[So, yesterday, I was talking about smelling my date’s neck and how he kissed me then and how that wasn’t what happened to Rhiannon…]
But wait. It could have.
I mean, the story opens with Rhiannon engaged to the wrong guy. He’s like a smelly, meat-eating*, club-wielding grunter who comes first and then falls asleep. You know what I’m talking about.
But even though she is a goddess, she can’t just break it off. She has to play by the rules of men…
(Even though I’m a witch…but we were talking about Rhiannon.)
Luckily though, she’s in love with someone else.
Pwyll. Pwyll. Honorable, smart, adverturesome, brave Pwyll, whose neck smells like morning and musk and can’t-get-enough. Presumably. We don’t really know, because she sort of falls in love with him offstage without having met him- at least that he knows of… She's a goddess though. Maybe she sniffed his neck as he slept?
And then she just shows up, engaged to the wrong guy and wanting Pwyll.
So, of course, what she does is appear before him, beautiful and yet impossible to catch.
I have a problem with this.. doesn’t it seem a bit like Rhiannon has read “The Rules?” You remember that 90’s toxic fucking text about how to win the dating game by being constantly, eminently out of reach?
I’m thinking about this because of course I’m dating again and I’m trying to remember how to not lean too far forward and also not be small. And I have faith in stories – especially beautiful old goddess myths that are revered and adored by witches I respect, like this one. I believe in their mysterious ability to reveal myself to me and make my own toxicity and beauty clear and mine, magic tools in my hand.
Yes. I believe in that, but I don’t believe blindly. I am a witch with a mind like a scalpel and I do not surrender my intellect to my faith.
Which, btw, is exactly what the cards said yesterday morning as I prepared for this trip to Portland to study sacred leadership. At the center of the layout, The Magician was crossed by the King of Swords… the master of the elemental mysteries faced off against the master of intellect, which in my deck is a Great Horned Owl, a predator with talons that eviscerate. ( I love that word. Root: viscera.)
And this is part of what the intellect does so well. It cuts at the guts, the weak parts. So let me just say that when I first read this part of the story, the part where Rhiannon appears to Pwyll as beautiful and unattainable, I threw up in my mouth a little.
It’s early days though. No, I won’t surrender my mind’s talons. But I won’t surrender my willingness to be transformed either.
* For the record, I do not mean that I disapprove of eating meat. Last night, I ate a pepperoni pizza. But I do like the reptilian rhyme of “meat-eating" to describe the unsuitable suitor. Don’t you?