When I was 12 I encountered something strange in the woods behind the trailer my family lived in.
I wasn’t supposed to wander as far as the tiny pond, but I couldn’t stop myself. It was there, in the middle of the day, that I first met Bast.
I was a shy kid. My parents never worried about me talking to strangers because of how shy I was. But there She was and I felt like I knew Her. Like I’d always known Her. She was the one that I saw at night when my nightmares got to be too much.
From that day forward I have followed Bast. She is my oldest friend. A protector of children. Never abandoned.
I first learned of the Horned Hunter when I was 15. I was starting to learn about Wicca and casting my first spells. He didn’t resonate with me. No god did.
The first sign came 6 months after I rescued StarBuck, my beloved 20 something Mustang gelding. I thought I heard Star run past my window at 2 in the morning. I woke my dad up and we went looking for him.
Star never left the field. The gate was open from earlier in the day and could have run off, but he didn’t. He wasn’t breathing hard. He was watching the neighbor’s cows in the dark.
The next sign came a year later when I rescued an Eastern Screech Owl from the road in front of my house. It was in shock, but otherwise OK. When night fell I released it. I still see it from time to time.
The final sign came 5 years ago. I was at Great Onyx Job Corps in Mammoth Cave, Kentucky. I chose a center that was a 12 hour bus ride and one hour van ride from home to escape.
The center is just inside Mammoth Cave National Forest, which I didn’t know at the time. Several months after I arrived, during one of my many trips into the woods, I came face to face with a buck at the wrong time of year. I stayed as still as possible, hoping like hell he wouldn’t come after me. He could have hurt or killed us both with the 20 foot drop behind me.
He stared at me instead. After what felt like hours he moved on. It was in that moment that I recalled the name Cernunnos and realized He was trying to get me to speak to Him.
While my relationship with Bast feels like one with a sibling or mother, my relationship with the Hunter is more complex. He’s more like a companion or mentor. It’s not as deep, but I haven’t been with Him as long. I love them both, but I’m still learning about Cernunnos.
I’m sorry this is so late. My cat Saber is missing. He’s not all there mentally, so we try to keep him inside 24/7 for his safety. He doesn’t handle being outdoors well. Dad spotted him once and we haven’t seen him since. I pray to Bast we find him soon.