Branching out and blossoming forth at Yule

Consort of the Goddess and symbol of male energy in divine form, The Horned God is born again at every winter solstice. He is the King of the Wood, of the hunt and wild beasts.

 As an aspect of the Green Man – god of plants and new life – he represents fertility incarnate, and in his Pan aspect, surrounds himself with nymphs and demi-goddesses for carnal purpose.

horned_god_pan

 To those already embarking on the Christmas party circuit, the aforementioned may have a certain resonance. With Saturnalias and Bacchanalia breaking out and popping up all over the place at this time of year, it is only sensible to dress for the occasion.

horned_god

 As the nights grow longer and colder, with coloured lights glimmering and tinsel flowering out in unexpected places, let branches and antlers sprout also from your head, or twine your cranium with seasonal greenery and blossom.

 Don’t just sit around the Christmas tree. BE the tree.

 Regardless of your assigned gender, take the wild maenads or the hornéd ones for your inspiration as you choose, and indulge in fits of ecstatic dancing, wine drinking and lovemaking.

Open your mind to the fierce joy of disco and funk music, and your body will soon follow.

Do like this

 Crowned as a woodland deity, lead your followers in the Wild Dance.

christmas_crowns1

 Branch and flower headpieces

 There are two main types of headpiece- the crown and the band. First, the crown:

Form a circlet with florists wire. Add, one by one, greenery, tinsel and flowers whether real or artificial, weaving their stalks into the circlet and binding them in with additional wires. Make sure you don’t leave sharp wire ends poking out. Gilded fruits, berries and baubles give these a wintry, festive aspect and distinguish them from the flower crowns of Summer.

Ivy twines well naturally, if you can find some clinging around in your ‘hood. I used a couple of tiny fairy light sets with batteries attached which I picked up at IKEA.

The band:

A little more complex to achieve, but this gives you the solid base required for antler branches. If you can get a group together to wear these, you can create your own impromptu Sacred Grove at the bar or on the dance floor.

Make a flexible, posable plastic headband. I cut up an old binder to make this, reinforced it with florists wire and bound it all around with tape.

Cut a thinner strip and attach it to the ends of the band, to make a headshaped frame.

You’ll need a hot glue gun to do this with a minimum of stress.

When they have dried, these form a base for polystyrene balls which you have cut in half with a sharp knife. You can find these balls and florists wire online or at a craft shop.

Branches for antlers should be sourced at your local park, forest, wood or copse. Glue the halved balls to the headbands, making sure they are really secure.

Start by firmly planting your branches in the appropriate balls, anchored well with glue (not from the glue gun this time- hot glue melts polystyrene. I like all-purpose ‘wood’ glue. It takes a while to set, but cements things together beautifully), then add foliage or tinsel, rooting each piece by the stem in the polystyrene until no white is left showing.

Pinecones or nuts can be attached with florists wire or glue, and you can use large pinecones in place of branches to create ‘bear ears’ which will go down very well with partygoers who practice arctolatry, but do remember that most forms of sacred bear worship end with sacrifice of the beast, so you might want to watch out for that.

pinecone_xmas_headress

christmas_crowns4

For the total Herne the Hunter effect, wire small bells to the branches, so that you jingle all the way. If you have access to a demonic hound, or a horned owl, do press them into service as traditional accompaniments.

christmas_crowns2

horned_owl

Remember, when the hornéd one possesses you, you will become the spirit of the forest. Let the wild rumpus begin!

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For a very Yuletide blend of much festivity, make these for your wild party –

Chocomint Pomanders

Dash Creme de Menthe or Peppermint Schnapps

1/2 shot White Chocolate Liqueur

1 shot Triple Sec

Clementines for juice & garnish

Whole cloves

ultimate_christmas_cocktail_ingredients

Make a clove clementine with the cloves and a clementine, leave it overnight to infuse, then slice it into segments.

cocktail_pomander

Rinse a chilled glass with the peppermint liqueur, shake the chocolate liqueur, Triple Sec and clementine juice in a chilled shaker, and decant into the glass.

Garnish with a clove-studded slice of clementine and/or a miniature peppermint candy cane. I charmed my candy canes out of the friendly barista at my local coffee shop.

Drink with loved ones and dance, dance dance.

ultimate_christmas_cocktail

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