The Sacred Hunt approaches. I trekked through the forest this morning in the beams of a golden rising sun, miles south of the cottage, scouting for a good campsite a couple kilometers down the prevailing wind from my hunting site. After the night’s deluge, the high country forest sounded like a hundred brooks, the music of lapping, rolling, playing, skipping waters echoing all about. I found a lovely site on high ground among a stand of young birches and later I will set up a tarp tipi and base camp.
From there I trekked down to the hunting site to ensure everything was ready. Apples are my only bait in a glade that looks like it will funnel the deer to me. I split a dozen of the fruit and skewered them upon a fallen log to spread the scent.
Then I began my trek out of the southern forest. Hiking along a wooded trail, the sun eight fingers over the horizon, I stopped to pick a handful of daisies, unable to find the yarrow I had desired. I ground them in my palm and dropped them into a breath of wind, symbol of flesh to spirit, and offered my prayer-spell to the horned god of the green wood. “The deer are yours, more than abundant, and I am coming to do a profound thing, a deed as old as time: I am coming to prey upon these, your creatures. I shall take one, if I can, and I aim to use all the kill, and so the right circle of life shall be fulfilled. For in the end, the Hunter comes for us all.”
I released the prayer-spell, and in that moment a feeling of such rightness with Nature overcame me, and I had this incredible insight. An old insight, but the depth of it was new: the Great Spirit, the Green Man, Cernunnos, He Who Walks Among the Trees–all many forms and incarnations of the same forest-shadowed green god, so present and so very close. And I knew, in that moment, I was exactly where I should be, doing exactly what I should be doing. It is a good Way for a man to live; to be a soul amidst the green.