Journaling the illustration of an Ueletorunoi oracle deck, my Druid and Bardic exploration for my Candidate year within AODA.
Parios – The Basics
Letter Correspondence: p/b
Role: Bardos (Bard)
Keywords: A secret, Something unknown, Best left unknown for now, Something lost, Chance, Danger, Struggle, Success through perseverance in the face of adversity, Choosing what is beneficial, Knowledge, Wisdom, Lot, Addiction, Loneliness, Stagnation.
Parios – My Interpretation
Iagis had been my favourite runos until I got to Parios. Looking back on the deck as a whole, Parios isn’t my favourite execution-wise, but I had fun with the concept and it remains a significant runos to me. When seeing the meaning, I immediately thought of Awen, which has its place in some modern Gaulish practices as Auenâ. I associate cauldrons intimately with Awen, but also rebirth, the containment of all matter, and source of knowledge. So the keywords also sang to me – loss, addiction, loneliness, stagnation – as the plight of our inner spark. As someone who finds Awen in sorrow and hiraeth, I can relate to the ups and downs of the creative process.
I chose the imagery of The Hanged Man from the Tarot de Marseille and Rider-Waite Smith deck. This represents the adversity and stagnation the bard faces in expressing his creative spark. It also marks him as one who traverses the boundaries of society in order to chase inspiration, praising friends and mocking enemies through his art. I wanted him suspended over a cauldron and so I felt this card, which is one of my favourite tarot cards, would work really well with this concept.
The bard hovering above the cauldron perilously represents sacrifice and rebirth, as seen on the Gundestrup cauldron’s ‘cauldron of rebirth’ plate. Miranda Green in The World of the Druids puts forth the idea that like their Germanic neighbours the Cimbri, Gaulish tribes may have had sacrifice rites involving buckets or cauldrons, and that the large figure is a druid. Other scholars believe it is a cauldron of rebirth scene similar to that in the Second Branch of the Mabinogi, where a god is plunging a fallen warrior into the waters so his soul may undergo transmigration.
Dobunni coin, featuring a goddess who is likely Cuda speaking
I credit the findings of Chris Rudd at Celtic Coins for inspiring the golden faces, representing the divine speaking to the bard. They are based on Celtic coins where the gods minted on the coins appear to be talking, and he delves deeper into them in his article Talking Heads.