The story of Rhiannon is found in the first and third branches of the Mabinogi. One of the most important books written on the subject is Rhiannon by W.J. Gruffydd, one of Wales’ most prominent poets and scholars of the 20th century. But why is his work so ingenious and contentious? This talk is theContinue reading “Rhiannon’s Mabinogi part 1”
Author Archives: Gwilym Morus-Baird
The Goddess of Sovereignty
A free 7 part course to follow at your own pace. The Goddess of Sovereignty is one of the most ancient archetypes found in the Celtic tradition. As well as embodying the abundance and prosperity of the land, she also has a strong connection to sacred wells, divine knowledge and horses. Figures such as RhiannonContinue reading “The Goddess of Sovereignty”
Was witchcraft a religion in medieval Wales?
Clearly, witchcraft — as part of the broader set of beliefs we call paganism — was an aspect of a nature religion in the folk culture of medieval Wales. But sometimes we need to be a bit careful with our terms . . .
The Mabinogi Challenge: Day 1
A recording of the first day of the Mabinogi Challenge. Over the course of 5 days we’re working through a simple process by which you can begin to interpret and understand a short folk-tale from the Mabinogi tradition. 0:00 The Welsh storytelling tradition. 17:06 The Story of Llyn Barfog. 32:35 Q&A. 40:45 Challenge questions. .Continue reading “The Mabinogi Challenge: Day 1”
The Mabinogi Challenge
The Welsh word mabinogi means something like ‘tales of youthful exploits’, or perhaps even ‘tales for the youth’. Either way, even though it’s not a common word, it was the name given to the Welsh prose classic The Four Branches of the Mabinogi. It has long been acknowledged that The Mabinogi, first written down aroundContinue reading “The Mabinogi Challenge”
The Dark Side of the Hero Myth pt 2
In this second video on Canu Llywarch Hen, the 9th century Welsh poems that tell the story of Llywarch the Old and his 24 sons, we talk through Llywarch’s lament for his son, the fallen warrior Gwên. This second poem confirm’s much of what was suggested in the previous episode, especially the notion that theContinue reading “The Dark Side of the Hero Myth pt 2”
The Dark Side of the Hero Myth pt 1
Canu Llywarch Hen, the sequence of 9th century Welsh poems about the tragedy of Llywarch the Old and his 24 sons, is one of the most important works in Welsh literature. But far from joining in with the pomp and pageantry of traditional praise poetry, instead it reveals a darker side of the hero mythContinue reading “The Dark Side of the Hero Myth pt 1”
The Song of Heledd pt 2
In this second video on Canu Heledd (‘The Song of Heledd’) we look at what could have led to such a tragedy. There are suggestions in the poems that Heledd considers herself to be to blame for the death of her brother and the fall of his territory. If you’re intending to follow the Ystoria Taliesin courseContinue reading “The Song of Heledd pt 2”
The Song of Heledd
Canu Heledd (‘The Song of Heledd’) is a sequence of 9th century Welsh poems commemorating the loss of territory to Saxons when they invaded the kingdom of Powys. The main character in these dramatic verses is Heledd, sister of Cynddylan, one of the noblemen who died defending against the attack. But Heledd is more thanContinue reading “The Song of Heledd”
Did a woman write the Mabinogi?
Who wrote The Four Branches of the Mabinogi? That’s a question numerous Celtic scholars have attempted to answer over the years, but none have been able to provide definitive proof to support their claims. This lack of evidence has prompted others to venture beyond the usual suspects of monks and clerics and instead consider moreContinue reading “Did a woman write the Mabinogi?”