Creiddylad, Welsh Goddess of Flowers and Love by Judith Shaw

judith Shaw photo

May Day/Beltane (Calan Mai to the ancient Celts) is almost here and our hearts turn to thoughts of love, flowers and the bounty of our Mother Earth. Both Beltane and Halloween/Samhain (Calan Gaeaf) were liminal or threshold days, considered to be outside of normal time. These sacred, mystic days were more important than the solstices in the Celtic world view.

Creiddylad painting by Judith Shaw

Creiddylad, Welsh Goddess of Flowers and Love, is celebrated at this time. (Her name is pronounced cree-THIL-ahd)  She is the eternal May Queen, always seeking peace and stability.  She remains eternally constant in the face of all change.  She is the promise of love, golden glowing moon-flowing love, enduring through all hardship and despair.  Creiddylad also shows us the necessity of self-love. Only by truly loving ourselves can we love another.

Creiddylad is mentioned only briefly in The Mabinogion but her symbolism reveals that she is surely an ancient and important Goddess, whose original stories have been lost to the mists of time.

Creiddylad, the daughter of Lludd Silver-hand, was promised in marriage to her heart’s desire, Gwythyr ap Greidawl. But before the marriage could be consummated she was abducted by Gwyn ap Nudd, who possessed many dark aspects akin to the Lord of the Underworld.

Gwythyr gathered together his warriors and set out to rescue his love, Creiddylad, from Gwyn.  A fierce battle ensued, during which Gwyn, who emerged as the victor, committed horrendous acts of brutality and butchery.

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