Animals Divine - 9 The Hermit - Cernunnos

Ivy Rhiannon


First Impression: So serene and peaceful with the animals and Cernunnos! I love the overall look of this card, not dark and mysterious like in other decks. A very interesting card :)

Description: Cernunnos is sitting in his classic lotus pose with his horned head holding a pentacle. Around him is a lush green forest and many curious animals.

Gender: Masculine

Colors: Gold, Soft Browns, Greens, Burnt Orange, White, and Black.

Senses: I smell the wet earth, and hear the wind stirring softly in the breeze. I can smell the animals nearby too and hear their gentle movement. I feel the cold pentacle in my hand and the snake coiled around my arm.

Symbols: Cernunnos, Animals, Forest, Pentacle, Medicine Bag.

Story [Intuitive]: I am walking through the forest enjoying my morning walk when I decide to step off the beaten path and venture into the woods. There has always been something magical that has drawn me to these woods, and I love hiking the trails here. I take my time, climbing many different hills and over rocks and upraised tree roots. I rest sitting on a natural bolder to catch my breath and enjoy the majestic view. Looking around however I sense I have traveled too far...I am lost. A great hawk flies down and lands on the ground a bit a ways for me letting out a shrill cry. Startled I stare at the bird wondering why it isn't afraid of me. It hops around a moment tilting his head and then flies a bit further into the trees. I get the strangest feeling he wants me to follow him, and for some crazy reason I find myself letting him lead me. He stops to look back at me before flying a bit further away.

He takes me to a clearing with many upraised roots and he lands in a tree above me. "What do you want?" I call out, beginning to wonder if this isn't my imagination. "Only to speak with you." says a very masculine but kind voice behind me. My eyes open wide and I turn around startled to see a handsome young man behind me. He smiles and his eyes look like autumn leaves. His long hair flows in the wind and he reaches out to take my hand. "Who-o are you?" I manage to stamper. "I am Cernunnos, the lord of this land." My mind seeks to challenge this statement but my heart finds no lie in his words. I stand there in awe smelling the earth so close to him, hearing my heart pound in my ears.

All around us animals begin to gather coming out of the trees, ground and their other hiding places as if to watch us. "Are you afraid?" He asks me, and his breath smells like the sea. "No." I answer truthfully, "I feel like I have known you a long, long time." He smiles at that, and his eyes laugh playfully. "You have. I am here." he reaches out slowly and touches my chest. I breathe in deeply and close my eyes. He continues, "This path you walk may be alone, but I am always here to guide you. Through the darkness you must follow you faith, and shine your inner light. Be courageous my beautiful child, seek to become the change you wish in the world, and you will give others permission to do the same."

I hear his words float away like a whisper on the wind. I open my eyes and he is gone. All that remains is a great stag who nods his head at me before trotting off through the trees.

My Experience with the hermit: I have walked many a path alone, often preferring my solitude to that of the poeple around me. The hermit walks inward away from the illusion of the world. This turning in, is a wondrous discovery for it is when we realize that the world isn't a cruel and fearful is merely a reflection of our selves. Then when we open our eyes again we see the life in everything, the value of the earth, the kindness of animals, the wisdom of trees, the peace of the waters.

Astrological Reference: Zodiac - Virgo, Mutable

Cultural Reference: Cernunnos is the name of the horned god of Celtic polytheism. The name itself is only attested once, on the 1st-century Pillar of the Boatmen, but depictions of a horned or antlered figure, often seated in a "lotus position" and often associated with animals. Because of his frequent association with creatures, scholars often describe Cernunnos as the "Lord of the Animals" or the "Lord of Wild Things", and Miranda Green describes him as a "peaceful god of nature and fruitfulness". [source Wikipedia]

Elemental Reference: Very Earthy Card

Numerology Reference: 9 - Bringing things to completion, fruition, nearing the end, uncertainty

Keywords: Peace, Reflection, Instinct, Solitude

Possible Meanings: Finding peace within, Reflecting on your experiences, Listening to your instinctual voice, Making your own path.

Reversed: Blaming others, being too codependent, not expressing your originality, distancing yourself from your "nature".

Quote: "He who is unable to live in society or who has no need because he is sufficient for himself, must either be a beast or a god." ~ Aristotle


First Impression: So many animals shown, the man is sitting in the middle in his underwear. A bit confusing at first. Let’s see what the card has to tell me..

Symbols*: The ram-headed snake is a fertile, virile companion to the forest god. The stag is masculine and is representative of nature and fertility, as are the antlers. The stag has solar attributes. The energy of the sun emits from its being. The trees and evergreens are nourishing, protective, and symbolic of immortality. The twining roots are nourished by the underworld and the branches breathe life in the heavenly plane. The fox, raccoon, squirrel, rabbit, and mouse are quiet observers. They are symbolic of heightened awareness and keen senses necessary for survival in the forest. Birds are transcendent. They are messengers of the spirit and symbols of higher consciousness. The rocks are stable, rigid, reliable elements of the earth. They represent longevity and endurance. The various vines are symbols of fertility and passion. The pouch with coins spilling forth indicates abundance and good fortune. The forest offers the quietude necessary for internal retreat.

Description*: Cernunnos epitomized the widespread zoomorphic image of deity with animals. His tradition is steeped in Celtic lore, but evidence of his worship exists throughout Europe at various Roman-Celtic worship sites. His name came to be synonymous with “the horned god” because of the conspicuous antlers on his head.

He reigned supreme among his companions and was considered one of the first universal father figures. He was shown accompanied by all kinds of forest animals. Each animal represented a different symbolic meaning, including a ram-headed snake emblematic of Celtic power; the stag, whose antlers mirror those of Cernunnos and are symbols of virility; a menagerie of birds, symbols of transcendence; and woodland creatures who keep eyes and ears open to their surroundings. Sometimes he was portrayed holding a pouch spilling over with coins – symbols of wealth, prosperity, and fertility.

As a nature deity, Cernunnos presided over life forces. Sometimes he was shown holding a wheel above his head, thus reinforcing the complete life cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. Like all inhabitants of the forest, Cernunnos assures the continuation of life through the inevitability of death and stands guard at the gateway of the underworld. The animals are teachers and guides and can be of assistance during times of self-exploration.

Keywords: Time to reflect, contemplation, solitude.

Possible Meanings: At this stage of the journey, it is important to take the time to engage in quiet reflection. In order to learn more about yourself, it is necessary to withdraw from activities that may pose distractions. It is time to become more in tune with nature. By finding a place of quietude it may be possible to become more acquainted with a deeper aspect of your inner being.

Senses: I love the woods. I love the solitude yet not being alone – I love having the most reliable and trustworthy personas being present. I trust these animals more than I trust some of my friends. I join to sit on the ground for five minutes, close my eyes and take several deep breaths. This is really calming me. I really love to be here. The Strength brought me here for a reason – after such rapid changes, I need self-reflection to bring this cycle to completion. I can see the light on the right corner, giving me direction that is where I need to go next. The end is nearing.

Thoughts/Points to Ponder: Although I love the forest, and the animals and all, I don’t like Cernunnos and how he’s perceived. I love the Celtic aspect of the image, there is just something off in here.