Tuesday, 4 March 2014


Who are you, Rhiannon?
Rising from the Faery mounds,
Riding your white, ambling horse,
No mortal swift enough to catch you.
The Moon.

Who are you, Rhiannon?
Rising from the waves,
Your white horse dancing on the waters,
The palace of the king below awaits you.
The Moon.

Who are you Rhiannon?
Rising over the apples,
Your white horse running through dreams,
Whispering: Rigatona, Great Queen!
The Moon.

This poem was inspired by the stories of Rhiannon from the Mabinogion. When she is first seen, she is riding a white horse which ambles across the land, but none of the swiftest mortal mounts can catch her.

Rhiannon is a Celtic Goddess, but like most of the Celtic deities, little of her powers and attributes have been recorded. The only things written about her are a few stories.

She is associated with horses, but as the horse was the only mode of transport available to our ancestors, nearly all deities have horse mounts, or chariots drawn by horses. However in one story of the Mabinogion she is condemned to stand by a mounting block and offer a ride on her back to any who wish it. Indicating the power to magically transform into a horse.

She is reknowned as a goddess of inspiration, and it was while thinking about her riding a horse that ambled, that I suddenly got a picture of the Moon travelling so apparently slowly across the sky, yet actually travelling far swifter than any mortal horse. And from there I was inspired to write the above poem.

The name 'Rhiannon' is believed to be a corrupted version of her original name, which has been reconstructed as 'Rigatona', which literally means 'Great Queen'.

Although, to me, the name Rhiannon is more lyrical and perhaps more inspirational.

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