Robert Graves’ White Goddess is one of the most popular books ever written on modern Celtic mysticism, but as well as entrancing countless modern readers it has also enraged many Celtic scholars. Perhaps one of its greatest successes was introducing Kat Godeu (‘The Battle of the Trees’) to an English audience. Few had ever heardContinue reading “The Battle of the Trees and The White Goddess”
What can the almost universal practice of ritual mask wearing tell us about the Welsh bardic tradition? As far as we know, the medieval Welsh bards didn’t use masks in performance, but they did take on archetypal personas such as that of the legendary Taliesin, and there are suggestions that some of these performances wereContinue reading “Ritual Masks and Channeling”
Continuing with this short series on Welsh Arthurian poems, this talk takes a look at Preideu Annwfyn (The Spoils of Annwfn), one of the better known poems from the medieval Book of Taliesin. Like many other Taliesin poems from this period, it is a strange, ambiguous and multilayered text, and although many commentators have attemptedContinue reading “The Spoils of Annwfn”
A quick look at how this old Welsh word was used in its earliest contexts.
The Book of Taliesin is one of the great treasures of Welsh culture, but who wrote it? In truth, it’s an impossible question to answer, but there are some very interesting theories about who composed some of the most famous poems in the manuscript . . .
Most Celtic scholars would rightly point out that the correct answer to this question is an emphatic no. Yet there is a more nuanced story that can be told:
The Book of Taliesin is one of the primary medieval sources for the Taliesin myth. But what does it actually contain?
Hope you’re well during these difficult times. If you’re self-isolating, perhaps this video can pass the time a little for you. We can at least imagine the land, even if we can’t necessarily walk on it. The different versions of Taliesin’s folk tale give us clues as to where the animal-transformation chase scene may have takenContinue reading “Where did Ceridwen Chase Gwion Bach?”
Outlining the similarities between the Welsh Tale of Taliesin and the Irish story of Fionn Mac Cumhaill, in particular the very ancient concept of a magical elixir.
A short discussion on Taliesin’s potential to transform his patron through the bardic power of myth!