This story was discussed by the Silsden Druid Group last night. To understand the meaning of the characters and the facets of the story is literally to become open to being re-born, to draw spiritual inspiration from nature, and above all to become the luminous powerful person you were born to be by becoming open to Awen: your own unique special refraction of divine inspiration. The moral of the story is that Ceridwen drove Gwion Bach into embracing change, transformation, inspiration and rebirth so that he ended up as Taliesin, the great prophet, teacher and magician.
1. The Characters
Cerridwen (The Witch Goddess) =
Lord Tegid Foel (Nobility and strength)
Their children are: Creirfyw (Heart of Beauty)
Morfran / Afagddu (Utter Darkness) (The Shadow, the Dance of Darkness)
Gwion Bach (Small Boy) who become Taliesin (Prophetic Spirit)
Morda, the Blind Man (Liminality)
The Wise (The Pheryllt)
Elfin (who discovers Taliesin at the end of his transformation and gives him his name)
2. Other Features of the Story
The Cauldron (The Womb of Magic)
The Three Drops (Divine Intoxication – the rest is utter poison)
3. The Transformations of Taliesin
a. hare greyhound bitch earth
b. salmon she otter water
c. bird hawk air
d. grain hen fire
4. Story Outline
Ceridwen desires to give Afagddu, her foul son, wisdom, so she obtains the formula from The Wise and hires Morda and Gwion Bach to keep the cauldron going for a year and a day. But it is Gwion Bach who receives the three drops of inspiration from the cauldron on the final day, not Afagddu, so he gains all knowledge, and the cauldron splits in two and all else in it is foul poison. Cerridwen is enraged, she hits Morda striking out his eye and pursues Gwion through four transformations, finally eating him when he is a grain of wheat and she a hen.
She gives birth to him nine months later, intending to kill him, but falls in love with his achievement and beauty so she floats him on the sea in a bag or coracle at Beltane. At Samhane, Elfin discovers the bag or coracle on his father’s salmon weir, opens it and discovers the child. Recognising his shining brow, Elfin calls the child Taliesin. Taliesin has all knowledge and goes on to become court druid and also the mentor of Arthur.
Read Rune Magic by Michael Conneely:
The Seeress prophesied at the beginning of time that the Gods of Asgard will not survive the final battle; the Nine Worlds are heading to destruction; beauty and order will fail. As the forces of chaos and darkness gather, Declan and Magda, two young people who have never even seen each other before, suddenly find themselves seized by Odin. He takes them from their own world to work together to save the magic of the Runes and create a new future for the gods. Caught up in the end of the worlds, they choose love, courage and even cunning, and they themselves undergo the awesome magic tests where Odin first won his great powers. But can the prophecy of the Seeress be averted? Can a new world be created? And what will be their place in it?
‘Heimdall has sounded the Gjallarhorn. The forces of chaos are invading Asgard,’ Magda said urgently.
Michael Conneely is also a teacher of Runes Distance Learning Courses. See Michael’s websites:
Read: ‘Vision Holder Munay Ki’ by Michael Conneely
– available in paperback or on Amazon Kindle. A visionary earth spirituality novel.
In this excerpt from the novel, Patrick is at the start of his Hero’s Journey. He is being prepared to make the Vision Quest that will enable him to become a man of the Tribe. Arianrhod, the Tribe’s Priestess is preparing him for the journey into manhood:
‘Beating her drum, Arianrhod led Patrick’s spirit to travel out from the depths of the Rebirth Cave where they stood together, to find and hold the four sacred weapons. First she sent him down the Alder Tree path, called Fearn, to hold the Stone of Fal, his first weapon of power. Patrick found his spirit heading from the cave and walking the Alder path by the banks of a river that ran in several streams. He felt the place of watery misty prophecy signifying closeness to the Otherworld: the tree that grows on the boundary between the worlds, where water meets the earth. The Alder path, that he knew so well from his previous workings with Arianrhod, was the path of the Spiritual Warrior. ‘A quality of the Alder wood is it hardens when wet so it gives protection and steadfastness when you walk in connection to the tree’s spirit and energies,’ Arianrhod had instructed him on previous journeys. ‘Its wood also changes colour to red when wet which the ancients signified as connected to fairy and vision. It is a path of self-discovery, challenging that which does not ring true.’ And next Patrick saw the great Being of the alder path: the head of Bran on the Alder path and he knew that Bran is God of prophecy and he knew that Alder would bring him prophecy either from within ourselves or from without.
