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Cernunnos: An Overview of the Mythological God

Cernunnos is a fascinating figure in Celtic mythology. He is known as the god of the forest, the hunt, and fertility. His name comes from the Proto-Celtic word for “horned one,” which is fitting since he is often depicted with antlers or horns on his head.

Cernunnos is believed to have originated in Gaul, which is now modern-day France. He was widely worshipped throughout the Celtic world, and there are over fifty depictions and inscriptions referring to him. Despite his popularity, much of his original mythos has been lost to history. However, he remains a mysterious and intriguing figure in Celtic mythology, and his influence can still be seen in modern pop culture.


Cernunnos is a significant figure in Celtic mythology, known as the god of beasts and wild places. He is often depicted as a horned figure, and is associated with stags, horned serpents, dogs, and bulls. The name Cernunnos is believed to come from the Celtic word for “horned one.”

Cernunnos is a mediator between man and nature, with the ability to tame predator and prey so they might lie down together. His original mythos has been lost to history, but he remains a mysterious deity.

Throughout history, Cernunnos has been widely worshipped as the “lord of wild things.” He is often shown holding or wearing a torc and sometimes holding a bag of coins or grain and a cornucopia. Many depictions of Cernunnos are found throughout the British Isles and western Europe, often portraying him with a beard.


Cernunnos is a Celtic god whose name is derived from two words: cern meaning “horn” and unnos meaning “one.” Therefore, the name Cernunnos translates to “the horned one.” He was also known as the “Lord of the Wild Things” and was associated with the forest and fertility.

Cernunnos was first mentioned in the writings of the Roman poet Lucan in the first century BCE. However, most of what is known about him comes from Celtic artwork and iconography. He is often depicted with antlers, seated cross-legged, and holding or wearing a torc, a bag of coins or grain, and a cornucopia.

Cernunnos is believed to have been a god of nature, fertility, and the hunt. He was also associated with the underworld and was believed to have the power to mediate between the living and the dead. His worship was widespread throughout the Celtic world, and his image can be found on artifacts throughout Europe.

Overall, the etymology of Cernunnos provides insight into his role as a horned god of nature and fertility, as well as his association with the hunt and the underworld.


Physical Description

Cernunnos is often depicted as a horned deity, with antlers on his head, and is sometimes shown holding a torc or wearing one around his neck. He is usually depicted as a man with a muscular build and a beard. He is also sometimes shown seated cross-legged, with a bag of coins or grain in one hand and a cornucopia in the other.


Cernunnos is associated with a number of symbols, including stags, horned serpents, dogs, and bulls. The torc, which he is often depicted wearing or holding, is a symbol of power and wealth. The bag of coins or grain and the cornucopia are symbols of abundance and fertility.


As the lord of wild things, Cernunnos had the power to tame predator and prey so they might lie down together. He was also associated with fertility and vegetation, and was believed to have the power to ensure a bountiful harvest. Cernunnos was a mediator of man and nature, and was able to bring balance and harmony to the natural world.

Family Tree


Cernunnos is a deity from Celtic mythology, and as such, he is part of a larger pantheon of gods and goddesses. His exact family tree is not well-documented, but he is often considered to be the son of the mother goddess Danu and the father god Belenus. He is also sometimes associated with the Irish deity Cian, who was the father of Lugh, another important figure in Celtic mythology.


Cernunnos is often depicted alongside other deities in Celtic art, such as the goddess Epona, who was associated with horses and fertility. He is also sometimes shown in the company of the goddess Rosmerta, who was associated with abundance and prosperity. In some cases, Cernunnos is depicted holding a torc, a type of neck ring that was often used as a symbol of wealth and power.

Overall, while Cernunnos’ exact family tree may be unclear, his associations with other deities and symbols suggest that he was an important figure in Celtic mythology, with a wide range of powers and responsibilities.

Mythological Origins

Historical References

Cernunnos is a deity from the Celtic pantheon, and his origins can be traced back to the Iron Age. The earliest known depictions of Cernunnos were found at Val Camonica, in northern Italy, which was under Celtic occupation from about 400 BCE. He is also believed to be portrayed on the Gundestrup Caldron, a silver vessel found at Gundestrup in Jutland, Denmark, and dating to about the 1st century BCE.

Cultural Significance

Cernunnos was a god of the forest, wild animals, and fertility. He was often depicted with antlers, which symbolized his connection to the natural world. Cernunnos was also associated with the cycle of life, death, and rebirth, and was sometimes depicted holding a serpent, which represented renewal and transformation.

In Celtic mythology, Cernunnos was seen as a mediator between the human and natural worlds. He was believed to have the power to tame wild animals and bring them under his control. This made him an important figure in hunting and agriculture, as well as in the spiritual lives of the Celts.

Today, Cernunnos remains an important figure in neo-paganism and other modern spiritual traditions. He is often invoked in rituals and ceremonies as a symbol of the natural world and the cycles of life.

Pop Culture


Cernunnos has been featured in various literary works, including novels, comic books, and short stories. In Neil Gaiman’s “American Gods,” Cernunnos is depicted as a horned man who is part of a group of old gods fighting against the new gods of technology. In Marion Zimmer Bradley’s “The Mists of Avalon,” Cernunnos is portrayed as a god of fertility and nature who is worshipped by the priestesses of Avalon.


Cernunnos has also made appearances in various forms of media, including television shows, movies, and video games. In the television series “Supernatural,” Cernunnos is portrayed as a pagan god who is worshipped by a group of hunters. In the video game “Assassin’s Creed Valhalla,” Cernunnos is featured as a member of the Isu, a race of ancient beings who created humanity.

Overall, Cernunnos continues to be a popular figure in modern culture, appearing in various forms of media and literature. His association with nature and the wild has made him a symbol of environmentalism and conservation.