A Druid Group Comparison Table

A Druid Group Comparison Table

In Druid feature, Druidry by Dana Wiyninger

A Druid Group Comparison Table A project in my head since about 2004, here is a comparison of some popular Druid groups in the US. Information is taken from each group’s own website and is now current to August 2011 April 2014. Group origins, culture used in worship, festivals and other aspects are covered, with specific links provided for further information.

 

If any group representative has better data to update the table, please feel free to contact me.

 

 Group ADF Ár nDraíocht Féin : A Druid Fellowship, Inc. AODA Ancient Order of Druids in America Henge of Keltria OBOD   Order of Bards Ovates and Druids RDG Reformed Druids of Gaia RDNA Reformed Druids of North America
Origin  Neopagan2 Druid Revival1 Neopagan2 Druid Revival1 Neopagan2 Neopagan2
Approx. Start date 1983 1912  (as the US branch of the Ancient  & Archaeological Order of Druids- founded 1874 in London) 1987- offshoot of ADF 1964 (split off from the Ancient Druid Order, which started in 1717) 1996 with Order of the Mithril Star, then established by itself in 2006 (both are offshoots of RDNA) 1963
Membership ~1,350 (April 2014)  770 (12-31-13)  NA 17,000 (~1/2 in US)  1,013 (3-2014)  ?
Ideology/ Spiritual Path Ideology Spiritual Path Spiritual Path, and/or Ideology Spiritual Path Spiritual Path
Church/ Initiatory Order Church w/initiatory current Initiatory Order Initiatory Initiatory Order Neither Neither
Divinity Pagan Polytheistic Agnostic, monotheistic, polytheistic, animist, + Celtic Specific Polytheistic Monotheist, polytheist, pantheist + Monotheist, polytheist, pantheist+
Culture of worship Indo-European only (Celtic, Germanic, Lithuanian, Polish, Greek+) Traditions include lore from Celtic culture- otherwise international & multicultural Celtic Irish Celtic lore for some training, otherwise none specified NA
Liturgy Yes- Standard Liturgy No An Introd. to Keltrian Druidism No No- but see their  large archives- Reformed Druid Anthology
Rituals  Order of Ritual Published in:
Greer, John Michael (2011) The Druid Grove Handbook: A Guide to Ritual in the Ancient Order of Druids in America
Book of Ritual
Festivals Wheel of the Year3 Solstices & Equinoxes Eightfold cycle3 Eightfold Cycle3 Wheel of the Year3
Moon cylces Some groves celebrate Mistletoe &  Vervain Rites Optional full moon Meditations for Peace
Congregations Chartered groves & Protogroves Chartered Groves & Study Groups Autonomous Groves;  Chartered Groves & Study Groups Groves & Seed Groups Autonomous Chartered Groves & Proto-Groves Autonomous Groves
Study Program Dedicant Program, Guilds Individual Study Program Online study info Training Program Druid Path CD
Administration USA based; elected Archdruid & Mother Grove (Board of Directors) USA based; Grand Grove of 4 Archdruids USA based; Archdruid, Council of Elders, Board of Trustees UK based; Chosen Chief ,  Pendragon, & Scribe; tutors, bards, + USA based: Archdruid, Nemeton of Dalon ap Landu USA based; no oversight
Ordaining of Clergy Yes- 3 level clergy training program Yes Yes
Main Organization is Tax Exempt Yes- 501(c)3 Yes- 501c(3)  Yes- 501(c)3  No
Membership Annual One-time lifetime membership for each degree Annual Course/ Membership  for each grade One Time Initiation
Website www.adf.org www.aoda.org http://keltria.org/index.html www.druidry.org http://rdg.mithrilstar.org/ Unofficial site: http://rdna.info/

1- Druid Revival: starting in the mid 1600’s people in Britain – and a little later on, in several other countries – turned to what little was known about the ancient Druids as a source of inspiration and a basis for a new spirituality founded on nature and personal experience. This was the start of the ‘Druid Revival’. It is inspired by the accounts of ancient Druids, and draws on the work of historical researchers, folklorists, and early literature. One essay on the start of the Revival can be found at AODA.

2- Neopagan:  a term that distinguishes the historical Pagans of ancient cultures and the adherents of modern (c1960’s on) pagan movements. Neopagans tend  to emphasize pantheism or nature-worship, or have revived  or reconstructed aspects of historical polytheism.  For more interpretations or definitions of this term go to Wikipedia, and ADF.

3- Eightfold Cycle or Wheel of the Year:  the eight seasonal festivals consist of the solstices and equinoxes – four moments during the year which are dictated by the relationship between the Earth and Sun – and the four ‘cross-quarter’ festivals which are not determined astronomically, but are related to the traditional pastoral calendar.

 

Notes:

In the interest of disclosure I am currently a member of AODA, OBOD, RDG, and RDNA and a past member of ADF. Most of my interactions with other druids (in decreasing order) has been with OBOD, AODA, ADF & RDG. I’d love to hear from Henge of Keltria or RDNA folk to flesh out their portions of the table. And a shout out to Mike at his RDNA info website for his similar ‘Different Types of Druidic Organizations‘ chart. (I came up with my table and then checked it against his. He gives his very educated take on the group organizations, humor, etc and his chart is worth looking at.)