What is Cern'osia?
Cern'osia is an eclectic neopagan faith which focuses exclusively on the veneration and worship of the Celtic Horned God, Cernunnos. Although it could be adapted for use by anyone who worships the Horned One, it was designed primarily with the needs of a solitary pagan man in mind. If it is to be used in any other manner (such as by a woman, or a tribe or coven) then some adaptation will be required, as such uses are beyond the scope of this document.
What do Cern'osians Believe?
Cern'osia is a hard henotheistic faith which borrows much from other established belief systems, including Wicca, Shamanism and Druidism.
Hard means that we believe that the gods are very real and very present, not "archetypes" or "thought forms," that they are separate, individual entities who are active in our lives and have power over various facets of our existence.
Henotheistic means that, while we believe that there are many gods, we choose to worship only one god, without denying the existence, validity or worthiness for worship of other gods.
We also believe in animism, that everything around us - from animals and plants to rocks and streams - has a spirit. While we do not worship these spirits, we do believe that, through drumming and journeying, these spirits can be contacted, communicated with, and called upon to aid and guide us on our paths and in our rituals and spellworking. We also believe that animals can be the bearers of messages from the god, that careful observation of their behavior can sometimes reveal omens and portents for the observer.
Cern'osia is an active faith, meaning that we believe that the god desires active interaction with his followers on a regular, daily basis through prayer, fasting, guided meditation, worship and sacrifice. Cern'osia is a grass-roots faith which believes in getting back to the primitive. Rituals frequently include chanting and singing, ecstatic dance and postures, drumming, masks, meditation and journeying, glossolalia, divination with the Ogham, body painting, ritual nudity and solo sex magic.
Who Is the God?
Cern'osians worship the Celtic stag god, Cernunnos, who is the Master of the Wild Hunt, Lord of the Forest, Hunter and Hunted, Lord of the Harvest, God of Abundance, Lord of Animals, Guardian of the Gate to the Otherworld, Sun King, and Male Fertility Personified. Our relationship with our god is a complex one. While we love, respect and worship him, we also fear him. We believe that Cernunnos is a very primal deity, a force of nature, and - like nature - is chaotic, feral, wild and unpredictable. He is both light and dark, good and evil, hunter and hunted, life and death. We feel that Cernunnos is related to several other horned deities. These deities include but are not limited to the Horned Lord of the Wiccans, Herne the Hunter, Hu Gadarn, Karnayna, Uindos, Vindos, Vindonnus, Actaeon, Pashupati, Karhuhas, Kurhunta, and the Breton pseudo-saint Korneli/Cornely, a patron of horned creatures. He may also be related to the god Silvanus/Faunus. We do not, however, feel that he is related to Pan or the Green Man.
The ultimate goal of Cern'osia is the restoration of the Great Hunter to his proper place in pagan society. For far too long he has been stripped of his power and position. Christians have usurped his holy image and defiled it, turning it into the face of their devil. Modern pagans with their heavy emphasis on goddess worship have also defaced him, stripping him not only of his power, but even his name, making him the nameless horned consort of the Goddess, and paying him little more than lip service in their rites. Even worse, the Great God has been all but rendered genderless, stripped of his sexuality, neutered in images of him which should show his genitalia by prudish pagans who find the male reproductive organs offensive, yet are not offended by images of a nude goddess.
Because of this, many pagan men today feel emasculated, lost at sea with no divine male figure to look up to. We no longer even know what it means to "be a man." We believe the time for change has come. By restoring the Great Stag o' the Wood to his proper status, we seek to empower the pagan man, to restore a sense of pride and place for men in the pagan world.
In no way should this be interpreted to mean that we seek to take anything away from women, the Great Mother or any other goddess. Nothing could be further from the truth. We simply wish to revive interest in the Great Father who has been forgotten and ignored for far too long.
Other goals of Cern'osia include:
The Understanding that every man is a priest of Cernunnos
The Elevation of hunting from sport to sacred act The Preservation of wild areas and animals
The Protcetion of hunting rights and gun rights
Reduce, reuse, and recycle. Simplify
Cern'osia and Other Pagan Paths
We do not believe that our path is the only true and right path for everyone. Each of us must observe and do what feels good and right for ourselves spiritually. We believe that all other paths and faiths are just as valid and correct for their followers as ours is for us. We all have a path to walk, and we ourselves are the only ones who can determine which path is the right one for us.