Skip to content

British Druid Order Bardic Course Update Completed!

How was everyone’s Calan Mai? My big news for May Day this year is the completion of the three-year-long revision of the British Druid Order’s bardic course. It took that long because there are big changes from the first version, which went online in 2011. One major improvement is that we now include brilliant new translations of the Four Branches of the Mabinogi, both versions of the Story of Taliesin and many of the poems from the Book of Taliesin, including ‘The Battle of the Trees’ and ‘The Spoils of Annwn,’ plus my own new translations of some key Irish texts, along with extensive new introductions, commentaries and notes that clarify the background to all of them, the meanings embedded in them, weaving them into the fabric of modern Druidry. We've also retired the 12th century font we were using for the medieval material. It may have been period-appropriate, but too many people found it hard to read. We've therefore replaced it with good old Times New Roman, the same font as the rest of the course material.
Having continued researching for the 12 years since the course first went online, a lot of new information has come to light that has been incorporated into the courses. Many new books on relevant areas have been published too, all of which I’ve tried to get hold of. I’ve been expanding my craft skills too, so there’s lots more on bardic music and medieval instrument-making. The section on bardic poetry has been significantly expanded too, with assistance from Derwydd Newydd, who also created our new Taliesin translations.
There’s a lot of new material about Welsh and Irish bardic schools too, a subject that’s been curiously neglected in mainstream scholarship although the ruins of a few survive as do many copies of bardic teaching materials, most of which seem to be unpublished and untranslated. I’ve done my best to bring together as many scraps as I could find.
As well as a great deal of new material, a lot of the existing sections have been updated and expanded. The booklet on seasonal folk customs, festivals and celebrations, for example, contains vastly more material. Courtesy of Derwydd, we also now offer an entire ceremony bilingually in Welsh and English. The booklets on ancestry are also hugely expanded.
Despite 12 years having passed and the revised course have doubled the amount of content, we are still charging the same for our courses that we were changing in 2011.
We had a good bardic course before the update, some saying it was the best available. The new version should convince any remaining doubters. I’m quite proud of it, and I don’t really do pride. I think it’s streets ahead of any other course available on the modern bardic tradition in its range, depth of scholarship, respect for its source material, and its practicality. And I’m not just saying that as the editor and main contributor, I genuinely believe it’s true.
As ever, my heartfelt thanks go out to my fellow contributors, Derwydd Newydd, Sioned Davies, Emma Restall Orr, Andy Letcher, Adam Sargant, Elaine Gregory et al, first magnitude stars one and all!
You can see a free 20-page sample of the course if you CLICK HERE
Blessings of Calan Mai,
Greywolf /|\

Published on Categories BDO Courses, British Druid OrderTags

About Greywolf

I'm Greywolf (aka Philip Shallcrass). My main claim to fame (such as it is) is that I'm chief of the British Druid Order (BDO). I discovered Druidry in 1974, seeing it as a native British 'shamanic' spirituality. An Alexandrian Wiccan coven I joined in 1978 transformed into the Grove of the Badger as Druidry increasingly replaced Wicca in its rites. The end result was the BDO. Emma Restall Orr was joint chief of the Order with me from 1995 to 2002. I live in rural Wiltshire, not far from my spiritual heartland, the area in and around the Avebury henge. I'm a writer, musician, artist, drum-maker, roundhouse-builder and thatcher. I have three sons who share my obsession with music, books and film. Personal obsessions include the work of Britain's greatest bard, Robin Williamson, the comic books of Jack 'King' Kirby (1907-1994) and the speed-freak rock'n'roll of The Screaming Blue Messiahs.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *