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Starting Off

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Forums -> Neo-Druidry -> Starting Off

Starting Off
By:
Post # 1
I've been on this sight for about 3-4 years and I want to start druidry. What should I start with? And if anyone adds a comment, do you have any experience?
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Re: Starting Off
By: / Knowledgeable
Post # 2
There are lots of options and places to start. It depends on what direction you want to go. If you want a more reconstruction group based on Indo-European history you can check out A Druid Fellowship (ADF). It's $30 a year for membership and they have a year long dedication course to complete.

For a direction more on practicality and not exactly historically accurate practice, yet based on the Druid revival movement from the 1800s, the Order of Bards Ovates and Druids (OBOD) is a good option, but they are pretty expensive for those outside of the UK. They don't have a yearly due, but the initial Bardic introduction beginner course is a couple hundred dollars due to the amount study material they send you.

For a mixed approach also influenced by Golden Dawn and ceremonial magic, there is the Ancient Order of Druids in America (AODA). They also have a join fee but you can also just buy the books used for the dedication course online or at book stores. Druid Magick Handbook and The Druidry Handbook by John Michael Greer (current Archdruid for AODA) are great for an good introduction to druidry.

I am personally a member of OBOD and ADF, but I also have the required reading for AODA so I have experience with each of those three which typically are the most common druid organizations. The is also a Grove formerly known as Black Mountain Druid Order that recently had a name, website, and focus change that has a free year long Dedicant course on their new site somewhere. There are lots of smaller unaffiliated and affiliated Groves to choose from as well if you have one local to you. There are a lot of good books on druidry out there, and also some awful ones (DJ Conway for example). Keep in mind in druidry we also take pride in scholarly development in our lives and research history and folklore along with magic and ritual. If you have any question I'd be happy to answer or point you in the right direction for the answer. Hope this helps.
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Re: Starting Off
By: / Knowledgeable
Post # 3
As a side note I also want to say that I know all but one I talked about have payments for membership dues, however there are lots of free ones out there as well. I only spoke of these as they are ones I am very familiar with.
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Re: Starting Off
By:
Post # 4
Hi! Beware of ANY organizations that charge a fee right off the bat. It's understandable to pay for materials and for a membership into an organization. But just to practice and learn, join a local group. You can research on Witch Vox, or just Google and you'll find local groups. If any group charges more than an offered minimal donation to help defer costs of ritual, STAY AWAY! Many groups want you to pay for THEM to practice, stay away from them. Any Pagan group looking to capitalize off of your wanting to worship your belief or practice your Craft, I would steer clear, you're being taken. Good luck on your journey!
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Re: Starting Off
By: / Knowledgeable
Post # 5
I highly disagree with you. All of the organizations I have mentioned are reputable and in good standing. There are legitimate reasons for groups charging small member dues. In larger organizations such as the ones I have mentioned, they use membership dues to hold events or for publications.

ADF and AODA also have a waiver program for those who cannot afford $30 a year (ADF) or around $50ish (AODA) one time payment. I also did include a free option being BMDO. You also have to keep in mind that these different groves tend to be initiatory and have their own unique form of Druidry that you're not going to find much information on outside of the group.

You don't have to be on super edge straight away just because an organization charges a membership fee so long as it's reasonable as Gypsy has suggested, that is a big defamation of the character of these groups. Many of the seed groups you're going to find on WitchVox as Gypsy suggested, also tend to be affiliated with a larger Grove such as ADF, OBOD, AODA, etc. and will also require you to learn through them and pay the membership dues to actually be a part of the order. There is nothing wrong paying a reasonable amount of membership dues to help support the order you join and no one is entitled to just get any information they want for free, especially in a private order.

If they're wanting to charge you hundreds of dollars just for a membership then yes, be wary, but just because an order charges a small annual membership or a slightly larger one time payment, doesn't mean it's a scam or anything like that. As a member of 2 of the orders I listed where I have paid, the small payments have been highly worth the knowledge and resources as well as the community.
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Re: Starting Off
By: / Knowledgeable
Post # 6
Just to reiterate as well, when you join a Druid Grove/Organization, you're joining to learn their particular flavor or practice and beliefs of Druidry. It's stuff specific to that order and odds are you're not going to find it online somewhere for free. I can speak to ADF in that they have some very general stuff on their website, but to really get into the meat and potatoes of their practice, you have to be a registered member to even access those resources.

If you can't afford to join on, sure go for the free general stuff out there, however you wont be finding stuff for specific initiatory groups out there for free. AODA does have 2 published books for their dedication year that anyone can buy, however to get past that basic intro stuff, you have to join.

Keep in mind the fees you pay help keep the Grove running to be able to provide such resources via website, publications, monthly newsletters, and other activities. In ADF when you become a member, you are a vote holding member, meaning that you actually do have a say in changes or elections among different aspects of the organization. When you pay to join, you're becoming a member of that group, that community, and even family.
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