Бог Кернуннос-Рогатый

Кельтская мифология в самых различных аспектах.

Модератор: Morag

Сообщение Morag » Ср июн 10, 2009 1:07 pm

про козлиного короля

Полагаю, это современная реконструкция и переработка более древних праздников, так сказать для соблюдения традиций и культурной самоценности народа.
Я слышу зов, похожий на крик,
Я вижу тени убитых птиц,
Мне снова нужен древний язык,
Потопом смытый с древних страниц... (Тэм)
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Сообщение Кассивелан » Ср июн 10, 2009 1:47 pm

Охотник, выдержки из разных статей вносят больше сумбура, чем передают информацию - неплохо бы подытожить - своими словами... 8)

- Откуда у Кернунна рогатая змея, и что она символизирует. Ведь это ни что иное, как неотъемлемый хтонический атрибут палеоевропейской Богини, изначально НЕ имеющий отношения к ИЕ Богам;
То, что змея символизирует мудрость - проблемы скорее восточной философии.

- Что символизирует олень - ведь ни олень, ни бык у индоевропейцев НЕ относились к Луне;
По поводу оленя - можно вспомнить тех же хеттов или скифов.

- В конце концов, из слияния и трансформации каких именно образов возник образ Кернунна?
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Сообщение Принцесса вереска » Чт июн 11, 2009 12:39 pm

Morag писал(а):про козлиного короля

Полагаю, это современная реконструкция и переработка более древних праздников, так сказать для соблюдения традиций и культурной самоценности народа.

Думаю, да, ведь ирландцы, как не парадоксально, до сих пор остаются в душе язычниками, хотя эта страна одна из самхы католических
Пусть у врагов Ирландии никогда не будет друзей.
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Сообщение pkindherows » Пт июн 12, 2009 3:03 pm

Существует МАССА исследований в англоязычном мире о Охотнике.
Вот первые примеры:
Britannica Concise Encyclopedia: Cernunnos

In Celtic religion, a deity worshiped as "lord of wild things." He wore stag antlers and sometimes carried a torque (sacred neck ornament). He was worshiped primarily in Britain, but there are also traces of his cult in Ireland. He is probably the source for the horned god that appears in Christian medieval manuscripts as a symbol of the Antichrist.

For more information on Cernunnos, visit Britannica.com.

Celtic Mythology: Cernunnos

[Latin, the horned one]

An important (perhaps principal) god of the Continental Celts, a lord of nature, animals, fruit, grain, and prosperity. He is portrayed as having a man's body and the horns of a stag; his figure is seen in a squatting position, and he wears or carries the sacred torc often associated with the Continental Celts. Although his name is known from only one inscription (and is there partially obliterated, ‘—ernunnos’), the evidence for Cernunnos' widespread worship is impressive; he is, for example, portrayed on the Gundestrup Cauldron. More than thirty other representations survive, dispersed from what is today Romania to Ireland. There are convincing traces of him in the literary traditions of both Wales and Ireland; and in later illuminated manuscripts, figures evoking Cernunnos are symbolic of devilish and anti-Christian forces. The Breton pseudo-saint Korneli, a patron of horned creatures, also shows traces of Cernunnos. In Gaulish representation he has a ram-headed servant. Julius Caesar identified him with the Roman god Dis Pater. Later commentators have sought to link him with Conall Cernach and the Hindu Pashupati, a ‘lord of the beasts’. His posture has also been compared to that of Buddha, but it may only reflect the fact that Continental Celts squatted on the floor and did not use chairs.

P. B. Bober, “‘Cernunnos: Origin and Transformation of a Celtic Divinity’”, American Journal of Archaeology, 55 (1951), 13–51
also the dissertation of Dorothea Kenny, “‘Cernunnos’”(UCLA, 1975), Dissertation Abstracts, 36 (1975), 3016A

Depiction of Cernunnos from the Pilier des nautes, Paris, France.

Cernunnos (also Cernenus[1]) is a pagan Celtic god whose representations were widespread in the ancient Celtic lands of western Europe. As a horned god, Cernunnos is associated with horned male animals, especially stags and the ram-horned snake; this and other attributes associate him with produce and fertility.[2] Cernunnos is also associated mainly as the God of the Underworld.

