The Lady of the Lake - Llyn Y Fan Fach
There are many similar folk stories told of magical faerie women living below the lakes of Wales that thread back to ancient Celtic myth and belief.
The Lady of the Lake of Llyn Y Fan Fach in Myddfai Carmarthenshire, is interwoven with a later twelfth century legend of the Physicians of Myddfai, whose skills as herbalists were renowned from up until the 18th Century in Wales.
The Physicians of Myddfai - and some of their descendants - were said to be eminent healers, who inherited the magical healing powers of the Lady of the Lake.
In the Welsh folk tale, a faerie woman leaves her home beneath the Lake, and agrees to marry a young local man who is entranced with her beauty - bringing him a dowry of magical cattle - with the condition that he does not strike her three times without cause - or she will return to the waters of Llyn Y Fan Fach.
They had three sons together, but when her husband accidentally gives her three causeless blows, she keeps her promise and dissapears - with her magical cattle - to her home beneath the Lake.
She gifts her eldest son Rhiwallon with her medicinal knowledge of herbs, plants and cures, and foretells that his descendants will continue to have the skills of the Healers. Myddfai was indeed a well respected healing center in medieval Wales, through the 18th century.
Art & Text by Jen Delyth ©2022 - Fine Art Print here