Saturday, September 25, 2010

Cernic Rite video

This entry is in regards to the new Cernic Rite video on the Padanian-American League blog. We don't like to duplicate posts between blogs, and the video seemed more appropriate within the entire Gaulic concept, rather than only for Camunian heritage.

Because the Cernic tradition was such a big part of the Val Camonica, we always need to look at any move in this area. The video came out fairly well, with a great "Celtiberian" musical score entitled 'Lacrimae Lugus' by the Celto-Pagan Black Metal band the Crystalmoors from Cantabria, Spain. Lugus was an ancient Gallo-Celtic deity.

The video showed what was possible with some simple footage and a couple of simple props. It starts out with with some late-day footage of a wooded trail for two or three minutes, which was broken up with a couple of images of a real wild cat taken there. The fact that the cat was black with glowing eyes added to the video.

Next was some footage taken at almost twilight inside a dark heavily wooded walkway along a mountainside, which lasted a little over a minute. The lack of light gave it sort of a Black Forest effect. Actually it wasn't quite that dark, but it looked like it was from an old European horror film. The mountains in the distance weren't very visible due to the position of the sun and the dark overgrowth.

The third part, taken at twilight, was of some silvery Celtic-looking standing stones in a circle. The video shows the circle with the hills in the background, and the still visible sun just before dropping under the distant mountain. Totally unplanned, one single ray of sunbeam (at least from the camera perspective) pointed directly at the tallest stone, then the camera focuses in on a pendant of Cernunnos which was placed upon the top of that stone. That was a pleasant surprise.

The footage was then broken up by several striking images of the twilight landscape. After that, footage of tall trees against the dark twilight sky facing straight upwards, then spinning in a circle. It's easy to forget just how easy it is to get dizzy when a person spins in a circle like that. A slower spin would have done fine. This was followed by some footage of a walk through the tall trees which only came out marginally acceptable due to the lack of light, and thus the raw footage had to be cut down quite a bit.

Next some filming of the moon through the trees in a sideways direction while walking. Due to some fog and the lack of light, this wasn't as dramatic as hoped, and also had to be cut down. The footage was broken up by a few images, starting with a skunk. Only it's glowing eyes showed. There were a few flash images of the skunk, which were cut out. This was followed by a clear image of the moon through the trees.

What followed next was a scene of a flashlight in some dark woods which eventually illuminates a tree with a foot wide red Sun of the Alps symbol formed from red electrical tape. Those woods were so dark that the flashlight barely showed up, except when it was placed close to the tree trunk. The night, hills, trees, and foliage all blocked out any light. In other words, when the flashlight was turned off, there was almost 100% blackness. Sometimes, if there's some dense fog, the lights of the cities will illuminate the fog, which in turn illuminates the ground.

Following all that was a scene where the camera was coming out of the dark tunnel of brush into a grassy field, focusing and zeroing in on the moon. The tunnel effect didn't work due to the lack of light, but some good footage of the moon fighting its way through the clouds was obtained. Next were some images to brake up the footage a little. First was an image which was taken at the edge of the trail, back in civilization, of a white house cat. Only the eyes and some body outline showed up, which made the cat appear like an white owl. Actually there was much owl hooting along the trails, but it's very hard to get a picture of owls since they're rarely seen, so the ambiguous image was just left as "maybe an owl" for the viewer. Another image of the moon through the trees, and a more clear image of the Sun of the Alps PAL symbol on the tree, followed.

The video ends with the ending image of tree bark with a photo-shopped Sun of the Alps symbol and the words Padanian-American League on it. It finishes with about twenty-four seconds of the sound of night crickets, followed by about thirty-five seconds of sound from wind through the trees and a few occasional screeches from what were probably a few restless hawks perched in the trees. The video ends with one nice loud screech. Actually, the camera was rolling even though all you see is black.

Hopefully this was a fitting tribute to the Cernic tradition, which is often associated with the night forest. One can imagine, over literally thousands of years, life in the unspoiled Alpine forests. It should be noted that the Cernic tradition was part of the history of ancient Gaul, southern Germany/Switzerland/Austria, Cisalpine Gaul including into Tuscany where there was Celtic settlement, and surprisingly in a few parts of Scandinavia. Probably the most impressive and famous Cernic carvings is located on Gotland Island, which is a small island in the Baltic Sea. It would be interesting to look into Cernic influence in Iberia and the Slavic regions, and even down towards Greece. There were Celtic settlements in ancient Turkey. Apparently there was no Cernism in the British Iles.

Lastly, as mentioned, this Cernic tradition linked places like Val Camonica with Gotland Island. One item which deserves a little more study is the torc, which is depicted in the right hand of Cernunnos. Again, although usually associated with the Celts, the torc ties in with the heritage of all Cernic peoples. The famous Roman statue 'The Dying Gaul' depicts a dying Gaulic warrior, naked except for the torc around his neck.