Voices of Modern Druidry   Leave a comment

(Image:  OBOD Beltane 2007)

(OBOD Beltane 2007)

[Updated 25 October 2016]

Druidry is a lively and growing phenomenon, so any list is by its nature incomplete. Suggestions for additions and emendations are welcome, particularly for figures and organizations in non-English-language traditions (Breton, Dutch, French, German, Spanish, etc.), who are often less well known.

Included in the roster of people below are references and links to several of the most visible and influential Druid organizations active today. They are listed together here for convenience. Visits to their websites can provide an additional and useful sense of the directions and emphases of Druidry today:

British Druid Order/BDO
Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids/OBOD
Ancient Order of Druids in America/AODA
Ár nDraíocht Féin/A Druid Fellowship/ADF
Keltria
Reformed Druids of North America/RDNA
Robert Ellison‘s subpage listing numerous other Druid organizations

  • Visit Dana’s interactive map of 250+ Druid groups in 5 countries.

DISCLAIMER

Like many things that should go without saying but which need to be stated and repeated explicitly nowadays, please use common sense and discretion when investigating or contacting any school, teaching, teacher, etc.  The inclusion of a link on this page or anywhere on this site is not an endorsement of a group, an individual or a course of training.  Follow your own judgment, needs, inner guidance and resources.

CONTENTS

Adler, Margot
Bonewits, Isaac
Carr-Gomm, Philip
Chapman, Vera
Corrigan, Ian
Ellison, Robert
Freeman, Mara
Greer, John Michael
Hopman, Ellen Evert
Hughes, Kristoffer
Hutton, Ronald
Matthews, John and Caitlin
Myers, Brendan
Nichols, Ross/Nuinn
Orr, Emma Restall/Bobcat
Pendragon, Arthur Uther
Schlotterbeck, Karl
Shallcrass, Philip/Greywolf
Smith, Dave/Damh the Bard
Stewart, R. J.
Taylor, Wren
Thomas, Kirk

/|\ /|\ /|\

Margot Adler (1946-2014) [Wikipedia entry; NPR obit page]

madlerAdler, “an American author, journalist, lecturer, Wiccan priestess and radio journalist and correspondent for National Public Radio (NPR)” according to the Wikipedia entry, while not a Druid, is cited here for her widely-read Drawing Down the Moon (1997; rev. 2006).  Its full title better conveys its range: Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America Today.

Her NPR bio page (closed after her death) noted that “Margot Adler is a NPR correspondent based in NPR’s New York Bureau. Her reports can be heard regularly on All Things ConsideredMorning Edition and Weekend Edition.  In addition to covering New York City, Adler’s reports include in-depth features exploring the interface of politics and culture.”

/|\ /|\ /|\

Isaac Bonewits (1949-2010) [Wikipedia entry; ADF page; Isaac and Phaedra’s neopagan.net page]

bonewitsBonewits was a colorful and influential author, activist and founder of the American-based Ár nDraíocht Féin: A Druid Fellowship (ADF).  The first (and only) graduate with a degree in Magic from Berkeley, he was the author of the seminal Real Magic, as well as many other books.  The ADF bio page characterizes him in part thus:  “A practicing Neopagan priest, scholar, teacher, bard, and polytheologian for over 35 years, he had coined much of the vocabulary and articulated many of the issues that have shaped the rapidly growing Neopagan community in the United States and Canada, with opinions both playful and controversial.”

/|\ /|\ /|\

Philip Carr-Gomm (1952- ) [Wikipedia entryblog]

carrgommCarr-Gomm is the current Chosen Chief of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids (OBOD). The following is from the OBOD page on Philip: “Philip Carr-Gomm lives in Sussex, England, with his wife Stephanie. From an early age Philip studied with Ross Nichols, the founder of The Order of Bards Ovates and Druids. He has a degree in psychology from University College London, and trained in psychotherapy for adults at The Institute of Psychosynthesis, and in play therapy for children with Dr Rachel Pinney. He also trained in Montessori education with the London Montessori Centre, and founded the Lewes Montessori School. In 1988 he was asked to lead The Order of Bards Ovates and Druids, and he combines his role in the Order with writing, and giving talks and workshops.”

