Cernunnos Guided Meditation

[Editor's note: Though this meditation is Wiccan, it can of course be easily adapted to our Druish workings, and you may substitue Dalon ap Landu in place of Cernunnos...]

This guided meditation is intended to bring you closer to the essence of the God, and bring away a tool of personal power.

In addition to your normal altar tools, you will need a symbolic weapon. This needn't be large or elaborate. A small stone pendant shaped like an arrow can be used. Even a pointed stone would do, or a small stick with the point sharpened. Several Celtic excavations have uncovered ritual shafts in which worshippers offered miniature versions of real weapons as gifts to the gods. If the subject of weaponry interests you, you may wish to try to craft a small replica of a Celtic sword or spear out of wood, metal, clay or bone. Place your symbolic weapon upon the altar. Prepare also a chalice or cup of cold water, which will serve to connect you to the physical world amid intense meditative work.

To start, perform the Creating Sacred Space rite through to calling the Spirits of Nature and of Place. Do not perform the usual God Invocation however. Instead, begin the Cernunnos Guided Meditation here:

Remain standing before the altar. Set down your staff and light the incense and candle. Pick up your symbolic weapon. Hold it in both hands as you invoke the god:

Cernunnos the Mighty, Thou art the gray mist
Cernunnos, Thou art the forests of green
Cernunnos, Lord of the creatures of the Earth
In Thee is the sacred victory seen
Cernunnos! Cernunnos! Cernunnos!

Stand in meditation, visualizing before you the figure of a horned warrior. He may seem frightening or foreign, but you should not be afraid. He may appear sitting cross-legged on the ground or on an altar, and is frequently joined by one or more animals.

Hold out your weapon to him:

Cernunnos, ancient god Accept this gift in thy honor May my actions be swift and true As the arrow of the hunter

Remain in meditation for a moment, concentrating on the forest surrounding you. Hold your sacred weapon in your dominant (power) hand (for most people, the right), with the point facing outward and your arm extended. Turn slowly all the way around, noticing where your weapon is pointed as you repeat:

I am the hunter!

In your mind, try to fully enter into the mind of a hunter of old, killing not for joy but for survival. Use all the intelligence and knowledge at your command to track your prey, becoming as one with the forest surroundings, perhaps wearing the skin of a deer to disguise your scent. You may find yourself walking or running about your circle, or sitting in silent readiness. Take some time to experience this mental state.

Let your unconscious, guided by the god you have invoked, show you the end of the hunt. Perhaps you merely glimpse the prey and are left hungry and unsuccessful. Perhaps your weapon shoots home, and you experience the smells and sights of the bloody conclusion, and the knowledge that you have sustained the life of your tribe.

Remain in this visualization for several minutes. When you are ready, return to yourself and to the place where you are. Take a drink from the chalice of water.
If you wish to do the second part of this rite at this time, take a moment to ground and center. Otherwise, you may choose to end the ritual here, after thanking the god, and perform the next part on another occasion.

Put your symbolic weapon in your non-dominant hand, with the point facing toward yourself. Take a few steps backward, and with each one repeat:

I am the hunted!

Visualize yourself as a forest animal, the target of hunters. You can be any animal (though a deer would be best); choose one of whom you have some knowledge and feel some understanding.

What do you do to preserve your life? This depends largely on the nature of the animal you have chosen. Perhaps you remain perfectly still, trusting the wind to carry your scent away. Perhaps you flee pall-mall, or plot a careful strategy to disguise your flight. As prey, you must think on your feet, drawing on your knowledge of the land and on your own strengths and defenses.

Take some time to experience the sensations of this situation. What strengths do you find you have, when the emergency creates a need? These are the gifts of Cernunnos.

This time, do not let your unconscious decide the outcome. Decide that you will escape from the hunters, and visualize yourself doing so. (Why do I not recommend that you allow yourself to experience the death of the prey? First, because I believe death is an unknowable experience. Second, because the ritual enactment of a death can in my experience lead to tragic consequences for the one who takes on this role.)

When you are ready, return to this world and place your sacred weapon on the altar.

Take a drink from the chalice of water. Then take your weapon in both hands and offer it to Cernunnos once more.

Cernunnos, Forest King, Thy mystery is great
Thou art the Hunter with courage and strength
And the Hunted with swift intelligence
Thou art both
I offer this weapon to thy service
Hail and Farewell!

End your ritual by performing the Clearing the Sacred Space rite.

If you wish to embody the energies of Cernunnos in some part of your daily life, you may want to carry your symbolic weapon with you, or fashion it into a piece of jewelry. Otherwise, offer it to Cernunnos by burying it in a wooded place.

Source: Celtic Wicca: Ancient Wisdom for the 21st Century by Jane Raeburn.
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