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Featuring Guest Writer - Malisa Reshke     Horns have always been an important symbol throughout history and throughout every culture but now this symbolism is appearing more and more in mainstream pop culture. It makes you wonder "why now?" and what's going on. We see horns in the constellations, horns in mythology, and on the heads of Gods. The horn symbol is associated with secret societies, with evil, with the occult arts, witchcraft, and of course with satanic rituals and black magic. So what makes the horns special? To really understand we have to go back through time and look at what's behind all the symbolism. We have to try to sort through all the propaganda and distinguish between literal meanings and metaphors.     First thing to do is make a distinction between horns and antlers because there is a difference. Antlers are the bony branched structures found on animals of the Cervidal family, such as deer and moose. With the exception of the reindeer, antlers are grown only by the male of the species and they are shed and regrown every year. It is this cycle of shedding and regrowing of antlers that connect them to fertility and rebirth. Archaeological evidence for the mystical connection humans have with antlers has been found as far back as the Paleolithic period. The Mal'ta people of Siberia used reindeer antlers to make the roofs of their houses. This very ancient culture left many drawings and artifacts behind that show they were a very shamanic culture and the horns were probably used to magnify this. In Babylonian star lore and astrology, which is one of the most ancient astrology systems known, the stag is thought to be one of the oldest constellations still visible in our modern skies. To the Babylonians, the celestial stag is associated with the sun and fire. His antlers represent rays of sunlight and the annual regrowth symbolize the rebirth of the sun after the winter solstice. In Norse cosmology, a stag sits near the top of the world tree and sacred mead drips from his antlers to feed the tree. Also, the Greeks refer to the constellation of Hercules as the stag. When we see antler horned gods they usually are associated with fertility, nature, sexual\creative energy, and earth magic. Like the mysterious Celtic nature god, Cernunnos who has become associated with Wicca. The Norse\Germanic god Freyr with his stag horns and huge erect phallus is god of war, fertility, and pure masculine creative energy. For this reason as you can imagine Christianity was horrified by these things and demonized them. The Roman goddess Diana and Greek Artemis didn't have horns themselves but were associated with the deer. They are goddesses of the hunt, the moon, and birthing... all things wild. Yet another thing the current powerful religions absolutely hate is strong, powerful wild women. All and all antlers represent the power of the earth, birth, rebirth, and earth magic.. oooh so scary and evil. So now on to true horns which are a bit more complicated, and I think more interesting. Horns are found on all animal species of Bovidae (cows, sheep, goats, etc.) both male and female have them but the males horns are usually bigger. Horns are permanent; they don't shed and regrow. They are attached to the animals scull by a bony core wrapped in keratin that grows with the animal throughout its' entire life. Past the core, they are hollow and they come in all different shapes from curly to poled and pointed. Because they are hollow, they made for excellent blowing instruments and drinking horns. The bigger, older and more fierce the animal was, the bigger its' horns would have been. Hence these horns were prized as trophies to the people of the hunting cultures as one might imagine. These trophies were passed down from generation to generation to generation and they usually marked the family as the leader of the tribe or clan because obviously only the strongest, most cunning and wisest warriors could become the tribe leader which eventually lead to the lines of kings. I guess size has really always mattered guys. The horns were also worn as headdresses or crowns and sometimes drinking horns were covered with gold and encrusted with jewels and inscribed with runes or symbols. There are three types of horns that are seen the most repeatedly throughout history and in most cultures; the cow and bull, the ram, and the goat.     Many cultures use the cosmic cow goddess in their creation myths, possibly even the Genesis myth in its' original form, and of course there is the constellation of Taurus the Bull. According to DNA studies, all cows, bulls, and oxen (oxen are a domesticated, castrated bull descendant) originated from the now extinct, wild aurochs. The aurochs was a enormous and fearsome animal that roamed all of Europe and Asia for thousands of years. The Norse\Germanic legends still carry folktales of the rite of passage initiation of the wild aurochs hunt, very similar to the Native American buffalo lore. The Aurochs cow (female) and bull (male) were so connected with the creation of the universe that the first two runes in the Elder Futhark are dedicated to them. The word rune means "secret" and the 24 runestaves of the Elder Futhark is said to be, when understood, the secret to the entire sequence of the universe. The Egyptian Goddesses Isis and Hathor both are depicted with cow horns connecting them with creation, the moon, and motherly energy. One of the most notorious ancient gods Moloch, was a bull horned god worshiped by the ancient Canaanites, Phoenicians, Carthaginians, and most of the Eastern Mediterranean. His name has a root that in the Semitic languages means "king". In other languages his name literally means "milk". The shape of the bull horns are similar to the crescent moon so he is considered to be both a solar and lunar god. According to the enemies of the bull god, sacrifices to him were made by roasting people inside a brass bull figure. Although, this was only told about by the people who destroyed the people who worshiped him and very little real evidence has been found to prove this. It is well known that The Brazen Bull was a favorite torture device that seemed to copy these supposed sacrifices. This horrible torture was used up into the middle ages in Europe. The bull represented fire and heat of the sun, thunder, and the fertile sky. Later in history he became symbolic for lust, stubbornness, tyranny, and (believe it or not) the "Devil". The god Enlil was also considered the bull of heaven and his son, Sin, the moon god, rode on a winged bull. You can see how all this symbolism gets distorted over the course of history. The difference between good and bad really depended on who's team you were on.     