Everything that we know about this deity comes from two inscriptions from France, one from Germany.[3]Contents [hide]
1 Evidence
2 Etymological derivations
3 Iconography
4 Neopaganism
5 Popular culture
6 Notes
7 See also
8 External links

Cernunnos was proposed to have been identified as the illustration on the Snake-witch picture stone, which shows a possibly horned figure holding snakes in his/her hands, from Gotland, Sweden.[citation needed]

Cernunnos was proposed to have been identified as the illustration on the Snake-witch picture stone, which shows a possibly horned figure holding snakes in his/her hands, from Gotland, Sweden.[citation needed]

Archaeological sources such as inscriptions and depictions from Gaul and Northern Italy (Gallia Cisalpina) have been used to define Cernunnos.

The first artifact found to identify Cernunnos was the "Pillar of the Boatmen" (Pilier des nautes), a monument now displayed in the Musée National du Moyen Age in Paris. It was constructed by Gaulish sailors in the early first century CE, from the inscription (CIL XIII number 03026) probably in the year 14, on the accession of the emperor Tiberius. It was found in 1710 in the foundations of the cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris on the site of Lutetia, the civitas capital of the Celtic Parisii tribe. It depicts Cernunnos and other Celtic deities alongside Roman divinities such as Jupiter, Vulcan, Castor, and Pollux, a combination suggestive of a Gallo-Roman religion.

On the Parisii inscription [_]ernunnos, the first letter of the name has been scraped off at some point, but can safely be restituted to "Cernunnos" because of the depiction of an antlers in the image below the name and that in Gaulish, carnon or cernon means "antler" or "horn".[4]

Additional evidence is given by two identical inscriptions on metal plaques from Steinsel-Rëlent in Luxembourg, in the territory of the Celtic Treveri tribe. These inscriptions (AE 1987, 0772) read Deo Ceruninco, "to the God Cerunincos". Lastly, a Gaulish inscription (RIG 1, number G-224) written in Greek letters from Montagnac (Hérault, Languedoc-Roussilion, France) reads αλλετ[ει]υος καρνονου αλ[ι]σο[ντ]εας thus giving the name "Carnonos".

Several images without inscriptions are thought to represent Cernunnos. The earliest known probable depiction of Cernunnos was found at Val Camonica in Italy, dating from the 4th century BC, while the best known depiction is on the Gundestrup cauldron found on Jutland, dating to the 1st century BC. The Cauldron was likely to have been stolen by the Germanic Cimbri tribe or another tribe that inhabited Jutland as it originated from south east Europe.

God of Etang-sur-Arroux, a possible depiction of Cernunnos. He wears a torc at the neck and on the chest. Two snakes with ram heads encircle him at the waist. Two cavities at the top of his head are probably designed to receive deer horns. Two small human faces at the back of his head indicate that he is tricephalic. Musée d'Archéologie Nationale.
Etymological derivations

God of Etang-sur-Arroux, a possible depiction of Cernunnos. He wears a torc at the neck and on the chest. Two snakes with ram heads encircle him at the waist. Two cavities at the top of his head are probably designed to receive deer horns. Two small human faces at the back of his head indicate that he is tricephalic. Musée d'Archéologie Nationale.

Cern means "horn" or "bumb, boss" in Old Irish and is etymologically related to similar words carn in Welsh and Breton, and is the probable derivation of "Kernow" (Cornwall), meaning horn'[of land]'. These are thought by some linguists to derive from a Proto-Indo-European root *krno- which also gave the Latin cornu and Germanic *hurnaz (from which English "horn") (Nussbaum 1986) (Porkorny 1959 pp.574-576).

The same Gaulish root is found in the names of tribes such as the Carnutes, Carni, and Carnonacae and in the name of the Gaulish war trumpet, the carnyx. The Proto-Celtic form of this theonym is reconstructed as either *Cerno-on-os or *Carno-on-os, both meaning "great horned one". (The augmentative -on- is frequently, but not exclusively, found in theonyms, for example: Map-on-os, Ep-on-a, Matr-on-ae, Sir-on-a.)

Kernunnos in Capo di Ponte, Val Camonica

Kernunnos in Capo di Ponte, Val Camonica

The depictions of Cernunnos are strikingly consistent throughout the Celtic world.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed]

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.


