Rhiannon

Book Review: Pagan Portals – Rhiannon, Divine Queen of the Celtic Britons by Jhenah Telyndru

June, 2018

Book Review

Pagan Portals: Rhiannon, Divine Queen of the Celtic Britons

by Jhenah Telyndru

There is knowledge, and there is wisdom; one comes from the mind and the other from the heart and soul. Jhenah Telyndru has both of these in abundance.

As the founder and Morgen of the Sisterhood of Avalon, Ms. Telyndru’s love for her subject comes through in every page and word.

With a Bachelor’s degree in Archeology and a Master’s in Celtic Studies, her knowledge has been attained through years of study.

“Rhiannon” is well-researched via many avenues, i.e. etymology, story-telling, mythology and literature. Rhiannon’s connections to other Goddesses such as Epona, Morrigan and the Matronae (Divine Mothers) is explained in the earlier parts of the book.

While Rhiannon, herself, is not identified as a Goddess in history, this does not stop many women from around the world from worshiping her as such, and the whys and hows of her divinity and sovereignty are explored within the pages of this wonderful book. Ms. Telyndru draws in each reader as she shares her own insight and wisdom, and helps us to more fully come to know Rhiannon.

For those who know nothing of Rhiannon, this is the perfect introduction. To those who know of her and yearn to learn more, this book is a stepping-stone to knowing her more fully and deeply, how to understand her and use her stories on our own journey to Sovereignty. We can begin to learn how to build and deepen our own relationship with her, through the use of shrines, altars, offerings, her symbols and meditative trance journeys.

Allow Jhenah Telyndru to guide you in your journey to Rhiannon.

(Disclaimer: While it in no way deters from my recommendation of this book to all, it bears mentioning that I am proud to be a member of The Sisterhood of Avalon – SM)

***

About the Author:

Susan Morgaine is a Daughter of the Goddess, Witch, Writer, Teacher, Healer, and Yogini. She is a monthly columnist with PaganPages.org Her writings can be found in The Girl God Anthologies, “Whatever Works: Feminists of Faith Speak” and “Jesus, Mohammed and the Goddess”, as well as Mago Publications “She Rises, Volume 2, and “Celebrating Seasons of the Goddess”. She has also been published in Jareeda and SageWoman magazines. She is a Certified Women’s Empowerment Coach/Facilitator through She is the author of “My Name is Isis”, one in the series of the “My Name Is………” children’s books published by The Girl God Publications. A Woman International, founded by Patricia Lynn Reilly. She has long been involved in Goddess Spirituality and Feminism, teaching classes and workshops, including Priestessing Red Tents within MA and RI. She is entering her 20th year teaching Kundalini Yoga and Meditation, being a Certified instructor through the Kundalini Research Institute, as well as being a Reiki Master. She is a member of the Sisterhood of Avalon. She can be found at https://mysticalshores.wordpress.com/ and her email is MysticalShores@gmail.com

My Name is Isis: The Egyptian Goddess

An Interview with Sheena Cundy: Crafty Crone

November, 2015

Sheena

 

I was lucky enough to catch up with an incredibly creative and talented witch this month, Sheena Cundy. Sheena is a well-known healer and the creator of The Magic of Nature Oracle, a vibrant divination deck based on the flora and fauna of Britain. She is also the songstress of the band Morrigan’s Path. In between all this she teaches tarot and horse riding. Sheena took a break from all this to answer some of my questions for you lovely readers here at Pagan Pages.

Mabh Savage: So, first of all, what is a crafty crone?

Sheena Cundy: She is a Witch of menopausal age, shrewd and creative with wisdom to pass on to others. Crafty Crones was a name my sister Tania and I created when we first started working together about five years ago. As young Crones and sisters of the Craft it seemed to fit and I find myself growing more into the role as time goes on…It is a magical path of continually stepping into the transformative energy of the Crone, embracing her power and integrating it into one’s own personality. She can be a hard task master, but if the Witch wants to grow and learn, there is no better teacher.

MS: And you also use the term Chapel Witch to describe yourself. Where does this come from?

SC: I am very fortunate to live near a 6th century Celtic chapel on a wild and rugged part of the Essex coastline. I head down the beach most days with my dog and spend a lot of time in the chapel, my spiritual home. It’s a humble and incredibly sacred space – pulsating with energy – and I sing, pray and work magic within its walls.

