• Thoroughly updated edition of Mabon and the Mysteries of Britain (UK).
• Illuminates the rich archetypal patterns and meanings in the Four Branches of the Welsh Mabinogion.
According to prophecy, a liberator will come to bring light, truth, and freedom to every generation. His mythic title is Mabon, but his identities are many-including Arthur the King, whose coming we await. So says the mythic Welsh text the Mabinogion, which includes some of the oldest magical stories from British mythology and which has been intriguing and beguiling readers for centuries.
In Mabon and the Guardians of Celtic Britain, Celtic scholar Caitlín Matthews unlocks the encoded meanings of the Mabinogion and establishes it firmly as a precursor to other living myths of the West. From her fascinating study of these stories emerge two of the major figures of the Celtic tradition: the archetypal Mabon, deliverer and liberator of the land, and Modron, his mother, the Great Goddess herself. The initiatory pattern of Britain's inner guardians is revealed through the succession of the Pendragons, as each rises through the ages from boy, hero, and king to the role of Mabon. As descendants of the ancient Celtic oral tradition, the rich themes and archetypal underpinnings of the Mabinogion are stories for all time.
Mabon and the Guardians of Celtic Britain
Hero Myths in the Mabinogion
Preface to the Second Edition
Preface to the First Edition: Into the Mabinogion
How to Use This Book
A Guide to Welsh and Gaelic Pronunciation
1 The Realm of the Mabinogion
The Welsh Storytelling Tradition
The Name of the Land
World and Otherworld
The Mysteries of Britain
2 Pwyll, Prince of Dyfed
The Head of Annwfn
Synopsis of "Pwyll, Prince of Dyfed"
The Adventures of the Mare and the Boy
The Mare of Sovereignty
3 Branwen, Daughter of Llyr
Entertaining the Noble Head
Synopsis of "Branwen, Daughter of Llyr"
Guarding the Hallows
Cronos and the Sleeping Lord
4 Manawyddan, Son of Llyr
The Story of the Hay Collars and the Doorknockers
Synopsis of "Manawyddan, Son of Llyr"
The Enchantments of Britain
The Powerful Herdsman
5 Math, Son of Mathonwy
The Enchanter's Nephew
Synopsis of "Math, Son of Mathonwy"
One-Eye and the Skillful Hand
6 Culhwch and Olwen
Tasks and Heroes
Synopsis of "Culhwch and Olwen"
Freeing the Giant's Daughter
The Spoils of Annwfn
The Luck of the Weir
Synopsis of "Taliesin"
The Thumb of Knowledge
The Hag and the Poet
8 The Totem Beasts of Britain
Mabon and the Oldest Animals
Guardian of the Beasts
The Initiation of the Totems
9 Mabon, Son of Modron
Perpetual Prisoner and Inner Sovereign
The Lady's Champion
The Royal Virgin of Avalon
The Lost Fifth Branch
Afterword: The Song of Remaking
Appendix: Three Mystery Songs to Mabon