Cernunnos, also known as the "The Horned One", is a Celtic god of fertility, life, animals, wealth, and the underworld. He was worshipped all over Gaul, and his cult spread into Britain as well. Cernunnos is depicted with the antlers of a stag, sometimes carries a purse filled with coin. The Horned God is born at the winter solstice, marries the goddess at Beltane, and dies at the summer solstice.
Cernnunos, a nature and fertility god, has appeared in a multitude of forms and made himself known by many names to nearly every culture throughout time. He is perhaps best known to us now in his Celtic aspects of the untamed Horned God of the Animals and the leaf-covered Green Man, Guardian of the Green World, but he is much older. Cernnunos worked his magic when the first humans were becoming. Our prehistoric ancestors knew him as a shape-shifting, shamanic god of the Hunt.
He alternates with the goddess of the moon in ruling over life and death, continuing the cycle of death, rebirth and reincarnation.
In his Underworld aspect Cernnunos is The Dark Man, the god who dwells in the House Beneath the Hill, the Underworld. He is the one who comforts and sings the souls of the dead to their rest in the Summerlands of the Otherworld. Cernnunos, as Master of the Wild Hunt, who pursues the souls of evil doers, is not associated with a biblical or even modern morality, but with the protection and continuance of the Land and Nature and the spirits that dwell therein.
Cernnunos is celebrated and honored as the Green Man in spring and summer, the light half of the year and as the Dark One or the Dark God in autumn and winter, the dark half of the year. 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 many 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.