The New BDO Bardic Course

Tagged: 

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 15 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #13494
    Greywolf
    Keymaster

    Greetings, fellow bards!
    This pandemic has created a mountain of problems for many people. Being a genuine Elder now, complete with free bus pass and state pension, I’ve been in the fortunate position of being able to focus almost entirely on upgrading our bardic course since before the first lockdown. Staying at home for 14 months has meant that a process expected to take two years should be complete six months ahead of schedule. A bonus has been that researching and writing almost every day of that 14 months has helped keep me relatively sane. Given that I’ve suffered from depression since childhood, this is quite an achievement, supporting a key message of the course, which is that creativity is good for us, for everyone around us, and for the world…
    I’m very pleased with the way the upgrade has come together. I’d always enjoyed research and the 15 years I’ve spent working on our courses has greatly improved my research techniques. My friendship with a number of Pagan academics has helped there too. When I first decided I was a Druid in the 1970s, research was limited to whatever books I could find in second-hand book shops or through working for an ‘occult’ mail order company. There was, of course, no internet. Now, thanks to the web, I can access academic papers online, locate books with ease and order them for home delivery. I can also pick up recommendations of books and papers from a wide network of friends, online and ‘actual.’
    One of the problems with putting together the original bardic course was that we wanted to include the medieval literature that we see as foundational to British Druidry, notably the Mabinogi(on), the Book of Taliesin and the Story of Taliesin. Unfortunately, as a not-for-profit organisation, were limited to Victorian or Edwardian translations that we knew were not great. This was remarked on by several students and we hoped to put it right this time. We have, and in ways that far outstripped our wildest hopes. For the Mabinogi, we were blessed to be granted permission to reproduce a new translation widely acknowledged to be the best available, that by Sioned Davies. For the Book of Taliesin we were equally blessed to discover that one of our bardic students, Derwydd Newydd (now a tutor), had been a student of Sioned Davies and was willing to undertake new translations of all of the poems relevant to the bardic, ovate and Druid paths. To our great delight, Derwydd also offered to make a completely new translation of the Story of Taliesin.
    Students had also asked for more supporting information about these texts, explaining why we see them as so significant. Given these wonderful new translations, I went back through all of them, providing pronunciation guides, new introductions where appropriate and hundreds of footnotes explaining who the characters named in them are, where the named locations can be found and what other references in the texts signify. Given my increased access to research materials, I was sometimes able to come up with interpretations of stories and poems that I’d previously missed. I’m particularly proud of my re-interpretation of one of the most famous Taliesin poems, Kat Godeu, ‘the Battle of the Trees.’ This is, I’m told, a completely original interpretation that no one has come up with before. I believe it finally makes sense of a poem that has baffled scholars for 900 years!
    I’m currently working on the penultimate booklet. The basic text here is the Mabinogi of Math, Son of Mathonwy. It’s primary significance within the BDO is that it has been the basis of our seasonal festival celebrations since the 1970s, before the BDO even had a name! The specific piece I’m working on is an enquiry into who one of its central characters, Lleu Llaw Gyffes, is. I’m using him as the focus of broader reflections on a debate that’s currently going on in academic circles about whether any of the characters in these old tales and poems can be regarded as pagan gods. Perhaps not surprisingly, I believe they can. It’s been an enlightening process looking at the arguments for and against. The piece starts with a visionary encounter that W. B. Yeats had with Lugh Lamfhada, the Irish counterpart of Lleu Llaw Gyffes. I’m currently waiting to hear from an American University if they can send me a copy of an unpublished dissertation that includes all of Yeats’ notes towards his proposed Order of Celtic Mysteries.
    I hope to finish the entire course update by June 1st. Then I’ll take a break for a couple of weeks to visit Avebury and our Shropshire roundhouse, meet up with a few BDO Elders, make ceremony, drum and journey.
    When I return home, I’ll begin updating the ovate course. This is necessary because it contains page references to things in the bardic course which have now all changed! Of course, I’ll take the opportunity to make a few revisions and additions. Not as many as the bardic course, which has doubled in length. I expect the ovate revision to take about a year, not working as intensively. Ditto the Druid course. It would be great to have all three finished by my 70th birthday in 2023. Not that I’ll be retiring then, but I might be taking a bit more time for woodland walks and playing my lyre in the garden πŸ˜‰
    Many blessings,
    Greywolf /|\

    #13581
    Kathleen Morgan
    Participant

    Thank you Greywolf for all your dedicated work! πŸ™‚

    #13587
    Shane
    Participant

    I second that! πŸ™‚

    #13596
    david poole
    Participant

    Thank you Greywolf I am looking forward to the new versions of the Bardic course, it sounds even better than it is already. I am sure that the new additions and notes will prove to be extremely helpful.

    #13718
    Ruth Walsh
    Participant

    Thank you Greywolf. We’re lucky to have dedicated people like yourself lighting the way for us.

    #13763
    Mark Scales
    Participant

    Thank you for being so passionate about Druidry and putting in your own time and effort to make it available to others to learn and grow themselves.

    #13779
    True Owl
    Participant

    Hi Greywolf,

    I agree with all the comments here – thank you very much for all your hard work – it takes a lot of dedication.

    I find the course work really interesting, written to a very high standard and very well thought out – You also must have done a lot of research.

