Cernunnos Celtic Tattoo Ideas
Cernunnos is the ancient Celtic god who is also known as the "horned god" or "horned one."
I've seen two Cernunnos tattoos, and they totally rocked my socks. After talking with the owners of these tattoos and combining my own knowledge/observations about this deity, I've decided to share a few thoughts about possible meanings of the horned god tattoo with you.
The horned god is (obviously) set apart from the rest of Celtic deities because of his spectacular antlers perched atop his head. Cernunnos' totem animal is the stag, and where the beast is not depicted in ancient artwork, the horns on Cernunnos' head mark the shamanistic connection with the stag. Both antler and animal are symbolic of male assertion, dominance, thrust, sexual superiority and action. Antlers are visible symbols of authority in the wild - and the bigger the rack - the more powerful the owner. It has to do with survival of the fittest. Only the largest and strongest rack of horns can insure a stag will lay with his mate and thus propel his lineage. Same holds true with the horned god. In this way, the horned god tattoo might be a the ticket if you are looking for artistic ways to express your confidence and full capability to provide for your community.
Cernunnos is not necessarily an exclusive statement of male dominance. Far from it. His horns are also a feminine quality when they are rendered as a crescent atop his head (instead of antlers). The crescent horns are symbolic of the crescent moon - which hearkens to feminine power. Also, the torc (a gold or copper piece of jewelry commonly worn amongst Celts) is symbolic of feminine energy. That the horned god wears the torc is a statement about balance and thoughtful union between male and female dualities. This balance is inherent in Nature, and Cernunnos is a major spokesgod for this kind of natural synchronicity. If you honor the energy of male as much as female (and vice versa), a Cernunnos tattoo will reinforce that stance.
The horned god is often depicted with a snake too (sometimes even a horned snake). This is symbolic of sensory perception. Snakes experience their world in uncommon ways. Through tongue and skin their primary data-gathering is accomplished. This is symbolic of sensual knowing - tactile understanding. Snakes are also symbolic of transition and transformation. It has to do with the shedding of their skin. If these aspects of the horned god tattoo really sing to you, then make sure to include Cernunnos' totem snake in your design.
Some keywords to consider while doing further research on your Cernunnos Celtic tattoo ideas...
This is just a small portion of the potential of Celtic tattoo ideas behind the horned god, Cernunnos. Get full disclosure of the Cernunnos, The Horned God Symbolic Meanings here.
An Important Note About Signs, Symbols and Their Meanings
Signs and symbols cultivate their meanings according to culture, context, passage of time in society as well as mass societal opinion. What's cool and highly important is that signs and symbols earn their most powerful meanings from our own personal perspectives.
This website strives to provide you with the best, time-honored information when defining signs and symbols. However, in the final analysis, "Beauty (and symbolism) is in the eye of the beholder."
Having said that, it's in our best interest to invest the time to do personal research on symbolic events happening to us. This website is just one perspective in an ocean of variety and diversity in the realm of symbolism. So dive in! There is a whole universe of deeper meanings to explore! You can start your research by clicking on the links at the end or to the side of this page. Odds are good I've got a follow-up article about this symbolic topic. ;)
As always, thanks for your willingness to learn more about the language of symbolism. It's a language that is universal and everywhere. It's super-groovy to travel with you on your symbolic path, and maybe offer a little translation along the way. Thanks for reading and exploring!