Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Cernnunos, a nature and fertility god, has appeared in a multitude of forms and made himself known by many names to nearly every culture throughout time. He is perhaps best known to us now in his Celtic aspects of the untamed Horned God of the Animals and the leaf-covered Green Man, Guardian of the Green World, but He is much older. Cernnunos worked his magic when the first humans were becoming. Our prehistoric ancestors knew him as a shape-shifting, shamanic god of the Hunt. He is painted in caves and carved everywhere, on cliffs, stones, even in the Earth Herself. Humans sought to commune with Him and receive his power and that of his animal children by dressing themselves in skins and skulls, adorning themselves with feathers and bones, by dancing His dance. Yet He is older still. In the time of the dinosaurs, the great swamps and subtropical forests of cycads, seed ferns and conifers, and later in the time of the deciduous plants and flowers, when the pollinators came and the first tiny mammals were creeping up from beneath the ground, Cernnunos was the difference and diversity of life, the frenzy and ferment of evolution. But, He is much older still. He is oldest of the Ancient Ones, first born of the Goddess. At the time of First Earth, Cernnunos grew in the womb of the All Mother, Anu, waiting to be born, to come forth to initiate the everlasting, unbroken Circle of Life.

For the rest see,'s "Cernnunos"
Cernunnos / Herne the Hunter
Celtic (Gaulish / British)

This god's name literally means Horned One in Latin, and much of his Wiccan popularity stems from the fact that he and the more general Horned God are nearly one and the same.

It is frequently mentioned how major a god Cernunnos was in the Celtic pantheon. However, this is based on artwork, not literary sources. There is, in fact, only one known actual mention of Cernunnos in history - his name is inscribed above the head and shoulders of a stag-horned figure from ancient Gaul. The presumption of his widespread cult comes from the multitude of images similar to this monument.

The named, Gaulish figure is of a balding, bearded, elderly god. Other depictions display a variety of ages. He is usually bearded, although the most well known image of him on the Gundestrup Cauldron (reproduced at left) features him clean-shaven. He frequently holds or wears (or both) a torque, a symbol of authority and nobility.

He is frequently accompanied in depiction by a ram-horned snake. Across mythologies the snake is identified again and again with knowledge, everywhere from the Greek caduceus to the Biblical Tree of Knowledge.

Lord of the Hunt - Always bearing the horns of a stag, Cernunnos is identified him with the hunted, which in turn identifies him as hunter as well - shamanistic practices across the world bear witness to the concept that in order to catch your prey, you must identify in spirit with the prey.

God of Sexuality, Fertility, and Abundance - Stags are sexually aggressive creatures, and the antlers can certainly be considered phallic, marking Cernunnos as a god of fertility and abundance. This aspect is represented in other symbolism as well: cornucopiae, fruit, grain and coins.

Lord of the Underworld - Along with knowledge, the serpent is also a frequent symbol of death. The cycle of hunter and hunted of course intimately revolves around death and life from death. As Herne the Hunter, generally considered to be the British Celtic version the same figure, he is the leader of the Wild Hunt.

From: Here
"The Horned One" is a Celtic god of fertility, life, animals, wealth, and the underworld. He was worshipped all over Gaul, and his cult spread into Britain as well. Cernunnos is depicted with the antlers of a stag, sometimes carries a purse filled with coin. The Horned God is born at the winter solstice, marries the goddess at Beltane, and dies at the summer solstice. He alternates with the goddess of the moon in ruling over life and death, continuing the cycle of death, rebirth and reincarnation.

Paleolithic cave paintings found in France that depict a stag standing upright or a man dressed in stag costume seem to indicate that Cernunnos' origins date to those times. Romans sometimes portrayed him with three cranes flying above his head. Known to the Druids as Hu Gadarn. God of the underworld and astral planes. The consort of the great goddess. He was often depicted holding a bag of money, or accompanied by a ram-headed serpent and a stag. Most notably is the famous Gundestrup cauldron discovered in Denmark.

From: here
The depictions of Cernunnos are strikingly consistent throughout the Celtic world. His most distinctive attribute are his stag's horns, and he is usually portrayed as a mature man with long hair and a beard. He wears a torc, an ornate neck-ring used by the Celts to denote nobility. He often carries other torcs in his hands or hanging from his horns, as well as a purse filled with coins. He is usually portrayed seated and cross-legged, in a position which some have interpreted as meditative or shamanic, although it may only reflect the fact that the Celts squatted on the ground when hunting.

Cernunnos is nearly always portrayed with animals, in particular the stag. He is also frequently associated with a unique beast that seems to belong primarily to him: a serpent with the horns of a ram. This creature may have been a deity in its own right. He is associated with other beasts less frequently, including bulls (at Rheims), dogs, and rats. Because of his frequent association with creatures, scholars often describe Cernunnos as the "Lord of the Animals" or the "Lord of Wild Things", and Miranda Green describes him as a "peaceful god of nature and fruitfulness".[5] Because of his association with stags (a particularly hunted beast) he is also described as the "Lord of the Hunt".[citation needed] Interestingly, the Pilier des nautes links him with sailors and with commerce, suggesting that he was also associated with material wealth as does the coin pouch from the Cernunnos of Rheims (Marne, Champagne, France)—in antiquity, Durocortorum, the civitas capital of the Remi tribe—and the stag vomiting coins from Niedercorn-Turbelslach (Luxembourg) in the lands of the Treveri. The god may have symbolised the fecundity of the stag-inhabited forest.

