Bardic Journal

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    Sue Cottle

      I currently run 3 journals, 2 of which are online. I have journaled for most of my adult life (at least the last 30 years) and always used notebooks of varying sizes. I now use Penzu for a personal journal and a ‘Bardic Journey’ journal. I can insert photos taken with my phone, or from things like Facebook. I have arthritis in my hands, so find it very difficult and painful to write, whereas typing is still easy. I also have a hardback notebook “Wild New Zealand – A Journal” with lovely pictures in it that things like specific notes from a Gwers, Tarot/Oracle readings etc go in – but these entries are short and sweet. I’m hoping to get a nice recycled, heavy paper journal to continue in, as Wild NZ is over half-full. I rarely remember my dreams, but they go in my Penzu journal.

      david poole

        I have a dream journal but not a Bardic journal. Is it useful to have one of both? What do you out into a Bardic journal?

        Darryl Jones

          I have been writing less and less in my bardic journal as I have been studying and reading more as I go on. I am currently following the path as a hedge druid and spend my time when not working writing poetry and short stories in between studying rituals etc.

          Sue Cottle

            What do you put into a Bardic journal?

            Mine has rituals I am learning/have learnt, books I am reading/have read/want to read, notes from Gwersu that resonated with me, poetry, songs, Practicum, meditations, dreams … you name it, it goes in there. As I said above, I have both an online & hardcopy journals.


              Hello everyone,
              This was a particularly interesting thread for me to read. Elaine, who runs the BDO webshop, looks after our roundhouse, contributed many of the ceremonies in our ovate course, and so forth, keeps the most amazing journals. It’s a couple of pages from one of hers that appears in the bardic booklet about keeping a journal. She keeps postcards, photographs, till receipts, gift wrappings, newspaper clippings and all manner of other scraps to paste into her journals alongside her writing and sketches. She has dozens of them stored away and they’ll be the most incredible resource for some future historian.
              By contrast, I spend so much of my time writing course material that I’m pretty much written out by the end of the day and therefore only intermittently keep any kind of journal. I’ve also made the rookie mistake of not having a nice-looking journal set aside, so when i do decide to record something it goes on a scrap of paper or in any one of about half a dozen small reporters’ notebooks. This means it’s difficult or even impossible to find what I’ve written again.
              I sincerely hope that you good folks will be more like Elaine in this respect and a lot less like me!
              Many blessings,
              Greywolf /|\

              Jen Bottom

                Hi everyone,

                I’m visually impaired, so paper books don’t work so well for me.

                I did think about using Braille, but then I would have to store it all and I already have way too much Braille stuff from my Uni days etc.

                I use a note taking app, and have different folders.

                Currently I have the following:
                BDO, OBOD, Chaos Magic, Dreams, Heartwood (for the herbalism course I’m studying), Cornish (for the language learning lessons I’m taking with KDL).

                I do play music, but I haven’t made anything original.

                I run and co-host a couple of small folk sessions in Berkshire UK and have been working my way through a few instruments.

                I’m learning to play the fiddle, but I don’t practice as much as I probably should, so it’s taking a while.

                I do enjoy it though.

                Perhaps I’ll commit to recording something and posting it at some point.

                I did one small recording for my obod related Bardic stuff but it took a lot of will power on my part.

                Right now I’ll be happy if I can memorise some Cornish language poems to perform at the next grove ritual I am able to get to.

                I’ll stop rambling now before this gets even longer.

                Peace and best wishes,


                  Process varies from person to person time to time. I’m very irregular with my journallin and abandoned it for several months. I have four journals. I go back and forth between them as each represents major yet overlapping themes. Happily, I am back to it again. Notes and drawings. I have the little BDO journal which is very handy to put in my purse, and I jot things down in there for later use. Love it. The next size up is a rather sober leather bound journal. Not really certain where I am going with that one. I did some intuitive work with Ogham and Runes in there. Then, I have the sketch books. Very raw. Unbleached covers. That is mostly where I am working right now, but actually when sitting in on a ZOOM presentation yesterday ( on issues around indigenous health care due to systemic racism ) put a few notes for later in there ( some things will become prose thoughts for my practice) as well as some quick Samhain notes. It’s very handy and I find the cover makes me just feel good. I’m finding the journal more comforting now and parts are gelling more so as the pages fill in. I am not afraid to through in sticky notes as bookmarks either… Blessings! ~ Jamie

                  david poole

                    I think that it helps to keep notes as some of the processes which we work through and some of the lessons which we learn are very deep and complicated and it is too much to ask anyone to retain all of these thoughts and feelings; what you will find with doing any exercise like this is that your thought processes and your writing becomes much more interesting and complex in its nature, so that you are improving your creative skills by making yourself confront ambiguity and changes. This is very helpful in itself and worth doing.


                      I basically have my regular diary, as I approach druidry as a way of life and a personal spirituality. Meaning everything in my life is part of it. My journal consists mainly of reflections of exercises/celebrations/meditations, my emotional responses to things happening in the ‘mundane’ world and insights from the ongoing process of self-exploration and spiritual growth and understanding. I also have occasional drawings in there. Additionally, I have several notebooks I use for personal book reviews, gardening, random thoughts and ideas. When the notebooks are full, I can continue in a gorgeous binder where I can combine everything AND that has room to hold my journal 🙂

                      david poole

                        I keep a journal for my dreams which has been very interesting to say the least. I should be keeping a Bardic journal as there has been a lot happening which could be related to my Bardic studies. If you don’t have a journal then I would recommend it as you will not be able to remember everything by yourself.


                          My journal was very stilted at first but I’ve come to be more comfortable writing down very intimate thoughts, and it is interesting to come back to later. I have a physical journal and I use onenote on my computer and phone – it’s really useful to have somewhere to put those random thoughts that come at times when writing on paper isn’t practical, like when walking the dog. I like the suggestion that someone made of using a recording app.


                            I have also just started the Bardic Course. I bought two books one for notes and one for a journal. In the journal I have put images from dreams and any notes or musings of things I discover. I put in some notes about the Cosmic tree and also how to talk to faeries. I have just started the course so just starting the process of things unfolding. I put a couple of the exercises in there from the course.

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