What is Neopagan Druidry?
Neopagan Druidry is a group of religions, philosophies
and ways of life, rooted in ancient soil yet reaching for the stars. We
are part of the larger Neopagan movement, one of the world's most vital
and creative new religious awakenings. Like much of that movement we are
polytheistic nature worshippers, working with the best aspects of the
Pagan religions of our predecessors within a modern scientific,
artistic, ecological and holistic context using a nondogmatic and
We call ourselves Druids, and we look to the ancient
Druids - the priests, priestesses, wise ones and magicians of the
ancient Celts - for much of our inspiration. Like them, we're people who
value excellence - physically, intellectually, artistically and
Although our name implies an inclination toward things
Celtic, we seek to understand all of the currents within the
Indo-European spectrum of religions. In addition to those who follow
Celtic ways we welcome Norse, Hellenic, Baltic, Slavic and Latin
Neopagans, and encourage each to take up the worship and magic of the
What is ADF?
The full name of our organization is Ár nDraíocht
Féin: A Druid Fellowship, Inc. The first part, pronounced arn REEokht
fane, is modern Irish for "Our Own Druidism" (or "Druidry" or "Magic")
and that's what we are - an independent tradition (denomination) of
Neopagan Druidism. Since many people have trouble pronouncing and
spelling our Irish name, we usually just say "ADF".
ADF is working to combine in-depth scholarship with
the inspiration of artistry and spiritual practice to create a powerful
modern Paganism. We're researching and interpreting sound modern
scholarship (rather than romantic fantasies) about the ancient
Indo-European Pagans - the Celts, Norse, Slavs, Balts, Greeks, Romans,
Persians, Vedics, and others. Upon these cultural foundations we are
working to build a religion that these ancient people would appreciate
and understand yet one which has depth and power for modern people.
We're working to develop genuine skills in composition and presentation
in the musical, dramatic, graphic, textile and other arts. We're
bringing together people trained in ritual, psychic skills and applied
mythology to bring the remnants of the old ways to life. We're creating
a nonsexist, non-racist, organic, flexible and publicly available
religion to practice as a way of life and to hand on to future
In our fifteen years of existence, we have succeeded
in building the foundations of this vision's reality. We have local
congregations, called groves, in many cities throughout the U.S. and
Canada. Within those groves we are designing powerful magical and
religious ceremonies to bring the blessings of the gods and goddesses to
our world. Our groves offer regular public worship of the old gods,
serving as centers of Pagan organizing in many localities. We offer our
people the full range of religious and social activities including
weddings, funerals, child blessings etc. - along with ways of enriching
We're creating a system of training for solitary
Druidic Pagans, so that those who have no grove nearby can participate
in our work, and benefit from communion with the gods and spirits. ADF
has long worked to build a solid, professional training program for
Pagan clergy. In addition we're building a system of guilds, bodies of
teachers and students devoted to traditional spiritual, physical and
artistic skills. Together we are striving to make our training system
the most complete and effective in the Pagan movement.
We're holding regional festivals to help our members
meet, study, pray and play together. We're building temples and holy
places on the land, places where the Otherworld and our common world can
draw nearer. We're actively preparing for the day when Pagan religions
will be part of the mainstream global culture.
How is ADF Organized?
ADF is a membership organization. Membership is open
to all sincere people, regardless of heritage. While we welcome the
curious, leadership in ADF is open only to those who describe Pagan
Druidry as their primary religious path. Our organization is managed by
a board of directors, known as the 'Mothergrove'. The major offices on
this board are the Archdruid, the Vice-Archdruid, the Pursewarden
(treasurer), Scribe (secretary), Preceptor (head of the study program),
Registrar (membership officer), Chronicler (publications) and Members'
Advocate (ombudsman). Our board is elected by the membership every three
years, with the Archdruid holding a nine year term.
Our Archdruid, elected in 1996, is Rev. John Adelmann,
whom we know as "Fox". He is a lifelong Pagan who has founded and
developed ADF's largest local grove. He is an ordained 3rd Circle Druid
Priest, being one of the few to complete the ADF study program through
to ordination. He brings both management skills and spiritual
inspiration to the difficult job of managing a volunteer organization
while building a religion.
Our local groves are semi-autonomous, each having it's
own local traditions, customs, and forms of our rites. At the same time,
these groves are all part of our international organization, sharing the
basic order of ritual and following the guidelines set forth by the
ADF was founded by Archdruid Emeritus Isaac Bonewits,
known in the Pagan community as the author of the classic text Real
Magic, editor, polytheologian and activist. After long serving his folk,
Isaac resigned from his post in 1996, leading to the selection of our
first elected Archdruid. Isaac's work and ideas continue to be one of
the foundations of our vision.
What You Can Do As A Member of ADF?
As a member of Our Druidry, you will be part of a
network of hundreds of others interested in Druidism. You'll receive our
quarterly magazine, Oak Leaves, filled with articles on Pagan ways,
rituals, meditations and organizational information. You'll also receive
our dedicant training program, with a simple, systematic program that
you can follow to focus and develop your spiritual life in the way of
Pagan Druidry. If you wish you may join our study program, enter one of
our guilds or participate in one of our many special interest groups.
Within the study program you can receive mentored training in the skills
of Druidry - ritual, divination, magic, bardry, healing and other arts
and sciences as time goes by.
If you are near a local grove, you can share in their
work and ritual, and in service to your community. If not, you might
consider finding a few like-minded friends and forming a grove yourself.
Our Council of Senior Druids can help to get you started.
We're looking for people who want to pitch in to build
Paganism's future, not just one person at a time, but also by building
solid institutions that can carry the work from this generation to those
following. We're looking for people who are inspired and fascinated by
the old religions, who want to make them real again in our time. We're
looking for teachers and students, newcomers and long time Pagans
looking for a home. If you are a newcomer to Paganism we can help you
build your personal spiritual work. If you have been Pagan for a while,
we hope that our vision excites you, and that you might be interested in
our unique ritual forms, our symbolic structure and the chance to work
at reconstructing the old ways as they really were, for modern people.
Becoming a Druid
Joining our organization is as simple as filling out
the membership form and returning it to us with your annual membership
donation. You will receive the ADF New Member's Guide, including our
dedicant training material, and a subscription to Oak Leaves. You will
also be entitled to vote in our elections, accumulating one vote for
every year of membership in the organization.
Becoming a Druid is an entirely different matter. The
Druids of old were the spiritual leaders of their people, the
repositories of art and science, spirit and law. Joining an organization
cannot make you a Druid, but we hope that joining our organization can
give you the resources you need to grow toward that high goal. If you do
decide to join us, we urge you to begin to put those things that you
will learn into regular practice. Building an institution takes
discipline and inspiration, as does building your own spiritual work.
We're here to help
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