Do it. Call yourself a Bard. Or take the other names that appeal to you but seem too big to even try on. Poet, author, Druid, Priestess, healer, oracle, mystic… There are a lot of powerful words out there that can be used to describe who a person is and what they are doing.
Of course there are far too many people who take titles they don’t really deserve. You’ve probably run into that. You may well be afraid of looking like that if you claim the names for yourself. That might not just be a spiritual path issue. That might be about identifying as disabled, or queer, or neurodivergent while a little voice in your head says ‘yeah, but you’re not really queer enough, are you?’ Pick up the name or the label you need and there are reasons to fear someone else will tell you that you aren’t entitled to those words.
Try them on for size anyway. Test how they sit in your mouth. Explore the ways in which you might understand yourself on your own terms.
Too many of us are taught to make ourselves small and not to make a fuss. Too many of us experience being invalidated and not being allowed to express who we are and what’s going on for us. Some of us have family and cultural backgrounds that treat difference as shameful. We may need to reclaim the truth of who we are, and the acceptability of who we are.
On the inside, some of us are still a small child who was told to shut up and sit down and stop being so attention seeking. Some of us were told that our aspirations were foolish and unrealistic. I see enough people around singing activities who were wounded by being told that they could not sing by people who had no idea what they were talking about.
If you’re on the bard path, call yourself a bard even if you only do that in your own head.
Call yourself a bard when you’re waiting to go out onto the stage, say it to yourself because you are the one person who needs to hear it.
You don’t have to be small. You don’t even have to be sensible. Call yourself a bard to honour the most preposterous parts of yourself. Use the word to reclaim all the not-sensible bits of you that don’t fit neatly into the demands of a dying capitalist society. Call other people bards, too. Call them heroes and goddesses and miracle workers if you can. Call the people around you visionaries and marvels, call them courageous and generous and mighty. Tell people they are powerful and remarkable. Tell them they are valid, and support the ways in which they want to express who they are.
Use your bard skills to lift people out of their feelings of ordinariness and insignificance. Tell people who they really are and tell them how greatly they matter.