antlers. Cernunnos was ruler of the underworld or oth-erworld, the opener of the gates between life and death. He also was worshiped by the Romans and Gauls, who sometimes portrayed him as triple-headed. The name Cernunnos means simply "the horned."
The famous Gundestrup cauldron, a large, gilt silver cauldron dated ca. 100 B.C.E. and recovered from a bog near Gundestrup, Denmark, depicts a stag-horned Cer-nunnos in several scenes: as an antlered man attended by animals, including a boar, and grasping a ram-headed serpent; and grasping a stag in each hand. The cauldron is believed to be Celtic in origin, though some scholars say it is Gallic.
In WlCCA and Paganism, the Horned God is often addressed as "Cernunnos" in rituals.
Cerridwen (also Keridwen) Celtic goddess of wisdom, intelligence, MAGIC, DIVINATION and enchantment. She possesses the gifts of prophecy and shape-shifting (see METAMORpHOsis) and presides over the mysteries of the Druidic bards. She is associated with water and the MOON, which represent the emotions, the unconscious and intuition. Her primary symbol is the cauldron, in which she makes a magical brew of herbs, roots and the foam of the ocean, prepared according to the movements of the heavenly bodies. The brew boils for a year and a day to yield three drops, which bestows knowledge, inspiration and science.
According to the Book of Taliesin (ca. 1275), a collection of poems and songs, some of which are attributed to the sixth-century Welsh bard, Taliesin, Cerridwen prepared her magic-cauldron brew for her ugly son, Avag-gdu. She put a youth named Gwion in charge of stirring the contents. Gwion consumed the three magical drops and gained the wisdom meant for Avaggdu. The rest of the brew turned to poison and split the cauldron open. In a rage, Cerridwen pursued Gwion, intent on destroying him, but he possessed the wisdom to evade her. He changed into a hare, a fish, an otter and a bird, but she shapeshifted accordingly and kept up the pursuit. At last Gwion turned himself into a grain of wheat and hid himself among other grains. Cerridwen turned into a black hen and ate Gwion. Nine months later, she gave birth to a beautiful baby boy, Taliesin, whom she bound up in a leather sack and threw into the sea. Taliesin was rescued by Gwyddno and Elphin, who found the sack while fishing.
See AwEN; Goddess.
chanting In ritual, the repetition of sacred or magical words, names and phrases to alter consciousness and raise psychic power. Chanting, done in conjunction with dancing, drumming, visualization and body movements and postures, is one of the oldest and most universal techniques to align human consciousness with the realms of spirits and the gods.
The principle behind chanting is expressed in the Eastern mystical concept of the mantra, sacred words or the names of God/Goddess, which are chanted verbally or silently. The term mantra means "to protect," especially the mind. The mantra harnesses the power of the vibration of shabda, sacred sound. The repetition of mantras unleashes certain cosmic forces that drive deep into the consciousness, down to the level of the cells. When a name of God/Goddess is chanted or repeated, for example, a person thus aligns every cell in his or her being with the highest divine consciousness possible, imbuing that consciousness into his or her being. The alignment of consciousness raises a tremendous psychic power for creating change.
In magic, this power is utilized in spellcraft. When the power is raised, the spell (a desired goal or outcome) is chanted forcefully. The energy sent out into the spiritual realm thus works to manifest change in the physical realm.
Chanting has been an important part of magical rituals since ancient times. In ancient Greece, female sorcerers were said to howl their magical chants. Early and medieval sorcerers and magicians also chanted their incantations in forceful voices, a practice carried into modern times. Folk witches chanted their CHARMs and spells.
The chants of contemporary Witches and Pagans may be names of Goddess or Horned God, rhymes, charms, al-lierative phrases, or sacred words or runes (chant-songs) derived from various spiritual traditions. In WlCCA, chanting may be done during a ring dance that accelerates in tempo (thus contributing to the raising of power), or while working with cords.
The Witches' Rune, composed by English Witch DO-REEN VALIENTE, is a traditional power-raising chant, the refrain of which is:
Eko Eko Azarak
Eko Eko Zomelak
Eko Eko Cernunnos
In shamanic traditions, shamans chant power songs that follow rhythms and melodies that have been passed down through generations. The words vary according to the individual. Power songs help a shaman achieve an altered state of consciousness for healing or divining. The chanted songs are monotonous, short refrains, and have different purposes. Every shaman has at least one chant to summon his power animal or guardian spirit, which provides the source of his shamanic powers.
Native Americans have chants for the undertaking of many activities, such as hunts, battles and weather control, and funeral rites and initiations. Curing chants are important in Navaho ceremonies. The chants are long texts in which are entwined myths about how the chants were performed for the first time by deities or supernatural beings. The chanters must chant the texts perfectly, or
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