Reindeer Folklore

Reindeer Folklore

Santa’s reindeer most probably evolved from Herne, the Celtic Horned God. Eight reindeer pull Santa’s sleigh, representative of the eight solar sabbats. In British lore, the stag is one of the five oldest and wisest animals in the world, embodying dignity, power and integrity. From their late Autumn dramatic rutting displays, stags represented strength, sexuality and fertility. As evidenced by multiple prehistoric excavations of stag antler ritual costumes, the wearing of stag antlers in folk dance recreated the sacred male shaman figure called Lord of the Wild Hunt, Cernunnos, or Herne the Hunter, among others–he who travels between worlds, escorting animal spirits to the afterlife and sparking wisdom and fertility in this world. Likewise, the stag’s branching antlers echo the growth of vegetation. In America, the stag represents male ideals: the ability to “walk one’s talk,” and powerfully, peacefully blend stewardship and care of the tribe with sexual and spiritual integrity.

In Northern European myth, the Mother Goddess lives in a cave, gives birth to the sun child, and can shape shift into a white hind, or doe. Therefore, the white hind was magical, to be protected and never hunted. In myth, graceful running women of the forest–who were actually magical white hinds–brought instant old age or death to hunters who chased them.

To the Celts, all deer were especially symbolic of nurturing, gentle and loving femaleness. White deer hide was used to make tribal women’s clothing. White deer called “faery cattle” were commonly believed to offer milk to fairies. In Britain amongst the Druids, some men experienced life-transforming epiphanies from spiritual visions or visitations by white hinds, balancing and healing their inner feminine energy. In Europe white hinds truly exist, and are many shades of warm white cream-colors, with pale lashes–otherworldly in their peaceful and modest behavior. To many Native American tribes, deer are models of the graceful and patient mother who exhibits unconditional love and healthy, integrated female energy.

Fertility Deities

Fertility Deities

Gods/Goddesses– Bel, Sucellus, Hecate, Thalia, Cronus, Hades, Hermes, Zeus, Ops, Saturn, Mercury, Jupiter, Pluto, Dis Pater, Isis, Bes, Osiris, Arianrhod, Brigit, Cerridwen, Brigantia, Macha, Herne the Hunter, Cernunnos, Bel, Epona, Manannan mac Lir, Mab, Nantosuelta, Druantia, the Horned God, Anu, Arianrhod, Rhiannon, the Dagda, Ostara, Eostre, Apollo, Cronus, Hera, Artemis, Maia, Aphrodite, Athena, Demeter, Gaea, Rhea, Pan, Dionysus, Poseidon, Antheia, Bendis, Cabari, Cabiri, Charities, Derceto, Europa, Pontia, Priapus, Hermes, Persephone, Hecate, Juno, Bona Dea, Diana, Fauna, Flora, Pales, Venus, Tellus Mater, Faunus, Bacchus, Vertumnus, Apollo, Cybele, Lupercus, Ops, Pomona, Saturn, Nerthus, Bast, Heqet, Selqet, Min, Osiris, Amen, Khnemu, Bes, Hapi, Bast, Isis, Attis, Mut, Selkhet, Tlazolteotl, Itzamna, Tlaloc, Chantico, Centeotle, Quetzalcoatl, Ishtar, Kuan Yin, Lilith, Inanna, Astarte
Color– True Pure Blue
Incence/Oil– Lily of the Valley
Animals– Dolphin, Whales
Spirits– Mermaid
Stones– Azurite, Torquoise
Metal– Aluminum
Plants– Carnation, Honeysukle, Vervain
Wood– Bramble
Planet– Neptune
Tarot Cards– Four Kings, Four Twos
Magickal Tools– Cauldron, Wand
Direction– South
Rituals- Achieving Equilibrium, Spiritual Manifestations, Creative Force, Divine Inspiration

Earth Gods – THE GREEN MAN

Earth Gods – THE GREEN MAN

The Green Man is the vision of a face in the leaves – a face surrounded by or made from leaves. He embodies nature – wild, free, and primitive. He is known as Cernunnos, Herne, Pan, Faunus, Puck, John Barleycorn, and the Horned God, to name just a few. The Green Man is the male essence of nature. His face graces more churches and cathedrals than one can imagine, a unique feat for a pagan god.

Cernunnos is the Celtic god of nature. He is commonly seen as a horned god. The horn is a symbol of virility and fertility. As Cernunnos, his worship can be traced back to the Iron Age Celts through historical artifacts; however, very little is known about how he was regarded or worshipped.

In Britain, the nature god is known as Herne the Hunter. Herne was a favorite of King Richard II. He saved the king from a raging stag and was severely wounded. A stranger tied the antlers of the stag to Herne’s head, claiming his hunting talent as payment. Herne, devastated at this loss of talent, ran off into the woods. Later a man found his corpse hanging on a tree. Herne is said to appear in spectral form and to indulge in his favorite pastime – hunting. He is aid to lead the Wild Hunt.

Pan is the Greek nature god who watches over the shepherds and their flocks. He is known as Faunus in Roman mythology. Pan is consider to be older than the Olympians. He gave Apollo the secrets of prophecy and gifted Artemis with her hunting dogs.

Pan was originally an Arcadian god. He is described as a man with the legs, horns and hindquarters of a goat. Due to the Olympians disdain of Arcadians, they always treated Pan as a second-class god. However, his popularity among the primitive mountain people of Arcadia never lessened.

Pan was thought to inspire a type of sudden fear. In fact, the world panic is a derivation of his name. Pan was a lecherous god and was well-known for his indulgence in amorous affairs. One nymph name Pitys turned into a pine tree to escape his advances, while another, Syrinx, turned into river reeds. At the exact moment that Syrinx did so., the wind blew, creating a melodic sound. Pan much intrigued picked several of the reeds and turned them into his signature pan pipes.

All of the deities that are considered to be the male essence of nature are thought to follow a cycle of life, death and rebirth in sync with the seasons.