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The story of Rhiannon is one of many myths contained in the Mabinogion, a Welsh collection of mythology. Rhiannon was the daughter of a god, Heyvedd the Old, and she was set to marry Gwawl, another god. But Rhiannon was in love with Pwyll of Dyfed, a mortal man whose adventures are described in the first part of the Mabinogion. Rhiannon and Pwyll marry, and seem happy at first, until Gwawl comes down from the Bright World and tries to kill their newborn son, Pryderi. Rhiannon's maids, unable to find the boy they were supposed to be guarding, cover Rhiannon's dress with a puppy's blood and accuse her of murdering her son. Pwyll, listening to his subjects rather than his wife, forces Rhiannon into a terrible punishment -- she must stand on a block at the entrance to Dyfed and tell everyone that she is standing there because she killed her child. She must then offer all who enter the kingdom a ride on her back, as though she were a horse.

Seven years pass by. Eventually, Rhiannon's friend and fellow goddess Branwen finds Pryderi living with a couple in the woods, and Rhiannon's name is cleared. She marries Branwen's brother Manawydan . . . but they don't live happily ever after. Gwawl eventually casts an enchantment which makes Rhiannon, her castle, and all that is inside disappear. But Rhiannon is now considered the guardian of all those who are forced to speak against themselves, everyone who must repeat a lie so many times that he or she begins to believe it.

 

 
Stevie Nicks
Rhiannon painting by Stevie Nicks
Rhiannon painting by Stevie Nicks
 
 
Stevie Nicks

 
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