Rhiannon was falsely accused of devouring her own child and ordered to sit at the gates of the kingdom, tell her crime to all who approach, and carry them on her back to court. She pays her sentence until her son finally returns.
How many of us, women, have been falsely accused? In Patriarchal societies, simply being born as a woman is enough to be condemned, or at best, only belittled.
The story goes that the beautiful goddess was enjoying nature on her horse when the lord of a nearby kingdom, Pwyll, sees her and desires her. He rides his horse as fast as he can to catch her, but to no avail. When he finally asks her to stop, she willingly does. They get married and have a son. Three days after his birth, the baby disappears during the night. The nursemaids in charge of the child, in their panic and fear of being accused, smear Rhiannon’s lips with puppy blood to convince her sin of devouring the child. Rhiannon is convicted guilty of infanticide and receives a seven-year sentence to stay at the gates of the kingdom where she is to repent for her crime. She carries out her sentence until the moment of truth finally comes when her child returns. She then takes her seat at the throne once again.
Injustice has been in our lives. Our feminine nature was accused and condemned, denounced as the mark of the devil, like Lilith who becomes a demon by the professed sin of eating children. Profanity of the devouring mother, she who kills her children. The darkest of the dark, a woman must be accused of such sins for declaring wrong the nature of her gender: the black, the bad, the dangerous; as if one needed to be superior.
When Rhiannon is at the gate of the Kingdom telling her story of being accused to kill her child, would she not get confused? Insidiously, we identify with the story we are told about who we are, eventually believing we are to be blamed; shame we carry, suffering we must endure. Rhiannon, as a Goddess executes her sentence with the dignity of the horse and faith in the truth. Steadily, her transformation occurs, even though we can imagine how at first she might have been outraged by the false accusation, furious and rebellious like a wild horse resisting taming. Haven’t we all feel disgust by injustice? But how do we respond?
When faced with an injustice, do you rebel, expressing fierce anger? Or do you repress your anger, afraid of its effect and the consequences you may receive for it? Do you feel victimized and respond with depression? Or do you try to appease the impostor by pleasing him?
Our attitude while facing challenges is often the only choice we have, but the one choice that makes a tremendous difference. It is healthy to feel anger when faced with an injustice, at best we shall express our anger as a direct and immediate response to protect or defend ourselves. If we do so, our nervous system has the chance to complete its response to the perceived threat; if we don’t for particular reasons, the incomplete traumatic response stays in the body and loops around itself until the next opportunity appears for resolution. When anger has been repressed, our power is repressed. We walk the path of our life pretending rather than fully being our true self.
While steadily carrying out her sentence, Rhiannon is humbled. The wild horse is tamed. Her proud and perhaps arrogant self, the beautiful maiden riding free who said yes to Pwyll to avoid the marriage with Gwawl, is cleansed and transformed. Her story is a one of rebirth.
We shall ponder deeper into her sentence, and certainly Rhiannon did herself. Was her heart at the right place when she married Pwyll? Didn’t she do so to avoid marrying Gwawl who tricked her into an engagement? Wasn’t she filled with narcistic glory? The great Goddess’ intention for her kin is of Oneness, beyond the illusion and falsehood of separation, the realization and actualization of the Heart of All There Is. In the mundane reality of earthly existence, Rhiannon is wrongly accused, she is invited into the dark side of duality, a seven-year Dark Night of the Soul as a pre-requisite to her rebirth. What appears as an injustice may be a disguised blessing for us to evolve.
She must tell her story over and over and carry burdens on her back. The horse Goddess tells us our beliefs are imprinted in our body, and thus can be accessed there to be transformed.
The seven years of her sentence symbolizes the seven chakras: the seven energetic gates in the body shall be opened for us to awaken with the buoyancy of the horse – freedom and strength.
Feel within your body, the truth of your being, your authenticity, and ultimately your sovereignty.
Enter the seven vortexes, one by one, and find the key that unleash their power.
In the substance of your physical form reside the stigmas of your past, feel them with the strength and courage of the horse.
Physical sensations are gateways to the stories that define us, stories are held in the tissues, running and looping in the vortex of our beliefs. As we enter the vortex through the physical sensations, we enter the knot of our limited story. In the knot there is an impulse, a heat, a contained fire only awaiting the spaciousness of our loving awareness for burning freely and consuming the old. As so rebirth happens.
During her long dark night of the soul, Rhiannon learns humility. As she comes back to her throne as a Queen, with a strong and substantial body, she is centered in her heart, she is at peace; she is calm; she is caring; she is loving. She is the Queen ready now to lead from her heart, kind and benevolent, connected in the All There Is.
Keep steady on your path of transformation, courageous and determined like a horse. The truth sets you free.