Going with the Flow — meet Aileen, Priestess of Cerridwen

Going with the Flow — meet Aileen, Priestess of Cerridwen

Going with the flow

As soon as I’ve finished writing this article, I will be chasing the sun and dashing off to spend time with three of my great loves: Cerridwen, the sea and the sunset. 

As we follow Cerridwen’s wheel of the year, we are now in the season of water. However, my love of water, its power, its energy, tend to follow me all year round. It’s one of the spaces where I can connect with Cerridwen most powerfully and deeply and it’s an elemental energy that I love learning more about. 

But I digress. My name is Aileen, and I initiated as a Priestess of Cerridwen in October 2022 by the shores of Lake Bala in Wales, after spending two years learning with Bee Helygen through her first two online Priestess of Cerridwen training spirals.  

As I look back I can see that I have always been drawn to a spirituality, a faith, a practice which was very different to the relaxed but conservative Scottish Presbyterian Christianity with which I grew up. I had a dedicated altar space as a child and loved to spend time there in silence, bringing little flowers and leaves to a central point. We spent several years on a remote farm and I would spend hours in the river, navigating to various points where there were flat rocks, cauldron pools, gentle waterfalls, and again I’d lay offerings of flowers and plants because it felt right. Latterly we lived on the shores of a Scottish loch (lake) which, I came to learn during my training, has much in common with Cerridwen’s Lake Bala in terms of geology and wildlife (both are home to particularly rare native fish).   

I first poked my nose out of the broom closet around 2016/17 and started to explore Wicca, welcoming with open arms the opportunity to work with a feminine Divine as well as other masculine deities. I bought a book on Celtic Gods and Goddesses, and kept coming back to Cerridwen. The story of Her shape-shifting journey enthralled me but what really drew me in was the sense of Her understanding of our frailties, our humanity, our flaws, our challenging, sweeping, overwhelming emotions – because She had experienced them as She sought to help Her son, Morfran. 

At first I didn’t think it would be possible to work with Cerridwen because I am Scottish, and She is Welsh. But She had different ideas. As I read and explored more and more, Cerridwen’s name popped up everywhere – or I would find people who were working with Her. 

I first visited Glastonbury in 2019 and found leaflets and posters everywhere advertising ‘Priestess of Cerridwen Training with Bee Helygen’. When I say everywhere – I mean everywhere! I first saw them in a rack of training leaflets; my shadow said it wouldn’t be possible to come to Avalon for so many weekends in the year, given the distance from where I live. I put the leaflet back. But I kept an eye on the course online. You can imagine how I felt when I discovered that Bee was offering an online option – a first, I understand, and one that made it possible for me to even dream of training as a Priestess to serve this mysterious Goddess who kept whispering to me in all sorts of ways. Without that opportunity, it is safe to say I would not be writing this article today and would have missed out on an absolutely wonderful and life-changing journey which I know will continue for the rest of my life.  

I signed up for Bee’s first online spiral, starting in September 2020. The journey ever since has felt much what I imagine that shape-shifting sequence to feel like – constantly spiralling, full of the most powerful emotions, incredible personal triumphs followed by deep shadows and back round again, evolution and transformation and, to my utmost gratitude, initiation two years later by the shores of Her lake. 

And the mention of Her lake brings me back to my love of water. The season of water, on our Cerridwen wheel, is that of clearing emotions. Of facing the overwhelming waves and storms. Of allowing the gentle current of a summer’s day to carry us joyously forward to some beautiful place. Of resting our bodies in a deep, warm bath. Of allowing the tears to course down our cheeks and through our heart and soul in whatever form they need to, be it rage, sorrow, joy. And in all of it, cleansing, moulding, clearing, washing away all that no longer serves, but washing in something different, something better. 