Next, at Arianrhod’s command, Patrick turned North off the Alder path for a while, to see and hold the Stone of Fal. According to the Memories of the Tribe, the Stone of Fal, the Lia Fáil, was the coronation stone for the High Kings of Ireland. When the rightful High King of Ireland put his feet on it, the Goddess of the Land within the Stone would to shriek in joy. This was the stone bequeathed by the Goddess Eriu, Goddess of all Erin. ‘The Stone gives the gift of grounded power,’ this beautiful being told him gently. As he stood before the stone, Patrick heard the words, ‘the king and the Earth are one,’ and he saw that the Stone is the Navel of the World. The bedrock of existence. The foundation of Being. Patrick stood before the stone as boldly as he could, opening himself fully to it, and he sensed it solidity, its weight, and he touched it and he remembered its quality, committed it to his mind. And he knew what it meant when the Memories said that when the rightful High King of Ireland put his feet on it, the stone would to shriek in joy. He knew at that moment the inner cry of recognition when you harmonise with your true purpose, your calling. He knew somehow Celts understood stones were “plugged in” to the belly of mother earth and were conduits for her high energy, and their very solidity stood for trueness.
Then, Patrick wrapped himself round the stone and felt the link right from the womb of the earth where all things go back for renewal. He remembered the connection forever: the need to get grounded: the solidity and authority for the rock. He saw that the Celts knew this, and so Lia Fail weighed heavily in his memories as deepest or inmost purpose of his existence, as commitment to his own special unique fate path. He hugged the stone for a long time and tried to focus on the finite reality of his life and what really was his essence and purpose. And then Patrick journeyed back to the Alder path, saw how it continued one way to the tower that stood at its end on the shores of the surrounding endless ocean, but he turned the other way instead and headed back to the Rebirth Cave with the true meaning for him of the Stone now firmly in his consciousness.’
Michael Conneely is also a teacher of Ogham Distance Learning Courses and he offers initiation into Munay Ki shamanism.
See Michael’s websites:
http://www.earthstarweb.com and http://www.munaykiempowerment.com.
Liam finds his life path in vision, ritual and living close to the earth. He leaves his cold and ambitious father who cares only for exam results and career and joins a protest group dedicated to saving a Bronze Age Stone Circle threatened by the start of quarrying near-by. In confronting the forces of greed, money, law and order and establishment, to whom an ancient sacred site is valueless, Liam is forced to make a choice: whether to risk his liberty in joining the protest or turn away out of fear. In defending the sacred earth, he discovers the Vision Realm, love and family. His life will never be the same again.
Sacred Earth is available in paperback or kindle from Amazon.
See Michael Conneely’s novels website: www.inspirationalnovels.org
Welcome to the world of the Celts: a world of magic, shape-shifting, sorcery and divination, of heroism and rituals and profound contact with the Earth, a world where the physical world is understood in its context with the otherworlds, a world where trees and animals are given their rightful place and power.
You can use the Ogham to bring guidance to any circumstance and inspiration to your Path. You can re-awaken this ancient knowledge so that you can carry it in your bones, and reconnect with the magical wisdom of the ancient Celts. To the Celts, everything is interconnected and imbued with spirit. Plants, animals, stones and places all have their own unique energies. On how you interact with and understand these depends your own life’s unfoldment.
Study to Ogham, the Celtic Tree Alphabet of the ancient Irish Druids, in a certified distance learning course. Each Ogham letter is a magical guide to life. Each letter opens the mind to the otherworlds and mystery. Personal guidance and spiritual growth. Timeless wisdom that is relevant and needed today. Gain clarity and insight into your life using this deep ancestral understanding.
See Michael Conneely’s website: www.earthstarweb.com