What is the purpose of the Bard?
The primary purpose of the Bard is the re-engagement with a unique traditional heritage in order to help us reflect on where we are today. To ask whether myths are true is the wrong question, the question to ask is to do with their utility.
At the end of the 14th century the Florentines believed that if only they could recover the wisdom of the classical world they would have ‘gold’, a cultural gold that they could use as a source of inspiration to help them out of a difficult time in Europe. What they discovered was that Roman and Greek texts were indeed the source of inspiration for what was to become known as the Florentine and Italian Renaissance, and the time in Europe was the medieval Dark Ages.
To suggest that the engagement with ancient oral texts might be a similar source of inspiration on Irish Renaissance as it were, Renaissance mediated by Myth is perhaps somewhat ambitious and grandiose. Even though it might seem Ireland is going through, indeed has lived through a dark age.
The purpose of the Bard is not a return to a Celtic medieval and archaic world, a once golden age but rather the practical application of the oral traditions, we call it the Mythic Method, as a way of looking deeply at today. The encounter with these stories helps an individual or culture see where they are today. It gives perspective, it gives a way of seeing – ‘silver branch perception’, is what it is called in the Myths.