The Other Men in My Life – Cernunnos and Dionysos

There have been a lot of changes going on recently. We’ll I say recently, but do we ever stop growing? And as we grow, and continue to learn as we travel along our path, our outlook, and the way we do things, is bound to change. It should change! If you are doing the same thing you were doing ten years ago, unless you really do have it all completely figured out, then you are doing something wrong.

When I took my first steps on this path, I did not really know what I was getting myself into. I didn’t realize that I would periodically get my ass-whooped by the Gods, or taken down a notch or two when I ‘thought’ I had something figured out. I didn’t realize how much work was actually involved. There is no guidebook. I’ve taken a lot of wrong turns, but I’m grateful for them. I’ve come so far, and I wouldn’t change a thing. The self doubt, the heartbreak, the loneliness at times. Nothing would have delivered me to where I am today without a lot of blood, sweat and tears (literally and metaphorically)…

I’ve had a relationship with Cernunnos for many years now, but it’s only recently that it seems to have taken off in another direction…

Deeper somehow, but also something that I’m not entirely sure of; He keeps me on my feet, that’s for damn sure. I didn’t originally have a name for the Horned God when we first started out, Cernunnos seemed to fit, and it stuck for a while, but He’s proven me wrong. I don’t know what it is with me and needing to name everything, the same with The Antlered Woman, why Elen? He seems to laugh in my face every time I try to pin Him down. It’s part and parcel with the relationship I guess, the harder I look and try to figure him out, the faster He moves. He shapeshifts more frequently these days. The is the Púca. He is the Lord of Life and Death, of darkness and light, but at that point between the two is truly where He belongs. His place. He is my Wild Horned God of the Crossroads. Ruler of the Forest, Fen, Bog, Marsh, Moor and Hill. The Rampant One. My Beloved Gatekeeper, and the King of Elphame (in the true Scottish sense of the word – I hesitate before using that title, as there are so many these days that throw it around willy-nilly). All I really know is, He is my Horned Lord and Guardian of my heart, soul and body. I belong to Him. Does he really need a name? I think not. I have asked Him before “Who are you?” and I get the same answer  “Does it really matter?”…

He comes with antlers of the Stag or Buck, He comes with curling horns of the Highland Ram, He comes on the hooves of the He-Goat…

But when He comes with the horns of a Bull, that’s when my head really explodes! My life gets turned inside out, upside down, and I have no clue whether I’m coming or going. I drift through days in a half trance – A Dionysian Haze…

The quote “Those whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad” comes to mind when He is around. His presence fills me so completely that I swear I can almost feel the threads of my sanity unraveling. I sometimes wonder what would happen if I felt that all the time. Could I handle it? Could I be a good mother and wife, with my head filled with Dionysian madness? Wandering around in an ecstatic reverie all day, every day. Maybe I’m just given these brief encounters because in fact I most probably wouldn’t be able to. Would it be different if I were single and childless now? Would I let myself run and dance with him freely then? No fighting? No resistance? Yes, I would, and I have. I was single and childless the first time He came to me, I ran and danced with him like a crazy woman, possessed, but still He left me. Maybe because even then I couldn’t handle it. I couldn’t cope with the sheer intoxicating joy and pain of his presence. I was a broken, shattered girl back then, I like to think I can handle a bit more these days – But maybe I have to prove myself…

After him being around almost constantly during the weeks leading up to   Anthesteria, it came a bit of a shock when I felt him leave on the third day of the festival.He left completely and a few night later I had the first dream in which  Cernunnos and Dionysos were both present. A dream in which I was dismembered and torn… And then nothing for what seemed like an eternity, but I’ve had a few fleeting, but very intense,  visits since then…

No other God or Spirit has ever commanded my attention as Dionysos has…

Usually I am at my altar, during my travels or out and about alone – In some spiritual or quiet state… But not Dionysos, he shows up in the middle of a hectic afternoon like a slap in the face, which almost screams “Hi, I’m here! Lets go grab a beer!”

He comes and He goes – I love Him dearly. I’ve tried to ignore Him. I can’t. I’ve tried to ask Him to leave me be, as it’s so painful when He goes away. He won’t.

