Cernunnos, also spelled Kernunno, is the Celtic Horned God of the forests and animals. He wears antlers and the pelts of animals but is in no way connected to the Christian’s Satan. He is a father and a protector. He is a link between humans and animals. He is a God of virility, life, death, and rebirth. He dies at Samhain (sow-en), which is Halloween and is reborn at Yule (Christmas).
Much of the writings, art, and stories of Cernunnos have been lost to us. What art we do have often depicts him having the face and body of a man and horns or antler on his head, and holds both a bag of coins and torc (also spelled torq and was used as a sign of rank or wealth), surrounded by animals. Male animals hold a special significance to Cernunnos, as does the color green. He very much enjoys wild parties. Therefore, it makes sense that he is the leader of the Wild Hunt.
He rules alongside the Goddess Danu. They don’t fight over who rules what, they understand the are opposite sides of the same coin, much like light and dark. Unfortunately, Cernunnos is often confused with Pan. Both are male and deities of the forest, but they have one serious (and several smaller) differences. Pan has goat legs and Cernunnos has human legs. In this way, Smite got it all wrong. Well, that and his face. Cernunnos has the face of a man whereas Pan has a good combination of both man and goat.
Before Smite, had you ever heard of Cernunnos? What do you think of Smite getting how he looks wrong? Let me know in the comments below. I am excited to see what you say. Til next week…
If you want to read about Danu, you can find my article here.