See also

Taliesin (c. 480-540)

1. Taliesin Great Bard Lambordson, son of Tegid Foel ( - ) and Ceridwen ( - ), was born circa 0480. He died in 0540. He married Dronning Vivianne, Avallon Del Acqs.

 

Taliesin (whose name means Radiant Brow) is the great bard of ancient Britain who drank three drops from the cauldron of Cerridwen and thereby received all wisdom and knowledge. He underwent a series of shamanic transformations into various animal and bird forms before being reborn from the womb of Cerridwen. According to John Matthews, Taliesin “knows, above all, the language of the birds.”

Known as "Gwion Bach".

 

Taliesin is born as Gwion Bach around the year 480 A. D. and his parents are Ceridwen and Tegid Foel. Ceridwen is a tall blond-haired woman with blue eyes and the proud countenance of a Priestess. Gwion is a red-haired boy denoting that Ceridwen may be his natural or only his foster mother, since red hair does not always pass directly from generation to generation (unless both of a child's parents have several genes for red hair). Fosterage, where a child is sent at 7 years of age to be raised by another family, was a common Celtic custom, especially with high-born children. Both a child's natural mother and their foster-mother would have been refererred by the Celts as being their "mother", and this can confuse present-day notions of their lineage.

Ceridwen is known to have been the matriarchal head of a tribal clan living along the foothills of Yr Wydffa ( Snowdonia) in Prydain (Wales). Nearby, about a mile away, is the fortress of Dinas Emrys, which was one of Brychan's holdings, following the death of Vortigern. Ceridwen has her temple in the foothills of the Snowdonia mountain range. It is now part of the ruins of the ancient city of Emrys.

One day young Gwion is set to watch a cauldron set by Ceridwen to see that it does not overboil, while she goes to fetch some fresh herbs. Gwion sees visions in the cauldron and when Ceridwen returns, Gwion is already deep in a trance. He sees himself change through many different animal forms while being chased by their natural predators. Ceridwen explains to Gwion the meaning of his visions and also something of the Mysteries of the Goddess.

Gwion is now about 15 years old and is courting Gwawr, one of Brychan's daughters. They spend much time together around the forest paths and share one another's dreams. They are soul-tied. There is a battle imminent and Gwion decides to join Brychan's men to prove his manhood. He is wounded in battle by an arrow and is nursed back to health by Gwawr, having narrowly escaped death.

Ceridwen explains to Gwion that it is not his destiny to marry Gwawr and that he must travel to Amorica (the Celtic Kingdom of Brittany in France) for his Druid training. Gwion parts with Gwawr who is later sent to be the wife of Elidyr, the King of South Rheged.

Meanwhile Gwion has arrived in Brittany and must wait another year for his Druid training. He now falls in love with Ygerne who is the same age, although the union is short-lived, as she is to be sent to be the wife of Duke Gorlois in Cornwall. Ygerne is already pregnant with Gwion's daughter, Mogaine, and gives birth to her at the stronghold fort that is now called Tintagel. She pretends to Gorlois that it is really his own child.

Now, Gwion has commenced his Druid training in Amorica under a very strict regime that lasts for a whole 19 year star-cycle. At the end of this he is free to take a wife and he chooses Viviane del Acqs. Viviane is High Priestess of the Line of Avalon, and the child of their union is Lleminawg (Lancelot).

Gwion now takes a new name, as was the custom when a Druid completed their long training. He becomes known as Taliesin, taking that name which means "Radiant Brow", to denote his Druid status. The activation of his spiritual "third eye" (situated in the centre of the brow) would be a result of his spiritual progress at the end of this training.

Merlin (Myrddinn) has also been in Brittany for a time and there tells to Taliesin his plans for a kingmaking. This concerns another son of Ygerne, who Merlin has himself fostered and educated in Brittany. The boy's paternal line is of Cunedda through Merchion of Meirionydd (Merioneth).

Taliesin and Viviane leave Amorica (Brittany) for Prydain (Wales), and Taliesin becomes employed at the court of the newly appointed King of Gwynedd, who is called Maelgwn. The date is now 517 A. D. Maelgwyn is not a popular leader and has trouble gaining the allegiance of the other kings, princes and earls of Gwynedd; and of the rulers of the western realms. Taliesin calls for a meeting of the clans under Maelgwn. This is held on the summit of the Great Orm, at Llandudno, in Wales. The tribes do not recognise Maelgwn as a Dragon Leader or Pendragon, which causes Maelgwn to use tyrrany in order to uphold his realm. He later tries to seduce Viviane, but luckily Taliesin has been called to a meeting of the Realms of Albion at Chester (called Deva in Latin) by Merlin. Taleisin takes Viviane with him, away from Maelgwn.

