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Ceridwen

Ceridwen
Ceridwen Glynn Vivian Art Gallery 1910 Christopher Williams (1873-1934)

Ceridwen is an enchantress, mother of Morfran and a beautiful daughter Creirwy.

Her husband was Tegid Foel, and they lived near Bala Lake (Llyn Tegid) in north Wales. She possessed the cauldron of Poetic Inspiration (Awen) and the Tale of Taliesin recounts her swallowing her servant Gwion Bach who is then reborn through her as the poet Taliesin.

Legend

Morfran (also called Afagddu) 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.

Roleplaying Elements from

Liber Mysterium

The Netbook of Witches and Warlocks

By Timothy S. Brannan and The Netbook of Witches and Warlocks Team

Celtic Goddess of Wisdom, Intelligence, magic, divination and enchantment.

She is the Goddess of the cauldron. Popular among the Celtic Classical and Craft of the Wise Traditions.

Cerridwen’s cauldron has the power to return the dead to life.

  • Alignment: N
  • Areas of Influence: Intelligence, Magic, Wisdom
  • Sacred Animal: White sow (pig), toad, hawk and crow.
  • Symbol: The cauldron, sickle and scissors.

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