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Celtic Symbolism: "The Moon Goddess"

Most of you might probably be aware of the significance of our "Mother Goddess", basically a term used to refer to a deity who represents "motherhood, fertility, creation". Concepts also present on many of the "Triple Godesses", "Death, Birth and Beauty","Girl, Wife, and Widow", and the most contemporary contribution (according to Ronald Hutton), the concept of a Triple Goddess with "Maiden, Mother and Crone" aspects and lunar symbology was Robert Graves's contribution to modern paganism.

"Triple Goddess" symbol of waxing, full and waning moon,
representing the aspects of Maiden, Mother, and Crone.
As a symbol of the cosmic cycles
it is also a representation of the process of
life and death, reincarnation and rebirth.
Many different goddesses have represented motherhood in one way or another, and some have been associated with the birth of humanity as a whole. Others have represented the fertility of the earth, but how about the "Moon Goddesses" then?
On this subject let me make some comments on "Arianrhod" and "Rhiannon" the two Moon Goddess for we the Celts.


Goddess of the moon and stars. Is the Celtic Goddess of "Fertility, Rebirth, and the Weaving of Cosmic Time and Fate".

The name "Arianrhod" (from the Welsh arian, "silver," and rhod, "wheel") .Alternatively, the earliest form of the name may have been Aranrot, in which case the first part of the name would be related to "Aran."

Her name has been translated as "Silver-Wheel", a symbol that represents the ever-turning wheel of the year.


Rhiannon is associated to a "Goddess of fertility", and also to the moon, night, and death. Her name means 'Night Queen'. She is associated with horses and has otherworldly birds in her posession.

Some also associate her to the Irish "Macha" and the Gaulish "Epona", the "Horse Goddess"; but I guess it is because of it's relation with the horse as depicted on the welsh Mabinogion, which does not present Rhiannon as anything other than human.

She is probably a reflex of the Celtic Great Queen goddess Rigantona

Rhiannon thus bears the stamp of two important Gaulish cults: that of the "Horse Goddess" Epona on one hand; and Matrona, the "Great Mother", on the other. Rigantona 'Great Queen', as Rhiannon would have been known in Romano-British times, is best considered a local variant of this composite figure.

Scholars of mythology have nevertheless speculated that Rhiannon may euhemerize an earlier goddess of Celtic polytheism . Similar euhemerisms of pre-Christian deities can be found in other medieval Celtic literature, when Christian scribes and redactors may have felt uncomfortable writing about the powers of pagan gods. In the Táin Bó Cúailnge, for example, Macha and Morrígan appear as larger-than-life figures, but are never described as goddesses, very similar to the presentation of Rhiannon in the Mabinogion.
Proinsias Mac Cana states: "[Rhiannon] reincarnates the goddess of sovereignty who, in taking to her a spouse, thereby ordained him legitimate king of the territory which she personified".According to Miranda Jane Green, "Rhiannon conforms to two archetypes of myth ... a gracious, bountiful queen-goddess; and as the 'wronged wife', falsely accused of eating charlotte".
A quote from Celtic Sprite:
I am particularly thankful to Kothirat for depicting and perceiving so well our Goddess Rhiannon. My special gratitude to her.

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