Gwyn ap Nudd – guide of souls into the afterlife

I have been where the warriors of Britain were slain,

From the east to the north:

I am the escort of the grave.

I have been where the warriors of Britain were slain,

From the east to the south:

I am the escort of the dead! *

While the faery midwife Brigit the Bright One‘s time is Imbolc in February, when the snowdrops and crocuses are just beginning to be born into the light, the season of Gwyn ap Nudd is the dark of winter, which he wins rulership over by a duel with the Lord of Summer in October at Samhain.

The two faery lords govern the whole Wheel of the year, and so Gwyn has to fight this contest again at Beltane in May and this time, he is the loser, so that his challenger can reign over the Summerlands – otherwise, we would be in permanent winter. But in ruling the lower half of the zodiac months, Gwyn is the psychopomp whose role it is to guide the initiate down into the Underworld for the Judgement as much as the Egyptian Anubis performs that role in the Papyrus Texts and the Sumerian Nabu ferries Gilgamesh along a river into the Realms of the Dead, while the Arthurian scribes of the Norman conquest personified that character as Morgan of the Fae who takes the wounded Arthur in her boat through the mists of Avalon into the Otherworlds.


The mythological psychopomp symbolises Mercury, who was known to the ancient Greeks as Hermes, the so-called ‘trickster god’ who conducts souls into the afterlife – hence why the term Hermetic Arts is often used for the practice of alchemy. The metal quicksilver, which is governed by Mercury-Hermes, can be quite tricky to work with!

Trickster gods, like Puck in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, are always representatives of Mercury, who is the catalyst of all alchemical processes, but particularly that of the Marriage of the Sun and the Moon. No matter the amount of painstaking effort put into an operation, without Mercury’s divine intervention, the Child of Philosopher will be stillborn.

So viewed through that lens, you may be now realising that the psychopomp guide is not just there for the dead, but for the living shamans too who journey through the veil into the Underworld. Gwyn is there for the quick and the dead. Once you understand that, and you also know about our earliest ancestors propensity for dreaming themselves into trance in the pitch black of caves, then it will also make sense to you why no corpses have yet been found buried within the Egyptian pyramids.

© Stories in the Land, Annie Dieu-Le-Veut, 2019.

This is an extract from my new book, Stories in the Land, which will be out soon.

* From poem XXXIII in the “Black Book of Camarthen” that dates to the 13th century. It is the oldest surviving manuscript written entirely in the Welsh language and thought to include the works of bards who composed between the 9th–12th centuries.

About me and my work

annieHello, I’m Annie Dieu-Le-Veut and I write books on shamanism, Earth magic, the Grail Mysteries, the spirit of Sovereignty and sacred sexuality. I also decode ancient myths to show how they are actually the vessels or arks of our ancestors sailing the seas of Time and containing, deep in their submarinal holds, precious messages about our innate holographic relationship to eternal astrological and alchemical cycles which drive each of us along our life’s path.

Once we understand the substance of the messages our ancestors left for us thousands of years ago, we can realise the value and meaning of human life and finally know what to do with it.


The Grail Mysteries: Sovereignty and shamanic sex magic

The Bright World of the Gods: A real faery tale from the mists of Avalon

Reclaiming Sovereignty: Shamanic Earth magic

Stories in the Stars: What our ancestors were trying to tell us

How to read my books

If you’re thinking of getting one or more of my books, can I give you a bit of a steer? There are two ways to receive my teachings, and each augments the other.

If you wish to go down the fictional route, and become inspired in your dreams and imagination by the coded magical keys, symbols and metaphors hidden in mytho-poetic romantic adventures, I suggest that you read The Bright World of the Gods first, and then The Grail Mysteries. They are actually the first two books of a trilogy, although they work great as standalones too. I haven’t written the third in the series yet.

However, if you feel you need some help with unravelling the meanings of the symbols and metaphors found in ancient myths, my theoretical works are straightforward accounts that explain these Mysteries teachings in plain language.

Reclaiming Sovereignty is largely about the historical and mythological evidence, going back thousands of years, for the practice of shamanic sex magic, otherwise known as the Marriage of the Sun and the Moon, which brought wisdom and enlightenment to the newly-crowned king on the night of his coronation. There is also a step-by-step guide for practising it yourself.

In Stories in the Stars, you’ll learn that ancient myths are like Trojan horses carrying our ancestors’ voices and wisdom that they hid in astrological and alchemical metaphors which, once I’ve taught you how to decode them, will help you to transform and reincarnate into your own life today.