Sisters of the Burning Branch Goddess Gallery Presents...


By Rowena LaFae

Near Bala Lake in medieval North Wales lived enchantress Cerridwen with her two children; daughter Crearwy who was fair, light, and beautiful, and son Morfan, dark, malevolent, and said to be hideously ugly. Because of Morfan's unfortunate appearance, Cerridwen decided to create a potion in her giant cauldron Awen in order to make him incredibly wise in compensation for his looks, by granting him the gift of poetic inspiration and wisdom. This mixture had to be boiled for a year and a day, so Cerridwen set a blind man, Morda, to tend the fire and a young boy named Gwion to stir the cauldron.

However, only the first three drops from the potion held the magick of wisdom while the rest would be poison. While stirring the massive cauldron, three hot drops of the potion splashed out onto Gwion's thumb, burning him, and he instinctively put it in his mouth to soothe his burn. Realizing that he had now gained the wisdom meant for Morfan, Gwion fled. Once Cerridwen had found out what had happened, she chased after him. Using the magick of the potion, Gwion transformed himself into a hare to try to outrun Cerridwen but she turned herself into a greyhound so that she could run faster. Gwion saw a small stream near by and jumped in, becoming a fish, and Cerridwen followed becoming an otter. Realizing he was still being followed, he then transformed into a bird and She became a hawk. Finally, thinking that he had outsmarted her, Gwion became a single grain of corn. Naturally, Cerridwen knew where he was and became a Hen and ate him. Unbeknownst to Cerridwen, the potion protected him from death and she soon realized she was pregnant with none other than Gwion and resolved to kill him as soon as she gave birth.

Nine months later, a baby boy was born. He was so beautiful that Cerridwen couldn't bring herself to destroy him and instead threw him into the ocean. On a Welsh shore, the beautiful baby boy was rescued by a prince and grew to become the legendary bard Taliesin.

"Is not my chair protected by the cauldron of Cerridwen? Therefore, let my tongue be free in the sanctuary of the Praise of the Goddess." -- Taliesin the Bard.

From this tale, Cerridwen becomes the Celtic goddess of transformation, rebirth, and inspiration. Representing the facets of Maiden, Mother and Crone, Cerridwen is mainly honored for her darker, Crone, aspect and forms a triad with goddesses Blodeuwedd and Arianrhod. She has the powers of prophecy and resonates with the darker elements and has connections to the underworld; Her cauldron, Awen, symbolizes knowledge and inspiration and Cerridwen is considered to be one of the five goddesses of Avalon.

When working with Cerridwen on a path of magick, there are many different forms of ritual and activities that you can do to channel her, and work with her powerful energies. Being that Cerridwen is a shapeshifter, animal magick and spirit animals is one way of working with her, especially when working with her totem animals: the hen and white sow.

Other ways that you can work magick with her is through astral travel, cauldron magick, dreams, enchantments, enlightenment, fertility, guidance, healing, inspiration, judgement, justice, karma, lunar magick (she associates with the full and waning moon), meditation/trance work, and protection.

Divination with Cerridwen is done best on Samhain or Yule, either with the use of tarot cards or scrying within a cauldron. When working with Cerridwen, it may be helpful to also use a few of her magickal associations to boost your energy fields and ritual work. Her sacred colors consist of black, purple, grey, white, and silver. With herbs and crystals it would be best to use vervain, vanilla, almond, bergamot, coral, agate, and carnelian.

Prayer to Cerridwen
by Rownea LaFae

"O, source of wisdom, Hear me speak.
Cauldon of plenty, Give forth your power.
Let your wisdom bring nurturance to those of us who need you."

Used to summon the power of Cerridwen into one's body, this chant dates back to Celtic Scotland:

"Amores Cerridwen, cald mi carbones stultorum moenica chartee. Calami carbones stultorum moenica chartee."



365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess. Patricia Telesco. July 3rd Festival of Cerridwin

The Goddess Guide, exploring the attributes and correspondences of the Divine Feminine. Priestess Brandi Auset. Pages: 9, 18, 23.



This page is the intellectual and creative property of Rowena LaFae

December  2012