There is a flame being fanned under me at the moment it feels like the cauldron is about to boil and bubble over with old ideas resurfacing and new ideas pushing up fast behind them, it’s a great feeling and one I haven’t had for a long while. I think partly it is because I have a new found enthusiasm for life, after my hip replacement last year. Several things have happened to shift my energy, one is the absence of that constant, demoralising pain and restricted movement after so many years, another was a conversation with the bank about our remortgage in which I realised in fifteen years I will be sixy nine years old!! Time is a wasting and it was a dynorod experience (invasive drain clearance company) for the attitude and no mistake, instantly clearing the path for more positive thinking and opening up to the world of posibilities again. Once I am more determined and eager to make the most of every moment, so this year I have made so many plans for even more creative and spiritual exploration. In particular I will be joining the fabulous Anglesey Order of Druids and my good friend Kris Hughes, I shall be travelling up and down to Wales to attend their course as well as a working holiday with Damh, to visit places from the tales of the Mabinogi, for me to revive the Ceridwen novel that has been back and forth on the creative burners for so many years and I may also visit Bala to give a Reiki attument to a freind. Yes, it seems I shall be spending a good bit of time in Wales and I think it is all as a result of an oath I made last year.
In October of last year I dedicated a year of my life to the goddess Ceridwen, anyone who knows me or has read any of the posts I have written over the years understands my deep and abiding connection to this goddess. As a guide toward magical transformation, hard won spiritual understanding and knowledge and pushing yourself to the limits of your endurance on all spiritual questing, she is second to none. I have worked in her service and under her guidance through the symbols and knowledge wrapped in her story, and I do see it as Ceridwen’s story, despite it being about Gwion Bach’s transformation into Taliesin.
For me her story is rich in clues to our island’s shamanic practices, it is a complex, multi layered tale that rouses an ocean of emotion within me. It is a story of motherhood, magical skills, knowledge, teaching, service, dedication, tough love, sacrifice and loss. In this story we see the weaving of herb lore, ‘shamanic’ journeying and so much more. It has inspired me to look further and to find more inspirations and connnections to other cultures and I have spent nearly twenty years working with cauldron energy, exploring the many and varied myths across the globe. I have been privileged to visit Dodona (an oracle site more ancient than Delphi) in northern Greece where I stood in the spring warmth surrounded by a horseshoe of mountains and ancient buildings. There I learned about the oracle. I learned about the priests (who took over from the original priestesses) who lived on the ground sleeping next to their cauldron oracles. They neither washed nor cared for physical things, they just watched and listened to the whispering leaves and the ripples on the waters of the sacred cauldrons that were arranged under oak trees. In those sacred enclosures nature spoke and they listened.
For me the priests of Dodona, the tale of Ceridwen and Taliesin, the Cauldrons of Poesy, Arthur’s journey in the Spoils of Annwn to find the cauldron of the otherworld, all show the transformative aspect of cauldrons. It shows the need to fully engage with the physical realm as our teacher, but it also shows we have to have the courage to push beyond any percieved limitations in the physical to attain a deeper understanding of the world and ourselves. The cauldron will not boil the meat of a coward nor one forsworn and I have not always had the strength to push beyond my many limitations, both physical and mental. But last October, with my feet in the waters of Llyn Tegid (Lake Bala) I rededicated myself to Ceridwen and I now feel I am being nudged forward into a more creative head space.
Over the years I have researched, created artwork, a woman’s group, immersive rituals and meditations to comprehensively understand what the symbol means, both to me personally as well as in the broader magical sense, and it has been an incredible, transformative, roller coaster of a ride which is in no way complete. In fact the fires of transformation seem to be burning brightly again and I am no longer resting at the bottom of a cold cauldron, now I am tumbling and turning in Ceridwen’s new brew and I wait to taste each new ingredient as it falls into the mix with me. Bring it on, Wales brace yourself there is no getting rid of me now!