It feeds my soul.

MS: Tell us a bit about your upcoming novel, The Madness and the Magic.

madness

 

SC: Minerva is a modern day Witch battling with the hormonal horrors of the menopause, while her teenage daughter Rhiannon faces the trials of an unplanned pregnancy. The tale weaves around Minerva’s ridiculous antics to snare the local guitar-playing vicar – involving tarot cards, crazy spells and lots of brandy – and Ronnie’s turmoil and a sorry horse tale. It’s quite mad in places and yet strangely magical in others. I loved writing it… it cheered me up no end and kept me out of prison while going through the ‘murderous tendencies’ phase of the menopause. If it can cheer other people up too, that’s a bonus.

MS: Does the story have any real life influence? Is there any of you in Minerva?

SC: Indeed there is, and especially now I’ve written the book, there seems to be a lot of Minerva in me. It can be confusing and I have many stories for the continuing saga of Minerva running through my mind constantly… if it’s going to happen to me, I will make sure it happens to Minerva. It’s the best way I’ve found, to keep a balanced (and half-sane) perspective on life. If you can laugh at yourself, nothing is too hard to handle.

Also, I can enjoy and indulge through Minerva the intoxicating effects of brandy, her favourite tipple. As I’ve been teetotal for three years now it’s the healthiest (and safest) way of reliving my drinking days!

MS: Is this your first foray into writing fiction? Did it come easily to you? What challenges did you find?

SC: I’ve written a number of short stories, but never anything of this length. Fifty thousand words seemed a huge mountain to climb when I decided to write a novel in a month as part of NaNoWriMo: an online challenge. The truth is, I thrive on doing what I love; there’s nothing like creative writing, and I do like a challenge. This opportunity ticked all the boxes and I had to have a go. I wanted to see if I could do it; if I could discipline myself to finish a first draft in thirty days. It was an act of magic, I can tell you. I found out more about myself in thirty days than I could ever imagine. I loved it. I am in my element when I’m writing. It’s something I need to do to be happy.

MS: I understand a sequel is already in the wings. Will this follow the same characters?

SC: Mainly, yes. I have one or two new characters germinating but there is so much more to tell about the old ones! I feel a definite urge to delve deeper into their characters and discover more about them through another story and I’m almost ready to make a start, but not quite yet. Magic happens when its good and ready…it’s all about timing.

MS: Moving away from fiction, you’re going to be writing about psychic development; what does this mean to you?

SC: Good question! My whole life has been about psychic development of some kind and I think that applies to us all whether we realise it or not. We are all souls on a spiritual journey and it is through our psychic development that we learn and grow. To be writing about this excites me and scares the hell out of me at the same time. You could say it’s my next mountain, stretching me to greater heights! I know I can do it, but it will be hard work.

It’s different to writing fiction; although still creative, I feel there is more pressure to ‘get it right’. However, the right balance is fundamental and to produce work that is authentic requires us to be ourselves is what I keep telling myself. I would get far too bored writing anything too serious and that is one of the reasons why I want to do this. To write a book on psychic development which is light hearted enough to entertain, and yet sincere enough to be taken seriously will give me great pleasure.

MS: Do you think being a Pagan gives one a very different perspective for psychic development?

SC: Another good question… and one I am pondering over at the moment as this is the aim of my new book, Your Magical Nature – Psychic Development from a Pagan Perspective. I think a Pagan’s outlook is a far more natural one and certainly more magical. Combining those two aspects and a bit of fun (Pagans are good at that) is enough to inspire the dullest of minds, surely? Watch this space!

MS: How long have you been a Pagan and how did you find your path?

SC: I have been a Pagan all this life but only fully aware of it for the last twelve years since officially dedicating myself to the Craft.

From childhood, I have always loved nature and the great outdoors, animals, people and music. All have featured strongly and still do, except now I have the perfect spiritual expression, through the Craft, to be my true self. The spirit of the Witch, I believe, is carried over from many lives and cannot be ignored or denied. We answer the call in our own time, when we are ready.

MS: As the season turns autumnal, what (and how) will you be celebrating?

SC: Mabon was spent with my coven sisters. Every turning of the wheel, we work in ritual together, strengthening our connection with the earth and each other.

