The answer may not be what you think . . . I also respond to a question about the apparent difference between myth and folklore. This is an edited version of a talk I gave for Druids Down Under.
You can also listen as a podcast here.
If you want to learn more about Taliesin’s myth, I recently published a book, Taliesin Origins.
“Few authors are able to discuss the original Taliesin myth in as much depth as Dr Gwilym Morus-Baird. As a native Welsh speaker and scholar he has studied the Welsh bardic tradition from the inside, and able to give readers insights few others have even guessed at.
In this groundbreaking exploration, Dr Gwilym Morus-Baird tells the many tales behind the story and draws out the deeper meanings of the original myth. As one of the most complete studies of the greatest Celtic bard in print, this book is a must-have for anyone seriously studying Celtic myth, be they students, researchers, druids or pagans. It reveals the ancient roots of Taliesin’s myth in the Celtic tradition, and interprets many of the symbols, themes and meanings embedded in this important tale.
The book presents new insights not only into Taliesin himself, but also the central figure of Ceridwen, the ancient symbol of her cauldron, the mystical relationship between awen and Annwfn, and how all of these elements relate to the Welsh bardic tradition.”
From students past and present:
“… a scholarly honouring of the magical and otherworldly nature of the Celts.” – Professor Susan Pryor, Tamna University.
“His work is of incalculable value … from the clarity of his explanations and beyond to the countless associations he invites and stimulates.” – Associate Professor Valeria Rodriguez Van Dam, Universidad de Buenos Aires
“ … fundamental for any exploration into Celtic myths and the meaning behind them.” – Dr Gary Llewellyn, Scientist, Neo Druid & Storyteller
“His work … goes to the inner most aspects of Celtic culture that otherwise would seem impossible to penetrate.” – Luke Huw Llewellyn, Welsh Folklore Student & Musician
“He brings the full essence and depth of Welsh mythology into modern times … he has the utmost respect for the original sources and adheres to them as he teaches.” – Kate Cowie Riley, Poet and Writer
“Taliesin and other great poets spring back to life again in his voice. I have learned more from him than I can ever express.” – Dr Ann Beer
“He skilfully stirs the cauldron, and we who are gathered round invariably catch the odd drop of awen.” – Simon Hughes Lilly, Author, Artist & Craftsman