Celtic Mythology

The Welsh Pantheon

What was the ancient Welsh pantheon revealed in the Mabinogion?

The ancient deities of Wales are known as the Family of Don. Don is the earth goddess equivalent of the Irish Danu, from whom the Tuatha de Danann take their name. Don/Danu’s roots probably reach back to the Indian Danu.

Don was the daughter of Mathonwy and the sister of Math. Her husband is sometimes believed to be the god of death, Beli. Their children include Gilfaethwy, Gwydion the storyteller, Aranrhod the dawn goddess, Lludd, Gofannon, and Penarddun. Penarddun married Llyr, whose name is said by some to be the source for King Lear’s name. Llyr was the father of Bran and Branwen, who are important figures in the “Second Branch” of the Mabinogion. Many stories of the Family of Don are also featured in the “Fourth Branch.”


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