Blog changes

In an effort to get this blog back on track I have simplified it, deleted some of the attached one-topic blogs
and focused on Sabbats and Esbats, which was the original intent.
Other writings will be in 'stumbling upon the path of the goddess'
and the Borrowed Book of Charms is still active.
Links in the right hand column.

Friday, July 3, 2009


Ceridwen is sometimes portrayed as an entity of the triple goddess. Her story is part of Welsh mythology, but she has been appropriated by many who honor the Celtic gods and goddesses, including myself. For me Ceridwen is the keeper of the cauldron of life, she is femininity and life and she is outrage and revenge. A powerful goddess, not to be trifled with, treat her with respect but do not be afraid to approach her.

Here is her story...

According to the late medieval Tale of Taliesin, included in some modern editions of the Maginogion, Morfran (Ceridwen's son) was hideously ugly, so Ceridwen sought to make him wise. She had a magical cauldron that could make a potion granting the gift of wisdom and poetic inspiration. The mixture had to be boiled for a year and a day. Morda, a blind man, tended the fire beneath the cauldron, while Gwion Bach, a young boy, stirred the concoction. The first three drops of liquid from this cauldron gave wisdom; the rest was a fatal poison. Three hot drops spilled onto Gwion's thumb as he stirred, burning him. He instinctively put his thumb in his mouth, and instantly gained great wisdom and knowledge.

Ceridwen chased Gwion. He turned himself into a hare. She became a greyhound. He became a fish and jumped into a river. She turned into an otter. He turned into a bird; she became a hawk. Finally, he turned into a single grain of corn. She then became a hen and ate him. When Ceridwen became pregnant, she knew it was Gwion and resolved to kill the child when he was born. However, when he was born, he was so beautiful that she couldn't do it. She threw him in the ocean instead, sewing him inside a leather-skin bag. The child did not die, but was rescued on a Welsh shore - near Aberdyfi according to most versions of the tale - by a prince named Elffin ap Gwyddno; the reborn infant grew to became the legendary bard Taliesin.

Ronald Hutton suggests that Ceridwen was created solely for the Tale of Taliesin, the earliest surviving text of which dates to the mid-16th century. However, references to Ceridwen and her cauldron, and indeed to Taliesin as the bard of Elffin, are found in the work of the Poets of the Princes, and thus can be dated to the 12th century.




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