For the rest, see Wiki's article: here
The Gaulish and Cymric God, also known as Cernunnos, Cernenus, Karnonos: The Hornéd One

Cernwn (Cernunnos, Cernenus, Karnonos) is a Gaulish and Cymric god known from two inscriptions from France and one from Germany as well as many images across the Celtic world. He is the classic stag-horned god of Celtic mythos who survives in Welsh folklore as Cernwn.

Cernunnos is one of the paradoxes of Celtic studies. The image of the cross-legged stag-horned deity with the ram-horned serpent is probably an archetypal image of a Celtic god. However this association of image and name comes from a single carved image discovered in Paris and generated by sailors from the Gallic Parisii tribe (from whom Paris got its name) in the 1st century CE, by which time Gaul (modern France) had become a Roman province. The earliest image of the same type that has, as yet, been found was carved on rock in Val Camonica, Northern Italy in the 4th century BCE. Even the interpretation of the name as Cernunnos was in doubt (the original inscription reading ERNUNNOS) until a second inscription representing the same name was found at Polenza, Italy. A variant of the name, Cernenus was discovered on an inscription at Verespatak, Rumania where he is equated with the Roman Jupiter.

For the rest,'s article: here
Cernunnous was the Horned God of the Celts. He was associated with the hunt and fertility. Occasionally he was portrayed with serpent legs, torso of a man, a head of a bull or ram, or shown with stags wearing antlers. The name Cernunnous means horned.

He is the lord of life, death and the underworld. Being the Sun to the Goddess of the Moon as he alternates with her in ruling over life and death. With her he cooperates in continuing the cycle of life, death and rebirth, or reincarnation.

His own life is said to be circular. The Horned God is born at the winter solstice, marries with the Goddess at Beltane (May 1), and dies at the summer solstice. His death represents a sacrifice to life.

The Horned God's origin possibly dates back to Paleolithic times, as evidenced by a ritualistic cave drawing found in the Caverne des Trois Freres at Ariege, France. The picture is with one of a stag standing upright on its hind legs, or a man dressed in a stag costume performing a dance. The wearing animal clothes in rituals to secure game was practiced in Europe for thousands of years.

He was worshipped by the Romans and Gauls who portrayed him with a triple head. Sometimes the Romans depicted him with three cranes flying above his head.

Other deities associated with, or others have claimed them to be representative of, Cernunnous, the Horned God, are Herne the Hunter, a ghost of Britian; Pan, the Greek god of the woodlands; Janus, the Roman god of good beginnings with his two faces looking in opposite directions representing youth and age, and life and death; Tammuz and Damuzi, the son- lover-consorts of Ishtar and Inanna; Osiris, the Egyptian lord of the underworld; and Dionysus, the Greek god of vegetation and the vine, whose cult observed rites of dismemberment and resurrection."

The Celtic god Esus was analogous to Cernunnous. Similarly the animal of Esus was the bull. Esus was sometimes identified with Cernunnous who appears on the Gundestrup Cauldron. Supposedly Esus was also ruler of the underworld, but this did not keep his worshippers from considering him to be a god of plenty and portraying him holding a sack of coins.

Most frequently whenever Cernunnous was depicted or portrayed, he was shown as an animal, usually a stag, or surrounded by animals as he is depicted on the Gundestrup Cauldron seated in a lotus position. This was seen as appropriate as he was the god of the hunt and fertility. He was also the ruler and protector of the animal kingdom. He is often seen holding a ram-headed serpent.

In the Welsh tale "Owain" his role as a herdsman-god and a benign keeper of the forest is told. Here he summons all the animals to him through the belling of a stag. All the animals even serpents obediently came to him "as humble subjects would do to their lord."

Some feel that the honoring of Cernunnous even continued in the early Christian era. Many of the early ascetics still had pre-Christian longings for nature. To substantiate this there is the account of Saint Ciaran of Saighir. This humble man went into the wilderness to establish a cell that would eventually become a monastery. A boar came, seeing the man he was terrified, but later returned and was submissive to the man of God. Saint Ciaran considered the boar his first monk. The boar was later joined by a fox, a badger, a wolf and a stag. These animals left their liars to join the community.

There are other tales such as this one that give rise to suspicions they caused early Christian writers and artists to associate Cernunnous with Satan. Although some Christians never lost their love of nature. Saint Francis of Assisi is well known for his love of animals and birds.

Cernunnous is still honored in some modern Druid organizations, in Neo-pagan witchcraft and by the Church of All Worlds. A.G.H.

From: here

Other Sites:

Neo-Pagan site about him & Horned God
Cernunnos, the Stag Lord
Wiccan invocation
Cernunnos, The Horned God

Cernunnos, Ancient Celtic God
Prayer to Cernunnos
Who is Cernunnos?

Cernunnos pendant
Statue for purchase: Kernummos of St Germain 4"

Related Sites:
Wiki: The Green Man

The Green Man: Variations on a Theme
The name of the Green Man
MythingLinks: Green Man

Wiki: Herne the Hunter
Mystical Worldwide Web: The Legend of Herne the Hunter

The Horned God
The Great Horned God
The Horned God - Pagan

And threads on MW:
Cernunnos's real name?
Herne/Cernunnos paired with Brigid
Cernunnos By FireWind
Cernunnos and the Green Man
Consort to Cernunnos
Cernunnos and his... who's this!?
Im looking for "poetic" info on cernunnos...
Greenman... Roman, not Celtic?
"Cernunnos", Consort of ???
Uindos / Cernunnos connection?
curnunnos scared me!!!
Horned God.
The Horned One
The Horned God
Invocation of the Horned God and White Goddess
The Oak King

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