Rhiannon [RHEE-awn-on] is a Celtic of the moon. She is a Welsh Goddess. Her name means Queen of the Faries. She is represented by a horse because she rode a white steed that no one could catch. She is found in several ancient cultures, called by several names Rhiannon is believed to be the Welsh counterpart of Gaulish horse goddess Epona and Macha to the Irish; she is also considered as an aspect of the Irish Morrigan.This beautiful queen of the night would then, it seems, be identical to the Germanic Mora, the nightmare, the horse-shaped goddess of terror. Rhiannon was the Celtic goddess who later became Vivienne, best known as the Lady of the Lake. She was the Celtic goddess who gave Arthur the sword Excalibur, empowering him to become King in the legends of Camelot. |
Some experts say originally she may have been the Sun Goddess. She is Goddess of change, movement, and magic. She comforts in times of crisis, loss, and illness . She gives us gifts of tears, forgetfulness (to promote healing), and humor to ease our sufferings in this life and guides us to the next. Rhiannon can aid in overcoming enemies, exercising patience, working magick, moon rituals and enhancing dream work.
She is also accompanied by golden birds whose singing can call the dead or grant peaceful sleep to the living Enchantments, fertility, and the Underworld. She is the wife of Pwyll, and mother of Pryderi. Unjustly accused of destroying Her newborn son (who had been kidnapped by a nameless Fiend; she is compelled to take on the role of a horse, until Her son is unexpectedly returned to her. Because of this she understands when called on for us hardship and pain, separation and loss. But always, although She can teach us even if we are wronged, to forgive and continue to love, and honor ourselves.
She is a Goddess of several aspects, in her aspect of the death Goddess she sang sweetly luring people to their death. She was the Goddess of the birds perhaps because she sang so sweetly. Her story relates to Germanic stories of river Goddess and the Greek sirens who lured sailors to their death. She brings sleep, dreams, and sometimes nightmares.In magick and ritual Rhiannon can aid in overcoming enemies, exercising patience, working magick, moon rituals and enhancing dream work.
To our Pagan ancestors, May Day was the first day of Summer. Traditionally, young couples would marry and ask that their union be made fertile. They would often light small Beltane fires which they would jump over to bless their union. Men and women would dance around a male phallic symbol (may pole) attached to it by cords or ribbons raising power in it, to make the male sexual organ capable of fertilising the female, and as it was embedded in the earth, to raise power to fertilise the land.
At Beltane, the Goddess is personified as the Goddess Rhiannon, the Celtic equivalent is the Goddess Epona. Both the Goddess Rhiannon and the Goddess Epona are horse goddesses.
At Beltaine, as the Maiden, she is riding the white horse, with birds flying about her, music accompanying her, and the horse is now her consort, the God, representing the power and fertility beneath her girth. A symbol of the Goddess Rhiannon can be seen at White Horse Hill, Uffington, a stretch of downland near Wantage, Oxfordshire. It is said that couples wanting a child should go there and at Beltaine and let nature take it's course!
As maiden she is associated with a white horse, and depicted as finely dressed in gold. The famous nursery rhyme, "Ride a cock horse to Banbury Cross", is now far removed from the original version and meaning. Rhiannon was Goddess of the crossroads, often just referred to as the "cross". This has nothing to do with the Christian cross (crucifix) that Banbury is now famous for, the original Christian cross only dating back to Norman times.
The "cross" of pre-Christian times was the name given to a convergence of ley lines, these days often called Michael and Mary lines, as Christians built their churches of the same names on these convergences.
The original rhyme goes,
"Ride a cock horse to Banbury "cross", to see a fine Lady upon a White Horse, with birds at her shoulders and bells on her toes, she will have music wherever she goes."
At Beltane she was believed to ride to the cross of ley lines where the power would be strongest, the cock (male) horse being her consort, the God, in his aspect of young and virile. Men would also "ride" into town to greet their brides. They would symbolically mount a pole with a horses head attached, representing the young God. This pole was and still is called a hobby horse. The word hobby, in old English meant "pony" or small horse. Only the Goddess was deemed "queen" to ride the stallion. Rhiannon (Great, or Divine, Queen) is a fertility is a fertility Goddess.
HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.
Babcock, M. Goddesses: Knowledge cards (illus.: Susan Seddon Boulet). Hong Kong: Pomegranate.
Marashinsky, Amy Sophia. (1997). The Goddess Oracle: A Way to Wholeness Through the Goddess and Ritual (illus.: Hrana Janto). Boston: Element.
Paterson, H. (1994). (Ed.) Carol Squires, The Handbook of Celtic Astrology . St. Paul: Llewellyn
In the Nature of Avalon, The Goddess in Glastonbury, The Ancient British Goddess, Spinning the Wheel of Ana, On Finding Treasure, Breast Cancer: Hanging on by a Red Thread and Chiron in Labrys (Ariadne Publications)
Copyright Judi Singleton - http://GoddessGospel.blogspot.com
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