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Annwn

In Insular Brythonic mythology, specifically Welsh, Annwn was an underworld region, ruled by Gwyn ap Nudd. In Culwch and Owen[?], God gave Gwyn control over the demons lest "this world be destroyed." He led the Wild Hunt.

Unlike most underworlds in mythology, Annwn could be entered by those still living, near Lundy Island and Glastonbury Tor. St. Collen[?], a Welsh saint, entered Gwyn's palace to banish him with holy water.

In the Book of Taleisin[?] is a 10th century poem called The Spoils of Annwn. It is about King Arthur and his knights traveling through Annwn, searching for a magical cauldron possessed by nine women. Only seven knights survive the journey. It may be a precursor of later Holy Grail stories involving King Arthur and his knights. The nine maidens related to actual groups of nine priestesses in ancient Celtic society. Geoffrey of Monmouth told stories of Morgan le Fay[?] and eight other priestesses in his poem, Vita Merlini[?], who lived on the Isle of Apples or Avalon. Avalon was often identified with Annwn.

See also Meg Mell[?], Cwn Annwn, Arawn

Alternatives: Annwfn, Annwyn, Annwyfn



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