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Author Topic: Is Druidry Initiatory?  (Read 396 times)

Nymree

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Is Druidry Initiatory?
« on: May 19, 2020, 09:09:48 am »
So I thought to post this here because, after a few internet searches, I really couldn't find much on this.

As someone pointed out in a previous thread, 'Druidry' is a pretty broad category/grouping, with a lot of variety and difference between many of the communities within it. Because of that, I have a feeling the answer to the question of initiation will vary masssively depending on community and tradition.

This is supported by what I've found so far, where OBOD is an initiatory tradition/community, ADF is an initiatory church and BDO (according to a dm between us) prefer not to initiate their students because they don't want to exert that level of control over them - instead, they offer a self-dedication ritual as part of their distance-learning course for the student to complete on their own.

The situation is further confused when, looking over several basic-introduction type webpages, books and threads about Druidry, initiation is not mentioned to the same extent or with the same emphasis as, say, the same pages on Wiccan traditions, which is of course highly initiatory. When I looked at the Druid Network's page 'How Does One Become a Druid?', initiation is not mentioned and even when OBOD and BDO are, there isn't a whole lot of emphasis on their training courses, with the main focus being on private study and practice (which, of course, does involve looking into local groves and reading widely).

I apologise if I've got anything wrong here - I'm not a Druid myself, though I am seeking to enter the tradition, hence this thread. So, to what extent is Modern Druidry initiatory? I personally have some hesitation in signing up for OBOD and BDO training, for individual reasons. I know of a local grove, though I'm not sure as of yet how good a fit we are (I'll find out when I eventually make it to a ZOOM meeting!). I do a lot of reading, which I've found huge success with in my spiritual life and I'm now looking at the free resources listed on the Druid Network's website, which involve a few year-long courses I could take on my own.

Anyway, I'd be really interested to see what people on here think of the question. Blessings and thanks.

Sophia C

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Re: Is Druidry Initiatory?
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2020, 05:24:18 am »
As someone pointed out in a previous thread, 'Druidry' is a pretty broad category/grouping, with a lot of variety and difference between many of the communities within it. Because of that, I have a feeling the answer to the question of initiation will vary masssively depending on community and tradition.

I think you’ve essentially answered your own question. I don’t think you can ask if a whole diverse movement is initiatory. You can only ask if each tradition/order is. Druidry isn’t one tradition - it’s multiple traditions with a bit of shared history in common (sometimes not even that). You’ve already got the vast difference between revivalist and reconstructionist Druidry, with their completely different roots, and then each order has varying approaches to initiation.

I had two Druid initiations/dedications. One self-dedication to OBOD, which I don’t actually see as an initiation, since it was me, the trees and a booklet telling me roughly how to go about it. I don’t think OBOD calls it an initiation either. I did pass my Bardic grade, but IMO anyone who had read the booklets could do that. Distance and a lack of in-person teaching is always going to make it tricky for most Druid orders to initiate people.

My other, actual initiation was into a particular OBOD grove, which had its own traditions of admitting people to membership. It felt much more like a ‘real’ initiation, but it wasn’t into Druidry - only into a group.

Cat Treadwell, who is a Druid priest who belongs to no order (but trained in an informal lineage), has talked a bit about this. https://druidcat.wordpress.com/2013/01/27/modern-druidry-a-talk/ I recommend her blog generally on this subject, which she started in 2010 with this lovely post: https://druidcat.wordpress.com/2010/01/31/the-druidry-wot-i-does/

I don’t personally think you need any kind of initiation to call yourself a Druid. You can join almost any order without needing to pass anything, and there are solitary Druids who don’t even do that. You might get asked which order you belong to, and you may end up having to explain you’re a hedge Druid or solitary Druid if the answer is none. But in my experience, most Druids know how diverse the traditions are, and will accept your experience with Druidry as your own. But that’s just my opinion. Members of certain orders might expect you to be initiated into (or a member of) an order.

If you’re looking for a definitive answer to what Druidry is, I don’t think you’re going to find it. I personally tend towards Cat Treadwell’s kind of hedge Druid approach, these days (which would be far too imprecise for some Druids, but is the kind of approach shared by a lot of us fluffier revivalists): “Druidry is connection, relationship, to each other and the greater world. Responsibility for yourself and others, human and non-human, with a view to gaining a greater understanding of our place and what we are doing in this life. And while always alone, we are never truly isolated – there is always someone there. That’s a start.” (From https://druidcat.wordpress.com/2010/01/31/the-druidry-wot-i-does/ )
"We're all stories, in the end. Make it a good one, eh?"
- Doctor Who

PerditaPickle

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Re: Is Druidry Initiatory?
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2020, 08:39:46 am »


Extremely well said, in my opinion - also, thank you for the links  :)

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