The shrine of knowledge.
Deities & Heros >> Celtic, Welsh, Irish & Brittish
welsh god, poison arrow, god of the underworld, fellow warriors

The Story of Brân the Blessed

Author: John Patrick Parle

Copyright © 2001

Brân was a Welsh god of the
underworld whose eminence is most often associated with his
the "Wonderful Head." Though he could present himself as a principal
of battle, Brân was also a patron on bards, minstrels, and
musicians. He was huge, colossal. No house or ship was large enough
to hold him, according to the stories of hyperbole.

In the tales, Brân's sister Branwen the Fair Bosomed was
married to King Matholwch of Ireland. Due to various affronts of
Branwen, not to mention the later death of Branwen's son, the Welsh
crossed the Irish Sea to attack Ireland. Those on the east coast of
Erin saw an eerie vision of a mountain and a forest on the water.
Branwen informed King Matholwch that the mountain was Brân walking
across the sea, and that the forest was a multitude of masts from
Welsh naval ships coming to bring her just relief.

The Welsh landed and fought furiously against the Irish. The
warriors of Ireland seemed to have the upper hand. This was because
they had the cauldron of Brân, which was given to Matholwch as a
wedding present. The Irish needed only to plunge their slain warriors
into the cauldron, and they would be brought back to life. The Welsh
discovered this and successfully destroyed the cauldron.

The warriors of Wales proceeded then to defeat the Irish.
But there were only seven Welshmen left unhurt, including Pryderi,
Manawyddan, Taliesin the Bard, and four others. The high drama of the
situation was that Brân himself was seriously wounded, pierced in
the foot with a poison arrow. He was in agony. Brân asked his seven
fellow warriors to cut off his head, carry it to London, and bury it
there with his face towards France. This was so that Brân in his
death could stand watch against any foe that tried to invade Britain.

So Brân's head was removed, and at this point proceeded to
become famous in Celtic mythology. The seven bearers of Brân's
head began the journey to London, but stopped for a feast and to be
serenaded by the three birds of Rhiannon. These birds sang so sweetly
that the men slid into a state of oblivion and lost all track of
time. For seven years the men drank and ate, and conversed in an
agreeable and pleasant fashion with the head of Brân, which
behaved like it was very much alive. Then they journeyed further, only to
stop and have an eighty year feast, again losing all sense of time, and
talking amiably with the animated head of Brân.

But then one of the seven head bearers realized that 87 years
had passed since their journey had begun. And upon seeing Cornwall,
they all resolved that their mission must be completed. So Brân's
head was buried in London facing France, only to be disinterred by
King Arthur in a later myth. Brân is often called in legend "the
Blessed," and he is considered alternately to have had a Noble,
Venerable, and Wonderful Head!

Suggested Pdf Resources

The Far Islands
When Bran the Blessed, as the story goes, followed the white bird on the Last Questing, knowing that return was not for him, he gave gifts to his followers.
Glastonbury Companion
OwenGlendower A4
Divination 2
means protection, as seen in the story of Bendigeidfran (blessed Bran) from the 2nd Branch of the Mabinogi. Bran is the Welsh word for raven.
The story is `Branwen. Daughter of Llyr.

Suggested News Resources

Dietary Fats Regain Their Place at the Table (With Reservations), According to
This mindset shift about fat follows the same story arc for carbohydrates. Thanks to fresh science and the well-reinforced lessons about whole grains, consumers are savvier than ever about the notion of good carbs and bad carbs.
Television movies for the week of Dec. 18
8 PM, 12:01 AM (CC) • The Christmas Blessing '05. Neil Patrick Harris. A medical resident falls in love with a young teacher and develops a special bond with one of her students.
Remarks by Bradley B Roberts at the official opening PLP Bamboo Town
This same Bran now asks you to vote for him to become your Prime Minister. The story surrounding Bran is interesting you know.
Despite the cultural landmarks of the past 40 years, Australian artists lack
The burden for the arts has been that while our inherited Irish blessings have been poetry, story telling, subversion and a guilty conscience - essential for the writer or performer - the academies were British in style and have persisted so.
Harmer's Hoopla: Dig in and enjoy Christmas fest
Their reverential observance brings followers a spiritual reward. The way things are going, Australia will give rise to a new religion dedicated to the great gods bran, wheatgrass and acacia berry. The Holy Trinity of Yuck.

Suggested Web Resources

Bran the Blessed - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Brân the Blessed (Welsh: Bendigeidfran, literally "Blessed Raven", also Brân Warder Ravenmaster with this story of Brân, whose name means Raven.
Branwen - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Thomas Higginson's Short Story: Bran The Blessed
Thomas Higginson's Short Story: Bran The Blessed. Read online.
Bran the Blessed - Early British Kingdoms
Bran Fendigaid (the Blessed) was the son of the Sea God, Llyr and, King named Brennius, though his story probably relates to King Bran Hen of Bryneich.
Bran the Blessed
BRAN THE BLESSED, A FAERY KING MYTH. The Yuletide Bran's story is one of personal sacrifice, conciliation, and a king's love for his people and land.