Creirwy is a fascinating figure in Welsh mythology, known from the Mabinogion and the Hanes Taliesin (the story of Taliesin’s life). She holds a place of significance both in mythological narratives and in Celtic symbolism.

Family and Origin: Creirwy, daughter of the enchantress Ceridwen and Tegid Foel (“Tacitus the Bald”), was born in Penllyn, Powys, Wales. She is noted for her beauty and is named as one of the three most beautiful maids of the Isle of Britain in the Welsh Triads. Her siblings include Morfran, a dark and hideous brother, and her foster brother Gwion Bach, who would become the renowned bard Taliesin.

Three Beautiful Maidens of the Island of Britain:
Creirwy, daughter of Ceridwen,
and Ar(i)anrhod daughter of Don,
and Gwen daughter of Cywryd son of Crydon.

The Welsh Triads, Red Book of Hergest

Interpretation as a Goddess: Creirwy’s character has been interpreted in various ways. She can be likened to Proserpine of the British Druids, drawing a parallel with Roman mythology.

Name Significance: The name Creirwy possibly translates to “sacred symbol of the egg” or “mundane egg,” derived from Welsh elements meaning “token, jewel, sacred object” and “egg.” This association with the egg symbolizes chaos and the beginning of all things, a concept revered by the ancient Druids.

Saint Creirwy: The name Creirwy was also borne by a 6th-century Breton saint from Wales. This Saint Creirwy, according to legend, was miraculously cured of blindness by her brother, Saint Winwaloe. A statue in Keravézan, Saint-Frégant, commemorates this story. However, the authenticity of this legend has been debated by scholars like Baring-Gould and Fisher.

Creirwy’s presence in Welsh mythology, blending beauty, familial connections, and mystical symbolism, contributes to the rich tapestry of Celtic lore. Her character, though not central to the tales of Afagddu and Taliesin, adds depth to the understanding of Celtic mythical figures and their cultural significance.