At Samhain every year the Chief of the Order writes a review of the past year – to outline the events, achievements and important developments in the life of the Order and the wider world of Druidry. This practice was begun in 1993 and each review is archived here.
Annual Reviews of the Order and Druidry
"To look backward for a while is to refresh the eye, to restore it…"
Margaret Fairless Barber
When we approach with reverence, great things decide to approach us. Our real life comes to the surface and its light awakens the concealed beauty in things. When we walk on the earth with reverence, beauty will decide to trust us. The rushed heart and arrogant mind lack the gentleness and patience to enter that embrace.” ― John O'Donohue, Beauty: The Invisible Embrace
Today, far from Druidry seeming like some arcane fringe activity, our preoccupations are now centre-stage: they address the most urgent and important issue of our time: how we galvanize all of our potential – practical, creative, intellectual, and spiritual – to protect and restore the Earth...
"The community that rises out of friendship, mutual association, and inherent enthusiasm is the best community of all. There is no need to force unity. Everyone is there voluntarily and enjoys the benefits of being together. The message is clear - give and you will never be alone." An OBOD member’s quotation of an I Ching reading, from 'The Living I Ching’ by Deng Ming-Dao
"The ideas central to Druid practice, acknowledging the need for a spirituality that reverences the Earth, and honouring the turning points on the Wheel of the Year, have gained a wider acceptance than any declared affiliation to Druidism. It is likely that Druidry will always represent a minority pursuit, and small, for Druids, really is beautiful. Even so, it can still act like leaven in the wider cultural milieu, producing an impact far beyond its apparent reach." Philip Carr-Gomm, from A Legacy of Druids, edited by Ellen Evert Hopman
"Nature appealed to our hearts, when we were children, long before it appealed to our heads, let alone our pockets… Acknowledging our love for the living world does something that a library full of papers on sustainable development and ecosystem services cannot: it engages the imagination as well as the intellect. It inspires belief; and this is essential to the lasting success of any movement."
In the final analysis, Druidry isn't about orders, teachers, and books. It's about each person's experience of living nature, and if the orders and books and teachers get in the way of that, set them aside, go out beneath the open sky, and find the Druidry that works for you. Ultimately, that's what matters.
John Michael Greer
The lights dim. Dry ice clouds emerge as a drone is played over the speakers. Adrian Rooke, the Order’s Press Officer, strides on to the stage with full regalia and asks for blessings from the quarters and the Ancestors on Tim Finn’s work. A roar from the crowd and the band comes on. As Adrian leaves back-stage to join us, a huge security guard comes up to him, and says ‘Man, that touched me,’ and gestures to his heart. Druidry 21st century style.
Millions are now ready to awaken because spiritual awakening is not an option anymore, but a necessity if humanity and the planet are to survive. Everything is speeding up - the madness, the collective egoic dysfunction, as well as the arising of the new consciousness, the awakening.
We are running out of time. From the perspective of the ego, that’s bad news and will give rise to fear. From a higher perspective, the running out of time is exactly what is needed for the new consciousness to come into this world.
In September we held an event that we plan to hold every four years in the future – the Mount Haemus lectures. In a small village hall outside Oxford about 150 of us showed up to hear talks by the Mt Haemus Scholars, interspersed with music and entertainment from bards – from Claire Hamilton, Andy Letcher, Barry Patterson and Chris Park.
Our function is to establish new values, to create an overpowering sense of the sacredness of life, so that war will be unthinkable; so that when international disputes arise, even of the most grave character - when lives have been lost, when our rights have been clearly invaded - we shall not turn to [the] deliberate destruction of life as the means of settling those disputes, of avenging those deaths, of asserting those rights.
There were Assemblies in Holland and Australia too. The Dutch one sounded as fabulous as ever, and the Australian one was awesome (as they say here)! After the Assembly a good number of us stayed on for the Order’s first Healing Retreat. The Ganieda Sanctuary, near Albany in Western Australia, was the perfect setting for this – we held Druid sweathouse ceremonies, developed a Druid healing ritual, did healing meditations, brainstormed ideas for a Druid healing course, and left feeling recharged and renewed.
Today our biggest problem is that we have separated ourselves from Nature – so much that there is a risk we may not survive as a species. We need philosophies, spiritualities, ideas, that can help us get back in touch with Nature again – our spirituality must become ecological. Druidry is one such spirituality, and at first sight it might appear to be just an old curiosity, a quaint memory from the distant past. But if we take the time to look at it more closely, we will discover a treasure-chest just waiting to be opened.
At Samhuinn, on a stage in central London, two Druids stood together with two Africans. The Druid raised a sword, the Druidess a chalice. The Africans raised a spear and a calabash. The audience roared. The music began. Since then, the album has been a huge success. A year has passed, the wheel has turned again, and so much has happened in that time…
In February, members of many Orders came together to perform a ceremony designed to protect a great oak that was threatened by the building of the Newbury Bypass. Apparently the atmosphere was tremendously powerful, as over two hundred participants in the ceremony chanted the Awen, forming a circle around the great oak. Is it a coincidence that this one tree was saved from the bulldozers that tore up so many others?
"I see a new level of honesty and rigour in historical analysis, an increasing role of a psychological understanding and use of Druidry, a changing perception of Druidry’s relationship with Christianity and Paganism, a growing awareness of the importance of the Feminine in Druidry, and an emerging awareness of the connections between Druidry and Wicca."
Membership of the Order has grown steadily – there are now over 1200 members with 30 seed-groups or groves. This has meant we have been strained a little at the office to cope….answering the 7,000 letters we receive a year does mean some delay in replying unfortunately, but your interests are always our concern