I shall sing of the awen, which
I shall obtain from the abyss
Through the awen, though it were mute
I know of its great impulses
I know when it minishes;
I know when it wells up;
I know when it flows;
I know when it overflows.
–Taliesin, « The Festival » from the Book of Taliesin, 13th century
What the poet Taliesin writes of is the « Awen », a central principle in the druid tradition meaning « flowing inspiration » or « divine inspiration. » In ancient times, bards embraced the flow of Awen to be masters of memory, sound, and expression. The bardic path was a lifelong pursuit and vocation; bards would spending many years (by one Scottish account, 7 years) learning the bardic arts which included the arts of memory, diction, rhyming, and composition.
The flowing of Awen isn’t just an experience, it is a magical and meditative process. Perhaps you’ve…
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