Horns of Power: Manifestations of the Horned God
Editor: Sorita d'Este
Published 2008 by Avalonia Books
ISBN-10: 1905297173
ISBN-13: 978-1905297177
Paperback, 204 pages
List $24.99
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Reviewer: Mike Gleason

Who, or what, is the Horned God? Think you have an easy answer? Think again. This excellent book which contains essays from a variety of writers (and points of view) on the topic of the Horned God - and a few of the Horned Goddess - may change your perceptions and perspectives.

The presentations range from scholarly to mystical. There are illustrations scattered throughout which include photos and simple drawings.

The various authors present almost every possible point of view in ways which should snag your interest, even if you find you don't agree with them. They cover all the major horned gods of Europe, from Pan to Cernunnos, Herne to Gwynn ap Nudd, and they make sure to include some of the less familiar forms such as Veles (Slavic). Obviously, not all the mentioned deities are given an exhaustive examination - there simply isn't room for that in this short work - but that sets up the possibility of another such volume in the future (but then, I'm always hoping for things to develop into series).

There are occasional spelling and editing errors, which are a personal peeve of mine, but with few exceptions, I doubt that the casual reader will be inconvenienced by them.

I must admit that I found myself being consistently impressed by the works in this books. There were ideas and concepts which caused me to stop and think (and after decades of including the Horned God in my worship, I thought I had a pretty good understanding of him) and appreciate new angles

After learning some of the stories and mythologies associated with the concept, we move into the realms of rites and experiences. The one constant associated with these experiences is their very variety. No two individuals have the same take on what their experiences mean, or how they relate to them.

The book concludes with a few short pieces on Horned Goddesses, which is a concept which seems to have been forgotten among members of the modern Craft.

Since this book is an anthology of personal perceptions, experiences, and imagery it is a sure bet that you will find something to disagree with (I did); but disagreeing with another viewpoint doesn't make it WRONG, it merely makes it wrong for you. Even those things we disagree with can offer new germs of ideas.

While many of these accounts are intensely personal, and thus unverifiable, they offer insight into the interactions of "old" Pagans (the Greek Magical Papyri) as well as today's neo-Pagans. The experiences are both unique and universal, appealing to one and all, as do the deities they involve.

Avalonia Books has consistently presented well-written, informative books, and this books continues in that vein. My only regret is that I tend to overlook them on a consistent basis. I really need to put them on a list of sites to check on a regular basis so that I don't miss them any more. I suggest that you do the same.