In Wicca and derived forms of Neopaganism a Horned God is revered, a divinity which syncretises a number of horned or antlered gods from various cultures, including Cernunnos. The Horned God reflects the seasons of the year in an annual cycle of life, death and rebirth.[6]

In the tradition of Gardnerian Wicca, the Horned God is sometimes specifically referred to as Cernunnos, or sometimes also as Kernunno[7].

Modern Druidry, which derives from Celtic culture, honors Cernunnos in his ancient Celto-European form as the guardian of the forests, the defender of the animal tuatha (tribes), the source of the deep forest wisdom, and the masculine half of creative energy. His restorative work in the cycle of the year is particularly celebrated at Beltaine, and is often paired with one or another of the female deities in her maiden aspect. Druids may call upon him in reference to vital, non-violent masculine divinity.

Popular culture

Cernunnos has been used both as a reference point and plot device in various forms of popular culture. In games, he appears in .hack//G.U., while a similar entity called Cenarius exists in the fictional Warcraft universe.

Cernunnos appears in various forms in fantasy novels. He features in David Gemmell's Stormrider, Guy Gavriel Kay's The Fionavar Tapestry. Mark Chadbourn's The Age of Misrule, The Dark Age and Kingdom of the Serpent series all feature Cernunnos, while in the Deverry cycle of Katherine Kerr, the author mentions the deity by the name of Kerun, an ancient and almost forgotten god of hunting. He Also appears in the novel "The Dark Is Rising" by Susan Cooper.

On the popular television show Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Hercules encountered and fought the god after landing on the island of "Eire".

A Celtic-based incarnation of Cernunnos appears in the 2007 horror novel "The Horns Of Evangelina" by author Chuck Morgue

In the comic book series Cry For Dawn by Joseph Michael Linsner, Cernunnos is one of the central figures throughout the series and is often depicted moreso as a god of death. Dawn (comics) was a spinoff series wherein the flame haired heroine continued her adventures as the lover of Cernunnos.

In Hayao Miyazaki's "Princess Mononoke" (Mononoke-hime, もののけ姫), a 1997 Japanese animated historical fantasy feature film, the Cernunnos figure is displayed as the ancient guardian of the forest, known as the Forest Spirit (Shishigami, (シシ神 ?). During the day, the Forest Spirit takes the form of a deer-like kirin, who blooms flowers in his footsteps, though quickly withering and dying with each moment. As he is described as a "god of life and death", it is claimed that the forest spirit cannot die, as it is the embodiment of Life as well as Death, and as such is capable of both giving life and taking it away, which includes the healing of wounds. At sunset, the Forest Spirit becomes the Nightwalker (Daidarabotchi), a huge god in a humanoid form that appears to be made out of stars and blends into the night sky itself.

^ http://www.celtnet.org.uk/gods_c/cernwn.html - variant of the name, Cernenus was discovered ...
^ Green, Miranda (1992). Animals in Celtic Life and Myth. Routledge. pp. 227–8.
^ http://www.celtnet.org.uk/gods_c/cernwn.html
^ Delmarre, 1987 pp. 106-107
^ Green, Miranda (1992) Animals in Celtic Life and Myth, p. 228.
^ Farrar, Stewart & Janet, Eight Sabbats for Witches
^ The Rebirth of Witchcraft, Doreen Valiente, page 52-53
Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum (CIL) volume 13, number 03026
Delmarre, Xavier (2003) Dictionnaire de la langue gauloise (2nd ed.) Paris: Editions Errance. ISBN 2-87772-237-6
Lejeune, Michel (1995) Recueil des inscriptions gauloises (RIG) volume 1, Textes gallo-grecs. Paris: Editions du CNRS
Nussbaum, Alan J. (1986) Head and Horn in Indo-European, Berlin, New York: Walter de Gruyter. ISBN 3-11-010449-0
Porkorny, Julius (1959) Indogermanisches etymologisches Wörterbuch Berlin: Franke Verlag
Celtic deity
(Celtic: “Horned One”)

in Celtic religion, an archaic and powerful deity, widely worshipped as the “lord of wild things.” Cernunnos may have had a variety of names in different parts of the Celtic world, but his attributes were generally consistent. He wore stag antlers and was sometimes accompanied by a stag and by a sacred ram-horned serpent that was also a deity in its own right. He wore and sometimes also held a torque, the sacred neck ornament of Celtic gods and heroes. The earliest known depictions of Cernunnos were found at Val Camonica, in northern Italy, which was under Celtic occupation from about 400 bc. He was also portrayed on the Gundestrup Caldron, a silver ritual vessel found at Gundestrup in Jutland, Den., and dating to about the 1st century bc.

