Llanbedr Y Cennin
This is a small
village in North Wales on the western side of Conwy
Valley. The village lies on the eastern edge
of the Snowdonia National Park and above the village
is the Iron Age fort of Pen y Gaer.
What is the
importance of Llanbedr?
'church'. 'Bedr means 'Peter'. We
now have 'church of Peter' or the 'holy place of
Peter'. Peter in Christianity held the keys of
heaven and hell and was, therefore the 'gate-keeper
of the mysteries'.
Now we have the
expression 'holy place of the keeper of the
mysteries' for Llanbedr.
What about 'Y
Cennin'? 'Cennin' is a plural noun
meaning 'leeks' - a symbol of Wales.
The whole name -
Llanbedr Y Cennin, then, means ' Holy place of the
keeper of the mysteries of The Leeks', i.e. Holy place of the keeper of the
And the keeper of
the Mysteries of North Wales was Math fab Mathonwy,
Yr Arglwyg Tyghet - The Lord of Fate/Destiny.
The peak of the
mountain above Llanbedr is reputed to be Kaer
Dathyl, the seat of Math, lord over
Gwynedd. I remember one visit to
Llanbedr, in the late 60s or early 70s, when
chatting with a local inhabitant in Ye Olde Bull
Inn, the village hostelry, and asking him: "Was
there ever a castle on Pen Y Gaer?" "Oh
no!" Said he.
"Then", said I,
"Why is it described as "Y Gaer - the
castle?" "Oh, I don't know see",
said he in a very puzzled manner.
Such is the lack
of knowledge of local topography at times in
Wales. Much has been lost.
Probably this fellow had heard of the name
'Mabinogion' but had never read it. Is
it any wonder that the Christian Methodist heritage
encourages hundreds of supporters at a rugby match
to sing "Guide me, O thou great Jehovah" like good
little ersazt Jews
of "Men of Harlech" or Captain Morgan's
March'! Thank goodness The Welsh Folk Song
Society was founded in time to rescue most of the
Welsh heritage in song before Methodist hymn-singing
in the chapels had obliterated it.
Pen Y Gaer from
the air showing an extensive
arrangement of stones.
One more short
tale which I cannot explain and I leave the reader
to decide the importance of it. The very first
time I ventured to the summit of Pen y Gaer in the
1960s, the mid-afternoon was somewhat misty.
On reaching the common ground atop the Pen, I could
have taken the left or right path but the summit was
obscured by now by a heavy mist. What was I to
do? My mind was shouting in desperation "Right
At that point,
the mist lifted for about two to three minutes and a
white horse - stallion or mare I still cannot tell,
appeared on the left, the summit of Pen Y Gaer and
started down a winding path by a few yards. It
stopped, seemed to glare down at me then turned to
continue back up hill until it vanished.
"Dammit", thought I, "The bugger's showing me the
way!" and up I went via the same path the horse had
Now by the end of
the week I decided to revisit Pen Y Gaer in a fine
summer evening - a complete reversal of the weather
conditions of the previous visit. There by chance on
the common ground near the summit, I met the Head
Teacher of Tal-y-bont Primary school in the Conwy
Valley, near the villages of Llanbedr &
Dolgarrog, and told him of my experience a few days
astounded me. "No horses up here - plenty hill
sheep as you can see but no horses. Never have
been and never will be." As he appeared to
have no mystical turn of mind, I did not pursue the
matter further or indeed raise the subject of Kaer
Dathyl. But I still wonder - who or what led
me to the summit that misty afternoon?
Ye Olde Bull
Inn, Llanbedr y Cennin.
Gareth on the
summit of Pen y Gaer in 1975.
Another inset here - two friends of many
decades who are Alexandrian Wiccans
and who know of
my system of worship and travels in Wales decided
to take a holiday in North
Wales in 2011 or 2012. Although having been
told of how to reach Pen y Gaer,
they never took the trouble to visit this
important Keltic site but were quite happy
to sit in the local hostelry at Rowen, which is
but two miles away, and as Burns would have said
"getting fou and unco happy!"
Which again demonstrates the lack of
willingness in Wiccans to learn
anything new or
experience anything different. Nor am I
intrepid duo may read this, as the admission of
website I know
full well would surely stick in their throats!
Y Ty Gwyn (House
public house in
ARIANRHOD is usually
translated via the Modern Welsh as 'arian' meaning
'silver' and 'rhod' meaning 'a wheel'. This has
led many erroneous conclusions that she is the Moon
Goddess and, as we know, Penarddun is the Keltic Moon
Goddess without doubt.
refers to her as a triple goddess while Squire, Ross
and all others perpetuate the mistake by
regurgitating the 'silver wheel' translation.
Let us for a
moment review the validity of this translation,
keeping in mind that the adjective in Welsh follows
the noun it qualifies. The name or phrase,
then, would logically appear as 'wheel of silver' or
'wheel the silver'- 'of' being redundant in
Welsh. Her name would be, therefore, 'Rhod
arian' or 'Rhod yr arian' (Rod aryant in Middle
Welsh) which is not the case. This should lay
the ghost of this erroneous derivation once and for
however, return to the Old/Middle Welsh form of her
name which was 'Aranrot'. We read in Ifor
Williams' 'Pedeir Keinc y Mabinogi' (Caerdydd
These are but three
examples from many of the original form of the name in
elder texts in the original language.
- "a dyvot
y drws porth Caer Aranrot, ef a'r
mab yn y llong" - "and came to the
entrance of the gate of Caer Aranrot, he
and the boy and the ship".
- "Cyrcha Aranrot
ferch Dôn dy nith, merch dy chwaer" - "seek
Aranrot, the daughter of Dôn, thy niece,
thy sister's daughter".
a ddaeth at Math mab Mathonwy, a chwyno'n
ddicllon am rwystrau Aranrot a
wnaethant" - "They went thereupon unto Math the
son of Mathonwy, and complained unto him most
bitterly of Aranrot".
Now, when we see
the Middle Welsh 'aran' meaning 'hill' and 'rot'
meaning 'circular', we arrive at the 'round hill' as
the correct translation and round hills always
represented the pregnant belly or breasts of the
Earth Goddess (vide The Paps of [Goddess] Anu - twin
hills in County Derry in Ireland, Silbury Hill in
England and many more).
She is without
doubt the Earth Goddess and mate of the Sun God
Gwydion to whom she bears twin sons in the myth.