It is interesting that many modern druid orders thrash the BARDDAS while simultaneously adopting many of its teachings, even if inadvertently. The Sign of Awen frequently used to distinguish Druidry as well as the lore of the Druid’s Cabala (and it’s terminology) mainly originate with the “Barddas.” The Coelbren of the Bards, the Alban calendar and hundreds of triad teachings are also translated from this work for contemporary use.
Originally published as the “Barddas of Iolo Morganwg: A Collection of Original Documents, Illustrative of Theology, Wisdom and the Usages of the Bardo-Druidic System of the Isle of Britain.” It first appeared in 1862, edited by J. William ab Iithel and presented as a translation of an earlier Welsh manuscript penned by Llewellyn Sion, a Bard of Glamorgan. This claim is still under dispute.
THE BARDDAS is perhaps the most controversial facet appearing in neodruidism as are all of the revival traditions that stemmed from it. Regardless, it is a unique and impressive work.
Several versions are examined here for the benefit of the seeker.
Version One: The Prayer of Gwyddonaid
[Book of Margam]
God impart thy strength;
And in strength, the power to suffer;
And to suffer for the Truth;
And in the Truth, all light;
And in all Light, all Gwynedd;
And in Gwynedd, love;
And in love, God;
And in God, all goodness.
Version Two: The Gorsedd Prayer
[Book of Trahaiarn]
Grant, God, thy protection,
And in protection, reason;
And in reason, light;
And in light, Truth;
And in Truth, justice;
And in justice, love;
And in love, the love of God;
And in that love of God, all Gwynedd,
God and all goodness.
Version Three: Gorsedd Prayer
[common Welsh version]
Dyro Dduw dy nawdd;
Ag yn nawdd, nerth;
Ag yn nerth, deall;
Ag yn neall, gwybod;
Ac yngwybod, gwybod y cyflawn;
Ag yngwybod y cyflawn, ei garu;
Ag of garu, caru pob hanfod;
Ag ymhod hanfod, caru Duw,
Duw a phob daioni.
Version Four: Gorsedd Prayer
[common version translated]
Grant, O God, thy protection;
And in protection, strength;
And in strength, understanding;
And in understanding, knowledge;
And in knowledge, the knowledge of justice;
And in the knowledge of justice, the love of it;
And in that love, the love of all existences;
And in the love of all existences, the love of
God, God and all goodness.
Another example of philosophy relayed in the BARDDAS is that humans are composed from eight elements, facets or dimensions illustrated in the following verse:
From the Earth, the flesh;
From the water, the blood;
From the air, the breath;
From the calas, the bones;
From the salt, the feeling;
From the Sun, the fire of his agitation;
From the Truth, his understanding (knowledge)
From the Awen, his spirit, soul or life.
THE DRUIDS… A mystical race of European Elves, faerie folk and Dragon Kings and Dragon Priests who became famous for their habitation of the British Isles as descendents of the Tuatha d’Anu. –a blog excerpted from Arcanum by Joshua Free
Though it would seem nearly impossible to study the “Druids” without tapping into the “Celtic” stream, some scholars commonly confuse the two terms as interchangeable. It is true that the Druids of our known history developed a tradition in the Celtic lands (or “Keltia”) but they were a separate people from the wild tribal shamanic folk who were later unified under the banner of Druidism. When the early Danubian Children of the Stars arrived, the Celts viewed many of them as avatars and Earth-born deities (“Earth Gods”) who had a distant connection with the “Sky Gods” (Anunnaki). This cultivated as the Celtic Mythology familiar to modern seekers.
THE DRUIDS devised a unique system in Keltia that mirrors many others but retaining specific characteristics of the culture and region in which it was developed. Evidence of their existence is popularly associated to the western frontiers of Europe, but the annual convocation held in Galatia (Turkey) and the customs of the LaTene Culture of the Danube River Valley show that the influence of ancient Druids was felt throughout the “known” world. It is, however, the westernmost traditions of Druidry that inspire contemporary historians and New Age revivalists (also called neodruids). Until being slowly interbred with the Celtic people or annihilated (though Elvish dynasties and Dragon King bloodlines were maintained in the “underworld,” the counter-cultural underground) the Druids were originally a wholly separate race from the “common” Celt and historians confirm this.
There are three cardinal functions of the Druid, sometimes considered “ranks” or “degrees.” Each level is actually a self-contained “grade,” comparable to the varying levels of accomplishment attainable in modern higher-education: bachelors, masters and PhDs. Each level of apprenticeship was taught in succession. They could be used as a stepping-stone to higher levels of initiation, or a student might choose to finalize their work at a particular stage. As displayed in modern society, some positions or functions in Keltia required the attainment of specific levels of education. As the government and secret society presiding over Keltia, all of this was easily administered.
Quite simply, the Druids can be categorized as…
–Bards (artists, historians, musicians, performers,
poets, students and wizards of elemental magick)
–Ovates (diviners, forest wizards, herbalists, Oghamancers
ritualists, sacrificers and venerable hermetists)
–Derwydd (ceremonialists, Dragon Kings, dynastic
royalty, educators, lawyers, political ambassadors
and religious priests)
DRUIDS maintained nearly a millennium of peace in Keltia before hostile encounters with the Romans. The Romans eventually suppressed Druidism through another millennium of force, finalized by the union of the Roman Empire and the Roman Church. In spite of this, the lore and customs of the Druid sabbats or fire-festivals emerge in present-day traditions.
The archetypal spirit and genetic memory of the Druids, the last public dragons, permeates the human psyche like few other facets of history (and we know exceptionally little about them compared to most ethnographies). The Romans were very specific about wanting to eradicate all traces of this ancient race, asserting a vengeance such as was shown toward no other recorded enemy. These actions could be considered nothing short of pure biological and cultural genocide of a tradition and race…