Please allow me to introduce you to the Welsh goddess Cerridwen and her cauldron of wisdom, inspiration, transformation, and rebirth. She is the Crone aspect of the Triple Goddess, presiding over the waning moon and the transition of death, and her animal is the white sow.
She bends over the cauldron, stirring the bubbling elixir. She drops in one last pinch of rare herb, watching as it blends into the whole. She sniffs the steam rising from the concoction and nods, pleased, as the aroma deepens to a more complex note. It will be ready soon.
It is a special brew, this, made with love and tended patiently for a year and a day. She has used all her wisdom and experience in its creation, and so it is infinitely potent. It is to be a gift for her son, poor, sweet thing, who was born without beauty. When he drinks it, he will take her wisdom and power into himself, and thus will exceed the circumstances of his birth.
But accidents happen in the kitchen sometimes. She is tired from cooking so long, so she lets her young assistant tend the brew for a moment. As soon as she turns her back, the boy bumps the cauldron, and three drops of the elixir splashes his hand, burning him. He puts his fingers in his mouth to ease the pain… and he unwittingly absorbs the great gift intended for her son. And she is instantly aware of it. All that work…
The boy, who now has her wisdom inside him, immediately runs away, and she chases him. To escape her, he changes himself into a hare, but she becomes a greyhound to better hunt him. The chase continues through many forms until he becomes a grain of corn, and she transforms into a hen and eats him.
And nine months later, she gives birth to him, bringing him to life again, and he will grow up to become a poet of great legend: Taliesin.
I am a crone myself, which simply means I’ve successfully passed upwards of 50 years in this realm. I’m a lover of speculative tales: fantasy in all forms, horror, ghost stories, science fiction. I have been spinning tales such as these since I was nine years old. These have been for myself and for my closest friends.
I’ve been feeling for a long while that I needed to take this passion of mine seriously and share my tales with everyone. When I reached my own cronehood, it became clear that now is the time.
My name is Gracie. Nice to meet you.
I’m no Cerridwen, however. Nor do I presume to equate myself with Taliesin. I simply sit beside the Great Cauldron with a small one of my own, breathing the fragrant aroma of the Goddess’ elixir. And sometimes the inspiration of this perfume will suffuse my own little brew, and thus my tales are born.
You’re welcome to sit with me a while and see what I cook up.