[God Oracle] Horned God
Horned God –Stewardship
[Card Description: A sinewy, thin man wearing the seven-point antlers of a buck. Wild eyed, but strong facial expression. He guards a forest of tiny saplings and a herd of deer from danger, while allowing some hunters to have one success.]
Look for me in the wild places,
In green space and meadow.
You call me Cernuous, Horned One, God.
I am as old as the forest
And as young as the first sapling.
As Man first set foot here looking for meat
I kept him out or let him in.
I keep the streams clear
I keep the game scarce
I keep you from hunting to extinction.
When there is enough and when there is time
I grant life or death through the winter
Be you beast or man.
Beg me, plead me, ask me nice
And I shall send you sacrifice.
Statistics: Culture of origin: Celtic, Arayan Shamanism, Wicca. Location: Northern Europe, Forests and Asian Steppes. Age: Youthful, or Grown Man. Element: Earth
Mythology: Images of a horned God are have been found in ancient cave paintings, and date back to the late Paleolithic period and through the Bronze Age. Anthropologists believe that ancient hunters would enter the cave and draw pictures of this nature God to ask for successful hunting expeditions. Ancient people, and many indigenous cultures today, believe that the animal killed during a hunt sacrifices itself. They believe the hunt is sometimes unsuccessful because the predator/prey population must be kept in balance. While little is known about this Godform explicitly, images of him appear across the ancient world from Mongolia to Ireland. He has been adopted by Gardnerian Wiccans as a general manifestation of masculine earth energy.
Meaning in Reading: The Horned God appears to question how you are delegating your resources. Whether it is money, food, energy, attention, information or family, we all have resources we are responsible for. Are you utilizing every scrap until you have nothing left? Or are you setting some by to keep growing, and investing in the future? Do you see people and resources as things to exploit? Or are you grateful for the gifts you have been given, and use them in a way that honors their inherent divinity? This card also identifies stewards and guardians of such resources. Do you see aspects of yourself making these kinds of decisions? Or are you struggling with someone else for such resources?
Reversed: The Horned God must look after the welfare of all the creatures in his realm, and be careful not to exploit one for the gain of the other. This is why sometimes hunters go without. This card points out an imbalance in your stewardship responsibilities. Look to your own responsibilities: is there some resource you are exploiting or taking advantage of? Ask yourself what other ways you can get your needs met, besides at the expense of someone or something else.
Connecting Ritual: Begin in a sacred frame of mind by grounding yourself. Envision yourself as the keeper of abundance and food for your household. Feel the weight of that responsibility and focus it in a small knot at each of your temples. As the weight of responsibility and decision making grow heavier, manifest that as horns growing from your head. Go to your own cupboard or pantry and take stock of the food you have. How much is necessary to keep your family secure and sure of food? Will you use all of this before it spoils? What can you give away? Prepare a box of food and donate it to your local food bank.
If you have an opportunity to volunteer at a food bank, do so with the weight of your horns! Observe how many people are in line, waiting and hungry for food to get them through a rough time. Think of how much food you have at home: how much of it would it take to feed some of these people? Likely you will be asked to distribute some of the food—will you have enough to feed all these people and their families?
When you are done, show your gratitude for the lesson by shedding your horns like the deer does each autumn, and feel the freedom from decision-making and stewardship. Give thanks to the Horned God for the decisions he makes to provide for you each day.
Interesting Fact: Forest Conservation and Wildlife Management professionals constantly survey areas and take data about plant and animal populations. Their data is used to decide how many fishing, hunting, and gathering licenses will be permitted in a given season. These people must carefully balance the needs of the ecosystem, population, and human desire when they make these decisions. These modern-day stewards help make sure we have access to wild areas and their resources now and in the future.
Some scholars believe that the Horned God archetype is where we get some of our belief about Santa Claus. The reindeer are displaced horns, and he travels the world deciding who has been naughty or nice, and gives them gifts accordingly to get them through the winter.