Poetic Ways: Cultivating the Practice of Filidecht

Learn about the bardic art of filidecht — an ancient Irish role and practice that includes poetry, prophecy, extemporaneous song, and much more — and the tools you can use practice the bardic arts on your own.


July 8 – October 14, 2015

Course at a Glance

  • Instructor: Dr. P. Sufenas Virius Lupus
  • Bimonthly Lecture Meetings with Dr. P. Sufenas Virius Lupus via Zoom
  • Online Course via Zoom and Moodle
  • 15 weeks of study; 2-6 hours/week


$175 – $275 sliding scale up front or $45-$70 each month. People who purchase the course at full price help us offer the course at a lower rate for people who otherwise could not afford the course.

Monthly Fili Course Payment Options

Sliding Scale Payment Options

Course Overview
Poetry was intimately woven into the fabric of ancient and medieval Ireland. While bards have inflamed the modern mind with their talents, it was the fili who were masters of the bardic arts — and so much more. Fili practiced the art of filidecht, which is both a social role and a divinely-inspired spiritual practice that included extemporaneous song, poetry, and prophecy, memorizing the genealogies of kings and clans, acting as ambassadors across Ireland. They served important social, judicial, genealogical and religious roles. Join us as we immerse ourselves in the art and practice of filidecht. We will learn about filidecht as an identity, inextricable from the performance of the activities associated with it. History will be delved into and we will develop an understanding of the immense body of knowledge and years of training that went into shaping a fili and their work. As a class and as individuals, we will learn the basic fili poetic arts and share our work with the each other.

Course Syllabus

Weeks 1 & 2: What is Filidecht?
Weeks 3 & 4: The Nature of the Sources
Weeks 5 & 6: Bards, Ovates, and Druids; Fili, Fáith, and Druí
Weeks 7 & 8: The Three Things Required of a Poet—Imbas Forosnai
Weeks 9 & 10: The Three Things Required of a Poet—Dichetal do Chennaib
Weeks 11 & 12: The Three Things Required of a Poet—Teinm Laedo
Weeks 13 & 14: Thinking in Threes—Triads and Filidecht
Weeks 15: Some Final Considerations and Directions for Further Study

Course Format

The course consists of bimonthly lectures, personal reflection, and poetic assignments that you’ll need to post/upload to the Moodle classroom.

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