30 Days of Devotion · Around the Cauldron · For the Gods

31 Days of Devotion – Week Four

A quote, a poem, or piece of writing that you think this deity resonates strongly with.

Deep into that darkness peering,
long I stood there,
wondering, fearing,
doubting, dreaming
dreams no mortal ever
dared to dream before.

– Edgar Allen Poe

The most common and widely referenced when speaking of Herne comes to mind…

There is an old tale goes, that Herne the hunter,
Sometime a keeper here in Windsor forest,
Doth all the winter time at still midnight,
Walk around 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.

– The Merry Wives of Windsor, William Shakespeare

Why, yet there want not many, that do fear
In deep of night to walk by this Herne’s oak.

– The Merry Wives of Windsor, William Shakespeare

 Books – ‘In Search for Herne the Hunter‘ by Eric Fitch.

Your own composition – a piece of writing about or for this deity.

I have written numerous pieces about Herne, all of which have been published on this blog. Two pieces in particular, “Charge of Herne the Hunter” and “Herne the Hunter: A Short Story” can be found in Call of the God: An Anthology Exploring the Divine Masculine within Modern Paganism, edited by Francis Billinghurst.

The story is my favourite piece.

A time when this deity has helped you.

There are multiple instances, but many I don’t really want to share.

The biggest and I guess the most important right now is that he helped me find my path in life. He helped me to really open my eyes, to decide what it is I want to do and who I want to become. I floated around doing different things for most of my 20s. I’ve studied graphic design, multimedia design, psychology, finance, business admin, aged care, tried to start my own business. I currently work within Accounts/Contract Administration in the Construction industry, and this is the longest I’ve ever been in one job! He helped me find focus which led me to going back to University to doing something that I not only have an interest in, but also something that is long-term, that isn’t just a hobby (which is what I realised graphic design will only ever be for me), and that balances with my faith.

I have 2 years left of a 6 year part time study load, but in the end I will have gained my Bachelor of Natural Science (Environmental Management). I’m finding that I have a greater appreciation and understanding of our environment in a way that I would never have learnt from my day-to-day Pagan studies. The downside is that I’ve realised just how much of a “keyboard activist” I am, but if it comes down to attending a march or finishing off a uni report, I’m sorry but I’m doing my report!

Through this degree journey I feel a greater connection to Herne, as this study is in part how I choose to honour him and the path that I walk. He, in turn, has introduced me to other Deity who in turn assist me and lead me to challenging my beliefs, my view on the world, and how I view myself. He puts up with a lot of shit from me, but I know at my darkest hour I can run to him, and he’ll be there.

He’s pretty awesome.

A time when this deity has refused to help.

Look, there will always be situations that you need to go through on your own. These are generally the ones where you need to learn from it and grow. Or because you’ve been an ass and you need to take accountability for your actions.

I’ve been through enough of the “learn and grow” situations to know when I need to do things on my own, so I don’t generally ask for his help in this regard. When I am going through it, my call is a, “Please just help me find focus,” or “Please help me find the strength to do this.” It’s very internal. I’ve never called out to him in such a selfish way that he would refuse to help me, because that’s not who I am, and it’s not what I want our relationship to be about.

He has turned me down twice. Once was recently when I was in hospital with pneumonia and he couldn’t help me. The funniest example of a refusal, which wasn’t such a refusal as more of a, “wow, he really does have a sense of humour and is calling me out on being an idiot” is when I asked him to give me a “Witch name” back in the early days, something that would just be used between us. Pendulum in hand, I waved it over letters and it spelt some absolute nonsense. A couple of N’s, a D, and a few Rs. Not a single vowel.

Then I heard this deep, burly laugh! What’s wrong with your own name? he asked.

Point taken.

How has your relationship with this deity changed over time?

In the very early days of beginning to honour him, which would be roughly 10 or more years ago, I remember being a little scared and quite timid. I was so worried that what I was doing with honouring him was wrong and that he’d be upset if I didn’t do something a certain way.

I also wasn’t completely “open” and couldn’t communicate with him like I do now, which made it even more terrifying.

Also because of who he was, and certainly who he is to me, I was in such awe of him. It’s like seeing a celebrity and being scared of going to say hello or anything.

Over the last few years it’s changed from Fangirl to Student, to Daughter to Friend to… we just are. Then you add the respect I have for him, and me sort-of seeing him as an Elder…it’s hard to explain.

Definitely not scared! I’m still intimated at times, depending on his mood. But I have so much respect and admiration for him.

He’s my Leige.

Worst misconception about this deity that you have encountered.

The belief that he isn’t a “real god” or “real Deity” because of how he began, and how his myth first began. That he isn’t a “true” Horned God because he’s not as ancient as Pan or Cernunnos.

Or those that believe he isn’t a God at all, just the spirit of a man who we can still connect with.

He is every bit the Deity. He is every bit the Horned God. He is who he is, and like other Deities, you just don’t mess with them or talk down to them. (actually, don’t talk down to anyone – it’s rude!)

I’ve said it before during this 30 Days of Devotion – don’t make up your mind about a Deity, or anyone for that matter, when you’ve only read a few things about that person. It’s like judging someone by a three sentence description…or online dating. Until you’ve met with, talked with, gotten to know someone, don’t make a judgement.

Something you wish you knew about this deity but don’t currently.

I keep mentioning The Wild Hunt because he still says it’s not time for me to know, as it is such a huge part of who he is. What he did, how he did it, the history behind all of it. The basis of my knowledge comes from Eric Fitch’s “In Search of Herne the Hunter” which is the book I keep referring back to.


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