In Chester, Taliesin finds a court full of Bards, each contesting the supremacy of their own King. Taliesin silences the bards in what is recorded as"The Contention of the Bards";.. (for the tale of Arthur's kingmaking see Merlin's page).

On their return to the Court of Maelgwn, Viviane dies on the road and Taliesin has her buried near a stone circle that now lies near Prestatyn in Clwyd, Wales. Taliesin later travels to Cadwaladyr's new court at Wandlebury, on a hill overlooking the City of Cambridge. He becomes Cadwaladyr's chief adviser for a time, having now left Maelgwn because he would not submit his allegiance to King Cadwaladyr (Arthur). After a while it is evident that Cadwaladyr is neglecting his oath to serve the needs of the clans and tribes. He is becoming increasingly interested in upholding a system of only martial law, even using force to extract tributes when and where they are not due.

Niniane, of the Line of Avalon, now returns to Cadwaladyr's court from the isle of Inis Witrin ( "Isle of Glass") at Glastonbury. She has become a Priestess of the Isle, having been taken there for training because of her Avalonian lineage. She returns to remind Arthur of his oath concerning his Sacred Marriage to the land (Heiros Gamos).

Niniane and Taliesin meet for the first time and afterwards decide to leave Arthur's court and return to Avalon. Niniane, having completed her priestess training, decides to found a "new sacred isle" and talks Taliesin into becoming her partner. They travel north together until they reach Pendle in Rheged (now Lancashire) where the new Avalon is to be set. Niniane calls for the help of Mogaine in founding the new college of esoteric learning. Mogaine comes to assist her from the Court of Urien at Carlisle. She has her novice Priestesses with her. A mighty ritual is performed upon Pendle Hill, whereby Taliesin is taken into a trance state and makes prophecies concerning the Island of Britain. These are later composed as "The Chair of the Sovereign," "Defence of the Chair" and "Protection of the Honey Isle".

Taliesin is once more reminded of his destiny as prophetic Bard, having previously been distracted from this by his love for Ninianne. Whilst settled in Yorkshire with Ninianne, Taliesin has two children by her; a son named Elphin and a daughter named Creirwy.

Taliesin eventually leaves his family and departs for the Court of Cynfarch at Luguvalium (Carlisle), for he is needed for the battle to come, that of Camlanna. Ninianne is left heartbroken and later moves to join the Order of Priestesses under the leadership of Mogaine upon the Isle of Man; while her son Elphin, goes with his father to join forces with Cynfarch, for the battle of Camlann. However, Elphin is given fosterage at Caer Laguilid since he is still too young for battle. Creirwy goes with Niniane to the Isle of Man and later becomes a Priestess of The Line of Avalon.

After the Battle of Camlann, Taliesin begins to write down his prophetic verses concerning Britain for the Court of Cynfarch and later also for Cynfarch's son Urien. He becomes famous as a bard around those northern courts. Taliesin soon forgets himself once more and becomes enamoured by his own popularity and success as a Bard, forgetting Ninianne and his family. He spends his time wandering from court to court, relating his bardic lore and tales. This has come about because Taliesin's Dragon Power has now left him because the land-empowering Dragons have retreated back into the Inner Earth. They shall not be awakened nor come forth again until the turn of the cycle of the next age, when the land shall indeed cry out for their return.

One day, Taliesin meets with Merlin coming the other way along the old packhorse trade route that connects south Rheged (Rochdale or "Rheged-dale" in Yorkshire) with Elmet, near the City of York. They climb the nearby Boulsworth Hill (Bull's Well) Hill[9] in the Pennine Range of hills together and relate to each other their news and also their memories.

Merlin and Taliesin's meeting upon the hill is later composed in " The Dialogue between Myrddin and Taliesin."(8); Merlin has news of his sister Gwawr, who he has now left at the Court of Dunadd with their other sister Gwen ferch Brychan ("ferch" meaning "daughter of"). Taliesin decides to travel there and finds that she has taken to The New Religion (Chistianity). She helps to redeem Taliesin of his boastful ways using the grace and humility of her new faith. Together they put together their collaborated prophetic insights into a proper context, which includes "Taliesin's story of creation," Merlin and Gwawr's (Ganieda's) Prophecies" and other prophetic tales.

After the death of King Arthur, Taliesin retires to the Isle of Man and, after many journeyings, joins with Mogaine and Ninianne as another Guardian of the Grail Mysteries, for any Seeker who would quest for the truth.

 

Dronning Vivianne, Avallon Del Acqs and Taliesin Great Bard Lambordson had the following children:

 

Ygrame Taliesinsdotter Del Acqs ( - )

Second Generation

2. Tegid Foel married Ceridwen.

 

3. Ceridwen has few details recorded about her. She and Tegid Foel had the following children:

 

1

Taliesin Great Bard Lambordson (c. 480-540)