Druid Traditions

Druids-stonehenge smlMany of our largest Druid orders originated from 3 main traditions. It can be useful to know about these perspectives when exploring groups, so here is general information on Revival, Reformed, and Neopagan orders in North America.


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.

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    Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids (OBOD) – based in Great Britain

    OBOD was founded in 1964 from members of the Ancient Druid Order. (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- for a history go here.) From the OBOD website:

    “The Order of Bards Ovates & Druids is a spiritual group dedicated to practicing, teaching, and developing Druidry as a valuable and inspiring spirituality…

    The Order is essentially a Mystery School and community, and 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 seventeen thousand members in fifty countries.”

    Training: For 20 years OBOD has offered an excellent three part training course, and a mentor will be assigned if desired. The fee for the course can be shared, and an introductory package is available.

    Resources: general Resources page, Library

    Groups info: list of those groves and seed groups (those that choose to be public)

  • Ancient Order of Druids in America (AODA) – based in the United States

    AODA received a charter from their ‘parent’ organization in England, and was founded in 1912 as the Ancient Order of Masonic Druids in America. They draw inspiration and many teachings from the Druid Revival of the 18th and 19th centuries, and describe themselves as a Druid church of nature spirituality. From their website:

    “AODA understands Druidry as a path of nature spirituality and inner transformation founded on personal experience rather than dogmatic belief. It welcomes men and women of all national origins, cultural and linguistic backgrounds, and affiliations with other Druidic and spiritual traditions. Ecological awareness and commitment to an earth-honoring lifestyle, celebration of the cycles of nature through seasonal ritual, and personal development through meditation and other spiritual exercises form the core of its work, and involvement in the arts, natural sciences, and traditional esoteric studies are among its applications and expressions.”

    Training: three degree training program. The First Degree training program has been compiled into a book titled The Druidry Handbook, by John Michael Greer.

    Resources: list of articles

    Groups info: list of groves, seed groups, and home circles (new May 2016)


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.


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.


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    REFORMED DRUIDS OF NORTH AMERICA (RDNA) – based in the United States

    Reformed Druidism was formed at Carelton College in Northfield, Minnesota in 1963 as a protest to the college’s requirement that all students attend a certain number of religious services or meetings per semester. Surprisingly, this loose knit, irreverent group spoke to a real need and in addition to their own adherents has spawned many other groups. The two basic tenets are:

    1. The object of the search for religious truth, which is a universal and a never ending search, may be found through the Earth Mother, which is Nature; but this is one way, yea, one way among many.

    2. And great is the importance, which is of a spiritual importance, of Nature, which is the Earth Mother; for it is one of the objects of Creation, and with it we do live, yea, even as we do struggle through life are we come face to face with it.

    However, most Druids can’t even remember this, much less recite them clearly, so we nowadays sometimes use a shorthand:

    1. Nature is good.
    2. Likewise, Nature is good.

    Training: no formal program- see Unofficial Welcome Pamphlet

    Resources: Reformed Druids of North America, Carleton College Grove, A Reformed Druid Anthology, and the International Druid Archives at the Carleton College Archives, The Reformed Druids (and Their Spin-Offs too!), A Druid Missal-any A Free Un-Official On-line Newsletter of some Reformed Druids

    Groups info: list of Groves

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    Ár nDraíocht Féin (ADF), based in the United States

    ADF Formed in 1981, as an offshoot of RDNA. A Neopagan organization, it focuses on Indo-European culture, and with a defined liturgy/church structure. (For information on Neopaganism go here.)

    From the ADF website:

    “The full name of our organization is Ár nDraíocht Féin: A Druid Fellowship, Inc. The first part, pronounced arn REEokht fane, is modern Irish for “Our Own Druidism” (or “Druidry” or “Magic”) and that’s what we are — an independent tradition (denomination) of Neopagan Druidism. Since many people have trouble pronouncing and spelling our Irish name, we usually just say “ADF.”

    ADF is working to combine in-depth scholarship with the inspiration of artistry and spiritual practice to create a powerful modern Paganism. We’re researching and interpreting sound modern scholarship (rather than romantic fantasies) about the ancient Indo-European Pagans — the Celts, Norse, Slavs, Balts, Greeks, Romans, Persians, Vedics, and others. Upon these cultural foundations we are working to build a religion that these ancient people would appreciate and understand yet one which has depth and power for modern people. We’re developing genuine skills in composition and presentation in the musical, dramatic, graphic, textile and other arts. We’re bringing together people trained in ritual, psychic skills and applied mythology to bring the remnants of the old ways to life. We’re creating a nonsexist, non-racist, organic, flexible and publicly available religion to practice as a way of life and to hand on to future generations.”

