The Great Celtic Goddess Guinevere of Wales, who was born into royalty to Welsh King Lleudd–Ogrfan and his wife, about 490 C A.D., is a Trinity. In Celtic Wales, she is called “Gwenhwyfar.” In Cornish, she is “Jennifer.”Her name Gwenhwyfar means “White Waves,” “White Sprite,” “White Phantom.” Or simply, “White One,” Faery Goddess of the Old Ones. She is the ancient Triple Goddess of Wales; the Original May Queen of Faery. She was and is a Beautiful and Desirable Goddess of the Dawn and Spring. She is the “power behind the throne” of her husband King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table. Guinevere’s royal parents gave them the Round Table for a wedding present. Queen Guinevere comes to King Arthur from The Other World. Her royal role is that of enforcing, expanding, empowering, and enhancing.
Queen Guinevere is of the Land; Union with her gives Kings their “right to rule.” Her passion and love gave her not only her King Arthur (Winter God / Holly King) but also Sir Lancelot (Summer God / Oak King). She is recorded in legends as Arthur’s “Three Chief Queens.” These three aspects of Guinevere show a common Triple Goddess.
Her name, Gwenhwyfar, or “White Waves,” relates to the color white for virgin, indicating she is complete in and of herself. Waves associate her with the Great Generative Powers of the Sea. She is the Feminine eternal symbol of Strength and Order in a peaceful universe. She is also known for creating Chaos and Havoc in the world of men by bringing otherworldly Energy and Powers into reality. She has another role, as a Flower Maid, a fairy Goddess of Love, Growth and Fertility. Her holiday is Beltane. Her sacred tree is the Hawthorn. Queen Guinevere is a Goddess of the Old Ones.
As Queen of the Round Table, Guinevere inspires people to rise up to heights previously unimagined and achieve UNITY. She helps the earth to bear fruit to grow and harvest. She inspires King Arthur and the Round Table to greater goals and she overlooks the Court. She also reveals her role as Crone in her actions over the Round Table.
It might be added that legend has it that Queen Guinevere is linked to Glastonbury, England, and is buried next to King Arthur there. In legend, she was abducted by King Melwas, aka Sir Meleagant, and taken to his stronghold at Glastonbury. It is said she was rescued there by King Arthur and perhaps also by Sir Lancelot and Gawain, too.
While the Camelot stories surrounding her, Arthur, and Lancelot are romantic in nature, these Modern Incarnations demean the Status of the Sovereign Goddess in their telling. She was the sovereign who gave Arthur his right to rule simply by being with him. When she left him he pursued her not for love, but because without her his kingdom would crumble for lack of leadership. The role of Goddess of Sovereignty is more clearly seen in her legends. Her duty is to blend the king’s Divine Masculine Energy with the Energy of the Land. In many myths, when the king forgets where his power comes from the queen seeks other champions and lovers to remind him, as she gladly did.
The Lady of the Lake: Bestower of Sovereignty, Weaver of Magicks, Maker of the Magical Sword Excalibur, Healer of the Wounded King. What dark visions of an elder and enchanted time her legend brings to mind! And yet, if we go back to the original Arthurian material, composed in Wales during the 12th century and earlier, we do not find her. Nor was she a product of the later French Arthurian romances.
At her start she was said to be a Goddess called “White Cloud” or “White Phantom,” who was a Mischievous Shape Shifter, who from time to time found that she just could not help but Incarnate as a Human to mix in the affairs of mankind. She would do this by Entering a Womb and being Born as a Human.
Different aspects of Gwenhwyfar’s identity and powers include: Bringing New Cycles of Growth and Prosperity. Serving as a Bridge to take the Dead to the Afterlife Plane. Bringing fertility to the land. Lady of the Lake. Morgana LeFay. Giver of Grace. First Lady of the Court. Lady of the Land. Flower Maiden. Maiden Warrior. Earth Mother. Goddess of Love. Queen of Destiny. The Green Lady.
She may well be the Ultimate Shape-Shifter. Her Powers span all Aspects of Love and Life, from Home-Maker to Home-Wrecker; from Love and Lust to Homeliness and Fertility. She is a very Powerful Goddess as her Knowledge is far-spread and the Effect of her Energy is Strong.
The Lady of the Lake is older than Celtic Christianity; she is the Welsh Goddess Gwenhwyfar, and many other Ladies of the Depths; the Primal Dark Mother, Patroness of Celtic Shamanism, Goddess of Transformation. From different tales we can make a composite picture of this Celtic Goddess who watches over powerful people from Birth to Rebirth. In the Fire of Her Forge and the Water of Her Womb, She Transforms an Initiate. She is the Source of Vision and Wisdom, the Giver of Spiritual or Temporal Power. The Draught of Her Vessel, be it Well, Cauldron, or Grail, Nourishes, Heals, Inspires. She takes souls of the dead to their after-life or restoration across the sea. And She speaks to us yet, in dream and myth.