As one with empath and highly sensitive tendencies, I value very deeply the power of water to help me manage and work with feelings, emotions and energies which may otherwise overwhelm or swamp me. I remember the message of the season, the alchemy of Cerridwen and water, and the magic it will work in me if I will but go with its flow, whatever pace and form that may be. Sometimes it’s in the shape of a good cry; other times it’s a still pool; yet others, only a storming, drenching waterfall will do. 

Going with the flow

At the times when I need to really, deeply connect with Cerridwen I go and stand in the sea you see in the picture at the top and talk with Her. There is an island out to sea; like Cerridwen, she appears to be a mistress of shape-shifting as she never looks the same twice. Sometimes she looks close enough to reach out and touch. Other times she is distant and not-quite-there, masked by the mist and the sea-spray. Always, though, she takes the form of the Goddess in the landscape and between Her form and the cleansing powers of the waters in which I gratefully rest, I am restored. 

Priestess Aileen Sunset



Aileen initiated as a Priestess of Cerridwen in October 2022, by the shores of Lake Bala. She is the Scabbard-Bearer for the Cerridwen Kin and available for sacred listening to help you clear any challenging emotions you may be experiencing. She lives on the wild west coast of Argyll in Scotland but you can find her on Instagram at @crone_in_training or on Facebook at @Sounds Fyne

