Monday, 3 November 2014

Rhiannon by RowanOak

A lovely write up about the goddess Rhiannon from one of our very own Kitchen Witch students RowanOak:

Rhiannon is a Celtic Moon goddess and Divine Queen of the Fae who is closely connected to Wales and Cornwall. She appears as a beautiful silvery maiden, riding a white horse which shows her connection to the other horse goddesses, Epona and Rigatona. Some believe they are all one and the same. Rhiannon also has close associations with the goddess, Vivienne otherwise know as the Lady of the Lake from Arthurian legend.

Most of the information we have about her is from the legends in the Mabinogion where she decides to marry a mortal man called Prince Pwyll, against the wishes of her parents. Her spurned fairy suitor, who she turned into a badger, follows her into her new life with the Prince and eventually kidnaps her infant son. The nurses who were supposed to be caring for him are so concerned about their punishment for negligence that they frame Rhiannon, making it look like she has killed and consumed her child. Her punishment is to carry visitors on her back from the castle gates to the castle, whilst wearing a heavy horse collar. She bears her penance with courage and dignity until after four years a couple with a young boy arrive at the gates having heard her story. It's clear that the boy with them is her son, which the couple found dumped in the forest as a baby. Rhiannon is pardoned and returns to the palace to be with her husband, who she forgives unconditionally.

Rhiannon also has a darker side - in Slavic countries she is the goddess of death and rebirth, known as Marzanna, More or Morena. There is a custom associated with this winter goddess where school children drown an effigy of her on the first day of spring to 'kill' the dark days of winter. She is also linked to the Germanic horse goddess, Mora who is the embodiment of the word 'Nightmare' and even the Hindu goddess Mara / Queen Maya who is a female Grim Reaper.

You would call on Rhiannon on Mondays ( moon day), during moon rituals and perhaps on a day connected with her sacred number 7. She is associated with the Celtic tree moons of Willow ( April 15th - May 12th) and Ivy ( Sept 30th - Oct 27th).

Rhiannon can be called upon to help with courage in adversity, overcoming enemies, enhancing patience, protection, moon rituals, dream work, comfort in times of crisis and loss, having courage in our convictions / maintaining integrity, fertility magick and magick to bring about change.

Correspondences for Rhiannon -

Attributes - Movement and change, integrity, perseverance and remaining steadfast in our own truths despite the opinions of others, shamanic journeying to the other realms, fertility, death and rebirth, moon rituals and women's magick.
Element - Earth
Season - Spring ( or winter in her dark aspect, Morena )
Colours - Gold, Silver, Charcoal Grey, Rich Brown, Maroon, Dark Green
Herbs and Plants - Narcissus and daffodils, leeks, pansies, forsythia,
cedar and pine trees, bayberry, sage, and rosemary. Also any white flowers.
Perfumes / Scents - Sandalwood, neroli, bergamot, lavender, narcissus, and geranium.
Stones - Rose Quartz, Moonstone, Ruby, Garnet, Bloodstone, Amethyst
Animals - White mare / Horses of any kind, badger, songbirds, dragons, dogs, especially puppies and frogs
Symbols - Moon, Horses, Horseshoe, Songbirds

Image is Rhiannon by Alan Lee