Rhiannon by Diane Finkle Perazzo

This poem is dedicated with gratitude to my “Women in the Mabinogi” writing group…

Rhiannon comes to me in my dreams.
She ebbs and flows like the waxing and waning  
of the moon.

Steady hoofbeats, 
clop, clop, clop  
and then, in a rush of beating wings
she vanishes,
leaving a swirl of tiny white petals that spiral like stars.

Continue reading “Rhiannon by Diane Finkle Perazzo”

Rhiannon: Lady of the Other(world) by Kate Brunner

Kate close up at Llyn MorwynionAgain and again, I keep cycling back around to a deeper and deeper exploration of how easily we Other individuals or groups, halting any progress towards meaningful relationship, potential friendship, and peaceweaving. While there are endless examples to be held up in today’s media, in this moment I find myself taking my questions to my altar instead of my newsfeed and to the mythos of the Ladies of my chosen Tradition.

For The Sisterhood of Avalon, this is the season of Rhiannon, Great Queen of the First Branch of The Mabinogion. When we first catch site of Her, She is riding out from Gorsedd Arbeth, portal of the passage from the Otherworld into our world. Confident, self-assured, She comes into our world of Her own volition to pursue Her sovereign path in lieu of the life Her father wants to set before Her. She chooses to marry Pwyll, Prince of Dyfed (in southwest Wales) and together they build a life and rule a kingdom. For many years, all appears to be well. But when Rhiannon bears a son who mysteriously disappears hours after his birth, we see that the people of Dyfed have not forgotten that Rhiannon is Other to them– a foreigner, a stranger, mysterious, dangerous even, and not to be trusted.

The precious child is gone. Rhiannon, exhausted by the labor, is asleep. And the nurses charged with the child’s safekeeping panic. Fear takes over. They slaughter a puppy, litter the bones around the sleeping mother, and smear Her hands & face with the poor creature’s blood. They know this strategy of framing Rhiannon for Her own son’s death will save them from blame & punishment. Why? Because they know the court of Dyfed has never stopped Othering Rhiannon. Continue reading “Rhiannon: Lady of the Other(world) by Kate Brunner”

Branwen, Welsh Goddess of Love and Beauty by Judith Shaw

judith Shaw photoBranwen, Goddess of Love and Beauty, daughter of Penardim and Llyr, sister of Bran the Blessed, King over all the Island of the Mighty, was loved by her people for her gentleness, compassion and beauty. As Mother of the king to come in the tradition of the Old Tribes of the British Isles, she is the embodiment of Sovereignty. She is the Center from which all life emerges. She rules over the Land, both its spirit and its manifestation. Her vision is long, seeing the whole, the greater scheme of things. Sometimes this knowledge can be too much to bear.

Branwen (“white raven”), is most likely an ancient Goddess whose sacred spot is Cadair Bronwen (Branwen’s Seat), a mountain peak in the Berwyn range of Wales. Cadair Bronwen is topped with a cairn that resembles a nipple from afar.

Continue reading “Branwen, Welsh Goddess of Love and Beauty by Judith Shaw”

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