30 Days of Devotion

Day the Eleventh: Festivals, days, and times sacred to Herne.

Day the Eleventh: Festivals, days, and times sacred to this deity.

The Horn Dance.

I first read about the Horn Dance in Eric Fitch’s book, In Search of Herne the Hunter,  mentions a local festival which he believes is “a living echo” of an earlier time.

In A Staffordshire village there is still enacted a ritual dance incorporating not only traditional figured and costumes but also antlers. In early September for one day the village of Abbots Bromley sees a remarkable folk custom taking place in its streets. Called the Horn Dance it consists of six dancers who each hold a set of antlers and engage in a folk dance accompanied by a group of other characters.

And then I found this BBC clip on youtube.

It is England’s oldest continual-running traditional dance, and carbon dating places the reindeer antlers to 10th Century.

Neo-Pagan Wheel of the Year

For those of us whose practice is more Neo-Pagan, we can honour Herne through our traditional Wheel of the Year. I choose to celebrate at both Litha and Yule. Outside of the story of the Holly and Oak King, I see it as two aspects of Herne’s reign, and two aspects of his personality. At Yule I honour his darker aspects, the Herne that leads the Wild Hunt. At Litha, I honour his lighter aspects, the Herne that is the Lord of the Forests.

Personally I’ve love the between times – feeling his energy rise and fall between to two major holidays.

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