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The Lord (Horned God)

As discussed in "The Lady", early civilization initially only recognized the female's role in relation to divine power and reproduction of each species.

Then, as human societies developed, the duties of the the men: like hunting for food, and protection from invading tribes of humans and other carnivores, gave birth to the Deity of the Hunt - typically represented by a male figure with animal features such as horns, hoofs, pointed ears etc. Eventually man discovered the relationship between sex and pregnancies and realized that it took both man and woman to create life. They then looked around and discovered that all of nature required male and female to reproduce. In this way the balance and duality of all life on this planet, was recognized, understood, and ultimately, celebrated. This lead to many legends describing fertility celebrations occurring at the spring gathering and again in late Autumn. Each of these coinciding with a spring hunt to bring food to the tribe after a cold desolate winter. And in the Autumn to provide meat for the tribe during the winter months. These particular hunts were celebrated at their conclusion, with the bravest and best hunters taking the role of the "God", and joining in union with their "goddess". This is still represented in Pagan tradition today via the "Great Rite" ritual.


The lord is the consort of the Goddess, a symbol of male energy, providing balance within the universe, in the form of the divine. He is the lord of the woodlands, the hunt and animals. He is a gentle lover, a compassionate hunter, a loving father and a strong warrior who fights for justice.  He is the lord of wild things, the life force that runs through us all, men and women alike. He is a positive male force that we can all call upon, and reminds us of the beautiful balance between male and female that is positive in a world free from stereotypes of male behaviour. 

The Horned God is the lord of life, death and the underworld. He is the Sun to the Goddess' Moon, the "yang" to her "Yin". He rules with or alternatively, over the cycle of birth, death and rebirth. He is born at the winter solstice, unites with the Goddess in marriage at Beltane, then dies at the summer solstice to be re born again at Yule.

The God was depicted in the earliest times, as a stag standing upright on hind legs with the upper body of a man, the figure is celebrating what appears to be a hunt and wooing a woman. This is clearly seen in the paintings discovered in the Caverne des Trois Freres at Ariege, France, which provides evidence of the first views of the Horned One. Neolithic God paintings & carvings appeared in caves around 4300 B.C. These figures were horned figures, human like in appearance. Oldest image was the Horned God, with stag horns, representing the Lord of the forests. His first appearance was the Alps, in southern old Europe. When people started to settle and cultivate crops, the stag horn God/Hunter/Gather became the Goat horned God of the farming communities. At this point he took on human understanding. He still remained the wild nature of the stag as seen in the God Pan, however, he had more rationality.  Originally, he was the Horned One. In Latin, Cornuno (Cornu - means horn; uno means one), the basis for the name Cernunnous. When the Celtic merged with the Romans, he was known as Danius (Latin Divanus - Divine One), and as Dionysus (Divine One of Nysea). The Celts called him Myrddin or Suibhe Geilt, Cernowen or Hu Gadarn.





The Horned god is mostly associated with Wicca and Celtic traditions, however, as he has been associated with, or takes the form of many deities throughout the world, and can be viewed either as part of the Lord, or as separate deities. He has, over time, been celebrated in many forms, including the following. Just click on the god symbol to the left of each one to learn more.





Cernunnos - The Celtic God of fertility, animals and the underworld.

Bacchus/Dionysus - The Roman & Greek gods of vegetation and vine.

Herne - The Hunter, a specter of Britain.

Janus - The Roman god of good beings (And god of January).

Osiris - The Egyptian Lord of the underworld.

Pan - The Greek god of the woodlands.

The Green Man - The lord of vegetation and the woodlands.



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