The following study program has been adopted by the Grand Grove of AODA for all members effective September 22, 2021. We see our curriculum as an evolving document—the Grand Grove reviews the curriculum every 7 years and adapts it based on the needs of our members. If you started on an earlier version of the AODA’s curriculum (first or second degrees) you are welcome to continue to work on that version of the curriculum. However, if you have joined since September 22, 2021, we ask that you do the current curriculum as it is presented here. Please note: the curriculum given in The Druidry Handbook is the original curriculum (used from 2003-2012).
Overall Goals of the AODA Curriculum and Curriculum Overview
The AODA curriculum provides druids with a path into deep nature spirituality, allowing individuals to craft a practice rooted in their local ecology and personal beliefs while also recognizing that spiritual work transforms our everyday lives. Our curriculum is structured in the following way:
- First Degree: The first degree offers druids a set of tools (nature observation, meditation, lifestyle changes), practices and rituals (seasonal observation, the Sphere of Protection), nature knowledge (tree planting, experience, and learning) and an exploration into one or more of bardic, ovate, or druid studies. As this is a path of nature spirituality, our focus in the first degree is on nature herself and in deeply connecting to nature rather than just what nature does for us. For those who are sufficiently trained in these practices from another druid order, the AODA offers transfer credit.
- Second Degree: The second degree deepens the druid’s practice through an exploration into connecting humans and nature in harmony; through understanding larger patterns in the druid tradition; and within their specific area of interest in bardic, ovate, and/or druid studies. Second Degree work includes readings in druid philosophy, ecology, and ecologically restorative practices (including permaculture, organic gardening, regenerative and urban agriculture, and Green Wizardry); a deepening of practices and rituals (writing and performing seasonal rituals, performing grove rituals, meditations, and nature observation); and sharing knowledge and skills with others (mentoring, initiation practice). It also encourages individuals to establish a regular bardic, ovate, or druid practice.
- Third Degree: The druid tradition is still very much an evolving tradition. Individuals who have reached this point are ready to help shape our tradition. The third degree encourages you to move beyond the established patterns and knowledge and create an original bardic, ovate, or druid project while also contributing some of that knowledge to the broader community.
These three degrees align with our Seven Core Principles for AODA, found here: http://aoda.org/vision/.
AODA offers all members guides to support their work through our curriculum. All new candidates are given a copy of our New Candidate Guide (and US-based members receive a printed copy of the guide). All Apprentices receive a printed and digital copy of our Apprentice Guide. We also have checklists for both candidate and apprentice studies.
On Curriculum Adaptation
The AODA welcomes differently-abled individuals into our Order. We are happy to work with you to adapt the curriculum to best suit your needs. Our membership includes individuals who are mobility impaired, deaf, and blind. See http://aoda.org/aoda-membership/adapting/ for more information.
For individuals who are transient, temporarily in a foreign country, from someplace outside of North America, or moving during the candidate year, we are happy to work with you to adapt the curriculum as necessary. See suggestions for these situations in the New Candidate Guide and feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.