Cerridwen

PaganGreen Pagan Witches

Cerridwen (also Keridwen) Celtic goddess of wisdom,
intelligence, magic, divination and enchantment. She
possesses the gifts of prophecy and shape-shifting (see
metamorphosis) and presides over the mysteries of the
Druidic bards. She is associated with water and the
Moon, which represent the emotions, the unconscious
and intuition. Her primary symbol is the cauldron, in
which she makes a magical brew of herbs, roots and the
foam of the ocean, prepared according to the movements
of the heavenly bodies. The brew boils for a year and a
day to yield three drops, which bestows knowledge,
inspiration and science.
According to the Book of Taliesin (ca. 1275), a collection
of poems and songs, some of which are attributed to
the sixth-century Welsh bard, Taliesin, Cerridwen prepared
her magic-cauldron brew for her ugly son, Avaggdu.
She put a youth named Gwion in charge of stirring
the contents. Gwion consumed the three magical drops
and gained the wisdom meant for Avaggdu. The rest of
the brew turned to poison and split the cauldron open.
In a rage, Cerridwen pursued Gwion, intent on destroying
him, but he possessed the wisdom to evade her. He
changed into a hare, a fish, an otter and a bird, but she
shapeshifted accordingly and kept up the pursuit. At last
Gwion turned himself into a grain of wheat and hid himself
among other grains. Cerridwen turned into a black
hen and ate Gwion. Nine months later, she gave birth to
a beautiful baby boy, Taliesin, whom she bound up in
a leather sack and threw into the sea. Taliesin was rescued
by Gwyddno and Elphin, who found the sack while
fishing.