Celtic Moon-Mother Goddess. Called the Silver Wheel that Descends into the Sea. Daughter of the Mother Goddess Don and her consort Beli. She is ruler of Caer Sidi, a magical realm in the north.
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Arianrhod - Goddess of the Silver Wheel - The Goddess - The White Goddess

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Monday, 21 April 2014

Arianrhod - Goddess of the Silver Wheel

Arianrhod - Goddess of the Silver Wheel

Welsh Star and Moon Goddess

Arianrhod (ah-ree-AHN-rhohd), Arian meaning 'silver', and Rhod meaning 'wheel' or 'disc'. Celtic Moon-Mother Goddess. Called the Silver Wheel that Descends into the Sea. Daughter of the Mother Goddess Don and her consort Beli. She is ruler of Caer Sidi, a magical realm in the north. She was worshiped as priestess of the moon. The benevolent silver sky-lady came down from her pale white chariot in the heavens to watch more closely over the tides she ruled. Her Festival is on 2nd December, she is also honoured at the Full Moon.

In addition to native variations by locality or over time, there are often several possible transliterations into the Roman alphabet used for English, Arianrhod Aranrhod - Arianrod.

A star and moon Goddess, Arianrhod was also called the Silver Wheel because the dead were carried on her Oar Wheel to Emania (the Moon- land or land of death), which belonged to her as a deity of reincarnation and karma. Her consort Nwyvre 'Sky, Space, Firmament' has survived in name only. Caer Arianrhod is the circumpolar stars, to which souls withdraw between incarnations, thus she is identified as a Goddess of reincarnation. The Mother aspect of the Triple Goddess in Wales, her palace was Caer Arianrhod (Aurora Borealis), or the secret center of each initiate's spiritual being.

The moon is the archetypal female symbol, representing the Mother Goddess connecting womb, death, rebirth, creation. (Albion, the old name of Britain, meant 'White Moon'). The Celts "know well the way of seas and stars", and counted time not by days, but by nights, and made their calendars, such as the famous Coligny Calendar, not by the sun, but by the moon. Ancient astrologers took their observations from the position of the moon and its progress in relation to the stars - the starry wheel of Arianrhod.

In Celtic Myth the Goddess has three major aspects: the maiden, the mother and the crone. These three represent the three stages in life of a woman. Blodeuwedd is the flower maiden, Arianrhod represents the mother and The Morrigu at last is the crone. These three aspects of the Celtic goddess may have different names in different regions and regional legends. For example, Morrigan also takes the mother role at times.

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.

Hymn to Arianrhod

Arianrhod of the Silver Wheel
By all the names men give thee -
We, thy hidden children, humbly kneel
Thy truth to hear, thy countenance to see.
Here in the circle cast upon the Earth
Yet open to the stars - unseen, yet real -
Within our hearts give understanding birth,
Our wounds of loss and loneliness to heal.
Isis unveiled and Isis veiled, thou art;
The Earth below our feet, the Moon on high.
In thee these two shall never be apart -
The magick of the Earth and Sky.

The only remaining source is a story in the Mabinogion:

The Story of Math ap Mathonwy

It is the story of Math ap Mathonwy (MAHTH ap mah-THOHN-wee), who is king, teacher, and wizard, brother of Don; uncle of Arianrhod, Gwydion, Amaethon, and Gofannon.

She was the daughter of the Welsh Goddess Danu. Her uncle, King Math, was compelled by a taboo to keep his feet in the lap of a virgin whenever he was not actively engaged in battle. After his first 'footholder', Goewin, was deflowered, Math asked Arianrhod to take her place. She had to step across a magic rod to prove her virginity, but when she did so, twin boys dropped from between her legs. Math named the first of the boys Dylan.

The second of these was taken away by Arianrhod's brother Gwydion and raised in a magic forest. Arianrhod incensed by what she had suffered, laid three curses on the boy, Lleu. He shall have no name except one she gives him. He shall bear no arms except ones she gives him. He shall have no wife of the race that is now on the earth. Through elaborate magic and trickery, Gwydion deceived Arianrhod into breaking the first two curses herself. To break the third, Math and Gwydion created Blodeuwedd, a woman made of flowers, to be Lleu's bride. Blodeuwedd (flower face), who appears to the embodiment of a fertility Goddess, betrayed her lover, Lleu, to his death, but his spirit hung on a tree was resurrected on the following day.

Humiliated by King Math, thwarted by her son, forsaken by her brother, Arianrhod retreated to her castle Caer Arianrhod. Here she later drowned when the sea reclaimed the land.

Correspondences

Day of the week:
Perfume:
Incense:
Wood:
Colour: green and white
Influences: Beauty, fertility, reincarnation, past life memories, difficulties.
Candle: white

Hymn to Arianrhod from The Witches' Goddess (c) 1987
Janet and Stewart Farrar  

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