Cernunnos and the Starry Lady

In your mind’s eye see Cernunnos. No, younger than that. Younger still. See Him before time etched its wisdom into His face, before the long exile of the gods by the one god. When the world was full of his brothers and sisters, when they could be found in every river and stream, every mountain and hill. Millenia ago, He was a young god.

See Him turn to His sister under cover of night and ask, “Sister, what does it mean for the stars to dance this way?” His sister shines, bright as He is dark. Where His skin is the colour of the earth beneath their feet, She gleams with the light of a million million stars. Have you heard Her name? Does it twist itself at the corner of your mind?

“Tonight,” she says, “it means joy.”

They dance beneath the starlight, these gods who are not yet old, and in the dancing He learns of the stars and She of the forest so that when the sun’s rays overpower the lights of the stars They are no longer what They were. Perhaps She whispers to Him of fires burning in the distant sky, of the ghost-lights of stars that have long since burned themselves up, how the stars show things as they once were. Perhaps in turn He tells Her of the trees feeding on sunlight, how they exhale the air that mammals breathe in, how the lives of trees and animals are inextricably bound up in one another.

Perhaps He does not. Perhaps He never danced beneath the stars with a gleaming goddess. None of His sacred stories remain to us, we cannot tell them by the flickering light of a fire, they cannot teach us how to better understand Him. But there are many of us now who love Him, who know Him, who listen for Him. Perhaps we can learn new sacred stories. Does He whisper in your ear?


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