Tomorrow, July 3rd, is the feast day of Cerridwen, the Celtic-Welsh Goddess of Rebirth and Transformation, associated with awen (poetic inspiration) and the Cauldrons of Knowledge, Vocation & Warming (known to some as the Cauldrons of Knowledge, Inspiration and Rebirth) and with the Dark Moon. As a Triple Goddess, she is also associated with Blodeuwedd and Arianrhod.
The name Cerridwen comes from the Welsh language (one of the Celtic tongues), although scholars do not entirely agree on the etymology:
One source says the root is “cyrrid” or “cwrr” meaning bent or crooked, and “ben” or “ven” meaning “woman” (in Irish Gaelic, this is “bean”). Another source says her name comes to us from “cerru”, meaning cauldron. And yet another source says the roots come from “cerdd”, meaning poetry or song and “wen”, (a contraction of gwen) meaning white, fair or holy. Some also refer to her as the “white sow”.
Whatever the roots, Cerridwen is an important goddess in Welsh traditions and is often pictured with her legendary cauldron. According to Welsh legends and folklore, Cerridwen was the mother of Creirwy (the beautiful daughter), Morfan (her first son, born “dull-witted” and “ugly”) and the poet/bard Taliesin.
Legend says that Cerridwen used her knowledge of herbs and magic to create a potion in her cauldron, one that would transform Morfan into a wise and beautiful boy. The potion would take a year and a day to brew, but her servant Gwion accidentally consumed three drops of that portion, becoming all powerful and wise . . . and sadly rendering the brew impotent. To escape from Cerridwen’s wrath, Gwion shapeshifted into a rabbit, then a bird, and then a grain (corn in some legends, wheat in others) which was ultimately eaten by Cerridwen — and which seeded her son Taliesin.
Perhaps Cerridwen can support your inner cauldron and transformation. At sunset tonight, the start of the Celtic day, light a candle for Cerridwen, perhaps burn a little loose incense and ask for her support.
Alternate spellings include Ceridwen, Caridwen, and Kyrridwen