Carr-Gomm is the author of many books, including The Book of English Magic (with Richard Heygate), The Druid Plant Oracle (with Stephanie Carr-Gomm), Druid Mysteries: Ancient Wisdom for the 21st Century (a short and readable intro to Druidry), and In the Grove of the Druids: The Druid Teachings of Ross Nichols (OBOD founder).

/|\ /|\ /|\

Vera Chapman (1898–1996) [Wikipedia entry; Pollinger page]

vera_chapmanChapman, author and founder of the Tolkien Society, served as first Pendragon of OBOD for nearly three decades.  She was also a member of the Ancient Druid Order, and the Kibbo Kift Kindred.  She began writing in her late 70s, and lived to nearly 100.

Her titles include The Green Knight (1975), King Arthur’s Daughter (1976), The King’s Damosel (1976), Judy and Julia (1977), Blaedud the Birdman (1978), The Wife of Bath (1978), Miranty and the Alchemist (1983), and The Enchantresses (1998).

/|\ /|\ /|\

Ian Corrigan [ADF biowebsite]

icorriganCorrigan, according to his Lulu bio, “has been teaching, learning, singing and playing in the American Neopagan movement since 1976. He has decades of experience in a variety of occult, pagan and magical topics. Having received his 3rd degree initiation in Celtic Traditional Wicca in the early 80s, Ian has led eclectic study groups, a traditional Wiccan coven and a Druid Grove. Ian has been well-known for decades at Pagan festivals as a bard, ritualist and teacher.

For the past 30 years Ian’s primary path has been Celtic polytheism and especially Neopagan Druidism. Ian has been a primary author and teacher in Ár nDraíocht Féin (ADF). He is a founder of Stone Creed Grove, ADF’s oldest working congregation, and served as ADF’s first Chief Liturgist and first elected Vice Archdruid.”

Corrigan is the author, among other titles, of Sacred Fire, Holy Well: A Druid’s Grimoire; The Book of Summoning: A Grammary of Pagan Spirit-Art; The Book of Nine Moons; Draiocht: A Primer of Celtic Sorcery; Toward a Pagan Mysticism.

/|\ /|\ /|\

Robert “Skip” Ellison [Wikipedia entry; personal website]

ellisonEllison is an author, former Archdruid of ADF (2001-2010), liturgist, and retired industrial electrician.  His four books are The Wheel of the Year at Muin Mound Grove ADF: A Cycle of Druid Rituals; The Divine Liver — The Art and Science of Haruspicy as Practiced by the Etruscans and Romans; The Druids’ Alphabet: What Do We Know About the Oghams?; and The Solitary Druid: Walking the Path of Wisdom and Spirit.

The Wikipedia entry notes, “He has been a frequent speaker at Neo-Pagan events including the Starwood Festival, Sirius Rising, and the Wellspring Gathering. Ellison serves on the faculty of the Grey School of Wizardry as its Instructor in Beast Mastery, Divination and Lore.”

/|\ /|\ /|\

Mara Freeman [OBOD sitewebsite]

marafreemanFreeman, says her website,  is an “author and teacher of Western esoteric wisdom and spirituality, which she has taught internationally for over thirty years. She is an initiate in the Western Mystery Tradition, an Archdruidess of the Irish Druid Clan of Dana, and Honored Bard with the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids.”

Her books include Kindling the Celtic Spirit (2001) and Grail Alchemy: Initiation through the Celtic Mystery Tradition (2013).  She has taught at Omega Institute, NY; Naropa University, CO; and the University of California in Santa Cruz.  A resident of Wales, she leads Celtic retreats and pilgrimages. She founded Avalon Mystery School, a three-year home study program, and is a qualified psychologist and astrologer.

/|\ /|\ /|\

John Michael Greer (1962-) [Wikipedia entry; AODA page]

JMGreerGreer is a writer, blogger, conservationist, hermeticist, gardener, modern reviver and archdruid emeritus of the Ancient Order of Druids in America (AODA), and founder of the Druidical Order of the Golden Dawn.  Author of over 20 books, and of the lively, influential and widely-read weekly blog, The Archdruid Report, Greer has written extensively on magic and sustainability.