I also celebrate down on the beach with my dog Lola, the land, sea and sky and in the home by decorating my altar with seasonal delights. Foraging in the fields is always a joy this time of year… the hedgerows are still dripping with blackberries and you can never make enough crumbles!

MS: And later, as we move into winter? What are the highlights of the darker season for a Pagan writer and musician?

SC: I love all the seasons, but winter has to be the best for writing. The Crone’s influence is closer than ever and I plug into Her as my source of inspiration… my muse. ally, any time is good for song writing but winter is a good time to record and that’s what we’re doing at the moment.

MS: You sing and write for Morrigan’s Path. How long have the band been together, and how did you all meet?

SC: Morrigan’s Path are two years old, still growing and evolving. The band grew out of a duo Ian (husband) and I had together and through other musical connections and synchronicity. We are all good friends who love creating original music and have the best fun doing it.

MS: You use a mix of modern and traditional instruments in your band. Is it important to keep the use of traditional and folk instruments alive?

SC: What’s important to us is the live energy we create and yes, I think that comes through better with acoustic instruments. Plus, if we need to play in the middle of a field with no electricity, we can! We tend to veer away from the mechanical and sometimes over-produced sound and more towards a raw and earthy feel. Strip everything back and you’re left with something far more natural and magical.

MS: Do you think music is, or can be, a form of magic?

SC: I think music is one of the most powerful forms of magic there is. It has the power to influence our thoughts and feelings in a multitude of ways, consciously or not. It can and does change lives.

That’s magic.

MS: What gigs or events does the band have coming up?

SC: We are playing locally at a spiritual gathering next week (Oct 25th) in Maldon, Essex. I have been asked to talk more about the Morrígan and how She inspires the music, so I’m excited about that. It’s always lovely to go into more depth with an audience that’s open to it!

[Note from Mabh- sorry we couldn’t get this to press before the event, dear readers!]

…and we are playing at my book launch party for The Madness & the Magic (Dec 12th) again in Maldon – at The Blue Boar hotel. It’s in a beautiful (Georgian) function room with loads of atmosphere, just the place for a celebration!

Free entry at both gigs and everybody is welcome!

MS: Tell us a bit about your Magic of Nature Oracle.

SC: My sister Tania (artist) and I created this card deck based on the seasons, trees, animals and birds of British wildlife. The oracle is a simple but effective way of connecting to the natural wisdom and healing of the earth for guidance. Three years in the making, self-publishing is hard work on many levels, but the feedback so far has made it a worthwhile labour of love!

MS: How does the oracle differ from tarot?

SC: Thirty nine cards instead of seventy eight make it easier for a start! We wanted to move away from the complex symbolism of the tarot, which not everyone resonates with, and use nature as a theme. Most people can relate to a fox or an Oak tree! Each card’s energy relates to a soul lesson, recognised as an experience and a gift and concludes with a magical mantra as a way of reaffirming the guidance. However, like any oracle, the cards are essentially a mirror reflecting back to us where we are in our lives.

MS: Do you think anyone can learn to do readings with cards and oracles?

SC: Anyone who is attracted to them and willing to learn, yes. It is that pull we feel towards something which calls us to move in a certain direction. With tools of divination, it is always a call to discover more about the self and make sense of the world, and those who are naturally gifted – with the right people skills – will extend that to others.

MS: When you’re not writing and creating, how do you like to relax?

SC: I do find it hard to switch off totally. Even when I’m out with the dog, I’m hatching something! Spending time with Ian and our two boys, having a laugh, watching a good film, reading and yoga are pretty much top of the list… as is socialising and singing with my band. Anything that grounds me to the good earth and makes my life magical will free me up.

MS: And finally, what goal would you like to have achieved by Samhain next year?

SC: Staying healthy is the ultimate goal, so I can keep writing, producing and enjoying the magic. Our health is our wealth…

I would love to see The Madness and the Magic as a TV comedy drama. I think it has the potential but I need to find the right way of getting it there… where there’s a Witch there’s always a way. I’m working on it.

I also intend to have the sequel to my novel and Your Magical Nature written and submitted for publishing. The next Morrigan’s Path album will be out (we’re seven songs in at the moment) and I would love to be out playing more and reaching a wider audience.

