Why I Write – For Gwyn ap Nudd and the Old Gods of Britain

This is a video I made about why I write to encourage support for my work on Patreon.

My name is Lorna Smithers and I am a poet and author based in Penwortham, Lancashire, North West England, in the UK. I am also a polytheist nun dedicated to Vindos, later known as Gwyn ap Nudd, one of the Old Gods of Britain. Gwyn is a ruler of Annwn, ‘the Deep’, the Otherworld.

I had experiences of Annwn in my late teens but it wasn’t until I hit thirty I discovered their source and my religion, Brythonic polytheism. This is because when I was at school I was taught only the Greek and Roman myths and not the British ones, and of the religions of Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism and Hinduism but nothing of our ancient British religion.

It was only when I discovered Paganism and Druidry in 2011 that I found out we have our own Gods, who are known from Romano-British archaeology, Roman records, and medieval Welsh texts which relate not only to Wales but much of Britain (as England and southern Scotland shared a Brythonic culture with Wales until the Anglo-Saxon invasions).

When I finally met Gwyn at the head of a local fairy funeral procession I realised He was behind my initiatory visions. I had been seeing His world, Annwn. I soon afterwards dedicated myself to Him as my patron and since then have been serving Him as an awenydd ‘person inspired’ by bringing His myths and those of other Brythonic Gods and Goddesses back to the world.

I write because I believe these stories can not only help us reconnect with the land and Gods of Britain but are of importance to our souls. They contain deep mysteries, the wisdom of Annwn, which can guide us in navigating the environmental and spiritual crises of our modern world. They can provide us with a deeper understanding of our psyches, including their darker sides, and aid those of us who are struggling with mental health problems.

Not all people need religion but everyone needs stories. Thus I am currently working on a series of novels called ‘The King of Annwn Cycle’ reimagining the story of Vindos/Gwyn from His birth and creation of His kingdom through His conflicts with the Children of Don and oppression and demonisation during the Roman invasions and Christianity into the modern era to the end of the world. I am hoping they will be accessible to polytheists and non-polytheists alike.

You can support my writing and help me work towards making a living from my vocation by signing up to Patreon HERE in return for a quarterly newsletter, exclusive excerpts from my novel-in-progress, In the Deep, and other rewards.

*I struggled with making this video as I felt I needed to look at the camera and it didn’t come naturally. I was very tense and couldn’t stop blinking! I’m not sure if this is an autistic trait. I know some autistic people struggle to make eye contact. I’m not too bad at that but eying a camera feels very awkward and unnatural to me.

In the Deep excerpt – the Boy in the Serpent Skins II

In this excerpt from my novel in progress, In the Deep, the boy (Vindos/Gwyn) continues his task of dismissing the ghosts of the dead dragons from the battlefield and claiming their bones for his kingdom. Here he has a run-in with the red winged serpents who are also scavenging the corpses.

The boy wandered on fulfilling his melancholy task. He found the corpse of the dark blue dragon who had once carried his father to the stars serrated by sword-blows with the deepest to his heart.

“My name is Tialgos,” his ghost hovered above, “I was your mother’s favourite and renowned as the wisest of my kind for I flew the extent of the Deep and learnt it was endless. Yet my wisdom did not save me from the swords of the gods. Take my jewel – I trust you will use its magic wisely.”

For every ghost who left the boy a jewel and a name he stumbled over a ghostless corpse whose identity he would never know or came upon a ghost who refused to speak or obey. In this case he was forced to prise its name from the ether and command it by the force of his will to return to the Abyss

“Never do this more than thrice between sleeps,” his mother’s ghost had warned him.

Quickly he learnt why for such demands were difficult upon his lips. Applying his will in opposition to the ghost’s rent his mind, played on his emotions, drained not only the deep well of magic within him but the strength from his limbs. 

Enough, he told himself, after his third struggle, with an unwieldy yellow who had wanted forever to haunt the heights above the depths in spite of missing her severed wing. I’m tired, I’ve been out long, the winged serpents will be waking.

As he began to turn, with reluctance, from the remaining corpses, the ghost of a dragon, blinded in battle, blundered towards him with empty eyes filled with longing for the Abyss.

“Brother,” he called out with compassion, “follow my voice.”