Cernunnos was worshipped primarily in Britain, although there are also traces of his cult in Ireland. The Christian Church strongly opposed him because of his powerful pagan influence. He was used as a symbol of the Antichrist and as such figured in Christian iconography and medieval manuscripts.


MLA Style:
"Cernunnos." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2009. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 12 Jun. 2009 <http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/103578/Cernunnos>.

Cernunnos: The Horned One

At the dawn of pre-history, it is said, humanity worshiped a Goddess who often co-existed with a male Deity, sometimes depicted with horns. Such figures represent humanity's elemental search for survival and meaning in mortality, a relentless quest for unity with the divine and the interdependent nature of the existential web.
[102k jpg of image at right]

The present text is intended to introduce students unfamiliar with the concept of the Horned God to an archetype which repeats itself in many ancient religions. Though later demonized by conquering Christian invaders from Rome and elsewhere, among the indigenous peoples of the European mainland, Britain and Ireland, the Horned God personified a manly affinity with the animal kingdom. His relevance in today's society is also increasingly being recognized.

One of the earliest representations of a Horned God in a purely Celtic context, according to Morning Glory Zell (1991), is a rock carving from Val Camonica in northern Italy. The God is portrayed standing upright wearing a long garment and carrying a torc, the collar-shaped necklace of divine authority. As is common, he is accompanied by a horned serpent and a male worshiper. These symbols foreshadow a combination of identifying features--antlers, torc, horned serpent and other animals--recognizable in later period artwork. Subsequent images often show the Horned God seated in a half-lotus position familiar to yogis.

The name Cernunnos has come down to us through a stone relief carving from the Gallo-Roman period which was unearthed in Paris of a God with antlers, upon each of which hangs a torc. In the collection of the Cluny Museum in Paris, the stone bears the clearly legible inscription CERNUNNOS in Roman letters above the God's face. But it would be a mistake to identify all horned gods as Cernunnos, or even all stag-antlered ones.

Cernunnos is the most common name used today for the deity called "Uindos" in Old Irish literature. He is also sometimes called "Finn," the name of a main hero in a cycle of ancient stories about the "Fianna" or warrior-bands of Old Ireland.

Undoubtedly the most famous image believed to represent Cernunnos is from an inner plate of a priceless silver-plated copper cauldron unearthed in the spring of 1891 in a Danish peat-bog near the hamlet of Gundestrup in Northern Jutland. Cauldrons or chalices (also called grails) were often used in ancient Pagan religious rites, symbolic of the cauldron of the goddess Cerridwen, the so-called cauldron of rebirth. But the Gundestrup cauldron was obviously very special. After more than a century of debate, scholars seem to have reached consensus in dating its manufacture to the late Iron Age -- the second or first century BCE.

Vividly decorating the cauldron's plates are scenes of war and sacrifice, bearded deities wrestling ferocious beasts, a bare-breasted goddess standing flanked by elephants, and a commanding figure with stag's antlers brandishing a ram-headed snake in one hand and a twisted neck collar or torc in the other. Most scholars agree this figure is Cernunnos.

In their "lectures on Irish magick, cosmology and poetry," Darkstar & Bwca (1992) question whether the antlered deity on the cauldron plate is really Cernunnos at all. They offer the following observations:

"The figures on the Gundestrup cauldron, there are Goddess figures and there are God figures. The Goddess figures all have little teeny-weeny bumpy breasts hanging out on the front, and most of them have braids or other long hair. The God figures uniformly have beards. The antlered figure has neither of these characteristics, and so would apparently be an androgynous figure, something in between, the liminal state. Here is a person who is deliberately putting themselves into that in between state. They're in between genders, which is another one of those important turning points, magickally speaking" (p. 26).

This theory is in stark contrast to Morning Glory Zell's deeply evocative, sensual and unequivocally male version of the illustration first published in 1983 in The Green Egg magazine and later by Rowan (1987) in his excellent book The Horned God.

Present space will not permit extensive discussion of the religious beliefs of the culture which brought the Gundestrup cauldron into existence. Additional readings are recommended at the conclusion of this article for those who are interested. But in prehistoric Pagan societies, particularly that of the Celts, it is now understood that ethnicity, gender and mythology were much more complex than previously supposed. Firm cultural boundaries may not have existed, humanity and its gods seem to have been viewed as having more than simply male and female genders, and religious beliefs were flexible and multi-faceted. Applying such concepts in modern life has profound implications.

To illustrate the permeability of cultural boundaries, the ancient Celts appear to have been influenced by traditions from as far away as India, as evidenced by the position of th legs of the antlered god depicted on the Gundestrup cauldron and elsewhere. Students of ancient religions have commented on the similarity of Cernunnos as depicted on the cauldron and a prototypical image of Shiva Pashupati, from a Mohenjadaro seal impression dated around 1500 BCE.

Cernunnos is understood as a complex and powerful god, though he may not have been the head of the Celtic pantheon. Since his earliest origins as Lord of Hunt, he has been associated with animals, abundance, good fortune and virile fertility. But since the object of the hunt is the death of the prey, and the hunter is sometimes even killed in this life-sustaining pursuit, Cernunnos is recognized as both the God of Death and guardian of the underworld. In this sense, as well as being a giver of earthly riches, Cernunnos could perhaps be compared to the Plutos (though it is more often Pan, god of music, who is generally pictured in Greek art as having horns).

Irish stories describe Cernunnos (Uindos) as the son of the high god Lugh. He is called a wild hunter, a warrior, and a poet. Similarities between the Celtic and Germanic pantheons explain why the Romans identified both Lugh and Wodan with Mercury (Hermes). Lugh and Odin share many attributes, suggesting a common mythological descent. Analysis of Cernunnos shows some of the same traits and symbols in common with the patron God of physicians, healers and magicians. The Greeks called Hermes Psychopomp (conductor of souls), the very same title given to the Lord of Death (whom the Celts recognized as Cernunnos) in his union with the Lady of Life.

Though no known ancient examples have been uncovered where Cernunnos is clearly depicted with a consort, he is portrayed in the company of many Goddesses on the Gundestrup cauldron. This fits with is generally known about social relations between the sexes among ancient Celts, as well as aspects of that which has been reconstructed of Druid religion.

In our present age, various representations of the Horned God as a gentle, masculine figure strike a resonant chords for many in the neo-Pagan movement. Some Wiccan alters provide a place of reverence for his noble visage alongside a worthy representation of a manifestation of an ancient Goddess. Meditation on such images, research and study of the old ways, and other Pagan spiritual practices provide meaning and depth to growing numbers of Americans today.

Bergquist, Anders & Taylor, Timothy (1987). The origin of the Gundestrup cauldron. Antiquity, 61, 10-24 (March).
Buckland, Raymond J. (1988). Complete Book of Witchcraft. St. Paul, Minnesota: Llewellyn Publications.
Darkstar, Erynn & Bwca, Taine (1992). The Cauldron of Poesy: Lectures on Irish magick, cosmology and poetry based on the Irish text called the Cauldron of Poesy. Seattle, Washington: Preppie Biker Press and Inis Glas Productions.
MacCrossan, Tadhg (1993). The Truth About the Druids. St. Paul, Minnesota: Llewellyn Publications.
Rowan, John (1987). The Horned God: Feminism and men as wounding and healing. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.
Taylor, Timothy (1992). "The Gundestrup cauldron," Scientific American, 81-89 (March).
Zell, Morning Glory (1991). "Cernunnos: Celtic Horned God of the animals" (pamphlet). Ukiah, California: The Church of All Worlds.
by Dr Anthony E. Smart
"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.


Cernnunos Sleeps (2)

The Old God sleeps
down in the dark, moist,
odorous underfoot,
Waiting for us
To put down our roots.


