A short discussion on Taliesin’s potential to transform his patron through the bardic power of myth!
Category Archives: Taliesin
Awen, symbol and cauldron
In this talk, I take a look at the role of awen in creating symbolic reality and give an outline of some of the symbolic meanings that can be found in the great mythic cauldron of the Celts.
This Mythic Life
An interview I did in December 2019 with Sharon Blackie, author of If Women Rose Rooted, for her podcast This Mythic Life. We discuss the Welsh Bardic Tradition, how they used myth and how Taliesin is the embodiment of bardic myth making.
What was the real power of Taliesin?
What power did the historical Taliesin wield? As a sixth century chief bard of the early Welsh his ceremonial role involved more than praising and eulogising the great war chiefs of his time. Taken from a live Q&A where I was responding to answers sent in by students following the Taliesin Origins course.
Awen and Awenydd in Angar Kyfundawt
Here’s an excerpt from the discussion we had last week on the role of the awenydd and awen, at this point in the conversation from the perspective of The Book of Taliesin poem ‘Angar Kyfundawt’. My translation of the beginning of the poem is below. As I explained in this series of blog posts a few yearsContinue reading “Awen and Awenydd in Angar Kyfundawt”
Preiddiau Annwfn (The Spoils of Annwfn)
Preiddiau Annwfn is one of the better known poems from The Book of Taliesin, and it’s also one of the most mysterious. Nobody really knows what it’s about, but there are a few clues as to what it could mean.
The Birth of Taliesin
Most versions of Taliesin’s tale (but not all) locate his birth from the sea on the coast of northern Ceredigion. Elffin finds him as an infant, washed up in a skin bag, caught in Gwyddno Garanhir’s fish weir. For example, an incomplete version of the tale recorded by Llywelyn Siôn, probably copied sometime before 1561, has this toContinue reading “The Birth of Taliesin”
Taliesin’s Power at Court
The legendary poems from The Book of Taliesin give us a little window onto the less formal activities of Welsh medieval court bards. Most of these poems are dramatic pieces that were very likely performed by bards and declaimers adopting the dramatic persona of the legendary Taliesin. The differing ages of some of these poemsContinue reading “Taliesin’s Power at Court”
The Tale of Taliesin in the Landscape
Place names and monuments close to Bedd Taliesin, the bronze age cairn in the Cletwr Valley, could throw a little light on why it bares the name of a popular Welsh folk hero. It’s impossible to tell whether this was originally the grave of the historic Taliesin, chief bard to Urien Rheged, although there’s noContinue reading “The Tale of Taliesin in the Landscape”