After leading the blind dragon to return upon the abyssal winds the boy’s journey back to his cave was long. He stumbled often, went over head first after tripping on a discarded foreleg, up to his elbows in the gore of a half-rotted corpse. “Uuugh! I wonder if my sister’s life is any better in the stars.”

In spite of the heaviness and clumsiness of his limbs he pushed himself on as fast as he could for fear of the winged serpents, heart hammering in his chest, mist wrapped around him.

“It’s said he hides in the mist,” a harsh voice above him.

Glancing up through the misty ethers that hid him, a pack of reds, the most savage of the lot.  Males, not long in their prime, around three times the size of him, red wings spread, tails long and lashing. Their bared teeth, in strong jaws, and sharp curved foreclaws were already dripping with blood.

The boy cursed as his worst fears were realised. I always knew it would come to this, they would find me and I would have to stand up to them.

Through the mist he saw them circling above him. “I’m having his heart.” “I’m having his jewel.” “I’m having his claws.”

He summoned courage against the fear curdling in his belly and draining the last of the strength from his limbs. They might kill me but they’re not having my remains. With his right forenail he etched the spiral of Annwn into his left upper arm. Seeing his blood well and begin to run for the first time he knew, if he survived, it would not be the last. His anger gave him teeth and claws and wings beating in fury against the red winged serpents for their desecration of the dragons and making him live in fear.

Blasting away the mist, rising from the last tendrils, he flew up, dodging their slashing claws, to high above. “I am the only one who has crawled from the Abyss and I am your king!” he shouted down. “Dare any of you challenge me?”

Looking up at the thing, part boy, part dragon, with its bloody sigil, the red winged serpents gawped, taken aback.“The King from the Abyss.” “The Mark of Annwn upon him.” 

“That’s right,” he asserted, “so which of you will fight me?”

They glanced at one another, their fiery eyes darting evasively beneath darker brows and not a single one of their gazes met. “You fight him.” “No you fight him.” They began to bicker amongst themselves, pushing, shoving, ushering each other forth. “Randalos is biggest.” “Ranthos is strongest.” “Ranthalos has the sharpest claws and is quickest on the wing.”

When not a single red winged serpent came forward the boy laughed down. “If none of you dare to fight me you will return to your kindred and tell them hunting me is futile because the power of dragons lies within me and my bones belong to the Deep.”

Angelika Rudiger’s thesis on Y Tylwyth Teg

In a recent internet search I found out that the PhD thesis of Angelika Rudiger ‘Y Tylwyth Teg. An Analysis of a Literary Motif’ was published by Bangor University in 2021 (downloadable HERE).

I first came across Rudiger’s research through her studies on Gwyn ap Nudd in Temple Publications – ‘Gwyn ap Nudd: A First and Frame Deity’ (2011) and ‘Gwyn ap Nudd: Lord of Light and Master of Time’ (2011) and in Gramarye –‘Gwyn ap Nudd: Transfigurations of a character on the way from medieval literature to neo-pagan beliefs’ (2012). 

This thesis provides a full length (364 page) study of Y Tylwyth Teg, which is commonly translated as ‘the Fair Family’ or ‘the fairies’ and which Rudiger translates as ‘the Beautiful Tribe / ‘the Beautiful Family’. This relates to her earlier research on Gwyn ap Nudd for He is the king of Y Tylwyth Teg. 

The study covers the representation of Y Tylwyth Teg in medieval Welsh and wider folkloric sources from the Middle Ages until the present day. The first part explores synonyms and motfis. Rudiger considers the questions of whether ‘the otherworld is identical to hell or a realm of the dead’ and discusses how its imagery relates to ‘poetic creativity’ and ‘transformational processes’. Part two ‘focuses on the historical development of traditions connected with Y Tylwyth Teg’ and looks at issues such as the ‘othering’ of the socially disadvantaged, nationalism, and appropriation.

I found this thesis to be thorough and excellently researched. Much of the content, such as citations from medieval Welsh texts such as Culhwch ac Olwen, The Mabinogion, Buchedd Collen, the poetry of Dafydd ap Gwilym, and folkloric sources including John Rhŷs, T. Gwynn Jones and W. Y. Evans Wentz are widely available and were familiar to myself and would be to many others.

