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Thursday, July 5, 2012

Arianrhod, Goddess of the Silver Wheel

Arianrhod, the old tales tell us, lives in a castle of glass Caer Arianrhod it lies hidden deep within the mountains of Snowdonia. There she spins the web of life.
These old Welsh legends have meanings within secrets within mysteries. Arianrhod features prominently in the tale of Llew Llaw Gyffes,  (Lion with a sure hand) in the tale she lays on him three Tyngedau (fates or destinies.)  This gives us a very clear idea of what the web of life is and what is really happening.
The web of life is the firmament above us; the silver wheel are the stars. The stars move around in the sky and this is the web She weaves with the fate of us all entwined within the movements of the celestial web. When Arianrhod gave young Llew his fate She was foretelling what was woven in the silver wheel.
What Arianrhod tells Llew is that he must pass through the three manifestations of the God; Youth, warrior and sage. To be a youth he must have a name that only she can give. So his name is written in the stars. Secondly to be a man he must have weapons and armor, today we might say the “Tools of the trade” whether it be the physical tools of the Carpenter or the education of the Professor. These are the weapons and armor we need to survive. Thirdly he was fated to marry a woman not of the race who walk the Earth. In fact he was to be wedded to the Earth, to the spirit of the land. This is the mark of the sage, to be consort to the land.
These tales were written down after the conversion of the British Isles to Christianity. It was necessary to hide the true meanings so the story is told in such a way to disguise the divine nature of Arianrhod and of her role as the spinner of the web. She is the guardian and architect of the silver wheel that spins above us constantly announcing our Tynged.  
Just as Gwydion presented Llew to Arianrhod, we may go to someone like Gwydion. Someone who is close to the silver wheel, a person with real knowledge of the movement of the stars. Through a genuine and honest interpreter we can gain the knowledge of our fate and the wisdom to work with that fate. The story points out that there was acceptance of the fate but there was no surrendering, there was no giving in. What was done was the successful working within the challenges to bring about the desired result. There is a great lesson in this also.
We must face with courage the decrees of Arianrhod accepting our place within the great web of life, knowing that as one strand grows thin and breaks, another will be spun. So tonight, when you look up at the great silver wheel above your head, know that you and I are joined in the great web of life, eternally a part of the great mystery and wonder that is spun in the castle of glass on the silver spinning wheel of Arianrhod.

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