Obviously Bride is a girl, and within her, she has the talent of bringing forth life. For me that is the connection with midwifery and the connection with the article mentioned. As a midwife you have to have ‘healing’ hands, use poetry to soothe and to ‘foresee’ the future of the child to be born. And when she reaches the age to become pregnant herself, she is literally the ‘blacksmith of men’.
From Bride, the new born aspect of the Goddess, to the Spring equinox. The origin of this festival lies probably in the rites of ancient Indo-Germanic tribes. After migrations, later tribes, such as the Anglo Saxons, celebrated this Festival and named the Goddess Ostara. For me Ostara is more the name of the festival then it is the name of a Goddess. Nowadays it is used in both ways. So, with this in mind, how can I link the time of the Spring Equinox to the Morrigan.
The Morrigan (or Morrighan) as a name has something to do with one of her titles, Great Queen. But at this time of year it is more the Princess aspect that I am looking for. Was Bride the young girl aspect, she grows, she evolves, precisely the same as on a human level. The ‘new’ Bride still has all of her latent powers but I feel they are developing, she is approaching the age that we call ‘the years of distinction’. Still playful but with a growing knowledge of later responsibilities. For the good of the tribe! And guided by her ancestors.
I believe that one of the Welsh Goddesses has a strong link to the Morrigan and has all of the matured Bride in her as well as developments of her in a later stage of age and that Goddess is Rhiannon. But why?
Rhiannon has the same attributes that Bride has, but more prominent and also attributes of the later so called Dark Goddess. And that (dark versus bright) brought an interesting thought to my mind. It is the brighter time of year, the light is increasing, the sun is getting warmer, plant and animal life is thriving upon the Earth. Keep this thought in mind and let us get back to Rhiannon.
“Rhiannon is thought to be predecessor of the Britannic goddess Rigantona (‘Great Queen’), and therefore could have a possible link to the Irish Macha and Morrigan (also ‘Great Queen’). She is also linked to the Gaulish goddess Epona through their association with horses”i.ii
So there was this first link to the Morrigan, but there is more. Rhiannon is also linked to the earth and fertility, birds and dogs.
“Rhiannon had three magical birds, the Birds of Rhiannon, whose song can wake the dead or lull the living to sleep. One of the birds was thought to be Badb, the crow, which deepens Rhiannon’s link to the Morrigan. Rhiannon is a symbol of strength and perseverance in the face of adversity”.
In the above sentences we can read a lot! Not only about the healing aspect, which is developed through the birds (three of them, another triple aspect), but also the poetry, singing. Rhiannon is also linked to horses and dogs, all animals that are connected with the Morrigan. It is interesting that one of the birds was thought to be Badb, the aspect of the Morrigan who stirred the cauldron of dead and rebirth.
“Rhiannon is an old Welsh Goddess of the earth and fertility, of horses and birds, who has links to the Underworld. She finds antecedents in the British Goddess Rigatona (‘Great Queen’) and the continental Celtic horse-goddess Epona, who is also linked with dogs and birds like Rhiannon.
Rhiannon is said to possess marvellous birds that can wake the dead, or lull the living to sleep. She is intelligent and wise, and doesn’t hesitate to speak Her mind. Rhiannon is the lunar Welsh Goddess of rebirth, transformation, wisdom, and magic.”.
With the above sentences we can clearly see that Rhiannon (on a human level) is the young Goddess, in her puberty, fighting her good fight, struggling with her transformed attributes but still going on strong, moving towards new possibilities that all need to be ‘remembered’, to make this her own and during this transformation she is becoming the beautiful princess and a promising Queen to be.
i Bron: https://thecelticjourney.wordpress.com/category/deities/
ii Bron: https://thecelticjourney.wordpress.com/2013/09/04/rhiannon/
I am in the fortunate position that there is someone who corrects my English and reads the contents of the articles. This happened also with this piece. In the article there is a part that says that dogs belong to Rhiannon. That is simply, as I feel it, not right, but at the time that I wrote it I did not give it much thought. Dogs, or hounds better, do belong to the Morrighan but in a different aspect / shape of her. In fairness, I must admit I found it most difficult to find valid information about this festival. So I started to think and ponder upon the fact why, why did I have such difficulties with this aspect of the Morrighan?
And here the Morrigan gave me more insight. This is the aspect in my own life that I never really lived to the fullest. There is still some work to be done for me, a kind of reconnection to this aspect of the year and of life itself. But that has to wait to the next issue, because it is too late to rewrite the whole article, and since it is my journey with the Morrighan i just leave it as it is.Nemain.