    Training: Dedicant Path as a prerequisite, then options of Guild, Clergy Training Program, Initiaite’s Program, and Generalist Study Program- here for info

    Resources: articles, Oak Leaves Journal

    Groups info: list of Groves and Protogroves

  • The Henge of Keltria, based in the United States

    The Henge formed in about 1986. As a spin-off of ADF they have dropped the Indo-European quest and focused specifically on reconstructing ancient Irish pan-Celtic religious beliefs. From their website (emphasis added):

    “Keltrian Druidism is a spiritual path dedicated to revering the Nature Spirits, honoring the Ancestors, and worshiping the Deities of our ancient Irish ancestors. The Henge of Keltria is a Section 501(c)(3) 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.”

    Training: study and research in 3 levels- Bard’s Path, Seer’s Path, and Druid’s Path

    Resources: Henge of Keltria Book of Ritual, by Tony Taylor (5th edition, Feb. 2016), Keltria Journal, publications page

    Groups info: Groves, study groups, +

  • Ord na Darach Gile (Order of the White Oak), based in the United States

    The Order of the White Oak formed in 1997, is recognized by some as an offshoot of RDNA. A Reconstructionist Druid organization, their beliefs and practices are based on what is known of the original faith and practices of the pagan Celts. From their webpage:

    “The Order of WhiteOak is a modern Druidic order which bases its beliefs and practices on what we know of the original faith and practices of the pagan Celts. We use historical research and poetic inspiration to build a viable tradition.”


    “The Order promotes Celtic Druidism, and is dedicated to the tradition of honouring the Deities of the Celtic realms of Ireland, Scotland, Cornwall, Wales, Isle of Man, and Brittany and Continental Europe. We also honour our heritage from our ancestors, and hold in reverence the gentle ecological balance which is Nature and the Spirits thereof.”

    Resources: reading list, list of useful links, Eolas Magazine online, Ritual Collection

    Groups info: none

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    Reformed Druids of Gaia (RDG), based in the United States

    Formed in 2006, RDG follows the basic 2 tenets of RDNA (‘Nature is good’ and ‘Nature is very good’). The Reformed Druids of Gaia is intended to be an international expression of the RDNA.

    From their website:

    “The mission of the Reformed Druids of Gaia is to invoke a web of knowledge, mythos and experience that provides a framework for reconnecting with the Earth Mother, and re-gathering her progeny through tribal collectives consecrated to responsible conservatorship and progressive cognizance within the evolving tradition of Reformed Druidism.”

    [The Order of the Mithral Star-OMS is the teaching order for the Reformed Druids of Gaia; they offer a study CD of neo-pagan druidism (The Druid Path), and ‘A Reformed Druid Anthology’ of RDNA materials.]

    Training: study CD of neo-pagan druidism –The Druid Path

    Resources: the Druid’s Egg online magazine, The Reformed Druids Bibliography of Essential Druish Knowledge

    Groups info: Groves list


  • Druid Clan of Dana (DCD) – based in Ireland

    A daughter society of the Fellowship of Isis (a Goddess based organization), the Druid Clan of Dana is a mystical tradition

    “The aim of the Druid Clan of Dana is to achieve wholeness between the idealist seekers of the Land of Immortality, and those immersed in affairs of the world. The way of the mystic, of the Danaans, is to integrate humans with nature, through ritual, music, poetry and meditation. This is the ancient way of the Irish Druids.”

    Resources: info page (includes history and training links)

    Groups info: groves list

  • Fellowship of Druidism of the Latter Age (FoDLA) -based in the US

    The Fellowship of Druidism of the Latter Age is an American Neopagan organization. (However, it is not an off-shoot of the RDNA above.) From the FoDLA website:

    “FoDLA is a fellowship of American polytheistic Pagans following the path of Draíocht Nua or Neo-Druidism.

    The fellowship is organized as a church, after the Internal Revenue Code’s use of the word, and is not dogmatic, but limits its membership to American polytheist Neopagans who seek to follow the central spiritual values of traditional pre-Christian Celtic societies, best exemplified by the figure of the ancient Druid. These include, most particularly:

    A commitment to study: To honor the past and the path that has shaped us

    A commitment to piety: To honor the gods and spirits that guide us

    A commitment to hospitality: To honor the community and the Land it shares”

    Resources: resources page

    Groups info: groups and clergy list

Publication Info

This Druid Groups page was originally published on 8-6-2009.

Revisions include:

April 2016- added more groups and links