Cernunnos: The Darkest Wood in the Moon's Light
Article ID: 16049
Age Group: Adult
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Posted: April 20th. 2018
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The funny thing about the Gods, they show themselves to you when you least expect it. It might seem clichť, but there is truth in this statement, because when you truly enjoy life to its fullest without worry, your mind opens up to new ways of thinking. Thatís when the Gods and Goddesses can speak to you. Everyone has a different way of approaching the deities, whether it be with ritual, song, the visual arts, writing, and thatís just the tip of the tree branch! Often, people wonder where to start looking for deity. In many cases, itís simpler than you think.
The important thing about exploring your own spirituality is listening to yourself and your needs. What do you need your spirituality to fulfill? Spirituality should feed us with positive vibes, and help us navigate lifeís trials. With the deities, there is no need to be insistent, hasty, rash, or high-minded. For some, deities appear to them through times of hardship, and guide them through sorrow, pain and loss. For others, deities make themselves known in times of growth, when the old has to be cleansed to make way for the new. There is no exact way to contact the deities you want to talk to. In fact, the only way is to do it in a way that resonates with you, and you alone.
For me, I found that deities come to me when there is an open window within my mind to accept inspiration and happiness from my own life. When youíre comfortable with yourself, doors open up in ways youíd hardly imagine.
I would like to tell you about my own experience with a very particular deity. He is very popular in the western magical traditions, and yet, there seems to be a lack of information on him. His name is Cernunnos. He has many names to many different people. He is also the God of the Hunt, giver of life and death, and ensures the prosperity and balance of the wilderness and its inhabitants. To many, he is a Horned God archetype; to some, he is a lost figment of time, briefly seen on the Gundestrup Cauldron. He is elusive, and yet, he is everywhere.
At 16 years, I was new to Wicca and Paganism, and my mind always wanted to learn more about this new way of life. I was open-minded to all this new information, and my artistic abilities were also honed on the subject. When I first met Cernunnos, it was on one of my family camping trips in the woods of Ontario. We had very tall oaks on our campsite, and I remember canvas-stitching a butterfly when the wind violently shook the leaves, making me smile. The sky was full of clouds that night, and so, I decided to go rest up in our tent trailer.
There I was, drawing in my sketchbook, and the pale light of the full moon shone through the tarp. The wind was blowing steadily against the tarp of the tent trailer, and the leaves of the maple and birch trees were rustling like whispers outside. I happened to be drawing an image of the Goddess and God, when a sight appeared in my mind, clear as, well, night. There was a meadow surrounded by pine trees, pitch black with silver and cold blue linings from the full moon illuminating the pine needles. A man was at the edge of the woods, and despite the darkness, he was very visible. It was not a terrifying experience, though it did startle me to see him with such clarity. To me, Cernunnos had spectacular red deer antlers, and pitch-black hair, medium length, with piercing amber eyes. It felt like the awe and wonder of seeing a wild animal in its natural habitat, like when you see a fox cross your path, or see a calm black bear pacing the trail. Itís awe-inspiring, and you get to appreciate and respect the animalís presence. That was the exact feeling I had when I saw Cernunnos.
The flash seemed to have lasted for a distinct moment, but really, it was only a couple seconds in real time. I then proceeded to drawing him to the best of my growing ability, though Iím sure I can do better today. I havenít had a surprise sight like that since, only dreams. Since then, I have seen him in one of my dreams while sleeping, hosting a feast and wild dance with drums under a full moon.
He makes his presence known when he wants to, hiding in the leaves and needles of the forest in the meantime, and thatís ok. You can look out for him on your hikes through the woods, but truth his, heís as elusive and quiet as a deer, and I respect the space thatís needed for him to thrive. The wilderness stays wild because of the remoteness and near-absence of human presence, and animals can live a more naturally fitting life, without the influence of humans messing up their routines. I feel that Cernunnos would be the same way, as he is a friend of animals and plants alike. I greatly appreciate when he does visit, but I respect the wilderness, so to speak.
What Iíve learned from Cernunnos so far is to let life and inspiration find its way to you. If you keep developing yourself in your talents and give thanks for the wonderful gifts you have in this life, let life take its course, deities will come find you on their own. Cernunnos, a god of the forest and wilderness, tends to call to you from the depths of the darkest wood, and visits when he wants to come out of his hiding place. He thrives on the rhythmic beats of drums, and the blue light of the moon outlining his forest treetops.
I believe that I of all people am not allowed to dictate how you should connect with any deity, because we all have our paths to follow. There are many trails in the forest that will lead you to the same mountain. Iím simply sharing my experiences with you, the reader, so that you may grow in your own seeking as well. For now, my connection to Cernunnos is mostly felt when Iíve had a long hard day at work, and just let myself drift off into dreamland, when Iím outside taking a break, walking in the woods, camping or when Iím taking some time off, practicing some archery. I connect with him in my own ways, and he will connect with various people differently. Therefore, donít let anyone dictate to you how you should connect with deity.
Variety is the spice of life, and itís about time we accepted that fact.
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
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