You then notice a second
torc around his neck. Coming from the top of his head you see
two great horns covered with foliage. He is centered and poised
as more animals approach him respectfully. And then you realize
whom you are seeing. You are face to face with He of Many Names.
You are face to face with Cernunnos.
This God-image that is sitting before you is the
most prevalent in all of paganism. His image has been seen drawn
on cave walls in the Middle East and India that date back to 5000
BCE. Cernunnos is still revered in the European pagan traditions.
The Horned God's image was demonized by the early Church, and
he became the prototype for their Devil. As you look upon him,
you don't see the evil that has been depicted of their Devil.
All you see is kindness as you feel a great respect for Him. There
is a sense of ancient wisdom surrounding you and all the inhabitants
of this forest. You sit beside him and reflect on your knowledge
He was the uninhibited goat representing the fertility
rites of Beltaine, and the master of the hunt who came into his
full power in late summer and early fall. He was the primal fertility
God, consort to the first Great Mother, and the male creative
principle. He is also honored as a death deity; the hunt is sometimes
viewed as a metaphor for rounding up the souls of the living to
take to the Otherworld. He has also been cast as the role of gaurdian
of the Otherworld's gates, and as a God of the woodlands, animals,
revelry and male fertility.
You feel yourself being surrounded by a warm feeling
of love and affection. You feel as if you are coming out of slumber...
and you find yourself in the here and now, still aware of your
journey to meet Cernunnos.