Branwen

Branwen is the Goddess of Love and Beauty. She is the daughter of Penardin and Llyr, sister to Bran the Blessed, The Mother of the Future King. Branwen fell in love was betrayed by her half-brother and then her husband. Wars were fought and most died. Branwen is said to have died of a broken heart. Branwen is the Center from where all Came. She can see the greater picture of what is come. This seems to be both a blessing and a curse.

Matholwch came to Wales to ask for the hand of Branwen. Bran the Blessed was confused by this as the Mother of the Future King had never married a foreigner. Branwen was brought to Matholwch and was instantly in love with the beautiful red headed man. Bran agreed to the marriage and a celebration ensued. The men of Ireland and the men of Wales hunted together for days, it seemed there would be peace in the region. Matholwch was pleased that Branwen would give birth to the Future King as the custom for his tribes was to fight for the right of Kingship. Matholwch hoped that this would be the end of the blood feuds and the fighting for the right to be King.

Sadly, this was not be – yet. Efnisien, Branwen’s half-brother was not pleased that his sister was married to a foreign king. Efnisien maimed all of the horses of the Irish. A battle began and was only averted when Bran gave the Irish King the Cauldron of Rebirth. The Cauldron could bring the dead back to life, Matholwch was warned not to use the Cauldron indiscriminately. Matholwch and Branwen sailed to their new home. There they were happy for a few years; they were in love and had a child.

            Some of the people who had the King’s ear thought that he should punish Branwen because of her brother’s actions. Matholwch listened to these people and gave in to their demands. He set Branwen aside, she became a kitchen wench and was beaten almost every day.  Branwen found a dying starling and nursed it back to healthy. She remembered her brother, Bran the Blessed had taught starlings to talk and follow directions. Branwen began teaching the bird to talk and telling it how to get to Bran. When the bird was healthy enough it left Branwen to find Brand and tell him of Branwen’s punishment. Bran was very upset and went to Ireland to rescue his sister. There was a huge battle with losses on both sides. Matholwch did use the Cauldron and the soldiers who were brought back were difficult to manage. Efnisien sacrificed himself, by walking into the cauldron as a living being destroying the cauldron and the warriors it created effectively ending the war.

            Branwen died of a broken heart from the grief from her half-brother and her husband’s weaknesses. The Goddess Branwen could have been based on a real woman of ancient times. There is a grave associated with Branwen. When it was excavated there were urns of human ashes in the grave.

Goddess Chart

Pantheon – Celtic

Animals – White Raven, Starling, Dove, Sparrow

Consort – Matholwch

Colors – White, Silver, Green

Crystals – Auamarine, Rose Quartz, Emerald, Peridot, Coral

Direction – East

Element – Air

Planet – Venus

Tree – Elder, Birch

Plant – Foxglove, Blackberry

Symbols – Cauldron, Cup, Starling, Waxing Moon

Bibilography

Ancient Origins, The Tragic Tale of Welsh Goddess Branwen and her Death by Broken Heart, Natialia Klimczak, https://www.ancient-origins.net/history-famous-people/tragic-tale-welsh-goddess-branwen-and-her-death-broken-heart-006244

Feminism and Religion, Branwen, Welsh Goddess of  Love and Beauty, Judith Shaw, https://feminismandreligion.com/2014/07/30/branwen-welsh-goddess-of-love-and-beauty/

The White Goddess, Branwen – Goddess of Love and Beauty, Author Uknownhttp://www.thewhitegoddess.co.uk/divinity_of_the_day/celtic/branwen.asp

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