I’m not sure where this is going to go… A new direction… A new path…

All I know is, He’s gonna disappear at some point…

He always does…

I just hope He stays around for a while this time… My heart aches when He is away…

I don’t usually do the whole posting YouTube videos thing, but his song screams Dionysos to me right now…

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8 responses to “The Other Men in My Life – Cernunnos and Dionysos

  1. Amazing, I feel so much of what you described in my relationship with Horned One, it’s beautiful to see how affected other devotees are…

    Love you!

  2. While my relationship with Dionysos is different, I do know about Him coming and going like that. He is, after all, the “god who comes”, the god of epiphany, and to constantly be arriving must mean He is also leaving. Sometimes, I wonder if He likes it when we long for Him when He is away. Stirs up the passion.

    “Could I be a good mother and wife, with my head filled with Dionysian madness?” Not all the time, probably no. But if you look to the myths, you will see a possible answer – oreibasia (not necessarily literally up a mountain, but running off to the wilds with Him). Women left their homes, their children, for periods of time to revel with Dionysos, and then returned to domesticity (that is, when they left willingly – if He has to drag you, it goes much more poorly). Perhaps it’s a matter of taking advantage of those times when He shows up and beckons, and focusing elsewhere when He’s gone.

    Btw, could you elaborate a bit on what the “true Scottish sense” of Elphame is, and how Cernunnos is King of Elphame? This is an area I’d like to learn more about.

    • Hey Dver, thank you so much for your comments and insight. I am an avid reader of your blog (though I should post comments more often), and I’ve been meaning to email you for some time. I’ve thought about the leaving and reveling when He comes, but with family, work and not knowing when He is going to show up, it kinda makes it hard to plan… But, I guess planning defeats the purpose really… *smacks head* I just wish I did have somewhere to escape to, even of a night, just to be alone with Him….

      As for Elphame – I think I worded that part pretty poorly – It sounds as though I’m standing on my soap box with my nose stuck in the air, which I most certainly am not ;-p

      I just meant that having experienced Cernunnos’ (or just simply my Horned Gods’) face as the Lord of the Otherworld mostly in Scotland that He will always be the King of Elphame to me… Elphame being the Scottish Otherworld and all…

      I’d like to elaborate in an email… ;-p I’ll hopefull shoot one off to you tonight, where’s best to catch you at? ❤

      • Yeah, planning does defeat the purpose in that type of Dionysian worship. The best you can do is figure out in advance how you will take advantage of such opportunities (in the summer, could you go camping for a night? is there even a park nearby?).

        Is there any reading you could suggest which would discuss the Scottish Otherworld/Elphame and possibly the connection with the Horned God?

        Yes, please do email – dver at winterscapes dot com.

  3. *nods emphatically* The Stag King (who also comes with the horns of the ram and bull) and Dionysos are working on me too. As I go deeper with Dionysos, I’m seeing just how long he’s been pulling the threads without my notice. It’s a bit shocking really. His comings and goings are the most unpredictable of all the deities that I’m familiar with (for lack of a better term). For Anthesteria, I felt him extremely keenly in the days leading up to it, but as soon as I started the first of my planned activities… POOF. Nothing.

    For me it was the first involuntary hedgecrossing experience that left me questioning my ability to mother and travel this path. As much as I try to follow Dver’s advice, I’d be lying if I said that it always went smoothly.

    • Interesting, I too have had that exact experience with Dionysos – feeling Him strongly in the days preceding a major festival, and then having Him all but disappear once it began. Strange.

      I am honestly glad that I’ve never had the inclination to have children, as it removed that often-difficult issue from my life completely, and I never had to worry about balancing that and my spirit-work, or having to sacrifice it to do the latter, since I never wanted it in the first place. I imagine it must be incredibly challenging!

  4. I relate to this piece immensely. Its taken me nearly a decade to realise names mean ‘Jack’ (excuse the Pun!) and really, just like the blade, the Cup, The Stang and so on, Names are tools to help us connect. Ive settled on “Master”, “Old Man” as well as “Our Lady” “White Queen” and such like these days…i cant decide on a name, and as yet ive not been given one in a way i can be sure of…I am happy having no name for somethings which are ok to be nameless (if that makes sense!)
    Great piece…I truely enjoy your blog! Thanks

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