Bull bison in blizzard,
photo by Tom and Pat Leeson.
There is nothing of lightness in this ancient divinity, nothing of air, water or fire.
He is primal force. Blood of the earth.
On this continent, we are inclined to think of the bison, the buffalo of the plains as an entirely North American totemic.
We do not hear his bellow under the knife of the Persian Mithras; we ignore his thunder in Crete; we mistake the Minos dance of death for one of grace and skill and circuses.
We may think that Zeus's shapeshifting was merely an early version of a Facebook dating con.
We are misled by milleniums of taurine domestication of his cousins.
Materializing in the forest shadows of primordial Europe, the auroch, as he is sometimes named, must have struck awe among neolithic animists, and so they made him a god.
Not one set safely in the distant sky. Remote, removed. From thongs and torn flesh and trampled, gore-splattered grass.
To be sacrificed to, not made a sacrifice of.
In building our worlds and constructing our mythologies, we sometimes fail to go back far enough -- to when Horning may have been a literal and ceremonial fact.
We fail to hear the screaming.