Druidry has a rich tradition of storytelling – for many Bards, this ancient art is the core of their spiritual practice. Stories makes sense of who we are and of the world around us; they can teach and inspire; they are the road maps to healing; a celebration of our humanity, struggles and triumphs. Listening to a good storyteller, we are transported and through the telling, the seemingly ordinary becomes anything but – we are opened to the magic of life.
If you are seeking to develop your Bardic skills, The International School of Storytelling is a fabulous resource. It offers a wide range of Storytelling courses from short weekend workshops to longer intensives.
The School was founded by Ashley Ramsden, Sue Hollingworth and Roi Gal-Or and is based at the wonderful Emerson College in East Sussex. Ashley wrote that the idea came to him whilst sheltering from a storm in the hole at the base of an oak (which sounds like the start of a story in itself!). Crouched inside the trunk of that oak, he thought,
What if there was a place in the world to learn the art of storytelling, where people could come and find their voices and celebrate the stories from their different cultures?
Now with several tutors and guest teachers, that idea has flourished and grown. Ashley and Sue are also the authors of The Storyteller’s Way – A Sourcebook for Inspired Storytelling:
‘The Storyteller’s Way is for storytellers, coaches, teachers, leaders, parents, librarians and anyone needing a helpful storytelling resource. It contains a wealth of successful tried-and-tested methods for improving storytelling, with helpful exercises to practice skills and build confidence. The concise and engaging instructions make it a pleasure to use, with clear diagrams to ease understanding.
Contents: Starting Out and First Steps- Nuts and Bolts; the Basics and Beyond; the Senses; Rhythm and Repetition; Polarities; Temperaments; Thresholds; Dynamics; Gestures; Gazes; Relating; Silence; Levels of Language; Voice; The Deeper Current-Self Development and Storytelling; Quotes; Stories; Tips; Exercises; Examples; Resources
‘Storytellers are more than tellers of tales – they are healers, entertainers and teachers inspired by profound spiritual traditions. This requires ongoing renewal and inspiration so that stories can come alive and serve the community.’ Ashley Ramsden and Sue Hollingsworth’