Some years ago, I began the Bardic course with the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids (OBOD) but, due to work and family and life getting in the way, never finished. The Gwersi (weekly lessons that make up the course) sat in a box in my study, gathering dust, and when I restarted my spiritual practice, I turned to ADF instead.
Now, having finished the Dedicant Path, and having realised that the religious, polytheistic Druidry of ADF isn’t quite where I belong, I decided to pick up the OBOD course again and start afresh, from the beginning, trying to approach the material with new eyes and see the course not as a series of boxes to tick but as a journey into the heart of a different Druid tradition, one that grew and flowered here in the soil of Britain.
OBOD prides itself on being open to all beliefs, saying on its website: “All members are encouraged to believe and practice only those things which they feel are true and right for themselves. There is no dogma in Druidry, which instead is characterised by the qualities of tolerance and an appreciation of diversity. For this reason people with widely differing approaches are members, from Pagans and Wiccans to Christians and Buddhists, and to those with no particular philosophy or religion.”
This approach appeals to me a lot, and I am very excited to explore this particular Druid path after some time experiencing another, equally valid but very different, form of Druidry. Over the weekend, I worked through the first two introductory Gwersi and, possibly because I had already worked with them before, felt very much like I was returning to my roots.
My approach to blogging during the OBOD course will of necessity be different. While OBOD does give you weekly “homework” it is not essay-based as ADF was, and is more experiential. Also, as an initiatory Order, the course material is members-only so I can’t blog about the contents of the Gwersi. Instead, I expect that I will use this blog more for opinions, working out ideas, free association and other things that occur to me as I go through the course and beyond.
I look forward to sharing my walk along the Druid path with you all!