Absolute truth speaks in silence, and none can fail to heed it’s voice.
The Bards kept a history not only of their people, but of language itself, and song extending back into what we would call prehistoric time. Perhaps to no surprise, their history parallels what science now says of language development in the brain.
They speak of a time when nothing knew what it was, so the world would change forms freely, and there was no peace for humanity. Then they spoke of the original spirit speaker. A God among the people who spoke and by speaking revealed not only the form but the way of those things in the world, and humanity came to receive many gifts of this first speaker. The list isn’t relevant to the Bard magick really, but how this parallels science is simple. Children come to see the world as friendly to the degree their parents have spoken words about it to them. The dog is friendly when mommy speaks of doggie and leads the little one to pet it. The child then says doggie and can grow to be quite fond of them, only to be worried again when they first see a kitty.
Back to Bard magick. Eventually the things that found their forms would come to dance and speak with each other. This is the beginning of what we might call the age of myth, and most of Bard lore speaks of this age. The characters of their stories gave an intuitive way to understand the world. Why the wolf hunts the deer but moves away from man, and why a solitary man too far from the village might come to harm by those same wolves. In this era, there was no death of the spirit so no loss of meaning, and those who heard the story songs prospered. They were even inspired to invention. In science, this equates to the school age period where children broaden their vocabulary and their social skills.
Inventing weapons to fend off the wolf? Exactly. The Bards description of the ways of wolf is what let the villagers figure out how to convince wolf not to attack them, which was often just as simple as wave a torch at them.
Now in the early age, adults didn’t go beyond this stage. They didn’t need to, and people of one village would mostly just stay there and live with their extended families. Their class, if you will, is why the Bards were so mysterious. The villagers could not fathom what would call the Bard to wander the woods.
Eventually the villagers began to farm. They had the guidance of the Druid order in this, as the Druids in their isolation were almost entirely focused on the ways of the earth mother and came to understand that man could make the fruit of the land rise with their own efforts and the blessing of nature. The Bards themselves would never take up farming naturally, though the Druids would garden.
As the villages grew larger, the people would come to seek trade. With that, the Bards would come to understand the way of humanity with itself, and would sing not only of the ancestors but of foreign people as well. Cautioning the villagers against thieves and dishonest traders, as well as making observations of the consequences of the various attitudes of the people which aren’t any different today. This philosophical stage was the coming of age of the Bards people, and the Sages known as Druids would grow to need to intervene, much like a school headmaster.
Unfortunately, as foreigners from distant lands would come to take the land of the Bards by force, the discipline of the Druids would not last. Those conquered by the Romans would no longer heed the Druids warnings as their new masters would pay them to do as they were told. The people would come to be fat and lazy. This was the adulthood of the Bards people. The Ovates eventually ceased their guidance of the people as the Roman oracles became the authority by virtue of wealth, and the Druids would disappear from public view entirely. The last to go and the least concealed tradition was the Bards. Their mystical pursuits would come to inform the later poets of the renaissance, and the mysteries of the arts and theatre had their roots in the Bardic traditions. Shakespeare would not have been far removed from the Bards. The Bard order having become troupes of performers, artist guilds really.
Shakespeare is our most famous Bard and he did favour writing about spirits and witches. And though not officially a Bard, yes he still was. This is why his plays have so much magical symbolism in them.
Eventually Rome would fall. In part because of the Bards and their preservation of intuition in the face of Roman culture, and science. Science having been imported from the middle east. But mostly Rome fell due to the activity of the Warlocks. Those, who though they swore allegiance to Rome and thus the state church, would come to see the weakness of their ways, and in using their power and the might of their warriors, burn the Roman capital to the ground. But that would be a different class and a different form of magick.
This is both the history and the magick of the Bards in a general sense, and like any art it’s hard to speak of specifics without looking at specific parts of life.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.