How did you decide which order / fellowship / grove / circle / association / you-name-it to join?

I'm reading about AODA, OBOD, ADF, RDNA, UGC, First Circle.... the list goes on.

Which ones require a language, such as Welsh or Gaelic? (Or even Ogham)

I understand there are personal pros and cons to each "organization", but if you are a member of one or more of the aforementioned, could you please share why you joined (or considered it)? Or maybe even share why you resisted a certian one.

I care not if our beliefs are different. I'd like to hear your values. Speaking for myself, I'd prefer to avoid very religious groups, however I need not run from "organized" ones.

Note: I live outside Philadelphia. So an example of why I'm concerned about these things, is that The Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids is in England.

I appreciate it.

~Cordy (Creiddylad)

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I did not knw there was more than justy Adf?
Oh, yes. Now, I mentioned The Order for Bards, Ovates, and Druids. It's in England, but international. I'm drawn to it for it's size; it has lots of resources. However, it is expensive.
ADF has the best clergy "program" in the world.
The Ancient Order of Druids in Amercia (AODA) is nearly perfect for my chosen path, but it's small with no local groves.

This list goes on...
Trust me, I've considered it. But yeah... as soon as I get $350 (and that's just for TEXT versions), I'll likely enroll. Think the distance would make it difficult to consult mentors? I don't know how many resources they have for us silly Americans ::laughs::.
What do you use for resources with which to study? Or find a mentor/teacher...
"What do you use for resources with which to study? Or find a mentor/teacher..."

I use archeological records as definite, etymology of place names and words for more insight, and I take the tales with, not a grain of salt, but an entire bottle.

All Druids Have Been Dead for thousands of years.
I'm not gonna ask "druids" for advice, because their religion is influenced by new age writers, faux native american style, and eastern beliefs.
I thought of that, too, the "druid" title. I didn't quite care to check that little box within your profile description but that's what my options were. Since the term is loosely used on PaganSpace profiles, I thought I could use it loosely on the discussion board. I never assumed Archdruids were going to be the only ones commenting here.
I was raised with evangelical & Mennonite values. When i was 15, I started doing what I considered to be "rogue" druidry without knowing more than a few things from archaeology books from the library. I observed the solar quarters and went on rides with my mom to stare at the moon when it was full (that was HER idea, actually).

I think of my Mennonite ancestors as self-closeted druids because they lived simple earth friendly lives, and could grow anything on the worst soil and they did it better than the Ukrainians (my ancestors were German Mennonites living in what is now Ukraine).

They farmed enough wheat to make Braciaca proud, and I guard the centuries-old family recipe for zwieback buns, a cute bun that I SWEAR has magic imbued in it. They seemed pagan-phobic to the extent that they forbade Christmas trees, because that was a "heathen" custom. If they were so pagan-phobic, could they have been trying to hide aspects of themselves? (Well, probably not, but it's fun to think so.)

My mother's side of the family has always attested that they were descended from Aztec generational medicine men or witch doctors. We have no way to validate that aside from the fact that my mom and her dad experience the spirit world regularly. I used to when I was younger, moreso than I do now.

When I was living in Ireland for four months in 2004, I had the long-anticipated opportunity to visit the Newgrange ancient site, which really intensified my dedication to observation of the solstices and equinoxes and I established a new personal practice, though I was well aware that Newgrange predated the arrival of the Druids to Ireland. I would often go to alignments of standing stones, and touch them in humble and silent awe, hearing their hum and feeling their vibrations.

Only for the last two years I have been learning of many other pagan ways, looking into Wicca, Shamanism, hoodoo, pow-wow (not the native American custom, but the Pennsylvania Dutch (as in Amish, with the same roots as Mennonites!) system of "Christian" witchcraft), Asatru, and folk traditions. My partner is a Shaman, and I found it really beneficial to learn about Shamanism as well as the other diverse pagan denominations.

I finally realized that I had to figure out what flavor of Druidism I was closest to practicing, and found the RDNA. The only reasons the Reformed Druids of North America caught my attention were that I suddenly found it referenced in three unrelated buts of media, very close together, and that it is being kept quite alive today, right where it started, only about 45 minutes away from where I live.

I started reading the original short version of the ARDA, or "A Reformed Druid Anthology" which is over 800 pages written by and for the Reformed Druids. The full version today is about five times that big. They acknowledge that spiritual experiences should be balanced with mirth to keep things from feeling so grim and dire. So not only was I having bouts of laughter while reading the ARDA, but I was also realizing that the RDNA was the best match for what I sought, especially when I read Emmon Bodfish's four salutations of day and one of night. That entry of ARDA solidified my Seekership, based on a practice I had adapted after visiting Newgrange in Ireland in 2004 that was hair-raisingly similar.

I still had more work to do, especially since I was being mocked and teased by my partner the Shaman, who took one look at the RDNA and scoffed saying, "Of all the druid groups out there, you chose this one?" Apparently, the legitimacy of the group seems to come under question when it is revealed that it began as a semi-serious protest against mandatory religious service attendance on a college campus in 1963.

I took a few days to really scrutinize many modern druid groups that are still active, and made a huge grid to compare the differences and similarities between them all. In the end when I compared them as best I could, only two of the groups really appealed to me, and the RDNA appealed more.

So here I am today, a First Order Druid of the Reformed Druids of North America.
I printed the long ARDA texts when I worked on a computer lab in college. Thank you so much for sharing about the RDNA!

If the leader of the organization and all of the "Druids" within don't use the titles, "Dr. First and Lastname, Druid of the ... whatever, PhD, etc..." then you should consider moving on until you find an organization that is actually steeped in both knowledge and wisdom.  The title Druid, is like claiming to be a Black Belt... those styles which are respected world wide require training upwards of a decade to be a black belt and have rigorous training requirements; While others hand out the belts for the price of the belt, plus shipping or about $9.

Druids should be Doctors of natural sciences, at the very least, and social sciences in addition!  Everything else just pales by comparison.


Cordelia, there is no actual verifiable history of the ancient Druids. The modern organisations are often based on fiction and myth, although they suit some people's taste. If you have had a spiritual experience involving mighty Nature, or the natural world, and you seek to investigate it further perhaps with a view to developing your relationship with Nature; you are a Druid.

Just as there are Christians, who do not see other people calling themselves Christians as true Christians, there is a hodge podge of Druid organisations claiming to have the correct angle and all of the answers, unlike their competitors of course. You don't need such things, because Drudry is an action of the heart.

For purposes of further investigation I reccomend Professor Ronald Hutton's 'Blood and Mistletoe' which pretty well deals with the overwhelmingly bogus history of ancient and modern Druidry. You may also care to check out some of the free courses and lore avialable on the public pages of The Druid Network. If you are interested in obtaining a grade or the like, be assured that mighty Nature, will grade us all as She see's fit.

I can promise you that if you find a quiet spot in the countryside, ideally a woodland grove where you can relax, and consciously open your mind and heart to the natural world around you; you will learn all you will ever need to know, and much more.

Joy and Blessings

I agree wholeheartedly.
...but I do like discussion, and I have no one here with whom to do so. This was the motive for writing the post last year.
Thank you for the reply, David.


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