Witchcraft Introductory Study Course
The Welsh Family of Gods
Open Letter | What is Welsh Faerie Witchcraft | Thirteen Treasures Correspondence Course | Questionnaire
Registration Form | Introduction to Paganism | Who Are Pagans? | Pagans -- Children of the Earth
Welsh and Celtic Mythology | Legends of the Old Religion | Legend of the Lady | Legend of the Horned God | Legend of Lillith
Maya | The Goddess | The Horned God | The Welsh Family of Gods | The Many Other Names of the Goddess
The Great God Pan | Names of the God | Welsh Faerie Quarters | The Four Basic Tools | The Picts | Catal Huyuk | Lesson 1 Exam
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THE WELSH FAMILY OF GODS THE HOUSE AND CHILDREN OF DONN
The Children of Donn are the Gods of the Heavens; the constellation Cassiopia is called "Donn's Court", the constellation of The Northern Crown (containing Polaris, the Pole or North Star) is called "Caer Arianrod" - the Castle of Arianrod, who was Donn's daughter. The Milky Way is the "Castle of Gwydion" - The son of Donn.
Beli (also called Bile, Belenos), Master of the Gods; God of the power of light and beauty with many solar attributes. Identified with Apollo, is the consort of Donn and the father of Nudd. Donn herself has a brother, Math son of Mathonwy (who is Beli under another aspect). Math means "Treasure". Math, vab(son of) Mathonwy; is also the god of wizardry and transformation; he changes his shape into that of animals and birds; he is guide to many mysteries; It is a common belief among our people that wisdom as well as wealth came originally from the underworld (Atlantis), and Math hands down his magickal lore to his sisters son and pupil Gwydion, who, there is good reason to believe is also known as Woden or Oden to the teutonic tribes of Scandinavia.
Thus equipped, Gwydion son of Donn, became the Druid of the Gods, the master of fantasy and illusion, the teacher of all that is useful and good, the helper and friend of humankind, and the perpetual fighter against the powers of evil, for the good gifts which they would not allow out of their keeping. Gwydion, is the bardic god of Wisdom is a nephew to King Math; he is also the arch mover and a magician. Gwydion's brothers, Amaetheon, God of Agriculture; this is the God of the Earth and of the East, and Govannan, blacksmith of the Gods; the brother of Amathaon and Gwydion. It was Govannon who slew the sea god Dylan. God of the South; fight shoulder to shoulder with Gwydion in the war of "learning" against ignorance. In another aspect he is also Nwyvre, husband and son to Arianrod, sky father.
His sister Arianrod (Silver Wheel) the Welsh mother goddess (goddess of the moon and stars; earth goddess, daughter and/or wife of Don, wife and/or sister of Gwydion, and mother of Lleu Llaw Gyffes and the sea god Dylan. Her name is interpreted variously as meaning 'silver wheel', 'silver circle' or 'high fruitful mother'; she is the stern mistress of fate; Caer Arianrod, her home, is the castle of death and rebirth; and is also the place of initiation. She is the mother of Llew and of Dylan. She is the ruler of Caer Sidi. Her name means Silver Wheel. She is the weaver of the threads of life.) who is also his wife, gave birth to two sons: Dylan of the Waves, whose nature is of the sea; God of the West, and Llew of the Steady Hand, the Sun God, Lleu of the Dexterous Hand, analog of Irish Lug. He was the son of Arianrhod and Gwydion. Dylan and Llew were considered to represent the Dyad of Darkness and Light. Dylan was killed by his uncle Govannan with a spear, and all the waves wept for him because he was of the sea. The sea is inseparably connected to the darkness by Celtic philosophy. The other son Llew grew up to become the Celtic sun god Llew Llaw Gyffes, Light (or Lion) of the Long (or Steady) Hand.
Gwydion and Math made a woman out of flowers by charms and illusions. They called her Blodeuwedd (flowery-face) and gave her to Llew as a wife. They also gave Llew a palace called Mur y Castell, near Bala Lake. After attempting to murder Llew and run off with Goronwy (a prince of darkness), Blodeuwedd was turned into a owl. Llew killed him with a spear despite the fact that Goronwy stood behind a stone.
Nynniaw, and Peibaw are twin brothers and also sons of Don. They are said to be continually battling each other for the stars and the sky in which they rest. Their symbols are Oxen.
The last child of Don was Penardun, who married the sea-god Llyr.
