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Celtic myths - Page 2 - Rhiannon and Idris

Idris (Wales)

Giant. The second highest mountain in Wales is called Cader Idris meaning Idris's chair. Supposedly, spending a night on Cader Idris will make you a poet or a madman. It certainly leaves several people dead as the mountain weather can be very treacherous..... Welsh giants were noted for their intelligence and cunning. (According to Kidscorner website page on Giants.)

Initiations are said to have taken place on Snowdon and Cader Idris with local traditions referring to battles with giants. Idris, Yscydion, Offrwm, and Ysbryn were all giants whose names are given to hills in the Tallyln area of mid-Wales.

Rhiannon (Wales)

Rhiannon, the Celtic goddess of the moon and inspiration. She rode a white horse faster than the wind. She refused to marry another god and chose a mortal husband - Prince Pwyll. She appeared to him on a mound (which sounds like a barrow) and so entranced him that he ran his horse into the ground chasing her. He finally begged her to stop and she did, telling him that he should have asked her to wait earlier. She said that she had come to find him.

She promised to marry him after a year. However, at the wedding a fight broke out. She turned her former suitor into a badger and threw him in the lake in a bag. Having married a mortal, Rhiannon had to leave the realm of the gods for ever and live as a mortal princess.

Rhiannon and Pwyll had a son after three years. Unfortunately the child was taken by the badger. His nurses, fearing to be blamed, put the blame on Rhiannon by planting evidence of blood on her. Rhiannon was forced to sit chained to the castle gates telling everyone of her "crime."

After 4 years, the boy was returned, by a nobleman who had found him after the badger had abandoned him. Despite the injustice she had suffered Rhiannon remained merciful and forgave the people who had mistreated her.

The source for many of the Rhiannon tales is the Mabinogion, which was written by Charlotte Guest in 1824. The earliest written sources for this writing are discussed on and may be traced to the 11th century in some form. Their original forms are unknown.

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