How to Tell Druids Apart

August 13, 2014 at 5:52 am 9 comments

OBOD Druid Approach: There is no historical information about X. Therefore- Make Stuff Up! Ley lines! King Arthur! Stonehenge!

Reformed Druids of North America: Nature is Good! Mandatory chapel is bad! And beer is really good!

ADF Druid Approach: Screw you, RDNA. There is real historical informational about X. We can be real Druids! And oooh Indo-European studies- even more info! Hail Dumezil! I mean…Dagda!

Celtic Reconstructionist Approach:  

Traditional/Conservative Branch of CR: There is no historical info about X Therefore, don’t do anything! Or if you do, don’t tell anyone about it! Oh wait there’s a new journal article that says….

Liberal/Innovative Branch of CR: There is no historical info about X. Therefore, look at a neighboring culture and see how they do it, then adapt it to a Celtic culture. Ooh, here’s a journal article about shamanism in the Amazon…

Trad/Con- But that’s cultural appropriation! And eclecticism! 

Gaelic Traditionalist/Sinnesreachd: We don’t need to reconstruct anything. We are True Authentic Gaels. Those Celtic Recons are just a bunch of hippies with fancy-book-learning. Look at my new gun! I put Celtic knotwork on it! 


Entry filed under: Celtic/Druid. Tags: , , , .

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9 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Wytchfawn  |  August 13, 2014 at 9:34 am

    Where is OBOD? 😉

    • 2. caelesti  |  August 13, 2014 at 6:07 pm

      OBOD is Revival Druidry, as is AODA (Ancient Order of Druids in America)

  • 3. Léithin Cluan/Naomi  |  August 13, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    Heh. This is funny, if not actually true 😉 I think, based on this, that I may be liberal/innovative CR. 😀 Although ‘revival’ vs ‘reformed’ druidry really doesn’t work in Britain.

    • 4. caelesti  |  August 13, 2014 at 6:14 pm

      Yes, I posted it on ADF Facebook group and it was a hit, I just added a little more about the CRs. It was written with love, though it does show a little of my irritation for more conservative types. Reformed Druidry (RDNA) is a group that was founded in Northfield MN at Carleton College because at the time they required everyone to attend a church- they just didn’t specify which one. Isaac Bonewits was a member, and he later founded ADF. But you might’ve already known that. Honestly I’ve mostly seen the term “Revival Druidry” used by AODA, which is American. I think I will just change it to OBOD- though I do have more respect for them than that section implies!

      • 5. Léithin Cluan/Naomi  |  August 13, 2014 at 7:01 pm

        Yes, I know the history of RDNA and ADF in that sense. Interesting that that article was a hit on the ADF lists. Mine on appropriation of Celtic culture was mostly trashed there. 😛

      • 6. caelesti  |  August 13, 2014 at 8:35 pm

        I haven’t been keeping up with the e-lists, I just posted it on ADF’s Facebook, and possibly another druid group, too many of them to keep straight! I imagine there are a lot of folks in ADF who haven’t interacted much with British & European pagans/druids/polytheists and don’t have much understanding of the status of living Celtic cultures. To them it’s just something that exists in books, unfortunately. I’d recommend writing an article for Oak Leaves about modern Irish culture, it might be a better way to educate folks. (When you have time- I know you’re busy!)

      • 7. Léithin Cluan/Naomi  |  August 13, 2014 at 8:56 pm

        Very short on time at the moment, but maybe in the future!

  • 8. Nornoriel Lokason  |  August 13, 2014 at 10:57 pm


    I’m an AODA member (I have lifetime membership) but haven’t done anything within the order since getting my First Degree. I have some mixed feelings on revival Druidry which would take awhile to unpack. I don’t eschew the label but it’s not one of the ones I reach for right out the gate when explaining what I am/do to people, it’s influenced me but I’ve also moved on a bit.

    Btw you have been nominated for an award (

    • 9. caelesti  |  August 13, 2014 at 11:09 pm

      Yes, I just noticed that thank you! I totally understand how there can be labels that technically you fall under but using them as a self-identifier is misleading. One of the things I like about Druids is that they tend to be pretty ecumenical, many of us belong to multiple Druid orgs, or other Pagan/spiritual ones. The AODA people seem pretty nice, and they are good for getting a grounding in nature spirituality in particular.


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