Samhain is one of the most magical times of the year. Often considered the Witch’s New Year, it’s a time to take stock, to reap the last harvest of the year and, of course, to take a look ahead at the year to come. In Pagan communities of all kinds, people will come together particularly at Samhain for celebration and ritual. What if, though, you’re not part of a like-minded community where you live? What if you’re still in the broom closet, but really want to mark this new beginning, to make the most of a magical space and time where the veils are gossamer-thin? What if you’re just starting out and you don’t have any special magical tools? This little ceremony is for you. It is simple and you need only a pen and paper. It can take as long as you wish it to, or it can take a few snatched minutes in a private space at work – what’s most important is the intent, the energy that you put into it. You can do this alone if you want, but you can also build it up into something bigger and do it with other people. We work with Cerridwen, so if I was doing this, I’d start off by saying a prayer to her. She is a Goddess who understands how it feels to be working hard without a break. She understands what it’s like to feel separate and different to the other people around you. She is a Goddess of transformation, of renewal, and Samhain is her time…when you call on her, especially when setting intentions for the year ahead, she can help. You can use your own words or if you would like, I have included the kind of words we might typically use if we were starting out on a ritual with Cerridwen. Welcome Cerridwen, Mistress of Magic and Mystery. You are at the centre of all that we do. We ask you please to bring your healing to this space. To let your magic flow all around us, and work its wonderful transformation and renewal that is so needed in a world that hurries and pushes. Lady, please bring to us the creativity and regeneration that comes from spending time with you. We stand before you, still and quiet, as all of that wonderful power ebbs and flows around us, ready to restore and renew. We breathe your magic in. Hail and Welcome, Cerridwen, Mistress of Magic and Mystery. We bring all of that energy to our centre now, with gratitude. Blessed be. We can draw on these energies, from the Goddess, not only here today but when we leave this space, when we return to daily life and go about our business. Remember that all of this magic has been called in for you, today. We are now going to ground and centre - when the world pulls at us and makes its demands, it can be easy to forget just where we truly are. And where we are, at all times, is connected to the earth itself, and to the skies above. We have both roots and wings, and we will take just a few moments to remind ourselves now. If you can, close your eyes, but if that’s not possible, then please simply relax and listen, again. Focus on your breathing and allow yourself to breathe gently, slowly, naturally. As you give yourself that gift of deep, nourishing breath, notice how you start to feel more relaxed, calmer and more at peace with yourself. Feel where you are connected to the earth - through the soles of your feet, where you sit, where you place your hands. Feel strong roots of connection growing through your feet and reaching down, down to the very heart of the earth, where there is warmth and the love of Mother Earth herself. Feel that warmth and love travelling all the way back up through your roots right into your body and up into your heart, that wonderful direct connection with Mother Earth. Feel a thread of energy travelling up now, up through your body and through the crown of your head, reaching all the way to the stars where it wraps around and connects with one bright, shining star. Feel the lightness and wonder and magic that comes to you, right from the star, as its loving energy travels down that thread and back to your heart. You are beautifully, wonderfully connected to the earth and the stars, right here, right now, and at all times that you take a moment to ground and centre yourself, to give yourself this gift of reconnection, in this way. Bring your focus back to your breathing, slow and gentle. Wiggle your toes and come back to the place where you’re sitting. But know that you come back with all the power of that grounding and centring, that connection, along with the wonderful Goddess-energies that we called in earlier. Now it is time to do some work! With the help of Cerridwen, we are going to think about some of the things that may have held us back over the past year. The things which have not yielded any fruit or useful harvest for us. The things we want to let go, as we move into a new time, a new year… Cerridwen is known for her mighty cauldron - the cauldron that brewed the Awen, the magical inspiration for so much creativity that exists in the world today. Her cauldron is also one of transformation and release, magical alchemy working with us to identify things that no longer serve us and help us change them into more helpful patterns. Today we are going to put into the cauldron some of those things! Take your paper and pen, and take a few minutes to write down five or six of the things that you would like to let go of. These could be things like anxiety, procrastination, fear… or anything else at all that you can see isn’t serving you, or your highest good. Take as much time as you need and, when you’re done, take a look at your list for a moment. Now - for the next few minutes, make a new list on another piece of paper. This list is all of the things that will help you overcome and work towards transforming those challenges. Perhaps it is courage, or boldness that you need…or something else altogether. But please take time to write these down. Now you have two lists - well done for taking this time to focus on yourself , for taking stock and for thinking about the positive things you would like to bring into the year ahead! Look at your first list - the list of challenges and difficulties. We are now going to put those into Cerridwen’s Cauldron – metaphorically speaking… Look at the first item on your list - take your pen and very carefully, deliberately, score it out. (If you have a felt pen like a Sharpie, that would be ideal!). Score over that word until it is no longer visible. It is going into the cauldron to be transformed. Now, do the same for each item on your list. Score them out, with each stroke of your pen think of these challenges becoming less and less... With each stroke of your pen, imagine that these challenges are being burnt away, in a cauldron, going through the transformative, cleansing, renewing, bright energy that Fire brings, to help you move these on. Now, please turn to your second list - the list that will help you to overcome those challenges. Take a look at each of the things you have written down - take time to speak them to your heart and soul, you do not need to do this out loud right now but please do so when you can. Look at each word you have written down. What do you need to do to make them reality? Give these written words value and importance - draw around them, a circle, a heart, any pictures that might help you to bring them to reality. Make them beautiful, for they are beautiful things, and they can be good and helpful companions to you as you set out on this new, fresh time in your life. Keep your list and add it to a journal if you have one, or keep it somewhere safe where you can look at it and be reminded of this time you took for yourself today. Look at it again - add to it if you want, drawing on the energies we have brought to this space today, remembering how peaceful and inspired you felt. These are qualities that we want to keep, we are not throwing them to the fire, but we will ask Cerridwen to bless them. I have added the kind of words that we would use, but you can use your own too. Cerridwen, we have given to your fire those things which no longer serve us. And, inspired by you and supported by your energy, we have set out the things which will help us, which we will work towards, to support us in future times of challenge and to help us grow in joy and vitality. Lady, please consume in your fire that list of challenges. And Lady, please bless the work that we will do to grow and thrive. Blessed be. We hope that this short ceremony helps to restore you and provides inspiration and support to draw upon in the days to come. We can never completely avoid busyness but we can take time out for ourselves so we can cope with it. Thank you for taking that time for you today. As you return to your day and the days to come, I hope you can keep the peace and nourishment of this sacred space and time in your heart. Aileen, Priestess of Cerridwen Argyll, Scotland Instagram @crone_in_training

2 thoughts on “Going with the Flow — meet Aileen, Priestess of Cerridwen

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *