Gwydion the Wizard In Welsh Celtic mythology, the
heroic wizard (see wizard) and bard of North Wales,
whose tales are told in The Mabinogion. Gwydion the
Wizard was the son of Don, the Welsh goddess who is a
counterpart of the Irish Celtic goddess Danu. He was one
of three children of Don; the other two were Gofannon
the Smith, and a daughter, Arianrod, a lunar goddess of
dawn and the mother of Llew. Gwydion ruled science,
light and reason. He is associated with the rainbow and
is described as the British Hermes.
He was a skillful magician, a bringer of cultural gifts
from the gods to man and a clever thief. He is said to
be the father of April Fool’s Day, for on April 1 he conjured
great armies to fool Arianrod into giving arms to
Llew Llaw Gyffes. He helped Math, god of wealth, create
a bride for Llew: Blodeuwed, the “flowerlike.” Blodeuwed
fell in love with another man and betrayed Llew to a
treacherous death. The Milky Way is said to be the tracks
of Gwydion searching for the dead Llew.
Gwydion used his magic against the men of southern
Wales and was punished in return. He used magic illegally
to acquire a herd of Pryderi’s swine and was made to
do penances by Math.
Gwydion eventually slew Pryderi, son of Pwyll, who
was ruler of the underworld and the first husband of Rhiannon.
In Celtic magic, he plays a role in initiation rites.
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