Bayou Grove is located in New Orleans, Louisiana, and reflects the places where the land, water, and sky meet in our region- the bayous.
Druidry as a spiritual practice is free of dogma and rigid notions of deity, and while based on the deeper meanings in Celtic lore it is open to those of all ancestral or cultural backgrounds.
In 2017 one of our grove leaders requested that the Chosen Chief of OBOD add this ‘values statement’ from his personal blog to the OBOD website, with which we concur:
“Membership of the Order is open to followers of all faiths and none, regardless of gender, sexual orientation or ethnic origin. This statement reflects the values we consider central to our philosophy: of tolerance and inclusiveness that completely rejects expressions of racism, fascism and homophobia.”
Bayou Grove teaches about our interconnections with each other, the other realms, with nature and our lands, and with the magic all around us. In Druidry we know that nature is good, and we are not separate from it. We support members in their separate tree planting, volunteer, and nature advocacy.
ATTENDING EVENTS & RITUALS
- Most of our events are public and open, allowing participation by those who are not OBOD members.
- We like nature (nature is good), so our rituals are usually held outside in public parks and at times when hopefully the sun and rains are mild. (So in the morning or at dusk in our summer season, for instance.)
- You must be an adult (at least 18 years old) to attend activities, or attend in the company of a parent or legal guardian.
CONSIDERATION FOR GROVE MEMBERSHIP
- Be 18 years old, or older.
- Be free of severe mental illness– you should not enroll in the course if you have ever been diagnosed as suffering from schizophrenia or a psychotic condition (which generally includes the categories of schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, and bipolar disorder). Membership is linked to taking the OBOD course which uses “…meditations, visualizations and rituals which are designed to ‘open people up’ to their unconscious states and potentially other levels of perception”, and these exercises have the potential to be counter-productive to those who have suffered from these severe conditions.
- Concur with the Order’s ‘values statement’. (This is quoted near the top of this page).
Be accepting of the religions of other members. (We are Pagan, Non-Pagan, and other).
Be accepting of LGBTQ members, and members of all races.
Have a balance in any magical practice. (Solely ‘dark’ practice is incompatible with our group.)
Have a desire to study and practice Druidry. (Our group is not for fantasy or role play ‘Druids’.)
Provide your legal name. (OBOD also requires this when you join.)
Attend rituals and meetings so our members and leaders can learn about you.
We expect the Grove to change over time, but currently this is how we are set up.
We are affiliated with the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids (OBOD), a correspondence mystery school based out of the United Kingdom. Roughly half of OBOD’s total 25,000 membership is in the United States. Except for 2 yearly UK gatherings, all non-coursework activities (like groves, seed groups, and gatherings) are independently developed and run by member volunteers.
About OBOD Groups
Seed Groups can be started by one OBOD member who is initiated (started) in the beginning Bard grade. (The founding member can be in the Bard, Ovate, or final Druid grade.) They meet with other members to discuss Druidry and other topics, or to celebrate the seasonal festivals.
Groves are groups led by at least two members who are initiated (started) in the Druid grade, they meet regularly, celebrate the eight festivals, may perform initiation rituals, and and might also arrange other activities such as Druidic retreats, workshops and camps.
Bayou Grove is led by two Druid Companions. Druid Companions are Druid Initiates that have completed all of the grades in OBOD – there are probably 30-40 such members in the United States. Both of our co-founders have also been members of other Druid orders, multiple groves, and worked as staff and presenters at various OBOD and Pagan gatherings.
We plan to obtain an additional affiliation with another order in the near future.
[Note: the Bayou Grove founders previously had an OBOD Seed Group in Baton Rouge, which was disbanded when we moved to the New Orleans area in 2017. There is no culture of ‘hiving’ or splitting off from other OBOD groups.]
Revised 9-13-2019 to 9-30-19