Horned God ~ Wiccan Lord of Death and Resurrection
Glam & Ritual photos by J. Morgan / In Process photos by C. Pennington
The Horned God and the Star Goddess were created for a ritual Jamie Morgan and I wrote for Pantheacon 2009 called “A Walk in the Garden”
To get things started, the Horned Lord got a two tone painted job with vinyl spray paint to give him a “live” side and a “dead” side. Then he lost both his right arm and right foot in quick succession, only to have them replaced with plastic skeleton versions. To the “dead” torso I added a rib cage in front and half of a spinal column in back all made from paper clay and painted with acrylic paints and sealed with a matte finish varnish.
Then I promptly lost his head. I kid you not. I lost his head. This turned in to a good thing as it forced me to stretch my wings as an artist and steal one last piece from the demo skeleton – its head, on to which I sculpted the god’s face on only one side.
Next I worked on his lower half. Being a Lord of Death and Resurection we had to have the conversation about “equipment” and how THAT was going to look and work with half his body being dead. Why yes, I do have these kinds of conversations with my dolls, doesn’t everyone?? We opted for “dressing” to the living side and withering one ball sac on the other… oh the conversations I get to have.
For the legs, I wrapped his “dead” leg in wet grey suede and bound it in place with cords over textural elements.
Once the leather dried I coated it with several layers of high gloss varnish to give it the oily effect that some bodies have after mummification in a bog or dry cave. There is a sense that under the ripples of the contorted, and now shinny leather, you can feel the remaining bone of the dead man’s leg.
His living side got a copper linen pant leg sewn on. Then I used green raw hide to wrap holly and willow branches around the leg and up to his torso. In and around this I added flowers and greenery and finally lichen and stones. His living foot got an additional paint job to look more dirt covered, then stones glued over that, and finally copper threads were woven in to represent the thinnest of roots reaching down into the ground.
For the antlers I had to punch holes into this lovely sculpted skull and then make the dang things not only stand up, but stay put! The antlers themselves are modeled after those of a White Tailed deer and made on a wire armature covered with cloth and then paper clay and paint. On the “living” side I used garment weight suede to replicate the “velvet” that stags carry in early spring. The antler on the “dead” side has already lost its velvet and so represents a later stage of the stag’s life cycle.
In some versions of Wiccan mythology the Horned Lord is seen as the God of Death and Resurrection. By this we mean that like the plants and animals that are associated with Him, he lives his most vibrant and obvious life during the ripe warm days of fertile summer, dies during the rain and snow of winter and is reborn each spring with the kiss of the Goddess.