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A picture showing the legend of CERIDWEN taken from our Celtic mythology archives. Illustration by Chas Saunders. Read the story below or search the index for more Celtic Gods, Celtic Goddesses, heroes, demons and monsters!

A witchy goddess who brews inspiration

She may be a part-time mother goddess, but in hag mode her appearance is hideously horrible. Which is a shame as no-one ever sticks around for a cup of tea and a slice of wisdom.

She is married to TEGID-FOEL and together they had a son and daughter. The daughter, Creirwy, was astoundingly beautiful, but her brother Afagddu was the ugliest boy in the world. Even his name was ugly.

Not to worry, thought CERIDWEN. Brains before beauty is my motto. So she fetched her cauldron and set to work boiling up knowledge for a year and a day so she could bestow world-shaking intelligence upon her blighted boy.

A young scullion called GWION-BACH who worked around the house was given pot-watching duties. For months and months he sat watching it in case the knowledge boiled over. Just as the brew was due, a blob of the stuff dripped onto his finger. Of course, he licked it off. And again. And again.

It's first come, first served with knowledge and it was all concentrated in these three blobs. GWION-BACH felt his neurons multiply and his brain swelled with all the wisdom meant for Afagddu. We're not sure, but we imagine his first magically-enhanced thought was probably 'get the hell out of there'.

CERIDWEN was furious. She chased after the lad, giving him the opportunity to show off his new-found knowledge of transforming into extremely fast animals in his attempts to escape. But somehow she caught him — and in her fury ate him.

Later she relented and regurgitated him as her son, but he escaped into a river and later became TALIESIN the Great Bard. Poor old Afagddu stayed ugly ever after.

CERIDWEN had another son called Morfran. He went on to be a warrior, but no one would fight him because he was too ugly.

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Article last updated on 08 May 2013
Authors: Peter J Allen and Chas Saunders
References: Coming soon.

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Godchecker's article on Ceridwen is based on material from ancient texts, original references and our own research. We strive for accuracy and update regularly with new information. If you spot a mistake please contact us and we'll try to fix it.

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Area or people : Welsh
Location : Western Europe
Gender : Female
Type : Deity
Celebration or Feast Day : Unknown at present
Good/Evil Rating : NOT OKAY, be careful
Pronunciation : Coming soon
Alternative names : None known
Popularity index : 2684

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