Lord of the animals

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Egyptianizing gold pendant showing the Lord of the Animals, Minoan (British Museum)

The Lord of the Animals (also known as Master of (the) Animals) is a generic term for a number of deities from a variety of cultures with close relationships to the animal kingdom or in part animal form (in cultures where that is not the norm). They sometimes also have female equivalents, the so-called Mistress of the Animals. The implication being these all have a Stone Age precursor who was probabably a hunter's deity. The classic example of which is the 'horned god of the hunt' (see also Deer in mythology), typified by Cernunnos, Herne the Hunter[dubious ] and Arnon,[citation needed] and a variety of Stag, Bull, Ram and Goat gods. Horned gods are not universal however, and in some cultures Bear gods, like Arktos might take the role, or even the more anthropomorphic deities who lead the Wild Hunt. Such figures are also often referred to as 'Lord of the forest'* or 'Lord of the mountain'.

Shiva has the epithet Pashupati meaning the "Lord of cattle".

The Horned God of the Wiccans is believed to be derived from the same source as Shiva.[citation needed]

Some Saints such as St Giles and Hubertus also preserve the image.[citation needed]

It is possible that we are dealing with an Proto-Indo-European deity or archetype.[citation needed]

  • In some accounts of werewolves, a figure known as the 'Lord Of The Forest', who usually provides the means for the change, is mentioned as well, such as the case of The Werewolf of Besançon, or that of Jean Grenier.[citation needed]

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