Work aside (!), we are planning to breed from Lola next year, so Springer Spaniel puppies will be featuring prominently in a rather smelly, bouncing up and down kind of way. Variety is the magic of life and definitely keeps the creative juices flowing!

 

Find out more about the fascinating work of Sheena Cundy at the following links:

http://www.sheenacundy.com

http://www.morriganspath.com

http://magic-inyourlife.blogspot.co.uk/

Gems of the Goddess

April, 2011

Rhiannon The Welsh Queen

Her name was sung by the honey voiced Stevie Nicks in the song Rhiannon, back in the 1970’s, gaining her the attention she very much deserves.  Rhiannon is defiantly a warrior goddess in her own right, as well as a soft whimsical soul.  Her name means “divine queen” of the fairies, and she was often seen riding her horses in the flower fields among her fairy kingdom.  She sang to the birds, and anyone else who would happen to walk by.  The goddess had many gifts, with which she shared with many people.

Her life wasn’t all roses and fairy dust.  Her family arranged for her to marry an older man, a man of her “own kind.”  But Rhiannon being the individual she is, defied their wishes and fell for Pwyll, a mortal prince.  She proceeded to woo him outside his castle one day, and he instantly fell for her alluring glow.  She was a stunning sight to see; long hair, fair skin, and an infectious loving personality, galloping towards him on a white horse.  She could entice anyone, and she was aware of this, but never took it for granted.  She is a dazzling person, and Pwyll could not believe she was his, a women from another land.

The two met up again a year later as Rhiannon took Pwyll and his men through the winding forest to her home where they would be wedded, and she would be apart of the mortal world.

They rode and rode, amazed at Rhiannon’s speed and gracefulness.  The trees behind them began to close and soon they entered a clearing.  Within the clearing was a beautiful structure made of crystal that spiraled up into the sky.  This was the place Rhiannon called home.  Birds flitted and danced about Rhiannon singing to her.  It was a fairy tale moment in time.

After the wedding a great festival was held, with much happiness and joy.  Both families were accepting groups welcoming each other with open arms.  The group danced around the fairy kingdom celebrating the newly wed couple.  Unfortunately, the older man Rhiannon was set up to marry showed up and started creating havoc.  This would not be tolerated by her, so Rhiannon set out for him quietly as she could.  Using a bit of magic of course, she turned him into a badger, tied him up in a bag, and threw him into a river to drown.  As gracious as she may be, Rhiannon was not to messed with. Little did she know he escaped from the bag, and would cause future drama in her life later on.

In the mean time Rhiannon and her husband lived on in the Pwyll’s palace.  Soon his family started to question the couple about having an heir to the thrown, and began to question Rhiannon’s ability to be within the royal family.  Rhiannon quickly took notice and produced a beautiful baby boy.  Being exhausted from child birth, Rhiannon was assigned 7 maids to help her with her new child.  They were to take shifts caring for the infant.  One night they all fell asleep on the job, and awoke to find the crib empty.  Immediately alarmed and afraid of getting in trouble, they decided to put the blame on Rhiannon, killing an animal and scattering its blood and bones around the sleeping beauty.

The next morning the maids rang the alarm and spoke a hideous lie saying that Rhiannon ate her own child.  The whole town was a wreck, and even Pwyll did not defend his wife.  Blinded by anger, he sentenced her to be a greeter outside the castle gate and carry the visitors up the hill for as long as she lives.

She agreed to her punishment, enduring it for many years.  Eventually her integrity and acceptance began to grow on the visitors, and people started to show kindness towards her once again.

In the fall, a man, his wife, and a young boy showed up at the gate.  Rhiannon told them she was there to carry them up the hill, but the family refused.  The boy leaned down and handed her a piece of an infants clothing.  Shocked and overwhelmed Rhiannon realized that the cloth had been woven by her.  She looked into the boys eyes and saw Pwyll’s gaze within them.  This boy was her son.    The family had taken him in when they found him abandoned years ago.  Once the news about Rhiannon reached them they knew that this boy must have something to do with her terrible fate.  So they set out to find her, and reunite Rhiannon with her son.

Soon the whole kingdom was made aware of what happened, and Rhiannon was accepted back into the royal family once more.

