God Of The Month The Sorcerer

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Lord of Winter, the Old God is also Lord of the Hunt and of the forests, Master of Game and of all wild creatures and places.

Lord of Death, the Old God was also the Patron of Shamans, Priests, and Sorcerers. He presided over omens, dreams, and ecstatic trance. In many ancient traditions the Old God led the "Wild Ride" in which the souls of the dead were believed to ride forth by night in a great and tumultuous procession, in which the living could also join through trance and astral projection. This was the central feature of the now extinct German form of Witchcraft known as the Hexenrai.

The most common name for the Old God which you will find in modern Wicca is "Cernunnos." Cernunnos is the name of an ancient Celtic form of the Sorcerer archetype, and means literally "Horned One" (From Cornu -"horn"). The name of Cernunnos is attested from a number of ancient -mainly Gallic- Celtic inscriptions. It is also preserved in modern folk versions such as Herne the Hunter, and the Giant of Cerne Abbas.

Other Celtic names for Cernunnos include Secullos, Dagda, and the Fisher King.

Cernunnos is portrayed in ancient artwork as a middle-aged to elderly man, usually bearded, with antlers or horns mounted upon His head. Often He is shown sitting in a distinctive cross-legged manner reminiscent of the Yogic "Lotus position." Cernunnos' animal forms are the reindeer or stag, and the horned serpent or dragon. Sometimes the God is shown with His legs turning into serpents, as well. If you remember earlier installments of the God of the Month, you will remember that the serpent represents the power of Universal Deity in movement -motion, action, time: the Dance of Life.

Patron of Druids and of magical and spiritual knowledge, Cernunnos possessed two important attributes: the Staff of Life, and the Cauldron of Plenty.

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