Sunday, December 27, 2009

A Magical Winter's Read


I thought I would mention a collection of early Welsh tales which I recently finished re-reading which pre-date both Geoffrey of Monmouth and Chretien de Troyes known as the Mabinogi. Around the holidays I always pick one of the old texts out of my library and dive in - perhaps it is the sense of magic and tradition that surrounds Christmas time that draws me to these texts. Last year it was Dante's Divine Comedy, this year my heart returned to Arthurian tradition and I was not disappointed.

I had indeed forgotten what a great read the tales of the Mabinogi truly are. The Welsh Triads are among the most transporting tales, especially Pwyll, Prince of Dyfed. It is not a lengthy tale but long enough to enjoy as you sit with your favourite glass of something beside your burning Yule log. Pwyll entrances the reader with the Prince's meeting with and marriage to Rhiannon, an otherworldly princess who is usually equated with the horse goddess, Epona. I won't tell you any more in case you are inclined to read it but this tale is full of Celtic archtypes that illustrate the richness of the Welsh, Arthurian tradition. As you read this, you will be transported into the Celtic otherworld of Annwn where time is not what it seems and where a mortal can live a dream beside animals of legend.

Here's wishing that those who celebrate it have had a magnificent Christmas and Yuletide and may you all have a 2010 that is full of good fortune, happiness and of course, magic.

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