Thursday, 5 February 2015

Gwyn and Boars

This is more a question really to throw something out there that has occurred to me.

I said something in a blogasm a couple of days ago about interaction with various gods being almost seasonal; waxing and waning with the changing year, notably Rigantona 'not being there' in winter months.

My strong impression is that Gwyn of the Mists is most strongly felt and 'abroad' as it were in winter. This is the same time of year I associate with Mokkonos and in many ways they have a lot of overlap with this time of year and suggestions of influence and power. It occurred to me this might be more than incidental, though beyond the boar leading St Collen to Gwyn's Caer below Glastonbury Tor there isn't much else linking Gwyn and boars.

So Lorna and anybody else who drops by; what is your feeling on the matter of Gwyn and boars?


4 comments:

Heron Mist said...

He was involved with the hunt for Twrch Trwyth, though when Arthur asked him if he knew anything about the boar he said he did not.

Lorna Smithers said...

I'm currently looking into Gwyn's role in the hunt for Twrch Trwyth a bit more deeply. What is interesting, is that it is when the Twrch 'disappears' at Glyn Ystun that Gwyn is summoned by Arthur, who may suspect Twrch has fled into the Otherworld. Gwyn denies all knowledge... However, Arthur's men lure the Twrch from his hiding place by killing his piglets.

Is Gwyn protecting one of 'his own,' one of the last wild spirits of Britain?

Lorna Smithers said...

If you're looking for interesting analogies, I think there a number between Gwyn and Odin, both of whom are associated with boar hunts, 'wild hunts' and winter.

This book is very synchronistic but refers to Odin as a god of winter, who falls into a trance when injured by a boar and winter abates.

'Odin rode on his dappled grey steed only in rough weather. His mortal enemy seems to have been the wild boar. This animal is also a favourite mythic form of expression in Merlin's famous prophesy. The Germans have a legend that in the form of Hackelberg, or the mantle-wearer, on one occasion he was heard to inquire for the "stumpy tail" that he knew from a vision was destined to overcome him. At a great hunt he killed the animal, and fancied that he had practically given the lie to his dream of the previous night. In his triumph he kicked the slain brute contemptuously; but the tusk of the dead animal (an Aryan personification of the lightning) piercing his leg, inflicted a wound, from the effects of which he died, or, in other words, fell into a deep trance. This evidently represents the season of calm weather, during which the spectre huntsman and his howling pack rest from their labours.'

Check out the Spectre Huntsman section. No Gwyn references but some analogies that you may find interesting.

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/39934/39934-h/39934-h.htm

Lorna Smithers said...

Lines cited from this poem appear in relation to Gwyn in Yuri Leitch's book. Admittedly it's based in Ireland but I thought you might be interested in how like the figure in it is to Gwyn and his connection with Black Pig Dyke!

THE VALLEY OF THE BLACK PIG
by: William Butler Yeats(1865-1939)
THE dews drop slowly and dreams gather; unknown spears
Suddenly hurtle before my dream-awakened eyes,
And then the clash of fallen horsemen and the cries
Of unknown perishing armies beat about my ears.
We who still labour by the cromlech on the shore,
The grey cairn on the hill, when day sinks drowned in dew,
Being weary of the world's empires, bow down to you,
Master of the still stars and of the flaming door.