Rhiannon's Gifts

Offerings to Rhiannon

Rhiannon came to me at the end of a very bad marriage which looked lovely on the outside while actually causing Stockholm Syndrome on the inside. I called it the Velvet Prison. How fitting for Her, often studied in folklore as the Calumniated Wife, to find me then. She looked to be in in Her early thirties with long brown hair and broad shoulders (good for carrying people) and was very sexual, including bisexual. There was something very wild about Her that wanted me to become wild as well. The mare Goddesses are known for their sexual freedom.

That marriage triggered many unresolved rape issues and as I began the painful work of rape recovery, She changed in appearance to a more matronly look, with a blue dress, a bit older and stockier. Yet She was not motherly. (Remember She did not raise her son.) She always met me on the top of a hill. The Sovereignty-bestowing mare Goddess chooses the men with whom She has sex; rape is something that These Goddesses despise. Rhiannon will not allow Pwyll’s mens’ horses to catch up to Hers. Instead he himself must ask Her to stop.

If you are in a marriage where you are treated poorly and need to leave or have been the victim of sexualized violence, Rhiannon makes a wonderful ally. As someone who had a disastrous marriage herself, She can be helpful with a better future marriage to someone more mature and supportive. Remember that her son set Her up with Manawydan son of Llyr, so by calling on her, you may find that other people will play matchmaker. For people who have lost their child to kidnapping, social services, divorce or some other way, ask Rhiannon to protect the child and/or be raised well like Pryderi was by Teyrnon.

Rhiannon can also be invoked to help with political elections of any sort, be they national or local, even the Board of the Directors at your co-op. Explaining the needs of the people and land and then describing the candidate you sense will do the best job may convince Her to aid that potential “King”. Or ask Her for the best candidates to win considering the needs of the people and the land, bring Her in to choose who is worthy. If you serve or aid someone in political office (of any sort), asking for Her savvy guidance could help you maneuver your way though the system to do some good. She will not support any form of playing “badger in the bag,” so do not ask her to help you in any vengeful acts because she knows the long term consequences.

Singers may ask her birds for help, especially with being more emotionally and magically effective at changing how the audience feels. Perhaps they will even help you sing that cranky baby to sleep! As someone who was wrongly accused, She has empathy for other innocents who suffer injustice. While She may not be able to have the truth revealed quickly, She can aid you in persevering the injustice and work for a fair outcome. Knowing imprisonment Herself, the failures of “justice system” concern Her: not just the lack of treatment for trauma and addiction with the lack of any training and support to live a new way when released, it’s also the violent traumatic environment of rape, overcrowding and slave labor for mega-corporation. Rhiannon can be of help for people either in prison or trying to start a better life after prison and for all activists who work with prisoners’ rights or the dismantling of the entire corporate structure. 

In any situation Rhiannon can help “carry” your grief preventing you from becoming engulfed by it. However, don’t be surprised if you have to face aspects of yourself you have denied. No matter what the circumstances Rhiannon did not blame herself needlessly or allow the opinions of others to undermine her conviction of her high self worth and dignity. For those struggling with having internalized their oppressors’ or abuser’s hateful lies, Rhiannon can be an inspiration and support.

If building Her a shrine, golden fabric like She wears when she first meets Pwyll, may be an appropriate altar cloth, although I have found She liked blue. Artwork about horses, especially white ones, is highly suggested, as are symbols of song birds. Images of political mover shakers, including any activists, fit with Her, the chooser of leaders. Include maps and photographs of Wales or Roman and pre-Anglo-Saxon Britannia. Symbols of being a queen may please Her; however, they may be very different than the ones She knows and may need explaining. Perhaps a natural for a mare Goddess, I have found She likes organic apples as an offering, but symbols of apples also please Her. A bird feeder maintained all winter with organic birdseed or a bird bath in summer which you regularly clean can also be Her shrines.

If holding ritual for Her outside, a hilltop is a good place, especially if you go to the same one repeatedly, creating your own mound Gorsedd Arberth. Personal communion at horse stables or a field of horses naturally works, but beware of spooking horses and don’t use candles due to the dry hay.  Going horseback riding and feeling her movements is both a meditation and ceremony. Horseback riding is the only way for people like me with cerebral palsy to use the muscles for walking because riding a horse mimics walking.

Although no direct connection exists between Them, some Neopagans honor Rhiannon on December 18, The Roman Feast of Rhiannon, and June 13, Epona’s Celebration. Epona is the only Celtic Deity to receive a Roman holy day, although it was for the (very Gaulish and Germanic) cavalry, not the common Roman people. As the Britons did have trade relationships with Gaul and the Roman occupation brought many Gaulish influences with it, perhaps the connection has just been lost.

Offerings to Rhiannon:

Artwork by Amy Dale.