Bláithíne/Blathnat, the flower maiden and Goddess of the fields, is an apt deity to honor in May. The northern hemisphere is waking up and filling with flowers instead of snow. She leaves her husband (through arranged marriage) to be with the one she really loves, Cuchulain. In the end, she’s killed by her husband’s bard.
Bláithíne is the Irish counterpart of the Welsh Blodeuwedd. Although I have an Irish hearth culture, I’m more familiar with her story. In this version, she is actually created with magic (out of flowers) for the purpose of being Lleu’s wife. I’m still not entirely sure how I feel about the Lugh=Lleu argument, but there’s definitely similarities between the two. It’s interesting how Blodeuwedd is forced to marry the Welsh Lleu, and in Ireland, Cuchulain is, in some stories, fathered by Lugh. I also think it’s fascinating how, in the Welsh version, Blodeuwedd is punitively transformed into an owl. The contrast between flowers/light/day and owls/dark/night is interesting. It’s the sort of duality that exists in Persephone.
* Image: “The Flower Maiden” by Henry John Stock.
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