The terms “awen” or “imbas” aren’t often used in our community; most of us simply say inspiration. Inspiration is regularly called upon in our Grove rites, and as part of our opening liturgy after we honour the Earth Mother and the Hearth Goddess. We do not call upon inspiration directly, instead petitioning those beings who more regularly access it. We call upon these beings in our rites to aid us in sweet speech, that our sacrifices may be more pleasing to the gods and spirits:
Bards of old, and those gods and goddesses who grant us the power of imbas, allow our words to flow with honeyed sweetness. May the fires of inspiration burn within us, not only for this time, but whenever we call upon it.
I haven’t done much original writing recently; even this post series is a challenge to get through. I haven’t felt the power of inspiration in a long time. Some people live and breathe it, but for me it comes in bursts when the gods have something to say about our practices and rites. When I am writing a rite, it comes as a sort of synthesis — if I take in as much information related to a topic as I can, and then wait, it will come like a flash of light and I know, in that instance, what is the correct action to take.
Many people relate to Brighid as their source of inspiration, calling upon her as a poet. But as she is my hearth fire, the centre of all things, that is where her truest inspiration is found — the still centre of the world and the hearth, surrounded by the slow movement of seasons. And from those seasons and the turning of the wheel comes nourishment in food and music, so I try to feed my soul with those things, ensuring that I stay connected to the movement of things as much as I can, so I don’t miss the flash of power when it comes.