Two years ago, I hosted a Devotional Poetry themed Community Bardic Exercise which turned out to be heaps of beautiful, inspiration-filled fun. Inspired by Elizabeth’s latest post, I’d like to revisit this venture today. Consider this an invitation, an opportunity, or a challenge, but however you consider it, please let yourself play!
Various British Isles-based Celtic traditions refer to poetic inspiration with different terminology. Welsh tradition speaks of Awen– the fiery spark of inspiration & revelation. Irish tradition tells of the illumination of Imbas– a very similar concept. It is this spark I invite you to dance with this week. Set aside the acute issues of the day. Breathe in the cooling autumn air & use this spark of Awen to kindle within you the flame of holy creativity.
Our exercise will be simple in nature, yet challenging in practice. I invite you to write one poem per day for the next seven days about whatever animates your spiritual connection to your Body, your Land, or your Tribe that day in whatever poetic format the words emerge. Your goal for the next seven days is to let loose a little- allow that Celtic “fire in the head” to take you. Step into the creative flow and allow your Bardic Soul to speak.
What we will not be going for is perfect, publication-ready material. I know whenever I undertake something like this, I have to remind myself of that. And I have to muzzle that horribly devious little creature known as my Inner Critic in order for my inherently courageous Bardic Soul to sing freely.
Look for divine poetic inspiration in any and everything around you during the next week. Step with intention through your days.
How are you mindfully & wholeheartedly connecting with the somatic spirituality of your Body?
How do you feel into the sacred nature of the Land beneath your feet?
How does your spiritual Tribe nourish and support the divinity of your lived experience?
As you answer these questions with poetry, dance with language- FEEL it move you! Do not bludgeon yourself with repeated editing. Write, share, and then be brave enough to let it be.
If you’re having a hard time getting started, try picking just one of these questions for the week. Or pick a particular form of poetry that feels comfortable enough to get started within. Try telling yourself something like “I’m going to write about my toes this week,” or “I’m going to write haiku this week.” Sometimes giving yourself a bit of structure will open the way. HOWEVER– give yourself permission to deviate from that structure if you find yourself moved to over the course of this exercise.
Also– it is perfectly ok if you write a poem and hate it or think it’s awful. Sometimes we have to move through the awful to get to the other side– it can be a vital part of the creative journey. If you’ve ever read Julia Cameron, this is the idea behind her Morning Pages exercise. Sometimes we have to get that stuff out first, like skimming the broth of our Creative Cauldron as we distill the Awen.
If you write a poem and hear yourself saying something like “This is: (insert self-degrading adjective here- horrid, cheesy, garbage, etc.)” try repeating the following mantra “(Insert the same adjective here) is creative too.” a few times. Then let go, get a good night’s rest and move on to tomorrow’s poem.
I invite you to please feel free to post your poems here on this post each day for the next seven days. I will share my work too as my schedule allows! I like doing this because it keeps me accountable for my work during the exercise. I also like the perspective it gives me on the poem. Sometimes after posting it, I see something in it I did not see before. All readers are welcome to contribute, whatever their personal faith tradition. I also encourage you to feel free to share your thoughts, frustrations, creative processes, etc. here too. Ask for support, encourage each other as we engage the spark of inspiration together.
Let the creative word romp begin!
Kate M. Brunner is a writer, healer, ritualist, & member of The Sisterhood of Avalon, studying at the Avalonian Thealogical Seminary. She is a resident of Heartwood Cohousing in Bayfield, Colorado & a homeschooling mother to her three children. She holds a BA from Tulane University, where she studied Economics, International Relations, & Religious Traditions. Kate is a presenter for Red Tents & women’s retreats. She also hosts seasonal women’s gatherings, priestesses labyrinth rituals, and facilitates workshops on an assortment of women’s spirituality topics. During 2016, she presented at the Association for the Study of Women and Mythology Conference in Boston, MA, at the SOA’s first open online conference, AvaCon 2016, & at the inaugural Ninefold Festival in Orange, CT. She is also published in Flower Face: A Devotional Anthology in Honor of Blodeuwedd and The Goddess in America: The Divine Feminine in Cultural Context.