I was recently asked a very good question – who is Cernunnos to me?
It’s easy to talk about his legend as Lord of the Hunt. It’s simple to talk about his appearance, from paleolithic paintings to the image I have on my altar. But knowing who He is to me isn’t based solely on how He looks or what He represents. I need to know Him, deeper than just image or mythos. What face does He present to me? That’s not based on legend or myth; that’s personal.
It’s taken me several weeks of constant contact to even start to know Him. Some of the revelations have been through renewed research on my part, but most of it has been direct communication and interaction. He’s much older than I remembered, but is highly adaptable, spontaneous, and has extremely modern tastes (He likes Tool). He’s patient and playful, with a sense of humor I find familiar and comforting. He is sensitive to pain, and when I’m hurting or exhausted He’s extremely gentle with me. He’s also proud – proud of His appearance almost to the point of vanity, proud of the appearance and accomplishments of those with whom He works.
Yet He embodies pain and death, and is not hesitant to inflict or allow it when it is necessary. Some of His lessons have been painful, and He gives no quarter when it comes to my training. His vanity does not prevent Him from getting His hands dirty, or requiring the same of His own. There is a lot of darkness to Him that I haven’t yet encountered, but I have no doubt that I will.
After three weeks, this is all I know. It doesn’t feel like much sometimes; there is so much to Him, so much to what this relationship will be, and I haven’t really an inkling. It will come, He tells me. I am assured that there is time, and for a deity with a 40,000 year old history, there is nothing but time.