    I am certainly enjoying reading the course booklets & learning much from them.

    I look forward to reading your new version, with its additional contents.

    Thanks,

    Jules.

    #13829
    Dave TheDruid-3X3
    Participant

    Having recently paid off ALL of my Debts, I can now afford to Register for the Courses so I looked at the Course Description and found this:
    “Our courses are intensive, demanding, and deal with unusual areas of experience. They are, therefore, not suitable for everyone and we reserve the right to withhold or withdraw admission to them where we deem this to be necessary to safeguard the well-being of the individual and/or the BDO and its membership.”

    How is your Courses Intensive, Demanding and deal with Unusual Areas of Experience?

    Shouldn’t such Courses being Enlightening, Informative and Spiritually Uplifting instead?

    And the I do not like the thought that after laying down my Hard Earned $$$$ that my Course could end up being Withdrawn for whatever Trivial Issue that might pop up is unsettling to me.

    Also, do I get to Choose my Tutor. Right now, I am on good terms with Joanna Van Derhoeven so I would Love to do Druid Training with her as my Tutor/Sponsor. I would prefer Emma Restall-Orr, but she is now Practicing Solitarily and does not do Tutor anymore.

    3X3

    #13831
    Dave TheDruid-3X3
    Participant

    It was about 3 Weeks Ago that I got in my Ringer ‘Completely Out Of Debt’ Pay Check and since now have about a $1,000.00 in the Bank.

    3X3

    #13834
    Dowrgi
    Participant

    As someone who has completed the Bardic Course and is now doing the Ovate Course, I think I might be able to offer some assistance.

    How is your Courses Intensive, Demanding and deal with Unusual Areas of Experience?

    This is of course subjective, however, the Bardic Course does require a fair bit of coursework and there are many exercises to do and offer feedback on, furthermore, pieces of work are required for submission and evaluation at the end of the course. However, you have as much time as you require to work through the materials. The materials themselves cover quite a lot of topics and areas that not everyone will necessarily be familiar with.

    Shouldn’t such Courses being Enlightening, Informative and Spiritually Uplifting instead?

    Do Buddhist monks, just for an example, not put in many years of meditation in order to reach their goals of enlightenment? Did ancient Druids not study for up to twenty years? I feel that the courses are enlightening, informative and spiritually uplifting, but it would be dishonest to say that there’s no “hard work” involved either, anyway, I think you appreciate it more when you’ve worked hard at something, whatever it may be.

    And the I do not like the thought that after laying down my Hard Earned $$$$ that my Course could end up being Withdrawn for whatever Trivial Issue that might pop up is unsettling to me.

    I don’t think you’ve understood what was meant. By reserving the “right to withhold or withdraw admission” it’s not saying that you’ll be made to leave the course for any trivial issue, it’s saying that in certain circumstances for the wellbeing of all concerned, the BDO does not feel that the courses may be suited to everyone and they reserve the right to refuse admission, i.e. being accepted for the course. This is by no means unique to the BDO. Of course, the BDO does also have rules of behaviour and ethics and I don’t think it’s unreasonable that in certain circumstances, in violation of these, that someone may be asked to leave – again, this is by no means unique to the BDO.

    Also, do I get to Choose my Tutor. Right now, I am on good terms with Joanna Van Derhoeven so I would Love to do Druid Training with her as my Tutor/Sponsor. I would prefer Emma Restall-Orr, but she is now Practicing Solitarily and does not do Tutor anymore.

    As far as I know, the tutors are BDO tutors and/or elders. I don’t think non-BDO persons are going to be involved in the BDO.

    There is of course, I believe, the option to try out the first booklet and see how it feels and then continue. I don’t think the course costs very much either to be honest, especially not in terms of what you’re getting in return.

    Anyway, I hope that sheds some light on things for you.

    Bennathow
    /|\

    #13857
    Angela Lawton
    Participant

    I ordered the first booklet from BDO and found it interesting however I don’t think I have the time to commit to further study at the moment. As for the right of BDO to withdraw someone from the course I think it is sensible. I went over to OBOD site and looked at their courses and they don’t recommend that anyone with certain mental health conditions namely schizophrenia and paranoia take their courses as they may prove harmful to their metal health.

    #13865
    Dowrgi
    Participant

    Hi Angela, it’s a pity you don’t have the time to commit to further study, but do stick around here for a chat! πŸ™‚

    Bennathow
    /|\

    #13866
    Dowrgi
    Participant

    PS. I agree with your points on safeguarding mental health and wellbeing, too.

    #13874
    Angela Lawton
    Participant

    Thanks Dowrgi, I will definitely stick around the forum although I don’t post much. I think the BDO is a fine and reputable organisation and are taking their responsibilities seriously. Helping people to open up to the spiritual realms as I imagine the Ovate course does is a huge undertaking and must be handled with care and responsible tutors. Hopefully I will make that commitment to the Bardic course later this year or early next year.

    #13891

    Very very very interesting. As an avid researcher myself I can palpably feel the passion you have for it, and for the creative process itself (as evidenced by you other posts). Fantastic to see someone so engaged in updating earlier thought on subjects, thankyou.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 15 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

We use cookies. By browsing our site you agree to our use of cookies. Read moreAccept