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a n n w n

by Arethinn
January 2004

Annwn (I have not seen it spelled with a Y in Welsh tales)... place, king of which is either Arawn or Gwyn ap Nudd.

Cernunnos is Gaulish (continental), and while the hunter-with-mastery-of-animals thing does run deep in the consciousness of Earth inhabitants, that does not mean that one can say that Arawn, Herne (neither of which is actually depicted as horned, as I recall - this is a result of the modern correspondence drawn between them), and Cernunnos are "the same god".

As for Annwn as land of the dead... the souls of the dead are often seen as passing into the Land or over the Sea, which is (mythologically) the same thing as passing into Faery, because Faery was seen as being located within the earth and/or as islands over the sea. That "other place" is a place of spirits of all kinds, at least in this way of looking at it. Perhaps, like modern realms which encompass centres of various cultures or ethnic groups within their borders, there are parts of Annwn where dead people congregate, and places which are wholly given over to the Faerie denizens.


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