Druid and Magical Orders

On this page are listed a few of the many druidical and magical orders and groups one can find around the world. Magery is a general term used for the practice of influencing material, emotional, mental, and spiritual reality through action taken on the higher planes of being. Different mages define this science and art in various ways. Druidry is simply the word used by modern druids for druidecht, which in ancient Celtic cultures was their word for "magic" or magery. As a type of magery, druidry varies depending on the group, but usually draws upon what is known and guessed about the ancient bards, gates, and druids.

Western magery until the 20th century mostly drew upon Middle Eastern magic, and especially the tradition or Kabbalah of the Jews. To this was often added Tarot and the information unearthed about ancient Egyptian priestly magic. Druidry, though it began to be revived as early as the 18th century, did not really become a school of magical or spiritual practice until the mid 20th century. Its foundation is in seasonal ceremonies designed to attune practitioners and their community to the cycles of light, darkness, growth, decay, and rebirth.

Druidry in its modern form developed closely alongside Wicca, or modern witchcraft. Each may be thought of as a religion, a spiritual path, a philosophy of life, or a school of magery. There are many Wiccan branches and groups. I have given a link here to Witchvox, the Witch's Voice, were there is copious information on many groups.

DRUID ORDERS AND GROUPS

Druids today come in three flavors: Chocolate, Raspberry, and Jalapeño. I like to think of these three categories of druids as the philosophical druids, the religious druids, and the political druids. In any given organization you are likely to find all three, but each group will tend to be defined with a leaning in one of these three directions. The philosophical druids are exemplified by my own order, the OBOD, which takes Druidry to be either philosophy or religion, as you wish. A philosophical stance places the emphasis on personal experience and the testing of one's ideas against those of others and against the rigors of logic. It emphasizes ethics and understanding one's rational and emotional relationship to the land, spirit, and mystery.

Religious druids usually refer to what they do as Druidism, a religious faith which involves beliefs and devotions. Often this means belief in the existence of superhuman beings - the gods and goddesses -- though these are defined and listed and personified in many ways and with many names taken from numerous cultures. ADF exemplifies this religious approach. The Henge of Keltria is another group that sees druids essentially as Celtic priests keeping the flame of the Old Religion of polytheism. By contrast, philosophical druids tend to put the emphasis on Nature more than deities and worship or sacrifices.

Third are the political druids. A lot of druids take part in political action to save natural places, prevent pollution and global warming, and to protect sacred places or ancient monuments. In Britain especially certain orders were founded precisely in order to preserve and protect the rights of modern pagans to meet and perform rituals at old sacred sites such as Stonehenge, Avebury, and Glastonbury Tor. For these groups, Druidry is about heritage and countering a dominant imperial culture that does not respect the ancient ways and peoples of the Earth.


The Order of Bards, Ovates & Druids (OBOD).


The Order of Bards Ovates & Druids is a spiritual group dedicated to practising, teaching, and developing Druidry as a valuable and inspiring spirituality. The Order was founded by Ross Nichols and a group of members of The Ancient Druid Order, including the writer Vera Chapman. The Ancient Druid Order developed during the early years of the last century out of the Druid Revival which began about three hundred years ago. The ADO traces its origins to 1717. The term ‘order’ is derived from the tradition of magical orders rather than from the tradition of religious orders. Neither the Order nor Druidry is a cult. A cult revolves around a personality, a charismatic leader, or a particular deity or saint. The Order and Druidry have none of these characteristics. Membership of the Order is open to followers of all faiths and none, regardless of gender, sexual orientation or ethnic origin, and there are currently over eight thousand members in fifty countries.

Ar n'Draiocht Féin - A Druid Fellowship (ADF

).
The Irish words, pronounced "arn ree-ocht fane", mean "Our Own Druidism", and that's just what ADF is - a completely independent tradition of Neopagan Druidism. Like our sisters and brothers in the other Neopagan movements, we're polytheistic Nature worshipers, attempting to revive the best aspects of the Paleopagan faiths of our ancestors within a modern scientific, artistic, ecological, and holistic context. Like our predecessors and namesakes the Druids, we're people who believe in excellence - physically, intellectually, artistically, and spiritually.

The Henge of Keltria

.
Keltrian Druidism is a spiritual path dedicated to revering the Nature Spirits, honoring the Ancestors, and worshipping the Deities of our ancient Irish ancestors. The Henge of Keltria is a nonprofit religious corporation dedicated to providing information, training, and networking to those who practice or who are interested in Keltrian Druidism, Druidism in general, and the evolution of mind, body, and spirit through a Celtic Irish context.