Her endless ability to forgive is a lesson we could all take note of.  Forgiveness is not only an important task to employ within yourself, but also with others.  It can unlock the door to everlasting peace, for you and all of the people that come and go in your life.  She also teaches us to endure life’s throw-backs with grace, and an open heart, learning what you can along the way.  Everything works out in the end, so in the mean time, take some time to sing and enjoy the flowers!  Be that inner maiden and approach things with a care-free attitude like Rhiannon did.

CONNECTING WITH RHIANNON

Practice the role of forgiveness in an area of your life.  May it be with yourself or with another person.  And remember if its with another person, your not saying that what they did was right, but your saying that your moving on, and are not dwelling on the matter anymore.  Baby steps are fine, either way some weight will be lifted off your shoulders.  Rhiannon is there to help!  Since its almost spring, go outside and connect with her for the help you need.  Give the fairies a donation, or do whatever you feel is right.  Make spring a fresh new start.

SYMBOLS AND THINGS TO PUT ON YOUR ALTER

birds, horses, wind, the moon, gates, bayberry, sage, rosemary, gold, amethyst, dark green, brown, lavender, horseshoe, (the song Rhiannon by Fleetwood Mac)

Rhiannon: Smiling in the Face of Despair

December, 2008

Today, we look at Rhiannon, the Celtic goddess of Inspiration and of the Moon, hailing from Wales.  She is known as the “Divine Queen of the Fairies.”  Her story is one of triumph and tragedy and we can learn how to bear an injustice while still keeping our joy.  Here is Rhiannon’s story.

Rhiannon (her name is either “Maid of Annwn” or a variant of Rigatona, “Great Queen”), is a version of the horse-goddess Epona and of sovereignty.  One day, Pwyll saw her riding her horse – a beautiful woman wearing gold.  He sent his fastest horseman after her but she outruns them.  On the third day of this, she stops and tells Pwyll that he didn’t have to chase her; he could have won her by speaking to her.  She was promised to Gwawl, a much older man who she did not want to marry.  Pwyll and Rhiannon fell in love and agreed to meet a year and a day later.

Pwyll and Rhiannon were married but her people were not happy about it, because she should have married one of her own.  She went to live with Pwyll’s people and she was happy.

During the next few years, Rhiannon bore a son.  She had seven ladies-in-waiting to take care of him so Rhiannon could get some rest.  One evening, while Rhiannon rested, her ladies-in-waiting also went to sleep.  When they awoke, the crib was empty.  Rhiannon’s ladies did not want to take responsibility for losing the child so they killed a puppy and smeared its blood on her.  Rhiannon swore her innocence but no one came to her defense, including her husband Pwyll, who was in too much grief.  As punishment from the court, Rhiannon was to spend seven years under a heavy horse collar, telling her story to all that came to the court and offering to carry them on her back to the court doors.  Rhiannon took this punishment without complaint and word spread throughout the land of her courage and20quiet dignity of the punishment.

The thought was a suitor that Rhiannon had rejected kidnapped the child as revenue of Rhiannon.  This child was found by Teymon, who was helping a mare who lost her foal.  When looking for it, Teymon found the child and he and his wife adopted him.  Four years later, Teymon, his wife and the adopted child went to the court where he met Rhiannon.  She offered to carry them to the court.  The child handed her a cloth that she recognized as the infant’s clothing she knitted.  And when she looked in his eyes, she recognized Pwyll.  The child was returned to Rhiannon and Pwyll and Rhiannon was released from her sentence.

Rhiannon’s themes are movement, communication, rest, ghosts, fertility and leadership.  Her symbols are the color white, horses and the Moon.  She can also work with in situations with mothers, motherhood and lost children.

If you want to work with Rhiannon, you can ask her to help you with communicating with others, especially if you are trying to take on a leadership role or assert yourself.  This can apply to writing a report or presentation, filling out important papers (especially around a situation that deserves justice) or mediation.

Rhiannon also teaches us to find ways to survive, even with joy, after a si tuation seems to be bleak.  Rhiannon took her punishment without complaint and made the best of it.  We can work with her to help see the light in the dark moments.

Bringing Rhiannon in your life shows that you are looking to work with strong powerful feminine energy to get what you want and deal with what’s been presented to you.  Rhiannon will help you live your life with happiness and forgiveness, no matter what is your destiny.