I’ve rarely been scared deeply but I was upon encountering The Horned God while on a walk with two of the Estate Russian wolf hounds deep in the woods a few days ago.
As you know, this Estate is big. Really big. Part of that is a result of being on The Border with the realms of The Fey, but it’s also a very old Estate that never got broken up. You can walk, in the direction away from the village that’s twenty miles away and where Riverrun Farm borders us, for more hours than really bear thinking about. I had packed a lunch, some ale, my fiddle, and a desire to away from everyone for a full day, as I was getting grouchy for no good reason.
So I set out not long after dawn, walking in a direction that would take me past the Standing Stones and into the forested area we leave alone. It’s an old forest, old as anything in these Isles, which is a situation best not dwelled upon. Really old forests mean even older beings and so I was was not surprised when I encountered one here.
So why was I scared so deeply? Because old gods such as the one I encountered there are rarely of the compassionate sort. And standing there tall and wide of beam with skin more like bark than anything else with a set of antlers complete with deep green moss was what I took to be Cernunnos. What else could such a being be?
Despite being roughly human in shape, there was an inhumaness to him, something in his eyes and bearing that said he’d been living for longer than I was comfortable thinking about – and I’ve talked with Odin. Fortunately for me, it seemed that he had no interest in me, for he noticed me not as he moved onward toward wherever he’d been headed before I came upon him.
I decided that I’d skip playing music and eating lunch out there. Suddenly I was very desirous of getting back to that which I had been wanting to be away from! Oh, and the Estate Russian wolf hounds had already decided that returning home was a task to which they quite urgently needed to attend.