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The Llewellyn Encyclopedia

Term: Bard


Bard: Based on an earlier Celtic term meaning “praise,” it contemptuously referred to a traveling musician. This evolved in different cultures. By the Middle Ages, in Ireland and Wales, it meant a poet or musician hired to create songs that praised the lord who hired them. They also composed and sang songs praising warriors. Later, the term bard came to mean a romantic poet. In the 1700 and 1800 there was a Celtic Revival that associated bards with the Druids. In this context a bard was a musician, a poet, and a story teller as part of the Druidic priesthood.


Neo-Druidism Since the 1700s
The last vestiges of the Filídhecht schools were stamped out in the 1600s as Elizabethan English conquered and destroyed most of Ireland’s remaining Gaelic culture. The "plantations" of Ulster, and the extension of the Pale beyond Leinster into ...
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Who Were the Druids?
To mention the word Druid is to evoke images of ancient wizards and wonder-workers from old Irish sagas, Welsh legends, Caesar’s Gallic Wars and Scottish folktales. If you have read about the Druids, you’ve probably retained one of their many images ...
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The Future of Druidism
As long as there are people who remember their Celtic heritage and its contributions to modern culture and civilization, and the legends, folk-tales and myths of the Celtic peoples, there will be those who dream about the ancient Celtic magic, about ...
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A still controversial figure, Lafayette Ronald Hubbard (1911–1986) appears to have been largely self-educated despite having attended prestigious private schools and two years at George Washington University. As the son of a naval ...
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Celtic Magic
The Druids and filídh were known for their divination and mysticism. These took manyforms, such as the learning and verse forms for composing blessings and curses,and the memorization of old hymns, chants and incantations. The basic song wascalled a ...
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Druidic Vestments
The appearance of the Druid is known to us from two main sources: Greco-Roman writings and medieval Irish tradition. There is also some evidence from Irish and Scottish folklore. Druids wore white tunics, which in early Ireland ...
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Glossary of Druidism
Adbertos (Gaulish) - An offering or ritual in which something is given to the Deuoi. Andumnos (Gaulish) - The Underworld / Otherworld / Netherworld which corresponds to the Greek Elysian Fields and Tartaros, and to the Teutonic Valhall and ...
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Oral Tradition and the Druidic Class
The ancient Druids considered it profane to record their teachings in writing. All of their teachings were handed down by spoken word in verses or stories. People at different levels taught different categories of the ancient lore. The highest in ...
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Review of Dame Fortune\'s Wheel Tarot
Summary: Dame Fortune’s Wheel Tarot is an elegant marriage of historical research and practicality. It celebrates the Tarot’s introduction as a divinatory tool, stripping it of modern esoteric burdens. The result is a deck that is eminently easy to ...
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Review of the Visconti Tarots
Summary: An amazing and beautiful recreation of one of the oldest and most complete Tarot decks extant. Suitable for any reading for which you might use a Rider-Waite-Smith-based deck, it’s also ideal for working in costume, at renaissance fairs, ...
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The mighty dead, divination, and portals to other worlds… there are so many places to celebrate Samhain in the northeastern United States… The cooler weather, the colorful leaves, and, as the memes say, "Pumpkin everything!" Like so many witches, autumn is my favorite season, and Samhain, my favorite Sabbat. As a child I loved... read this article
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