The Bardic Institute

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The Bardic Institute. Minneapolis, Minnesota. Dr. James Maertens, Director and Principal Writer-in-Residence.

The Bardic Institute is the business umbrella for the various enterprises of Dr. James W. Maertens. Its threefold mission is to pursue writing and research in the fields of Fantasy, Magical Philosophy, Mythology, and Druidry; to support and nurture writers, through a comprehensive writing consultancy; and to practice the craft of wandmaking. At present the Bardic institute maintains modest research facilities and a library, an herb and meditation garden, a Druid ritual circle, and a small workshop which is the home of Bard Woodcrafts, Purveyors of Fine Druid Wands.

One of the purposes of the Bardic Institute is to nurture writers in all genres through its Writing Consultancy branch. Writers working on all kinds of projects from poems to books have benefited from editorial consultations with Dr. Maertens. With over twenty years of experience as a scholar and teacher of writing and English literature, Dr. Maertens is dedicated to mentoring all practitioners of imagination.

Another enterprise of the Institute is Bard Woodcrafts, the branch which seeks to rediscover and advance the craft of wandmaking through the use of hand tools and Druidic enchantment. We aim to produce wands that are among the finest in the world and offer a complete custom design service for clients.

Bard Woodcrafts also aims to offer workshops in wandmaking and to network among fellow wandmakers worldwide. In addition to these branches, The Bardic Institute acts as host to Geal-Darach Grove, a Druid group headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Geal-Darach (White Oak) is affiliated with the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids. Together we celebrate the eight seasonal festivals and hold informal monthly meetings for discussion and fellowship. We hope to act as regular hosts for camping-gatherings of OBOD members in North America.

Druidry inspires the very name of The Bardic Institute, hearkening back to the Bards of the ancient Celts. Bardism placed special value on the written, spoken, and sung story as a fundamental need of human life. We are storytelling animals as much as we are tool-using animals. We are creatures with souls woven of images and our health as individuals and as a society depends on the rich expression of our stories, thoughts, and feelings.

The ancient Bardic Colleges of the Celts provided years of training to the bards, poets and singers who served their communities by preserving their history in all its beauty and tragedy. They provided commentary on society and individuals, particularly the qualities desirable in leaders. They let their visionary imagination run wild to express the furthest reaches of desire. We embrace the enchantment inherent in literature, poetry, drama, and music. Moreover, we embrace the Druid tradition that sees our visionary lives as inextricably linked to the natural world and other living creatures.

From: The Bardic Institute. Minneapolis, Minnesota. Dr. James Maertens, Director and Principal Writer-in-Residence