Among his titles are Circles of Power: Ritual Magic in the Western TraditionInside a Magical Lodge; A World Full of Gods; The Druidry HandbookThe Long Descent: A User’s Guide to the End of the Industrial Age; The Wealth of Nature: Economics As If Survival Mattered; The Celtic Golden Dawn; The Ecotechnic Future: Envisioning a Post-Peak World; Mystery Teachings from the Living Earth: An Introduction to Spiritual Ecology; Green Wizardry; and Not the Future We Ordered: The Psychology of Peak Oil and the Myth of Eternal Progress.

/|\ /|\ /|\

Ellen Evert Hopman (1952-) [Wikipedia entry; personal website]

eehopmanHopman is an “author of both fiction and non-fiction, an herbalist, a lay homeopath, a lecturer, and a mental health counselor who lives who lives and works” in Massachusetts, according to Wikipedia.

Among her books are The Secret Medicines of Your Kitchen; Walking the World in Wonder: a Children’s Herbal; Scottish Herbs and Fairy Lore; A Druid’s Herbal for the Sacred Earth Year; and her trio of novels Priestess of the Forest, The Fire Temple, and Priestess of the Fire Temple, among other works. She is also Archdruid of the Tribe of the Oak Druid Grove, “a Celtic Reconstructionist Druid Grove that seeks to preserve and pass on the traditional ways of the ancient Celts.”

/|\ /|\ /|\

Kristoffer Hughes (1971-) [personal website]

khughesKristoffer Hughes, as his website notes, “is a native Welsh speaker, born to a Welsh family in the mountains of Snowdonia in 1971. He lives on the Island of Anglesey, Wales, the ancestral seat of the British Druids. His love of Celtic literature and traditions guided his path into the exploration and practice of Celtic paganism. He is the founder and Head of the Anglesey Druid Order and studies with the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids. In 2012 he was awarded the Mount Haemus Scholarship for original research in Druidism and related subjects. Kristoffer frequently presents workshops and lectures throughout the United Kingdom.

He has worked professionally as a Anatomical Pathology Technologist at public mortuaries throughout the UK for the past 25 years. He is a semi-professional funeral celebrant, officiator and funeral advisor, having written and officiated 25 funerals.”

Among his books are The Cauldron Born: Exploring the Magic of Welsh Legend and Lore; The Journey Into Spirit: A Pagan’s Perspective On Death, Dying and Bereavement; and Natural Druidry.

/|\ /|\ /|\

Ronald Hutton (1953-) [Wikipedia entry; U of Bristol page]
RHuttonHutton is professor of history at the University of Bristol and author of over a dozen books on British folklore, early history and Paganism. Recently elected Fellow of the British Academy, he is a frequent presenter at both academic and Pagan venues.

One critic observes: “Predictably, Hutton finds himself defending his position on two fronts. Neo-pagans, clinging to the notion that their beliefs are part of an ancient nature religion, and radical feminists upholding the idea of a primeval matriarchal society (which Hutton finds “rather delightful”), scorn Hutton’s refreshingly cheerful acceptance that there seems little evidence for either of these. And his less unbuttoned colleagues shake their heads at his optimism about Druidry and other ‘alternative spiritualities’ as valid contemporary religions.” [Hutton, Ronald (2010). “Writing the History of Witchcraft: A Personal View”. The Pomegranate: The International Journal of Pagan Studies. 12 (2): 239–262.]

/|\ /|\ /|\

John (1948-) and Caitlin (1952-) Matthews [Wikipedia entry; website]

jcmatthewsJohn and Caitlin Matthews are British authors who, according to their Wikipedia page, “have written over 150 books, translated into more than thirty languages, including Tarot packs, a card-based storytelling system, screenplays, songs and other works.”   They are also “active on the New Age workshop circuit, teaching their versions of the Celtic mysteries, Neo-Shamanism, the Goddess and King Arthur.”  Among John’s books are The Grail: Quest for the EternalThe Celtic ShamanTaliesin: Shamanism and the Bardic Mysteries in Britain and IrelandKing Arthur: From Dark Age Warrior to Mythic HeroThe Grail Seeker’s CompanionThe Wildwood TarotThe Lost Tarot of Nostradamus; and The Camelot Oracle.  

