The witch transformed into a hare is an old folk tale found across many parts of Europe. In Wales, the story appears to have a connection to Saint Melangell, the protector of ŵyn Melangell (‘Melangell’s lambs’), the traditional Welsh name for hares.
A question that often arises on courses is whether or not the medieval Welsh bards — those that gave us the Taliesin myth as we understand it today — were shamans in any way? As always, the answer is more complex than a simple yes or no.
A quick look at how this old Welsh word was used in its earliest contexts.
Celtic myths are symbolic, so we need to interpret them to draw out their wisdom. As a result, it’s probably worth asking if interpretation was ever a part of the Celtic storytelling tradition?
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:
What do riddles have to do with The Four Branches of the Mabinogi?
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 taken place. Following some interesting clues in the Welsh landscape, here’s one possible location . . .
The Welsh Bardic Triads (‘Trioedd Ynys Prydein‘) provide an index to the oral storytelling tradition of medieval Wales. They were used by bards across the centuries not only to help them remember the vast network of traditional myth and lore, but also to present a distinct vision of the ancient past.