However, Rudiger has gone beyond the better known sources to enrich this study with lesser known lore. For example, at the beginning, Rudiger notes that the first mention of ‘Y Tylwyth Teg’ comes from a 15th century poem titled ‘Y Niwl Hudolus’ by an unknown author, who often imitated the poetry of Dafydd Gwilym, whose poem ‘Y Niwl’ is better known. Both poems speak of seeking a girl and getting lost in the mist (which is associated with Y Tywlyth Teg and their leader, Gwyn ap Nudd, ‘White son of Mist’).

In ‘Y Niwl Hudolus’, as cited by Rudiger, the mist is described thus: 

Gweilgi yn llenwi pob lle,
Fal hudol byd yn hedeg
O barthlwyth y Tylwyth Teg,
Ac un dduliw, hagrliw hyll, Obry’n dew wybren dywyll
Lle’r ydoedd ym mhob gobant Ellyllon mimgeimion gant. 

an ocean filling every place,
like a world’s magician flying
from the homestead of the Fairy Folk,
with a single black colour, a nasty ugly colour, down below like a thick dark cloud
where in every hollow there were
a hundred mocking sprites. 

Another fascinating couple of pieces of lore that I was unaware of are found in the section on Annwn which Rudiger argues ‘is the oldest name’ for the abode of Y Tylwyth Teg. Here she traces its eymology and speaks of some of the abodes of Gwyn ap Nudd, as a king of Annwn, that are located in the landscape. 

In her translation of the eighth verse of ‘The Conversation of Gwyn ap Nudd and Gwyddno Garanhir’ (which differs from Greg Hill’s) Gwyn speaks of his horse hastening him away to ‘my ridge of Tawe and Nedd’. Rudiger places this at ‘Mynydd y Drum near Neath Port Talbot’ and cites a story recorded by John Rhŷs in which a man called John Gethin is told by a wizard it is the location of a treasure that can be won by a man who spends a night there. A monstrous bull appears, Gethin holds its ground, and it vanishes. 

Rudiger then relates another story recorded by Goodwin Wharton about a cunning woman called Mary Parish who lived in Somerset. When alone in her chamber she was approached by a man who invited her to Glastonbury Tor (where Gwyn as King of Annwn holds a feast in Buchenn Collen). He said: ‘we have a great treasure, thou shalt have some of it, but there will appear a great fierce bull, who will come furiously at thee as if he would have thee to pieces but be not thou afraid of him, for he cannot hurt thee nor hinder thee. And then disappeared.’

Both these stories seem linked to Gwyn’s depiction as a ‘bull of battle’ in ‘The Conversation of Gwyn ap Nudd and Gwyddno Garanhir’ and His potential connections with Tarvos Trigaranus ‘The Bull with Three Cranes’. Unfortunately Rudiger does not pick up these threads or take them any further. 

One of the most interesting parts of the thesis for me was the exploration of whether the otherworld is the realm of the dead in the later sections of section 2 in Part One. Here Rudiger looks at texts such as ‘Prieddu Annwn’, ‘Sir Orfeo’ and folkloric sources. She shows that the otherworld can be seen as a place of limbo where the prematurely dead can be found. In some texts death takes place there yet in others does not occur as time is suspended in an eternal present. She concludes ‘Annwn is a liminal world, though not an abode set aside exclusively for the departed.’ 

The limitations of this thesis to sources from the Middle Ages onwards foregoes the potential of looking at early archaeological sources such as burials with grave goods which are suggestive of Brythonic beliefs about the passage of the dead to the otherworld as a land of the dead. Possible connections between prehistoric beliefs and the spirits of Annwn and the dead are explored by Will Parker in his study The Four Branches of the Mabinogi.

Another part of the thesis that fascinated me was Rudiger’s explorations of the connections between poetic creativity and transformation. She speaks of the imprisonment of Myrddin within a glass house as being symbolic of the liminal and transformational experience a poet undergoes in the otherworld (akin to being in the grave – a death) before emerging with inspiration. The muteness of the warriors on the walls of Caer Wydyr, the Glass Castle, and the tower of glass in the Historia Brittonum is read as symbolising a ‘failed transitional process’. This is later related to the warriors who emerge from the cauldron in the Second Branch able in body but unable to speak.

These were the highlights of the thesis for me and I am sure that other readers will find much more to fills in gaps in their knowledge and to pose further questions. I would recommend it as essential reading for those who have a scholarly interest in Y Tylwth Teg and for practicing polytheists with devotional relationships with Gwyn and His people who want to find out more.

