30 Days of Devotion

Day the Fourth: A favourite myth of Herne.

Day the Fourth: A favourite myth or myths of this deity.

My favourite is the ending of the story that many writers, and I guess myself when I wrote my short story, graze over.

Once Herne died, other men of the hunting party were promoted to his role. With each promotion, their hunting abilities disappeared, just as they did for Herne. This can be blamed on the Magi, Urswick. The men wanted this curse gone, so Urswick told them to meet him at the Oak where Herne had hung himself.

7033-history-1--large-12 They arrived, and a short time later the Magi appeared. The men were told that Herne’s death was on each of them, and to make preparations as the next night they were to bring horses and hounds.

They did. On reaching the Oak the next night, Herne appeared to them. Sitting proud, yet angry, on his horse he bid them to follow him to a Beech tree in another part of the forest. There the Magi suddenly appeared out of the tree covered in flames as Herne had summoned him to appear. The Magi said that the only way to now dispel the spell he had placed on the men and their abilities, they must swear an oath to Herne as their leader, and be His band of hunters.

The spell was lifted, and the men had become loyal to Herne, as Herne was once loyal to King Richard. Nights past, and the group would raid the forest of deer until there were very few left. Upon learning of their games, King Richard was understandably annoyed, and decided to pay Herne a visit at his oak.

Herne_the_HunterThey spoke, the King angry while Herne patiently listened. If the King wished him to leave and hold no power of the men, the King would have to agree to a request. Let’s not forget, Herne was still incredibly angry with these now-loyal men. It was their doing that put him in this situation in the first place. The King agreed, and the men were hanged. Herne left the forest, for the time being.

After the King’s death, Herne returned to his Forest. Some say he left after a number of years, some say he roamed for a thousand, still angry, taking souls to join his hunt.

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