Druid

As I was completing my first term as an officer of Denton CUUPS, I came to the realization that I needed some formal training. I had already learned much on my own and even more from working with others in CUUPS, but I needed structure and guidance to help develop a deeper, more effective spiritual practice.

By that point I knew that Druidry was my path. Unfortunately, there were no Druid groves in the DFW area at the time (an ADF Protogrove was started in Arlington in 2008; there are still no OBOD groves in Texas). I did some research into the correspondence courses of both Ár nDraíocht Féin and the Order of Bards, Ovates & Druids, and I ran into two people who had started both courses (but neither had finished either).

OBOD looked somewhat more attractive to me, so in September 2004 I began their Bardic studies. It took 15 months for me to complete them. I began Ovate studies in January 2006 – that grade took over two years. I began the Druid grade in April 2008, and shortly after the Spring Equinox this year I completed the formal studies and the final review. Earlier this week I received this certificate proclaiming me “a full member in the Druid grade.”

What does it mean? In a literal sense, not much. It carries no power, no special privileges, no fancy titles. I’ve learned a few secrets I’m honor-bound to keep, but nothing I couldn’t have learned on my own had I been so inclined (psssstttt: there are no “occult” secrets… though there are ineffable mysteries).

In another sense, though, it means more than I can say. It represents persistence and commitment to my spiritual path. The OBOD training is nominally a three year course, but I’ve yet to meet anyone who’s finished it that quickly – I was no exception. I promised myself at the beginning that I would give each lesson the time it needed and I wouldn’t skim over anything. I kept that promise – even in the Bardic grade, where much of the material was not new to me – and I’m glad I did. Much of the training I received was provided by Life, but OBOD helped me to better understand it, accept it, and keep it in a spiritual context.

As I was getting ready to frame and hang my certificate, Cathy asked me “what now?”

Now I practice.

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About John Beckett

I’m a Druid in the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids. I’m an ordained priest in the Universal Gnostic Fellowship. I’m the Coordinating Officer of the Denton, Texas Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans. This year I’m also serving as a member of the Board of Trustees of CUUPS National. I’m a member of the Denton Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.

I write as a spiritual practice. It helps me organize my thoughts and work through ideas and concepts. It helps me evaluate my beliefs and practices against my core values and against what I know (or at least, what I think I know) to be true. It helps me interpret my experiences (religious and otherwise) in ways that are both meaningful and honest.


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