Tuesday, 13 August 2019
Historical, archaeological and other scientific studies of Celtic culture and spirituality are an ever-changing field, as new discoveries frequently require us to update the scientific consensus and therefore also our own views. As modern Druids, this affects us too as we base our modern Celtic spirituality for a good part on what we know of ancient Celtic culture, history and spirituality.
This means that, occasionally, we may need to check if the contents of our courses is still up-to-date. In the light of these updates, we decided it was necessary to make some changes to the Bardic Course and the Ovate Course. The Druid Course remains unaffected. While these changes are important, we have nonetheless attempted to keep the impact on these courses to a minimum as to cause a minimum of interruption to both students and mentors.
So, what changed?
1. Both the Bardic and Ovate Courses relied heavily on the publications of Frank MacEowen, a professor who was in the meantime considered "discredited" due to historical inaccuracies, cultural appropriation and abstraction, and presenting his own thoughts as genuine ancient Celtic thoughts. We have updated the courses to correct these inaccuracies, though it doesn't mean that some of MacEowen's own thoughts can't still be useful in the context of modern Celtic spirituality, as long as they are not incorrectly represented as historical fact. This can be compared with the "Celtic Tree Calendar", which was once presented by Robert Graves as a historical fact while it was in fact largely a modern invention, though it doesn't mean the concept can't be useful to modern Druids who wish to make use of it in the context of "univerified personal gnosis".
2. Both the Bardic and Ovate Courses refer to "Danu" (or "Dana") as a "primal mother goddess", but the current consensus in historical sciences now rejects this as an invention of the Renaissance Era. The concept of the "primal mother goddess" is therefore now referred to as "Earth Mother" rather than "Danu" in the courses, along with an added explanation on how we should correctly view the ancient mother-figure of Danu in Irish mythology.
3. The Bardic and Ovate Courses refer to the Celtic cosmology of the three realms as "underworld", "middleworld" and "upperworld". In Irish mythology, which forms the fundament of these two courses, these concepts are not historically correct as the Irish Celtis did not consider these as three separate "worlds" but rather as three realms interwoven with each other in one world. This is different from how ancient Celts elsewhere in the world may have viewed it, as they were more directly influenced by Greek and Roman mythology, especially in Gaul and possibly later also in Britain when the Gauls migrated there following the Roman invasions. To avoid confusion for students in the Bardic and Ovate Courses, we have decided to keep consistency there with the Irish version of Celtic cosmology, and therefore minimized the references to the terms of "underworld", "middleworld" and "upperworld", instead referring to them as the "three realms" of Land, Sea and Sky specifically.
What does this mean for you?
We strove to keep the impact of these change to a minimum for both students and mentors. If you have completed any of these courses, or are still taking any of these courses, you do not need to re-do any of the assignments. The outline of the course, and the vast majority of its contents, has not changed and so there are practically no changes to the actual assignments.
We do, however, recommend all active students in the Bardic or Ovate Course to re-download the course Handbook, so that you are sure to use the newest version of the handbook to continue your studies. The new version of the handbook was updated in the course on July 25, so if you signed up for the Bardic Course or Ovate Course after that date, you already have the latest version.
If you purchased the printed course books of the Bardic Course and Ovate Course at our online book shop on lulu.com, you are not required to buy them again of course, as you can download the PDF of the handbook for free in the Grove of Dana online Druid college on our website. If you wish, you can continue to read the course from the book(s), but keep the above changes in mind and double-check the latest PDF version of the handbook if you are in doubt about anything.
If you purchased the Bardic Course and/or Ovate Course book in printed version from our Lulu online shop after July 25, 2019, you already have the latest version of the books. This only applies to our online webshop at lulu.com, not to third-party webshops such as Amazon or Barnes & Noble as updates there take up to 6 weeks to take effect.
You can find the printed books of the Bardic, Ovate and Druid Course, as well as the youth Bardic, Ovate and Druid Courses (of which the first two also in Dutch) in our Online Bookstore at Lulu, at this link:
If you have any questions, feel free to contact your mentor.
We would like to express our thanks to Hawkmoon for his work on updating the Bardic and Ovate Courses to reflect the latest consensus.
Monday, 29 July 2019
Due to vacation, the general & membership administration, and the webmaster departments will be unavailable between Tuesday, July 30 and Monday, August 12.
Thank you for your understanding.
Tuesday, 23 July 2019
About a month ago, we announced that the Celtic Polytheism Course was changed into a self-study course due to lack of mentors. However, this self-study course does not contain the chapters on the subject of "Seership" that were originally in the course. The reason for this is that those chapters were being reworked into a new "Seership Studies Course".
