The Birth of Cernunnos

Life-size cast gypsum torso with fiberglass and steel on base. 88” x 34” x 24”

Cernunnos is an old celtic deity who is known as "The Horned God". He is the lord of animals, and a special friend of the stag, whose antlers make up his headdress. Cernunnos is the Lord of the Hunt and one of the spirits familiar to warriors. He appears whenever a person acts with wild abandonment, or burns with passionate inner fire. He has been identified with Shiva and Dionysus. Cernunnos is the consort of the Goddess of spring; one of the personalities of the Earth Mother.

A potent male fertility symbol, with respect to sexual potency as well as life-giving potency. He is commonly shown holding a torque (a symbol of power and success) and a ram headed snake (an obvious phallic symbol).

Cernunnos, 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 Cernunnos who is the law-giver of hunting and harvest. 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. Naked, phallus erect, He wears a crown of antlers limned in green fire and twined with ivy. In his right hand the Torque of gold, testament of his nobility and his sacred pledge. In his left hand the horned serpent symbol of his sexual power.

The path to Cernunnos 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 center to the perimeter, this is in actuality a return to the Center. 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.