Make sure you are in agreement with its values. These values include: “Membership of the Order is open to followers of all faiths and none, regardless of gender, sexual orientation or ethnic origin. This statement reflects the values we consider central to our philosophy: of tolerance and inclusiveness that completely rejects expressions of racism, fascism and homophobia.” (From OBOD’s ‘About the Order‘)
Be 18 years of age or older, although students from the age of 16 can be accepted with a supporting letter from a parent/guardian.
Make sure you read the Membership FAQs, which include answers to questions such as “Is the course suitable if I have had mental health issues?” This FAQ answer includes – “But you should not enrol on the course if you have been diagnosed as suffering from schizophrenia or a psychotic condition. The reason for this is that while much of the course 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 counter-productive.” (From “Join the Order and Train in Druidry” in the FAQs at the bottom of the page).
You receive your lessons (in print mailed to you from the UK, or accessed online- Bard level only), Touchstone magazine (emailed), and related materials over the first year of either the Bard, Ovate, or Druid grade self-study course. You can request access for a course mentor (required if you decide to complete a grade), and have access to members-only online forums.
No. OBOD is not a college, technical school, or church. Upon completion of all three grades you will receive an attractive document suitable for framing that certifies that you have been “elected a full member in the Druid grade” of OBOD.
There is a Chosen Chief. In turn the Chief chooses their Pendragon and Scribe (who both help to administer the course). They jointly coordinate the work of the four part time office staff and about 8 known OBOD HQ (those who work directly on behalf of the main office) volunteers. The Order also has a Patroness who helps to raise funds for special projects.
The previous Chief Philip Carr-Gomm, chose our current Chief Eimear Burke who took over in June 2020 for a seven year term.
[Note: historically, the title ‘Chosen Chief’ came from our parent Ancient Druid Order, where the Senior Grade of the order had an election to chose a Chief, who then chose his Pendragon, and Scribe. Philip Carr-Gomm was asked by a few remaining members to revive OBOD thirteen years after our founder Ross Nichols died. See Philip Carr-Gomm’s The Order as a Five Dimensional Network‘ for more information.]
US members regularly ask about member representation, formal means of suggesting change or volunteering, or other features of US “membership organizations”. This does not apply to OBOD, which is a mystery school. Our previous Chief Philip Carr-Gomm described ‘The Order as a Five Dimensional Network‘ without the strictures of modern organizations. He suggests for instance, that members contact anyone in the OBOD HQ organization to volunteer. (Do please be aware that they have the big picture, and know few of us outside of the UK, so may decline your offer. For the types of local volunteer activities available, see the ‘OBOD Local & Overseas’ section below.)
With approximately 10,000-12,000 members in the US there are currently about 85 groups. While this represents maybe 40% of all OBOD groups across the world, this means our groups tend to be spread out here and most members are solitary. Go here for more information on groups.