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Gwion Bach

Gwion Bach

In ancient Welsh romance and myth, son of Gwreang. Assigned to stir the magic brew in the cauldron of science and inspiration intended for Ceridwin's son, Gwion tasted the liquid and became gifted with supernatural sight.

He fled, pursued by Ceridwin, and the pair were changed successively into a hare and a greyhound, a fish and an otter, a bird and a hawk, and a grain of wheat and a black hen, which ultimately swallowed the wheat. (Compare the metamorphoses of Ceridwen and Gwion Bach with that of the Queen of Beauty and the Djinn in the Arabian Nights Tale of the Second Calendar).

This pursuit and magical metamorphosis is a recurrent theme in folklore in the Indo-European tradition and survives also in the Scottish ballad "The Two Magicians" (Child No. 44).

Later, Gwion was placed in a bag and flung into the sea by Ceridwin. He was drawn out by Elphin, son of Cwyddus, and was then called Taliesin (Radiant Brow).

(See also Wales )

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