At Samhain, on 31st October, which represents the beginning of the New Year in the Celtic Wheel of the Year, I decided to initiate myself into the Bardic Grade of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids (OBOD). You may remember an earlier blog post called Following the Bardic path of the Druid Way that I wrote last December, after I had enrolled onto the Bardic Grade course of OBOD. At that time I began the course in earnest and relished the first two lessons or gwersi, so much so, that I went back over them again and again well into 2021. I was waiting for the right moment to carry out the initiation ceremony in the third lesson.
As it turned out, this year has been a super busy year for Brett and I on our eco-build and also for my home-based humanitarian and community development consultancy business. For some reason, my consultancy work has taken off and I have been fortunate to work on four contracts, which have been real blessings at the right time! However, between carrying out intensive research for my paid work, as well as being Brett’s gopher on our build, I soon ran out of energy and quiet time and I ended up setting aside the Bardic Grade gwersi until a more suitable time materialised. Recently, I felt a strong pull from my intuition towards Samhain that encouraged me to begin the course again. It felt right and so I carried out my initiation ceremony in the beautiful woodland glade to the east of our new home, which is taking shape daily.
It was a beautiful, gentle and sunny autumn morning and I prepared my spot – marking out a quartz crystal I found near behind our shed to the north representing the earth; angel oracle cards and a maple leaf to the east depicting air; a simple, lit, unscented wax candle to the south indicating fire and a cool, refreshing glass of water straight from our well to the west, symbolising water. In the centre of the space I placed an oak seedling that is now two years old, which had germinated from an acorn I collected in Ganges. To me this represented the spirit of life. In the tree lore of Druidry the oak tree has several special meanings.
I followed the narrated ceremony provided by OBOD on CD and after the proceedings I drew out three angel oracle cards, which were very enlightening. I will not describe the ceremony here, as it was something very private, inspiring and profound and it is only available for use by members of the order. However, I will share some brief reflections below the slide show.
The word “Bard” conjures up images of wandering minstrels or troubadours – itinerant masters of language, poetry and music, invoking oral histories of events and people, as well as capturing the happenings of the day in real time through their artistry. I feel connected to this pathway through poetry, song writing, making music and creating artwork and designs. I feel as though the bardic grade of the druidic path will re-awaken and nurture something innate and deep within my being, which will be allowed to flourish.
I believe that the spiritual practices of the bardic grade of druidry are something that my heart, soul and spirit are longing to do or, more accurately, be – to be more in tune and in harmony with nature and all beings, in tune with the land, her energy and heartbeat, to hear her breathing and work with her and not against her. It is a way for me to commune with the divine that I recognise in all things – animate, or apparently inanimate – but I think druidry recognises ‘anima’ in everything.
Druidry is instinctively peaceful and has a way, through all three grades (bard, ovate and druid) and expressions, of speaking truth and supporting solutions to problems, conflicts and disputes that is fair and just and seeks the highest good of all. In this way druidry complements, affirms and amplifies the life lessons I have encountered through working as a humanitarian aid worker and in practicing reiki and therefore is completely in harmony with the work I started in relation to intuitive healing and intuitive humanitarianism.
Druidry has felt like a homecoming on physical, mental, emotional and spiritual levels. I do not have to abandon the previous phases of my spiritual journey or values that I have held dear, because druidry offers space for individuals to integrate druidic practices into who they are and their existing expressions of faith and values. Perhaps, it is what I have been waiting for, or I can also say druidry has always been there, quietly waiting for me to remember who I am on this planet at this present time in relation to my ancestry, nature and fellow humans. Druidry is therefore also a ‘remembering‘ and I think it is also a rebirthing or sprouting of the seeds, which were sown within me at a young age. It is only now that I am remembering and feel ready to continue on this journey of discovery.
For now, I send you peace, love and light from underneath the oaks, maple and fir here on beautiful Salt Spring Island.