A Druid Group Comparison Table

A Druid Group Comparison Table

This is a comparison of some of the larger Druid groups in North America (with information taken from each group’s own website). Group origins, culture used in worship, festivals and other aspects are covered, with specific links provided for further information.

While this page is regularly updated the information here is simplified, so go to the organization webpages to do more research. If any group representative has better data, please feel free to contact me.

Origins

Movement: Druid Revival1

Parent order: The Druid Order (started in 1717 in the UK)

Founded: 1964

Basic Beliefs

Church or Initiatory Order: Initiatory Order

Divinity: Monotheist, polytheist, pantheist +

Culture of worship: Celtic lore for some training, otherwise none specified

Practice

Liturgy: No

Rituals: Book of Ritual

Festivals: Eightfold cycle4

Structure

Congregations: Groves & Seed Groups; 58 public groups in North America

Administration: UK based; Chosen Chief, Pendragon, & Scribe; tutors, bards, +

Ordaining of Clergy: No

Main Organization Tax Exempt: N/A

Membership: 17,000 (~1/2 in US)

Membership type: Course/ Membership for each grade

Study Program: Training Program

Contact

www.druidry.org

Druid Magazine (E-zine) – first issue Beltane 2015

Origins

Movement: Reformed Druidism3

Parent order: N/A

Founded: 1963

Basic Beliefs

Church or initiatory order: not defined

Divinity: Monotheist, polytheist, pantheist+ ; see Two Basic Tenets

Culture of worship: N/A

Practice

Liturgy: No (Reformed Druid Anthology)

Rituals: N/A

Festivals: optional Wheel of the Year4

Structure

Congregations: Autonomous Groves; approx. 23 in North America & on the Internet

Administration: USA based; no oversight or national organization

Ordaining of Clergy: N/A

Main Organization Tax Exempt: N/A

Membership: ~4,500+

Membership type: N/A

Study Program: N/A

Contact

rdna.info/ (unofficial site)

Druid Inquirer E-zine

Origins

Movement: Neopagan2

Parent order: Reformed Druids of North America

Founded: ~1983

Basic Beliefs

Church or Initiatory Order: Church with initiatory current

Divinity: Pagan Polytheistic

Culture of worship: Indo-European only (Celtic, Germanic, Lithuanian, Polish, Greek+)

Practice

Liturgy: Yes- Standard Liturgy

Rituals: Order of Ritual

Festivals: Wheel of the Year4

Structure

Congregations: Chartered groves & protogroves; 75 in North America

Administration: USA based; elected Archdruid & Mother Grove (Board of Directors)

Ordaining of Clergy: Yes- 3 level clergy training program

Main Organization Tax Exempt: Yes- 501(c)3

Membership: ~1,350 (April 2014)

Membership type: Annual

Study Program: Dedicant Program

Origins

Movement: Reformed Druidism3

Parent orderOrder of the Mithril Star (an RDNA offshoot)

Founded: 2006

Basic Beliefs

Church or Initiatory Order: not a Church or Initiatory Order

Divinity: not defined (often pantheist) – see the Two Tenets

Culture of worship: none

Practice

Liturgy: No

Rituals: No

Festivals: Wheel of the Year4

Structure

Congregations: Autonomous Chartered Groves & Proto-Groves; 13 in North America

Administration: USA based, Archdruid, Nemeton of Dalon ap Landu

Ordaining of Clergy: Yes

Main Organization Tax Exempt: No

Membership: 1,285 (3-2016)

Membership type: One Time Initiation

Study Program: Druid Path CD

Contact

reformed-druids.org/

Druids Egg E-zine (not currently published)

Footnotes

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. Essays on the start of the Revival can be found at OBOD and 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- Reformed Druidism: starting in 1963 as a protest against coerced religious attendance at Carelton College in Minnesota, students explored world faiths and personal paths. Reformed Druidry emerged, and is known for a lack of dogma, loose hierarchy, eclectic traditions, a wry sense of humor, and spawning many other groups. The term ‘reformed’ is used to recognize that members no longer take part in the alleged abuses of the ancient Druids. (Recognizing that everyone in antiquity participated in practices that are not accepted today.) Go to the  RDNA archive site for their FAQs on the Reform.

 

4- 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.

Personal Note

It turns out that I have been a member of all of the Druid orders in this new table at one point or another.

Publication Info

This Druid Group Comparison Table was originally published on 7-7-2011.

Revisions include:

April 2014- updates

April 2015- updates, & responsive redesign (↓columns – now uses groups with 1,000+ members)