Even though she is often considered a Goddess of Samhain. She can be called on anytime.
She is considered both a Welsh and Celtic Goddess. She embodies mother, crone, and sometimes maiden. Cerridwen is also one of the faces of the Dark Goddess. In tales, she often greets people as a tired hag. How she is treated determines how the person’s magical reception might be. (I always thought the story of the Beauty and the Beast has a little bit of Cerridwen in it. The prince was transformed into a beast because he treated an old woman so shabbily. He could not see past her exterior. The prince could not change back until he changed his ways and someone could love him as a beast.) It is also believed she could turn into animals such as the sow. The sow as a totem animal represent fruitfulness and the strength of the mother. She is also pictured as the corn maiden, who represents abundance and fertility.
As with many goddesses, her origins are shrouded in mystery or disagreement about what tale is authentic. Cerridwen and her cauldron appear in the Welsh legend of Bran the Blessed. It is told that she came from Ireland to what is called The Land of the Mighty as a giantess named Kymideu Kymeinvoll with her husband Llassar. Ireland expelled them from their lake, which represented the Underworld, because they were afraid of them. Apparently Cerridwen could reanimate corpses with her cauldron. The cauldron went on to be given to different people as a gift in the tales. Some scholars believe the cauldron was the Holy Grail that King Arthur was searching for.
The more commonly known tale is she was married to Tegid Foel, a man who we only know was bald. They lived near Lake Bala in Northern Wales. (Notice: another lake, another Underworld connection.) She had two children a beautiful daughter named Creirwy. Her son Morfran was better remembered and was often referred to as Utter Darkness in Welsh for his dark skin and hideous looks. This so distressed Cerridwen that she determined to make a potion to make him wise, talented, handsome, and a great bard that everyone would love.
He turned into a hare, Cerridwen a greyhound. He became a fish and jumped into the lake, Cerridwen shifted into an otter and followed him into the water. Finally, on land he transformed into corn, Cerridwen became a hen who ate the corn. In turn, the corn grew inside of her for nine moons until she gave birth to a beautiful baby. Upset she had rebirthed the boy she’d set out to kill, she almost threw him into the sea, but because he was so handsome, she sewed him in in a seal skin, first. The baby was rescued by a Welsh prince. The boy named Taliesin by his rescuer became a great bard well loved by all who heard him.
This tale demonstrates that not only Cerridwen’s cauldron, but her womb has the power to transform.
Cerridwen’s symbolism include the white sow, which she shifted to in an effort to address her people. Her birds include hawks and hens. Corn is her sacred plant. Her archetypes include Crone and Shapeshifter. Samhain is the holiday she is often called in for her gift of dark prophecy and wisdom.
If Cerridwen is calling your name or comes to mind, get ready for change. Transformation is already in motion.