Cerridwen lived with her husband, Tegid the Bald, on an island located in the center of the Lake of Tegid in Northern Wales. They had two children--a beautiful girl child named Creerwy (light and beautiful) and a son, Afayddu (utter darkness). The boy was not a very handsome lad; actually, he was quite ugly to tell the truth. And the poor lad was covered by a coarse hair making people think he looked like a stag or a demon.
Now, because of her son's appearance, Cerridwen worried that he would not be able to make his way in the world, so she decided to use her knowledge and her arts to create a potion which would gift him with wisdom and the spirit of prophesy. She worked at this brew for months on end, always keeping the magical brew simmering over the fire...and when she had to go outdoors, she would leave a mortal boy named Gwion in charge of the precious brew. But then, one day, the poor boy spilt some of the hot liquid onto his finger, and his immediate reaction was to suck on it. Immediately, he sensed that he was in trouble.
Realizing that Cerridwen would be angry, Gwion ran away. She gave chase, and both she and Gwion kept shapeshifting in order to try to outrun each other. They changed from a hare and a greyhound to a fish and an otter; to a bird and a hawk; and finally from grain to hen....and at this stage, she hate him...but then later gave birth to him, promptly tossing him into the water...but the babe was rescued and eventually grew up to be the greatest poet in the Welsh language--Taliesin.
If you don't have a cauldron, it is okay to use a large soup pot or a similar container. This exercise can either be done on stove top or outdoors over a fire. It would be great if you could pick fresh herbs, but this exercise can be done with store bought herbs. Choose any aromatic herbs you might like such as rosemary, thyme, mint, basil, and sage. Crush them into a cauldron (or pot) of boiling water and allow them to simmer with plenty of steam. Now, it is very important to make sure the pot is stable. You don't want to get scalded. Sit comfortably and upright on a high stool if you are using the stovetop or a lower stool or chair if done outdoors.
Close your eyes and gently breathe in the steam and the wonderful aromas; then breathe out again. Focus on your life now and any difficulties that you are having trouble resolving. Choose just one of these, and let it float in the steam. Let Cerridwen inspire you with a solution that perhaps you can write down as a story or poem in your children. Remember to give thanks for the inspiration and courage.
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