If you linger here, transfixed by the beauty of what you see,
then you will be a captive forever.
But, if you have the strength to turn and walk out of the Spiral Castle,
then the hidden secret of House Arianrhod will be revealed to you.
—Lyn Webster Wilde, “Becoming the Enchanter”
I spent years seeking Arianrhod. Came up empty-handed more often than not. She’s an elusive goddess—a fleeting shadow in the corner of my eye, sensed rather than seen.
She dawned on me slowly, the way the first stars appear when you’re not looking. Before you know it, you’ve got a sky full of them.
She’s an enchanter, an illusionist. She hides in plain sight. A riddler, a trickster. She diverts our attention from her sleight of hand. Her bright Silver Wheel “mirrors us back to ourselves and flashes tricksy images into our mind’s eye that can easily confuse … what is real and what is not? And what is reality anyway?” says shaman and author Elen Sentier.
Arianrhod demands we master the enchanter’s art of clear sight. She tests our grasp on reality. In myth, she grants the gift of prophetic sight. In practice she drives us hone our gaze—to see through illusion and spot the hidden.
Most often when I meet her, she takes me by surprise. But I’ve gradually learned where to look for her.
Read More Read More
I know all the names of the stars from North to South;
I have been in the galaxy at the throne of the Distributor…
I have been three periods in the Prison of Arianrhod
Ancient poets spoke of a revolving castle where brave travelers could claim the gift of inspiration. Within this spiral tower, the powerful star goddess Arianrhod ruled over the cycles of death and rebirth. Those who touched her realm and lived to tell of it became prophets, endowed with clear sight and silver tongues.
But how did they get there?
The way wasn’t easy. It required a deep understanding of the Celtic cosmos, which encompasses three realms: land, sea, and sky. The land comprises the physical world we live in. The sky consists of the upper realm, or heavens. The sea serves as a boundary between our world and the lower realm, or underworld.
Like the ancient Greeks, the Celts placed their gods in the heavens by mapping their mythology to constellations in the night sky. But their gods didn’t just exist in the upper realm. They also resided here on Earth. Britain is full of physical sites, on both land and sea, where the gods were said to have dwelt.
Arianrhod’s castle is one such place. In myth, Caer Arianrhod was the place where human souls were said to travel upon their death. It existed in all three realms at once, each separate and distinct, and each serving as a portal to the others. Those who knew the way could use the Caer’s revolving door as a gateway for traveling between worlds.
Read More Read More