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Encyclopedia > Horned God
The Pashupati-like figure on the Gundestrup cauldron
The Pashupati-like figure on the Gundestrup cauldron

The Horned God is a modern syncretic term, invented to link together numerous male nature gods out of such widely-dispersed and historically unconnected mythologies as the Celtic Cernunnos, the Welsh Caerwiden, the English Herne the Hunter, the Hindu Pashupati, the Greek Pan and the satyrs, and even the Paleolithic cave painting "the Sorcerer" in the Cave of the Three Brothers in France. Plate A of the Gundestrup cauldron (see also Media:Gundestrup A.png) taken from http://www. ... Plate A of the Gundestrup cauldron (see also Media:Gundestrup A.png) taken from http://www. ... Pashupati(Sanskrit: lord of animals) is a god associated with animals and nature. ... A photo of the Gundestrup cauldron. ... Syncretism is the attempt to reconcile disparate, even opposing, beliefs and to meld practices of various schools of thought. ... The word mythology (from the Greek μυϑολογία mythología, from μυϑολογειν mythologein to relate myths, from μυϑος mythos, meaning a narrative, and λογος logos, meaning speech or argument) literally means the (oral) retelling of myths – stories that a particular culture believes to be true and that use the supernatural to interpret natural events and... A Celtic cross incorporating the Celtic knotwork motif associated with later Celtic cultures Celtic mythology is the mythology of Celtic polytheism, the apparent religion of the Iron Age Celts. ... Depiction of Cernunnos from the Pilier des nautes, Paris Cernunnos in Celtic polytheism is the deified spirit of horned male animals, especially of stags, a nature god associated with produce and fertility. ... Welsh mythology, the remnants of the mythology of the pre-Christian Britons, has come down to us in much altered form in medieval Welsh manuscripts such as the Red Book of Hergest, the White Book of Rhydderch, the Book of Aneirin and the Book of Taliesin. ... Caerwiden is a Welsh horned God. ... English mythology, like the conglomerate society which it represents, with a long and elaborate history of invasion and settlement by diverse cultures, is one which has nevertheless an entirely idiosyncratic nature of its own. ... In English mythology, Herne the Hunter is a ghost or monster associated with Windsor Great Park. ... This article is about the Hindu religion; for other meanings of the word, see Hindu (disambiguation). ... Pashupati(Sanskrit: lord of animals) is a god associated with animals and nature. ... Marble sculpture of Pan copulating with a goat, recovered from Herculaneum Pan (Greek Παν, genitive Πανος) is the Greek god who watches over shepherds and their flocks. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... The Paleolithic or Palaeolithic (Greek παλαιός paleos=old and λίθος lithos=stone or the Old Stone Age) was the first period in the development of human technology of the Stone Age. ...


A number of related British folk figures have been incorporated as well: Puck, Robin Goodfellow, and the Green Man. Puck is a mischievous pre-Christian nature spirit. ... Robin Goodfellow in English folklore is a euphemistic personification of a half-tamed, troublesome elf or hob-goblin, a prankster who is the domesticated aspect of Puck. ... Green Man depiction from British Cathedral The Green Man is a symbol of uncertain origin common in the British Isles. ...

Contents


Development of an idea

Eliphas Levi's illustration of Baphomet, in his Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie, 1855, accompanied the first modern suggestion of an ancient horned god driven underground by the spread of Christianity. Note the mélange of classical symbolism: the Eleusinian torch of Demeter, the crescent moon (often seen as a bull's horns), and the phallic caduceus combined with female breasts.
Eliphas Levi's illustration of Baphomet, in his Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie, 1855, accompanied the first modern suggestion of an ancient horned god driven underground by the spread of Christianity. Note the mélange of classical symbolism: the Eleusinian torch of Demeter, the crescent moon (often seen as a bull's horns), and the phallic caduceus combined with female breasts.

