This is taking an idea that I heard from Connor Habib, just a short comment in a conversation on the Rune Soup podcast about exploring past lives, and whilst Blodeuedd was working with me, she suggested that this would be another way to get to know her, who she really is…
In the example that Connor gives, he suggests making a list of all the things that niggle you. The things that annoy and get under your skin, and then work out what sort of person would want those things in their life. And then putting all those things together to get a personality of a past life or ancestor.
For instance, for someone who feels lonely all the time, think what kind of person would desire this in their life? This could come from someone who was always in crowds or had no privacy. The bigger your list, the more unresolved issues there are from the past, and the more you can get to get an image of the person who is still expressing their issues through your life.
This is an exercise that anyone with internet access should be able to do, how much depth you go into is entirely up to you.
Then they took the flowers of the Oak, and the flowers of the Broom, and the flowers of the Meadowsweet, and from those they conjured up the fairest and most beautiful maiden that anyone had ever seen. And they baptised her in the way that they did at that time, and named her Blodeuedd.
(From The Mabinogion, Sioned Davies)
So here we have the account of making the physicality of Blodeuedd.
These plants have physical/medicinal/herbal/magical properties. I am suggesting as an exercise, to look up, from a reputable source, as many of these properties as you can. And then think about what person would need these qualities.
These plants were chosen on purpose.
Because I have already written about the tea meditation (and hopefully you have tried it) some the properties of meadowsweet have already been given. So here’s the starter…
Meadowsweet is used to treat pain. It treats headaches and stagnant pain, is an anti inflammatory and can help relieve chronic arthritic pain and inflammation. It also helps with nausea, stomach aches and acid reflux
(taken from https://learningherbs.com/remedies-recipes/home-remedy-for-pain/)
So this is suggesting that Blodeuedd may have suffered from pain . After all, having been made physical by the act of magic, perhaps on the surface, which seems to be the most important, she was perfection, this may not have been the case internally. Her joints may have hurt, maybe she suffered from internal pains and headaches. Perhaps she had problems eating and digesting food (she is made from plants after all).
This mirrors (to me anyway) the situation today where (mostly) women go through anorexia and bulimia in order to achieve an unachievable state of physical beauty that we consider to be a modern ideal promoted by the media.
Looking at the symptoms of anorexia we can see nausea, abdominal pains, headaches, poor circulation. Joint pain can also come from muscle loss. So this suggests strongly to me that Blodeuedd was made by a man to be the most beautiful – a kind of ‘beauty’ that we see woman today trying to achieve through anorexia, and Blodeuedd was specifically made with a herb to combat these symptoms.
As a comparison, I thought of an owl eating its food. Now when a hawk or eagle feeds, it picks off pieces of meat and bone and eats them. An owl catches its prey and swallows it whole, and the entire mouse (for instance) goes directly into the stomach. This is the opposite of someone who is picky with their food, or has problems with digestion.
So, thats a quick look at some of the properties from meadowsweet. There is also oak flowers and broom to go through…
Go through as many properties as you can, not just medicinal, and ask why would these qualities be needed. What do they indicate she lacking, or what does she have too much of? What kind of problems was she made to have, in order to be the fairest and most beautiful maiden that anyone had seen? How does this manifest itself today?
(Photo credit to the user profile 3803658 on pixabay.com)