Celtic Goddess Names - O, P, Q & R
("white track") She was a beautiful woman of high degree, the
daughter of the Ysbaddaden, a monstrous figure whose life depended on
keeping his daughter. When she married, her father's power and life were
transferred to her husband. Her name may derive from legends of flowers
blossoming under her feet.
A queen of the Irish fairies.
The Welsh birch goddess whose bird is the Raven. She left her home in
the land of fairie for love. When she began existence on this earthly
plain, she lost most of her powers, but could still send magic to those
around her in times of great distress.
Rhiannon is the wife of Pwyll and mother of Pryderi. She was unjustly
accused of destroying her newborn son, who had been kidnapped by a nameless
fiend. She was compelled to take the form of a horse until her son was
returned to her unexpectedly. She is considered as an aspect of the Gaulish
Epona; and the Irish Morrigan, and was known as the mistress of the singing
She appeared to Pwyll (lord of Dyfed) as a beautiful woman in dazzling
gold, astride a white horse. Pwyll sent his swiftest horsmen after her,
but still could not catch her. On the third day, he spoke to her; and
she told him she wished to marry him, instead of her betrothed, Gwawl.
Rhiannon told Pywll he was to meet her in a year and a day.
He won her at the court of her father, Hefeydd the Old, by her aid. She
bore Pwyll a son, who vanished. Her women killed a puppy and smeared its
blood on her, to avoid blame at the child's loss. As punishment, Rhiannon
spent seven years telling her story to all comers and bearing them, like
a horse, to the court.
The child was fostered at the court of Teirnon. On May eve, when the mares
foaled, the foals all disappeared. While Teirnon kept watch at the stables,
he saved a foal from a mysterious beast, and also discovered a child outside
the stable; who was adopted by Tiernon and his wife. The child grew to
young manhood in seven years, and was given the foal which was rescued
on the night he was found. Teirnon recognised the child as the son of
Pwyll and returned him to his family, where he was named Pryderi ("worry")
by his mother.
After Pwyll's death, Rhiannon married the great magician Manawydan; the
son of Llyr and brother of Bran and Branwen. When all of Dyfed had been
turned into a wasteland, only Rhiannon, Manawydan, Pryderi, and his wife
Cigfa, were spared.
While Manawydan and Pryderi were out hunting, they followed an enormous
white boar into a caer, where they saw a golden bowl. When Pryderi touched
the bowl, he became enspelled. Rhiannon went after him, but fell under
the same spell and suddenly vanished. She was rescued when Manawydan captured
the wife of their enemy, Llwyd, who had been taking his revenge for the
ill treatment of Gwawl.