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Author Topic: Tossing up between ADF and BDO. Unsure which would be better suited to me.  (Read 5236 times)

Keri

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Quote from: Aimo;113005
For a while now, I've been considering what type of Druid organization I'd like to join. I've narrowed it down to the British Druid Order (BDO) and Ár nDraíocht Féin (ADF). The OBOD didn't appeal to me and neither did the AODA.

I'm unsure of which direction to take. What would you recommend for somebody like me? I value any advice you could give me.


I did ADF coursework towards my DP for 7 months before I dropped out because I discovered ADF just wasn't for me. The DP can be as easy or hard as you choose to make it--there's an outline of work to be done--performing 8 high days, book reviews, essays on various things like pagan holy days and nature awareness and meditation. You can put as much or little effort into as you want and ADF provides the guidelines of what your work needs to include to pass.

Personally, I found ADF too deity focused with a tend towards Iron Age religion re-constructionism at the expense of other things I care about such as environmentalism and spirituality. But a big caveat here---the experience of ADF as a member of a Grove, and ADF as a solitary practitioner, are two different universes I think. The things that eventually drove me away from ADF might not have done so had I been in a Grove and had my private practice alongside of that. The gist I got from the ADF message boards is that this is a pretty common thing--people participate in, and are accepting of the ADF way of doing things as members of their Groves, and then do whatever they please in their individual, private practices including worshipping Egyptian gods that have no place in ADF. Since I was a solitary practitioner, and increasingly out of sync with ADF, there was just no reason for me to stay.

Moving on....I joined OBOD two months ago, and BDO just a week ago. I'm doing the Bardic Courses with each and I've gained more from OBOD and BDO in the short time I've been with them than I did from ADF in 7 months. OBOD and BDO courses, so far, complement each other nicely. They are different enough to give a well rounded experience and so far, I'm glad I doing both.

For me, the OBOD course feels like a teacher transmitting knowledge and I've already learned a lot through its various exercises. The BDO course of course teaches too, but is written in a different style which feels much more personal and already has me digging into the depths of my psyche so the Druid in me can more ably emerge.

In closing...if you are looking to practice a pagan religion in the most authentic way possible, ADF is an excellent choice. If you are looking for something more spiritual, and more nature focused, then OBOD or BDO or some other avenue might be a better option.

A note on cost--when I was originally looking, I went with ADF because of the low cost. OBOD just seemed astronomically out of reach to my pocketbook. But in the end....I justified the cost by thinking of it in terms of a little less than a dollar a day and slapped it on a charge card. I did the same with BDO. I still get the shivers thinking of the debt incurred.....but I hope it ends up being money well spent. And if nothing else, I won't have to go through life wondering what I missed by not joining and studying with these two orders just because I was reluctant to spend the money. This is a one time expense for the Bardic Course and I'm a member of both forever.

Leanan Sidhe

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Quote from: Aimo;113005
For a while now, I've been considering what type of Druid organization I'd like to join. I've narrowed it down to the British Druid Order (BDO) and Ár nDraíocht Féin (ADF). The OBOD didn't appeal to me and neither did the AODA.

I'm very interested in Germanic paganism but Heathenry has never felt quite right to me for reason's I cannot explain. I'm also interested in Kemeticism. I'd like a very earth based, animistic practice. I know that my Germanic tendencies would be welcomed among the ADF but my Kemetic practices would not. The BDO however seems very earth based but draws a lot from Celtic mythology and practices (Celtic deities have never appealed to me). Not to mention the cost of their courses varies considerably, the ADF is quite cheap whilst the BDO is very expensive. There are pros and cons to both.

I'm unsure of which direction to take. What would you recommend for somebody like me? I value any advice you could give me.

As a caveat, I belong to neither order. ADF is one of the ones I seriously considered. I looked at BDO briefly and decided it wasn't for me, so it never made my short list. I did go back and look more in depth after I read your post. After that and cogitating on it for a few days, here is my two cents:

For you, I'd say, out of the two, ADF. My reasoning is follows:

At least in ADF, one of the pantheons you are interested in is acceptable to them. BDO seems pretty lenient with that stuff, but does seem heavily Celtic influenced, which you said doesn't attract you.

While ADF isn't necessarily specifically recon oriented, they are way more recon oriented than many orders, including BDO. I'm not saying that you should do a recon oriented-ish order, but -- out of the four orders you mentioned considering, three are way more towards the revival side and you said you didn't feel drawn to two of them. That leads me to believe that on the recon/revival scale you might fall more heavily to the recon side. Even if you don't most of true recon orders I'm aware of are Celtic in nature, which you said you aren't interested in.

ADF is apparently cheaper. So it's less of a financial commitment if you find it isn't for you. Also, while I honestly believe BDO is on the level, after looking around their site for a decent while, I couldn't find anything that specifically said how much it costs. That doesn't mean the information isn't there, and I could have missed it. But as a rule, I'm leery of anything (especially anything religious/spiritual) that costs money, but doesn't specifically state up front how much it costs. Like I said, I believe BDO is on the level -- but a lot of places that aren't clear and upfront with that information aren't.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2013, 04:58:46 pm by Leanan Sidhe »
"Modesty is an illusion" -- de Sade
"The call of death is a call of love. Death can be sweet if we answer it in the affirmative, if we accept it as one of the great eternal forms of life and transformation." -- Herman Hesse

Asch

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Quote from: Leanan Sidhe;114180
As a caveat, I belong to neither order. ADF is one of the ones I seriously considered. I looked at BDO briefly and decided it wasn't for me, so it never made my short list. I did go back and look more in depth after I read your post. After that and cogitating on it for a few days, here is my two cents:

For you, I'd say, out of the two, ADF. My reasoning is follows:

At least in ADF, one of the pantheons you are interested in is acceptable to them. BDO seems pretty lenient with that stuff, but does seem heavily Celtic influenced, which you said doesn't attract you.

