Gatherings for Order Members

Many members join the Order and follow the course without ever meeting other members because they prefer to be solitary (sometimes calling themselves ‘hedge-druids’) or because they live far away from other members.

Members often say they are not the ‘joining type’ but still feel drawn to join the Order because of the values it upholds and all that it offers.

Others like gathering together for friendship, support and exchange, and the Order and its members have created a whole range of ways to fulfil these aims: there are local meetings in Seed Groups and Groves, camps and gatherings, retreats and assemblies. Over the years, the OBOD community has grown to become a flourishing network all over the world, and as soon as you join, you gain access to The Druid Hearth – an amazing online gathering space with special-interest groups, discussion forums, live streaming events, a Directory of Groups, a library of magazines, the ability to private message your mentor and friends, and much more.

Seed Groups and Groves

Members and friends meet together in Seed Groups and Groves, and across the world there are over 300 of these groups in the Order now.

A Seed-Group may be started by any member at any point in their studies to hold informal gatherings and seasonal celebrations. A Grove needs two members in the Order’s Druid Grade to act as facilitators, and may meet in a member’s house or garden, but more often than not they will try to meet out of doors – in a garden, forest clearing or local park. In addition to celebrating the eight seasonal festivals, they may come together to perform rites of passage when a Grove member wants to name their child, or when members marry or die. Some Groves will also meet regularly aside from these special times. And at these Grove meetings there may be initiations of new members, ceremonies enacted or teachings explored. More often than not the meeting will become a social gathering – with impromptu story-telling and music-making, and with everyone bringing food and drink to share.

Groves can be made up of just a few members, or may number thirty or more, and although certain members will take responsibility for organising aspects of the grove’s activities, no one person acts like a priest or priestess.

You can access a full directory of all the Order’s Seed-Groups and Groves, Events and Gatherings when you join. You will find the directory in The Druid Hearth.

Workshops, Retreats, Talks and Events

Members can announce their workshops, retreats, talks, or other events in the Events section of The Druid Hearth.

The Order has arranged retreats on the isle of Iona, in Scotland, in Snowdonia in Wales, in Devon, and at Compton Dundon and Chalice Well in Glastonbury. We offer two workshops several times a year in ritual and meditation skills, and in The Druid Hearth we offer a free online workshop for members who would like to develop their skills in giving workshops and talks, and in running retreats.

Moots, Gatherings, Camps & Conferences

Groups of members organise regular moots in local pubs, and camps, conferences and gatherings. In Britain, two big gatherings are held each year  in or near Glastonbury around the time of the solstices. We hold rituals on Glastonbury Tor, in Chalice Well Gardens and at Stonehenge. We have grove meetings, lectures, a buffet supper, live music and a party.

In Australia members have been holding annual assemblies each Spring for many years. In New Zealand an annual camp is held near Wellington in February. In the Netherlands and Germany camps and gatherings are held regularly, and in France we often hold retreats in the magical forest of Broceliande in Brittany or in Bourgogne.

The course is now also available in Portuguese and Italian, and events are also held in Italy and Portugal.

There are camps in Britain, and individual groves sometimes organise retreats or camps for grove members and friends.