Frequently Asked Questions

Spiral triskelion (formed from mathematical Archimedean spirals), occasionally used as a Christian Trinitarian symbol

Have questions about the Order's training?

You might be looking for answers to some questions that other students may have asked! Here are some of the Order’s most frequently asked questions and answers.

Do I have to take the course in the sequence of Bard to Ovate to Druid?

Yes! You start with the foundations of Druid practice at the Bardic level, then progress on to studying at the Ovate level, and then finally the Druid level. Training in each of these involves 12 monthly mailings or online modules, but you can take as long as you like to complete each one. The cost of the Ovate and Druid courses is roughly the same as the cost of the Bardic course.


Do I have to complete the Bardic course in a year?

Not at all. Many members find a year is sufficient time for them to follow the course, but many also take longer – 18 months to two years or more. There is no pressure to complete the course, and each student is encouraged to follow the course at their own pace.


Is there a lot of course work – will I be able to manage?

Although we do send you a lot of material, we believe you will find it easy to work with. Over the years we have received so much feedback from members saying the course feels like ‘coming home’ and has changed their lives. They find the Gwersi simple and yet at the same time profound and inspiring. Even with a busy life, most people find the time to work with all the materials. What’s more, your mentor is always available to help you. You do not need to write essays to follow the course – it is not a conventional ‘correspondence course’.


How can I become a Druid in such a short time when the classical authors said it took nearly twenty years to become a Druid?

In ancient times it took nineteen years to become a Druid, but that way of training included many subjects that we learn today at school. Nineteen years is also a symbolic length of time: it represents a Metonic cycle: a calculation of the time between two almost identical eclipses, and a calculation which also succeeded in uniting the solar and lunar calendars. And so, nineteen years symbolises the time it might take for someone to unite the sun and moon, the spiritual Masculine and the Feminine, within their being.

Today it still takes a long time to achieve this union in the depths of our souls, and the study of Druidry is a lifetime pursuit for many. But we no longer need to train for nineteen years before we can call ourselves a Druid. In fact, the term Druid denotes, for many, the type of spirituality they follow. And as for training, we have found that most members taking the course reach the Druid level of training in about three years, although it is possible to achieve this in just over two years.


Where do the teachings that make up the course come from?

Many people believe that the teachings of the Druids were lost with the coming of Christianity, and that we couldn’t possibly be teaching authentic Druid wisdom. But we believe that we are. The teachings given in the course are derived from five strands:

The first, and most important, comes – surprisingly to many – from very far back in time, and almost certainly to the teachings of the Druids before the coming of Christianity. We believe these teachings were entrusted to future generations by being encoded in certain ancient stories. Within these stories we can find embedded entire programmes of Druidic training, which form the core of the teachings that we present in the training of the Order. In addition to this material, we draw on the wisdom of the Druidic triads, which were recorded by Christian clerics, but which reflect much of the wisdom of their pre-Christian ancestors.

The second strand has its source in the much later period of the Druid Revival, which began over three hundred years ago, at the end of the seventeenth century. Our Order traces its lineage to this period, and from this source of teachings we have inherited certain ritual forms and teachings. Some of these we have discarded as inappropriate for the modern age, but others have been kept, not only for their beauty and relevance, but because they too might well derive from earlier sources or draw their inspiration from them.

The third strand comes from a more recent time, about sixty years ago, when the previous Chief of the Order, Philip Ross Nichols, together with a group of fellow members of the Ancient Druid Order, formed The Order of Bards, Ovates & Druids, still honouring its connections through the Ancient Druid Order back to its founding in the time of the Druid Revival, but taking the decision to incorporate more study of Celtic source material, and to include a celebration of the four Celtic fire festivals. Ross Nichols was a friend of Gerald Gardner, the founder of the modern Wicca movement, and the evidence of the intellectual cross-fertilisation that occurred between them can now be seen in both Wiccan and Druid teachings. Nichols edited Gardner’s first book on Wicca and contributed material to his second book.

The fourth strand comes from the contribution of the recent Chief of the Order, Philip Carr-Gomm. After training with Ross Nichols, and having trained in psychology and psychotherapy, (in particular Jungian analytical therapy and Psychosynthesis) Philip was asked to lead the Order in 1988. In June 2020 he handed on the role to Eimear Burke from Ireland.

The fifth strand comes from the contributions of many contemporary scholars and specialists in Druidry and Celtic spirituality, who have offered their insights and writings to the world, and in some cases specifically to the Order, to help build a body of teachings that are truly relevant and helpful to students of Druidry in the modern world. Their contributions are referenced in detail in the bibliographies and indexes provided at each stage in the Order’s training.


Is the course suitable for me if I have had mental health issues?

Many people go through difficult times in their life, and the course can be very helpful and supportive at such times. But you should not join if you have been diagnosed as suffering from schizophrenia or a psychotic condition. The reason for this is that while much of the training material can be instructive and helpful to anyone, the course does offer meditations, visualisations and rituals that are designed to ‘open people up’ to their unconscious states and potentially other levels of perception. For those who haven’t suffered from such a condition this process can be helpful, but if you have, these exercises have the potential to be counterproductive. If the training was undertaken in a face-to-face situation the exercises could be paced and adjusted to suit the individual, but since the course is administered from a distance, such adjustment and monitoring isn’t possible.

Although the distance-learning programme is not suitable if you have had these challenges, Druidry can still be followed as a spiritual way/philosophy/religion by making use of the many resources available on the web and in books. It is important to note that this policy refers only and specifically to a diagnosis of schizophrenia or a psychotic condition. We have found that members who have received other diagnoses can benefit from the course. If you are thinking of joining, but are not sure if it is for you, just email us at


Can a friend or partner join with me?

Yes – Adding a companion is a cost-effective way to allow a friend or family member at the same address to join and share your course materials with you for a one-off registration fee.

Your registered companion will be a full member of the Order, will be entitled to their own mentor, and will be able to progress through the Grades, provided they fulfil the criteria as laid out in the course.

If you are studying through the online version, a separate individual login will be provided for your companion.

To registering your companion, can be done as part of the enrolment process. Please select “Add course companion” when completing the enrol form. Or after enrolment, you can contact us directly at:

Studying the course remains individual and personal to each person, so whilst sharing use of the material (Gwersi) is permitted, please note that no additional course material is sent out.

As a course companion you will also have access to purchase (at additional cost) individual extra materials (e.g., ceremony booklets etc.) should you choose, but if the preference is to have your own full set, then it is best to fully enrol separately.


Is there an age limit for the course?

To join the Order and take the course you must be at least 18 years of age. In exceptional circumstances we can accept enrolments from students who are 16 or 17, but their enrolment must be accompanied by permission from a parent or guardian confirming that they are happy for them to be taking the course. We appreciate that many younger people would like to take the course, but we have found that the material presented simply cannot be assimilated by those under 16.


How do I access the online course?

Once you have successfully joined, you will be sent a confirmation email containing your log-in details to access both the online community of the Druid Hearth and the online learning area, if you have enrolled in the online version of the training.

The Druid Hearth and online course requires an internet connection and will work with all current Microsoft Windows and Apple Macintosh systems, as well as all current tablet and mobile devices. Some content is downloadable for offline access, whilst other resources such as audio is streamed.


How long do I have access to the online course?

If you choose to take the course online, and have fully paid, you will be entitled to unlimited lifetime access for as long as you like – across any and all devices you own.


What if I am unhappy with my membership or the course?

If you feel it isn’t right for you or if you are unsatisfied, please contact us within the first 30 days of your membership and we will give you a full refund.


Any more questions?

We are happy to answer any further questions you may have – just email