Sacred horned or antlered animals that signalled the numinous presence of a deity were ubiquitous in the ancient world. Enthusiasts may blur "the very important distinctions between a god named, described, represented, and worshipped in animal form, a real animal worshipped as a god, animal symbols and animal masks in the cult, and finally the consecrated animal destined for sacrifice." (Burkert 1985 p 64). Many sacred bulls and goats, sacred stags and ibexes serve as examples. Not all horned gods and their priests were male; Astarte and Isis (borrowing an attribute from Hathor), for example, were sometimes depicted with horns. Baphomet, from Eliphas Levis Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie, 1854 This image is in the public domain because its copyright has expired in the United States and those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years. ... Baphomet, from Eliphas Levis Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie, 1854 This image is in the public domain because its copyright has expired in the United States and those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years. ... The Eleusinian Mysteries were annual initiation ceremonies for the cult of Demeter and Persephone based at Eleusis in ancient Greece. ... Demeter, Greek goddess of the harvest. ... The Moon has figured in many mythologies, often paired or contrasted with the Sun (see also Solar deity). ... Phallic symbols are forms or concepts considered to be representations of the penis (or phallus) and the fertility and cultural implications that are associated with the male sexual organ. ... the Caduceus A caduceus (kerykeion in Greek) is a staff with two snakes wrapped around it. ... The worship of the Sacred Bull throughout the ancient world is most familiar in the episode of the idol of the Golden Calf made by Aaron and worshipped by the Hebrews in the wilderness of Sinai (Exodus). ... Deer have significant roles in the mythology of various peoples. ... Astarte on a car with four branches protruding from roof. ... Isis (Greek corruption; the Egyptian is Aset) was originally a goddess from Nubia, and was adopted into Egyptian belief very early. ... Statue of Hathor (Luxor Museum) // The divine waterway In Egyptian mythology, Hathor (Egyptian for house of Horus) was originally a personification of the Milky Way, which was seen as the milk that flowed from the udders of a heavenly cow. ...


The idea that all such horned images were of deities and that they represented manifestations of a single Horned God, and that Christianity had attempted to suppress his worship by associating him with Satan, developed in the fashionable 19th-century Occultist circles of England and France. Eliphas Levi's famous illustration (right) of Baphomet in his Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie (1855) accompanied the first suggestions to this effect. It was not an evil figure, Levi contended, but a god of the old world, driven underground and condemned as a figure of witchcraft by hostile Christianity. Figures such as Aleister Crowley and Margaret Murray took up this suggestion and blended it with an adaptation of cultural anthropologies such as that of James Frazer. Where Frazer saw modern folklore and folk customs as the echoes of forgotten agricultural rituals, authors such as Murray and other members of the Folklore Society saw an esoteric fertility cult, a secret tradition driven underground and suppressed (see Burning Times) by Christianity. Margaret Murray suggested that Christian reports of witches meeting in the woods with Satan were actually pagans with their priest wearing a horned helmet to invoke their Horned God (Murray 1921). These themes shaped the modern concept of the Horned God revered by neo-pagans today, which the remainder of this article will describe. Gustave Dores depiction of Satan from John Miltons Paradise Lost Satan (שָׂטָן Standard Hebrew Satan, Greek and Latin Sátanas, Tiberian Hebrew Śāṭān; Aramaic שִׂטְנָא Śaṭanâ: both words mean Adversary; accuser) is an angel, demon, or minor god in many religions. ... The word occult comes from Latin occultus (hidden), referring to the knowledge of the secret or knowledge of the hidden and often meaning knowledge of the supernatural, as opposed to knowledge of the visible or knowledge of the measurable, usually referred to as science. ... Eliphas Lévi Eliphas Lévi, born Alphonse Louis Constant, (February 8, 1810 - May 31, 1875) was a French author and magician. ... Baphomet, by Eliphas Lévi. ... Aleister Crowley Aleister Crowley, born Edward Alexander Crowley (12 October 1875 - 1 December 1947) was an occultist, mystic, sexual revolutionary, and drug user (especially heroin). ... The tone of this article is inappropriate for an encyclopedia. ... Cultural anthropology, also called social anthropology or socio-cultural anthropology, forms one of four commonly-recognized fields of anthropology, the holistic study of humanity. ... Sir James George Frazer (January 1, 1854 - May 7, 1941), a social anthropologist influential in the early stages of the modern studies of mythology and comparative religion, was born in Glasgow, Scotland. ... A witch-hunt is a search for suspected witches; it is a type of moral panic. ...

Walter Burkert (born Neuendettelsau (Bavaria), February 2, 1931), the most eminent living scholar of Greek myth and cult, is an emeritus professor of classics at the University of Zurich, Switzerland who has also taught in the United Kingdom and the United States. ... Sir James George Frazer (January 1, 1854 - May 7, 1941), a social anthropologist influential in the early stages of the modern studies of mythology and comparative religion, was born in Glasgow, Scotland. ... The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion is a wide-ranging comparative study of mythology and religion by Scottish anthropologist Sir James George Frazer (1854-1941). ... The tone of this article is inappropriate for an encyclopedia. ...

