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Author Topic: Prompt #2: Awen Symbol  (Read 12389 times)
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« Topic Start: September 20, 2008, 12:34:32 pm »

Since we're about modern practice as much as ancient, I thought we could talk about a modern symbol: the neo-druidic symbol for awen. Awen is a Welsh word/concept for truth and poetic inspiration.

  • Do you use the above symbol in your practice?
  • What does it symbolize for you?
  • If you do not use it, is there a specific reason why not?
  • More generally, how do you feel about modern symbols?
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« Reply #1: September 23, 2008, 08:05:01 pm »

It represents female genetalia, and is half of the symbol used by the 1734 tradition, to me anyway.
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« Reply #2: September 23, 2008, 09:25:36 pm »

It represents female genetalia, and is half of the symbol used by the 1734 tradition, to me anyway.

Isn't the 1734 tradition a Wiccan tradition?  What does that have to do with Celtic Polytheism?

Also, can you please point me to a source for your statement that the Awen symbol represents female genitalia?  I've never heard that before.
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« Reply #3: September 23, 2008, 10:59:42 pm »

    • Do you use the above symbol in your practice?
    • What does it symbolize for you?
    • If you do not use it, is there a specific reason why not?
    • More generally, how do you feel about modern symbols?

    1. Nope.   In fact, I don't think I've ever seen it before.   Actually, I probably have, just didn't let it sink in.

    2. As I've just seen it, nothing.   However for some reason it looks sci-fi to me.

    3. I'd say that it's cause I haven't seen it before.    Cheesy

    4. I think that if a symbol works for you, you should use it.  They're symbols, and have no intrinsic meaning or value, just that which you apply to it.

      I identify most with spiraled Triskelions(like the ones found at Newgrange, myself.
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    « Reply #4: September 23, 2008, 11:51:10 pm »

    Isn't the 1734 tradition a Wiccan tradition?  What does that have to do with Celtic Polytheism?

    Also, can you please point me to a source for your statement that the Awen symbol represents female genitalia?  I've never heard that before.


    I believe 1734 is one of several groups (inspired by Robert Cochrane, I think) that considers itself Traditional Initiatory Witchcraft.  They often take exception to being linked with Wicca.

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    « Reply #5: September 24, 2008, 12:47:46 am »

    I believe 1734 is one of several groups (inspired by Robert Cochrane, I think) that considers itself Traditional Initiatory Witchcraft.  They often take exception to being linked with Wicca.
    Yep, it's one of the Cochranist TIW trads.  Several of its lines, though, have adopted quite a bit of Wiccan material, and some consider the word "Wicca" to apply to them - the Cochranists, and 1734 in particular, are quite definitely religious Witchcraft (which not all TIW are).  That's often pretty much in the sense of "all surviving traditions of the Old Religion of Witchcraft can call themselves by the old name" so it's dependent on that doubtful history; otherwise, it's much the same broad usage as in "Eclectic Wicca", where "Wicca" is simply a word for religious Witchcraft based in or derived from the folklore of Britain.

    The closest thing I could find to a 1734-related usage of a symbol that the Awen might look like half of is here - the second one is a Tarot card (Wands, and I think the six though it's not easy to make out - I'm not recalling what deck that is but I feel like I should know); the first one doesn't appear anywhere else on that site, nor did I see it in a quick look at any other 1734-related site in my links, so I'd hesitate to identify it as a 1734 symbol; it could be decorative and/or personal.

    Gloriana, do you have any links or other references that would elaborate/clarify?

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    « Reply #6: September 24, 2008, 01:12:24 pm »

    I've never seen this symbol before either so I don't use it obviously.
    It reminds me of the symbol used in a Baldur's Gate game to represent heavenly strength (and other tempory abilities).
    It's a nice symbol but it makes me think of RPG so I wouldn't use it (besides I played a better druid than a cleric in that game :-)). Symbols are useful for some people I don't use them.
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    « Reply #7: September 24, 2008, 01:25:47 pm »


    Darkwhisperdale, please remember to use the quote function - even if it's in response to the first post.  Thank you.

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    « Reply #8: September 24, 2008, 02:14:02 pm »

    Also, can you please point me to a source for your statement that the Awen symbol represents female genitalia?  I've never heard that before.

    And I definatly don't see this.

    Besides this, I've seen the symbol in different places, but it's on the back of the Celtic Animal Oracle Cards I have. So that's probably the first place I've noticed it at all.
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    « Reply #9: September 25, 2008, 01:17:43 am »

    Yep, it's one of the Cochranist TIW trads.  Several of its lines, though, have adopted quite a bit of Wiccan material, and some consider the word "Wicca" to apply to them - the Cochranists, and 1734 in particular, are quite definitely religious Witchcraft (which not all TIW are).  That's often pretty much in the sense of "all surviving traditions of the Old Religion of Witchcraft can call themselves by the old name" so it's dependent on that doubtful history; otherwise, it's much the same broad usage as in "Eclectic Wicca", where "Wicca" is simply a word for religious Witchcraft based in or derived from the folklore of Britain.

