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    Gods and Goddesses ; Arianarhod

    Soaring Bird

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    Gods and Goddesses ; Arianarhod

    Post  Soaring Bird on Sat Oct 03, 2009 3:36 am


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    In Welsh mythology, Arianrhod ("silver wheel") is a major figure in the fourth branch of the Mabinogion.

    Arianrhod was the daughter of Beli Mawr and Dôn, and her brothers include Gwydion and Gilfaethwy. Her uncle, Math ap Mathonwy was the King of Gwynedd.
    Mythic Representation

    Math had to rest his feet in the lap of a virgin unless he was at war or wanted to be, or else he would die. When Gilfaethwy fell in love with Goewin, Math's foot-holder, Gwydion created a plan to help him rape her. After, when Goewin told Math of the assault, he turned Gilfaethwy and Gwydion into breeding pairs, first of deer, then wolves, and finally pigs.

    After they were punished, Math asked their advice as to who should be his next virgin foot-holder. Gwydion suggested his sister, Arianrhod. To test her virginity, Math told her to step over his magician's rod. However, when she did she immediately gave birth to a young boy (Dylan Eil Ton) and a blob.

    Dylan was a sea-creature who immediately moved into the ocean. The blob, however, was placed in a chest by Gwydion. The blob grew into a young boy at twice the rate as a normal child so that when he was four years old he was the size of an eight-year-old. At this time, Gwydion took him to Caer Arianrhod and presented the boy to his mother. Arianrhod, shamed and disgraced, placed a geas on the boy. He would not have a name unless she gave it to him.

    Gwydion and the boy, disguised as shoemakers, returned to Caer Arianrhod. While she was being fitted, she saw the boy killing a wren with a single stone. She proclaimed that the fair-haired one ("lleu") has a skillful hand ("llaw gyffes"). With that, he was named Lleu Llaw Gyffes. Arianrhod then placed a geas on Lleu that he would never take arms unless she armed him.

    A few years later Gwydion and Lleu returned to Caer Arianrhod, this time disguised as bards. Gwydion was an accomplished storyteller and entertained her court. That night, while everyone slept, he conjured a fleet of warships. Arianrhod gave them weapons and armor so they could fight. After she broke her own curse by arming Lleu, Gwydion dispelled the fleet. Arianrhod then placed a final geas on Lleu: he would never have a wife from any race that is on this earth now.

    To break the final geas, Gwydion and Math created a woman out of oak blossom, broom, and meadowsweet and named her Blodeuwedd ("flower face").

    Arianrhod denied Lleu the three aspects of masculinity: a name, arms, and a wife.

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