Sisters of the
Burning Branch Goddess Gallery Presents...
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
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,
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: