Arthurian Legend

Arthurian legend is based, in part, on the mythological cycle featuring the Goddess as mother and the God as lover and son. Which make the characters in Arthurian legend gods and goddesses in their own right. Starting with the goddess archetypes, the main feminine characters in the legend are Guinevere, Igraine, and Morgan Le Fay. These women are the three aspects of the Triple Goddess; the Maiden, the Mother, and the Crone.

Guinevere is the Maiden aspect of the tripartite. She is the bride of King Arthur and lover of Lancelot, the Sovereign Queen of Britain, and the Queen of the May. She is associated with Beltane – the beginning of summer. As Queen of the Summer County this makes her also Queen of the Faery, which would equate her with Morgan Le Fay.

Igraine is the Mother aspect of the tripartite. She is the mother of King Arthur, the mother and sister of Morgan Le Fay (attributed to two separate people who are the same), the wife of Gorlois and lover of Uther Pendragon, and was once Queen of Britain. The similarities between her and Guinevere continue the ever-flowing cycle of the seasons.

Morgan Le Fay is the most complex aspect of the tripartite goddess, the Crone. In many versions of the legend, Morgan Le Fay is the same person as the Lady of the Lake and the High Priestess of Avalon. Avalon is similar to many Holy Isles or Lands of Faery as they also double as the Land of the Dead. Morgan le Fay is the sister and lover of King Arthur, and the mother of his son Mordred. She is the Mistress of Magic, and the nemesis of Merlin.

Next we come to the god archetypes. The main masculine characters of the legend are King Arthur, Lancelot, Gorlois, Uther Pendragon, Mordred, and Merlin. These men are different versions of the dual aspect of God; the Holly and Oak King.

King Arthur is the key character in the mythos. He is the Sovereign King of Britain, the son of Uther Pendragon, the student of Merlin, the father of Mordred, and the God of the Sun. He is the Oak King and in the legend we follow his life from birth to death, as we follow the wheel of the year.

As power is fading from King Arthur, Lancelot enters the picture as the new consort of the Queen, the Holly King. However the battle occurs between King Arthur and his son, Mordred, who is also a version of the Holly King. Gorlois and Uther Pendragon are really an older account of King Arthur and Lancelot/Mordred.

Merlin is another aspect of the Oak King. He is a wizard, the adviser of King Arthur, and the lover of Morgan Le Fay. It is through him that the wheel is turned, as he is an active participant in Arthurian legend.

The Winter Solstice brings the first battle of the Holly and Oak Kings and the birth of King Arthur, the Child of Light. At Imbolc King Arthur receives his training from Merlin then during the Vernal Equinox Morgan Le Fay becomes pregnant with Mordred. Beltane is the time to celebrate the marriage of King Arthur and Guinevere. The Summer Solstice brings the battle between the Oak and Holly Kings in the guises of King Arthur and Mordred. At Lughnasadh Guinevere and Lancelot become lovers, on the Autumnal Equinox Merlin becomes trapped by Morgan Le Fay, and finally at Samhain Morgan Le Fay reigns.

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