Behind the Name Carnutes

The name Carnutes would be framed by a Celtic *karno, Irish *carn, Gael *cairn, a pile of rocks, rough slope. This structure can be found in the toponymy around Chartres. The connection between the name Carnutes with the name of the god Cernunnos through a root that would signify “horns” is by all accounts surrendered today as its interpretation by “horned Helmets”. Later speculation makes it originate from an Indo-European root *ker/kor, which would likewise be contained into the Celtic name of dogwood and which would interface the Carnutes to Cornwall and Cornouaille through a totem-tree. In the end, we are still uncertain. Most believe the name means Those of the Horns “The Horned Ones”

Below is the name in the Gaulish tongue.

  • Singular Carnutis/Carnuð
  • Pulural Carnutīs/Carnutes

Our name shares much with Carnonos, but not just the name but also location, as Carnonos has been found in the lands of the Parisii (Parisiicā), which is right on our borders. So it’s most likely the Carnutīs are named after him and that once upon a time, we would have most likely found inscriptions and statues for him all around Carnuticā. Obviously, that’s speculation. 

So what matters is what things mean to us today, not yesterday. Meanings evolve with time; a symbol gains more meaning the longer it is around. The importance of the name Carnutīs to me has come to mean Those of the Horns, but this is twofold Horns as in the Carnux, this speaks of the voice of the fire that sparked the war, and that is the passion, bravery, courage, piety, and honor they had towards defending the greater good against dominating imperialist forces. This is Cotuatus leading the way for the Carnutīs to sound their voices like a great Carnux shaking and awakening the lands of Gaul. 

Then the second is obvious, and that is Followers of Carnonos. As that also brings us to the meaning symbology of Horns/Antlers. They have come to mean much and are one of the oldest symbols. For me, they represent waterways, pathways, thresholds, liminality, and the space between all things. They have also come to mean spiritual authority since depictions of antlered figures have been found all around France since before Gaul. Plus Carnuticā is home to the Druides great gathering it seems fitting as they are the spiritual leaders.

These are my thoughts; they don’t reflect how the Senocarnutes viewed themselves, as one can never know. I’m not claiming any great knowledge from the past but instead adding meaning to something lost, and in doing so, I’m participating in Soitos (Magic). Im bringing to life and adding to so that we can have meaning for us today so that the spirit of what they stood for we can embody today.