Also known as:
Bendigeidfran (Bran the Blessed; Blessed Crow)
Bran is so big no house can contain him. He owns a cauldron that can resurrect the dead (although they will not regain powers of speech). He walks across the Irish Sea to rescue his sister. Bran is a king, a hero, and a potent oracular, guardian spirit.
The myth of Bran the Blessed, son of Llyr, brother of Branwen and Manawyden, appears in the Welsh epic, the Second Branch of the Mabinogi. When Branwen is humiliated by her husband, the King of Ireland, Bran leads an army of Britons to avenge and rescue her. (Bran walks beside his war ships, carrying other warriors.)
Bran, fatally wounded during the altercation by a poison spear, commands his seven surviving heroes, including his brother, Manawyden, to cut off his head, carry it to London’s White Mount and bury it there to guard against foreign invasion. The men do as he asks but the journey takes a while. They spend seven years in Harlech, Wales, and more time elsewhere. In the meantime, Bran’s head continues speaking with his men. Finally they recollect their mission and bury Bran’s presumably still-conscious head facing the European mainland.
Bran’s myth was set to paper by later Christian commentators who transformed a beloved deity into a hero. Bran is invoked for oracular advice and for protection.
Sacred bird: Bran literally means “raven” or “crow.”
The Tower of London is allegedly built over Bran’s head. Legend has it that if the Tower’s resident ravens ever leave, the kingdom will fall. This tradition is sometimes associated with Bran.
You cannot possibly feed him enough; his capacity is endless; build him an altar, perhaps in conjunction with his siblings; protect and feed crows and other members of the corvid bird family in his honor.
Branwen; Llyr; Manawyden
Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods & Goddesses– Written by :Judika Illes Copyright © 2009 by Judika Illes.
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