Barddas Ceridwen Creativity Druidic Virtues Druidry Druids Gwyddno Garanhir Hanes Taliesin Insight Iolo Morganwg Knowledge Learning Morality Taliesin Three Branches Wisdom


I’ve been thinking recently about humans and our capacity for evil, provoked in part by a post by Nimue Brown: What Does It Mean to Unpeel a Monster?

There are, perhaps, two kinds of evil people. There are those who are driven by their animal nature; this is the evil caused by lust, anger, desire, and the like. Then there are those whose higher nature has become corrupt. They have come to believe that they know how to make the world perfect. Unfortunately, this usually means eliminating those of their fellow humans – and elements of nature – who fail to be perfect.

Amaethon Arianrhod Barddas Druidry Gofannon Gwydion Gwyn ap Nudd Iolo Morganwg Ovates

The Voice of the Ovates

The third order was the Ovydd, or Ovate, to which the candidate could be immediately admitted without being obliged to pass through the regular disciplines. The requisite qualifications were, in general, an acquaintance with discoveries in science, the use of letters, medicine, language, and the like. On particular occasions, in consideration of other gifts, even the knowledge of, and a genius for, poetry might be dispensed with. The Ovydd was, however, enjoined to acquaint himself with the Bardic Institutes and traditions. For it might occur that the order of Ovates should alone continue, which in its original purity could not be done, unless they were acquainted with its true principles, nature and intention. The Ovydd could perform all the functions of Bardism; and by some particular performance he became entitled to other degrees, on the confirmation of a Gorsedd.
Welsh Sketches, Ernest Silvanus Appleyard, 1852

it is incumbent upon an Ovate to endeavour and seek after learning, as far as he can, by means of the hearing and voice of the world, of sight and contingency, and of attempt, awen, and imagination
Barddas: The Triads of Privilege and Usage

Barddas Community Culture Divination Dosparth Edeyrn Dafod Aur Druidry Druids Iolo Morganwg John Michael Greer John Williams ab Ithel The Coelbren The Coelbren Alphabet

Druids and resilience

The photo shows two letters from the Coelbren y Beirdd alphabet: ‘d’, and ‘dd’. The first is pronounced in the same way as in English; the second is pronounced like the English ‘th’ in ‘this’, ‘that’, or ‘there’.

Barddas Deities Druidry Druids Iolo Morganwg Tylwyth Teg

Druidic Science, Elvish ears, and the religion of slugs

The three principal sciences of man: sciences respecting God; to know what he is himself; and to know the tendency of species and nature. From these three all other laudable sciences inevitably spring.
Barddas: The Triads of St. Paul.

Druidry in the Welsh tradition is not incompatible with science; indeed, the support and furthering of science is a fundamental part of our tradition.

Barddas Bards Cymru - Wales Eisteddfod Iolo Morganwg Welsh Triads Y Gymraeg - The Welsh Language

Iolo the Bard: Part 1

The three first points, which a Bard ought to teach and consider: to believe every thing; to disbelieve every thing; and to believe it matters not what.
Barddas: The Triads of Privilege and Usage.

There are three things that most people think they know about Edward Williams, better known by his Bardic Name: Iolo Morganwg. The first is that he was a literary forger, presenting his own work as that of poets of the past. The second is that he was a bankrupt. The third is that he was a drug-fuelled eccentric.

Annwn Barddas Bards Druidry Druids Gwyn ap Nudd Iolo Morganwg Ovates The Coelbren Tylwyth Teg

Druidry in a time of pestilence

During the past few weeks of confinement, I’ve been engaging in quite a lot of divination, using both the I Ching and the Coelbren y Beirdd. I’ve been receiving a number of repeating patterns in the answers. Wait. Do not act now. The time is not right. This is a time of danger, of stasis; a time when one cycle has come to an end but the next cycle is not yet ready to commence. This is a time to rexamine, and re-commit to, one’s values.

Much of this relates to my personal situation, and the course of my own life. However, as the days pass, and the news gets grimmer, I understand that it applies to all of us, and to the society we have been living in.

Barddas Bards Cymru - Wales Druidry Druids Iolo Morganwg Ovates Y Gymraeg - The Welsh Language

Iolo Morganwg, the 1970s Welsh rugby team, and identity

When I was a boy in Wales in the 1970s, the Welsh rugby team dominated the world. It was our Golden Age.

In those days, Rugby Union was an amateur game, not a professional one. Players were not paid for playing for their club, or even for representing their country. They all had full-time jobs and, in Wales at least, many of the players were working class. Indeed, to play for their country, many of them had to take unpaid time off from their job. If they won an important match, they would be bathed in triumph on the pitch… but on Monday morning they would be back at work down the coal mine, or in the steelworks or the engineering plant.

Abred Annwn Barddas Druidry Druids Gwynfyd Iolo Morganwg Reincarnation

Druids on the Silk Road

The folks behind the Balkan Celts blog recently posted a very, very interesting article: The Celtic Buddha.

The post discusses a stucco head discovered at an archaeological site in eastern Afghanistan. It represents a Celtic man, and is believed to have been sculpted from life – in other words, the artist knew a Celtic man who was on-site. In Afghanistan, possibly in the late Hellenistic age (when the area was conquered and settled by the armies of Alexander the Great), or possibly later, in the early Christian era.

Abred Annwn Awen Barddas Bards Culture Cymru - Wales Druidry Druids Gwynfyd Iolo Morganwg Ovates Reincarnation Theology Y Gymraeg - The Welsh Language

The Wisdom of the Loom

The English word ‘Druid’ is derived from the Gallo-Brythonic word which has come down to modern Welsh as ‘Derwydd’. In turn, this is a compound word, drawing on ‘derw-‘, relating to the oak, and ‘-wydd’ (root word ‘Gwydd’), relating to ‘seer’ or ‘knowledge’.

An alternative word – ‘Gwŷdd’ – however, is also the Welsh word for a loom. This connection is worth exploring further.

Barddas Gwragedd Annwn Iolo Morganwg Plant Plant Annwfn Pryderi Pwyll Rhiannon Tylwyth Teg

The Children of Annwn

As with many of the religions of Asia, Druidry – in the Welsh tradition, at least – is a karmic religion, believing in spiritual progress via reincarnation.

Going into the details of this is for another post, but I’ve excerpted some key concepts from Barddas here.

In brief: souls emerge from the cauldron of Annwn, the source of all things. Over countless reincarnations, the spirit experiences all things, learns all things, and eventually transcends the flesh that it no longer needs – not as the end of the journey, but as the beginning of a new stage.