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Blodeuwedd by ThaliaTook Blodeuwedd by ThaliaTook
Blodeuwedd by ThaliaTook (print image)

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Blodeuwedd is a Welsh Goddess of springtime and owls; Her tale is told in the Mabinogion, though it is somewhat disguised, as the tales were written down in the Christian era and characters who are pretty obviously Gods are described as human or fairy.

Blodeuwedd was created out of the flowers of the oak, broom, and meadowsweet, by two magicians hoping to get around a curse; Arianrhod had set a curse on Her son, Lleu Llaw Gyffes, that He would have no wife of any race of the earth.

Blodeuwedd, true to Her flowery origin, was of course very beautiful; however, in time She fell in love with a hunter, and they conspired to kill Her husband. They weren't successful, and only wounded Him; She was punished for Her betrayal by being turned into an owl, whose name in Welsh is also blodeuwedd, meaning 'flower face.'

I can't, personally, say I blame Her much; She had been created as a prize or a toy for Lleu, after all, without so much as a by-your-leave.

Her origins, at any rate, are much older, and there is something very dark about this Goddess of springtime and flowers. Robert Graves interprets Her as a form of his White Goddess, and so I have put Her in that color here; he also expands the list of flowers to nine, adding the cockle, bean, nettle, chestnut, primrose and of course hawthorn. She bears all of them in Her hair in my picture.
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Submitted on
September 11, 2012
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