    The closest thing I could find to a 1734-related usage of a symbol that the Awen might look like half of is here - the second one is a Tarot card (Wands, and I think the six though it's not easy to make out - I'm not recalling what deck that is but I feel like I should know); the first one doesn't appear anywhere else on that site, nor did I see it in a quick look at any other 1734-related site in my links, so I'd hesitate to identify it as a 1734 symbol; it could be decorative and/or personal.

    Gloriana, do you have any links or other references that would elaborate/clarify?

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    The correspondence between joe wilson and Robert cochrane (aka Roy Bowers). http://www.cyberwitch.com/bowers/

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    « Reply #10: September 25, 2008, 05:59:24 am »

    Yup Smiley

    The correspondence between joe wilson and Robert cochrane (aka Roy Bowers). http://www.cyberwitch.com/bowers/
    Ah, I didn't dig deep enough - thanks.

    As is pretty usual with Cochrane, he doesn't really explain it very well.  I'm not sure to what extent it is/was a trad symbol per se or something Cochrane used as a more personal sigil, except that (IMO) it can be identified with the "witches' foot" mentioned by Doreen Valiente (I think in Witchcraft for Tomorrow, and/or The ABCs of Witchcraft, and possibly other places; I don't recall for certain) as resembling the peace symbol, which she describes simply as "a witch symbol", not as something specific to any trad/line of witchcraft.

    I'm being a bit pedantic here, I think because I read "the symbol used by the 1734 tradition" to imply "used to symbolize the tradition", which may not have been your intent (a matter of definite vs indefinite article:  "the symbol" suggests a prominence/precedence that "a symbol" wouldn't).

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    « Reply #11: October 06, 2008, 11:32:13 am »

      • What does it symbolize for you?
      • If you do not use it, is there a specific reason why not?
      • More generally, how do you feel about modern symbols?

      When I think of the word "Awen", I think of a bird bath.  I saw an exercise on the internet a few years ago in which the person would circle a bird bath chanting "Awen" nine times.  I don't remember why now, but at the time, it seemed like a cool idea. 

      Modern symbols are kinda weird at first and you have to get used to them.  I think they're fine, after all, how do ancient symbols become ancient, if not they weren't modern at one point? 
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      « Reply #12: October 09, 2008, 08:39:08 pm »

      • Do you use the above symbol in your practice?
      • What does it symbolize for you?
      • If you do not use it, is there a specific reason why not?
      • More generally, how do you feel about modern symbols?

      I've seen it before, with my (limited) work with Ar nDraiocht Fein (accents deliberately omitted... I don't feel like hunting for the keys...)

      I don't have an immediate resonance with the symbol, but it could symbolize the Earth/Sky/Sea triad that's so prevalent in Celtic mythology. Looking at your definition, I can see that it might show the flow of creativity between us and the gods. The gods being the dots... wash creativity down to us (the light stripes) and we in turn feed it back to them (the black lines that almost look like arrows pointing upwards to the dots).

      I don't use the symbol in my practice because it just doesn't resonate with me on a basic level the way the pentacle or the triskele does. But I have no particular issue with creating modern symbols to illustrate our neoPagan ways. After all, someone created the older symbols (whether it was a single point creation or a slowly evolving group work, it was still created by people at some point.)

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      « Reply #13: October 21, 2008, 08:02:00 pm »

      Since we're about modern practice as much as ancient, I thought we could talk about a modern symbol: the neo-druidic symbol for awen. Awen is a Welsh word/concept for truth and poetic inspiration.

      • Do you use the above symbol in your practice?
      • What does it symbolize for you?
      • If you do not use it, is there a specific reason why not?
      • More generally, how do you feel about modern symbols?

      I don't use this symbol in my practice, but I know that OBOD (Order of Bards, Ovates, & Druids) uses it, http://www.druidry.org/.  I'm not involved with that organization, but since that's the first place I remember seeing it, I always think of them when I do.
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      « Reply #14: October 21, 2008, 09:01:25 pm »

        • Do you use the above symbol in your practice?
        • What does it symbolize for you?
        • If you do not use it, is there a specific reason why not?
        • More generally, how do you feel about modern symbols?

        Hi.  I'm new.

        1 - Yes, I do, in a number of forms (I normally omit the three rings, and often the dots, depending on context)

        2 - Um, stream of consciousness here...

        • The three rays can symbolize blessings flowing from the Gods, the Spirits, and the Ancestors (symbolized by the three dots)
        • As above, but with the three dots symbolizing the Fire, the Well, and the Tree (I'm not a member, but I've been influenced by ADF)
        • The three rays can symbolize the shadow cast by a gnomon at sunrise/noon/sunset or solstice/equinox/solstice, and thus the importance of cycles
        • The three rays remind me of the light that filters through the branches to the forest floor - reminding me of the importance of both shadow and light
        • The three rays remind me of the fingers of a river delta, creating new land from the matter absorbed earlier in the river's flow - which I find apt for a revival/recon/rekindling sort of path

        I could go on, but I'd hate to bore you too much with my first post.

        3 - Well, N/A in my case.  Since it appears to have originated with Iolo and his Barddas, I think it's understandable that some would avoid it.

        4 - If it's meaningful, then I have no problem at all with a modern symbol.  If done well, I think that creating modern symbols is a good way of honoring those that came before - sort of bringing their inspiration and influence to fruition.

        /|\Rivertree
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