As a Bard

Recieving the Silver Branch of Ynys Witrin

When I was chaired as the Chief Bard of Ynys Witrin on the 19th May 2007, it was without doubt the most powerful initiation I’ve experienced so far. I did ask for it, because if you read ‘The Power of Nine’, the poem that lead to my chairing, you can see that it’s an invocation to the Nine Maidens to speak through me and that I might know the nature of Awen. Many see ‘The Heart of Ireland’ as an illustration of this but I’m just gutted that the powers that be went ahead and build a road through such a sacred site.

Since moving to Glastonbury, I have gone from being the counsellor who listens to being the Bard who speaks out. Speaking Stones‘ was a breakthrough poem for me. I wrote it in Derry when I was still a counsellor. It was one of my first steps on this new path. I dedicate this poem to all the people I met in counselling rooms. I carry you in my heart now and always.

Elder Bards have a responsibility to ‘elevate the word’. Performance is one aspect of what a Bard does, the other is to encourage creativity in others. I regularly perform locally but would love to branch out and perform in other areas. I have a ‘set’ – ‘Visions of Transition’ that would work well at any ‘Be the Change’ or Transition Town event or at conferences on relevant topics. It went down a treat in Belgium which is the only time I’ve had a chance to perform it. It’s important that I perform at Samhain, Imbolc, Beltaine and Lughnasadh in particular but any opportunity to perform is welcome.

As for fostering the creativity of others, I have two offering at present ‘Opening to the Awen and Write to Healing which can be run as one or two day courses or in the local area as weekly evening courses.

The Heart of Ireland by Dearbhaile Bradley

(Read the text of ‘The Heart of Ireland’.)