By Jason Mankey
If you’ve ever read the book Triumph of the Moon by Ronald Hutton you are probably familiar with a chapter in it called “Finding a God.” Hutton’s argument there is that the Horned God became “the god” of Modern Paganism due to the popularity of the Greek God Pan with early 19th Century English Poets. As a devotee of the Horned One, I think Hutton’s hypothesis is absolutely spot on. The language we use to describe the Horned God bears a striking resemblance to the poetry of Keats, Shelley, and others. It’s true that it sometimes mirrors a few Renaissance-era writers, but those English poets are the ones who put Pan into the mainstream of English literature.
However, while Pan is the proto-type for our modern image of the Horned God, another god, the Celtic Cernunnos, has superseded him. If you look at most modern images of the Horned God, he tends to look far more Cernunnosy than Pan-like. It’s more likely the Horned God will be sporting antlers than goat horns. His face tends to be more “man-like” and less goat influenced, and he usually has human legs instead of goaty ones.