In various Avalon traditions Celtic goddesses are super important. Most people I meet seem to have a thing for Rhiannon, and she’s pretty awesome so I have no problem with that. She has a strong connection with horses and blackbirds, which is great because they are great.
There’s a famous old myth of hers: One day a king called Pwyll was hanging out at night on a special mound, and it was said if you did this, you would either see something amazing or get beaten up. Pwyll, manly man that he was, was not afraid of being beaten up. So he’s sitting on his hill with his men, and he sees this gorgeous lady riding slowly past on horseback. He sends a man on foot to stop her, but she is too fast. The next night he goes there again, and when the lady strolls by he sends a man on a fast horse to catch her, but he can’t. On the third night, thinking his peeps must be idiots as the lady is riding really slowly, he goes after her on a horse, but he can’t catch up either. When he and his horse is tired, he calls to the lady to stop. She says “I will, but it would have been better for your horse if you asked that long ago”. He says “What is your journey’s purpose?” and she says “In truth, my purpose was to seek you.”
Next in the story they want to get married, but they can’t, so someone has to be tricked, and then there is a baby, and a sack… it goes on.
However, in a lot of the reading matter I have been consuming, this is a key story for Goddess followers. Kathy Jones talks about the tale being a metaphor for how we approach the goddess – we search for her for a long time, not quite being able to reach her, and when we do we realise she has been looking for us the whole time. We have to ask and be super-obvious about what we want. Thing is, after we’ve asked, we have to listen for a response, which is much easier when you are asking a redhead on a horse as opposed to an invisible divine force.
In my interactions with Goddess Rhiannon, it’s been made quite clear to me that she’s an in-between goddess, not quite a this-world goddess and not really an under-world or other-world goddess. Very faerie-like. She travels between the worlds wherever she chooses, not really belonging to one world more than the other. I think she is a goddess of freedom.
She’s a welsh goddess, and having spent a lot of my life tramping around Wales, I can really feel how she’d be a part of the landscape.
I think she’s a lovely Goddess. As I said, she loves horses, what more could you want?