Bardic Studies, Druidry Month OneChene
✧ Hey sweet acorns, welcome to my series ‘learn druidry with me’. For the next year I will be studying to become a Bard and I want to invite you to share this experience with me.
What is a Bard?
A Bard was (is) the first of three areas of study required to become a Druid. The role of the Bard was important as they knew hundreds of stories and kept knowledge on everything. The bard is the performer, poet, storyteller, lorekeeper and creative. They are the voice of the tribe and retain knowledge to share with others.
If you want to learn what a Druid is and what Druidry is about please read more here.
Why do I want to become a Bard?
I want to become a Bard because they are lore-keepers and have poetic skill. They use this information to teach others in a healing and inspiring way by channelling Awen (see below). I believe there are important teachings and lessons that can be learned from myths, legends and tales. I resonate with Druidry because as a whole it promotes reconciliation, healing, peace and a connection with nature.
How am I studying my Bardic course?
I am using a self study book called ‘The Bardic Handbook’ by Kevan Manwaring. You can find it here.
Here is a summary of the most important things I feel I have learned this month.
Awen is sacred to the Druids and means ‘flowing spirit’, essentially ‘inspiration’. Druids usually chant Awen three times (a rather important number) in a syllable form like such ‘ahh-oo-when’. You chant Awen when asking for inspiration, guidance and wisdom. In ancient times, the Bard would call upon Awen to become masters of expression and memory, to inspire them before performances and fill them with wisdom.
The symbol of Awen is the three rays /|\, which represent three beams of inspiration beaming down from the source.
Understanding and embracing Awen is part of the Druid path, as is channeling this inspiration into creativity.
Creating a Bardic Space
We all know that surrounding ourselves with beautiful views and things that make us happy usually impacts our mood and levels of creativity. It is important to create an alcove for yourself, a place to enhance Awen, to call upon the three rays of light and inspiration. This could be an entire room, to a small desk or chair, next to a bright window or outside amongst the flowers. Be it talismans, poems, art, crystals or plants around you or barely anything at all, it is not about size nor the amount of items you have, it is all about intent. Let this be your space, a retreat from the invasion of others, a sacred place. Ask permission to use this space, cleanse it, raise the awen and use it every day !
A 6th century Welsh Bard named Taliesin, who walked between the worlds of history and myth, the poems of his are still praised by some, recalled as a myth himself by others. He is considered a founding father of the Bardic Tradition as he set an exemplary standard of vast skill and wisdom. I will not say much of the legendary Bard here, though I must implore you to research his tale if you are considering to follow your own Bardic path.
Imbolc is one of the main four Fire Festivals and is sacred to Brighid, Goddess of healing, smithcraft and poetry. Traditionally Imbolc falls on the eve of February, however, as I am located in the Southern Hemisphere it falls on the eve August. The festival was designed to coincide with the birth of spring lambs, thus the name means ‘Ewe’s Milk’ and the colour associated with the festival is White.
Imbolc is a time for peace and reflection, and to listen to what Awen desires to manifest for the months to come. A wonderful time for initiating new things and planning ahead. Imbolc is the perfect time for beginning your Bardic path, and I decided to follow this suggestion.
Brighid, Goddess of the Bards
Brighid is perhaps the most important goddess in the Celtic world and there are many different pronunciations of her name i.e ‘bridge-id’ ‘breed’ or ‘bree-id’ (how I pronounce it). Ultimately it is up to her and how she guides you to pronounce her name. She often appears to embody the triple goddess herself, being the Celtic Goddess of healing, smithcraft and poetry. I am hoping to work closely with Brighid in the coming months, so stay tuned to learn more about her.
The past month has been really interesting for me, particularly learning about ancient tales and how to use them on my journey forward. I’m still focusing a lot on bringing more nature into my life as I long to connect closely with the natural world.
I hope this post has helped introduce you into the Bardic world, and that you will join me by following my journey.
Please let me know if you want me to go into depth on any of these topics and don’t forget to check out ‘The Bardic Handbook’ by Kevan Manwaring.
Love and Blessings,