Celtic Goddesses & Heroines: Ariadne, Arianrhod, Arnamentia.
In Myth: This Goddess of ancient Crete is the only Greek deity known to have been worshipped in Celtic Gaul. Her name is derived from the genus name for the spider, arachnid. In one of the few threads of extant Celtic creation myths, Ariadne spins the universe from the primordial darkness like a spider spins her web, a theme with echoes in the creation myths of many other cultures. Therefore this particular myth strikes many scholars and Pagans as being very un-Celtic, and it may have been a remnant of Indian mythology brought with the Celts on their long journey across the European continent.
In Greek myth Ariadne was a daughter of Cretan King Minos who aided Theseus on his quest through the dark labyrinth to kill the Minotaur. She was the consort of Dionysus, God of wine and the vine.
In Adriadne's Thread, author Shekhinah Mountainwater links her to the great loving earth mother, a bastion of safety and protection, the archetypal thread which guides spiritual seekers into the dark maze to learn lessons and complete quests, then shows them the way out again.
In Magick and Ritual: Assistance in protection rites, manifestation magick, and learning the art of time manipulation.
Correspondences: The spider web, sulphur, thread, yarn.
In Myth: Arianrhod's name means "silver circle." This major Welsh Goddess is the Goddess of reincarnation, the Wheel of the Year, the full moon, fertility, and a primal figure of female power. Some Celtic scholars believe her story represents the shift from woman-centered clans to patriarchal power.
Her heavenly star/island, Caer Arianrhod in the Corona Borealis, is believed in some Welsh traditions to be the place where dead souls go to await reincarnation. There she lives with her female attendants presiding over the fates of the departed.
She is sometimes depicted as a weaver, which links her to lost creation myths and to magickal practice, sometimes called "weaving a spell."
Arianrhod mated freely with whomever she chose and was not questioned until the magician Math claimed she had conceived two children she had not borne. By jumping a staff she gave birth to Llew and Dylan. Dylan left immediately to go to the sea. Arianrhod denied the remaining son, Llew, the right to a name or arms, as was a Welsh mother's right to bestow. She was later tricked into bestowing both.
She married her brother Gwyddion, and she is the daughter of the great Welsh mother Goddess, Don.
In Magick and Ritual: Arianrhod can be invoked to help females find their own feminine power. She can also assist you with spirit contact, sex and fertility magick, and past-life knowledge. Because her myths are linked with jumping the broom, an event which is part of Pagan marriage, she can be called upon to bless Handfasting rites.
Correspondences: Wheels, silver, wheat, full moon, blood, geode stones, moonstones.
A Goddess of spring waters who was probably once a minor solar deity, or a Goddess of healing and purification.