Awen is a Welsh word for "(poetic) inspiration". In the Welsh tradition, awen is the inspiration of the poet bards; or, in its personification, Awen is the inspirational muse of creative artists in general: the inspired individual (often, but not limited to being, a poet or a soothsayer) is described as an awenydd. Emma Restall Orr, founder and former head of The Druid Network, defines awen as `flowing spirit' and says that `Spirit energy in flow is the essence of life'.
|“||Awen is the wisdom, truth and most of all the inspiration, Awen is Nature, the universal power behind life, yet it is never born and shall never die. Awen is a force or energy forged from an indivisible source that is the power behind the physical and non-physical or spirit forms Existence, and distinction between the natural and the super-natural becomes meaningless, as both are the personification of Awen. Every link which is a part of nature, be it a man, animal, plant or elemental force, each holds its own little piece and together make up the whole chain which is Awen. Awen is the spirit of Druid itself, it is knowing, sensing and feeling it in your essence and true being, it is the freedom to accept ones nature.||”|
It appears in the third stanza of Hen Wlad fy Nhadau.
Awen derives from the Indo-European root *-uel, meaning 'to blow', and has the same root as the Welsh word awel meaning 'breeze'. There is a parallel word to 'awen' in Irish, ai, also meaning "poetic inspiration" which derives from the same ancient root.
In some forms of Neo-Druidism the term is symbolized by an emblem showing three straight lines that spread apart as they move downward, drawn within a circle or a series of circles of varying thickness, often with a dot, or point, atop each line. The symbol was invented by Iolo Morganwg and adopted by some Neo-Druids.
The Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids (OBOD) describe the three lines as rays emanating from three points of light, with those points representing the triple aspect of deity and, also, the points at which the sun rises on the equinoxes and solstices - known as the Triad of the Sunrises. The emblem as used by the OBOD is surrounded by three circles representing the three circles of creation.
Various Neo-Druidic groups and individuals have their own interpretation of the Awen. The three lines relate to earth, sea and air; body, mind and spirit; or love, wisdom and truth. It is also said that the Awen stands for not simply inspiration, but for inspiration of truth; without Awen one cannot proclaim truth. The three foundations of Awen are the understanding of truth, the love of truth, and the maintaining of truth.
See also 
- Emma Restall Orr. Living Druidry. (Piatkus Books, 2004).
- Nexus, The Kingdom of the Winds, http://www.nexustk.com (May 2013).
- The NexusTK Druids, Awen, https://sites.google.com/site/nexusdruids/tomes-of-the-earth/awen (Oct 2005).
- Jarman, A.O.H. Jarman (ed.), A guide to Welsh literature', Vol. 1, chapter 1, by Lewis. Also Calvert-Watkins 'Indo-European metrics and archaic Irish verse', or P.K. Ford, 'The Celtic Poets: songs and tales from early Ireland and Wales', introduction, p. xxvii.
- Order of Bards, Ovates & Druids (2001). "Approaching The Forest: Gwers 2, Pg. 24". Oak Tree Press.
- J. Williams Ab Ithel, Ed. "The Barddas of Iolo Morganwg, Vol. I"
Kenneth Jackson, Tradition in Early Irish Prophecy, Man, Vol. 34, (May 1934), pp. 67–70.
|Look up awen in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
- Awen - "The Holy Spirit of Druidry" British Druid Order site