In honor of the Winter Solstice, a by-no-means exhaustive gallery of forms of the horned god.
Cernunnos, Celtic god of fertility, death and wild creatures, from The Gundestrup Cauldron, 1st century BC.
The Sorcerer, primal shapeshifter of the cave paintings at Trois-Frères, France, circa 13,000 BC.
Michelangelo’s “Horned Moses”—representations of Moses with horns for the most part derive from an ambiguity in the Hebrew scriptures, in which a description of Moses’ physical appearance upon returning from Mt. Sinai can be translated to suggest either horns or rays of light protruding from his head. There’s a lot of fun (mostly specious) debate, though, as to whether Michelangelo might have been intentionally acknowledging Christianity’s pagan past.
Pashupati, Lord of Animals, an incarnantion of Shiva, Indus Valley circa 2,000 BC.
Herne the Hunter, a restless ghost that has haunted Windsor Forest since the era of Shakespeare, here illustrated by George Cruikshank, 1843.
A couple of other horned gods I can think of that I don’t have pictures for:
Gwyn ap Nudd, mythical hunter from Welsh Mythology, leader of the Wild Hunt, usher of souls to the afterlife, featured in Lloyd Alexander’s Prydain Chronicles as Gwyn the Hunter.
Oromë, huntsman of the Valar, from Tolkien.
Anuket, the gazelle-headed Egyptian fertility goddess of the Lower Nile.
Actaeon, the hapless forester of Greek myth, who, as punishment for having stumbled upon Artemis bathing au naturel, is transformed into a stag and harried to his death by the huntress and her hounds.
And, of course, I couldn’t really have gone without letting slip a hint of geekdom.