The Order of the White Moon Goddess Gallery Presents
Arianrhod: Welsh Goddess of the Silver Wheel
A Level I Initiate of The Sacred Three Goddess School
© 2016. All original material in this site is under copyright protection and is the intellectual property of the author.
Her name is pronounced “ah-ree-AHN-rhohd”
Associations Sacred to Her: The fate and the turning of the wheel, motherhood, fertility, reincarnation, and sovereignty.
Lineage and Mythic History:
Sister to Gwydion, Gilfaethwy and Caswallon, and assumed to be the daughter of the mother Goddess Dôn. She is one of the five goddesses of Avalon; the others are Blodeuwedd, Branwen, Cerridwen, and Rhiannon. Niece to Math.
The story of Arianrhod (at least one story) forms the fourth part of the Mabinogion, a collection of 11 pre-Christian Welsh myths that date as far back as the Iron Age.
This story tells of Goddess Arianrhod, daughter of a Goddess, and niece to Math the King of Gwynedd.
King Math is cursed so that unless his feet are kept in the lap of a virgin whenever he was not at war he would die. Arianrhod’s brother seduces his footholder and Math suggests Arianrhod take her place. According to stories, she had been spending time with both men and mermen and does not want the job. When she is forced to step over a magician’s rod to prove her virginity she immediately gives birth to two sons; Dylan who escapes into the ocean, the other, a blob or formless body that is swept away by Gwydion and raised in a magic forest. It is said the body was put in a chest that Gwydion later opens and sees a boy… who grew at an alarming rate.
On his fourth birthday, Gwydion brings the child to see Arianrhod. Instead of being happy she is outraged.
She places three curses over him during his life:
He shall have no name except one she gives him.
He shall bear no arms except ones she gives him, as is her right.
He shall have no wife of the race that is now on the earth.
These deny him the three ancient aspects of masculinity.
Her brother cleverly manages to trick her each time. While Gwydion is fitting shoes for her the boy throws a rock at a bird and Arianrhod says he has a skillful hand. Gwydion happily announced that she had just named her son – Lleu Llaw Gyffes (Shining Skillful Hand). Arianrhod is very angry and returns to her castle.
Gwydion again approaches the castle in disguise as a traveler seeking refuge at Caer Arianrhod. Gwydion was a powerful magician and created the illusion of an army ready to invade. Arianrhod opens her armory and allows them to arm themselves. He then tells his sister what he has done and defeated she retreats again.
Gwydion and Math come together to create Lleu a bride, Blodeuwedd, out of Oak blossom, broom and meadowsweet. This didn’t work out well as she was fickle and cheated on him. Nonetheless Arianrhod retreated back to her castle, Caer Arianrhod. Legend says it is here she later drowned when the sea reclaimed the land.
Another story says:
“Arianrhod is said to be able to shape-shift into a large Owl, and through the great Owl-eyes, sees even into the darkness of the human subconscious and soul. The Owl symbolizes death and renewal, wisdom, moon magic, and initiations. She is said to move with strength and purpose through the night, her wings of comfort and healing spread to give solace to those who seek her.”
The Moon and The Womb
I kept this intact because quite honestly it is so beautifully written.
During my research I have read that her castle is the Aurora Borealis, she is a gatekeeper for souls that have passed and are waiting to be reborn, other say she was just an angry woman. Well, she had every right to be angry!
In honor of Arianrhod I worked with a tattoo artist while in Salem, MA. to create what I want to keep on my body from this part of my studies.
By Oles Fergus
Gather stones that hold light, Labradorite and Moonstone
Place lit candles of silver and gray, blue and black, yellow and gold around your space
Burn incense of myrrh and frankincense to ground you
Have a drum at your side
In your own comfortable fashion call out to your guides and ancestors to walk with you
In your space with your drum, ask for Arianrhod to hear you
“Thank you Arianrhod for the sacrifices you made
For giving me a lit path to walk under the stars and moonlight.”
Beat your drum if you feel called
“Arianrhod, thank you for giving us this year and turning the wheel so that we may have this journey.
I ask that you keep those souls who have not moved on safe and let them know they are loved.”
*Thank her for anything you feel called to thank her for at this time.*
“Goddess of the Silver Wheel, I ask that you see me safely through my journey.
Amen. Aho. So it is.”
Sit quietly, thank your guides and ancestors. Feel them as they go.
Slowly open your eyes and see the flames of the candles. Focus for a second on their movement.
Blow them out.
Touch the stones; do they feel warm with Arianrhod’s light?
Return to Goddess Gallery