Cerridwen: Celtic Goddess of the Underworld and Moon

Cerridwen is the Celtic goddess of the underworld and the keeper of the cauldron of knowledge. She is often referred to as the Dark Moon Goddess and Goddess of Inspiration and Death.

Who Is Cerridwen?

Cerridwen is considered the Celtic goddess of rebirth, transformation, and inspiration. She is the goddess of the underworld and the keeper of the cauldron of knowledge. She imparts wisdom and knowledge, and intuition.

Cerridwen is a shapeshifter and is considered an enchantress.

As well as the moon she is associated with herbology, fertility, science, prophecy, and poetry. Many witches include her among their patron deities.

She lives with her husband Tegid Foel near the beautiful Bala Lake in Wales.

Who Are Cerridwen’s Children?

Her children, Creidwy and Morfran, represent light and darkness. She had a third child, Taliesin, who became a gifted poet.

Cerridwen is known for being a helicopter parent and interfering in the lives of her offspring!

Creidwy was her beautiful daughter.

Her son Morfran was born extremely ugly so Cerridwen decided to make a potion that would make him very wise. It was a complicated potion that needed to boil one year plus one day.

Cerridwen had a blind man named Morda keeping the fire going and the young Giwan Bach stirring the pot. The first three drops of the finished potion gave infinite wisdom. After that death came to anyone who drank it.

When the potion had finished three drops fell on Giwan Bach’s thumb as he was stirring. He instinctively placed his thumb in his mouth and gained all the wisdom the spell had to offer.

otter under water

Otter under water. Photo by Ray Herrington

The Great Chase

Cerridwen was extremely angry and chased Giwan Bach. He tried several forms of transfiguration. However, Cerridwen is a gifted shapeshifter.

First, he became a rabbit but she became a greyhound dog.

He tried jumping into the river and becoming a fish but Cerridwen followed him transforming into an otter.

He became a bird and she a hawk.

Finally, Giwan Bach transformed himself into a grain of corn however, Cerridwen transformed into a chicken and ate him!

The potion caused her to become pregnant and she vowed to end the baby’s life. When her son, Taliesin, was born he was so beautiful that she could not. So she set him in a small boat and placed him in the sea.

The baby survived and was rescued by Prince Elffin ap Gwyddno of Aberdyfi. The baby grew up safe and sound and became the famous Welsh bard Taliesin.

This is a great family read aloud book!

What Does This Story Teach Us?

The story of the great chase teaches us that change must happen. It represents the changing of the seasons and the changes we go through in life. We are in a never-ending cycle of birth, death, and rebirth.

How To Honor and Celebrate Cerridwen

In today’s world, we recognize the goddess of transformation, inspiration, and rebirth.

Cerridwen inspires us to make positive changes in our lives.

The beginning of the year or anytime after a new moon can be a time to make a change. Start a new project or learn a new skill.

Set an intention with her when you are seeking abundance, fertility, creativity, or inspiration.

Call upon Cerridwen when you want to speak with your ancestors or reach ones in the underworld.

Correspondances for Cerridwen

Pantheon: Welsh/Celtic

Abode: Bala Lake

Animals: White sow, greyhound, otter, hawk, hen

Color: White and Green

Divination: Cauldron, potions

Elements: Water, Earth

Plants: corn, oak tree, acorns, honeysuckle

Planet: Moon

Stones: River Stones, moonstone, amethyst

Metals: Iron, silver

Symbols: Black Cauldron, Bodies Of Water, Earth, Dark Moon

Wood: Apple, Oak, Willow

Consort: Tegid Foel

Altar For Cerridwen

Place a small cauldron or bowl of water on your altar. The cauldron symbolizes rebirth and renewal. An offering of grains for fertility and growth. White and green candles.

Meditate on making a positive change in your life. Ask for Cerridwen’s assistance.

The Shape-shifter Archetype

A person who has the ability to shape-shift can change their physical appearance. They can also alter their behavior making it easy to adapt to different environments.

The nature of the shape-shifter is often unstable, fickle, lacking conviction, and may remind us of politicians who try to appeal to most people. They may be seen as unloyal or not sincere.

A true shapeshifter changes without consciously thinking about it. Just like when a chameleon goes from a brown twig to a green leaf they change color. This archetype is closely related to the Shaman Archetype.

Author Ame is the founder of CPH. She is a lifelong pagan, an environmental educator, and a licensed wildlife rehabilitator. Ame writes about honoring nature, animal spirit guides, crystals, and holidays. She also does our social media pages. Check us out on Facebook and Twitter.

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