At the Sacred Centre, in the Grove of all Worlds, He sits with legs crossed beneath an ancient Oak. Entranced, connecting the three worlds æ Earth, Sea, and Sky æ and the worlds behind the worlds, the god and the Great Tree are One, His immense limbs widespread, stretching into distant sky and starry space. His massive trunk, spine of the Middleworld, is the heart of the Ancient Forest around which all Life, all worlds turn. His limitless root web growing deep into secret earth and Underworld. Above him the great turning circles of Sun, Moon, and Stars. All around Him subtle movements of the leaves in melodious, singing air. Everywhere the pulsing, gleaming Green awash in drifts of gold and shimmering mist. Beneath Him soft moss creeping over the dark, deep, moist of spawning earth. At His feet the great Cauldron from which the Five Rivers Flow. Through the forest stillness they come, whispering wings and secret glide, rustling leaves, and silent step, the first Ancestors, the Oldest Animals, to gather around Him: Blackbird, Keeper of the Gate; Stag of Seven Tines, Master of Time; Ancient Owl, Crone of the Night; Eagle, Lord of the Air, Eye of the Sun; and Salmon, Oldest of the Old, Wisest of the Wise leaping from the juncture of the Five Springs. He welcomes them and blesses them, and they honor Him, Cernnunos of the nut brown skin and lustrous curling hair. The god whose eyes flash star-fire, whose flesh is a reservoir of ancient waters, His cells alive with Mystery, original primeval essence. Naked, phallus erect, He wears a crown of antlers limned in green fire and twined with ivy. In his right hand the Torq of gold, testament of his nobility and his sacred pledge. In his left hand the horned serpent symbol of his sexual power sacred to the Goddess. Cernnunos in His Ancient Forest, His Sacred Temple, His Holy Grove, Cernnunos and His children dream the Worlds.


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.


Cernnunos, as The Horned God, Lord of the Animals is portrayed as human or half human with an antler crown. Though he wears a human face his energy and his concerns are non-human. He is protector of animals and it is Cernnunos who is the law-sayer of hunting and harvest. While He is recognized most often through his connection to animals and our own deeply buried, dimly recalled, instinctual animal natures, Cernnunos is also a tree, forest, and vegetation god in his foliate aspect of The Green Man, Guardian of the Green World. His branching antlers symbolize the spreading treetops of the forest as well as his animal nature. As Master of the Sacrificial Hunt, His is the life that is given in service of new life. His wisdom is that the old must pass away to make way for the new. In his Underworld aspect Cernnunos is The Dark Man, the god who dwells in the House Beneath the Hill, the Underworld. He is the one who comforts and sings the souls of the dead to their rest in the Summerlands of the Otherworld. Cernnunos, as Master of the Wild Hunt, who pursues the souls of evil doers, is not associated with a biblical or even modern morality, but with the protection and continuance of the Land and Nature and the spirits that dwell therein. Pan, lusty Satyr god of the Greeks is another aspect of the Horned God. "Pan is a proud celebration of the liberating power of male erotic energy in its purest and most beautiful form." (5) He is portrayed as playful and cunning, but He also has a darker, dangerous nature. The panic or terror often associated with Pan is not related to human violence, but to the Life and Death of the natural world. In this form he is called the "All Devourer." However, Pan, as Protector of the Wilderness and as a god prone to fits of madness and violence, can induce panic or wild fear in those who threaten his domain. Cernnunos appears again in Elizabethan England, and is mentioned by Shakespeare, as Herne the Hunter, the demon and guardian of Windsor Forest, the Royal Wood. In this aspect it is said that he appears as Guardian of the Realm during times of National emergency and crisis. In modern times he is often called the God of the Witches and embodies uncorrupted masculine energy. A masculine energy that is fully-developed and in balance with the natural world


We celebrate and honor Cernnunos as the Green Man in spring and summer, the light half of the year and as the Dark One or the Dark God in autumn and winter, the dark half of the year. He appears in spring as the young Son, child of the Goddess, embodiment of the budding, growing, greening world. In summer He is the Green Man, vibrant, pulsing with life essence, the consort of the Green Lady Goddess. It is in autumn, the dying time, that perhaps we see the Horned God most clearly. He is the sacrificed one, who, wounded unto death begins his journey to the Underworld, returning to the Earth from which he was born and where the seeds of light released from his decaying body will quicken Her womb with a new Sun once again.


