The ancient Forest Lord has appeared and made himself known by many names to nearly every culture throughout time. He is Cernunnos, a Celtic god of fertility, life, animals, wealth, and the underworld. He is Herne the Hunter, and he is here at the Eye, represented by a new statue.
This incredible new depiction of Herne, Cernununnos, the Horned God, is reproduced in cold cast bronze resin. He is crowned with Antlers and holds a staff of wood spiraling at the tip. The snake, representing wisdom, the underworld, and reincarnation is at his feet. The leaves and moss are hand-tinted. He is the untamed Horned God of the Animals and the leaf-covered Green Man, Guardian of the Green World. The statue stands 10.5″ tall. Click here for more views of the statue
Cernnunos is mentioned by Shakespeare, as Herne the Hunter, the guardian of Windsor Forest, the Royal Wood. In this aspect it is said that he appears as Guardian of the Realm during times of National emergency and crisis. In modern times he is often called the God of the Witches and embodies uncorrupted masculine energy. His is a masculine energy that is fully-developed and in balance with the natural world.
Lore & Myth
As both Hunter and Hunted, The Forest Lord represents the great mystery of life feeding life. The Forest and fields are filled with his Mystery. He is the God of the underworld and astral planes, born at the winter solstice. He appears in spring as the young Son, child of the Goddess, embodiment of the budding, growing, greening world.
In summer He bursts forth as the Green Man, vibrant, pulsing with life, and becomes the consort of the Green Lady Goddess. It is in autumn, the dying time, that perhaps we see the Horned God at his most mature. As Master of the Sacrificial Hunt, as both Hunted and Hunter, His is the full life that is given in service of new life. He is the sacrificed god, who journeys to the Underworld, but then returns to the Earth from which he was born. The seeds of light released from his decaying body will quicken Her womb with a new Sun once again, thus continuing the cycle of death, rebirth and reincarnation.
The most famous depiction of the Horned Diety or Shaman is on the side of the Gundestrup Cauldron discovered in Denmark, on May 28, 1891. In theories of Celtic origin, the figure is often identified as Cernunnos and occasionally as Mercury. But images of the Horned one go farther back. Our prehistoric ancestors knew him as a shape-shifting, shamanic god of the Hunt. Paleolithic cave paintings found in France that depict a stag standing upright or a man dressed in stag costume seem to indicate that Cernunnos’ origins date to those times.
This statue of the Forest Lord brings the best of all those depictions together in a statue of incredible detail, and maybe a little bit of Oberon, Lord of Faerie, as well.
Other Depictions of the Forest Lord
- Romans sometimes portrayed him with three cranes flying above his head.
- He was known to the Druids as Hu Gadarn.
- Pan, the lusty Satyr god of the Greeks, is another aspect of the Horned God.
As Herne, He became a modern star in “Robin of Sherwood” on British television in the early eighties, as the shamanic mentor of Robin the Hooded Man, and this seems to be how everybody remembers him. In the series he is portrayed as an Anglo-Saxon hunting god, based on the myth and lore of the Forest Lord, Cernunnos, etc.
The Legend of Herne
There is an old tale goes that Herne the Hunter,
Sometime a keeper here in Windsor Forest,
Doth all the winter-time, at still midnight,
Walk round about an oak, with great ragg’d horns;
And there he blasts the tree, and takes the cattle,
And makes milch-kine yield blood, and shakes a chain
In a most hideous and dreadful manner.
You have heard of such a spirit, and well you know
The superstitious idle-headed eld
Receiv’d, and did deliver to our age,
This tale of Herne the Hunter for a truth.
“The Merry Wives of Windsor”
Act 4 Scene 4