Beltaine is the time of the yearly battle between Gwyn ap Nudd and Gwythur ap Greidawl for Creudylad in Welsh mythology. Gwyn ap Nudd, the Wild Huntsman of Wales, is a God of death and the Annwn. Creudylad is the daughter of Llew of the Silver Hand (son of Beli). She is the most beautiful maiden on the Island of Mighty. This is a myth of the battle of winter and summer for the magnificent blossoming earth.
In the myth of Rhiannon and Pwyll, it is the evening of Beltaine, that Rhiannon gives birth to their son. The midwives all fell asleep at the same time, as they were watching over Rhiannon and her new baby, during which he was taken. In order to protect themselves, they smeared blood (from a pup) all over Rhiannon, to which they claim she had eaten her son. The midwives were believed, and Rhiannon was forced to pay penance for seven years. She had to carrying people on her back from the outside of the gate to the palace, although rarely would any allow her to do so. The baby’s whereabouts were a mystery. Oddly, every Beltaine night, one of Pwyll’s vassals, Teirnyon Twryv Vliant, had a mare that gave birth but the colt disappeared. One Beltaine night Teirnyon Twryv Vliant awaited in the barn for the mare to foaled, when she did, he heard a tremendous noise and a clawed arm came through the window and grabbed the colt. Teirnyon cut off the arm with his sword, and then heard a wailing. He opened the door and found a baby, he brought it to his wife and they adopted Gwri Wallt Euryn (Gwri of the Golden Hair). As he grew he looked like Pwyll and they remembered they found him on the night Rhiannon’s baby became lost. Teirnyon brought Gwri of the Golden Hair to the castle, told the story, and he was adopted back to his parents, Rhiannon and Pwyll, and named by the head druid, Pryderi (trouble) from the first word his mother had said when he was restored to her. “Trouble is, indeed, at an end for me, if this be true”.
This myth illustrates the precariousness of the Beltaine season, at the threshold of Summer, the earth awakening, winter can still reach its long arm in and snatch the Sun away (Gwri of the Golden hair). “Ne’er cast a clout ’til May be out” (clout: Old English for cloth/clothing). If indeed the return of summer is true than the trouble (winter) is certainly over, however one must be vigilant.
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