Book Review: From the Cauldron Born by Kristoffer Hughes

Image: From the Cauldron Born
‘From the Cauldron Born: Exploring the Magic of Welsh Legend and Lore’ is actually the second book by Kristoffer Hughes. His first book, Natural Druidry, is out of print but still much sought after. The Cauldron Born is at its most simple, a book about the Myth of Ceridwen and Taliesin, it is a story that many within the Druidic and Celtic traditions are familiar with.  Its more complex edge, or what is different about this book, is how Mr Hughes writes and what he extrapolates from this myth. What is found within the pages of this book is very much Magic, Knowledge and Wisdom. You see Kristoffer Hughes is not just a Druid Priest, but he is also a ‘Pathology Technologist’ who works for Her Majesty’s Coroner. He has used this skill and training, of figuring out how and why a person died, to delve deep into the mystery that is the myth of Ceridwen, and the Mabinogion. But Mr Hughes goes further than this. Whether by design or not, this book is also teaching the reader – if they are willing to learn – to apply these various techniques to dissect and delve deeper into other mythologies and legends. In turn this deepens your own understanding and magical practice.

Kristoffer Hughes writes in an engaging way, which draws the reader on to the end of the chapter with ease and encourages the reader to participate in the various exercises. I did and found them most enjoyable. Kris has a wicked sense of humour and fun as well as a serious side, both of which are sacred and it is evident in his book. It made for great reading.

At the end of the book is a yearlong ritual meditation and practice. If you are an aspiring druid looking to expand on your OBOD gwers, or to deepen your work I highly suggest that you at the very least read this.  While they are simple exercises they have a depth to them which is inspiring.

While it is a northern hemisphere book, it is not too difficult to translate the correspondences for the southern hemisphere, and we are quite well practised at that. You may also need to find substitutes for some of the physical things required, but the research you put into this will deepen your understanding of place, and practice even more (well it did for me). And the extra good news is that this book has a follow on book, Celtic Magic, which so far is equally as good.

Do I recommend this book? A whole hearted yes!  This book is written in a very accessible way, while at the same time to the discerning reader many layers can be found. Put simply, this book has hidden depths. The novice may enjoy it, and somebody who has been walking their path for some years may also gain new insight and wisdom. These are often my favourite types of book, those that help you think and understand things from new and different angles.  Those that deepen your own magic and practice.

Having read Kris’s other books, Celtic Magic and The Journey into Spirit,  I can say that this is pretty much how the other two are written. From the Cauldron Born is a book about Druidry. It is about Magic, Myth and Cerridwen. It is about inviting Magic and Myth into your life and practice. It is about how you connect to your magic, your place and your land, and what that means to you. Read this book for yourself and see, but be discerning as always!

Personally, I give this book 5 awens out of 5.

-Polly Lind


Polly is an Urban Witch and Priestess who lives in the windy city Wellington, New Zealand.  For further writing from Polly, and to check out her latest crafts, try the links below.

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