Cerridwen is a triple Goddess of the Celts and or, Welsh.Triple, meaning, Maiden, Mother and Crone. Her role was a simple one. She gave and took away. In other words, she gave life and, eventually, took life away. She is seen in all things living – humans, animals, plants, trees – as all things are born, die and, if you are Pagan, they are born again.
The Cerddorion were Welsh bards who gave the elegies during funerals. They were known to be the “sons” of Cerridwen. Taliesin was the Founder of the Cerddorions and said to be an actual Son of Cerridwen herself. The story of his birth was an interesting one but before we can talk about that, we must first discuss her other two children, a very attractive daughter named Creidwy and a very, ugly son named, Afagdu.
Legend says Cerridwen created a potion for Afagdu which would sacrifice his chance at ever being handsome in order to give the boy great wisdom. Unfortunately, Cerridwen’s servant, Gwion, took the potion before her son ever could.
A very magical and angry Mother hunted Gwion all across Wales. Having the ability to shapeshift– the both of them– he kept changing his form in order to hide from her and she kept changing hers in order to hunt him down better.
The saga comes to a close after Gwion shifts himself into a stalk of corn, so a very clever and vendictive Cerridwen changes herself into a Chicken and eats him.
Gwion, was not done, though. Instead of dying, he simply impregnates Cerridwen with himself. As an unwanted child, she tosses him into a river nine months later but at last, this is not his end. His life goes on and once he’s all grown up, his legendary name becomes, Taliesin.
Cerridwen was often drawn as a sow– the image being seen under the name of many Goddesses before and after this one.