Thursday, 12 July 2012

Gwynn-ap- Nudd, The White One, the Faerie King

The entrance to Annwyn faerieland on Glastonbury Tor is guarded by Gwyn- ap -Nudd. His Crystal Realm is the meeting place for the dead and from the Tor he leads the Wild Hunt on Samhain. On stormy nights he is accompanied by the White Hounds of the Otherworld.

Around the 1400's a welsh saint called Collen built himself a hermit hut on the lower slopes of the Tor. He wished to meditate in peace and at that time the Tor was still an island surrounded by marshland so it was an ideal retreat for him or so he thought. He didn't realise that the Tor was already occupied by Gwynn-ap- Nudd and his court.
One day he overheard two locals talking about the Faerie King and was furious that they could still believe in such old superstitions. The two men warned him to be careful of what he said of the Faerie King as his wrath could be terrible.
Collen refused to listen to their warnings and returned to his meditations. The next day a faerie messenger appeared at his hut inviting him to a meeting with Gwynn-ap- Nudd at the top of the Tor. The same messenger returned day after day until Collen finally agreed to meet with Faerie King. But before following the messenger to the top of the Tor he slipped a flask of holy water inside his cloak. As he reached the top the familiar landscape of the Tor disappeared and appearing instead out of the mists were the Faerie halls gleaming with sparkling lights and filled with beautiful music. The Faerie King was seated on a golden throne at the end of a vast hall surrounded by faerie courtiers.
He welcomed the welsh saint warmly offering him a drink from a beautiful golden cup, but Collen knew enough of the faerie ways to refuse the wine. He took the flask of holy water from his cloak and with a sweeping gesture threw the water over the company of faeries.
Gwynn-ap- Nudd, his faerie palace and all his courtiers disappeared leaving Collen alone at the top of the windswept Tor.
But the Faerie King did not disappear forever, he is such a powerful figure that he still remains at the Tor guarding the entrance to Annwyn.

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