Celtic Mythology

Welsh Mythology

Who was Taliesin?

Taliesin (Shining Brow) was the poet-prophet of ancient Wales. According to the Book of Taliesin, he was said to have been miraculously conceived by the magician Ceridwen. Gwion Bach, a servant of Ceridwen disguised himself as a grain of wheat and was swallowed by the magician, who soon gave birth to Taliesin. This story cannot help but remind us of the conception of Cuchulainn in Ireland. Like Sigurd, Moses, and other heroes, the baby Taliesin was abandoned—left to float away in a leather bag. He was rescued and adopted by the youth, Elffin. At King Arthur’s court, Taliesin would demonstrate his poetic powers by reducing the sounds of the king’s bards to “Blerwm, blerwm.” His song was powerful enough to liberate Elffin, who had been imprisoned by Arthur.


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