My experience of the WitchFather, as some of my online friends and acquaintances call Him, has – over the years- been stronger and more vivid than those of the Witches Goddess.
This used to bother me, but as I have moved into Polytheism and a greater understanding (or so I like to humor myself) of divinity and the Gods I have realized that you are going to have close relationships with some and nodding acquaintance with others. Here are a few highlights and impressions from my relationship with Auld Hornie, as some of the Traditional Witches delightfully refer to Him.
He is The Horned God of the Witches, Pan, Cernunos, Herne… He is the vital force of all Life, of Nature, he is the flash of Inspiration and the hard sought words of Wisdom… He is the Stag and the Spirit of Self-Sacrifice that others may thrive and survive… He is The Blossoming of Love and the Thrust of Lust and The Lord of Life… He is Beauty and The Great Father and He Who Helps Us To and Through Difficult and Two-Edged Truths… Strength and Surrender in Their Turn are His Nature and Lessons, amongst others…
For a better perspective on Him and how he has come to be one of the more popular Gods amongst many contemporary Pagans I can suggest Ronald Hutton’s discussion of The Horned God from Episode 4 of the Druidcast Podcast...
but here are some of the ways I have expereince Him in my life.
On the T.V. Screen…
So in the early to mid 1980’s my parents succumbed to the temptations of an upper-middle class lifestyle and got Cable Television. With it came a number of channels and an education on a lot of things, I found some of the late night offerings in the early days of Cable especially educational…
It says some interesting things about my interests and temperament and reading habits that ~at roughly the age of 11 or 12~ I had some idea and knowledge of Who it was that the guy running around the forest in a deers head headdress on Robin of Sherwood was supposed to be. Or be impersonating, as I thought at the time, it seemed one of the few marks against the show that they would disrespect Herne (and yes that was how I thought about it even then…) Although in looking up the show now I see that I was still a bit young to get the shamanic angle, which makes me reconsider elements of the series.
Then too, I can look back and see that even then I thought there were some dreamy looking men on the show…
So many years later, after the official start of my life as a Witch, I was sitting in meditation. At the time I mainly sat staring at a candle and trying to still/empty my thoughts. I don’t know why I didn’t make a more formal study of meditation at the time, but I didn’t… anyhow I was sitting in meditation and felt something…
It felt almost like a tap being turned on, like energy and images pouring in through the top of my skull. I saw a mental image of myself sitting cross-legged on the ground and super-imposed over that from Crown to the tips of my tows I saw and felt an image of the Horned God… His Antler’s intertwining with the tree-branches, his/my back against the tree, my/his arms resting in our lap with the right hand facing down and the left hand cupped and facing up, spine against the base of the tree and our feet/hooves and the base of our spine intertwining or blending into the roots of the enormous tree.
Its hard to describe how or why, but this idea was not my own… it came to me from somewhere else, this image of being cloaked by His presence and guidance and the image of Him. This image sticks with me to this day and when I need to truly connect with the nature or with Him I recall that vision to my senses.
The Words flowed through me
I was engaged in prayer at my altar one day, and felt the urge to pray to Him well up within me, and Words just sort of began flowing from my heart, inspired by another set of words for Her…
“Hear now the Words of the Great Father who of old amongst mortals was known by many names; Tammuz, Brahma, Osiris, Dionysus, Wottan, Apollo, Cernunos, Janicot, The August Personage of Jade, and by many other names.”
“I who am the Wise Youth and the Wild Man, The Horned Hunter and the Dark Wanderer, the Fury of the Storm and the Gentle Whisper of the Leafs in the Trees, I call upon your minds and bodies to arise and join me in this now sacred place.
Learn and remember! I welcomed you into this world and promised you a life of both Pleasure and Pain, Joy and Wonder, Fear and Fury; for all of these are a part of my Mysteries, the Lessons that must be learned, cherished, and remembered lifetime after lifetime.
Know then that whatever tests and trials you face in this life, I have faced before. For I am the Guardian of the Gates of Life and Death, and whatever steps you take and wherever you are within the Spiral Dance, of Birth and Life and Death and Rebirth, I have led the Way. For I am the Lord of the Dance, and to know my Mysteries you must learn to be at one with the Rhythm, the Tao, The heartbeat of the universe, that confluence of outer and inner forces that moves and works upon us all.
From all things you encounter, all people whose lives you touch, Learn and Give something of yourself in return.
All learning and wisdom is sacred to me; all quests for knowledge and understanding, all acts of effort, and thought, and willing sacrifice; all of these are my rituals.
