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Chasing Spring Series 04/5

Within this series of paintings I’ve taken a creative approach to the mindset of our ancestors, through ‘Celtic Mythology.’

Did our forebears perceive climate change as a supernatural event?  Did they Gods change the weather as they intertwined in they sagas of anger, hate, jealousy or love? Or bid our forebears just believe in seasonal change?

Can the answers to the above questions be found in places like ‘Stonehenge’, hidden from the eye and yet unseen. Or could you say if the populous prayed and worshiped the Demi Gods, then they believed in the supernatural.

The Celtic poem ‘Gwyn’ and ‘Gwythur,’ reflects impart, how our forebears revered they gods, whom in many ways ruled they lives. The druids did cultivate and portray they myths through the guise of ritual and song, which made man fear the supernatural. Thus, giving the druids power over life and death.  My answer, our forefathers did believe in the Gods, but, it was the druid the shaman the high priest that created the myths, which became religion.

It makes you think, where will religion take us and to what ends.

Below is part of the poem preserved in the Red book of Hergest, from Gwyn and Gwythur.

Gwyn and Gwythur were two deities, or Demi gods that waged perpetual war to possess Creurdilad, each in turn stealing her from the other, until the matter was referred to Arthur (Arthur was the Celtic alternative to Zeus often mistaken for the mythical King, ‘Arthur’) Who decided the two should fight for her every first of May, from henceforth until the day of doom, and that whichever of them should then be the conqueror should have the maiden.
What satisfaction this would be for the survivor of what might be somewhat flippantly described as the longest engagement on record, is not very clear; but its mythological interpretation appears fairly obvious.

In Gwyn, we see the god of death and the underworld, and in the solar deity, Gwythur, we see the power of darkness and sunshine. Each have the force to create winter and summer and in the contest, each alternately winning and losing the bride, who seems to represent the spring with its grain and flowers. Thus the battle creates the movement through the seasons and death and rebirth becomes the cycle.

Rhys: Hibbert Lectures pp 561-563


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