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Rhiannon: Smiling in the Face of Despair

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.