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Share the Awen



In Welsh, the word "Awen" means inspiration or essence. To Druids Awen is the source of divine spiritual and artistic inspiration. We connect to Awen through nature and spiritual practice, and from Awen creative works flow.

The Druids of Northern Roots Grove invite you to experience Awen during “An Afternoon with the Bards of Paganicon.” This will be an Open Mic event where Bards and others can share poetry, stories, and music. We will meet in the cozy surroundings of the Fireplace Lounge from 12:00 pm to 03:00 pm on Saturday, March 23rd. All are welcome to share their creative talents! To secure a performance spot, see the Sign Up section below.



In ancient times Bards held a sacred role as lore keepers: poets, tellers of story, singers of song. Today’s Druids still recognize the sacred nature of creativity, believing every person has an innate creative potential that can be nurtured and developed. Bardic paths taught in modern Druidry open the mind and spirit to Awen. Through Bardic works, Awen — divine artistic inspiration — flowed from the Universal life force through Nature and was made manifest in words, visual art, and music. In this way, history and traditions of the tribe were preserved and conveyed

Bardic creativity and achievement are still revered in some modern cultures, particularly those with Celtic roots. The Welsh Eisteddfod is a celebrated national festival and competition of the performing arts with ties to Bardic Druidry reaching back to the 18th century or earlier. Smaller Eisteddfoddau (plural) are held in Welsh schools, culminating in a huge, pageantry-filled yearly event. Some modern Druid orders incorporate small Eisteddfoddau into their spiritual practices and gatherings, often removing the competitive element in favor of an “all creative works invited and celebrated” approach. Join Northern Roots Grove at Paganicon's own non-competitive mini-Eisteddfod. Together we’ll enjoy a relaxing afternoon of Bardic arts and get the Awen flowing!

Your Hosts



The Druids of Northern Roots Grove are your hosts for Paganicon's Bardic Open Mic.

Northern Roots is a pan-Druid grove (group). Our focus includes studies, discussion, celebration, and worship. We hold regular meet-ups in the Twin Cities, Minnesota area. Northern Roots is not affiliated with any national/international Druid order (ADF, OBOD, etc).

Our Vision:

We are an eclectic Druid Grove dedicated to sharing Druidic inspiration, knowledge, and practices to sustain a balance of social, spiritual, and educational activities for our members.

Our Mission:

  • We welcome and draw from a variety of sources and traditions within Druidry.
  • Each member is empowered and encouraged to contribute to the Groves’ activities.
  • We maintain a safe and welcoming environment and each member is responsible for abiding by the Member Agreement.
  • We host a variety of educational meetings, rituals and social activities directed by our members’ needs and interests.
  • For more information, visit our public Facebook Discussion Group.

    Your Emcees



    Diane Rains

    Diane Rains is a Bardic grade Druid with OBOD, a member of The Sisterhood of Avalon, and a Grove Bard with Northern Roots Grove. Diane has her fingers in a lot of proverbial pies (preferably, chocolate). She is a naturalist, animal behavior specialist, luminist painter, singer, pianist, composer, children's book author, and filmmaker. She also manages the moth and wildlife sanctuary, Punchinello Prairie, that she and her husband, Stu Janis, share in western Wisconsin. A Druidic Sacred grove, Gwyfyn Coedwig (Mothwood) rings the property.



    Stu Janis

    Stu Janis is a musician of eclectic taste and rare talent, excelling in unusual instruments like hammered dulcimer, concertina, bowed psaltery, handpan, and tsimbl. He performs regularly in several bands and is popular as a choir accompanist on hammered dulcimer. Stu is also Diane's husband and a good friend to Northern Roots Grove.

    As Fae By Nature (aka Faerie Galene Meadowmoth and Stuart Willownote), Diane and Stu compose and perform educational, musical naturalist programs in libraries, nature centers, and other venues. Their programs are designed to connect children and adults to the animals and habitats of our precious Earth. Diane and Stu are also a musical duo, Neptune's Keep, with three albums and a fourth in the works.

    Diane and Stu will be assisted at Paganicon's Bardic Open Mic by a genial crew of fellow Northern Roots Grove Druids.

    How To Sign Up


    Would you like to share a piece of music, story, or poem with Paganicon attendees? Sign-up for our mini-Eisteddfod Bardic Open Mic requires three easy steps:

    If some time slots are still unfilled when Saturday arrives, we will post a paper sheet on a table in the Fireside Lounge for last minute sign up. But we strongly recommend signing up for Bardic Open Mic in advance of the con. Spots may fill up fast!


    Contact Us

    Questions? Contact the Emcees: