Friday, September 10, 2010

Story of Mabon ~ K. Michele

There are many different versions of the Story of Mabon. I thought I'd share a short version. This is the verison that we read to our 5 year old. It's short which is perfect for his short attention span. When he gets bigger, we'll upgrade to one of the longer versions, but for now this is the one we read at home.

Modrone is one of elder gods.  She is so ancient, that her son Mabon is known as "Son, son of the Mother."  By the time King Aurthur was learning to ride, Mabon was already so old few remembered Him.

Of those who do remember, it is known that Mabon was kidnapped while sleeping next to his mother when he was only three days old.  He had been imprisoned until a young knight named Kyllwch fell in love.
The girl, Olwen, was the daughter of a giant named Yspadaden.  The giant was cursed to die if ever his daughter wed, so the giant would send potential suiters on quests that would surely cost them their lives.  Before Kyllwch, no suitor had ever returned.

Kyllwch had heard the tales, but did not care.  The great beauty of the girl had captured his heart.  Kyllwch  went to meet Olwen by the river one day and they fell madly in love. Kyllwch would have none but her.  He begged her to marry him. 

"I cannot my love, for I will not see you killed.  My heart could not bear it."  Olwen wept openly.

"I would rather die then live another moment without you, Olwen.  I know of your father and his curse.  I do not care what perils he puts before me.  I know my love for you is pure and true, therefore I will have the power of the Gods to protect me."  He hugged Olwen and left.  He gathered everything he might need and set off for the castle of the giant.

Upon arriving at the castle, young Kyllwch wastes no time in telling Yspadaden of his desire to wed his daughter.  To his surprise the giant sighed and grumbled.

"Not another one!  How many wretched men must I send to their deaths before you leave me in peace?"

"I fear no death.  I love Olwen and know I am worthy.  I will succeed where others have failed."

The giant snorted and laughed, "Really?  Very well.  If you complete all of the tasks I set before you.  You many have my daughter."  The giant then listed hundreds of tasks, all of which were so dangerous most hero's would not dare to attempt them.

Kyllwch took the list without hesitation and through the help of the gods completed all, save one.  He had to save Mabon, son of Modrone in order to gain the ceremonial set with a brush, comb and razor for Spaded.  
Knowing that he alone could not free the imprisoned god alone, Kyllwch went to King Aurthur's court and enlisted the help of Eidoel, Author's foster brother and kinsmen to Mabon.

Eidoel asks for the help of five sacred animals; the Raven, the Stag, the Owl, the Eagle and the the Salmon.

The Raven knows all tales from the beginning of time.  The Raven leads them to the Stag, who is far older than the Raven.  The Stag guides them through a dense forest to the wise Owl, told them of the Eagle who knew of a place where a Salmon had mentioned a strange prison tower.  The two men followed the Eagle to a river neither man had seen before. It's water was so clear and so calm, that the surface looked like a sheen mirror.  The water was so cold no man, could drink it without freezing.  The Eagle called out for the Salmon and shortly a fish, appeared on the surface.

This Salmon was larger than the largest fish, older than all other fish, and stronger than any other. "I know of the place you seek. I will guide you."

The Salmon led them up the river and over a mystical tide to a tall stone tower.  The two men heard the eternal cries of a child.  The first light of Yule broke over the hillside, the siege of the tower ended, freeing the child, they discovered it truly was the lost child of Modrone. 

Mabon showered the hero's with many thanks and gladly slew the legendary boar for Kyllwch.  Kyllwch and his new friends all returned to the giants home. The giant stuttered in protest upon seeing the party, declaring that it could not be and it must be a trick.

The next day a huge wedding celebrated the union of Olwen to Kyllwch.  After the feast, Kyllwch and his friends cut the head off the giant allowing Olwen and Kyllwch to live long and fruitful lives.


  1. This is a beautiful story. May I ask, do you have a book with the stories of the sabbats in them? I have yet to find anything like that... all the ones I've ever found focus on associations and rituals and base meanings, but never the meaningful stories behind them.

  2. I would also love a book of sabbat stories. Especially something for kids...

    Thanks for sharing this story!

  3. That would be a great project to make ourselves!

    Thanks Karen! I bet TJ loves that story!

  4. Thanks all! That story the hubby found for me on the internet and I wish I could remember where he found it. The story is much longer in the book I have.

    The book is called Circle Round Raising Children in Goddess Traditions that I love. For each Sabbat it gives a bit of background on it, tells about the God, the Goddess, the Altar, what's going on in the land, it also gives craft ideas, songs, stories, recipes (it's also where I got the recipe for the very yummy Brighid soup I make every year).

    It also talks about the cycle of the moon and sun, and life stages and the elements.

    The book was put together by Starhawk, Diane Baker and Anne Hill. I really really recommend the book. I can't tell you how much I love this book!