Taliesin is the name of a legendary child.
The story comes down to us from old Welsh legends.
Some of these stories form part of the legends of King Arthur.
Gwion Bach was just a small boy when the witch Cerridwen came a calling.
She took him from his parents and his home and forced him to take care
of a big pot of soup for a year and a day - of course, he didn't know the soup was magical.
Please click on the title here to download
& enjoy the first part of the
in which Gwion Bach is kidnapped by the witch,
Cerridwen and forced to stir a magical soup for a year and a day.
Stag in Winter - an illustration from Tales of Taliesin
The Cauldron of Cerridwen
My design for Cerridwen's cauldron, in which the magical soup was brewed for a year and a day,
is based on the Gundestrup cauldron found in a peat bog in Denmark in 1891.
It is a very beautiful object.
The Fateful Moment - an illustration from Tales of Taliesin
Historically, we know of two famous Taliesins
(the name is Welsh and means "Beautiful Brow" or "Shining Brow".
Taliesin began life as Gwion Bach,
a servant to Cerridwen,
the wife of a nobleman ( Tegid Foel),
in the days when King Arthur ruled.
Cerridwen was a magician who had three arts she learned: enchantment, magic, and divination.
Cerridwen had a beautiful daughter, Creirwy, and an ugly son named Morfran,
which means "Great Crow" and whose facial appearance no magic could cure.
Later he became known as Avagddu, which means "Utter Darkness".
Ceridwen felt in order for Morfran/Avagddu to gain respect and acceptance from noblemen
he had to have great qualities to compensate for his ugly looks,
so she sought to give him the gift of wisdom and knowledge.
Through her arts she found a way of giving her son these special qualities,
so she found special herbs from the earth in order to do this Inspiration (Awen), which had to be constantly stirred and cooked for a year and a day in a cauldron.
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My story adaptation of
Taliesin's tale is dedicated to my son,
Rael Christopher Mason.
Rael at the Mittens
Celtica c. 1987
pencil & ink on heavy water colour paper