While ADF isn't necessarily specifically recon oriented, they are way more recon oriented than many orders, including BDO. I'm not saying that you should do a recon oriented-ish order, but -- out of the four orders you mentioned considering, three are way more towards the revival side and you said you didn't feel drawn to two of them. That leads me to believe that on the recon/revival scale you might fall more heavily to the recon side. Even if you don't most of true recon orders I'm aware of are Celtic in nature, which you said you aren't interested in.

ADF is apparently cheaper. So it's less of a financial commitment if you find it isn't for you. Also, while I honestly believe BDO is on the level, after looking around their site for a decent while, I couldn't find anything that specifically said how much it costs. That doesn't mean the information isn't there, and I could have missed it. But as a rule, I'm leery of anything (especially anything religious/spiritual) that costs money, but doesn't specifically state up front how much it costs. Like I said, I believe BDO is on the level -- but a lot of places that aren't clear and upfront with that information aren't.

 
Something else to consider is solitary vs. group. If you really want to work with a group you may want to look into what's available locally and go from there. OBOD, ADF, BDO etc may not be geographically convenient. And there's no rule against double dipping your druidry!

Sophia C

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Quote from: Asch;114250
And there's no rule against double dipping your druidry!

 
Thank goodness, or I'd be in trouble. At this point I'm a member of four different orders (if you count the Druid Network). Each one has a different perspective, and I absolutely love that.
"We're all stories, in the end. Make it a good one, eh?"
- Doctor Who

Keri

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Quote from: Sophia Catherine;114254
Thank goodness, or I'd be in trouble. At this point I'm a member of four different orders (if you count the Druid Network). Each one has a different perspective, and I absolutely love that.

 
Random ramblings.....

I'll have to admit there is a part of me that would love to find just one order that fit me to a T. An order that met my every need and desire so there was zero reason to look elsewhere to fill in the gaps.

On the other hand...would that really be a good thing? To limit myself from learning and experiencing other ways as well? After all, how do I know something is not for me, or is for me, until I try it? Locking myself into one order, to the exclusion of all others, seems foolish from that perspective.

Still....hopping and bopping from one order to the next, or just sampling pieces and taking the dissected parts away from the whole.....that just doesn't feel right either. It's like building a Frankenstein monster spirituality--the head of this and the hands of that and the heart from over there....all great pieces in the original body, but they don't work so well when re-assembled off site.

All that said, I'm currently doing both the OBOD and BDO Bardic courses. I find both equally valuable. I think they complement each other. My challenge is in how to fully engage in both instead of taking a piece of OBOD and a piece of BDO and sewing them together into some kind of Druid patchwork quilt. Somehow....I want to fully engage in them both and be bi-lingual in that I can think and read and speak in each order separately so as to garner the intensity and wisdom of both without diluting either by mixing and matching parts.

Sophia C

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Quote from: Keri;114343
Still....hopping and bopping from one order to the next, or just sampling pieces and taking the dissected parts away from the whole.....that just doesn't feel right either. It's like building a Frankenstein monster spirituality--the head of this and the hands of that and the heart from over there....all great pieces in the original body, but they don't work so well when re-assembled off site.

That is not at all what I do, and it's not my experience. I belong to each order for a different reason, not just randomly to 'catch them all' or because it's cool or something. I also took some time to decide which one suited me best - as per my advice to the OP about exploring an order before committing wholeheartedly to it. It seems that ADF is becoming my primary home, because their approach works best for me - but there is exactly one ADF grove in the UK, and it's five hours' drive away from me. While I do hope to find other ADFers locally in the future, and maybe start a grove, that's likely a long way off, practically speaking. So the next question is, where to find fellowship and community (something that's really important to me)? For that reason, I've stayed in OBOD and stayed involved with my wonderful OBOD grove. But when I move away from this area (where I'm living semi-temporarily), I'll probably look for a BDO grove, if one exists locally, and at least try to move my fellowship/community in their direction, if not my studies, as their style is much more my sort of thing than OBOD. The Druid Network is more of a networking org, as its name suggests, and they've also been useful for finding local contacts and starting a study group with them.

Druidry, in my not-very-experienced opinion, is very personal. There are many ways that a person might draw on teaching from different orders. Almost no one will find that an order's ideas or practices is a perfect fit for them. And eclecticism, done well, is not a bad thing - nor is it the same as 'supermarket spirituality'.
"We're all stories, in the end. Make it a good one, eh?"
- Doctor Who

Asch

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Quote from: Sophia Catherine;114347
Druidry, in my not-very-experienced opinion, is very personal. There are many ways that a person might draw on teaching from different orders. Almost no one will find that an order's ideas or practices is a perfect fit for them. And eclecticism, done well, is not a bad thing - nor is it the same as 'supermarket spirituality'.

 
This, oh my word, THIS. :D

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