Druids do it in threes

It’s hardly a new joke, but you can usually raise a snicker – even in ritual – by mentioning how Druids like to do things three times. It comes up a lot around ritual repetition. Three is enough times that by the third time, enough people will say the thing confidently. It’s not so many repetitions that it starts to feel silly or meaningless.

On the history side we have the Welsh triads – clever groupings of things into threes in ways that are easy to remember. Which is about as much detail as I feel moved to go into on that aspect! There is also the lure of the three drops of inspiration from the cauldron of Cerridwen.

Threes, and multiples of threes create rather satisfying shapes and forms. Triskels, the awen symbol itself, three is enough of something to make clear that you really meant it, without it getting tedious.

I’m interested in the way that stories can be told in three beats. It’s something I’ve poked about in with little cartoon strips. You have to strip an idea to its essentials to convey it in three beats, and that can be revealing and interesting as a process. Three beats to tell a joke also works well. 

Over on instagram, walls display images three at a time. I like to put my pictures up so that they group in threes – there’s something decidedly satisfying about it. I like the process of working out how to tell a small, visual story in three beats. When I’m working on a craft project, I have to think along the way about which stages of development I want to share. For bigger projects, there are often revisits, sometimes with weeks in between them. For craft, I want to show the story of developing a piece, three beats at a time. Sometimes I share the development of art in the same way. Three images from a walk, or from an event to try and capture something.

Frames can be really helpful for shaping work. Often, the challenge created by the frame itself contributes to the richness. Creativity without boundaries can be messy and ineffective. I like the structure of sonnets, the restrictions of short stories and flash fiction, the limitations inherent in comics pages. I like the necessity of keeping blog posts short and focused. I like the way posting trios to Instagram requires me to structure my ideas.

Me on Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/nimuebrown/ 

About Nimue Brown

Druid, author, dreamer, folk enthusiast, parent, polyamourous animist, ant-fash, anti-capitalist, bisexual steampunk. Drinker of coffee, maker of puddings. Exploring life as a Pagan, seeking good and meaningful ways to be, struggling with mental health issues and worried about many things. View all posts by Nimue Brown

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