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Encyclopedia > Cerridwen

In Welsh mythology, Ceridwen was a magician, mother of Taliesin, Morfran, and a beautiful daughter.


Morfran (also called Avagddu) was hideously ugly, so she sought to make him wise. Ceridwen had a magical cauldron that could make a potion granting wisdom. The mixture had to be cooked for a year and a day. Morda, a blind man, tended the fire beneath the cauldron, while Gwion, 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 hand as he stirred, burning him. He instinctively put his hand in his mouth, and instantly gained great wisdom and knowledge.


Ceridwen chased Gwion. He turned himself into a rabbit. She became a dog. 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. The child did not die, but swam away and became the legendary bard, Taliesin.




  Results from FactBites:
 
Cerridwen - Goddess of the Moon and Femininity (615 words)
Cerridwen is one of the Old Ones, one of the great megalithic pre-Christian Goddesses of the Celtic World.
Gwion changed into a hare, and Cerridwen chased him as a greyhound; he changed into a fish, and Cerridwen pursued him as an otter; he became a bird, and she flew after him as a hawk; finally, he changed into a grain of corn, and Cerridwen, triumphant, changed into a hen, and ate him.
Cerridwen's cauldron is an ancient feminine symbol of renewal, rebirth, transformation and inexhaustible plenty.
Cerridwen (1255 words)
Cerridwen's cauldron is an ancient feminine symbol of renewal, rebirth, transformation and inexhaustible plenty 8.
Cerridwen was the teacher, and Gwion the student, and it is the job of a teacher to challenge the student, when the student is ready.
Cerridwen forced him to use the knowledge he acquired, as they ran, together, and, in the end, she devoured him, to bestow upon him a new and greater identity, that of the legendary poet, Taliesin.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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