This week's Goddess is Blodeuwedd.
She is from Welsh legend, though by the time it was written down She was no longer called a Goddess; and She is generally considered a Maiden aspect of the Goddess, though I always think of Her as Crone.
Maiden, probably, because in the legend She was created out of three (or nine, if you're Robert Graves) blossoms, oak, meadowsweet, and broom, to be the wife of Lleu Llaw Gyffes, Who was cursed by His mother Arianrhod to never find a wife of any race of the earth. So Lleu's kin, the magicians Gwydion and Math, who had always looked after Him (Gwydion may well have been His father) created Blodeuwedd from magic and flowers; and they gave Her to Lleu for His wife.
Not too long into the marriage Lleu went away for a time; and a passing hunter caught Blodeuwedd's eye. Together they plotted Lleu's death, which given the protections placed on Him could only be of a highly unusual kind; but in due time all the conditions were met and Lleu was killed, or rather, He was injured and transformed into an eagle.
He was later found and brought back to health by Gwydion and Math; and Blodeuwedd was punished by being transformed into an owl.
Her name means "Face of Flowers," which is also a Welsh term for the owl.
Now, Blodeuwedd's tale is usually seen as one of betrayal, and She is characterized as fickle and untrustworthy; but I've always seen Her as simply asserting Her own agency and acting as Her own person. Remember, She was created as a wife, a doll, a pretty face; and no one bothered to consider if She might, after all, have an opinion on the situation.
I tend to read this card, then, as a call for each of us to acknowledge our true desires and needs, and then look at our surroundings and circumstances with open eyes. Are our needs truly being met? How have we fit ourselves into other people's ideas of us? In what ways have others decided the course of our lives?
The holiday season is unfortunately a time of great stress for many people; and it can be especially stressful visiting with family if one doesn't really get along with them, or if they trigger old unhealthy patterns.
You know what, though? Seriously, honestly, you don't have to. You have the right to say no to the whole thing. Your sanity and health are your call, and you have the right to avoid stressful situations. You can stay home and create your own tradition. Really. I give you permission.
When I asked Her what She had to say, She said:
I am ancient and I am myself. I am the young face of the ancient Goddess, and no one created me but me. Though my age always shows itself in the end. If you respect me and honor the cycles of the year, you shall have nothing to fear from me, not at all, we are allies; but should you seek to diminish or control me, or dismiss my strength and power, we shall be enemies. And you shall not win.
My advice? Pay attention. Give respect where it is due. We crones do not like the disrespectful, and will make no bones about showing our displeasure. So take heed. Treat all beings with respect, old women and pretty young girls alike. We are powerful, though we are not thought of as such.
Remember: you also are both young and ancient, and no one created you but you.
What does She say to you this week?
To read more about Her, go here; to read Her tale, here.