Now, the goat and ram horns are seen as interchangeable in most mythologies and the animals are closely related. The big differences between them are that the goat is more curious and intelligent than the sheep (a ram being an adult male sheep). Goats don't flock like sheep; they climb trees and have incredible balance. If an intruder comes into their space they will turn and face it head on, where as rams would rather avoid conflict. Both animals are considered "clean" to the Jews and they used the horns to make their ancient ritual horn, the shofar. The actual word RAM in Hebrew means, "Exalted" and there are many other examples that show us that the word and sound itself was very important. For instance, in Eastern tradition there is the Mantra Ram (Rahh-mm). Mantra in itself meaning "sacred sound".     There are many, many stories of gods with these types of horns. The first one that we have a written record of is Enki, the master shaper of the world, god of wisdom, and all magic. He is usually seen with the horned crown of divinity and his symbol is the goatfish constellation (which could be associated with the modern day Zodiac sign of Pisces, which also relates to water). Other important gods who had these horns were the Egyptian, Ra Ammon (notice the combination of his name also sounds like the word ram); in Carthage and North Africa, Ba'al Hamon or Ba'al Qurnaim, Osiris, Utu, sometimes Zeus, Mercury, Jupiter, Odin and the Persian bad guy, Ahriman. After Alexander the Great conquered Egypt in 332 BC, he made a visit to the Oracle of Ammon in the Libyan Desert, and supposedly, the oracle told him he was the son of Zeus, and afterwards he became known as the "two horned one". Coins minted after this time show him wearing the "Horn of Ammon" crown. According to written records, it seems that Alexander really believed that the oracle was right and that he was a god, as we know that he founded a dynasty on this claim. This is why Cleopatra of Egypt, later claimed to be the goddess Isis because she was a descendant of Alexander and therefore of the royal line of the gods. We can clearly see that horns in the ancient world were considered a sign of kingship, divinity, and wisdom. Even as the "Emperor Card" in the tarot shows the emperor seated with horned rams' heads on the four corners of his thrown signifying his divine power brought into the physical realm. It really begins to get interesting when we see that one of the most famous masterpieces of Michelangelo, sculpted in the year 1515 and housed in the church of San Pietro in Rome, very clearly depicts Moses with horns. He wasn't the only renaissance artist to depict Moses this way either. During this time it seems to have been normal and accepted to see the great Jewish holy man, Moses, displaying horns coming out of his head, as this beautiful statue of Michelangelo's immediately became a favorite holy site for the Jewish people. It is very strange because the Roman Catholic Church had been depicting "Satan" or the "Devil" with horns in their religious illustrations since at least the 13th century. The modern excuse for this is that Michelangelo and the other great artists of the time, made a "mistake" because of a misinterpretation of the Book of Exodus and Pope Julius II, who commissioned this statue for his tomb, was ok with this "devil horned" Moses.     To make things even more interesting, in 1587, a Venetian anatomist named Julius Caesar Aranzi, identified a body part in the brain of humans. He named this body part the Hippocampus or the "Ammon's Horn". He named it this because it looked to him like the depictions of the "horse headed", "fish tailed" horses that pulled Poseidon's chariot. Poseidon himself in early depictions had horns (and as we know, he was the "God of the Sea" which keep in mind, throws a connection with water in the mix). It also just so happens that humans have two hippocampi, one on each side of the brain just behind the ears, anatomically resembling horns. It seems then that every human has what appear to be horns inside our brains. Although it wasn't until recently that the function of this body part was known. What we now know is that our horns or Hippocampos is the main control center for our "emotional brain" which means it controls involuntary emotional behavior such as fear, anger, and affection. It is also involved in the processes of learning and memory and it is now known that long term stress and fear causes damage to the Hippocampus which is the cause of the disease now known as Alzheimer's. A severe injury to both Hippocampi would cause severe permanent amnesia. You will have to decide for yourself if you think all of this is a coincidence, but my opinion is that the Religious establishment was well aware of this knowledge and so was the ancient world, but around the time following the Renaissance information was changed, hidden, and lost to the vaults of the Vatican. They created a fear campaign using the Inquisition and the association of the divine horns with their mythical creature, the Devil. Here is an example of one reference to horns used in the bible, in Psalm 75:10.... " I will cut off the horns of all the wicked, but the horns of the righteous will be lifted up.” This doesn't sound like they thought of horns as an evil thing that belonged only to Satan and evil pagan idols. Jesus himself is called, "the lamb of god", and doesn't that make him, basically, the son of a Ram and when he grows up he will have the horns of a ram also?     Then there is Baphomet. Who is he and how does he tie into the horn theme?......That's a good question. The actual name Baphomet first shows up in 1098 in a chronicle of the first crusade where it was mistaken for the Mosques Bafumarias and a battle cry that the Knights Templars used when they were attacking the gates. Of course, this was used against them when the Templars fell out of favor and said to be an idol or deity that the Templars worshiped. From there on it was incorporated into occult and mystical traditions. There is little to no evidence that there ever existed a deity name Baphomet. The Baphomet symbol became well known in the 1850's when Eliphas Levi wrote his book Transcendental Magic (actually a combination of 2 books). Eliphas' drawing of "the Sabbatic Goat" has ever since become associated with Baphomet. Later on, the church of Satan picked it up and it forever became connected with Satanism. This symbol of horns, and Baphomet is being thrown around a lot these days mostly to create an unconscious fear\stress response so that our own Hippocampus\Ammon's horn become damaged and we won't be able to use them to remember the truth about who and what we are and how powerful we are. That truth is that as humans we are all descendants of gods and most of what we were taught to believe are lies specifically engineered to make us forget who we really are. The purpose of demonizing the culture of our ancestors, and instilling in us the beliefs that we are superior to them, is all part of the plan to make sure that we never wake up. Our ancestors have left us with all the pieces of the puzzle, and now all we have to do is figure out how to put them together.
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