I am now done with the fully academic courses in ADF’s Initiate Program. Those that remain require several months of practice, journaling and distilling essays from the journals.
I am finding the coursework really rewarding. General Bardic Studies I reawakened my interest in writing poetry, and it has also fed my devotional work as I’ve been writing poems for the gods in the course of getting to know them. I have written for Poseidon, Demeter and Athena, and Apollon is next on the list.
Poetry awakens an alternate language of a sort. My approach, as a tool for initiating a relationship, has been to find a personal connection between my own life and the god’s nature (my love of the sea for Poseidon, my interest in justice for Athena) and then developing a metrical poem that expresses that. The deities seem to appreciate the effort, if the omens are any indication.
Historically, poetic forms have been an important aspect of every oral culture. Meter and rhyme make words more memorable, easier to pass along, easier to preserve across generations. Hymns and prayers are often in verse, so this practice is time-honored.