Cernunnos is a horned god that can be found within Celtic mythology. This god was connected with male animals, particularly the deer which were in heat, and this has led him to be associated with fertility and vegetation. Representations of Cernunnos are found in many parts of the British Isles and Western Europe. He has often been portrayed with a beard and wild hair because after all, he is recognized as the lord of the forest.


Related topics

Celtic Mythology

What is Cernunnos?

It is one of the Celtic mythological gods to whom was attributed the gift of fertility, virility, lust, abundance and regeneration. He was depicted with a figure of a man with deer horns and a beard holding a snake.

History of the Celtic god Cernunnos

Cernunnos, a god of nature and fertility has appeared in a lot of different forms and became known in almost every culture over time. It is best known today for its Celtic aspects of the indomitable god of horned animals and as the leafy green man, guardian of the green world.

History tells us that this god was not a great old man but an Archon. The Archons were a primordial race of beings who ruled the planet long before the elders took over. It was said that Cernunnos and the Archons wandered the Earth when Yggdrasil was still a seed, and Nidhog had not yet been born. At some point during all this, Cernunnos wielded the legendary Fire Sword and used it to win many battles. After the beginning of Danu Tails, the Cernunnos, like all other Archons, hid in various Shadow Realms and had remained unheard of for tens of thousands of years.

Our prehistoric ancestors knew him as a shamanic hunting god who was able to change shape. It has been found painted in caves and carved everywhere, on cliffs, stones, even on Earth itself. Humans tried to communicate with Him and receive His power and that of their animal children by dressing Him in skulls and worshipping him with feathers and bones and performing dances in His honor.

Margaret Murray in her book “The God of Witches” written in 1931 postulates that Herne the Hunter is a Cernunnos manifestation. In his book she states that he is a localized god because he can only be found in Berkshire. During the Elizabethan age, Cernunnos played Herne in Shakespeare’s Joyful Wives. He also embodies the loyalty of the area, and the guardianship of royalty.


It represented the male animal with horn, a god related to fertility, regeneration and abundance. He was the master and lord of animals. He is represented with deer horns, old, with deer ears and also as a kind of hybrid between this mammal and humans. He had a torque in his neck and in his hand. In general, he could also be seen with a snake that had a ram’s head, symbolizing fertility and rebirth.


The symbolism surrounding the god Cernunnos is as follows:

Cernunnos’ presence in popular culture

His figure and history inspired many authors of 20th century fantasy literature because of the great qualities he possessed as a god. He inspired several authors to write his story and his accomplishments, about how he protected animals and vegetation. It is also seen as a neo-pagan symbol by churches because the horns he possess are considered to be a symbol of evil.


Some curiosities of the god Cernunnos are:

Written by Gabriela Briceño V.

How to cite this article?

Briceño V., Gabriela. (2019). Cernunnos. Recovered on 24 February, 2024, de Euston96:

Recommended for you