Sunday, July 26, 2009

Aspects of the God

My tradition recognizes that the God has multiple aspects and forms.
Goddess aspects are often refered to the Maiden, Mother, Crone. In our tradition we refer to the God aspects as the Horned One, the Hooded One and the Old One.

The Horned One represents our primal connection to vibrant and direct male creative energies. This is the energy of the era of hunters & gatherers, when humans lived closely with the cycles of the seasons and the animal cycles of migration and birth and death. It is where our understanding of predator and prey resides. This aspect of the God has a deep and ancient connection. Lupercus is the Wolf God and a predator. Cern is the Stag God and prey. Together they are the Twin Gods in Stregheria that keep these ancient bonds alive and a part of our tradition. The Wheel of our Year reminds us of this connection most vividly at Lupercus on February 2nd . But this ancient link is also woven into our Spring & Fall Equinox rituals and the Winter Solstice, where Janus God of 2 Faces, the twin Gods Lupercus & Cern, makes his presence known. The God Lupercus is charged with completing the 12 astrological labors. This is the God aspect who must also shoulder the burdens and fight the battles necessary to complete the Wheel of the Year.

The Hooded One represents the mature, agricultural, nuturing aspects of the God. The aspects of the God are associated with the stages of human development. As humans transistioned from a Hunter-Gatherers to Farming & Herding we further separated ourselves from the wilder, uncontrolled by man, aspects of nature. Anyone who has ever planted a seed outdoors understands that Farmers & Herders must have a strong relationship with the changing seasons of the sun and with the breeding seasons of animals. But this relationship is one where humans are not just working with the cycles of nature but also controlling various aspects that previously only nature controlled. When does the seed get planted? When is the bull allowed to mate the cow and which bull? This aspect of the God is a careful, focused, aligned, controlled. The Hooded One is who holds the secrets of the seed and knowledge of the cycles of birth and rebirth. This is the God that is 'hooded in the Green" and who has ties to the Green Man.

The Old One is the Wise One. The One who has the experience necessary to assist with a decision's longer term aspects. This could be the warrior who fights, but only when necessary, or the elder entrusted with justice, or the scientist who tracks the movement of the stars over centuries by ensuring that wisdom is passed from generation to generation.

I started this post in response to a question on PaganMen about "The Green Man". As I see it The Green Man has aspects of both our Horned One, the wild natural, unbridled, exuberant aspects of the God along with aspects of our Hooded One. In many ways ancient traditions probably didn't feel the need to have the clean, tidy definitions that we do in our "knowledge based" society. The Gods were aspects of what the ancients experienced via the natural and primal forces. There was no need to have tidily matched Maiden / Mother / Crone aspects of the Goddess with Horned / Hooded/ Old aspects of the God. The stories, our mythos, were what they needed to be to capture the essense of the experiences and the ancients. Consistent experiences helped solidify the stories and associated God forms. Older gods are incorporated into the newer gods. In our Tradition, some aspects of the Horned One can be seen in the Hooded One. The Hooded One, the Green Man, presides over field and vine, and reigns in the woods. In the field, he is as quiet as the field's growth and as the sun's rays; in the vines, he is not (Bacchus); and in the woods, he can raise your hackles if he so chooses. The essence that can do that is wild and and very primal.

The God (of whatever era) is born, lives and dies through the seasons of the Wheel. He makes the Wheel what it is. Our Goddess is the Moon, throughout all her phases, and the Moon weaves her way through all the seasons of the Wheel, and therein, we see the Eternal Dance of the Gods.

I also know that there are many males out there who are drawn to the warrior archetype. Rex Nemorenis is the warrior/slave who takes on the responsiblity of protecting the grove and the priestess of the temple complex at Aricia on Lake Nemi. While this story is a part of the history of the Italic penisula, this story is "new" enough that it is did not become a part of my tradition's Wheel of the Year. Stregheria (again the tradition I practice) does not really have a "warrior" aspect of the God as part of our Wheel of the Year mythos. Think about that. No warrior aspect of the God. Why? Because the links of this tradition are so far in the past that "warriors" weren't critical, therefore the God doesn't have this as a key aspect. There is death in the mythos and the God has an underworld aspect in Dis. but other than Lupercus 12 labors there is little of the warrior in the mythos. That said, I have tried to mentioned how the warrior aspects fit into the 3 primary aspects of Horned, Hooded and Old or Wise One.


woodnymph668 said...

thank you.....this is what so many (pagans, too) need to know. i appreciate your taking the time to do this.

Anonymous said...

Great information, friend! Thanks for pointing the way to your blog!

From a friend over at the PaganMen group,

Herne /|\