Saturday, September 21, 2013
Cerridwen, Welsh Goddess of Magic and Transformstion
Cerridwen is the Welsh dark Goddess of magic, transformation and wisdom. She is known as "The Keeper of the Cauldron" which is said to be full of inspiration. Her most famous myth deals with her magic cauldron and her son, Afagddu. Cerridwen is said to have two children, a beautiful daughter and a horribly ugly son named Afagddu. Due to her sons extreme ugliness Cerridwen set out making a special brew of wisdom to give her son so that he could have an opportunity to overcome his bad looks. She concocted this brew using six herbs for a year and a day and only three drops of this powerful brew were said to impart great wisdom.
She puts a boy named Gwion in charge of watching over the brew for her. Accidentally, three drops of the brew fall on his finger blessing him with the magical knowledge held within. Knowing that the brew was meant for Cerridwen's son and not him, Gwion fled and Cerridwen pursued him. As she chased after him they each continued to transform into a different animals. Gwion changed into a rabbit and Cerridwen would transform into a hound, then he transformed into a fish and she would chase him as an otter, then a bird and she chased him as a hawk. Finally Gwion turned into a kernel of wheat and settled into a pile of grain on the floor. Cerridwen then became a hen and swallowed him whole.
Nine months later she gave birth to the former Gwion who was now known as Taliesin the great bard. In this story Cerridwen and her chase represents the changing of the seasons and transformation in general. She is also seen as a lady of death which goes hand and hand with the power of transformation as we must let that which no longer serves us die in order for change.
Cerridwen symbolizes the twists and turns that life throws us into. She teaches us to understand that life can change in an instant and sometimes we need to learn to go with the flow and let the new shape your life is taking form on its own. She also represents knowledge and inspiration, fertility and the earth. We can journey to Cerridwen's cauldron for inspiration in our creative endeavors and she will impart her great wisdom to us. Since the cauldron represents the womb, where life is formed, it makes sense that Cerridwen would be associated with fertility as well as creativity.
Her sacred animal is the pig, her symbols are the cauldron and the moon and she is also associated with grain. On your altar you may leave her offerings of grain, wine or ham/bacon if you are so inclined to meat. If not leave grain or wine and have a cauldron and a representation of a pig.
Enjoy your journey to transformation and inspiration with Cerridwen!
Photo courtesy of Hrana Janto
Posted by Tara at 3:27 PM