The power of words.

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The power of words.

Post by Gorm_Sionnach on Wed Apr 15, 2009 5:49 pm

I have no idea how to start this conversation, nor the best way to convey what it is I am trying to get across, none the less...

Words are power, specifically the spoken word. If the pen is mighter than the sword, the voice is mightier still. The Celts were by and large an oral culture (not that they were illiterate, there were script systems) however the way knowledge, lore and history were passed from generation to generation was by the spoken word. To be considered a poet (filid) one had to have memorized over 200 seperate tales, some of which survive today as fairly large novels. It would take years and year of memorization to fully become a filid. To become a Druid, 20 + years of study, not just of myths and religion, but history, law, medicine, astrology, etc. As such it should come to no surprise that the spoken word was imbued with an immense ammount of power. Eloquency was an art for and a virtue to be striven towards in all endevours, by all classes.

In many of the tales, the cosmos were created and recreated by the song, invocation or words of a Druid or Ri. Indeed nothing that exists, exists without a name. The cosmos were wild, chaotic until being ordered by naming all that was in which order was established. In this way the ancestors of the Gaels, the Sons of Mil, were able to overcome the enchantments of the Gods themselves and claim the land of Ireland for men. It was through oral contracts that the Gaels and the Gods established how the land would be divided. It is still through the spoken word that we continue to honour our ancestral contracts and oaths to the Gods. It is through the recitation of poem, prayer and song that we continue the traditions of our ancestors. For there is great power in words, for words are power.

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Re: The power of words.

Post by John T Mainer on Thu Apr 16, 2009 1:56 am

Chief of all the gods is Odin, his rune Ansuz is inspiration, voice or messenger. The gifts of Odin are three; the wode or ecstatic passion, the mead of poetry, and the gift of runes.

The skald was the saga poet, the master of knowledge who was the history of his folk, who mastered the words to raise the passions of war, to bring peace where passions run unchecked. The rune poem for Ansuz reads :

The mouth is the rivers goal,
But scabbard for swords

The natural state of things is to rush forward to their inevitable conclusion; rivers running to their mouth, swords to the killing. Ansuz offers the power of words to return swords to their scabbards, to still the fury and bring peace as well.

In our modern times the TV has become most peoples tool; it teaches nothing, as it does not seek to instruct, its lessons are blindness and foolishness. The job of the skald was to tell stories, for such is the way that wisdom was taught. Skalds knew they instructed as well as entertained, and with that responsibility sought to weave their spells for the boon of all, laying the foundation for a folk in the tales told around the fires of the people.

In some measure, we of the Freehold have sought to do the same. http://www.lulu.com/content/1354917 We are now putting out our second volume of Kindertales, stories that entertain our children, bringing joy and reenforcing the role of parents as teacher to their children. These stories also teach the lore of the folk, and more importantly, the wisdom. In such a way are the spells of the folk woven to protect children. In such a way are dangers taught, are consequences revealed, and judgement learned.

You do not have to be a Skald to fulfill that role in your community. Find the stories that speak to you, and think about the lessons they hold, the truths they show. Use these stories to entertain the children, and then discuss what decision were faced, what choices made, what came of it, and why. You do not have to be Egil or Talesian, you just have to be able to read them.

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Re: The power of words.

Post by AutumnalTone on Tue May 05, 2009 5:16 pm

Finding complete copies of the stories is a problem in the ANE (Ancient Near East). Clay tablets aren't the greatest medium for transmitting information down through the ages. Many tablets are incomplete. Many refer to other tales for which no tablet has been found. And there wasn't a strong oral tradition that kept stories alive as folk tales and such, as in other places. And no Christian monks later taking the tales and spinning them as Christian tales.

So I see a need for good translations of what we have followed by good renditions of them as children's stories. I see a need for modern poetry that visits the same themes as the ancient.

Yeah, I see a need to harness the power of words to serve us as spiritual beings.

I expect, if there are no Canaanite role models equivalent to bards and skalds and such, that such roles will arise. I've yet to delve into the Canaanite priesthood, so I'm uncertain as to what different roles were involved.
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