In the Deep excerpt – The Boy in the Serpents Skins I

The following is an excerpt from my novel in progress In the Deep. It takes place in Annwn ‘the Deep’ in the aftermath of the Battle of the Dragons after the boy (Vindos/Gwyn) has crawled from the Abyss and learnt he is destined to be king.

However am I going to build a kingdom from such desolation? 

The boy looked out from the small cave he had made his home across the twilight landscape where the corpses of dragons and serpents were slowly rotting down. Everything stank. Many of the ghosts remained at their bodies for fear of the winged serpents snatching organs, bones, worse, their jewels.

Watching a pack of red winged serpents tousling with a pack of greys, tearing apart half the innards in their act of theft, then retreating to their caves, he determined that all nine colours had been out. It was safe to leave, for after glutting on their winnings they always sank into a satiated sleep.

Reciting his mother’s instructions, he fastened his tunic, cut from the discarded skin of a white serpent, with a bone pin. Touching his right forefinger to his jewel, he reached into the deep well of mist within it and within him and called the mists to surround and obscure him as he left the safety of his cave.

Again, he set out, wading through the gore, his bare feet sticky with it, clambering over corpses with hideous wounds from multiple spear strikes and fiery swords that burnt and charred. Many had been mutilated by the winged serpents – jewels cut from their foreheads, bellies opened, the glistening treasures harvested. One with wings torn off, others missing limbs or parts of them, claws stolen.

Steadily he was putting an end to that.In his small corner of the battlefield every corpse now bore the spiral symbol of Annwn. This mark, resembling the Abyss, he had etched into their flesh, with his right forenail, to lay claim to their remains. One day I will build my kingdom from their bones.

He knew it wouldn’t be long until the winged serpents caught on to him. Already he had seen their frustration when they flocked down and were unable to pick on the flesh – screaming, circling,  cursing, flying thwarted back to their caves.

News of the boy in the serpent skins who stepped from the mist with his bloody forenail to claim the corpses went ahead of him to their ghosts who still held their guard. Their injuries were written, like for like, on their ether, would only disappear when they were erased by the winds of the Abyss. Then they would be borne down into the Cauldron of Old Mother Universe to be reborn in new forms.

The ghost of a red dragon with a gaping slit where her right eye had been put out by a fiery sword hovered over her corpse. The boy guessed she was going to be a difficult one.

“Greetings sister,” he spoke, “I am the son of the Dragon Mother and she has made me King of Annwn by the heart-rite.”

“King?” she snarled, “only gods have kings not dragons.”

“Change is upon Annwn,” he replied with deep regret, “the Reign of Dragons ended with the slaughter of your kind.”

“So what will you rule – a land of bones and death?”

“That is my destiny.”

“Woe,” the ghost of the red dragon beat her wings, “that this catastrophe was wrecked upon us. There is only woe left.”

“You should return to the Abyss. I will take your jewel for safekeeping and commit your remains to the Deep.”

“Ah!” cried the ghost, “so that’s what you’re after – my jewel?”

“If I don’t take it the winged serpents will steal it for their sorcery.”

“How do I know you won’t abuse it?” The gaze of her remaining eye bored into him and the draft of her ghost wings blasted against him, near undoing his skins, dishevelling his hair, threatening to send him staggering back. Yet he stood firm. 

“I am dragon-born, unlike the serpents, abide by your rules, will seek your permission if I wish to use it.”

“Then take it. I am Fiera and I yearn to be free of this place.”

With his right forenail the boy cut the red jewel from the forehead of her corpse, put it in his serpent-skin pouch, etched the spiral of Annwn into her left shoulder. “Your remains belong to the Deep and will soon be part of this land.”

The cord binding the red dragon’s ghost to her body broke. She departed the battlefield with a trumpeting call of grief and relief.

Introducing the Boy in the Serpent Skins

Who would go
with the boy in the serpent skins
draped over one shoulder fastened with a bone pin

to the world of dead dragons at the bottom of the Otherworld?

Who would go with him clambering over the corpses where his hands
and feet are always bloody because the aftermath of the battle is endless?

Who would follow him down the trails of the scales of dead serpents
to where they have sloughed off their skins, one, then another?