Associations

In each culture, the Horned God is associated with woods, wild animals, and hunting. He is often also associated with sexuality or male virility. As a symbol of sexuality, the Horned God represents one of the most elemental forces in Nature, and is therefore complementary to female fertility deities known collectively as the Great Mother. Woods may refer to: woodland or forest types of wood a category of golf clubs Various notable people have the surname Woods: Don Woods, computer programmer George David Woods, USA banker and World Bank President George Lemuel Woods, USA Oregon State and Utah Territory governor James Woods, actor Jermaine Woods... Wild, in zoology or botany, is a rough if problematic antonym to domesticated: see wildlife. ... Hunting is most commonly applied to the practice of pursuing animals to capture or kill them for food, sport, or trade in their products. ... Look up Sex on Wiktionary, the free dictionary A sex is one of two specimen categories of species that recombine their genetic material in order to reproduce, a process called genetic recombination. ... An Example of a Virile Man, notice the masculine hat made from animal furs. ... Ceres, the Roman goddess of agriculture A goddess is a female deity, in contrast with a male deity known as a god. A great many cultures have goddesses, sometimes alone, but more often as part of a larger pantheon that includes both of the conventional genders and in some cases...


Another name for the Horned God is The Hunter. He is a symbol not only of the giving of life, but the taking of life too, in what is seen as a great and eternal cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. He sometimes carries a bow.


Image

The Horned God is always portrayed with horns or antlers, which are of course his distinguishing feature. The God's horns are considered symbols of male potency, strength and protection. Sometimes they are seen in a sense as phallic symbols. The horn has been a religious symbol for thousands of years. An altar made entirely of stag horns was built in the temple of Apollo at Delos, and temples to the Goddess Diana usually contained horns as well. The horn is also seen as a symbol of fruitfulness and bounty, as in the Horn of Plenty. For other types of horns, see horn (disambiguation). ... For the Poet Laureate of Milwaukee, see Antler (Poet). ... Phallic symbols are forms or concepts considered to be representations of the penis (or phallus) and the fertility and cultural implications that are associated with the male sexual organ. ... Genera About 15 in 4 subfamilies. ... For other uses, see Apollo (disambiguation). ... The island of Delos (Greek: Δήλος, Dhilos), isolated in the centre of the roughly circular ring of islands called the Cyclades, near Mykonos, had a position as a holy sanctuary for a millennium before Olympian Greek mythology made it the birthplace of Apollo and Artemis. ... Diana was the equivalent in Roman mythology of the Greek Artemis (see Roman/Greek equivalency in mythology for more details). ... Horn of Plenty may mean: Cornucopia, a symbolic, hollow cone filled with festive fruit Black chanterelle, a mushroom resembling the shape of a cornucopia Homunculus Nebula, two mushroom-shaped clouds surrounding the star Eta Carinae This is a disambiguation page — a list of articles associated with the same title. ...


He is often portrayed with an erect phallus. The phallus is itself a symbol of the power to create life. Another symbol of his sexual prowess and virility is the occasional presence of cloven hoofs or the hindquarters of a goat. The goat itself is considered a symbol of sexuality. The Latin word phallus (from the Greek phallos) and its derived adjective phallic, adopted in English and in many modern languages, refers to the penis. ... Species See Species and subspecies A goat is a mammal in the genus Capra, which consists of nine species: the Ibex, the West Caucasian Tur, the East Caucasian Tur, the Markhor, and the Wild Goat. ...


Satan

During the rise of Christianity, a depiction of Satan as a horned and hoofed goat-like monster holding a trident, adopted from Greek Pan, became popular. By adopting the image of the Horned God and transforming it into an image of the Devil, the Christian church convinced people that paganism was evil. The similarity does not extend beyond the image, of course; while Judeo-Christian Satan is described as a fallen angel and essentially Evil, the pagan Horned God is believed to be a force of nature, neither entirely benevolent nor entirely malevolent: In his role as Father, he is said to give life, but in his role as Hunter, he is also said to take life. Positive aspects of the Horned God are re-attributed to Satan by the Church of Satan and similar branches of modern Satanism. Beliefs Though enormous diversity exists in the beliefs of those who self-identify as Christian, it is possible to venture general statements which describe the beliefs of a large majority . ... Gustave Dores depiction of Satan from John Miltons Paradise Lost Satan (שָׂטָן Standard Hebrew Satan, Greek and Latin Sátanas, Tiberian Hebrew Śāṭān; Aramaic שִׂטְנָא Åšaá¹­anâ: both words mean Adversary; accuser) is an angel, demon, or minor god in many religions. ... Poseidon sculpture holding a trident A trident is a three pronged staff. ... Marble sculpture of Pan copulating with a goat, recovered from Herculaneum Pan (Greek Παν, genitive Πανος) is the Greek god who watches over shepherds and their flocks. ... The Devil is the name given to a supernatural entity who, in most Western religions, is the central embodiment of evil. ... Within a Christian context, paganism (from Latin paganus) and heathenry are catch-all terms which have come to connote a broad set of spiritual/religious beliefs and practices of a natural religion, as opposed to the Abrahamic religions based on scriptures. ... ... Judeo-Christian (also spelled Judaeo-Christian) is a term used to describe the body of concepts and values which are thought to be held in common by Christianity and Judaism, and typically considered a fundamental basis for Western legal codes and moral values. ... The Church of Satan is an organization that promotes Satanism as strictly defined by The Satanic Bible, written in 1969 by Anton Szandor LaVey. ... Satanism is a religious, semi-religious and/or philosophical movement whose adherents recognize Satan as an archetype, pre-cosmic force, or some aspect of human nature. ...


