The Jaws of the Hunt. CN lesser power of beasts, wild places, hunts, witches (He/Him)

Pantheon: Celtic (Gaulish, Welsh [as Gwen ap Nudd], Briton [as Nodens])

Symbol: Antlers

Realm: Outlands / Tir na Og / Wandering

Cernunnos, known as the Jaws of the Hunt, is the Celtic power of beasts, wild places, hunts, and witches. In the realm of Tir na Og, Cernunnos’ presence can be felt throughout all of the the wild expanses.  His influence permeates the untamed and mystical aspects of nature.

Typically depicted as a grizzled male woodland hermit with antlers, Cernunnos is a deity who embodies the primal and untamed spirit of nature. He is a figure shrouded in mystery, moving through the forests with the stealth and grace of a stag. He is the guardian and master of all beasts, from the majestic deer roaming the woodlands to the cunning foxes and the wise owls perched in ancient trees. As a power of witches, Cernunnos is a patron of witches and warlocks whose focus is on nature and wilderness. His connection with witches and hunts suggests a deeper, more mystical side, where he presides over ancient and arcane rites, often conducted in the heart of the forest under the moonlit sky.

His domain isn’t confined to a specific location but is said to wander, much like the deity himself, through the dense forests and untrodden paths of this mystical land. The very essence of his realm is the wildness of nature in its most unbridled form, and restricting it to a particular area just ain’t his style. His realm follows him, and is able to overlap the realms of other powers, for a time at least. In his realm, followers and petitioners of Cernunnos—who are brought along with the realm when it moves, but rarely have fixed abodes themselves—are likely to be druids, hunters, and those who practice the old magics. They seek harmony with the natural world, living and moving within it, respecting its rules and rhythms. Rituals honouring Cernunnos involve offerings of nature in secluded glades or at sacred groves, where the boundary between the mundane and magical is thin.

Cernunnos’ influence on the natural world extends beyond the physical, touching upon the spiritual and magical. He represents the cycle of life and death, the hunt, and the changing of seasons. In many ways, he is the personification of the wild heart of nature—mysterious, untamed, and ancient.

Cernunnos and the Wild Hunt

For a power of simple and natural domains, Cernunnos is a complex character. How, you might ask, can a power be both pro-wild animals and also pro-hunting? Turns out Cernunnos has multiple aspects, which share common ground and also diverge.

As the Jaws of the Hunt, Cernunnos has nebulous ties to the Wild Hunt. He may or may not be the Master of the Wild Hunt—chant goes the Master is an aspect of Cernunnon or an avatar or proxy—maybe even all three. As the Hunter, Cernunnos aims to keep the population of wild animals strong by taking the weakest and winnowing the herd.

As the Protector of the Wilds, Cernunnos hunters the hunters! Woe betide any hunters who kill wantonly or disrespectfully, for they’re the primary targets. But Cernunnos also seeks to make the hunt more challenging by fighting back against hunters by casting down weather, raising up entangling undergrowth, or infusing creatures with rage or dire powers to enable the hunted to fight back.

A third aspect of Cernunnos the hunter is to hunt down the enemies of the Celtic pantheon. He’s been known to pass names along to the Wild Hunt, and once those bashers get hold of a scent, they’ll chase it across planes.

Source: Jon Winter-Holt,

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