Roughly four and half (maybe more like five?) years ago I took the leap to finally begin studying with the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids. I had been practicing Druidry on my own for a bit using different books to see my way through new practices and connections. I had so many hopes for what my work with the order would be like: deeply connected to like-minded but simulating people, profoundly magical, and aligned with the land I lived on. Like with most journeys I found all that and more. It seems almost surreal to be at the “end” of that journey now.
Late this summer I completed the gwersi for the Druid Grade. I wrote a review like I’ve done after each grade and sent it off to my mentor. A letter came swiftly back saying that my review was accepted and off to the office. Now I have the pleasure of starting the Druid journey all over again in a new way as I spiral ever deeper!
OK, but you are here to understand more about this final course with the order. It’s format is the same as the other courses. You pay a fee and then the order sends you a monthly packet with four gwersi, or lessons, and occasional supplemental gwersi. You also receive a monthly magazine called the Touchstone. I think there was only the paper copy not audio option at this point for the course delivery.
Since this comes up every.single.time I talk about the fees with OBOD, here’s the run down.
- The fee is significant, but not quite as much as the Bard course. I’m not noting a price here because it might change in the future.
- This fee is fair considering you are getting, essentially, a giant book of material and a monthly magazine which is all professionally printed and shipped to you, world wide. That printing/shipping costs the order money.
- They aren’t making a fortune off of you. It’s not a scam. You get what you pay for.
- You can pay the fee with a one time payment or a monthly payment plan.
- The office offers some scholarships. Contact the order for more information.
- If you don’t want to pay for the order’s materials, that’s cool. There are a hundred other ways to study Druidry and be a Druid. This is just one way.
The Druid grade is focused on united all the concepts of past course work and learning how to be of service. Druids might serve their community as teacher, judge, or peace maker. There are modern ways of doing this even if you don’t serve that way professionally. The course teaches these ways and empowers Druids to find their own way to be of service to their community.
This grade also weaves in the myths of King Arthur and the Round Table. These myths help to guide you through finding your own sovereignty. I never really connected to these myths. While the magic of the stories fascinated me, they held no real sway over me. I struggled a bit with this section of the course, but found some new ways to connect to the stories and lessons therein.
The Light-Body Exercise also comes back in this grade. A multitude of methods of exploring this exercise are given. I found this to be a delightful expansion of something that has become a regular part of my practice.
There is also a bit more of history and theology in this course. Students who like to “study” in a traditional way will enjoy these sections. Being a history-keeper is also part of what a Druid can be in our modern world.
In general this grade moves at a swifter pace. There is more content in each gwersi. The expectation is that the student has a practice and habits that enable them to study at the pace they need. Less hand holding means you can really make this course your own. I can also see how this might mean one lingers in this course for much longer.
I’ve long been an advocate for the lessons and magic the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids can offer those wishing to explore Druidry. Now that I’ve gone through all three grades I can confidently say “It’s worth it for me”. I’ve found a community I thoroughly love and teachings that have accelerated the way I connect spiritually to the land. The farm I dreamed of as a far-off fantasy when I was a Bard has magically come to me and continues to grow with a new grove of Oak trees. I don’t think I would have made the changes to my life to make this happen without the order.
Finally, thank you to all my mentors. You’ve provided inspiration and wisdom when most needed. Thank you to those who work in the office of OBOD, sending out the gwersi every month and creating the backbone to make the order work. Thank you to the leaders and teachers of the order making the magic of the order accessible to us all. This has truly been some of the most delightful years of my life!