The tale of Blodeuwedd and Gronw Pebyr, is told in the Mabinogion.

Blodeuwedd is the Welsh goddess of spring created from flowers, and the wife of Lleu, son of Arianhod.  She was created by the great magicians Math and Gwydion to be Lleu's mate, in response to a curse pronounced by his mother that he would never have a wife from any race then on the Earth. They fashioned Blodeuwedd from nine types of blossom--oak, meadowsweet, broom, cockle, bean, nettle, chestnut, primrose, and hawthorn--and breathed life into Her. She proved treacherous to Lleu, and She and Her lover Gronw Pebyr plotted against him, killing the invulnerable Lleu by tricking him into the only pose in which he could be harmed. Blodeuwedd was punished for this by being transformed into the night-bird, the owl, though she kept her name - Blodeuwedd, meaning "Flower-face", is also a name for the owl.


Castell Gronw

The Meaning of the Story

You need to decide your own understanding, but consider this - Blodeuwedd was a Goddess who should be admired - trapped in a situation that was not of her own making, she did what a woman of great courage would have done escaping through the use of her own free will.

Since she had been created from flowers, then flowers are a primary symbol for Blodeuwedd. Flowers demonstrate, in their very brief existence, exactly how short our own lives can be, and how we only have but a fleeting moment within which to blossom, before we too will just whither away and die. Flowers can also remind us, that we need to live our own lives to the fullest, even though there might be others who might try to hold us back.

This is a way of looking at Blodeuwedd, the Flower Maiden Goddess turned into an owl, who wanted nothing more then to be herself, as she began to blossom, grow, and live her life in the manner that she believed it was meant to be lived.

The story is also an ancient tale of the changing roles of the gods and goddesses of the seasons.

Blodeuwedd is the youthful blossoming earth goddess of the summer- her name means 'flower face'. She is the sovereign goddess of the land, whom the Sacred King must marry in order to rule. She indicates growth and flowering, expansion and blossoming.

Her two lovers are seasonal gods or annual Sacred Kings, rivals for her hand. Blodeuwedd's two lovers represent summer and winter who must battle for her hand at the equinoxes. She is betrothed at Beltane, married at midsummer and buried at Lughnasa.

She is the goddess of becoming, of self-realisation that cannot come through another but only through the paradox of realising that you are separate and unique, but part of the greater whole. Though she was created by men to become the bride of Lleu, she rebelled against the role chosen for her and her destiny is that she is the source of his power, the earth goddess.

The symbols of flowers and the owl are powerful magical symbols of the Goddess Blodeuwedd, which can be found all around Castell Gronw and Pen y Bont Farmhouse.

Go to the Pen y Bont Owl Hunt.



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