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Herne The Hunter
Herne Or Cernunnos
Herne The Hunter or Cernunnos
Herne the Hunter, or Cernunnos, is the leader of the Wild Hunt. The Wild Hunt is a ghostly group of huntsman, horses and hounds, which, according to legend, madly rushes across the landscape, gathering all in its path.
Cernunnos is a Celtic horned god, who is sometimes found in images flanked by wolf-like animals and holding a serpent. He may also hold a torque, a symbol of sovereignty in his hand.
Herne the Hunter
The Legend Of Herne The Hunter
Herne is also known as Cernunnos, The Green Man, or the Horned God. There are many stories and legends about him in Celtic and English folklore. Herne is also known as Lord of the Wild Hunt.
The Wild Hunt is a ghostly ride, with huntsmen, hounds and hunting horns. There may also be an owl flying above them. If you are caught outside when the hunt passes, you may be fated to join Herne and the Wild Hunt forever!
You can read one of the versions of the Berkshire Herne the Hunter legend here
Another version of the legend, which I really like is at http://www.llewellyn.com/journal/article/2117
There are many more, and if you are interested in Herne and Celtic legends, there is much to be discovered.
Herne is reputed to appear when England is in danger. Sightings have been reported over the years, and have frightened many.
Herne The Hunter Items You May Like
Herne In The Forest
Herne by Angela Latham
Above is a beautiful otherworldly image of Herne in the forest.
This picture is used here by kind permission of the owner, Angela Latham, and is copyright. You may see the original at her website http://www.celticmystery.co.uk/
Even Shakespeare Knew About Herne!
There is an old tale goes that Herne the Hunter,
Some time a keeper here in Windsor Forest,
Doth all the winter-time, at still midnight,
Walk round about an oak, with great ragg'd horns;
And there he blasts the tree, and takes the cattle,
And makes milch-kine yield blood, and shakes a chain
In a most hideous and dreadful manner.
You have heard of such a spirit, and well you know
The superstitious idle-headed eld
Receiv'd, and did deliver to our age,
This tale of Herne the Hunter for a truth.
.......William Shakespeare, "The Merry Wives of Windsor"
Shakespeare by Cobbe
Cernunnos - The Gundestrup Cauldron
Cernunnos in a seated position, holding a torque and a serpent, and surrounded by animals.
This is just one of the sections of the Gundestrup Cauldron, which was found in a peat bog near Himmerland, Denmark in 1891.
This has been copied many times, in jewellery, statues, and paintings. You'll find a picture of a statue based on this a little further down the page.
The Green Man
Cernunnos As The Green Man
Herne or Cernunnos, also known as the Green Man, or The Horned God, is also the consort of the goddess in Paganism. He is a nature and fertility god, and may also be called Lord of the Animals. He was known to the ancient Celts and Gauls.
There is not a lot of written history about him, but images of a horned man have been found in cave paintings and carvings in many places in Europe.
There are cave paintings in France which show an image of the god. He is shown as a stag, but his body is chest is that of a man.
It is said that there are several aspects to the Horned God. In Summer, as the Green Man, he rules over the fertility of the earth, but in Winter, the darker side of the god appears as Herne the Hunter, the ruler of life and death, overseeing the earth while it sleeps.
The Wild Hunt
The picture is of a statue of Cernunnos, which appears to be based on the Gundestrup Cauldron image. It is of Cernunnos/Herne, seated in a shamanic position, holding a torque and a serpent.
Today, Cernunnos, or Herne, is often called upon by modern pagans in their rituals. Some call upon him as Cernunnos, some as Herne, but whichever name he is called by, he is always a fertility god, protector of nature and wildlife, and the consort of the goddess.
The photo was taken by me, and is not to be used without permission, thanks.
The Pashupati Seal
Is Pashupati Also Herne?
The Hindu Horned God
All horned gods, from whichever region they are related to, seem to be very masculine, and are associated with animals, especially stags. Pashupati is such a god.
Pashupati is thought to be another name for Shiva. It means "Lord of all Animals", Pashu meaning animals, and pati meaning lord.
Pashupati was known in the Indus Valley, and was the Horned God of that region. He is believed to be the forerunner of Shiva by some sources.
Since the language of the seal (pictured) has not yet been translated properly, not much is known about the people of the Indus Valley or their Gods.
The Green Man In Festivals
The Green Man In Festivals
Neo-Pagans often use the Green Man to represent the Gods Cernunnos, Pan, and Herne.
There are many festivals in England which celebrate the Green Man. Here is a photo from Scarborough Faire.
A Red Deer Stag
Stags Are Often Associated With Herne The Hunter
Herne, or Cernunnos, is often called upon in Pagan rituals. As a God, he is the leader of the Wild Hunt, and is sometimes referred to as consort of our Lady, the goddess.
When you look at a magnificent red deer stag, such as the one in the photo, it is easy to see why people would wish to be associated with a powerful god-figure as Herne.