Today, we are happy to announce the launch of the new "Seership Studies Course"! The purpose of this course is to provide an introduction to the Ovates’ arts and skills. It involves studies in meditation and energy exercises, the Celtic year and its application to practice, sacred space and ritual, using the Bardic arts of story-telling for the purpose of transmitting healing wisdom, the Ovate arts of divination and lore, and the study of aspects of the Druidic world-view for the purpose of healing our world.
The Seership Studies Course is a specialisation course which comes with mentor guidance, and is only available to upgraded members. You are not required to have completed any other courses, in order to enrol in this course, although some basic understanding of the various aspects of modern Druidism is recommended.
You can enrol in this course in the usual way: go to the menu "Druid College" and then "List of Courses". In the "Course Categories" dropdown-menu, select "Specialisation Courses", and then scroll down until you find "Seership Studies Course". Click on "JOIN COURSE" on the right, fill out the application form, and follow the instructions you will receive by e-mail.
If you are interested in taking this course, but you are not an upgraded member, you can find more information about upgrading your account at this link:
We would like to express our thanks to Hawkmoon for his work on rewriting the Seership chapters into the new Seership Studies Course.
Thursday, 18 July 2019
Several years ago, we embarked on a threefold series of youth courses on Druidism. The Bardic Youth Course, which was first launched in 2006, began the story of Taliesin the Bard who takes the student on a journey of Druid wisdom and knowledge. In 2012, this story was continued in the Ovate Youth Course. Today, Taliesin's story will finally be completed with the third and final course of this trilogy: the Druid Youth Course.
The Druid Youth Course draws from the knowledge and wisdom already obtained in the previous two courses, and adds new knowledge and wisdom to it. The student becomes more familiar with the Celtic Otherworld through myths and meditations, and with the importance of the Ancestors. This course will also help the student with the practicalities of setting up his or her personal Druid Altar, and performing simple (seasonal) rituals.
The course is, as of today, available on the Grove of Dana, our Online Druid College. In addition, it is also available as printed book which can be purchased at our online bookshop:
The Druid Youth Course is available for free for all NOD members. While it is primarily aimed at a younger audience, there are no age limits for enrolling. However, the minimum age is 13 (unless the laws in your country dictate otherwise), and students younger than 13 need to provide a parental approval slip before beginning the course.
It should be noted that you can only enrol in the Druid Youth Course, if you have completed the Bardic Youth Course and Ovate Youth Course first. It is not possible to skip courses in the series of youth courses, and there is no placement exam. All these courses are also free, and also come with mentor guidance.
If you had already read the books of the Bardic and Ovate Youth courses, and you can't wait to find out how the story unfolds, you can already purchase the book from our online store. You can buy our course books without having to enrol in the course, however the course assignments are not listed in the printed books.
You can find all the books of the youth courses here:
1. BARDIC YOUTH COURSE: ENTERING THE FOREST
2. OVATE YOUTH COURSE: WALKING WITH TREES
3. DRUID YOUTH COURSE: THE ROOTS OF THE FOREST
The first two books are also available in Dutch ("Leerling van het Woud" & "Wandelen met Bomen"). The Druid Youth Course will probably become available in Dutch next year.
You can find all currently available course books at our bookshop at this link: http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/neworderofdruids
On an additional note, we would like to point out that the youth courses have recently been revised. This means that we have done some slight layout improvements and filtered out some spelling errors; the contents of the course largely remains unchanged. If you are currently enrolled in any of the youth courses, we advise to re-download your course package, to have the latest version of your course handbook. If you already had purchased the printed book, you don't need to buy it again in order to be able to take the course. This applies to the Bardic Youth Course (both English and Dutch) and the Ovate Youth Course (only English).
Thursday, 20 June 2019
The Celtic Polytheism Course is one of the specialisation courses available to our Upgraded Members. For quite some time, we have attempted to find mentors to guide students in this course, but unfortunately we have been unsuccessful. For this reason, we have decided to make some changes to the course.
As of today, the Celtic Polytheism Course is no longer available as a mentored two-year class, but instead as a self-study course. This means that you can enroll in this course and immediately have access to all the chapters of the course (of what was previously both year one and two). As it is a self-study concept, the course will not be mentored. A course forum has been made available for students to interact with each other on the course material. However, one part of the original Celtic Polytheism has been left out: the Seership chapters. These will be reworked into a new Seership Course, which when ready will be made available with mentor.
The Celtic Polytheism Self-Study Course is still only available for Upgraded Members, as will other specialisation courses currently being prepared.