Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Guest post: The Legend of the Moon Goddess Arianrhod by Christina Phillips | New Release: Enslaved (The Druid Chronicles #3)

Well, we are back in the world of druids, Roman soldiers and mysticism. This time, we mix in a little bit of mythology which makes my history loving heart positively giddy.

I tell you what, those gods and goddesses way back when. They sure did get into some sticky situations and raise some shenanigans that make our current parties and rabble-rousing seem tame. Take what happened with the Moon Goddess that Chrsitina tells us about below example.

I'll let Christina tell you the story though. It's fascinating!

Please give Christina a very warm welcome.

The Legend of the Moon Goddess Arianrhod

Deanna, thank you so much for having me back on your blog to help celebrate the (re)release of my third The Druid Chronicles romance, Enslaved.

The heroine of Enslaved is Nimue. She appeared right at the end of book 2, Captive, and as soon as she walked onto the page I knew I had to find out more about her! Funny how a minor character can suddenly take you over like that, and demand their story be told.

All I knew about her at that point was she was an acolyte of the Moon Goddess, Arianrhod. I didn’t know anything about this Moon Goddess, so I did some research which was no hardship as I’ve always loved myths and legends and ancient gods and goddesses. One of the aspects that I love about my Roman/Druid books set during the 1st century in Britain is the mysticism that surrounds the Druid peoples. This was a time when gods and goddesses were integral to every day life—but the thing that really captures my imagination is the goddess culture.

Legend has it that Arianrhod’s uncle, the magician King Math, was required to keep his feet in the lap of a maiden whenever he wasn’t at war, in order to retain his sovereignty and power. When Arianrhod and her brother-god Gwydion’s younger brother fell in love with her, Gwydion, God of Illusion, manufactured a war which entailed Math leaving his domain.

The younger brother immediately took advantage and raped the maiden.

Upon Math’s return, and learning that his maiden could no longer perform her duty, he married her and then punished his two nephews. His punishments involved turning them into a mated pair of deer for a year, then a mated pair of wild hogs and finally a pair of mated wolves. At the end of each year the brothers produced one offspring (I’m SO not going there!!!)

Finally the punishment ended but Math still required a maiden as his footholder. Gwydion suggested his sister, Arianrhod. She was brought to court and had to step over a magical wand to prove her virginity. As she did so she gave birth to twin boys, one who slipped into the sea and swam away and the other was taken by Gwydion who raised him as his own.

Arianrhod was humiliated and shamed before the whole court, forsaken by her brother Gwydion and later thwarted by her son. She retreated to her castle and later drowned.
Hmm. This ending left me kind of peeved, since it clearly appears to punish a woman for not conforming to a certain patriarchal worldview. And so I dug deeper.

Arianrhod’s name means “starry wheel” and her palace, or castle, was the Aurora Borealis. She is one of the Triple Goddesses, a Moon Goddess associated with reincarnation and is connected to the womb, death, rebirth and creation. She is a weaver of the fates and could shapeshift into an owl—symbolic of wisdom.

In short, Arianrhod was a powerful goddess in her own right and would have been a strong, independent woman and a primal figure of feminine power.

Too powerful, perhaps, for a patriarchal society to accept?

I’d found the hook I’d been looking for. Nimue is strong, independent and doesn’t need a man to protect her. But when she’s captured by Tacitus, a Roman Tribune, her world is turned upside down and she and Arianrhod’s fates become inextricably entwined.

The Mabinogion, translated by Lady Charlotte Guest. Welsh legends collected in the Red Book of Hergest, a manuscript which is in the library of Oxford University. Arianrhod’s legend is in the Fourth Branch, Math, the Son of Mathonwy.

And now here's Enslaved.

Enslaved by Christina Phillips


Enslaved
The Druid Chronicles #3
By: Christina Phillips
Releasing October 3, 2016
Phoenix 18 Publishing

Buy Links:  Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iTunes | Kobo

Enslaved by Christina Phillips blurb



Goodreads | Goodreads series

Excerpt

Set up: After being captured by the enemy, Nimue is horrified that she still desires her Roman warrior—and Tacitus is finding it hard to keep his hands to himself. :-)

    He couldn’t help himself. He reached out and grasped her untidy braid, letting it slide along the palm of his hand. She didn’t gasp in outrage, didn’t jerk her head or push his arm away. She simply stood there, and slowly dragged her gaze up his body until their eyes meshed.
    “Yet you still desire this Roman.” It wasn’t a question. He could see the answer in her eyes. He didn’t need her to like him. What did it matter if she despised him?
    All he wanted from her was her willing compliance.
    Her breath hitched, as she attempted to drag air into her lungs.
    “I’m not a bitch in heat.” The tip of her tongue moistened the seam of her lips. He recalled the feel of her tongue inside his mouth, demanding, exploring.     Uninhibited. “I don’t need to act on every desire that attacks me.”
    He wound her braid around his hand. Imagined unbinding her hair and spearing his fingers through the honey-gold tresses.
    “So you admit that you do desire me?” Satisfaction hummed through his blood, threaded through his voice. He tightened his grip on her hair. “What else do we need between us, Celt?”
    Her eyes were dark, seductive, the green almost obliterated. Her hand pressed against his chest, against his heart, but it wasn’t a defensive gesture. It was as if she couldn’t help herself.
    “Respect.” The word was little more than a whisper, but the unmistakable thread of despair pierced through his pounding lust. He released her hair, cupped her face and stroked his thumb across her silken cheek.
    It hadn’t occurred to him she might fear such a thing. She was not, after all, a gently bred Roman girl. Celtic women took lovers whenever they pleased. Even their chieftain class did not, to his knowledge, demand that their women remain virgins until their wedding night.
    Somehow, this unexpected fissure of vulnerability caused an odd sensation deep in his chest.
    Perhaps this Celt wasn’t as experienced as he’d imagined. He found that notion pleasing. More than pleasing. He found it excessively arousing.
    With his free hand, he tenderly stroked errant curls from her face. She had a sharp tongue but it was nothing but a shield to hide her relative innocence.
    “When you belong to me,” he whispered, “I will still respect you.”
    She continued to gaze at him for endless moments, as though she did not quite understand his meaning. Then her hand slid from his chest and her eyes widened in comprehension.
    “When I belong to you?” She sounded incredulous. “I don’t care for your respect, arrogant Roman. I speak of mutual respect between a man and a woman but more than that—I speak of the respect I have for myself.” She tossed her head, to dislodge his hands, and he was so stunned by her response that he released her without protest. “Not that I expect you to understand that, since Romans don’t know the meaning of the word.”
    She glared at him, as proud as if she was the Emperor’s daughter and as indignant as if he had grievously offended her honor. When all he had intended was to comfort her with his words.
    “It’s you who appears not to understand the concept of respect.” Or self-preservation. But although he knew that, with another, her belligerent attitude could cost her life, right now he was more irked that she clearly did not care a fig about possessing his respect.
    “I respect those who have earned it.” Her voice was scathing, but still her breath was short. Her breasts rose and fell with erratic distraction. He battled against the primitive urge to pin her to the mattress and ride her until she screamed with orgasmic delirium.
    At the mountain stream, he’d been enchanted by her forthright manner. It was refreshing to meet someone—especially a desirable woman—who didn’t defer to his rank or social standing.
    But she was pushing the boundaries. If she behaved in such a disrespectful manner in public, or insulted another officer, they would think nothing of wrenching her tongue from her mouth.
    If she didn’t learn a modicum of obedience or, at least, a sliver of common sense, he’d have no alternative but to keep her in utmost seclusion.
    He wound his hand around her throat. A gentle grasp, only to remind her how vulnerable she was. Her pulse fluttered against his thumb, an erotic counterpoint to his own hammering heartbeat.
    “If you want to survive in this world, you had best learn to hide your disdain for your conquerors.”
    She didn’t break eye contact. Didn’t try to wrench his hand from her throat.     It was as if she possessed no fear of him at all.
    Instead, she jabbed her finger into his chest with unbelievable lack of deference. “You will never be my conqueror.”
    He leaned in close until their lips all but touched, and offered her a grim smile. “I already am.”

Read Chapter One here.



Author Info

Christina Phillips

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2 comments:

  1. Hi Christina

    Congrats on the release I need to add this one to my tbr pile loved the first one in the series :)

    Have Fun

    Helen

    ReplyDelete