Welcome to Tursan Tuesdays, where I take you on a journey through the Celtic world…
In honor of a good friend, our next goddess in this series is Cerridwen.
Cerridwen, Ceridwen, Caridwen, Kyrridwen
Cerridwen, Keeper of the Sacred Cauldron, is the goddess of rebirth, transformation and inspiration. With her magical cauldron, Cerridwen brews potions of divine wisdom and vision.
One of the five goddesses of Avalon, she is the guardian of spiritual transformation, and the dispenser of righteous council and ultimate justice.
Blodeuwedd (Maiden), Arianrhod (Mother), and Cerridwen (Crone) form the Welsh Triple Goddess triad; though Cerridwen embodies all three aspects within herself, as do many goddesses. Cerridwen is goddess of the moon and rules the gifts of prophecy and magic, as well as the powers of death and rebirth.
According to the late medieval Tale of Taliesin, Cerridwen had a son named Morfran who was hideously ugly. Out of love for her child, she brewed a potion in the Sacred Cauldron to make him wise. Cerridwen’s young servant boy, Gwion Bach, stirred the concoction. 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.
Hmm…is anyone else reminded of the legend of how Fionn mac Cumhaill gained his second sight? Interesting, no?
Cerridwen, realizing what had happened, 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, Gwion turned into a single grain of corn. Cerridwen then became a hen and ate him.
The Sword In The Stone, anyone?
Later, when Cerridwen 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. Instead, she sewed him inside a leather-skin bag, and threw him in the ocean. The baby survived and was rescued by Prince Elffin ap Gwyddno; the reborn infant grew to become the legendary bard Taliesin.
The part of this tale where Cerridwen eats Gwion and then gives birth to him reminds me of a portion of the tale, The Wooing of Etain. Is anyone familiar with that one?
Cerridwen rules over the following attributes:
Aging; Animals; Arts & Crafts; Astral Travel; Brewing (Magical); Cemeteries; Chaos; Clarity; Creation & Creativity; Crossroads; Darkness; Death; Destruction; Discipline; Disease & Illness; Divination; Dreams; Eclipse; Enchantments; Endings; Enlightenment; Exorcism; Fate; Fear; Fertility; Foresight; Gates, Caves, Portals & Doorways; Grief & Sadness; Guidance; Healing; Health (Physical); Herbs; Hindsight; Illusions; Initiation; Inspiration; Intuitive Abilities; Inventions; Judgment; Justice; Karma; Law; Learning; Longevity; Magic (Light, Dark, Lunar); Meditation; Memory; Menopause; Miracles; Moon; Mysteries; Oaths; Obstacles (Removing); Opportunities; Overcoming Negative Habits; Poetry; Power; Prophecy; Protection; Psychic Abilities; Rebirth; Regeneration; Reincarnation; Renewing; Retribution; Rituals & Ceremonies; Sciences & Alchemy; Seasons; Shapeshifting; Sky; Sorceress; Spiritual Connection & Illumination; Storms; Tarot; Time; Transformation; Truth; the Underworld; Vengeance & Revenge; Violence; Weather; Weight Loss; Wisdom; Witchcraft; Women & Femininity; Woodlands & Forests; Writing
Cerridwen’s colors are Blue, Purple, Black, Grey, White, and Silver
Cerridwen rules over the element of Water
I didn’t know much about Cerridwen before I began my research ~ I can see why she’s my friend’s favorite goddess 🙂
So talk to me. What about you? Do you connect with Cerridwen? Who is your favorite goddess?
If you have a specific goddess you would like to see featured here ~ even if she isn’t Celtic ~ let me know!