(Image Credit – Deviant Art by Kendigo)
I had a special request to do a column on the Horned Goddess Cernuna. As it turned out, there is not much available on Her. As per usual, She seems to have been superseded by the Horned God Cernunnos, who is represented by his torque, holding a snake and surrounded by animals.
It would/could be assumed that all representations are of Cernunnos, however a small bust of a Horned Goddess was found in Kent, UK. Two others have also been found; one rests in the British Museum of London and the other at the Musee de Clermont-Ferrard in France. (Please see above photo from these museums). As you can see, both of these show her holding a bowl or cornucopia and a patera, which is an ornamental circular disc.
The information I was able to come across shows Her as a Horned Goddess that embodies the seasons. She is a Goddess of transition, change and growth.
The cornucopia she holds in the above photo also shows that She is a Goddess of abundance, fertility and the harvest.
Before the Winter Solstice was changed to the Christian holiday of Christmas, it was the female reindeer, the Deer Mother, who drew of the sleigh of the Goddess at Solstice. It is the female reindeer that keeps her antlers. She was honored as the life-giving Mother. This very well could be Cernuna, not a female version of Cernunnos, not his consort, but the life-giving Mother Goddess, a protector of, and personification of, the land.
(Image Credit; Motherhouse of the Goddess)
She could be seen as being related to Flidais, the Irish Goddess of cattle and fertility, the Cailleach, the deer protector, and some see her as Elen of the Ways, sometimes seen as a Horned Goddess.
Wishing I had been able to find more information on this almost-forgotten Goddess, I do firmly believe that she is an ancient Mother Goddess, protector of animals, abundance and the fertility of the land