Contact List for AODA Groves, Study Groups, and Home Circles
AODA members of all degrees are encouraged to work together informally on the Order's training program and to celebrate the solstices and equinoxes together. As members advance through the Order's degrees, they may become qualified to organize and lead AODA Study Groups and Groves, which are chartered by the Grand Grove. For more information on AODA Study Groups and Groves, and to see
AODA supports three kinds of groups:
Groves perform initiations and provide regular ritual, ceremony, and support for members. They are led by a Druid Adept in the AODA and are officially chartered.
A member of AODA who has received the Third Degree, the degree of Druid Adept, may request a charter for an AODA Grove from the Grand Grove. Groves are required to celebrate the solstices and equinoxes, use the Order’s Grove opening and closing ceremonies, and are authorized to confer the Candidate, First Degree, and Second Degree initiation ceremonies.
Study Groups can perform introductory initiations (the candidate grade and first degree) and engage in regular ceremony. They are led by a Druid Companion in the AODA and are officially chartered.
A member of AODA who has received the Second Degree, after completing the first option in the Second Degree study program, may request a charter for an AODA Study Group. Study Groups are encouraged to celebrate the solstice and equinoxes and to use the Order’s Grove opening and closing ceremonies, and are authorized to perform the Candidate and First Degree initiations.
Home Circles are able to be led by any AODA member. The principle of the home circle is simple: it is a group of people who meet regularly, learn from each other, and engage in a number of activities surrounding druidry. See the Home Circle Manual for more information.
- Delsarte Grove. Bremerton, WA
- Led by Gordon Cooper, Druid Adept and Grand Archdruid. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Open to new members, performing initiations.
- Grove of the Wise Fox, Chicago, IL
- Led by Adam Robersmith, Druid Adept and Archdruid of Fire. Contact: email@example.com
- Grove of the Wise Fox is currently not accepting new members, but is available for initiations.
- Star and Thorn Grove, Indiana, PA.
- Led by Dana O’Driscoll, Druid Adept and Archdruid of Water. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Open to new members, performing initiations
- Three Roads Grove, Springfield, OH.
- Led by Lady Oceanstar, Druid Adept. Contact: email@example.com
- Three Roads Grove is currently not accepting new members, but is available for initiations.
AODA Study Groups
- Kawartha Study Group, Peterborough, ON, Canada
- Led by Dennis Delorme, Druid Companion, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Open to new members and performing initiations.
- Ocean’s Mist Study Group, Warwick, RI
- Led by David P. Smith, Druid Companion, email@example.com
- Open to new members and performing initiations
AODA Home Circles
- Circle of the Seven Spirals, St. Augustine, FL
- Led by William Herrington, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Home Circle, Minneapolis, MI.
- Led by Marcus Baker, AODA Candidate, email@example.com
- Home Circle, Sacramento, CA
- Led by Jose Esparaza, AODA Candidate, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Three Rivers Circle, Spanish Lake, MO (north of St. Louis)
- Led by Claire Schosser, Druid Apprentice, email@example.com
- Home Circle, Oakland, CA
- Led by Adam Milner, Druid Apprentice, firstname.lastname@example.org
- The Circle of the Great Aspens and Reeds, Kaysville, UT
- Led by Brenda Holmes, email@example.com
Purpose and Governance
The Grand Grove of AODA charters study groups and Groves for the purpose of carrying out the work of the Order, and these groups exist for the benefit of initiated members of the Order, not for that of the wider community or the general public. The Order’s work is primarily that of teaching and initiating its members in its distinctive system of Druid philosophy and practice; this work centers on the individual member engaging in study and practice on his or her own time. While working together with others in a study group or a Grove can assist in this core process, group activities should never be seen as a replacement for personal study and practice. Most AODA study groups and Groves thus restrict attendance at most or all of their meetings to their own members.
The governance of AODA study groups and Groves unfolds from a traditional way of thinking about Druid practice that pervades the work of the Order. Every Druid, from the newly initiated Candidate to the most experienced Adept, always stands at the center of his or her own Grove. This Grove consists of the places, people, teachings, practices, and objects that further the individual Druid’s own personal path of Druid nature spirituality. The Grand Grove of AODA cannot create such a Grove, as it exists already from the moment any person sets foot on the Druid path. The Grand Grove’s action in chartering a study group or Grove is simply one of recognizing that a particular Druid has demonstrated the necessary knowledge and skills to be qualified to teach the AODA system within his or her personal Grove.
For this reason, governance of a study group or Grove rests entirely with the Chief Druid, who is the person who requests and receives a charter from the Grand Grove, and the membership of a study group or Grove consists of those people the Chief Druid invites to participate in the group’s workings. Those members of the Order who are dissatisfied with the management of a study group or Grove are encouraged to “vote with their feet,” leaving the group for another or for solitary practice, and to pursue the Order’s study program so that they can become qualified to receive a charter for a study group or Grove of their own.
Structure and Symbolism
A Grove consists of four primary officers, or Druids, and three secondary officers. Traditionally all seven officers are needed to open a Grove in the First Degree; the four Druids are needed to open a Grove in the Second Degree; and the Chief Druid only is needed to open a Grove in the Third Degree.
The Druid of the East is the Ritualist of the Grove. The symbol of this office is the Book of Knowledge. The implement is the Sword; this Druid acts as Sword Bearer during ceremonies and also as Incense Bearer in opening and closing the Grove.
The Druid of the South is the Treasurer of the Grove. The symbol of this office is The Friendly Fire. The implement of this office is the Quarterstaff; this Druid acts as Staff Bearer in ceremonies and also as Fire Bearer in opening and closing the Grove.
The Druid of the West is the Secretary of the Grove. The symbol of this office is the Book of Records and the implement is the Cauldron; this Druid acts as Water Bearer in ceremonies and in opening and closing the Grove.
The Chief Druid (or Druid of the North) governs the Grove. The symbol of this office is the Spiritual Fire and the implements are the Staff of Life and the Stone of the Wise. The Chief Druid also acts as Earth Bearer in opening and closing the Grove.
The Herald assists the Druid of the East and makes announcements during Grove meetings.
The Almoner assists the Druid of the South and invokes the quarters during Grove meetings.
The Pendragon assists the Druid of the West and arranges the altar during Grove meetings.
Candidates sit in the northeast of the Grove, Druid Apprentices in the southeast, Druid Companions in the southwest, and Druid Adepts in the northwest. The four gates of the Grove define the four directions, and have a particular symbolism in an AODA grove, as does the Altar of Spirit in the center.