Animals Divine - XV Challenge - Rhiannon


Image of the card

First Impression: I love the illustration of the image, with the strong white horse. Even though the title is called challenge, the horse tells me that it is all about inner power, inner strength, and no matter what, he’ll be there at all times. Horse is one of my power animals.

Gender: Feminine

Symbols*: The horse is the embodiement of freedom, power and swiftness. White mares are particularly sacred and are associated with Rhiannon. The golden cloack serves as a symbol of protection as the goddess faces the challenges of the unknown. The spiral motif on the clothing, the water, and the stars are reminders of the cyclic nature of life, the passage of time, and the lunar phases. Three birds accompany Rhiannon and serve as messengers from the underworld. They have the ability to awaken the dead and induce somnolence on the living. The flowers are symbols of renewed life and the chance to be redeemed. They surface from the waters of the unconscious as a means of connecting with conscious light.

Description*: Rhiannon was an incarnation of Epona, the Celtic horse goddess. Dressed in fine gold, Rhiannon was accompanied by three magical birds while she rode upon her white horse. As daughter of an underworld lord, Herred, she had lunar attributes and often rode her horse through the evening sky.

Rhiannon was riding on her mare when Pwyll spotted her golden beauty. He began to pursue her, but was unable to emulate her swift gallop. Eventually he was able to win her hand and together they bore their son, Pryderi. But a curse that was placed on Pwyll’s household resulted in the tragic disappearance of their infant child. When the nurses discovered the baby’s absence, they decised a plan to absolve themselves of guilt. They killed a puppy and smeared Rhiannon with its blood while she lay sleeping. When a bloody Rhiannon was exposed, she was falsely punished for the crime. She was sentenced to carry visitors on her back, like a horse, to the castle while she was forced to tell them of her presumed evil deed. Meanwhile, seven years passed before her son was discovered and returned to Pwyll. As a result, Rhiannon was exonerated and was hapily reunited with her son.

Elemental Reference: Water, Air

Numerology Reference: (1+5=6) 6 - Fulfillment, Truth, Beauty, Peace, Communication, Problem-Solving, Cooperation, Balance, Relaxation

Keywords: Confronting the Shadow, Recognizing Dark Forces, Overcoming Obstacles

Possible Meanings: Rhiannon’s trials and tribulations are reminders that dark forces are always present. The challenge card can be viewed as the archetypal shadow. In order to become whole and indiciduated, we need to identify the shadow aspect of our beings. We cannot remain stagnant. We cannot repress the shadow. In order to grow and attain a higher sense of self, we need to acknowledge our shadow and learn how to live with in a productive manner. By integrating the shadow aspects of our psyche, we can learn to more effectively harness untapped animal energies as fuel for creative vitality.

Senses: She is riding her horse, being gentle to him as she respects him more than anything. She has a troubled face expression, maybe she knows something is happening but she cannot see it yet. The horse’s paws (how you call them) are in water, but hers are high above the water – giving me an indication of childlike feeling. There are also some white birds behind her, I feel that they’re coming to give a message to her. With all the whiteness, this is a very pure and honest card.

Thoughts/Points to Ponder: What message are the birds bringing? Why does she have such a face?