Know now that sometimes I lead, and sometimes I follow; but as you wind your way through the The Mysteries between lifetimes, I am always with you.”
Everything up to the ~~~ came the first time…. it was a couple of years later that the rest of it came through… He seems to like it so I go with that. Lately I get a sense he has more to say about this… but it will come through eventually.
In this case it doesn’t feel like it was Him coming through me, entirely…, it was at least as much that it was an articulation of my experience and understanding of Him triggered by repeated exposure and experience of Him… More like a hoof-print than a touch…
As a Matter of Fact, He had a few things to say…
So I was showing a couple of guys I knew some basics about meditation and creating sacred space (Casting a Circle). Caught up in the fact that they seemed to need some grounding and I had just found Witchcraft as was trying to solve everything with it…. So I showed them how to cast a Circle and talked about Grounding and Centering (which in my earliest enthusiasm was kind of mixed up with and into my meditation technique) and decided to demonstrate Invocation.
Thus I spoke an Invocation to The Horned God….
Everything seemed normal until I got to the last word… then… it was as if something was rushing into my skull and pushing everything of my consciousness, everything that was me, up and back into the Crown of my skull… at first, not having had HIM respond like this before, I was rather in a panic… although I got a sense of being calmed down by someone I knew/loved or who knew and loved me, I was still more than a little freaked out and confused especially when He started speaking through my mouth…
I don’t have much memory of what I said and I remember at the time it seemed rather remote from me, I was busy inside my own skull as He spoke through me thinking…
“WTF?!?! oh it’s You, is this how it’s supposed to feel, so this must be why they call them Chevals in Voudoun, oh hey He’s speaking I should try to pay attention….”
He finished speaking, and I showed them how to close a Circle, said my goodbyes and went home and had some mild hysterics in the privacy of my own place.
Which is really only good manners…
I’ve always been with you…
This Winter Solstice-tide brought one of the latest encounters. I was re-reading Altar of My Soul, by Dr. Marta Moreno Vega, a book about Santeria by a practitioner/Priestess. In the course of re-reading this work where it talks about the experience of being crowned by an Orisha… where a person is put into better/greater relationship with their particular guiding Orisha, I found myself wondering if that was akin to or similar to my experience in that meditation oh-so-many years ago…
I felt this intense warmth and blossoming sensation at or near my Crown Chakra and this sense of His presence and an inner voice of
“Yes, I am here and always have been and always will be. I am here when you have need and love and care for you.”
Now when I breathe through my Chakra’s I spend some time also sending breath to my connection to Him… which I perceive as being near my Crown Chakra but not in quite the same spot…
Lately I have tried to greet Him each day, breathing into my sense of connection to Him and saying some small (or sometimes expansive) prayer of greeting.
Libertas (whilst written before this series was conceived of, it fits a little too perfectly into the theme to be ignored…)
The WitchFather (This post)
The Honored and Beloved Dead
Spirits of the World Around Us
9 thoughts on ““Capital H-I-M””
Hey Geoffrey/Pax, nice reflections on your experiences with H-I-M. If I were on a more Wiccan path, I would certainly welcome and appreciate a connection to Herne. He seems to resonate with me on some level. In fact, I plan on making a bit of a reference to Ault Hornie, as an archetypal force in the book I am “gradually” writing. You my friend have had some very deep spiritual experiences with the WitchFather. I admire your devotion to the spiritual side of life. With your readings, you are probably familiar with the traditional Native American belief that we each live in a house with four rooms: a mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual. To walk in balnace, Natives would say that we must spend a little bit of time in each of these rooms every day. I should have more of a spiritual practice in my daily life. I am working on that.
At any rate, I just want to thank you, again, for a wonderful night at the movies. I certainly owe you!!! I enjoyed meeting Jonathan, Gene, and Will…all great guys. Thor could lay his hammer beside my bed anytime.
OK, I’m gonna scoot for now. I need to spend some time in the physical room of my house. Keeping an exercise routine is important.
Wes (a.k.a. Happy Wolf…I’ll explain that one later.)
I will look forward to that explanation my friend! It was good to spend time with a group of friends and I am hoping to arrange more outings, I need to spend some more time in my ‘social’ room… and in the physical one… I need to get my walking schedule settled upon…
Pax / Geoffrey
Holy cats, just found your blog and it is juicy! I am subbing. found you via the pagan values month thingie, I’ll be participating. I like the causes and things you have posted, seems like we have a lot in common. Looking forward to chatting further!
Lily, aka Witch Mom
Thank you for the kind words, and I look forward to both getting to know you better through your blog and the comments streams here and there, and through your participation in the Pagan Values event.
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