Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Deity Challenge: VII to XII

As far as I can tell, all of Arianrhod's epithets I came across throughout the years are from my contemporary neopagans, and UPG. My favourites are "
Crown of the North" by Rhyd Wildermuth, and "Web of Stars" from the Pagan chant "Powerful Song" (which in my mind is dedicated to Her).

Her only known Welsh name is Arianrhod ("silver wheel"), and it can be suggested that Her Greek name is Ariadne ("most holy").

Ariadne, as I mentioned already, and Rhyd Wildermuth presents Saint Catherine of Alexandria, also known as Saint Catherine of the Wheel (who according to legend died virgin). Besides the wheel, her other attribute is the ring. There is no historical evidence that this saint, a martyr in myth, really ever existed as a person, though.

As a Star Goddess and virgin mother of twins, Arianrhod has many sisters in other cultures (as already mentioned in VI). The Egyptian and Thelemic Nut/Nuit can be a variation of Her too, as can be the Native Brazilian goddess Ceucy, the local Star Goddess, a virgin mother who gave birth to a Hero-God under the twin trees of Good and Evil. And I do believe the Goddess of the Whirling Rainbow is a form of Arianrhod.

By far the most common mistake about Arianrhod is placing Her anywhere in a cycle pattern, whether a season of the year, a calendar day, or any stage in a process of transformation. A recurring example is placing Arianrhod as the Mother in the Triple Goddess pattern, or associating Her with the full moon. She is many things, but She is NOT anything temporary or shifting. She is the whole Circle of Life wherein Maiden, Mother and Crone stand; and She is the whole cycle of Moon phases. Although the Dancer in the Labyrinth is an attribute of Her, She Herself is not the Dancer. She is the Labyrinth, and the Dance itself.

Also, Arianrhod is only a moon goddess in the sense that She is a wheel year goddess, a life-and-death-and-rebirth goddess, and a sun goddess. Again, the whole Dance, not the Dancer.

And the owl is only indirectly related to Her myth through Blodeuwedd, Her son's wife.

No historical offerings have been found, to the best of my knowledge, since no cult of Arianrhod survived in literature or material evidence. But in my personal work I find it that She likes Jasmine and white flowers. She is also fond of water and the cold. She seems to like a Labyrinth fingerwalk at the end of rituals I dedicate to Her. Above all, She likes withdrawal. I am sure of that. In any case, She is a sober deity.

Again, the whole Wheel Year. Her (possible) synchretic sister St Catherine of the Wheel has her day on November 25th, but Arianrhod Herself is the whole year because She is the whole wheel.

In the Stars, the Northern constellation of Corona Borealis. On Earth, Caer Arianrhod was placed in the Western Sea, just off the coast of Gwynedd, in Northern Wales, as a rock formation visible at low tide. The Caer Droia (Labyrinth) is also Hers.