Druids of the Mists

.
A Minneapolis-based Keltrian druid grove. Druids of the Mists is a nonprofit religious organization dedicated to providing spiritual and religious community for those who follow the druid path, training, and information. The Mists of Stone Forest Grove, a member Grove of Druids of the Mists, is located in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The Reformed Druids of North America.


The RDNA is the oldest and largest Druid organization native to the United States, but perhaps the least well organized. We began in 1963 as a protest against coerced religious attendance at Carleton College in MN. The RDNA is known for it's lack of dogma, a loose hierarchy, eclectic traditions, a wry sense of humor, well archived numerous publications, and having spawned many well-known spin-off groups.

The Ancient Order of Druids in America.


Founded in 1912 as the American branch of the Ancient and Archaeological Order of Druids, AODA is a Druid church of nature spirituality, rooted in the Druid Revival of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and offering an opportunity for modern people to experience the teachings and practices of traditional Druidry in today's world.

The British Druid Order (BDO)


Formed in 1979 as part of a personal quest to recreate a native British spirituality and is currently under the guidance of founder, Philip Shallcrass (Greywolf, aka Wolf Walks With Fire) as Chief, with Sparrowhawk taking responsibility for the BDO Office providing administration of a new membership list and coordinating a band of dedicated volunteers. The BDO works with native British tradition. 'British' is used not in a narrow political or nationalistic sense, but to evoke a time when the two islands of Ierne (Ireland) and Albion (England, Scotland and Wales) were jointly known as the Pretannic Isles, from Pretani, 'the Painted People,' our ancient spiritual and physical ancestors.

The Druid Network

.
The aim of The Druid Network is to be a source of information and inspiration about the modern Druid tradition, Druidic practice and the history of Druidry.

The Glastonbury Order of Druids.


The Glastonbury Order of Druids was first conceived in the late 60's and early 70's, and finally established in the year 1988. The Founder heads of the Order, Rollo Maughfling and Jacqueline Memory Paterson, did much to re-establish public performances of the basic elements of Pagan Pre-Christian nature based ritual, in both its Lunar and Solar phases, at Glastonbury, Stonehenge and Avebury.

The Insular Order of Druids.


The Insular Order of Druids came into being because of the British government's prohibition on worship or celebration at Stonehenge between 1985 and 1999.


Druidic Dawn
is an online community for druids of all orders and persuasion. There are forums, a knowledge base, and a superb publication, Aontach.
Stacks Image 302
Druid Order of the White Oak
is the on-line home of the Reconstructionist Druid organization, Ord na Darach Gile and our friends. Our tripartite mission is:
  • To discuss with our peers the lessons of ancient and recent history
  • To study the Brehon Laws of Ireland, the Celtic Mythological Cycles, the Wisdom Texts and other ancient sources
  • To seek ways to apply this information to contemporary Druidic practice
Stacks Image 310

MAGICAL ORDERS IN THE HERMETIC CURRENT

Perhaps the main school of Hermetic magic in the West is the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, a 19th century group that brought together many strands of the magical arts in the West, including Kabbalah, Rosicrucianism, and the Enochian angel Magic of Dr. John Dee. It has produced a number of groups purporting to carry on the Golden Dawn degrees, practices, and magical teachings, which, confusingly, all use the same name. The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn should not be confused with the right-wing Greek political organization, Golden Dawn, that has been in the news of late. I have no experience with these various orders, so do not recommend any of them, but offer these links for your own examination.

Stacks Image 213

The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn , Inc. (HOGD)



A descendant branch of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn by adept authors Chic and S. Tabatha Cicero. Very good information about the Hermetic tradition and archives of papers by Israel Regardie. See also this Wikipedia Article on the Order.


The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn


Another incarnation of the original Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, this one headed by Frater Lux ex Septentrionis. "You will get the authentic Golden Dawn teachings of the Alpha et Omega as it was envisioned by McGregor Mathers. Move on from the Regardie printed materials and watered-down Llewellyn books to the true, original, and advanced Golden Dawn secrets of the A.O. available nowhere else, from humble Neophyte to exalted Magus and beyond in our Third Order." Training program. Interesting videos of rituals. $99 annual dues for a comprehensive online community and membership in the order.

Witchcraft

The Witches' Voice (Witchvox)
And excellent starting point to explore the many facets and branches of modern witchcraft.