Cerridwen is a Celtic Goddess from Welsh mythology. Her name derives from the Celtic word 'Cerru' meaning cauldron and like the cauldron, Cerridwen is associated with wisdom, inspiration, rebirth, magic and transformation. She is the Goddess of the dark moon, fertility, prophecy and poetry, both Mother, Crone, enchantress and shape-shifter.
Cerridwen was married to a man named Tegid Foel, and they lived with their two children in the middle of Lake Tegid in Wales. Their daughter Creirfyw was beautiful, but their son Morfran was ugly. Cerridwen worried about Morfran, he would never be accepted by people unless he had an outstanding skill of some sort.
She searched through her magic book and found a recipe for a brew that would give him the gift of knowledge and inspiration. She gathered all the herbs and plants needed and added them to her cauldron, she hired a blind man named Morda to tend the fire and a boy named Gwion Bach to stir the brew for a year and a day.
Towards the end of this time, three drops of the brew accidently splashed Gwion Bach's thumb, without thinking he immediately sucked his thumb to ease the burning. Unknown to Gwion it was the first three drops that held all the magic, and he was instantly filled with the gifts of knowledge and inspiration meant for Morfran.
Realising he was in danger, Gwion fled the scene in an attempt to escape Cerridwen's wrath. When she realised what had happened, Cerridwen was furious and chased after him. Gwion saw that she was gaining on him, and with his new wisdom he changed into a hare, Cerridwen then changed into a greyhound. After a lengthy chase Gwion jumped into a river and became a salmon, but Cerridwen gave chase as an otter, he then took to the skies as a bird, but Cerridwen changed into a hawk. Gwion feared he would be caught and killed, then below him he spied a pile of winnowed wheat, he changed himself into a single grain and hid amongst the pile, but Cerridwen had seen what he had done and changed into a black hen and ate him up.
In swallowing Gwion, Cerridwen became pregnant with him and resolved to kill him at birth. But when he was born he was so beautiful she couldn't bring herself to do it, so she wrapped him in a coracle and cast him into the river where he was eventually found by a Prince named Elffin, who was astonished to find a beautiful baby with a radiant forehead, he named him Taliesin and raised him as his own. Taliesin grew up to become the greatest of Welsh bards.
Cerridwen's story is full of examples of change and transformation. When Cerridwen comes calling know that it is time to take stock of your life, rid yourself of that which is no longer any use to you, so that something new and better can begin.
Call on Cerridwen for all workings related with wisdom, knowledge, transformation, divination and inspiration.
As both Mother and Crone, Cerridwen embodies both the Full and dark moon.
Symbols: Cauldrons and corn
Animals: white sow, greyhound, otter, hawk and hen
Cauldron Born - Kristoffer Hughes