Friday, January 31, 2014

Return of the PBP: C is for Cernunnos

Today was going to be B for Baphomet but pretty much just read the wikipedia page. It was a name for Mohammed as interpreted by the Europeans, and then Levi attached it to his idea about some Sabbatic god he thought Pagans worshipped and then Crowley got into the idea. So like if you're a Thelemite, I getcha, Thelema's got its own thing going on, but if you're a witch being all "I worship Baphomet" then idk man. Like unless you're a Muslim as well then idk. 

So instead, C is for Cernunnos.

Cernunnos is a Gallic god worshipped by the ancient Gauls. We have only one recorded instance of his name. It is assumed that the name applies to the familiar cross-legged figure with the torc and the snake, as well as various other representations of horned deities across the Celtic world. Assumed, mark you, not certain; we don't really know for sure, we can only guess, as there is no written information about this god. Only that one name, in that one place.

We know bugger all about this god. We can guess that he is associated with fertility because he is often presented with animals. That's about it. Gallic reconstructionists and other worshippers of Cernunnos thus have to utilise a tonne of UPG in their worship. Having to utilise a lot of UPG is hard; it's like walking on a tightrope without a net underneath you. And in a way that's particularly fascinating, although my Gallic friends, I do not envy you. I have enough difficulty as it is with Sigyn.

Cernyunnos is not the god of Wicca. We know that, because the god of Wicca is described as "the God of the Isles" and Cernunnos is Continental, not British. There are attempts to link him to Irish heroes but they're not all that successful. To be honest, I'm not sure why people have adopted this name for their own horned gods to this degree. I mean I know it means "horned", but really, surely it only confuses matters? It makes no more sense to call one's non-Gallic god Cernunnos than it does to call one's non-Greek god Pan. I don't really understand why people do it. I mean, in Heathenry you have a couple of entities that share the same name and it's confusing enough as it is. I can't imagine if, like, people worshipping an entirely different pantheon came in and called one of their gods Helblindi or something. I'm not saying "don't do this", not at all, I'm just saying "I don't really get why people do this, it's confusing".

You know me, I worship a Horned God. I am fairly certain He is not Cernunnos. I am also fairly sure He is not the God of Wicca. I do not think He has a name. Maybe it's something you can't express in speech, like the growth of a plant or the stirring of the wind.

So here's a shoutout to Cernunnos, god of the Gauls and perhaps some others like that lot in Denmark. Hail, Cernunnos!



  1. I DID write about Baphomet. ;)

  2. I'm glad to see your keeping up with the project, I haven't decided on a 'C' yet but I think I'll probably end up writing about why I don't use a circle. I have never been one to mix pantheons, I find it to be very thin ice. I end up using quite a bit of UPG in my practice as well, I've never worked with Cernunnos before and I don't think it would be all that appropriate, but by all means, Hail Cernunnos.