The first guest post was provided by Cordelia of Cordelia's Cauldron. Note, please be sure to click on read more after the poem!
C. Hue Bumgarner-Kirby
The Old God sleeps
down in the dark, moist,
Waiting for us
To put down our roots.
Hail Cernunnos! Lord of the Forest, the God of the Green! As spring returns, he reigns as the God of Fertility. From lush green pastures to the forest primeval, roots bring forth life from below the ground at the command of the Lord of the Underworld and the earth awakens!
Being drawn to the mountains, forest and woodlands, it was fitting Cernunnos was one of the two male Dieties that spoke to my heart. The sea summons my soul and recharges me, and so the other God I honor is the Celtic Sea God, Manannan Mac Lir. As this is the season of the awakening of the earth, Cernunnos is the subject of my post today.
In my quest to learn more about Cernunnos I consulted a number of sources in books and sites online. Like many of the Dieties, different sources can be conflicting and sorting truth from myth is difficult at best. Known by different names among the various Pantheons, he is also identified as Herne the Hunter and Pan. Depictions said to be Cernunnos have been found that predate Christianity. A rock carving found in Italy dates back to the fourth century BC. One of the more famous depictions believed to be Cernunnos comes from the Gundestrup Cauldron which was found in the dry Raevemose peat bog, Gundestrup, Himmerland, Denmark in 1891. While some disagree, numerous historians and scholars feel one of the plates from this artifact from the Iron age, dating from the first or second century BC, portrays Cernunnos.
While exploring different websites for further information I came upon this beautifully detailed description of Cernunnos, said to be inspired by the image from the Gundestrup Cauldron. It would be a disservice for me to try to reinterpret this and so I quote the following from druidry.org:
THE GOD IN THE WILD WOOD
At the Sacred Centre, in the Grove of all Worlds, He sits with legs crossed beneath an ancient Oak. Entranced, connecting the three worlds æ Earth, Sea, and Sky æ and the worlds behind the worlds, the god and the Great Tree are One, His immense limbs widespread, stretching into distant sky and starry space. His massive trunk, spine of the Middleworld, is the heart of the Ancient Forest around which all Life, all worlds turn. His limitless root web growing deep into secret earth and Underworld. Above him the great turning circles of Sun, Moon, and Stars. All around Him subtle movements of the leaves in melodious, singing air. Everywhere the pulsing, gleaming Green awash in drifts of gold and shimmering mist. Beneath Him soft moss creeping over the dark, deep, moist of spawning earth. At His feet the great Cauldron from which the Five Rivers Flow. Through the forest stillness they come, whispering wings and secret glide, rustling leaves, and silent step, the first Ancestors, the Oldest Animals, to gather around Him: Blackbird, Keeper of the Gate; Stag of Seven Tines, Master of Time; Ancient Owl, Crone of the Night; Eagle, Lord of the Air, Eye of the Sun; and Salmon, Oldest of the Old, Wisest of the Wise leaping from the juncture of the Five Springs. He welcomes them and blesses them, and they honor Him, Cernnunos of the nut brown skin and lustrous curling hair. The god whose eyes flash star-fire, whose flesh is a reservoir of ancient waters, His cells alive with Mystery, original primeval essence. Naked, phallus erect, He wears a crown of antlers limned in green fire and twined with ivy. In his right hand the Torq of gold, testament of his nobility and his sacred pledge. In his left hand the horned serpent symbol of his sexual power sacred to the Goddess. Cernnunos in His Ancient Forest, His Sacred Temple, His Holy Grove, Cernnunos and His children dream the Worlds.
Celtic Myth & Magick - Edain McCoy
The Element Encyclopedia of Witch Craft- Judika Illes
Magic of the Celtic Gods & Goddesses - Carl McColman & Kathryn Hinds
Cernunnos, Ancient Celtic God - druidry.org
The Gundestrup Cauldron - celtnet.org.uk
Please stop by Cordelia's blog to see this post as well. In the copy and paste process, some gorgeous pictures were lost and when I tried to put them in place where Cordelia had them they just bunched up at the top of the post and that wouldn't work lol. I couldn't figure out how to get them right, so please do stop by Cordelia's blog and leave a comment there!