* Illustrations are from An Earth Child's Book of the Year.
The Story of Bran and Brigit
In the book An Earth Child's Book of the Year, look for a blond haired boy with a Celtic style sun symbol. He is Bran, the sun god. Throughout the book he grows, dies and is reborn. As a young man he marries the Earth goddess, Brigit. This marriage of sun and earth brings forth the crops, providing food for all. During the summer growing season, the sun god is full grown and at his strongest. As the crops are harvested he dies, giving his life to nourish the people. At Winter Solstice, he is reborn as a baby to begin his year long growth cycle again.
The Earth goddess, too, changes throughout the year. She is first the maiden, then the mother and finally the crone, a wise old woman. She is first seen in An Earth Child's Book of the Year in the February sunset. In June, she weds the sun god and becomes the mother, supporting all life with abundance. As the year grows older, so does the goddess, becoming the wise one, the crone. She never dies, but merely sleeps in a winter slumber until she brings forth the first signs of life that appear above the snow. She wears the Celtic trinity symbol for the maiden, mother, and crone.
The Story of Cerridwen and Taliesin
__Cerridwen, the Enchantress, was the mother of Afagddu, a hideously ugly boy. With her magical cauldron, she made a potion to give him a better life. The first three drops of this potion would make Afagddu wise and give him poetic creativity. The rest of the potion was poison.
The potion had to boil in the cauldron for a year and a day. A servant boy, named Gwion, was in charge of stirring the liquid mixture. Three drops of the potion spilled onto his hand, burning him. He quickly put his hand to his mouth to relieve the pain, consuming the three drops of potion. He instantly became wise and full of knowledge.
When Cerridwen realized her potion was now no good for Afagddu, she chased after Gwion. As he ran he shape shifted into a hare and she then shape shifted into a greyhound. This continued with Gwion changing into different animals and Cerridwen changing to catch him until he finally turned himself into a grain of corn. Cerridwen became a hen and ate him.
Cerridwen later gave birth to Gwion and threw him into the ocean. He did not die, however but instead grew to become the legendary poet, Taliesin.
For more Celtic Myths, we recommend a visit to www.livingmyths.com or Celtic Myths in Brief .