Caitlin has authored Mabon and the Mysteries of Britain: An Exploration of the Mabinogion; The Elements of the Goddess; The Elements of Celtic Tradition; Celtic Wisdom Sticks: An Ogham Oracle; Sophia, The Bride of God; Singing the Soul Back Home: Shamanic Wisdom for Every Day; The Psychic Protection Handbook: Powerful Protection for Uncertain Times; and Celtic Visions: Seership, Omens and Dreams of the Otherworld, among other titles.

/|\ /|\ /|\

Brendan Myers (1974- ) [Wikipedia entry; Homepage — About]

BMyersMyers is an author, Druid/Pagan, and professor of philosophy and humanities at CEGEP Heritage College in Quebec, Canada.  The Wikipedia entry asserts in part that Myers is “known for his contributions in environmental philosophy, Druidry and Neo-Druidism, mythology, and applied virtue ethics.”

Myers writes both non-fiction and fiction.  A selection of his titles includes Dangerous Religion: Environmental Spirituality And Its Activist Dimension (2004); The Mysteries of Druidry: Celtic Mysticism, Theory, and Practice (2006);The Other Side of Virtue: Where Our Virtues Really Came from, What They Really Mean, and Where They Might Be Taking Us (2008); Pagan Testament: The Literary Heritage of the World’s Oldest New Religion (2008); Loneliness and Revelation: A Study of the Sacred Part One (2010); Circles of Meaning, Labyrinths of Fear: The 22 Relationships of a Spiritual Life and Culture ~ And Why They Need Protection (2012); and Clear and Present Thinking: A Handbook in Logic and Rationality (2013).

/|\ /|\ /|\

Ross Nichols (1902-1975) [Wikipedia entry; OBOD page]

nichols

Nichols, also known by his Druid name, Nuinn, was a poet, educator and founder of OBOD.  The OBOD page on him notes that he was “one of the key figures in the revival of interest in Celtic Spirituality and Druidry in modern times. In 1964, Nichols, a Cambridge academic and published poet, became Chief of The Order of Bards, Ovates & Druids, and from that time, he wrote prolifically on the subjects of Druidism and Celtic mythology.

His main work, The Book of Druidry, was published in 1990, fifteen years after his death, and over twenty years later remains in print, while The Order of Bards Ovates and Druids, which he founded, is now the largest Druid organisation in the world, with many thousands of members worldwide.”

A more extensive biography may be found here.

/|\ /|\ /|\

Emma Restall Orr (1965-) [Wikipedia entry; homepage]

restallorrOrr, also known by her Druid name Bobcat, is an author and poet, and for almost a decade was joint chief of the British Druid Order with Philip Shallcrass.  She founded The Druid Network and Honouring the Ancient Dead.

Among her numerous books are Druidry: Rekindling the Sacred Fire (written with Philip Shallcrass) (2002); Living Druidry: Magical Spirituality for the Wild Soul (2004); The Apple and the Thorn (written with Bill Melnyk) (2007); Living with Honour: A Pagan Ethics (2008); and Kissing the Hag: The Dark Goddess and the Unacceptable Nature of Woman (2008).

/|\ /|\ /|\

Arthur Uther Pendragon (1954-; born John Timothy Rothwell) [Loyal Arthurian Warband page Wikipedia page]

aupendOne of the more colorful and visible figures of Modern Druidry, Pendragon is, to quote Wikipedia, an “English eco-campaigner, Neo-Druid leader, media personality, and self-declared reincarnation of King Arthur,” after a legal name change.

He is perhaps best known for his legal battles with English Heritage (custodian of such sites as Stonehenge), regarding their exclusionary policies restricting public access.  He has also contested the treatment of ancient human remains discovered near Stonehenge, petitioning the government for their respectful reburial.  Disputes about poll taxes and the right to wear his chosen regalia have also garnered headlines and in some cases brought about legal changes.

