March 4th all over the place is a day celebrated as the Feast of Rhiannon, in celebration of the goddess Rhiannon, which is the very goddess I was named after (more or less–I was named after the song and the song was written about the goddess lol). So, in my own way to celebrate such a strong name, I’m going to post her story here so that you can enjoy it, too. It’s quite a tale!
Here is the short of her story:
Rhiannon was promised in marriage to Gwawl Ap Clud against her wishes. She chose to defy her family and chose the mortal Pwyll [POO-ul] as husband. She appeared to Pwyll, who stood with his companions on the Mound of Wonders. She was dressed all in gold and was riding a white horse so swiftly that she did not seem to be touching the ground. The fastest horses in Pwyll’s party could not overtake this beautiful woman. Pwyll’s companions were afraid and advised Pwyll against pursuit. Pwyll called out and asked Her to wait, which She did. Rhiannon and Pwyll were married and she bore him a son. The child was kidnapped by the jealous Gwawl. The six handmaids, who were nurses to the baby, were terrified that they would be punished; so, they planted evidence to suggest that Rhiannon had eaten her own young. They scattered bones and poured blood around Rhiannon’s bed. The offense of killing one. s own child was punishable by death, but Pwyll, instead, sentenced Rhiannon to stand at the gates of the city, telling of Her crime and offering to carry visitors into the city on Her own back. The child, who was not dead, was eventually found, and Rhiannon was vindicated by truth.
And her Origins:
Rhiannon [RHEE-awn-on] is a Welsh underworld Goddess form. Her story is told in the Mabinogion , translation by Lady Charlotte Guest). Her origin goes back further still according to Jean Markale who believes that she might have been the original Mother Goddess of the Celtic people. She brings sleep, dreams, and sometimes nightmares. She is found in several ancient cultures, called by several names. Through history Rhiannon has survived and influenced many cultures and legends. Her name translates as “divine” or “Great Queen.” She may have been 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 . She is also accompanied by golden birds whose singing can call the dead or grant peaceful sleep to the living.
You can find more information HERE. This website has a good bit of information, plus extra sources listed 😀 Aside from Rhiannon being my middle name, I am quite intrigued by this particular goddess.
Just for fun, though, here are the Symbols of Rhiannon, which can also be found in the link above:
Colors: white, silver, gold
Moon phase: waning
Animals: horse, bird
Herbs/Flowers: Jasmine, evergreens, any white flower
Stones: moonstone, quartz crystal
Aspects: leadership, movement, change, death, fertility, crisis, magic for women,
protection, strength and truth in adversity, dreams
Wheel of the Year:
Willow moon (Saille): April 15 – May 12
Ivy moon (Gort): September 30 – October 27
3 thoughts on “The Feast of Rhiannon”
Very nice. Thanks for that one…my cousin – the divine one…who knew? And here I thought you were going to talk about food.
I’m writing to welcome you to the grand opening of an interactive shrine dedicated to the wonderful goddess Rhiannon! http://churchofasphodel.org/shrines/rhiannon/welcome.html
This shrine not only provides information about Rhiannon both old and new, but is also a showcase for art and writing about the Divine Queen. I would be very honored if anyone had devotional writing or art work which they would like to have included. The shrine is a nondenominational, safe pagan space where people may write anonymous prayers to Rhiannon. My hope is that anyone who has been blessed by or would like to know better Rhiannon will feel welcomed.
The shrine was built out of love and gratitude for everything that Rhiannon has done for me in my life. I cannot afford to build her a temple and pay for there to be staff available 24 hours a day seven days a week where other pagans can come to honor her. Because so many pagans spend a lot of time in cyberspace, in ritual and divination Rhiannon communicated that she was happy being where the people are and the online shrine developed from there.
I sincerely hope that you will find the shrine to be useful in many ways, from a place for focusing your thoughts in a devotional practice to when needing to connect with her at work, home or running errands. Rhiannon’s shrine is always available. One of the beautiful things about these shrines is being able to see how many people have also been graced with experiences, faith and/or love for Rhiannon. The variety of requests and gratitude are a testimony to the living pagan tradition happening around the world.
This webmaster has designed the only online shrines that give the worshiper a choice of three different types of anonymous messages:
1. Gratitude: Click Gratitude and the empty field now reads “Thank you Rhiannon for….” allowing you to post your thanks to Rhiannon for whatever blessings she has bestowed upon you.
2. Praise: Click Praise and write whatever your heart moves you to share.
3. Request: Click Request and you will see there are two sections; the first being “Rhiannon, please help…” and the second being “For this…” This allows you to state what offering you will give to Rhiannon in sacred space.
Many pagans are responsible for the shrine being so beautiful with their donations of artwork and devotional writing. No matter what your path, if you have offerings of artwork or writing related to Rhiannon, please do submit it. Either a page could be made by the webmaster or we can have a link to your offering.
There are over 50 of these interactive devotional shrines at the Church of Asphodel. I am not a member but this church is devoted to continuing the worship of the old Goddesses and Gods, and will for free not just host it, but also put the online shrine together with the materials that someone sends. With their extensive connections to many pagan writers and artists, they can find more offerings for the shrine as well. The Church also publishes books about polytheism, especially devotional writing by many different pagans, and hosts the traditional Neopagan 8 Wheel of the Year rituals for the public on their homestead. I am greatly indebted to them for creating this program and website that allows interactive worship as well as their ethical and sacred process in building and hosting the shrine. I personally can recommend them for anyone else who would like to have an interactive shrine in a nondenominational, safe space. They do this for free, although I did make a donation. Already many of the Northern Gods are there, but some Greek, Roman, Gaelic and now Brythonic ones are being built by people like me.
This is not my shrine; this is Rhiannon’s shrine. May it serve her and her followers well.
Thank you so much for your time. If you have offerings you would like to be included in Rhiannon’s shrine, allowing it to become greater with every contribution, please email webmaster Joshua at email@example.com.
I have only just realized your comment was there! I apologize for the late response. I will most certainly check out the link you gave me. Thank you!
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