Thoughts on Arianrhod

Barddas

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I was (re-)watching the 1992 film Hedd Wyn recently. It tells the story of the Welsh poet Ellis Evans, the poet of the Black Chair, who was killed during the battle of Passchendaele in 1917.

There’s a scene in which Evans is standing outside the family farmhouse on a cold winter’s night, mentally composing the poem which will win him second place in that year’s National Eisteddfod. His sister comes out, wrapped in a blanket, to demand why he’s standing out there on his own. Evans, who has been gazing at the full moon, replies “I’m not on my own. She’s with me. Arianrhod. The ancient name for the moon”.

The moon… and inspiration… and much more. As I wrote in a previous post, Arianrhod is the goddess of poetry, and culture, and of social memory. She is the goddess of rite and ritual, and of transition through…

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