Willa Hillicrissing speaks about CERNUNNOS—(a name of old an ancient name) as the archetype consciousness that is the origin of the Winter Spirit we now call Santa Claus.
Described as having elements of human and animal form. CERNUNNOS has a face of what might be reminiscent of what we would call a blend of human and Elk. It does have the expression of large Elk like antlers, it has the expression of cloven hoofs. It has certain other elements to it that would be considered sort of faun like or of a nature of the being we know as Pan.
He is a large Elemental with great ENERGY. He represents the season itself and its focal point is the winter solstice. He represents a karmic Elemental, connected to the 4th Law energy (what you put out is what you get back)
In ancient times…those that were positive to it, kind to it, loving to it—would receive the same in return. However, those that were of foul heart and had a mean disposition would fine that same thing reflected back to them by this 4th Law Elemental in a variety of ways. This represents the concept that became known to us as KARMA.
This Being would amplify, magnify and reflect that same thing back to you once you engaged within that level of consciousness with it.
Over a period of time when humans drifted away from the knowledge that these beings existed among us. This being over long periods of time became separated in the minds and memories of the peoples into 2 different beings. One referred to as Krampus the negative side of it, and the positive side of it became known as Saint Nick/Santa Claus. (Remember positive and negative are not value judgments, it is simply a description of the mechanics, that positive energy integrates/ expands and negative energy segregates and disconnects). The antlers became horns, he still had the cloven hoofs, he still had some animal aspects. However, Krampus became associated with the negative polarity and was seen as the embodiment of the devil by those with religious views that believed in heaven and hell.