Applying Cernunnos to Germanic Spirituality

Hurnaz idol protecting the spirits of the land.

Hurnaz is the Germanic form of the god Cernunnos, Lord of the Wild. There is some speculation as to the form and function of this god throughout history, ranging from being a simple god of commerce to being the leader of the Wild Hunt. However, from my understanding and experience with Him, I’m convinced of His role as a wild protector and progenitor of nature; a spirit of freedom and vitality. Some related concepts, ideas and gods would include Pan, Herne the Hunter, Mercury, Satan, Freyr and even Odin.

Hurnaz is a wild and masculine deity. He is indifferent to human affairs, unless His domain is in jeopardy. His domain includes the forest and all of its’ inhabitants; everything from the roots and leaves to the soil and blood. The animals, trees, and all the fruits of the forest belong to Him, bending at His will. The more respect we show His domain, the more freedom and bounty we attain within it.

Post Wild Hunt ritual,Waldgang/Cascadia, November 2019

Offerings to Hurnaz are reciprocated with protection, abundance, and rejuvenated spirit. Venerating this force directly combats stagnation and sloth; igniting the wild and robust nature within. His energy is of wild and chthonic quality, causing an Odinic like frenzy within the inhabitant; a hunter’s awareness and focus. In this hyper-aware state we are able to achieve things we might not be able to otherwise, such as enhanced vision, speed, strength, clarity and focus. These enhancements are all fruits of this power, hence His veneration as a shaman and hunting god.

Offerings to Hurnaz and the forest spirits may include: 

Blood – to activate the spirit and open a medium of communication.

Animal remains – to return the fallen spirit to Hurnaz in exchange for future abundance in hunts and foraging. 

Wood/Stone/Fungus – to offer organic material to the soil and animals; also to enable more objects to be inhabited by the spirit of Hurnaz.

Meat – to honor the carnivorous spirits of the forest, the natural hunting spirits.

Seeds – to honor the vital and fertile forest; to appease the spirits within His realm. 

Nuts – to please the spirits of the land and encourage new growth.

Fruit/Herbs – to appease the land spirits and promote future fruit to flourish. 

Feathers – to promote movement and motion of the spirits; allowing flight and a wider perception.

Present your offerings where you believe Hurnaz to be existing. This location can be a stone, tree, idol, grove, or simply the forest region in its’ entirety. State your business in His realm, and what your intentions are with His woods. Once you have been granted access to your desires, recite your prayers or galdr to enhance connection and protection, then carry about your forest business without worry.

Offerings from all over the USA.

Once you have established your sacred space to Hurnaz, and once you have connected your spirit with that of His and the forest gods, the woods will become your church. Here you can easily slip between the veil of worlds and into other layers of reality. The more often you visit this place, the deeper you can explore the boundaries of the spirit; for it is in our true nature to dwell within the woods. These sacred grounds will heal your ailments in this claustrophobic and chaotic world; guiding you to a place of wisdom, peace, and strength.

Experiencing and deciphering the language of nature is the most divine act, and as we learn its’ language we in turn unlock the secrets to our very own existence. The functions of nature mimic the functions of the body, mind and soul. The more balance we achieve in this Triskelion of realms, the quicker we can achieve a state of Eternal Awareness. May Hurnaz and the spirits of the forest bless you on your journeys.

Hurnaz, Lord of the Wild Woods.

Tree Runes and the “Hahalruna” system.

The “Tree” runes are a variant form of the Elder Futhark that I created using the “Hahal” rune system. Based on this system, any variation can be formed based on what’s important to the one using them. Many different kinds are out there, but none that I’ve seen have been tree or forest oriented. Due to my internal synthesis of Germanic and Celtic spirituality, I figured I would take the ancient Germanic Futhark and give it an Ogham or Hibernian twist; thus the creation of these “Tree” runes. 

The 3 “Groups of 8”

To read and write these runes, you would use the “Groups of 8” method; separating the 24 Elder Futhark runes into 3 sets of 8. These 3 sets are the following; Freyr’s group of 8, Hagal’s group of 8, and Tyr’s group of 8. Freyr’s would be the 3rd group, Hagal’s would be the 2nd, and Tyr’s would be the 1st. To decipher this particular set of runes, you would use the notches on the left side to determine which group it’s from, and the notches on the right side would determine which rune in the set it is.

The Algiz rune and its’ Tree rune variant, represented by the 2 straight lines on the left side and the number 7 shown on the right; thus being the 7th rune in the 2nd row.

Each straight line represents the number 1 and each hooked line represents the number 5. Therefor, if the rune had two notches on the left , and a hooked notch with 2 straight notches on the right, you’d be looking at the Algiz rune. After seeing this pattern, you’ll be able to easily see how this can be used and applied in all forms of art, writing and magic. Not only can these runes be added to your “rune bank,” but you can create your own versions using the same system, based on anything you want. 

Runic magicians have always intentionally made their rune systems as cryptic, esoteric, and “alien” looking as possible. The reason for this, was to confuse and bewilder the average eye, cloaking the writer’s message in mystery; making it harder to decipher their messages and crack their codes. Runic Magicians would constantly push the limits of competing sorcerers, thus stimulating this environment to constantly create, alter, and articulate new runes and systems of Runic Magic. Within this competitive sphere comes a deep and esoteric knowledge of the runes; one that dissects their inner workings and variations, broadening their artistic and aesthetic diversity within the magicians mind. The more Runic Alphabets you know, and the more runes you create in your own personal system, the more difficult it will be for anyone to crack your messages; giving you endless control over your magical workings.