What Cernunnos Means To Me..
Firstly I should state who I am. I go by the name Sion Ap Cernowain. My “Who Is” page is here.
I grew up in a mixed Pagan/Christian household. The only horned god I really knew about was the devil. I came to learn about the Greek god Pan through school and through images of Satyrs and Fauns in mythology books. The antlered man was an image I had seen depictions of in cave paintings and also on television as Herne The Hunter. Herne was incorporated into the Robin Hood legend in the 1984 television series, Robin of Sherwood. Herne the Hunter is also featured as a guiding character in John Masefield’s novel The Box of Delights and the 1984 BBC TV adaptation. My Grandmother would sometimes talk of the wild man of the woods and described him as half man and half stag.
I am still fairly convinced she told me that just to keep me from playing in a nearby woodland that had an unsafe boggy area inside.
In later years I became more and more aware of this Antlered/Horned God that I now recognise as Cernunnos. In a recurring dream from childhood I was visited by such a being but he never clearly showed his horns. That is, until fairly recently anyway.
The fact that so little is known of Cernunnos adds to his allure. I have built up my own mythology through study, meditation and dreams. I have used his imagery as a tool. I have crafted my own lore and understanding through my own experiences.
My interpretation of Cernunnos is much as you would expect from the various imagery available. However, I see him as a force of nature, a non coproreal entity rather than a physical presence. He is made up of the energies we find in nature. He is fluid in gender as well as sexuality. He can both God and Goddess at the same time as he mediates between the earth and sky.
I mostly see myself as a bisexual, though androphilic male, so “my” Cernunnos is a reflection of me. This can change so the fluidity of my creation comes into play.
This, in truth, is how I see all deities; creations of those who needed to make sense of what was happening in their world, to ask assistance of in times of need, to blame and to use as a form of control over others. Deities still have power, but power that we instilled within them. Many will disagree, as is their right. Frankenstein created his monster. Man created his gods.
This is literally the opposite of what the bible states:
So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.Genesis 1:27
We are all a part of and “creations” of nature. Many have lost that connection and basic understanding. When we look to save nature, we look to save ourselves. Human beings are not needed for this planet to grow and thrive. We owe it everything.
How you interpret the concept of nature is your choice. Nature, in the broadest sense, is equivalent to the natural world, physical world, or material world. “Nature” refers to the phenomena of the physical world, and also to life in general. It ranges in scale from the subatomic to the cosmic. What greater power is there? I believe there is none.
Cernunnos, to me, represents the raw power of nature.
We are all capable of great things. We are created of energy. We can all do magick. Most have simply forgotten how.
In Magick, Belief, Will and Intent are key. These three elements are paramount, in my opinion, to all things magical and how we interact with these deities.
Belief:- Firstly belief in oneself and the spirit/deity or just voice in your head that you are working with. Do not attempt any magickal working unless you believe you can do it. You may not get positive results immediately. Belief in your purpose is next. If you don’t believe in your intended outcome you will be wasting your time. Belief in why you are doing something. Blind faith comes into belief.. The belief of those you are working for/with is important. Think of the blind faith of the Eucharist, it is a functionary transaction. The priest could have no experience or decades, that does not matter to his parishoners. They have that blind faith that “the miracle” will happen.
Will:- Finding your true will can be an accident, something you work towards for years and never discover or something imagined as the inevitable gravity of your destiny. Once you have found the path that works for you, this is the manifestation of your true will. That which you are meant to do, your inevitable pathway through the universe. Once you find your true will, it is like discovering your orbit or pathway as a star in the universe. As that star, your will is then aligned to the will of the universe, then you are truly a part of the creative energy of Nature and The Universe (however you choose to perceive it). In short, what will happen anyway, what the universe wants, you become a part of, an agent of change.
Intent:- There are many arguments about Intent. In my opinion Intent alone is not enough. When I plan a ritual, spell working or meditation I always write it out several times. This is my way of cementing the process in my head. My intention is that the magick I am about to do is of a positive nature, will do no harm, and will be of benefit. I might seek to bind but never harm the object of my workings. The words are carefully chosen, as are whatever implements I will be using. Hoping for the best is not enough. Magick does not work if you have a lust for the results. Time is needed to allow the actions to form and finalise. Good intentions alone are not enough and must be used alongside Will and Belief.
“Magic is about intention” is the belief which causes some people to make the same mistakes over and over again until they realize that yes, what you say and do matters. Make it clear, don’t assume it’s intuitive on both ends of the equation. Know the playing field you’re working in, and pay it its due.” @ScarletMagdalen
There are deities of all shapes and sizes. Some are combinations of animal and human, while others are totally human in appearance. There are deities to cover all aspects of daily life and emotion. A simple internet search will bring you lists of hundreds, if not tens of thousands of deities worshipped on our planet at some time or another.
There were also many human beings that either self classified or were worshipped as deities. Even in our modern world, there are those that look at their heroes in sport, movies, music, politics etc as living gods..
A picture may be worth a thousand words, but for Catherine Perlès, cave paintings provide a link to understanding thousands of years of human history and thought. “It is difficult to pinpoint the moment where deities appeared,” Perlès said. “But their appearance could not be a revolution — a brutal and fast process. Rather, there was more likely a natural, slow evolution of gods.”
Perlès findings confirm for me of what I have always known. There is no one supreme God. There is no one omnipotent being that controls all others.
The depiction of half man and half beast from 45,000 yr old primeval cave paintings onwards tells me that the “Cernunnos” archetype is our desire to commune with nature. We can tap into that force of nature, we are a part of it. As above, most have simply forgotten how.
I am happy and eager to share my experiences and knowledge. My own working practices are listed here. Whether you chose to follow my path or forge your own is your choice.