/|\ /|\ /|\

Karl Schlotterbeck [Keltria page]

KarlschlotterbeckAdapted from an older Keltria website entry: Former archdruid Karl Schlotterbeck, MA, CAS, is a longtime student of the Druid way (including the Druid grade of OBOD), a shaman, drummer, and licensed psychologist. He was elected to the Councel of Elders in 2003 and selected as Archdruid in July of 2009. Karl was reelected in 2012 for another nine-year term.

He is the author of Living Your Past LivesThe Psychology of Past-Life Regression, The Karma In Your Relationships, and Lion of Satan, Lion of God.  He lives in Minnesota with his wife, children and assorted animals.”

/|\ /|\ /|\

Philip Shallcrass (Greywolf) (1953-) [Wikipedia entry; British Druid Order page]

greywolfShallcrass founded the British Druid Order (BDO). The Wikipedia entry notes that Shallcrass, “often known by his Druid name, Greywolf, is Chief of the British Druid Order. He is an artist, writer, poet, musician and singer-songwriter who pioneered a ‘shamanic’ Druidism.”

The BDO page offers a timeline of the development of BDO principles and influences, documenting Shallcrass’s experiences with Native American and other shamanic spiritualities.

/|\ /|\ /|\

Dave Smith/Damh the Bard [website; Youtube channel]

damhDamh is a musician and the current Pendragon of OBOD. A Wikipedia user page names him as “a contemporary pagan musician whose songs celebrate Druidry, nature and pagan spirituality. Writing primarily acoustic music, Damh the Bard performs live around the United Kingdom and had released seven CDs as of 2012.”

His genial personality, stage presence and singable tunes have made him a very popular performer worldwide.  In addition, his regular Druidcast podcast features music, interviews, talks and other things both Pagan and Druidic.

/|\ /|\ /|\

R. J. (Robert John) Stewart (1949-) [Wikipedia; website]

rjstewartStewart is an author of over 40 titles, musician, magician and teacher — his influence on Druidry lies in his work in magic, particularly in the Underworld, faery and Western Hermetic traditions.

According to the biographical notes on his website, “In 1996 R.J. was admitted to the USA as ‘resident alien of extraordinary ability,’ a category awarded only to immigrants of outstanding achievement in the arts or sciences. He now lives in the Pacific North West and in Glastonbury.

R.J. has developed, and teaches, an international program, Inner Temple Traditions Inner Convocation®, exploring original techniques for spiritual growth and transformation. ITIC was founded in the 1980’s and continues in the 21st century with a core group of experienced teachers trained by R.J. and his partner Anastacia Nutt.”

/|\ /|\ /|\

Wren Taylor [Keltria page]

WrenTaylorTaylor is current Archdruid of Keltria. As the Keltria page notes, “Archdruid Wren Taylor has been active in the Neopagan community since 1979. She is an avid festival participant and conducts classes and workshops in Keltrian Druidism and related subjects. Her focus is on the disciplines of Bard, Seer and Druid. Wren served as president of the Henge from 1997 to 2003, and as vice-president from 2003 to 2009. During her tenure as president, Wren spear-headed the move to organize the Henge as a religious order. She is a Ring of the Oak member and was elected to the council of elders in 2000 and reelected in 2009. In 2015, Wren was elected archdruid. She also served as art editor and contributor to ‘Keltria Journal’ and ‘Henge Happenings.'”

/|\ /|\ /|\

Kirk Thomas [website; ADF biographical note]

KirktThomas is current Archdruid of ADF (Ár nDraíocht Féin) and a Druid priest.  As he remarks (ADF website biographical note), “One of the things that attracted me to ADF was Isaac’s [Isaac Bonewits; see listing above] vision of the future — a time when ADF congregations support their own buildings and land, their own day-care centers, their own retirement homes, etc. and become visibly active and respected parts of the community. As a public religion, we reach out to the Pagan community with our open, public rituals and activities. But we need to grow. Member services need to be streamlined and made more efficient, and our clergy need to reach out beyond their own groves to those solitaries and smaller groves whose members can never make it to an ADF festival.”

/|\ /|\ /|\

Posted 27 September 2013 by adruidway

Thanks for visiting! Comments?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: