The Three Grades of Druidry: The Bard
The Bard is like a child starting to journey along the magical path of adventure towards healing and eventual wholeness. In Tarot symbolism he is the Fool, setting out on his adventures with little experience, yet with trust and courage. He breaks through the confines of his former boundaries as he enters and explores the Unknown. As a consequence he gains understanding and skills in both physical life and the spiritual worlds. His training concentrates on the first stage of the Druid’s world, discovering and liberating his own inner magical child, and unlocking the creativity that is bursting to be expressed. Any excuse to play!
If an aspirant is sure he wishes to study Druidry, he will undergo an initiation ceremony that symbolically celebrates his birth into a new life of magic, service, empowerment and spirit. The first grade he or she enters is that of the Bard, and once he has entered this grade, the work starts! The Vermont Druid training concentrates on students working together as a group, exploring themselves and the others through communication exercises and sharing, through making music and telling stories together, by performing ceremony, and by learning to interact deeply, and meaningfully, with nature. They will be introduced to the Druid view of the world, a very different world we were introduced to as children! They will also be encouraged to let go of their stiff and stuffy adult personalities, and balance themselves by exploring their inner magical child who trusts, is still connected to Spirit, is outrageously spontaneous and dances innocently yet courageously through life.
The feelings associated with Bardic training are of lightness, celebration, creativity, and interaction with other like-minded magical children. Bards open up a new relationship with their heart and learn the often-painful process of reaching out and interacting with other human beings. Love, communication and inclusion is their primary motive, as most of our modern-day dis-ease results from alienation and separation from other members of the One Life. What a huge step this is! It is vital, if we wish to align and become One with the earth and all her manifestations, to let go of our pathological need for isolation and relax into life. Standing separate and looking on like wallflowers is no longer effective (if it ever was): total immersion in the physical world is the only way to belong and come alive to our full potential.
A Bard discovers ways to contact and activate his creative side, and then learns effective and joyful ways to express it. Creativity is the natural result of an opened heart and needs to be shared, either with other humans, or with nature herself. An archetypal bardic situation is to sit around a fire in the dark with a group of creative people, watching the sparks whistle and wriggle upwards in search of the stars, singing and making music both as a group, and individually. Sharing our own creations such as a poem, a story, a song or piece of music is an exquisite experience and makes our souls sing… what is life for, if not for this?
Bardic Training includes:
- *The background and history of Druidry
- *The Elements of magic
- *Geomancy (the art of interacting with the Spirit of the Land)
- *The magic of trees and stones
- *The Mastery of Awareness
- *Training to develop the Intuition
- *Pilgrimage to sacred sites
- *Ritual and Ceremony
- *Steamlodge (sometimes called Sweatlodge)
- *Shamanic Journeying
- *Sacred Dance
- *Developing the creativity within (Music, Poetry, Storytelling, Art, etc
- *The Power of the Circle
- *Principles of Healing
- *Initiation into the Underworld
- *A project each student chooses for him/herself