THE HOUSE AND CHILDREN OF NUDD
Nudd or LLudd is the equivalent of the Greek god Zeus and is the same person in Wales as is Nuada of the Silver Hand in Ireland. Nudd is the God of Heaven and battle. His symbol is the Sun, and he drives a chariot drawn by four horses. Nudd is the son of Beli.
Gwyn ap Nudd (Gwyn son of Nudd) is the equivalent of Finn Mac Camahil (Finn MacCool), the Irish hero, and is a god in his own right. Gwyn means White and he is a hunter of men and is a god of battle and the dead. He is also god king of Y Dynion Mwyn. He is the ruler of "The Mountain Mist". Gwyn is not a sinister god in our legends. Arawn, King of the Otherworld; (Gwynn ap Nudd in another aspect) is King of the Faerie and the Underworld; He conducts our souls, at the time of our deaths, to Avalon also known as Annwn, the Summerland, a happy place of rest and preparation for rebirth. Gwyn has a brother who is also his rival. His name is Gwyrthur (Arthur) ap Greidawl (Griendle or Grindel) which translates as Victor Son of Scorcher". As in all myths, we must consider the two rivals as merely aspects of the same deity, and Gwyn is as we know, the god of Summer.
His sister, Creuddylad, who is also his sister, is the Welsh "Persephone", the Goddess of Spring and the daughter of Lludd; she is the child of the shining sky. She is a Goddess of Beauty. Gwyn and Gwyrthur are rivals for the love of Creuddylad, and each in turn, steals her from the other at Midsummer and Yule. Llud decreed that, "they shall fight each other on the first of May and the first of November for the hand of the maiden, and whichever of them shall be the winner shall have the maiden." This story is a symbol of the powers of Winter and Summer in contest, each alternately winning and losing a bride who represents Spring with its Garland of flowers.
THE HOUSE AND CHILDREN OF LLYR
The next child of Donn, Peradur, guardian of the Grail, married the sea god Llyr Llediaith,. The name Llyr (Le'r) means "the sea" and he is God of the Ocean and father of Bran; Llyr had two wives, Penardur and Iweridd (Ireland). By Penardur the daughter of Donn, Llyr had a son called Manawydan, Manawyddan or Manannan (also Barinthus); he is the master God of the seas, the guide of souls who seek the Summerland; and God of navigation and travelers. By Iweridd, Llyr had two children, a daughter named Branwen and a son named Bran. The last child of Donn was Arddun, sister to Peredur and wife of Catgor, son of the Dagda. Branwen of the fair Bosom, is a goddess of love and is identified with the sea, like the goddess Aphrodite, and is descended form an earlier Celtic goddess of love. She was the daughter of the sea god Llyr by Iweridd, sister of Bran, and wife of King Matholwch of England. She is also Bronwen, Sister of Bran, and is called White Raven.
Brighid, Brigit, or Bride, is the sister of Lugh, the goddess of Spring; this one of our major deities; she represents the sister or virgin aspect of the Great Goddess; she is the patroness of cultural development, the arts and sciences, and domestic skills; she is also the patroness of heroes who undertake magickal and spiritual tasks. She is linked directly to religious themes of Underworld Quests and Sacred Kingships.
Bran the Blessed, Titanic God of the Britons, on the other hand is a dark deity of Hades (Celtic Heaven). He was so vast in size that he could wade through seas towing the ships of his followers; he is a god of earth and mountains. He delights in battle and carnage. He also, by contrast, was the patron of Bards, Minstrels, and Musicians. He is the brother of the sea god known to the Irish as Manannan mac Lir and to the Welsh as Manawydan ap Llyr. The raven (or crow) was associated with him, and his name can be taken to mean 'raven', and some scholars take this to mean that he was a god of the underworld. In Irish myth, Bran was said to have sailed to the otherworld, from which voyage he and his men could not return without dying once they set foot on Irish soil, a great deal of time having passed in the world of the living. In Welsh myth, Bran was said to have been killed while leading an invasion of Ireland. Bran was said to have instructed his men to bury his head in the White Mount in London, where it would ward off invasion as long as it remained undisturbed. (King Arthur is said to have had the head removed from the site, saying that Britain should be protected by the valour of its people rather than by supernatural means.) His son was called Caradawc the Strong Armed.
The last daughter of Llyr was Arddun, sister to Peredur and wife of Catgor, son of the Dagda.