Gwydion the Wizard

Gwydion the Wizard In Welsh Celtic mythology, the heroic wizard (see Wizard) and bard of North Wales, whose tales are told in The Mabinogion. Gwydion the Wizard was the son of Don, the Welsh goddess who is a counterpart of the Irish Celtic goddess Danu. He was one of three children of Don; the other two were Gofannon the Smith, and a daughter, ArIAnrod, a lunar goddess of dawn and the mother of Llew. Gwydion ruled science, light and reason. He is associated with the rainbow and is described as the British Hermes.

He was a skillful magician, a bringer of cultural gifts from the gods to man and a clever thief. He is said to be the father of April Fool’s Day, for on April 1 he conjured great armies to fool Arianrod into giving arms to Llew Llaw Gyffes. He helped math, god of wealth, create a bride for Llew: Blodeuwed, the “flowerlike.” Blodeuwed fell in love with another man and betrayed Llew to a treacherous death. The milky Way is said to be the tracks of Gwydion searching for the dead Llew.

Gwydion used his magic against the men of southern Wales and was punished in return. He used magic illegally to acquire a herd of Pryderi’s swine and was made to do penances by math.

Gwydion eventually slew Pryderi, son of Pwyll, who was ruler of the underworld and the first husband of rhiannon. In Celtic magic, he plays a role in initiation rites.


The Encyclopedia of Witches, Witchcraft and Wicca – written by Rosemary Ellen Guiley – Copyright © 1989, 1999, 2008 by Visionary Living, Inc.