Post Christian depictions

Belief in and worship of the Horned God waned almost to extinction by the 19th century, although vestiges remained in local customs, particularly in the countryside. Ghost stories of Herne the Hunter and reverence of St. Cornus would be the strongest pre-wiccan remnants of the Horned God. He makes a late appearance in art referred to in the moonlit last act of Verdi's final opera, Falstaff. Alternative meaning: Nineteenth Century (periodical) (18th century — 19th century — 20th century — more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 19th century was that century which lasted from 1801-1900 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar. ... In English mythology, Herne the Hunter is a ghost or monster associated with Windsor Great Park. ... Giuseppe Verdi, by Giovanni Boldini, 1886 (National Gallery of Modern Art, Rome) Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi (October 10, 1813 – January 27, 1901) is to date the most influential composer of the Italian School of Opera. ... Sir John Falstaff is a fictional character who appears in three plays by William Shakespeare. ...


Wicca

Gerald Gardner began Wicca in England as a revival of ancient Pagan worship, focused on the duality of the Great God and the Great Mother. Today Wicca and other Neopagan religions claim about 1,000,000 adherents. Gerald Brosseau Gardner (June 13, 1884 - February 13, 1964) was a British civil servant, amateur anthropologist, writer, and occultist who published some of the definitive texts for modern Wicca, which he was instrumental in founding. ... A Neo-Pagan pentagram (circumscribed): a symbol used by many Wiccans. ... Wikimedia Commons has media related to: England Inter. ... Within a Christian context, paganism (from Latin paganus) and heathenry are catch-all terms which have come to connote a broad set of spiritual/religious beliefs and practices of a natural religion, as opposed to the Abrahamic religions based on scriptures. ... A Neo-Pagan pentagram (circumscribed): a symbol used by many Wiccans. ... Neopaganism (sometimes Neo-Paganism) describes a heterogeneous group of new religious movements which attempt to revive ancient, mainly pre-Christian and sometimes pre-Judaic religions. ...


In modern Wicca, "The Horned God" can refer to any of these individually, or to the universal archetype they represent. In this context, he is sometimes referred to as the "Great God" or the "Great Father". He impregnates the Goddess, and then dies during the autumn and winter months and is reborn gloriously in spring, while the Goddess lives on always as Mother Earth, giving life to the Horned God as he goes through the eternal cycle of life, death, and rebirth. A Neo-Pagan pentagram (circumscribed): a symbol used by many Wiccans. ...


See also

European Iron Age helmets with horns are known from a few depictions, and even fewer actual finds. ... A photo of the Gundestrup cauldron. ...

Reference

  • "The Celtic Tarot and the Secret Traditions: A Study in Modern Legend Making": Juliette Wood; Folklore, Vol. 109, 1998

  Results from FactBites:
 
Spartanburg SC | GoUpstate.com | Spartanburg Herald-Journal (1314 words)
The Horned God is a modern syncretic term used amongst Wiccan-influenced Neopagans, which unites numerous male nature gods out of such widely-dispersed and historically unconnected mythologies as the Celtic Cernunnos, the English Herne the Hunter, the Hindu Pashupati and the Greek Pan.
The idea that all such horned images were of deities and that they represented manifestations of a single Horned God, and that Christianity had attempted to suppress his worship by associating him with Satan, originally developed in the fashionable 19th-century Occultist circles of England and France.
Not all horned gods and their priests were male; Astarte and Isis (borrowing an attribute from Hathor), for example, were sometimes depicted with horns.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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