means Welsh crone or goddess of
dark prophetic powers. The sow is her totem animal. It represents the
fecundity of the underworld, and the terrible strength of the Mother. She
was a shape-shifting goddess of dark powers. Kerridwen’s Cauldron is a
symbol of transforming magic. She had two children representing the dark and
the light aspects: her daughter Crearwy being eight and beautiful, her son
Afagddon being dark and ugly. She lived isolated upon an island.
is the keeper of the Cauldron of the deep known as Awen in which inspiration
and divine knowledge are brewed. She brewed a magical potion in order to
give her son a birth gift of an easy life as a brilliant and inspired man.
made this potion with herbs and waters of prophecy and she was able to add
each herb, each root at the proper times observing the movements of the Moon,
the Sun and of the Stars. As
the Cauldron brew began to boil she arranged for a blind old man to keep the
fire burning and for a young lad named Gwion to stir the contents of the
women stood by. Some say they were Druidesses who could take the form of any
animals, who could blow the seas into a rage with their perfect poetry, and
foretell the events of the future. They breathed upon the magic Cauldron as
it boiled night a day for one year.
one year, Kerridwen placed young Morfan by the Cauldron to receive the
legacy that she had done for her son. She was sleeping and Gwion pushed
Morfan aside and drank three drops of the brew. The remainder of the water
split the sides of the Cauldron apart and poured out upon the ground.
thundering noise of the Cauldron woke Cerridwen from her sleep and she moved
to punish Gwion.
his power gained from the Cauldron, Gwion changed into a hare.
Carridwen, followed in swift pursuit, transformed himself into a greyhound. He took the form of a fish to sleep in a river and Cerridwen changed herself into an otter.
to be caught again, he became a bird and she took the shape of a hawk,
continuing after Gwion.
Gwion became the tiniest of the grains of a wheat pile, and was pecked by
Cerridwen who had taken the form of a black-crested hen. The seed took root
in her womb and she became pregnant.
nine months, Cerridwen proclaimed that on the day that Gwion would be born
she would destroy him, but, finally, when the day arrived she relented and
placed the child in a leather sack and threw him into the raging waters of
and most profound of Gaelic poets, Talieisin, claimed that he had once been
that Gwion, born of Cerridwen’s womb and the heir of her Cauldron of
that his leather sack had been fished from the river on All Hallow’s Eve,
(Halloween), he made it very clear to all who listened that Celtic wisdom,
poetry, magic, and foresight had once been stolen from the Cauldon of
is the tigress mother, the dark and prophetic goddess.
(Carlo Calzolari, Merico Alessandra III b iternaz)