The path to Cernnunos is both through the natural world: seeking out the wild places and a deep understanding of the processes of growth, bounty, decay, rest, and rebirth, and through Otherworld journeys to the Middleworld forest of which he is guardian. One may experience this both actually and symbolically by following the path that disappears over the horizon into the distance and moves away from the "civilized" world and into the heart of the Wild Wood. Often experienced as traveling away from the centre to the perimeter, this is in actuality a return to the Centre. When the seeker reaches the god's forest the track ends, and her/his pathways are found by other means. After entering the Wildwood the seeker cannot be followed, nor can s/he follow another. Whatever pathways are discovered disappear in passing, and the Wood is trackless once again, for each one's way is different. In the Forest of Cernnunos there is a stillness, an otherworldly feeling, as if one has passed out of time. Here the mind is not supreme. It is instinct, the innate wisdom of the body that guides us to Him.


The way of Cernnunos is the way of the shaman or any person who truly seeks Communion with the Land. Yet, one cannot speak of Cernnunos without speaking of Anu or Don, the All Mother who gave Him birth. The way of Cernnunos is through the One. Like Her, Cernnunos is a Being or Power that existed before time and before the gods, the Shining Ones. Together they are First Mother and First Father, All Mother and All Father who brought the gods into being. Limitless and everlasting His energy permeates Her matter through every aspect of life to the sub-atomic. As Lord of the Dance He is present in the billions and billions of infinitely small movements that make up the seemingly chaotic Dance of Life, the Dance of Making and Unmaking. He is truly the Life that never, never dies, for even as nothingness he is self-originating. He is triple as She is triple. He is Cernnunos: Father, Son, and Wild Spirit.

by J. M. Reinbold

Cernnunos Chant
Stag Horned Hunter, Hunted One
Join Us Now
Greenwood Lord of Life and Death
Join Us Now
Herne and Pan and Every Man
Join Us Now (6)


Anderson, William. Green Man: The Archetype of our Oneness with the Earth. London: HarperCollins Publishers Limited, 1990.

Carr-Gomm, Philip & Stephanie. The Druid Animal Oracle: Working with the Sacred Animals of the Druid Tradition. New York: Simon & Schuster Inc., 1994.

Conway, D. J. By Oak, Ash, & Thorn: Modern Celtic Shamanism. St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications, 1995.

Corrigan, Ian. The Portal Book: Teachings and Works of Celtic Witchcraft. Cleveland Heights, OH: Chameleon Press, 1996.

Knight, Sirona. Greenfire: Making Love With the Goddess. St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications, 1995.

Matthews, Caitlín. Singing the Soul Back Home: Shamanism In Everyday Living. Shaftesbury, Dorset, United Kingdom: Element Books Limited, 1995.

Matthews, John. The Celtic Shaman: A Handbook. Shaftesbury, Dorest, United Kingdom: Element Books Limited, 1991.

Matthews, Caitlín and John. The Encyclopædia of Celtic Wisdom. Shaftesbury, Dorset: Element Books Limited, 1994.

Stewart, R. J. The Way of Merlin: The Prophet, the Goddess, and the Land Techniques of Transformation from the Merlin Tradition. London: The Aquarian Press, 1991.

Zell, Morning Glory. "Pan." Green Egg: A Journal of Awakening Earth Vol. 27, No. 104, Spring 1994: 12-13, 49.


(1) Cernnunos is the god's Gaulish name. He is known by and associated with many others.

(2) The poem Cernnunos Sleeps is by C. Hue Bumgarner-Kirby. The poem appears with the author's original painting of the same name in a card presentation from Bridge Building Images. Bridge Building Images offers beautiful Celtic and Native American spiritual images. Their web site is located at: http://www.wowpages.com/bbi

(3) This image is derived from a carving on the Gunderstrup Cauldron, as well as other sources, however, I would like to note that Celtic scholar John Matthews in his book The Celtic Shaman states that he believes the image on the Gunderstrup cauldron to be that of a Celtic shaman and not the god Cernnunos.

(4 ) No one knows how ancient the god or energy called Cernnunos might be. Based on my studies and experiences, I offer here my own theory of the god's origins.

(5 ) Zell, Morning Glory. "Pan"

(6) Words and music by Ivo Dominguez, Jr. Visit Ivo's web site at http://www.dol.net/~panpipe/panpipe.html and hear his Cernnunos Chant in Real Audio.
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