Our midsummer Awen ceremony this year will be held on Sunday 19th June at 11am at The Hurlers Stone Circles, Minions, near Liskeard.
The Awen ceremony is a recent development in the life of Gorsedh Kernow and was created to allow it to return to its roots and meet in a less formal way than is the custom with the main Bardic ceremony held in early September. Previous settings for that main ceremony such as the Boscawen Un stone circle in St Buryan, the Hurlers on Bodmin Moor and the Stripple Stones at Blisland have all hosted modern Awen ceremonies.
Awen is a Celtic word meaning “inspiration”, defined by some as a `flowing spirit’, that is the essence of life sustaining essential links between people, cultural life and community. In the Gorsedh Kernow Awen ceremony the 3-rayed Awen symbol, signifying Wisdom, Truth and Love, is a catalyst for a charming and deeply moving part of the proceedings where four members of the local community are welcomed into the Bardic circle.
A hush descends as the waiting Bards come together, walking slowly and quietly as one towards the ceremonial place, turning left or right to form the circle which would welcome and receive the Grand Bard of Cornwall, the banner of Gorsedh Kernow and the special guests, without whom there would be no ceremony. The ceremony is Cornish, now enjoying a genuine revival, with words from the Old Gorseddau or Bardic Assemblies of Wales and Cornwall, followed by the Gorsedh Prayer.
The declaration of Peace moves the focus of the ceremony on to the Horn of Plenty, the Awen banner and eventually to the “centre piece” of the ceremony where two elders of the community, who have lived a full life, hand over to two children of the community the Gorsedh Kernow “Book of Life”, a piece of lime wood beautifully sculpted in the form of an open book, representing the passing of wisdom from one generation to another.
After singing “Old Land Of Our Fathers” the Bards of Gorsedh Kernow withdraw from the circle, their short ceremony completed.