Who would face what lies beneath, the glistening organs,
the hearts, the lungs, the livers hung up in caves,
the bowels woven into a pattern on a loom,
the heart strings strung on a harp?

Who would walk amongst those who took the pickings?

Who would run ragged through the caves of a hundred claws?

Who would refuse to admit defeat to the jaws that hang on the walls?

Who would take off all their masks and skins and expose not only raw flesh
and organs but what lies underneath
and hope it is a soul?


Vindos/Gwyn ap Nudd first appeared to me as the Boy in the Serpent Skins during some journeywork I was doing to find out more about his boyhood as part of the process of writing my novel-in-progress In the Deep.

The book begins in Annwn, ‘the Deep’, prior to the creation of the world. After his Dragon Mother is slain by the Children of the Stars and he is flung into and escapes the Abyss, the boy finds himself alone except for the corpses and ghosts of dead dragons and the devouring serpents who lie beneath. 

Over the past six months I have been journeying with him to find out more about this phase in his life and how it has been shaped by the challenges of the serpents and his descent and initiation into their savage and visceral culture. This has provided the raw material for a good part of the story of In the Deep.

In the image beneath he is pictured as he appears to me with grey skin, white hair and a white jewel in his forehead*, wearing white serpent skins fastened with a bone pin. He has seven fingers and toes with claws.** He carries a handful of white dragon jewels in his right hand and in the left a serpent’s tooth. Above him are the four winged ghost serpents with whom he forms a bond and come to serve him as his messengers – Tero, Goro, Fero and Kilya.

*I had thought this was an appearance unique to me until by coincidence I was re-reading Pagan Celtic Britain by Anne Ross and came across an image of a bronze head with a jewel in its forehead from Furness, Lancashire, not far from me!

**This is not unknown in Celtic mythology. In The Tain Cu Chullain is described thus – ‘Each foot had seven toes and each hand seven fingers, the nails with the grip of a hawk’s claw or a gryphon’s clench.’ Cu Chullain’s former name was Setanta and he might have been known in northern Britain as Setantios, a possible deity of the Setantii tribe here in Lancashire. 

You can support my work in return for exclusive excerpts from In the Deep HERE.

Prayer Beads of Annwn

As a gift for my dedication as a nun of Annwn my friend Aurora J Stone made me some prayer beads. Crafted in the colours of Annwn from howlite (white), carnelian (red) and onyx (black) and the smaller ones from bone they include animals and symbols I associate with my patron God, Gwyn ap Nudd – a horse, a hound, an owl, a raven, a star, a spiral and the Awen. They are the most beautiful and meaningful gift I have ever been given.

When I received the beads earlier in January I was unsure what to do with them. I learnt that in the Christian tradition the person praying starts with the charm (the Awen) and the nearby symbols then moves onto the central bead, which is the invitation to prayer. There are then set prayers to be recited with the beads moving around in a clockwise direction from start to finish.

As we don’t have a set way of praying with beads or a body of prayers for Gwyn and the deities of Annwn in the Brythonic tradition I created my own by listening to the beads and for what came through from Gwyn and from the Awen. They are written below. The words in bold represent a bead or a symbol and can work as a pause for deeper meditation.

Prayer Beads of Annwn

Dedicated to Gwyn ap Nudd and the Mysteries of Annwn

The Awen: Annuvian Awen prayer*

Your Star: the first to shine and the last to die**

Your Spiral: I walk with You from beginning to end



Gwyn ap Nudd, White Son of Mist
by this white bead of howlite,
I respond to Your call 
to prayer –
let it be a doorway
to Your deep mysteries,
a gateway to the depths of Annwn.


Your Hound: the opening howl


Black is for dark,
for the darkness of Annwn,
for the Cauldron of Pen Annwn,
for the womb of Old Mother Universe.
For the primordial material and the black dragon,
for the chaos and terror before the birth of stars and worlds.


Your Owl: wisdom in madness


White is for spirit,
for the spirits of Annwn,
for the horses and hounds of Your Hunt,
for the fury held in Your kingdom and in You,
for all souls gathered at the end of time,
for the divine breath uniting all.


Your Raven: croaks over gore


Red is for blood,
for the heartbeat of Annwn,
for the heart of Your Kingdom and the berries of the yew,
for the river of blood uniting us with our ancestors,
for our sacrifices and our eternal battles.


Your Horse: carries me home

*I wrote this in English and fellow awenydd Greg Hill translated it into Welsh HERE.
**This echoes a poem for Gwyn called ‘For the First Star’ by another fellow awenydd and Gwyn devotee Thornsilver Hollysong HERE.

What Ails Me?

Hail is cold grain
and showers of sleet
and sickness of serpents
– Hagalaz (rune)

I come to You
my mind a wasteland,
the poles, the solstices of my world
out of kilter and something awakening beneath the ice

to ask the somewhat selfish question – “What ails me, my Lord?”

It echoes down through the centuries reminding You of Your father’s wound
and the wound You suffer every year battling against Your rival,

the wound to my navel after my dedication to You,
the pit of snakes in my belly button,

the heroes flung into it,
sucked dry. 

“What ails me, my Lord?”

I’m back at high school again
with serpents twining around my chair legs,

staring down into the depths of the ink well I never used.

I’m chewing my pen, ink is dripping from the side of my mouth,
from my finger tips and I’m raising my hand
to ask for more paper, bleeding words,

rising to the challenge of the exam,

exulting in the quiet of the other pupils,
this scratching of pens the one thing I can succeed in.

“What ails me, my Lord?”

I think of the serpents who twist around my arms
and sit deep in my belly and I wish I could tie around my ankles
to hang like You over the Abyss to gain the wisdom that explains this…

the way by lack of courage or confidence I am always climbing
the first three rungs on my ladder and then falling
back down into my pit of snakes.

“What ails me, my Lord?”

I’m back at the surgery again
and the nurse is wondering if I’m dead,
tapping my veins, trying to awaken them to life.

I’m explaining the junctions and showing which ones work.

Where blue flows to red and is tested then
incinerated by the fiery serpents.

“What ails me, my Lord?”

My beast looks too much like an ink spodge test,

then I see my father splattered on the settee like a murder victim
from a third rate horror movie doing nothing as always.

I cannot find his wound or his serpents.

Instead I sink into mine and awaken them again,
the wounds made by all the surgeons, all the psychiatrists

by all the snakes fighting back, by all the horror movies and I hear

Your laughter, Your divine laughter, in my veins like poetry,
not the canned laughter of the television
he sits in front of.

“By asking the question you have opened the door.

Although all our blood and poetic truths
cannot save the world or heal
our ailments

by this opening
your serpents might return
to health and an answer might come through.”

*This poem is addressed to my patron God, Gwyn ap Nudd.

I wrote this poem last year. It is based on drawing the Hagalaz rune at one of the Way of the Buzzard journey circles over four years ago. I had a powerful experience that led me to investigating ‘the sickness of serpents’ not only in the Norse but the Brythonic traditions. It lies behind my series of books in which I explore the relationship between Vindos/Gwyn and the serpents of Annwn. The poem references gnosis received whilst writing these stories.

There is also an allusion to a series of blood tests I had last year relating to slightly raised liver function levels. Two ended up as four as on one occasion they did the wrong test and on another my blood coagulated in transit. It made me start wondering ‘does something want my blood?’ 

At the time I was writing about the conflicts in Annwn between the red and white serpents. As an answer, when I was sitting in the waiting room, on the white board a young girl had drawn a tower block with a huge winged serpent towering over it, which she was colouring it in red. I found out, after testing, blood gets incinerated and received the answer ‘the fiery serpents’. 

One of the results of the blood tests was that I have low iron levels. I have felt a lot better since eating more red meat particulary liver (sympathetic magic?) and believe this was behind me feeling tired and low most afternoons.

The final check relating to my raised liver functions is an ultrasound this Thursday so I will finally find out ‘what ails me’ (physically at least). If I do have minor liver damage it likely relates to having used alcohol to self-medicate the anxiety that comes from my autism since my late teens. I only started addressing this after making my lifelong dedication to Gwyn in 2019.

In the Deep progress update and planning The Forgotten Gods

Since my last update around the Winter Solstice I have been making good progress with the second draft of In the Deep. Having got nearly half way through and added another 20,000 words to the existing 127,000 by expanding and deepening the plot and character development without yet adding more detailed descriptions of the places and characters I have realised it is going to be too long. However, this works out great, as it means I will be able to make two books from this one!

