A Guide to Arianrhod

Alternative spellings :
Aranrhod and Arianrod.

Her name has been translated as silver-wheel, a symbol that represents the ever-turning wheel of the year. The wheel may also refers to the oar wheel upon which she carried the dead back to her heavenly northern land the Corona Borealis. Here according to some Welsh traditions the dead souls waited for the Goddess and her female attendants to decide their fate before being reincarnated.

Areas of Influence:
Arianrhod was the Celtic Goddess of fertility, rebirth and the weaving of cosmic time and fate.

Origins and Genealogy:
Her mother was Don the great Celtic Mother Goddess and her father is said to be Beli Mawr.
She had several siblings including three sisters, Gwenna, Maelen and Elen and two brothers, Gwydion and Gifaethwy.
She bore two children Dylon and Lleu Llaw Gyffes.

In Celtic mythology her uncle Math, had to keep his feet in the lap of a virgin when he was not at war. When the virgin is raped whilst the king is away on a military campaign, the Arianrhod’s brother suggests she would make a good replacement.

Maths demands to test her purity by making her step over his magician’s rod. As she does this she gives birth to Dylan a sea spirit who flees to the ocean and a formless blob who only her brother Gwydion notices. The moon Goddess runs away ashamed of the public humiliation. Gwydion scopes up the blob and puts him into a magical chest.

Four years later he takes the child back to the Goddess. She refuses to acknowledge the boy and curses him saying he will never be allowed a name, to bare arms or to marry any woman of this Earth.  Using trickery and magic Gwydion breaks the curses even forming Lleu Llaw a wife out of flowers.

Strengths: A free spirited Goddess who is not prepared to bend to any one’s expectations of her.
Weaknesses: She is vindictive and unable to let go of the past.

Arianrhod’s Symbolism
She is usually depicted as a pale skinned, fair haired Goddess .
Her symbols include the Silver wheel, weaving implements the full moon and the Corona Borealis.
Sacred Bird: The Goddess shape-shifted into a large wise owl which enabled her to see into the dark depths of the human soul.
Sacred Plant: Ivy.
Spiders are also associated with this Goddess as she is seen as a weaver of fate.

Arianrhod’s Archetype

The Mother: This Archetype is a life-giver and the source of nurturing, devotion, patience and unconditional love. The ability to forgive and provide for her children and put them before herself is the essence of a good mother.

In its shadow aspect the Mother can be devouring, abusive and abandoning. The shadow Mother can also make her children feel guilty about becoming independent and leaving her.

This Celtic moon Goddess is a Mother Goddess as she is a fertility Goddess. However in her role as a mother she represents the shadow aspect not even wishing to acknowledge her children’s rights and existence.

 

How To Work With This Archetype

The Mother:
It is not necessary to be a biological mother to have this Archetype. It can refer to anyone who has a lifelong pattern of nurturing and devotion to living things.
You are exhibiting the features of the shadow Mother if you smother your children and are over protective.
Encourage independence and allow children to make mistakes but be available to give care and advice when it’s needed.
The other shadow Mother is the one that abandons her children, or is so busy that she has no time for nurturing her young.

[ Source : goddess-guide.com ]

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