- Attributes: Goddess of horses, birds, spells, instinct, fertility, The Other World and death
- Symbols: White horses and fairies
- Place: Europe
The fairy queen, Rhiannon, is a great Goddess of the ancient Britain mythology. She is a Goddess who uses her powers for self-love and love for others, making hearts shine as an example of true love and beauty.
This Goddess is associated with Epona, the Welsh Mare Goddess, and probably both have been derived from the old Celtic Goddess Rigatonna, but unfortunately the stories of this last Goddess are lost to us, making it impossible an approximation with historical foundation.
She appears predominantly in chapters 1 and 3 of the Mabinogion, a Welsh narrative that grew from the ancient myths of Celtic deities.
Rhiannon is highly intelligent, politically strategic and also famous for her wealth and generosity. They say that she is always accompanied by three birds, which possessed the power to enchant the living and awaken the dead.
Her original story, told mainly in the first chapter of the Mabinogion, says she is the daughter of the lord of the “Otherworld,” Hefaidd, and she chooses Pwyll, prince of Dyfed (West Wales) as a consort, instead of choosing someone from her world, as intended by her family.
Upon learning of the choice of the Goddess, her father gave her a curse that left her barren. Rhiannon then could never be a mother normally, so she looked for an enchantment that would enable her to become pregnant.
It was then that the heir of Dyfed was conceived, but on the very night of his birth he was abducted by an evil spirit. The six maidens responsible for taking care of the child, afraid of being accused of kidnapping, killed a dog and rubbed their blood and guts into the Goddess’s robes to make everyone believe that she had devoured her child.
By getting to know it, her husband, the king, imposed a punishment to her and during all the years being punished Rhiannon remained dignified and in silence, never accusing another person once she had no evidence.
Meanwhile a lord named Teyrnon met a baby boy among the woods and took him to his home. Seven years later he was recognized as Rhiannon’s son, after growing at superhuman speed and because of his similarities with Pwyll.
The Goddess’s punishment was withdrawn and the child was delivered to the family.
Symbol of the Sun
The horse is usually a solar symbol, representing in several legends the force that moves it across the sky. Many deities have this animal as a mount, especially in Celtic culture, where riding was very strong among people.
This animal, therefore, is magical and mysterious. Through Rhiannon it can represent the balance of the universe between light and dark.
Protection against evil spirits
A Celtic tradition still alive today is to tie a red ribbon full of knots on the babies’ clothes thus preventing bad spirits from kidnapping them. This type of protection can also be used by adults.
In conjunction with the red ribbon, it is very common to use magical names and / or nicknames for newborns in order to never reveal their true names, making it difficult for threats to get to them.