The place I have reached a halt forms a natural ending to a book titled In the Deep and it now forms a self-contained whole for which I have written the following blurb as an exercise. 

‘Vindos and Kraideti are ripped from the womb of their Dragon Mother at birth. She is taken to the stars. He is flung into the Abyss. 

Vindos crawls out and must fulfil his destiny to become King of Annwn by building his kingdom from the bones of dead dragons and find his lost sister. Not easy. For warring serpents lie beneath, furious ghosts, and ancient monsters.

Kraideti is held captive by the Children of Don and partakes in the creation of the perfect world and the bringing of life and will forever be far away.

This is a story of descent and forbidden love.’

The next book will be called The King and Queen of Annwn. It will cover the battle between Vindos and Victor/Lugus (Lleu) for Kraideti and the turning of the seasons and the Battle of the Trees in which the Children of Don and the forces of Annwn clash and the rule of the culture gods is asserted over Britain. 

I am now envisioning a series of six books reimagining the origin story of Vindos and Kraideti and the other Gods and Goddesses of ancient Britain, telling how they were forgotten, of their return, and of future things.

In the Deep – the creation of the world and building of the Kingdom of Annwn.
The King and Queen of Annwn – the seasons, humans, conflict with the culture Gods.
The Spirits of Annwn – the Roman invasions.
The Gates of Annwn – Christianity and Arthur’s despoiling of Annwn.
The Silver Wheel – the Industrial Revolution.
The Black Dragon – nuclear war, the return of the Gods, the apocalyptic finale.

*In my books Victor son of Scorcher (Gwythyr ap Greidol) and Lugus (Lleu) are different names/titles for the same God.

You can support my writing of In the Deep in return for exclusive excerpts through Patreon HERE.

Winter hellebores evoke the presence of Gwyn and Creiddylad as Winter King and Queen for me.

X. Your Kingdom

Day Ten of Twelve Days of Devotion to Gwyn ap Nudd

I come this tenth day
to consider Your kingdom.

What is a kingdom?
What is a king?

Is it a matter of inheritance
or something within?

The devils
who God was said
to put in You to prevent
the destruction of the world?

The spirits and monsters of Annwn
whose fury You contain within Your realm,
in whose nature You partake and who are part of You?

You are a ruler, You are a leader, You are many,
one of them too, yes, they, themselves…

You rule an other kind of kingdom.
You are an other kind of king.

Like all good kings
You and Your land are one –
both Gwynfa and Gwyn,
King and Annwn.

Gwyn’s Feast 2022

Gwyn ap Nudd is a Brythonic God of the dead and a ruler of Annwn. In ‘The Life of St Collen’ He is depicted presiding over a magical feast on Glastonbury Tor. In ‘The Spoils of Annwn’ He is the keeper of a cauldron that will not boil meat for a coward and His fortress has many names including Caer Vedwit ‘The Mead Feast Fort’.

The existence of a feast day for Gwyn is suggested by the tradition of a fair held around the 29th of September on Glastonbury Tor. It is now dedicated to St Michael, who on this date banished Satan from Hell. This is echoed by St Collen supposedly banishing Gwyn and His people who he calls ‘devils’.

I have been celebrating Gwyn’s Feast on the 29th of September for nearly 10 years as a way of claiming His feast back from St Michael and for entering communion with Him, with the spirits of Annwn, and with the dead. The feast consists of pork (based on Gwyn’s hunt for Twrch Trwyth ‘King of Boars’), apples, and mead or cider.

This year Thornsilver Hollysong and I will be holding a celebration of Gwyn’s Feast on Vyvianne Armstrong’s Land Sea Sky Travel Zoom channel from 6pm – 8pm BST / 1pm – 3pm EST. This will include devotions and offerings to Gwyn, a space to discuss experiences with Him, poetry readings and a meditation in which we will join Him and His people at His feast and seek communion with Him.

This is open to all and you can join the meeting HERE.*

This year I have planted Michaelmas daisies in my wildflower area as a way of claiming Gwyn’s Feast back from St Michael. I have also been harvesting apples from our trees, which I associate with Him as Afallach, a name given to Him as a King of Annwn who presides over an isle of apples.

*Please email the team or myself at lornasmithers81@gmail.com for the password if you are new.

Edited 27/09/22 to add what we feast on following Greg’s comment.