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Barddas Bardism Community Divination Druidry Ecology Economics Gwyn ap Nudd I Ching Iolo Morganwg Meaning Meditations Reflections The Coelbren Values

Please study the evacuation route in case of emergency

In my last period of paid employment – “last” in the sense of “most recent”, but also possibly meaning “final” – I frequently stayed in high-end hotels whilst travelling for business. There was always a small map on the back of the room door, showing the evacuation route to be taken in the event of a fire or other emergency. Of course, I rarely looked – I didn’t really ever imagine there would be any need and, if there was, I would be able to work out how to reach safety.

Well, the time has come. Not just for me, but for all of us in the global West, because we are in a high Tower and it is falling. Gwyn ap Nudd has provided no map and no evacuation route: each of us will have to find our own way to safety.

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Arianrhod Bards Cantre'r Gwaelod Celts Community Elffin Gwion Bach Gwyddno Garanhir Hanes Taliesin Moon Phases Nature Seithenyn Stonehenge Taliesin Y Gymraeg - The Welsh Language

As the seas rise, look to your bards – and Gwyddno Garanhir

I’ve been thinking about climate change: there have been several articles recently about the areas of Wales that will be lost to rising seas over coming decades. This is going to cause major social and economic upheaval. It’s going to demand that our society direct huge amounts of resources to defending ourselves from the sea – which means that those resources won’t be available for other social programmes that many people depend on. Large numbers of people may be forced to leave their homes and communities for ever. This is inevitably going to be traumatic. This is where we will need our bards. In Wales, the figure of Gwyddno Garanhir tells us that this has happened before, and we survived. If we did it before, we can do it again. Gwyddno connects the tales of Taliesin and of Gwyn ap Nudd: the tales of poetic inspiration, and of deadly challenges.

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Barddas Bardism Chaplaincy Community Culture Druidic Virtues Druidry Gorsedd Insight Iolo Morganwg Knowledge Learning Linguistics Study

Bards: binding time and space

I’ve recently been working on a project covering how language and culture emerge, and their relationship with the brain. It’s led me to understand, in a new way, the brilliance of Iolo Morganwg, and just how much he was ahead of his time. Here, I want to briefly discuss how Barddas anticipates the work of Alfred Korzybski, whose dictum “the map is not the territory” is pretty well-known these days.

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Abred Annwn Archetypes Awen Barddas Bardism Culture Cymru - Wales Deities Druidic Virtues Druidry Education Gwynfyd Insight Iolo Morganwg Knowledge Learning Meditations Morality Polytheism Reflections Reincarnation Religion The Mabinogion Theology Wisdom

Druidry and God in Bardism

As I’ve made clear, this blog is my process of exploring the writings of Iolo Morganwg in Barddas, the source of contemporary Revival Druidry, and trying to put it into modern terms as a system firmly rooted in the authentic Welsh cultural tradition.

That means going beyond Barddas itself: recognising that the Four Branches of the Mabinogi contain a pantheon of ancient Brythonic deities, for example. My experience is that they exist; they are real, and represent real powers. Barddas, however, comes from Iolo’s spiritual insights, rooted in a Christian background, and his writings are full of references to God. Can these things be reconciled? I believe that they can.

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Annwn Awen Barddas Bardism Culture Cymru - Wales Divination Dosparth Edeyrn Dafod Aur Druidic Virtues Druidry Insight Iolo Morganwg Plant Annwfn Plant Dôn Plant Llŷr The Coelbren The Council of Voices The Three Great Families Winter Solstice

Casting the Coelbren for 2022

As today is the first day of the year, I decided to follow John Beckett’s example, and conduct a divination for 2022 using the question “What does the new year hold for me and mine?”. As he says, the closer you are to me, the more this will apply to you and, since you are reading this, there is at least a weak connection.

I conducted the divination using the Coelbren of the Bards; specifically, using the Council of the Voices.

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Awen Bardism Creativity Cymru - Wales Druidic Virtues Druidry Education Ethics Insight Knowledge Learning Reflections

The Wheel Turns

It’s New Year’s Day, and I haven’t written anything here for months. The key word there is “here”: I’ve been writing a lot elsewhere. I would like to say “I have been writing a book”, but that isn’t how it’s been working out. Rather, I can only say “A book has been using me to get itself written”.

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Air Calas Culture Deities Divination Druidic Virtues Earth Elements Gwyar Insight Iolo Morganwg Nwyfre Plant Annwfn Plant Dôn Plant Llŷr Spirit Above Spirit Below Spirit Within The Chorus of Maidens The Coelbren Three Branches Water Wisdom

Casting the Coelbren: The Nine Maidens

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Celtic thinking, and the practices of Bards and Druids, are based on threes. This also applies to the system of divination using the Coelbren y Beirdd.

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Abred Barddas Chaplaincy Community Cymru - Wales Divination Druidic Virtues Druidry Education Ethics Healing I Ching Insight Iolo Morganwg Learning Polytheism Reincarnation Religion The Coelbren The Council of Voices Theology Values Wisdom

Iolo Morganwg, Druidry and suffering

As recent posts have suggested, I’ve been thinking about the topic of suffering – and how Druidry deals with suffering. It’s something we all need to be thinking about, to be honest. We’re entering a time of major change. We’ve known for decades that climate change, resource depletion, and debt posed catastrophic threats to our way of life, and we have completely failed to prepare. Life is already hard for too many people; the unpalatable truth is that it will soon get much worse.

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Abred Barddas Community Culture Cymru - Wales Druidic Virtues Druidry Dyfed Healing Insight Iolo Morganwg Meditations Nature Reflections Values Wisdom

More on Wilf Davies

I wrote recently about how moved I was by an article in the Guardian, in which journalist Kiran Sidhu wrote about Welsh farmer, Wilf Davies. 

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Abred Community Creativity Culture Druidic Virtues Druidry Education Ethics Gorsedd Healing Insight Iolo Morganwg Knowledge Learning Meditations Morality Reflections Religion Values Wisdom

Wanted: a Druidry for the end of our world

‘Pareidolia’ is the trait humans have for seeing patterns which aren’t really there – such as seeing a rabbit on the moon, or Elvis in an oddly shaped carrot. In my case, it’s seeing the end of the world in a patch of damp plaster on the wall. 

Still, one of the key tenets of Iolo Morganwg’s Bardism is “Y Gwir yn Erbyn y Byd” – The Truth Against the World. As Druids, we need to find out what is true – and we need to champion it even when it is unpopular or unpalatable.