Céad Míle Fáilte!
A Hundred Thousand Welcomes!
 

The Grove of Dana was created for the purpose of providing a free course of learning in the subject of Druidic spirituality and the primal Earth-honoring Celtic traditions. Although much of the readings and work will focus on the traditions of Ireland, we welcome those who are interested in or practicing other traditions. Where possible, information will be expanded to include these traditions.

Dana (sometimes Danu) is the name of the primal Irish mother goddess, and its roots can be found stretching back all the way to the source of Indo-European cultures. Dana can also be expressed and experienced as an energy as well, as it is sometimes worked with by native Irish practitioners. This energy is similar to the Tao or Chi of Chinese culture. Thirdly it can be expressed as spirits, much like the kami of the Japanese Shinto. The material you will find throughout the courses at the Grove of Dana will be based on an understanding that Dana is simultaneously all three of these things, and that like the knotwork so famous in Celtic culture, it weaves and wraps each of these concepts around each other.

The Grove works towards the goal of fostering a true understanding of the self and the universe in which we all live, by exploring the trinity of knowledge, experience, and wisdom. Many educational programs merely require the student to learn by examining things as if they are outside objects, without allowing the student to feel their inherent connection to their studies. Knowledge is the area of the mind and the intellect, and is important to any educational endeavor, however knowledge alone will get us nowhere. As well as offering intellectual readings and assignments, our courses will also require the student to gain experience through certain exercises and meditations. Only through experience can we come to understand the knowledge we have, and thus gain the third part of our triad: wisdom. Wisdom is the product of experience and knowledge, just as mist is the product of water and air.

The college is set up in three different "grades" based on those outlined by literary sources: bard, or fili; ovate, or fáith; and druid, or draoi. These titles were never intended to be "grades" in any sense of progression, but rather distinct professions among the intellectual class of Celtic people. However, in order to make our courses more comprehensible, we have adopted these titles for our courses, which do serve to denote progression. Our aim is to take people through a study in Celtic and Druidic spirituality, not to train people to serve these roles, as that takes many more years of study, practice, and experience than we can offer here. We want to give people a firm grasp on the subject, and where they decide to take their studies and pursuits from there, is a matter of their own sovereignty. That being said, we have used the inspiration gained from each of these professions to serve as the basis of our "grades". When one is a member of the bardic grade they will learn appropriate knowledge and skills that are firmly rooted in the spirit of the bard. The same goes for the ovates and druids. After completion of these three grades, the student may decide whether or not they want to specialize in a certain area. These may include "Celtic shamanism", mythology, history, healing, poetry, seership, ritual, a combination of these things, or a self chosen study. The purpose of this is to guide the student in an independent research of their particular field of interest. This means that it will require a lot more work and research on the student's part.

The standard college courses of Bard, Ovate and Druid are entirely free of cost (aside from any additional materials you choose to purchase), and open to all people with an interest. Specialisation courses are available to upgraded members for only 29.93 € / year. All courses are self-paced so you can work on them on your own time, without having to worry about deadlines for assignments, or it getting in the way of your job or schooling.


    Site announcements

    Welcome to the new Grove of Dana college!

    by Admin -

    We are happy to announce that the Grove of Dana has been completely renewed as we switched college software from eFront to the newest version of Moodle. This allows for a more user-friendly user interface and thus for a better experience for both students and mentors.

    Unfortunately, it was not possible to integrate course data from eFront into Moodle, meaning that you will not find any details here about previously completed courses, assignments or grades. You will have to re-enroll into the course (the enrolment key you received for the course(s) you enrolled in remains the same) and re-upload your assignments. Your mentor will then transfer over the grades you previously received.

    If you are already fairly far advanced into a course, you have the option to continue doing the course in the old college until you have finished the course, on the condition that you can complete the course before the end of 2018. The next course you take will then be in the new Moodle environment. However, you are of course welcome to switch over to the new environment already, if you wish to do so, even if you are already far advanced into a course.

    The old college environment of eFront can be found at this link: 
    http://www.druidcircle.org/college/

    Please keep in mind that the old college environment of eFront will be phased out at the end of 2018. If you are taking a course and wish to finish it in eFront, you need to make sure that you have completed the course by December 2018 latest. If you think you will not be able to make that deadline, we strongly recommend to switch to Moodle right now, and re-upload your assignments.

    New course: Active Druidry

    by Phoenix -

    We are happy to announce the launch of a new course in our Grove of Dana online Druid college. The course "Active Druidry" is intended to encourage you to meet your own needs and add new practices or knowledge that are meaningful to you. In turn this Course will help you to document your learning, and then to reflect and review in order to develop a continuing practice of increasing your Druidic knowledge and skills. The Active Druidry course focusses on self-study, based on the Nine Strands of Druidry, and requires a profound learning plan as well as your own learning journals.

    This course comes with mentor guidance, and is only available to upgraded members of the New Order of Druids. To enrol in this course, go to Druid College > List of Courses > Specialisation Courses > Active Druidry Course. There, click on "Join Course" and fill out the application form. You will then receive an email with your enrolment key to enter the course.

    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:
    https://www.druidcircle.org/druid/index.php/en/membership-options

    We would like to thank Hawkmoon for creating and providing us with this new course, and hope that the students in this course will thoroughly benefit from it!

    Specialisation Course "Becoming Aware" available

    by Phoenix -

    We are happy to announce that the specialisation course "Becoming Aware" is available as of today to our upgraded members. This course had been closed down in the past due to lack of mentorship, but is now reopened.

    The Becoming Aware Course is designed to bring you awareness of the world around you by simply re-learning how to use the senses and how to listen to the messages they bring. This course is about You. It is about honing in on who you are and where you are by listening, seeing, smelling, touching and tasting. 

    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 "Becoming Aware 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:
    https://www.druidcircle.org/druid/index.php/en/account-settings/upgrade-my-account

     

    Updates on Bardic & Ovate Courses

    by Phoenix -

    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:
    http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/neworderofdruids


    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.

    New "Seership Studies" specialisation course

    by Phoenix -

    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:
    https://www.druidcircle.org/druid/index.php/en/account-settings/upgrade-my-account

    We would like to express our thanks to Hawkmoon for his work on rewriting the Seership chapters into the new Seership Studies Course.

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