Arianrhod, The Crown of the North: Seven


Each god I’ve met has brought with him a liberation, each goddess a heretofore unexplored freedom.

The most obvious of these is the one who bears the title Eleutherios, Dionysus the Liberator.   I’ve heard a myriad of accounts on what precisely his liberation means, and I suspect that they’re all true.  He seems to be quite a fan of unshackling folks, often enough by causing a bit of beautiful, traumatic, messy chaos.  I’ve him to thank for a truth I’d never acknowledged, and more truths I’m certain once I take things up with him again (I think we’re on hiatus, and I rather miss him).

Brighid’s liberations were the kindest.  By kind I mean the most mothering, disruptive in that way a hug you’d been avoiding suddenly envelops you and you begin crying because you needed it but couldn’t say so. Just before the fires of her forge begin to melt you into pieces, purging from your soul what is no longer needed or useful, she’s laughing, adding more fuel upon the flames.  It’s a kind laugh, a wonderment, a happy awareness of what you’ll become, again like a mother smiling kindly at your terrors, knowing it will be so much better than you can imagine and that the fear is mere awareness.

And Ceridwen shows you what death is, and you see she is beautiful.  Her second face, the one of the grave, is a love you didn’t know anyone could show, the Cailleach’s cold embrace, the opening of the gates through which she lets you peek through.  “It all dies,” she says.  “So it’s okay.”  Struggle ends just as love ends, because they both exist towards an end which is a beginning, a resolution which births the world. 

Brân’s?  I don’t know how to talk about it.  The Alder.  Sometimes I want to shout “The Alder” in a guttural voice (like right now) that isn’t mine, that is a giant’s made of earth and death.  He’s chthonic, and I don’t know how to speak of the chtonic.  Not yet.  But Reds and Blacks that make Greens, and a voice when a car is about to hit you but doesn’t, saying “this isn’t your death.”  The giant who has sorted through my head and the giant who straddled over me in a friends vision and the giant who was consumed by ravens over a valley to build a tower.  I don’t know yet.

And Arianrhod.  It’s funny to approach this again.  So much has happened since I “finished” the series.  I’m writing this a few months after, as an addendum.

Her liberation?  Look at the blue of a flame on a candle at mid-winter, or yourself in the reflection of a puddle of water on a cloudy day.  Know you’re never your own, and then know how you are your own in not being your own.

Go sleep on a druid mount in Bretagne and pay attention to the woman who’s frantically showing you how to build fortifications around a temple.

Go play in a desolate chapel.

Watch the moon rise over the ocean and try to cleanse a stone, but have it taken from you and replaced with a bit of wet wood, and wonder at this, and try not to think too much at all on it.

But I’ve learned what she likes as an offering, and I don’t know why she’s so related to bees (this is a new thing).  Mead.  And Chamomile.

But from here?  I don’t know.  I cannot look at the stars without thinking about her or seeing her.  My eyes are drawn to certain ones and I smile or lose myself a bit, or both.  They dazzle, so deeply in the sea of the night above us, unknowable yet so close, so fierce, that we are also them for a little while.

I’ve so much to learn.

10 thoughts on “Arianrhod, The Crown of the North: Seven

  1. Thanks for sharing so much of your relationship with / gnosis of Arianrhod and fragments of your experiences with other gods and goddesses.

    Love your end paragraph- really captures the polarity of emotions and insoluble paradoxes encountered when connecting deeply with a deity.

  2. Thank you very much for writing this series. While I am not a pagan, I have been fascinated by Arianrhod for a few years.
    I am currently writing (drafting, rather) a story about a young girl has a connection with Arianrhod. As of now, I have dedicated most of my words to describing the girl’s personal journey and I was pleasantly surprised when I noticed, while reading your series, that I incorporated certain aspects of the goddess without noticing.
    Once again, thank you. I hope to continue learning about the goddess as well as paganism through you in the future.

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