The Horned God: a Symbol for Midsummer
Updated: February 12, 2023
A brand new season has come, longer days are ahead of you and it marks the midsummer by celebrating Litha. The sun is in its full potential and the gods and goddesses bear blessings and protection to people and their place.
In the celebration of Litha, The Horned God is also honored. The sun to the Goddess’ moon, The Horned God is a representation of the male sexuality and the seed that is planted.
When in his Sun form, he gives life to the crops by nurturing them as they grow. He is the masculine half of the sacred energy that rules nature and is also the lord of woodlands and hunting, his mighty horns serve as protection to the forest, vegetation, and the animals.
He is the God of fertility, euphoric music, and wild nature. He becomes The Horned One in the prime of his life as the energy of the midsummer unfolds. All the crops he nourished throughout the spring and summer with his life-giving sunlight is finally harvested, the animals he had protected are slaughtered and The Horned One himself is sacrificed.
The Horned God is the lord of life and death- the beginning and the end that takes the souls of the dead to the depths of the underworld. The death of The Horned God is deemed as a sacrifice to life. His blood graciously fertilizes the land for the coming of spring and when that season arrives, he is reborn as the child that is carried by the goddess.
Celebrating the Horned God during Midsummer
Many Pagan traditions of modern times honor The Horned God or Cernunnos as an aspect of God and the embodiment of the masculine energy, astounding power, and fertility.
In honoring and celebrating the Horned God during the midsummer, bonfires are lit, altars are set outside to attract peace and positive energy from the Gods and Goddesses.
Most times, a prayer to the Horned God is necessarily performed to honor him. This prayer serves as a sacrifice to ask for his blessings, it is made to celebrate his vital role in taking care of the forest, the animals, and for bringing life to the spring season by nurturing the crops from one season to another. The prayer also emphasizes the spilling of his lifeblood upon the ground.
Another way to celebrate the Horned God during the midsummer time is through a ritual setting. Prepare offerings to him in a forest or wooded area nearby. Take some consecrated water or some wine and pour it upon the ground and call to him. This will symbolize his lifeblood that was sacrificed each season.
Decorating your altar with his symbols such as moss, fresh clean soil or leaves would also be a magnificent way to celebrate the holiness of the Horned God during the midsummer time.
The interplay of Gods and Goddesses in Midsummer
For some Pagans, the coming of Summer Solstice marks the marriage of the Gods and Goddesses and view their union as the energy that produces the abundance of harvest.
A cycle of seasons called The Wheel of the Year is celebrated by a series of feasts that honor the relationship between the Gods and the Goddesses. These eight sabbats unveil the natural cycles of birth, death, decay, and rebirth.
This seasonal cycle shows that The Horned God, born at Yule, grows through Imbolc, mates with the Goddess at Ostara, marries her at Beltane, and achieves his maturity at midsummer. He will be sacrificed during the autumn and winter months, only to be reborn by the Goddess and attains full godhead at Samhain.
Various interactions between other Gods and Goddesses throughout the summer solstice are oftentimes seen by splitting the Gods into aspects, the Oak King and the Holly King. The relationships between The Horned God and the Goddess are depicted and celebrated by Wiccans through performing seasonal rituals.