Ancient Calendar & Pagan Holidays: December 2 : The Feast & Story of Rhiannon

 

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Feast of Rhiannon

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Now, do you know who Rhiannon is? Some people connect her as being a Witch in the Stevie Nicks song, Rhiannon. But Rhiannon was so much more than that. In fact, there is a whole story behind her that I am about to tell. So grab a piece of Tom’s art and gather around the campfire.

The Feast that is going down today comes to us from Welsh tradition. Rhiannon happens to be a Goddess, a very good goddess, in Celtic culture.

Rhiannon’s father was Hefeydd and apparently she was a sight to be had. Now, it seems that daddy promised Rhiannon to Gwawl. Back then if you were promised by poppa dearest, that meant you were flat out—soon—to—be—betrothed.

Unfortunately though, someone else had their sights on Rhiannon and believe me when I say, he wasn’t stopping until he had her.

Yep, I smell more lover drama and romance in the air…pull out the smores.

One day Rhiannon was out riding a beautiful white horse and it was during this ride that she met Pwyll. During their meeting, he knew with all his heart that she was the one for him. So he proclaimed his undying love for her but instead of running into his arms, Rhiannon and her white horse took off.

Now Pwyll wasn’t the type to let go so instead of finding someone to take Rhiannon’s place, he sent one of his horsemen to chase after her.

Why didn’t he go himself? I don’t know…maybe he had a castle to build or something.

Anyway, his horseman chased Rhiannon for three whole days but just couldn’t catch her.

Out of his wits, Pwyll decided to do it himself. He soon learned, though, that Rhiannon wasn’t an easy Goddess to snare.

Catching glimpse again, absolutely exhausted, he finally shouted out to her with his heart bleeding with want, “ Lady, for the sake of the man you love most, stop for me.”

Rhiannon boldly called back, “I will gladly, and it would have been better for your horse had you asked me earlier.”

(Think how silly he felt at that point? All he had to do was ask her to stop instead of chasing her all over the place—duh)

Once she stopped and they spent more time together, Rhiannon admitted that she favored Pwyll over Gwawl. But if you think they lived happily ever after at this point, you are so wrong. Because now Pwyll had to win her from Gwawl. I mean, you didn’t exactly walk up to a guy who basically had the marriage papers already signed and say, “Hey, taking your woman now buggar off.”

Nope, for 2 years Pwyll had to struggle with Gwawl before he finally laid down his arms.

Pwyll had to be completely exhausted now, you know?

After they married, it took 3 years for Rhiannon to have a child—a son. But of course the life of a woman is never easy because her the night Rhiannon gave birth, one of her ladies claimed she murdered the baby just before her other ladies stole the child and took off with him.

Looking as if Rhiannon was guilty, she was made a slave and servant of her own house as punishment.

Meanwhile a man named Teirnan Twrvliant, the Lord of Gwent Ys Coed discovered the babe and adopted him but when the boy grew up in no less than seven years, Teirnan kind of realized, “Hey, something is up with this.”

Putting two and two together, he figured out who the boy—well man was—and returned him back to Rhiannon and Pwyll. Imagine her relief and how ticked off she was to have been a servant all this time for doing something she knew she didn’t do. Anyway, she named her son Pryderi which was Welsh for worry. I’d say that suited him.

 

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