The Cauldron of Ceridwen Meditation

by Brayden Leannan Sidhe

Close your eyes and visualize a brilliant white light over your head. As you inhale deeply, feel this light coursing through your body, from your head down to your toes. Feel your muscles relaxing, beginning with your feet. The deep sense of peacefulness moves up through your legs, into your body and arms. You feel the tenseness flow out of the muscles in your shoulders, neck and head. You are completely relaxed.

Before you now is a well. Take all the problems in your life and throw them into the deep darkness of the well. The problems are quickly carried far way from you. Leave them there, turn and walk away. You will be constantly protected during this meditation. Absolutely nothing can harm you.

You are standing on the pebble-strew shores of a wide lake with beautiful mountains around you. Thick stands of trees cover the slopes, their boughs and leaves rustling in a small breeze. You hear the songs of the birds as they flit from tree to tree. The sun is sinking behind the distant mountains and casting a brilliant red and gold glow across the waters of the lake. As the last rays of the sun leave the lake, the birds of the forest around you fall silent. You watch a white stag and doe come down to the lake to drink. A night chorus of frogs calls to each other from the reeds along the bank, while overhead the moon begins to rise in the sky...

When the deer leave, you walk to where they drank and watch as the moonlight lays down a silvery path across the lake. As the light touches your feet, the waters of the lay gently pull back, opening a path from shore to the center of the lakebed. At the end of this patch you see the bright, fire lit opening of a cave mouth. Strange, enthralling music drifts to you from the cave, and you feel compelled to see what lies within this hidden place.

You quickly follow the path until you stand at the entrance to the underwater cave. As you peer within, you see a huge cauldron hung over a blazing fire in the center of the smooth cave floor. Sitting in a chair behind the cauldron is a figure shrouded in a dark cloak, the hood pulled low over the face, concealing the facial features. By the chair, sits a beautiful fairy woman playing a harp. The fairy beckons you to enter.

As you pass the cauldron to sit beside the fairy, you notice the dark liquid roiling within the great cast-iron vessel and catch a glimpse of strange pictures as they quickly come and go from sight. When you reach the fairy, the dark, silent figure in the cloak moves, thrusting back the hood with one wrinkled hand. A strong, aged woman stares at you intently. Her dark eyes are like mirrors, reflecting the firelight.

"Welcome," the old woman says. "Why do you come to the cave of Ceridwen? Do you seek initiation and inspiration?"

If you answered "no", the woman will not speak to you again, although you may converse with the fairy woman.

If you answered "yes", the old woman takes up a cup and dips a little of the cauldron water into it.

"Drink this and prepare for initiation," she says. " I am Ceridwen, the great initiator, the opener of the way, the guardian of the door to the past."

You swallow the liquid and immediately feel different. Your sight is clearer, and you can see the energy running through the rocks of the cave walls. You feel the harp music against your skin and taste it on your tongue. You hear the sounds of colors around you, and smell scents drifting from the Otherworld. You explore these new dimensions of your senses for a time.

At last, Ceridwen takes your hand and leads you to stand beside the cauldron. She suddenly plunges your hand into the dark liquid. To your surprise, it is cool to the touch, even though it bubbles and boils over the fire.

"This is the gate to the past," Ceridwen says. "The past history of this world. The past lives and history of yourself. Do you wish to see who you where before and what lessons you have carried with you into this life to learn?"

If you answer "no", you will leave the cave and return to the lakeshore.

If you answer "yes", Ceridwen suddenly plunges you into the dark cauldron. You sink deep into the cauldron but are not afraid. You see brilliant colored pictures floating around you. To see more of a past life, you focus on a picture and find yourself in that time and place, observing all that takes place. You may explore several past lives before you once more find yourself standing beside Ceridwen.

"Always search for the truth as it is," she admonishes you. "Not as you wish the truth to be. Truth is the key to the great spiritual mysteries. Without seeking and recognizing truth, you cannot progress and learn."

You spend a few more minutes talking with Ceridwen and the fairy harper. When you are ready to leave, you look out the mouth of the cave to see the strange path of moonlight illuminating the waters of the lake. The waters open, leaving a clear path out of the underwater cave. You follow the moonlit path until you once again reach the lakeshore. You think of your physical body and find yourself within it.

The meditation is ended.