5 Ways to Connect With Ceridwen

Who is Ceridwen?

The witch Ceridwen is from Welsh mythology, and represents rebirth and transformation. Her name means ‘fair, blessed poetry.’ She’s a shapeshifter, and a personification of light and dark aspects of the divine feminine.

Interestingly, the ancient Welsh didn’t actually worship Ceridwen as a deity. Welsh folklore is deeply rooted in stories, poems, and song, and she was a beloved folklore character who appeared in many of their myths. However, over the earlier centuries her own witchcraft and story appealed to witches and pagans – even today – and she became the crone goddess of the Welsh triad, joining Arianrhod and Blodeuwedd.

She’s intrinsically linked to the cauldron – her source of inspiration, and which is said to hold her potion of knowledge and wisdom. For a whole year, Ceridwen carefully brewed this magical potion, intending it for her son, Morfran (also named Afagddu, or ‘ugly one.’ by the people), who was considered the ‘most wretched man’ in Wales. Ceridwen was concerned his ugly features would keep him out of the noble courts, and said ‘He may be harsh on the eyes, but he need not be stupid.’ Her potion would grant him the gift of wisdom and beauty.

She tasked her servant, a young man named Gwion Bach, with stirring the potion while she was away collecting herbs. Her strict instruction was to watch it for a year and a day, and to not spill or consume it. However, he indeed spilled three drops onto his finger. Instinct took over, and Gwion licked the drops. Suddenly, he was filled with all knowledge and power, and when he realised the consequences of his actions, Gwion fled in fear.

But his fear was nothing compared to Ceridwen’s rage when she discovered what happened. She set off hot on his trail, intent on reclaiming this wisdom that rightfully belonged to her son.

Thus began their famous chase across the Welsh countryside. Gwion turned himself into a hare to outrun Ceridwen, but she turned herself into a greyhound and caught up with him. He then turned into a fish and leapt into the river, so Ceridwen shapeshifted to an otter, and again caught up. Gwion turned into a bird, and Ceridwen into a hawk. Eventually Gwion spied a pile of corn, and turned himself into a tiny kernel, hidden amongst tens of thousands. Ceridwen finally won the chase, by shifting into a hen who ate all the corn, including Gwion.

This magic kernel germinated and Ceridwen soon found she was pregnant again. As her pregnancy progressed, she raged in disgust but really, she found herself to be a figurative cauldron – a vessel of death with Gwion’s demise, but also a vessel of life and fertility. When her baby was finally born, she fell in love with his power, beauty and magic. This baby was Taliesin who, in some later versions of the story, became known as the Merlin.

Working with Ceridwen

Ceridwen’s witchcraft is connected to the Moon, fertility, and natural cycles of nature. She invokes our inspiration, creativity, and transformation.

Her myth is used to show the importance of embracing change, seeking knowledge, and thinking creatively.

A beloved figure in Celtic Welsh mythology, even today she’s celebrated across Wales and for her wisdom, magic, and of course – her powerful cauldron!

5 Ways to Connect With Ceridwen

1. Use Her Names
Ceridwen has many names and epiphets. Using them in your invocations can add power: ‘White Lady’, ‘the Dark Mother’, ‘the Sow Mother’, ‘Queen of Bards,’ or ‘Lady of the Cauldron.’

2. The Dark Moon Phase
Ceridwen can be considered a Dark Goddess, with a strong relationship to the dark moon phase. Her own magic and witchcraft pushes the darker realms, and she’s a witch with temper, and powers of destruction. Work with her during the dark moon, when the night sky is at its most ’empty’ and beginning the next lunar cycle.

3. Altar Items & Spell Ingredients
Symbols and items for Ceridwen include the sow (a mother pig), the colour white, moonstone, vervain, grains like corn or barley, moon water, and of course the cauldron.

4. Offerings
As the goddess of poetry and creativity, she loves nothing better than a poem or music in her honour. Meditate, and then write from the heart. You can also consecrate a specific cauldron in her name, and use it just for your transformation and wisdom magic.

5. Pursue Your Goals
She’s most famed for her (quite literal!) pursuit of knowledge, magic and power. If you’re feeling Ceridwen calling to you, it’s likely she wants you to pursue your own goals with the same intensity she pursues her own. She’ll be right by your side as you do so!